My custom Rivendell bicycle, Belle, is quite the worry magnet, as I am wary of locking her up anywhere for extended periods of time. A few months ago, I went in search of the ideal “beater” bike to be used on such extended-lock-up situations. I came across this diamond in the rough on CraigsList: a Bridgestone MB-3 Mixte.
This model comes from the mountain biking line of Bridgestone bicycles (hence the prefix, MB) and was designed by Grant Petersen, who now owns and runs Rivendell Bicycle Works. You can read all about the relevant history regarding Grant, Bridgestone, and the iBobs in Sheldon Brown’s very informative website.
After conducting some online research, I identified the model as being the Japanese made Bridgestone MB-3 18″ staggered frame from 1985. Yes, even though it is referred to as staggered, and is missing mid-stays, I am calling it a mixte. You can see it all the way in the top-right corner of the catalog page, also conveniently found on Sheldon Brown’s website.
During my test ride, the bicycle felt rather small, but I rationalized the purchase in multiple ways:
This will only be used “once in a while” on short trips that do not call for optimal geometry.
It’s only $40!
I can finally learn how to overhaul a bike!
I can call myself a BOB!
Grant Petersen! Need I say more?
And that is how I broke the vow with my dude:
Yes, I promise, the Custom will be the last bike that I ever buy!
I recently brought it out of the woodworks and tried it once again. 18 inches translates to roughly 47 centimeters, and I am used to riding a 54.5 centimeter frame. This frame is tiny.
This is my “this is SO not happening. I need to raise the seatpost, pronto” look.
Even if I raise the stem and seatpost, it would be a shame to let this be my “beater” when it could be someone else’s beauty. I think it is time for me to revive this frame to its former glory, and with Shishkabike‘s guidance, I will also be able to hone my bicycle maintenance skills. Project!