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'86 Bridgestone Mb-3 Conversion

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'86 Bridgestone Mb-3 Conversion

Old 12-14-08, 03:10 PM
  #1  
han-gan
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'86 Bridgestone Mb-3 Conversion

Hello,
I'm comfortable tweaking bicycles but I'm new to the world of fixed gears. I am looking to convert my '86 Bridgestone mb-3. If I can come up on the cash then I am going to replace the bottom bracket and crank set. For now, though, what is the easiest and cheapest way for me to make this a 1 X in the front? I think the 42 ring (out of 50 T outter, 42 middle, 32 inner) would be my best bet but then I have some extra rings. What is the best way around this?
Also, the cantilever brake is going to be hitting the spokes of a larger wheel if I were to put road 700s on it. Could I get away with putting a road caliper on a 700 wheel in front? Any advice on this work would be much appreciated. Really any suggestions on changes you would make are good too. It just started snowing in portland today which makes me want to reconsider taking off the 26'' x 1.4 wheels even though they are goofy as they can be.

Here is the link to Sheldon's page on the specs: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgest...tone-mb-3.html
Thanks
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Old 12-14-08, 05:39 PM
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I'd suggest keeping the 26 inch wheel, there is really no reason to switch. If you want skinnier tires, just buy a pair of Tom Slicks for like $15 apiece.

As to your chainrings, just buy yourself a set of single speed stack bolts, should run about $10 at your LBS, and take off the unneeded chainrings.

Could make a cool conversion, but stick with 26 inch wheels, or it will be a lot more trouble than it's worth, nothing wrong with smaller, stronger wheels.
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Old 12-14-08, 05:42 PM
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Vern
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firstly, don't try to make a fixed gear out of this. with the equipment you've got it would be way easier to convert it into a freewheeling single speed. theres alreasy lots of info on how to do that here and elsewhere on the internet..making it fixed would cost way more and require more effort than its worth for the project, what with the vertical drop outs and all....keep the 26" wheels, but replace the knobby tires with high pressure slicks, say a 26x 1.5 or so...I used to have geax street runners, which are pretty cheap. smaller wheels are fine for riding quickly and nimbly, its just that a lot of 26" tires are clunky and run at a low psi for mtb purposes. Also canti brakes are awesome, don't get rid of them. even if you did put a caliper on the front, you'd still have brake bosses jutting out of the fork...mtbs make really fun, sturdy bikes for the road. good luck
 
Old 12-14-08, 08:17 PM
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It looks like that frame does have horizontal dropouts. I can't be sure, the picture wasn't that great.

I say fix it. You will need to pay for a custom built wheel, or you could buy a cheap disk and Tomicog it. It would be a bit more expensive than buying a Kilo TT, but I think you would get a much better bike out of it.
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Old 12-14-08, 08:51 PM
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fail.
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Old 12-14-08, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
It looks like that frame does have horizontal dropouts. I can't be sure, the picture wasn't that great.

I say fix it. You will need to pay for a custom built wheel, or you could buy a cheap disk and Tomicog it. It would be a bit more expensive than buying a Kilo TT, but I think you would get a much better bike out of it.
It does have horizontal dropouts. I have a kazane hub, and I think I found a 26'' weinmann rim so the built up wheel is no problem. If I put on a fixed wheel, make it a single chainring up front, line it up real nice, and switch out the handlebars with something that doesn't slope back as much, maybe even put on a cross brake - I think it will ride really well. I have all but rim, spokes, and as you said some street runners or such. Total it shouldn't cost more than the $20 rims, $20 tires, used handlebars and some new tubes. Considering the geometry of the frame I wonder if it would ride funny with bull horns on a shorter stem. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-15-08, 12:37 AM
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the description in that catalog scan is effing hilarious.

on like three different levels.
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Old 12-15-08, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by han-gan View Post
It does have horizontal dropouts. I have a kazane hub, and I think I found a 26'' weinmann rim so the built up wheel is no problem. If I put on a fixed wheel, make it a single chainring up front, line it up real nice, and switch out the handlebars with something that doesn't slope back as much, maybe even put on a cross brake - I think it will ride really well. I have all but rim, spokes, and as you said some street runners or such. Total it shouldn't cost more than the $20 rims, $20 tires, used handlebars and some new tubes. Considering the geometry of the frame I wonder if it would ride funny with bull horns on a shorter stem. Any thoughts?
That bike has a pretty relaxed upright position. I don't think you'll get a particularly sporty position easily. It would certainly make a solid grocery getter type bike.
Does it still have the super tall quill stem riser quill stem on it like in the picture? That's the fugliest thing I've seen in years
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Old 12-15-08, 01:50 PM
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I see, sorry, i didn't look at the picture, just assumed it had vertical drops like an MB-4 I used to have, and just about every RB series bike I've ever seen and wanted to convert. Its no track bike, but i don't think the geometry is too much of an issue unless you intend to compete in some fashion, and you have at least a little room to try out different stems and such. The current one looks goofy, and I'm assuming you don't like the fit if you're already considering getting a shorter one...but i guess you'll only know if you like a particular set-up by trying, and i don't see anything wrong with a shorter stem and bullhorns, really...it all depends on how you fit the bike, too. It seems like a lot of people with fixed gear bikes like an upright riding position, so, you're already there pretty much. I used to ride a panasonic mountain cat that I converted into a single speed to commute in the snow and sleet of upstate NY. fun times. It felt a little short in the top tube, so in the spring I put on a long stem with no rise and road drop bars and took off the studded tires. It actually felt pretty zippy, and offered a little variety in positions...anyway what i'm saying is you can figure out a stem bar combo that'll work for you pretty easily. I also agree that it's a pretty decent frame.
 
Old 12-15-08, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Vern View Post
firstly, don't try to make a fixed gear out of this. with the equipment you've got it would be way easier to convert it into a freewheeling single speed. theres alreasy lots of info on how to do that here and elsewhere on the internet..making it fixed would cost way more and require more effort than its worth for the project, what with the vertical drop outs and all....keep the 26" wheels, but replace the knobby tires with high pressure slicks, say a 26x 1.5 or so...I used to have geax street runners, which are pretty cheap. smaller wheels are fine for riding quickly and nimbly, its just that a lot of 26" tires are clunky and run at a low psi for mtb purposes. Also canti brakes are awesome, don't get rid of them. even if you did put a caliper on the front, you'd still have brake bosses jutting out of the fork...mtbs make really fun, sturdy bikes for the road. good luck
i converted an mb-3 to ss about ten years ago, and it was a terrific fun project.

i believe i used cassette spacers and a bmx freewheel and retained the big ring only on the front, using shorter crank bolts. i put a rockshox 3"-travel suspension fork on the front and ran a thompson stem and seatpost, kore bars and 1" slicks. That was a very very fun bike.
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Old 12-15-08, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Vern View Post
firstly, don't try to make a fixed gear out of this. with the equipment you've got it would be way easier to convert it into a freewheeling single speed. theres alreasy lots of info on how to do that here and elsewhere on the internet..making it fixed would cost way more and require more effort than its worth for the project, what with the vertical drop outs and all....keep the 26" wheels, but replace the knobby tires with high pressure slicks, say a 26x 1.5 or so...I used to have geax street runners, which are pretty cheap. smaller wheels are fine for riding quickly and nimbly, its just that a lot of 26" tires are clunky and run at a low psi for mtb purposes. Also canti brakes are awesome, don't get rid of them. even if you did put a caliper on the front, you'd still have brake bosses jutting out of the fork...mtbs make really fun, sturdy bikes for the road. good luck
i converted an mb-3 into ss about ten years ago, and it was a terrific fun project.

i believe i used cassette spacers and a bmx freewheel and retained the big ring only on the front, using shorter crank bolts. i put a rockshox 3"-travel suspension fork on the front and ran a thompson stem and seatpost, kore bars and 1" slicks. That was a very very fun bike. It was sort of like a cannondale bad boy before it's time a fast urban commuter.
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