Gallery: Steve’s Bridgestone MB-3 Commuter

Attached is a picture of one of my four bikes, the one I use most for daily transportation, including commuting 2.5 miles one way to work. It’s a ’93 Bridgestone MB-3 frame that I had powdercoated black 3-4 years ago, and I built the bike up using a variety of new and NOS components. It’s very Rivendellesque, as you can tell. The lights have since been replaced with battery-powered LEDs, the front bag has been replaced by a black Wald basket, the grips are now black rubber, I have a SS Klean Kanteen, a Sunshine cylindrical saddlebag for my tools and pump, and a new, large, silver Incredibell. It’s a nice ride, but the frame is a bit too small for me, and while the steel lugged frame is lush for a MTB frame, the handling is a bit squirrely for a town bike. Nevertheless, it’s a fun ride, just hop on and go. I usually just wear street clothes on this bike and a black Bell Metro helmet. (The triple is a necessity in hilly Tallahassee.)

Funny how my perception of what is a proper bicycle has changed almost 180 degrees in the last five years. I still enjoy getting out on weekends on my Mercian Audax bike with my woolies, gloves, and shoes, but it’s increasingly simply about riding w/o all the accoutrements. Bikes as simple transportation. Who would have thought of that?… ;-)


9 Responses to “Gallery: Steve’s Bridgestone MB-3 Commuter”

  • Bike Jax says:

    That is one nice looking bike. Steve, like you I have also done an 180 on what a proper bike is. I used to laugh at people that had kickstands on their bike. Now I don’t think I could live without one.

  • sy caling says:

    If only the city hadn’t done a 180….

  • ghd3 says:

    What kind of stem do you have on there? I have a very similar short-distance commuter, but your stem height seems even better (i.e. higher) than mine.

  • Ows says:

    @ Bike Jax – I also used to laugh at people with kickstands and other accouterments, and now I find myself purchasing a bike with not only a kickstand, but a chainguard, fenders, dynamo lighting, a rear rack and an 8-speed nexus hub (rather than the usual 26 “gears” that seemed absolutely necessary and vital to my very survival amongst my peers not so long ago!).
    Is it my age (30)? Or is it a change in my World view?
    Either way, I’ll be dry, seen, backpack-free and moving swiftly whatever the weather!

    It’s bike time, baby!

  • jhaygood says:

    Gorgeous bike. I have a 1990 MB-1 that I ride around town, to work, pulling kids to school, even on some dates with the wife. I’ve been eyeing the Dutch city bikes for a less ‘athletic’ look and use – a more upright, casual ride, with features to keep me clean in nicer clothes. I love this adaptation though since I love the ride (and gearing) of my Bridgestone. Just wondering, are there issues when you extend the stem up for that more upright ride? And is it possible to put a chainguard on a triple? Gotta have a chainguard for my date ride…

  • Duane says:

    beautiful bike

  • Joe says:

    Steve that is a great looking bike.

  • Steve says:

    Thanks very much for all your kind comments. So refreshing in this age of the internet (or is everybody happy following the inauguration?).

    The stem is a Nitto, one of their less fancy long guys. I don’t have the model at hand. The frame is very small (18″?), and that’s from someone who wears a 30″ inseam. I haven’t really noticed any particular issues with the stem, but I haven’t been able to ride a more Dutch-style bike for comparison.

    The bike is a rolling experiment, a piece of kinetic art that is subtly evolving over time. Thanks in part to online pix of beautiful young European women on Dutch-style bikes, and bumping into the owners of Dutch Bicycle Company at a bike-ped conference in St. Augustine, I wanted to build up my own as a commuter just for the heck of it. It was relatively cheap and fun to do. I’ve been lusting lately after a Breezer Uptown, but I haven’t made any decisions yet. I’d buy a Pashley in a NY minute, but they’re a bit hard to come by in the Deep South.

    I tried putting a chainguard on, but I couldn’t deal with the triple issue very elegantly. If I keep the bike, I may put a sprocket cover on, but I found some chrome pants leg clips locally, and they’re a good solution for now.

    The kickstand is indeed a watershed conceptual breakthrough for me. The last bike I had with a kickstand was a housefrau 3-speed my parents bought for me in Germany in 1963. However, yes, kickstands are eminently useful. For those who are concerned with weight, it’s better to lose that spare tire around one’s middle section than to obsess over the relatively insignificant weight of an aluminum kickstand.

    I’m 50 years old. What do I have to prove? I lost my appetite for being a Lyra-clad weekend warrior a few years ago when I saw a middle-aged guy with a paunch and greying hair wearing a pink skintight outfit on a local bike “tour” infested with racing wannabes. These people–women and men–were not interested in the journey, but winning the race. What race? I love all my bikes, but I adore the idea of riding down to the local store on a Saturday morning. That is a lovely, simple vision, and each of you are reaching toward that vision. Keep reaching…

  • Jordan says:

    Ah yes, I too had the green MB-3 that I rode faithfully for 10 years until a car conclusion rendered the frame unfix-able. I walked away! I bought a new light weight aluminum specialized that I was lusting after, but soon began to miss the feel the feel of the steel frame.

    I am seriously considering the Live 3, but am not a big fan of the light colored tires, but I like what you did with the grips and saddle. change the tires and you’ll have a great looking bike. I am just worried the feel of the aluminum frame will make a less than ideal commuter bike.

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