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Old 10-27-09, 02:08 PM   #1
ElliotSF
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Bridgestone X0-3 or Austro-Daimler?

Could you-all help me with a dilemma? I have found in my region a 1993 Bridgestone X0-3, dark green and in very good condition, with the original moustache bars. Asking price $400. I have also found an old Austro-Daimler, with a lugged 531 frame and in fair condition and in dire need of a thorough tuneup, for $75.

Both bikes are my size. I have not seen the Austro-Daimler yet, because it's not near where I live. I have asked the seller to tell me the model, but have not yet received an email reply. But I can see in a photo that the bike has Shimano 300EX parts on it. The bike is dark purple, with original drop bars and downtube shifters.

My question: If I buy the Austro-Daimler for just $75, could I throw, say, $150 at it and make it a lot like the Bridgestone? (That is, with upright handlebars and medium-wide tires?) My goal is to have a sturdy, smooth-riding "country bike" that I can ride on city pavement--essentially I want an X0-3 or something similar, but ideally for less than $400!

Then again, is $400 perhaps a fair price for a 1993 Bridgestone X0-3 in very good condition?

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 10-27-09, 02:56 PM   #2
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Without a photo of the AD, it's hard to tell how easily it could be made into what you're looking for. Specifically, frame geometry, space for larger tires, and brake size/mounting. A quick look at the Xo-3 makes me think you'd be just as happy with a early Trek Multi-Track, a Schwinn Crosscut, or a number of other Mountain/Hybrids out there that were produced in the late 80's to early 90's. I have a Crosscut myself, 700x38 tires, just updated the brakes with a new set of canti's, have about $200 in it and that was buying it used from the LBS.
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Old 10-27-09, 02:59 PM   #3
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I have an XO-2 and $400 for an XO-3 sounds high. I know the XO-1 models really command a premium. The OX-3 has 26" wheels and the AD is most likely 27" or 700c. If I had this choice, and the AD is not dented or really damaged, I would go that route. If you want mustache bars, Nashbar has there steel ones cheap.

Just read cuda2k's comment and I agree with his suggestions. For that matter an early 80's mountain bike with slicks and handle bar swap would work really well too.
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Old 10-27-09, 03:07 PM   #4
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I am a fanatic for Bridgestone bikes of that vintage. But, that is a lot of money for an XO-3. Objectively, Bridgestones are really no better than any other good Japanese bikes of the time. The markup comes from their cult status. And an XO-3 really does not carry too much cult status. So, I vote for considering the AD. Or better, wait for the bike to come along that meets your desires more squarely.

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Old 10-27-09, 03:42 PM   #5
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+1 Neither. One bike is way overpriced, the other really doesn't meet your requirements. Nice hybrids and rigid frame mountain bikes are a dime a dozen.

+1 I have had two Schwinn CrissCross bikes, cheap and meet your requirements.
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Old 10-27-09, 04:26 PM   #6
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I have a 531 A-D (Inter 10) that is set up with wider tires (and fenders) and an upright handlebar (Soma Sparrow). It is wonderfully comfortable and very responsive. With the 700c (or 27") rims though, tires wider than 25s would likely be tight -- and fenders would be impossible, if that's important to you. I dropped down to 650B wheels and the lovely Col de la Vie tires to get the wider tires (and fenders), but that's way beyond the budget you're looking at. I also have to think more about pedal strike.
Even if you can use the current wheels and be happy with 28s, I think that you should expect to change to new, or used, bar end shifters. Even if you are not sitting completely upright, the downtube shifters are out of the way. I've kept mine and they are a minor, but persistent, annoyance. The derailers and shifters are original (Huret) and work as well as anything I've ever used, so I have not been able to bring myself to change them. I think about how nice some old Suntour barcons would be every time I take the bike out.
Bottom line, the A-D might be really nice for what you want, but it will take some work and maybe more money than you want to spend.
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Old 10-28-09, 12:10 PM   #7
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Hi Everybody,

Thanks much for your advice! A Schwinn CrissCross, or some similar lugged steel bike of the same era, sounds like a great idea. While I'm a big fan of Grant Petersen and Bridgestone, I won't pay $400 for an X0-3 when a $200 alternative will serve my needs. Thanks again.
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Old 10-28-09, 01:44 PM   #8
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I completely agree with jgedwa on the over value of Bridgestones. With no other info, this seems like a no-brainer... take the $75 531 AD. Or, if you decide to get the XO, I'd buy the AD too... the price is right.
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Old 10-28-09, 02:00 PM   #9
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The XO-3 is nothing special and I think that it's fair to say that Bridgestones are overrated.

The lugged Reynolds 531 AD frame alone is worth $75 if it's not dented or bent.
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Old 10-28-09, 04:03 PM   #10
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One more vote for the AD, with the caveat that most of us are probably thinking of what we could do with the frame. If you're new and inexperienced, and thinking about having a shop do the build, your costs will be much higher than if you go the diy route. If you have someone who can help you learn the mechanics, go for it.

fwiw, I have a Bridgestone XO-4 and it's a solid and serviceable bike but nothing special. I don't know quite how that compares to the XO-3 and don't have the time right now to look it up. I also have a Trek 720 Multitrack of the same vintage and imo it's a much nicer riding frame. Those are all over the place, and often for not much money. Also, it's fairly common to find specimens with low mileage.
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Old 10-28-09, 07:46 PM   #11
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My low end Trek 850 is a nicer ride than my overrated MB-2, although I've never been able to figure out why.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:37 PM   #12
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+1 AD
You may want to research the AD a little bit, too. It just might be an old mid-70's Ultima road racing frame. These were purple 531 frames with gold pin-striping around the lugs. AD's top of the line, along with the favorite collectible Vent Noir sport bike. My 1976 Ultima has braze-on downtube shifters and braze-ons for water-bottle cage only (no top cable braze-ons). If in good condition, these are very nice frames. Ultimas were originally fitted with all Campy SR, so maybe, just maybe, someone earlier on has swapped out the campy for the Shimano parts and now the bike is for sale as just an old $75 bike by an unknowing seller. Of course, it may be a lower end AD model, but with Reynolds 531, it is probably a nice bike if the frame is straight and true. Be careful, though. The AD might not easily build up into what you want. My Ultima is fast but very sensitive, certainly not a long wheelbase, fat tire cruiser in any sense, but great at what it does. Sorry I can't post a picture - not logged on to my own computer - but my Ultima has been posted on here long ago and may show up if you do a search.
Best Wishes!
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