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Bridgestone mountain bike good for touring?

Old 08-25-09, 08:57 AM
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sandrat
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Bridgestone mountain bike good for touring?

I am a mountain biker interested in doing some touring. Right now, I own a mid-90s Bridgestone MB-3, a darn good bike for it's day, but now a little aged with mostly stock parts.

Would this work good as a road touring bike? Since the wheel set was originally designed for mountain biking, will I be okay on the road loaded down with gear, or should I still upgrade to a stronger/newer set?

Also, I am a little skiddish on narrow drop bars... should I even consider changing out the stock straight bar? I've seen extra wide drop bars, but I'm wondering if any drop bar is compatible with a mountain bike frame... even with relaxed geometry like the Bridgestone.

Thank for any of your thoughts.
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Old 08-25-09, 09:08 AM
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I've got an old Bridgestone MB-2 that I bought for touring in places which would include some riding on unpaved roads. It served me well in Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, & Fiji. A friend borrowed it for our tour together in Tunisia, too. Since the majority of my touring in these places was on paved roads, I used inverted tread tires, and that worked out well for both surfaces. As for the wheels, I never have had the slightest problem. My preferred touring bike these days is my Bike Friday NWT, but I wouldn't hesitate to tour on my old MB-2 (if I can get it back from another friend who borrowed it and loves it).

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Old 08-25-09, 09:10 AM
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n4zou
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My brother has an MB-3. We set it up for touring by putting racks, a Nashbar Trekking bar and Continental touring tires on it. He had no trouble with it at all.
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Old 08-25-09, 09:27 AM
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yeah, what they said, A pretty good choice there for a MTB conversion tourer. Have a look at the converted MTBs thread for ideas, but I would personally (since I can only go about 25 miles on straight bars before my wrists turn to crap) swap to drop bars using the tektro brake levers (25 bucks) and some cheap friction shifting barends like the diacompe silvers. You will get used to the drops, I promise- I used to MTB mostly, but even i prefer drops now for long riding.

I'd keep the rest of the stock stuff on there until it fails, including the wheels. and spend my money on some decent racks, and the best tires I could afford. Look at schwalbe marathons, I have the 40mm supremes for 26" and love them. plain old marathons are great too, just a bit heavier.
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Old 08-25-09, 09:46 AM
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I should have mentioned that I replaced my handlebars with a Scott AT-3 (no longer made, I suspect) to have an assortment of hand positions. BTW, I used to prefer drops, but I'm so used to my "H" bars on my Bike Friday, that drops feel uncomfortable to me now.
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Old 08-25-09, 10:39 AM
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You don't have to switch to a drop bar, but something that would give you a range of hand positions would be nice. Make sure that the new bars will fit your old stem and handlebars (MTB and road handlebars have different diameters). Another option is to put bar ends on your old bars if you ahven't already, just to get a few different hand positions.

I would worry more about parts being worn out than being unsuited for touring. How much use have your current rims seen? What kind of shape are the teeth on the chainrings and cassette in?

Other than that, some fat slick or semi-slick tires, racks and a set of fenders should turn your MB-3 into a perfectly good touring machine.
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Old 08-25-09, 10:56 AM
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The Bridgestone was purchased used...

... so I don't really know how much wear and tear the frame/parts sustained. It was well maintained, and I've never had a problem with any of the parts, but I think it was used off-road for a while before I turned it into my commuter.
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Old 08-25-09, 10:59 AM
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Hmm.... I can't see the header to my reply.... it said:

"I bought the Bridgestone used ... so I don't really know how much wear and tear... etc."
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Old 08-25-09, 11:12 AM
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RatedZeroHero
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Originally Posted by sandrat View Post
... so I don't really know how much wear and tear the frame/parts sustained. It was well maintained, and I've never had a problem with any of the parts, but I think it was used off-road for a while before I turned it into my commuter.
it is a massive non butted cromoly frame... just short of absolute and total neglect there is nothing wrong with it!!!

do like the above said get racks... change bars... go tour in-hospitable places...
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Old 08-25-09, 11:28 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm glad I found this forum... very helpful.
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Old 08-25-09, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by RatedZeroHero View Post
it is a massive non butted cromoly frame... just short of absolute and total neglect there is nothing wrong with it!!!
My MB-2 has a large indentation in the downtube thanks to LAN-Chile airline. I think even if I put a hammer to the frame, I wouldn't be able to duplicate what LAN-Chile managed to do. Anyway, it happened years ago and doesn't affect the riding at all.
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Old 08-25-09, 03:43 PM
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For some reason, the "headers" don`t seem to appear anywhere on BFnet- like you noticed, if you go to the trouble of typing one in it gets lost in space.

My .02 on your bars: if you`re happy with your current bars, you might try some bar ends because they`re cheap and easy and don`t require changing out a whole bunch of other stuff. I wouldn`t go beyond that though unless you REALLY want a different style of bar. I put dropbars on a rigid mtb and have an mtb tandem that somebody else did that treatment to before I bought it- in both cases, I love the result, but it is a lot of part changing and the stem could end up being a whole bunch of trial and error, or you might find that the specifics of your frame just won`t allow you to comfortably mount drops.

About your wheels, I`d say it depends on what your plans are. If you`re planning a bunch of short, close to home tours for the time being, just tune them up the best you can and ride em. You`ll find out soon enough if there`s a problem. If you`re thinking about starting off on a long trip through territory you don`t know or in the middle of nowhere, I`d just go ahead and shell out a few hundred bucks for new ones- Deore or Tiagra hubs with CR-18 rims and 72 straight gauge spokes won`t end up as a sexy wheelset, but it`ll be trustworthy and won`t set you back much.
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