Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Giving new life to an old friend

The badge says it all - makers of fine bicycles ridden the world round. 

Centre pull brakes

I have an old mountain bike that was kept in my friend's garden shed since 2000. Understandably, it has suffered deterioration under the hot Australian sun and cold winters. It should be thrown away.

My interest in MTB got kick-started again with the recent completion of the Munda Biddi mountain bike trail in Western Australia, all 1000km beautiful off road from Perth to Albany. Then, there is Mt Bromo in Java to conquer too.

Getting a new MTB with the latest technology would be economically cheaper but how do you put down an old and faithful friend who has given you one of the best times in your younger days? This 1994 Candy Red Bridgestone MB3 was bought brand new in the then Bridgestone bicycle shop in Orchard Road for the princely sum of US$1000. It would be a mid-range type of bike with LX components and a Rock Shox suspension fork. The brakes are the centre pulled type, very popular in those days and it even has a lugged joint in the frame.

I had many happy trips with it along the Bukit Timah MTB trails and excursions to Malaysia and Indonesia. I did one trip to Kundur/Karimun in 94 with my school friend KG and the legendary Chris Wee too and that was a start to our 2 decade long friendship on and off the saddle.

It has also shared important events of my life like my wedding when I cycled it to pick up my new bride. Then, it hung at the back of the Lexus LS400 all the way to Raffles Hotel.

My faithful friend transported my baby son Jeremy to nursery in Edith Cowan Childcare in Perth daily as well, and I remembered how envious his kiddie classmates were to see him ride at the back of such a nice bicycle each day. To throw this bike into the bin would be like putting down a faithful dog who has been with the family for years just because it got a bit sick.

Fortunately here in Singapore, there is Rebound Centre run by Sulaiman, an Oregon trained bicycle specialist. The old faithful was flown from Perth a few days ago and was warded straight into SGH - Sulaiman's General Hospital for a clinical evaluation.

It was fun to see 3 specialists fussing over the MB3 and the prognosis was not good. Save the frame, respray it to original color and change all the parts save for handlebar and perhaps saddle for a good reminder of its glorious past. So it will be parts shopping the next few weeks and that promises to be lots of fun, getting each part exactly as I want it.

Stay tune for exciting developments. I'm so glad we can put new life into the old faithful friend and with such expert skill involved, the MB3 will be born again much better, hopefully even better than when it was new.

Update 1 - 5 Apr 2013

Walked into Hup Leong today and walked out a bit poorer but definitely happier. Managed to get the following -

XT Cassette 11-32
XT Shifters
XTR Chain
Cane Creek headset

Update 2 - Apr 6

Rebound Centre has started work on stripping the original paint, sanding it in preparation for the big paint job. John Chan send me these pics and I'm very grateful.

Update 3 - Apr 10

Ordered a whole lot of stuff from Chain Reaction Cycles in the UK. Their prices are very good and if orders are more than $250, free postage. This is what I have ordered so far...

Products Ordered:
1 Shimano XT Front Hub T780 - 32H Silver
ID: 255736
Unit Price: £21.08

1 Shimano XT Rear Hub T780 - 32H Silver
ID: 255730
Unit Price: £32.99

1 Schwalbe Land Cruiser 26" Tyre - 26 x 1.75 Wire Black
ID: 76631
Unit Price: £13.74

1 Schwalbe Land Cruiser 26" Tyre - 26 x 1.9 Wire Black
ID: 76632
Unit Price: £12.83

1 Shimano Deore V Brakes M590 - Front - Black
ID: 133122
Unit Price: £13.74

1 Shimano Deore V Brakes M590 - Rear - Black
ID: 133123
Unit Price: £13.74

1 Shimano XT T780 Trekking V-Brake Levers - Pair - Silver/Black
ID: 267217
Unit Price: £41.24

2 Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite - Pinned Rim 2013 - 32h Silver
ID: 293464
Unit Price: £42.16

1 Ritchey WCS Truegrip Ergo Foam Grips 2013 - Pair - Black
ID: 134210
Unit Price: £9.15

Update 4 - 18 Apr

The goodies are in from UK... yay! Just having to wait for the frame to be lovingly restored and repainted. Schwalbe Landcruiser Tires - all ready for some off road action.

Update 30 Apr

Brazing done on the frame to accommodate centre pull rear brakes.


Taiwoon said...

awwwhhh, super! This will be one bike that would be a proud granddaddy of ur bicycle stable!
He have seen some really nice action and it is time some TLC for this old goat!

Bruno said...

I like very much to read your blog. Keep up the good work :)

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Amoi on pedals said...

This is the best read ever! I am already in love with your MB3. Can't wait to meet up