1989 Bridgestone MB-1

(Edit 9/12/19: I wrote another article about this rig after the SRMR for Bikepacking.com. Have a read!)

Bike check, one two!

Got an alert from eBay one groggy morning earlier this year and, on impulse in my half-awake state, bought the 1989 Bridgestone MB-1 that popped up. It was in fair condition with a full XT M730/732 groupset. My friend Chris later hooked it up with an orphaned Bruce Gordon 1” threadless fork to swap out the aftermarket Manitou fork. The wheelset was junk so I kept hounding eBay until a set of ceramic Mavic 517s popped up – not quite period correct but period adjacent would do fine. I’ve since logged about 2500 miles to shakedown the rig and have made a few changes for comfort and ease of maintenance in the field.


1989 Bridgestone MB-1 Comp
Shimano Deore XT M732/730 shifter/brake/derailleurs/crankarms
Shimano/Surly/Onza chainring combo of 48/38/24t
Shimano UN-55 bottom bracket
Shimano HG-51 chain
Shimano XT PD-M8050 pedals
Nitto Fairweather B903 handlebars
Ergon GA1 levers
Tog thumb rests
Cane Creek Forty headset
Velo Orange canti rack
Gilles Berthoud Soulor saddle
Nitto seatpost
Mavic x517 SUP ceramic rims
SP PV-8 dynamo hub
Shimano M750 rear hub
Maxxis Ikon 3C/EXO 26×2.35” front, 2.2” rear, tubes
Shimano CS-M950 12-32t cassette
Tektro CR710 brakeset with Koolstop ceramic pads
Paul Moon Unit straddle cable hangers
Sinewave Beacon
Garmin Etrex 30x
Cygolite Hotshot rear light
Revelate Design bags

Like a knife in a gunfight, this is probably the most undergunned rig for a race as brutal as the SRMR.

Will the washboard roads make me cry out for a clutch RD? Will steel prevail? Why rim brakes? Will the triple last? Why am I leaving the 48t chainring on? Do grocery stores in Naryn carry avocados and nut butters?

I’ll arrive in Bishkek on the 9th for a week of acclimatization and heat acclimation before the race start on the 17th. Let’s see which questions can be answered!

EDIT 9/12/19: Absolutely phenomenal. 10/10 would do again. A dedicated SRMR post forthcoming but, until then, a few photos that ran with the Bikepacking reader feature.

Type 2 miles and misadventures

© 2020 Conan Thai Photography