Bicycling; Emmaus; Jan 1994; Olsen, John;
All terrain bicycles
Bridgestone Cycle Inc
Olsen reviews Bridgestone's MB-3-SUS mountain bicycle.
Copyright Rodale Press, Incorporated Jan 1994
When you buy a Bridgestone, you can rest assured that the enthusiasts at this small company have ridden and liked every part on the bike. You won't find them leaping to spec the newest equipment just because it's trendy or because a Very Large Component Company says they should. Most of the time, this means you get a bike built from proven, functional, ride-ready parts that won't let you down.
On the other hand, sometimes Bridgestone misses a particularly desirable boat. For example, for years Grant
Petersen, Bridgestone's guiding figure and philosopher king, has sniffed suspiciously at suspension, sure that real cyclists didn't need it, convinced that the negative side effects outweigh the benefits. As he not-so-secretly hoped it would all go away, a lot of Trek 930SHX and Specialized Stumpjumper FS suspension bikes were sold. The boat was almost over the horizon.
And so it came as a shock to see all of the suspended Bridgestones at September's Interbike trade show--almost like seeing the smiling face of the Surgeon General on a pouch of chewing tobacco. From the Softride stem on the MB-1 to the Tange Struts-GS elasto-fork on the MB-5, Bridgestone has truly bounded aboard.
A prime example of this mainstream convergence is the MB-3-SUS, a $950 Shimano Deore LX-equipped mountain bike with Bridgestone's typical good parts selection plus 3 shocking deviancies from previous Petersen-think: Rapid Fire Plus underbar shifting (not thumbshifters), an oversize, ovalized, TIG-welded chrome-moly steel frame (not lugged), and a Rock Shox Quadra 10 elastomer fork (not rigid). With a first-cabin Ritchey handlebar, stem and tires, in addition to standard bar-ends, toe clips and a comfortable Avocet saddle, this bike is only a bottle cage and frame pump short of ready to ride.
Bridgestone's typical 71.5-degree head angle lent our test bike the pleasing quickness and agility that blessed
Bridgestone's past efforts. Now, with this quick geometry allied to the excellent Quadra fork, the MB-3-SUS becomes an even more capable singletrack tool. Its form is as good as its function, with an attractive (but not flashy) metallic red paint job complemented by truly tasteful decals. The only nits I could pick are merely my opinion, and minor at that: The grips are too fat, and the track-style pedals can catch on trailside obstacles and stop you cold (an opinion formed the hard way).
If the MB-3-SUS signals Bridgestone's acceptance of mountain bike reality, it also shows just how good a bike it can make. If you're shopping for a suspension bike for less than $1,000, you need to look at this one.
DISTRIBUTED BY: BRIDGESTONE CYCLE
15021 Wicks Blvd. San Leandro, CA 94577 510/895-5480
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Taiwan
SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $950
SIZES AVAILABLE: 40, 46 (tested), 49, 52, 55 cm (center top of seat tube)
WEIGHT: Frame, 5.4 lbs.; fork, 3.2 lbs.; complete bike, 27.3 lbs. (49-cm model)
FRAME: Tange O.S. double-butted chrome-moly steel tubing, TIG welded; Rock Shox Quadra 10 elastomer
Wheelbase--41.4 in.; 105.2 cm
Seat tube--18 in.; 46 cm
Top tube--22.2 in.; 56.5 cm
Head angle--71.5 degrees
Seat angle--73 degrees
Chainstays--16.7 in.; 42.5 cm
Bottom bracket height--11.7 in.; 29.7 cm
Fork rake--1.57 in.; 4.0 cm
Trail--2.71 in.; 6.89 cm
COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS: Shimano Deore LX with 32-hole hubs, 175-mm crankarms, 22/34/42T chainrings, 7-speed 11-28T cassette, and Rapid Fire Plus shifters with optical displays; SR X pedals with clips and straps; Araya RM-17 rims; 14-gauge stainless-steel spokes; Avocet Racing saddle; Ritchey Z-Max 26x1.9-inch tires; Hsin Lung handlebar with bar-ends.