Bike O' The Week
When I said, the other day, that the 650b Rockhopper was undergoing some changes, what I didn't mention was that the main change was that the bike was becoming a donor for parts to build up another bike.
About a month ago, my buddy Mark sent me a link to a Craigslist ad for a 1986 Bridgestone MB-1 frameset, and I picked it up for $50.00. The '86 MB-1 is one of the the earliest (if not the earliest) examples of a "modern" mountain bike frame, with a 71 degree head tube angle, 73 degree seat tube angle and 17" chainstays (compared to the 18.25" stays on the Schwinn Sierra I just built up).
Unfortunately, it also had the latest and greatest (in 1986) unicrown fork...
I set about trying to find a lugged crown fork for the frame. In the meantime, I contemplated what to do about the ratty paint on my frame.
The rusty spots were simply cosmetic, and I sanded them down to bare metal.
I hated to lose the original decals, but they were in pretty poor shape.
The Shimano 600 headset was stock on the bike, in 1986. Also stock was a Specialized bottom bracket. It was common, in the '80s for other companies to spec parts from the Big Red S. Trek actually used Specialized wheels on some of their bikes, if I recall correctly...
I checked the frame for clearance with the 650b wheels and tires from the Rockhopper. The roadish tires fit fine, but there is no way that I could run the 2.3" wide Neo-Motos that ended up on the Schwinn. Thankfully, the Cunningham-designed Suntour Powercam brake actually could be adjusted to reach the larger rim.
The original head tube decal.
I finally found a lugged fork, with a hugely too-long steer tube, and threaded the steerer down to where it would fit the frame, then trimmed it to length. Then, I rattle-canned the frame and fork with International Safety Orange paint, which I let dry for a week before building the bike up, today. I just didn't feel like I had the budget available for powder coat, right now. Maybe, later...
I added some decals I obtained on Amazon, and called it good. The decals are a nice heavy-duty vinyl, and Used a large one as the chain-slap protector on the chain stay.
The Origin8 mustache bars have mountain bike grips on them, with Cinelli cork wrap over them. I need more padding than the cork tape, alone, affords. But, I like the classic look for the tape, and the combination gives me both the look I want and the padding I need.
It's not a 1993 XO-1, but it's close enough. And, I really like the 650b wheels for a bike of this sort.