Completed, Tested, Ready to Ride
Several months ago, I bought a 1989 or 1988 Bridgestone Trailblazer MB-4 from my friend, Adrian. He’d bought it thinking the bike’s top tube would better fit him than the MB-6 he’d bought a few years ago. These bikes were intended to replace the MB-5 he bought new when he was a much younger man and rode hundreds of miles a week. The one I bought turned out not to be a good fit for him and he offered it to me at a price too good to refuse.
I say it is a 1988 or 1989 because it appears an amalgam of both – it’s the battleship gray color bike with black, white, and red trim. The Bridgestone name appears in white on the downtube, but the color scheme is otherwise not precisely that of the ‘88 model. Also, it’s got the same geometry as the ‘89 model, so that is probably the clincher, as it were. It does have the Shimano Biopace chainrings, which I actually like (I have them on my Razesa roadbike, and they work just fine).
Stuff I’ve replaced on the MB-4 are cables, tires, pedals, grips, and headset. Because there is no local bike shop at Stepford, I’ve purchased almost every replacement component from Jenson USA or Nashbar, but last week, while sojourning in the Great State of Indiana, I bought grips and pedals from Michael O’Neil at Greenway 500 Bike Shop. Every town should have a shop like Michael’s owned by someone like Michael.
The Tange Levin headset was a bear to install, but seems to be holding up very well, although I’ve only subjected it to minimal abuse. That said, the previous headset would’ve come loose after every ride, even easy seven or eight mile extended neighborhood rides with my young son in tow on the trailer bike or riding his own small bicycle.
Velociraptor tires replaced the Schwinn tires that were on the bike when I got it.
Shimano shift cables have replaced the original shift cables and have black housing. Jagwire Mountain Pro brake cables in red replaced the original brake cables. The original Avenir “Touring” saddle I replaced with the red and black Mongoose mountainbike saddle I that used to be on the Miyata 610. A pair of Specialized grips replaced the torn and uncomfortable foam grips that were probably not original but appeared to have been on the bike for a long time. Instead of the plastic pedals off of which my feet several times slipped during damp, muddy, or plain wet rides, I changed out a set of black Wellgo B102 BMX Pedals 9/16″ with replaceable studs. Here are some pictures of the how the bike looks now. Although I’ve got a new set of dials for the shifters, I’m not sure if I’m going to monkey with them.
Yesterday (7/10/14) I installed the pedals, finishing the bike for the foreseeable future. From what I’ve read, the Bridgestone MB-4 is not one of the “collectible” Bridgestones. Even if it was collectible, I’d probably still ride it because it’s a bike and bikes are for riding. I tested the completed bike by trying to evade an active six-year-old bent on attacking me with water gun, frisbees, Nerf dart gun, invisible arrows, and at one point, water from the garden hose. The lot’s filled with trees and has numerous, unpleasant surface irregularities. Everything held up fine – headset did not come loose, grips were comfortable, shifts were easy, brakes functioned, tires gripped, and pedals held my shoes in place when jarringly surprised by one of those irregularities mentioned in the previous sentence. Below are the test-ride stats and ride-map generated by Cyclemeter: