The MB-2, reborn

I’m channeling Grant Petersen and Charlie Cunningham at the same time.  On the same bike.

Not long ago I found a 1987 Bridgestone MB-2, 58cm (just my size!).  It was in a pile of other cast-off bicycle frames, undoubtedly put there because its previous owner didn’t want to deal with the roller-cam brake under the chain stays.  The original front cantilever and rear roller-cam (sans cam) were both intact, and the fork was held in place with a zip tie from the crown to the down tube, and all the other parts missing-in-action.  Gray and black and calling my name.  I had forgotten Christie’s rule about bringing home more bikes.

Once home I went to work assessing what she needed and what I had.  The stock specifications were compared to pictures of Jacquie Phelan riding Otto and the gaps were filled with parts I thought I could sneak in under the radar.

The handlebars were described in a previous blog entry.  They’re now appointed with old Dia-compe levers, Suntour bar end shifters and blue tape.

The wheels were cast-off cheapies, probably the same age as the frame.  They’re shod with new Kenda knobbies and a 14-28 freewheel.  Alpha-5000 derailers guide the chain.

The Suntour XC Expert cranks came from a fellow iBOB and the MKS Sylvan Track pedals from a dumpster bike.

I gave up on the roller-cam brake and installed a U-brake from Tektro.  It works surprisingly well, providing not only plenty of modulation, but also the ability to lock up the rear wheel.

Top it off with a WTB saddle.

She and I went for an inaugural ride yesterday through mud, water, ice and slush.

I think I’ll keep her.

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7 Responses to The MB-2, reborn

  1. Nick says:

    Very nice. Happy trails!

  2. doc says:

    Sweet! I’m inspired to put the knobbies back on the X bike. That’s not Stony Creek, is it?

  3. Apertome says:

    The bike looks gorgeous, I love it! Great shakedown ride, too.

  4. John Speare says:

    Sweet. Nice scrounging. Especially the cranks. U-brakes suck, but not as bad as we’re led to believe. I think the thing that sucks the most about this one is where it’s placed. I had one on the front of an old Fuji mountain bike of about the same vintage as your MB2 here, and it was easy to set up, gave me fat tire/fender clearance, and stopped good enough.
    There’s something that just looks right about drop bars and knobbie 26″ tires.
    And finally, it’s always nice to see the rare instance where GP’s name is spelled correctly.

    • the sloth says:

      Hey, John. The U-brake was definitely easier to set up than the roller-cam brake. I think if the roller cam had been in a more conventional location I may have been able to deal with it, but the odd nature of the brake combined with being tucked behind the crank made it just too hard to mess with.

      GP and KP spell their names differently. I often forget who’s who and have to Google for the proper spelling.

  5. Tim says:

    Wow! very cool find and very good project!