(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.
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!