1992 Bridgestone XO-2
This is the 55cm XO-2 frameset that I ended up not selling to the guy, last week. I figured since I had it sitting around, I'd go ahead and build it up. It's not one of the swanky Japanese lugged frames, unfortunately. Instead it is a Taiwanese tig-welded model. More about that, later.
I tried to build it in the spirit of the original 1992 specifications (see this blog post from Freewheeling Spirit for a good look at the original catalogue page), but not as a "restoration".
Deore thumb shifters from the late, lamented RockHopper monster-crosser, and old DiaCompe road levers on an Origin8 Gary bar make up the controls.
I have been saving this Deore crank for quite a while, hoping something cool would come along so that I could use it. It spins on an old-school cro-mo spindled Shimano bottom bracket. The old BBs are a pain to keep adjusted, at times, but I think they spin smoother than any sealed bearing ever can.
Same with the Deore DX rear derailleur. I'm convinced that Shimano quit building DX just because it was too good. The stuff nevers wears out (seemingly) and thus you never need to buy replacements. The new stuff is a lot lighter, but I wonder how much of it we will still be using 15 or 20 years down the road.
The "Deer Head" front derailleur may be the oldest piece on the bike.
I have some Schwalbe CX Pro 26 tires coming. Theay are a cyclocross tire, cut down to 26" size, essentially. The size will be similar to the Conti 1.5" tires on it, now, but they will have a bit of knobbiness to them for dirt use.
The wheels are newer 8-speed XT hubs built into Mavic 217 rims with 14/15 Wheelsmith spokes. The rims and spokes are the remains of the wheels I disassembled to build Brian's cross wheels. I just bought N.O.S. hubs and relaced them into their original configuration.
I am running a 12-32 8-speed cassette with the 7-speed shifters. Seems fine, so far. If it gives me any grief, I might throw a 7-speed cassette on the wheel and call it good.
Here it is, nose to nose with the Red RockHopper. Click the picture for the big version, and you can see the relative differences in geometry between the two bikes. The red bike is a classic old mtb geometry, while the XO is more road-bike like. It's really a cross bike with mtb wheels, and feels a bit more responsive on the road.
I'm really looking forward to getting off-road with it, a bit, to see what it's like. I always liked riding mountain trails on my cross bike, but it had 700c wheels. It should be interesting to ride that geometry offroad with the smaller wheels.
Next time: Lugged vs. Tigged in a no-holds-barred steel cage death match (or, my thoughts on their relative merits).