Category Archives: My Bikes

Bridgestone

The part of industrial giant Bridgestone that makes bikes, started doing so in 1949. Some were called Kabuki, some called Anchor (pretty crappy name for a bike I figure), and today they still make track bikes for Japanese Keirin (track) racing. However, it’s the mountain bikes from the mid 80’s on that I really care about.

I read on a forum not too long ago that even when new, Bridgestones were old-fashioned. Once my jimmies were sufficiently un-rustled, I realized that this was pretty accurate. They never made a mountain bike from aluminum and they were really late to the suspension party. In 1994, I’d guess they realized they were making bikes that just weren’t going to be popular, and decided to pull the plug on North American operations, rather than get modern.

MB-5

MB-5

What was unique about them, was product manager Grant Petersen. At this time, what a lot of companies did, was simply buy a bunch of Shimano DX component groups, and a bunch of XT groups, put them on two frames, and there was two price points done.  The reason for this was the discount Shimano offered for buying the entire group. And we’re not just talking brakes, and front derailleurs, but even the little plastic guide for the derailleur cable that goes under the bottom bracket.

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Vintage wheel size?

I was chatting with my neighbour the other day, and he made a comment that was really innocuous at the time, but when I thought about it really quite telling about the state of the industry.

He’s a rider too I should mention – has a Giant enduro-type bike from a couple years ago.

We were discussing the end of the 26″ wheel.  I mentioned that I have a set of Mavic XC717 rims, and they’re probably the last high-quality, rim brake compatible, 26″ rims made.  He said; “Soon there won’t be any good 26″ stuff left for us.”

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2014 Wish List

This year marks the third year for the Alberta Bike Swap in Edmonton, and it’s become my bicycle Christmas.  Year one was all about selling off bikes; I went on a building rampage and had four complete bikes to sell.  And all four sold.  Year two I only sold one of three that I brought, but I came home with a very nice Bridgestone MB-0, which is a unicorn for a lot of VRC guys.

Most cyclists get excited for all the new bikes and gear in the spring, I get excited for the old bikes at the swap.  Here’s my Wish List for this year.

1.  Rocky Mountain

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Of course, a Rocky is always on my list.  Pretty much anything up to 1992, but preferring 1990 to 1992.  I’d be interested in anything, but given a choice between a super clean Hammer, and a dodgy Altitude, I’d probably go with the Altitude.  That would be a tough choice though.

2. Full suspension bike.

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I’ve had a project in mind where I compare old suspension bikes to today’s bikes, and I grabbed an awful Trek 9200 last summer partly for that purpose.  The problem being that it’s so bad as a suspension bike it’s really pointless.  So, if I can find something with a real rear shock that would be much better.

Also, TeamCow is ready for the Freeride Revival, so finding a Cannondale with a Moto fork on it, or a Rocky Pipeline would just be a bonus.

3. Solid hardtail frame.

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I plan to do most of my riding on my Blizzard this year, but it’s a special bike, and there are times when I think I shouldn’t use it up if I don’t have to.  Instead, a hardtail from the near-vintage period of ’98 to ’02 (this is when V-brakes have replaced cantilevers, but discs haven’t taken over yet) would be just right, because I could just punish it, and I wouldn’t feel bad about wearing it out.

I do have a Fisher frame in the garage that fits this description, so looking for another is really not necessary.  Also, the Fisher is not of the highest quality, so it really does fit the role of beater bike nicely.

The Bike Swap is May 10th this year, but the location has not been announced yet, so keep your eyes on the website.

The Grand Unification Vintage post

I’ve had it in mind for some time now that I could write up a post that would sum up all of  vintage cycling.  Something that would cover all the bases from restoration styles to what old bikes are worth to why we even care about them.

This, of course, is a foolish idea.  You’d need an entire website to explain it all.  And there are already two or three very good ones that do that.

But that’s no reason for me not to do it.

There’s no way I can do it all in one post though, so today, let’s talk about what makes an old mountain bike valuable.  It’s really rather complicated.  And I’m going to start with a story about me being a jerk.

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