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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's looking more and more like it will soon be time to replace my classic 1992 Bridgestone MB-1. I'm looking to replace it with another steel rigid frame and fork. This won't be my only mountain bike, but there are times the responsiveness of rigid just fits. My knees are too old and blown out for an SS (and there are way too many big hills around here). I've been looking at Vicious Cycles Metal Guru, IF Deluxe, Sycip Unleaded, Kelly Ro Sham Bo, and Gunnar Rockhound with a Kelly fork. The Gunnar and IF top tubes are a little long. The Sycip has geometry closest to the MB-1. But the Gunnar has the best price by far. I also have experience with Steelman bikes, but Brent's only building full custom now.

Anybody have experience with these or comparable bikes? Any thoughts or suggestions? I'd use it for cross country or jra in town. Thanks for your ideas.
 

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Inbred Homebrewer
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Old and Slow said:
It's looking more and more like it will soon be time to replace my classic 1992 Bridgestone MB-1. I'm looking to replace it with another steel rigid frame and fork. This won't be my only mountain bike, but there are times the responsiveness of rigid just fits. My knees are too old and blown out for an SS (and there are way too many big hills around here). I've been looking at Vicious Cycles Metal Guru, IF Deluxe, Sycip Unleaded, Kelly Ro Sham Bo, and Gunnar Rockhound with a Kelly fork. The Gunnar and IF top tubes are a little long. The Sycip has geometry closest to the MB-1. But the Gunnar has the best price by far. I also have experience with Steelman bikes, but Brent's only building full custom now.

Anybody have experience with these or comparable bikes? Any thoughts or suggestions? I'd use it for cross country or jra in town. Thanks for your ideas.
Well, since you're looking at relatively high-end/custom frames... you could always ask one of the builders to re-create the geometry and sizing of your MB-1. Better still, call Grant Petersen at Rivendell and tell him what you want.

$0.02
 

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IF is full custom so they can build what you want.

There used to be an up-charge for full custom but it now is part of the price so if you can afford it, they can build it.

I have an IF Deluxe in steel and like it very much. I had a longer top tube to get the fit I wanted.
 

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Witty McWitterson
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Rick Hunter will build you what ever you want for about a grand. I've got a 29" that he built me. He's great to work with, and if you do have a problem, he works very promtly. Great guy too. Curtlo will also do the same for a bit less. They both work in steel only, and fillet braze the frames. Both will make a bike with any geo you want so long as it makes sense to them(and an MB-1 clone would make sense). In fact, ANY custom builder will do that. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don't really need custom

I figure I'd spend about $750 to $1,250 for the frame and fork. The full customs seem to range about $2k. I really don't need a custom build. I fit well in a 19"-20" c-t seat tube and 23.5" or so top tube. It's more finding the fork that limits me rather than the geometry, but that seems to be getting easier.
 

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Witty McWitterson
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Full custom doesn't need to cost as much as you think it does. You say you want to spend $750 to $1250? That's exactly the range that both builders work with that I gave you links too. Curtlo on the low end(and Vulture cycles to that list too), and Hunter on the high end. You said you wanted an 'MB-1' clone. They can doa literal clone for you. Down to the tubing spec to get teh ride just like yours. Don't be afraid(or leary) of custom. It takes a bit longer, but the wait is well worth it!

And if you're willing to spend less, you can one of the many stock frames out there. Interloc(your know, the IRD guys) makes a 'Breezer' geometry bike, Jamis makes a reputable HT frame, and you already mentioned the Gunnar. SOMA makes a pretty swanky looking HT too. All these could be had for less than what you're looking to spend.
 

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how 'bout a Strong?

A friend of mine had to replace his old Bridgestone (not sure what model) last summer. He was a diehard rigid steel rider who also loved the geometry of his 'stone for climbing (he's a climbing FREAK). Anyway, he got a Strong custom made and is very happy with it although he did go with a suspension fork. Maybe part of his decision was made based on having another Strong years ago plus he had planned to come to Bozeman to take his daughter to college so it was easy for him to swing by the shop and get measured etc for his new frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not really a clone

Not necessarily looking for a clone. After all the MB-1 was from 1992. 41/2 lb. steel frame was light then, but I'm sure there are lighter, stronger steels today. Also, I'd like a dropped top tube for a little more clearance, which is pretty much standard today. What I liked about the MB-1 was the compliant ride (for a rigid bike), and that's what I'd like to keep.

Curtlo prices look good. Do you have any idea what their fork's like? The wishbone stays on the Hunter make me wonder if it would be too stiff.
 

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Witty McWitterson
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Hunter uses some pretty small stays and uses some nice manipulation to get a nice compliant rear. I've got some pictures at home that I'll try to post up later. It's certainly not as harsh as you'd think.
 

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contains quinine
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Soulcraft?

Saw a friend's soulcraft 29'er no bouncy disc brake bike this weekend. Great looking ride. He swears by it, raced it to third in the Laramie Enduro Singlespeed class.

Soulcraft makes 26 & geared also.
 

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paintbucket
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Old and Slow said:
I fit well in a 19"-20" c-t seat tube and 23.5" or so top tube. It's more finding the fork that limits me rather than the geometry, but that seems to be getting easier.
That sounds about like old steel Stumpjumper geometry and they're not that hard to find. Rockhoppers are the same I'd guess, but heavier in the frame. And they're nearly a dime a dozen it sometimes seems. There's several Rockhoppers on Ebay right now, and 1 Stumpy as well.
 

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climb
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If?

Old and Slow said:
I figure I'd spend about $750 to $1,250 for the frame and fork. The full customs seem to range about $2k. I really don't need a custom build. I fit well in a 19"-20" c-t seat tube and 23.5" or so top tube. It's more finding the fork that limits me rather than the geometry, but that seems to be getting easier.
How can the IF be too long? It looks about right on to me..

Seat Tube 19" Stand-Over 31.2" Top-Tube. 23.6"

I would do this with a shorter stem...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jl said:
How can the IF be too long? It looks about right on to me..

Seat Tube 19" Stand-Over 31.2" Top-Tube. 23.6"

I would do this with a shorter stem...
Oops, got the IF mixed up with the Kelly Deluxe. It has 24" top tube. Thanks for the catch.
 

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Just curious...

but what is wrong with your Bridgestone that makes you want to replace it? 4.5 pounds for a steel frame is still pretty decent (there's a reason why it's lasted 12 years) and stand over really shouldn't be an issue when you're in the saddle. If you like the ride and it's still in decent shape, I'd say spend your $$$ on a quality paint job (from someone who knows how to treat the lugs with a little love) and keep riding it.

On the other hand, if you really want a new frame and want someone to care for the MB-1 in it's old age, let me know. My '92 MB-2 always wanted a big brother.


(p.s., they make great single speeds!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My main concern is the head tube might be starting to ovalize. I haven't had a chance to take a close look and the brake cable hanger makes it hard to check the fit between the race and the head tube. I've started hearing more noises around the stem area and the steering hasn't felt as crisp as it used to. But then again, I might just be imagining it. But before I spend the bucks I'll certainly examine the area closely.
 

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climb
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Old and Slow said:
My main concern is the head tube might be starting to ovalize. I haven't had a chance to take a close look and the brake cable hanger makes it hard to check the fit between the race and the head tube. I've started hearing more noises around the stem area and the steering hasn't felt as crisp as it used to. But then again, I might just be imagining it. But before I spend the bucks I'll certainly examine the area closely.
Get one of these and keep riding the Bridgestone :)

http://www.chrisking.com/headsets/hds_2nut.html
 
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