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Old VS. New: They almost got me!

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Old VS. New: They almost got me!

Old 08-11-22, 09:23 AM
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Smokinapankake
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Old VS. New: They almost got me!

I've been looking at the Surly Bridge Club as a potential replacement for many of the bikes in my garage in an effort to reduce quantities (N-5 or 6) and simplify. Its pretty affordable at $1500 and gets lots of good reviews online.
But comparing geometry charts between it and my 1996 Trek 930, the two are remarkably close to the same bike. Surly at the top, Trek at the bottom, comparing the 21" Trek to the LG. Surly.




I've been reading a little bit and the general consensus I'm finding is that "new, modern" geometry is so much more comfortable and somehow better than "old, vintage" geometry as it relates to mountain bikes. But the chart shows that in this instance, theyre about the same bike... Effective top tubes are within 15 mm of each other, chainstays are within 5, head and seat angles are the same, head tube length is the same, wheelbase is only 16mm difference and standover is only 1mm different!
I almost bought in to the hype... But I still kind of want a new bike ya know.
So I guess I could buy a new Surly or I could build the Trek into a "Budget Bridge Club" using a rigid fork from Bikeman.com , get a sweet swept back bar like the Ritchey Coyote and save myself $1000. Maybe sell off the redundant bikes in the garage and pay for the upgrades to the Trek?
Pros: Save some big cash, have something kind of interesting.
Cons: Still a 26" wheeled bike with cantilevers / linear pull brakes and not as many mounting options...
I like that the Trek was built in the US, I like that it was a ridiculously cheap initial purchase, and I like that I have it in my possession right now. Bird in the hand, you know... But I don't like that after all is said and done, I'd still have a bike limited to 26" wheels and cantilever/linear pull brakes...
But conversely, what major advantage would a new Bridge Club have over a well kitted older MTB?

What are your thoughts?
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Old 08-11-22, 09:55 AM
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I can not relate to N-x!
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Old 08-11-22, 10:16 AM
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...what major advantage would a new Bridge Club have over a well kitted older MTB?

A rhetorical question, I'm sure. $1500 will get us a long weekend in Montreal, much nicer than just another new bike.
You spelled it out for us. Why bother?
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Old 08-11-22, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post
I've been looking at the Surly Bridge Club as a potential replacement for many of the bikes in my garage in an effort to reduce quantities (N-5 or 6) and simplify. Its pretty affordable at $1500 and gets lots of good reviews online.
But comparing geometry charts between it and my 1996 Trek 930, the two are remarkably close to the same bike. Surly at the top, Trek at the bottom, comparing the 21" Trek to the LG. Surly.

I've been reading a little bit and the general consensus I'm finding is that "new, modern" geometry is so much more comfortable and somehow better than "old, vintage" geometry as it relates to mountain bikes. But the chart shows that in this instance, theyre about the same bike... Effective top tubes are within 15 mm of each other, chainstays are within 5, head and seat angles are the same, head tube length is the same, wheelbase is only 16mm difference and standover is only 1mm different!
I almost bought in to the hype... But I still kind of want a new bike ya know.
So I guess I could buy a new Surly or I could build the Trek into a "Budget Bridge Club" using a rigid fork from Bikeman.com , get a sweet swept back bar like the Ritchey Coyote and save myself $1000. Maybe sell off the redundant bikes in the garage and pay for the upgrades to the Trek?
Pros: Save some big cash, have something kind of interesting.
Cons: Still a 26" wheeled bike with cantilevers / linear pull brakes and not as many mounting options...
I like that the Trek was built in the US, I like that it was a ridiculously cheap initial purchase, and I like that I have it in my possession right now. Bird in the hand, you know... But I don't like that after all is said and done, I'd still have a bike limited to 26" wheels and cantilever/linear pull brakes...
But conversely, what major advantage would a new Bridge Club have over a well kitted older MTB?

What are your thoughts?
I think the real issue is that you are approaching this as an attempt to see if 'the hype' is justified or not. That is a surefire way to be disappointed.
You are comparing bikes with similar geometry and that is it. Almost everything else about them, when it comes to use/setup, is different.
Dont look at this as a justification of hype, look at it simply as a different way to accomplish a goal(whatever that may be).

Many dont want to take an old frame and put a bunch of effort into modifying the build to make it similar to another bike. That isnt where their interest lies and thats cool. They arent buying into the hype when they buy a Bridge Club, they are simply buying a bike that fits what they want to do.

Your geometry is similar.
Your bike has fewer cargo mounts, has 26" wheels, has cantilever brakes, and has a suspension fork. Those things, to me, make your bike very different from the Bridge Club. Not better nor worse, just different. If changing the handlebar and fork will make it close enough to a Bridge Club for you to consider it wash, then do that and have fun. If you think you will want a bike with more bottle mounts, 3-pack gear mounts, hydraulic disc brakes, and the ability to use 700c, 27.5, or 26" wheels then get a Bridge Club.
If you buy the Surly, dont do it to see if the hype is real. You will for sure feel like you wasted money. Buy it because you want to try something different or because it fits your wants the best.
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Old 08-11-22, 10:26 AM
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How are you planning to use the bike?

do you really want disc?
do you like the 1x setup
are you good with 27.5 wheels (come standard)
do you need attachment points.... commuting, bikepacking/touring, just getting groceries

if yes to most of the above go with the surly

I have to say for $1500 the surly look better specced than I would have expected.
modern, i.e 1x setup, hydralic disc and 142/100 thru axle (which would let you go to 700 wheels easily) this give a lot of flexibility

so 1500 for surly vs 1000 upgrades will get more flexiblity, but less one off special

I don't like lack of drop bars....but that is me
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Old 08-11-22, 10:43 AM
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Except for wheel size, the two bikes are pretty close. I have a 970 (18) and did a quick and dirty reach measurement, (with a level and tape measure) around a 406mm (16"); compared to 419mm. The head and seat angles are the same. The big difference is the stem length, but I'm not sure how many people still run 120mm on older bikes, I'm 110mm and could go a bit shorter, but it fits me well enough. But 110mm gets me to within 3mm.

The one advantage the Surly has is the ability to swap out wheelsets. Their site shows that you can run a 26x3 size if you wanted to; and a 27.5. I'm running 2.1's on my 970, but I think could go wider if I wanted to. The Trek Tech Manual says 2.35 max.

I'm guessing both bikes will be pretty similar, but being able to easily make it a fat tire bike probably gives Surly a big edge.

John
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Old 08-11-22, 10:58 AM
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I would not assume that the 1xXX is going to be better. I would think a test ride might show you it's weakness.
I've got one and I'm not convinced it is superior to the 2x or 3x.
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Old 08-11-22, 11:16 AM
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I prefer 3X for mountain bikes and 2 or 3X for road bikes.
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Old 08-11-22, 12:27 PM
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I owned a 1st gen Karate Monkey for ten years, and thought it was a great bike. I rode it for years as a single speed city bike on 700x38's and it was fun, but too stiff for those tires. Too bumpy. A year before I sold it I built some real 29er wheels for it, and it was transformed. Such a great bike; those big 29er wheels made my 26er feel like a bmx bike. It was a small frame, though, so silly looking as soon as I raised the seat high enough for real riding. I'm always looking for another Surly in my size, but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Get one!!
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Old 08-11-22, 12:53 PM
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IMO, neither 1x or 2x drivetrain is superior to the other. One or the other is probably better suited for specific types of riding.. Superior would come into the level and performance of the components. I am mostly a rode rider, 95% of my miles. I do no mountain biking, and any off road is is the easy variety. I have no interest in trying a 1x drivetrain. I live in flatland, so, while a 1x drivetrain would certainly work ok, I do not want the gaps in the gearing. At my age, and the fact I am trying to unload a portion of my bike stuff, curiosity is not enough to push me into actually trying a change such as that. The cost is definitely part of that equation.
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Old 08-11-22, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I prefer 3X for mountain bikes and 2 or 3X for road bikes.
Do you prefer the 3x for actual MTB riding, or do you just prefer the 3x on an MTB that you use for commuting/touring/around town riding?

I dont know if I remember anyone saying to me 'I miss my 3x' when riding singletrack. With 1x the smaller ring hits ground crap less frequently and you dont have to dump the FD when you come around a turn and are met with a steep climb. I am not strong enough to need even higher gear inches than a modern 1x MTB drivetrain offers, and you can still climb like a goat due to the wide range.
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Old 08-11-22, 01:48 PM
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I guess for me the real question, or perhaps what I'm trying to decide, is whether or not I want to buy a new bike when I have multiple bikes already that can do what the Bridge Club claims it can do, i.e., everything. If I'm being honest with myself (which I'm usually not when it comes to bikes), I'm going to use the BC 95% of the time to commute to work, a task for which I have 3 hybrids and 2 converted 90's MTBs that are eminently capable of doing. If I continue to be honest with myself, I'm not going to get rid of my mountain bike, a custom built Curtlo Epic Mountaineer (2003) that is kitted out with XTR, Marzocchi forks, and disc brakes. If I'm going for a MTB ride, I'm taking that. Most anything else I'm riding my hybrids or converted MTB's, which can also serve admirably in a touring mode should the desire overcome me. I guess the only niche a BC can fill that none of the others are expressly designed to do is gravel riding. But if a MTB can go MTB-ing it can most certainly go gravelling. My hybrids, on the other hand, can't really do that as the tire clearance is limited. Can't really fit bigger than a 38-40c on them....
I am intrigued by the whole 27.5 wheel phenomenon, though. I've never ridden that size wheel (only 26" & 700C) so I'd like to know what the big deal is....

Probably what got me looking down this hole is just the fact that the 930's geometry is so close to the BC's. Plus, I don't really like the Rock Shox that's on it right now....
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Old 08-11-22, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Do you prefer the 3x for actual MTB riding, or do you just prefer the 3x on an MTB that you use for commuting/touring/around town riding?

I dont know if I remember anyone saying to me 'I miss my 3x' when riding singletrack. With 1x the smaller ring hits ground crap less frequently and you dont have to dump the FD when you come around a turn and are met with a steep climb. I am not strong enough to need even higher gear inches than a modern 1x MTB drivetrain offers, and you can still climb like a goat due to the wide range.
I do roads and multitrack, no technicals.
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Old 08-11-22, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post
I guess for me the real question, or perhaps what I'm trying to decide, is whether or not I want to buy a new bike when I have multiple bikes already that can do what the Bridge Club claims it can do, i.e., everything. If I'm being honest with myself (which I'm usually not when it comes to bikes), I'm going to use the BC 95% of the time to commute to work, a task for which I have 3 hybrids and 2 converted 90's MTBs that are eminently capable of doing. If I continue to be honest with myself, I'm not going to get rid of my mountain bike, a custom built Curtlo Epic Mountaineer (2003) that is kitted out with XTR, Marzocchi forks, and disc brakes. If I'm going for a MTB ride, I'm taking that. Most anything else I'm riding my hybrids or converted MTB's, which can also serve admirably in a touring mode should the desire overcome me. I guess the only niche a BC can fill that none of the others are expressly designed to do is gravel riding. But if a MTB can go MTB-ing it can most certainly go gravelling. My hybrids, on the other hand, can't really do that as the tire clearance is limited. Can't really fit bigger than a 38-40c on them....
I am intrigued by the whole 27.5 wheel phenomenon, though. I've never ridden that size wheel (only 26" & 700C) so I'd like to know what the big deal is....

Probably what got me looking down this hole is just the fact that the 930's geometry is so close to the BC's. Plus, I don't really like the Rock Shox that's on it right now....
I am simply not interested in buying a new bike, because I already have N+whatever classics that suit my needs beautifully.
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Old 08-11-22, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post
Probably what got me looking down this hole is just the fact that the 930's geometry is so close to the BC's. Plus, I don't really like the Rock Shox that's on it right now....
I put one of those Bikeman Carver steel forks in 410mm A-C length on a 90s OXPlat Trek 9XX MTB that had the RockShox Quadra 5 elastomer suspension and do not regret it at all. Well worth the $. The switch dropped a bit of weight and the bike no longer nose dives when the front brake is used.
Plus, there are mid-blade eyelets in case you want to run some sort of front rack.
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Old 08-11-22, 02:32 PM
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There are 2 houses - both are 3 bedroom, 2 bath and are 1700 sq ft. One was a craftsman built in 1891 and the other was built a decade ago. The older house has a lot of original charm but the newer house has better insulation and wiring. Which one is better?
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Old 08-11-22, 02:59 PM
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Old 08-11-22, 03:02 PM
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Is it possible to put 650bs on your trek? Is there a brake set where that would work?
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Old 08-11-22, 03:49 PM
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I think the Bridge Club is an excellent value for what you get. I thought about pulling the trigger on one myself, but I already have modern, disc-brake bikes to fill that need. I did run into someone at one my infrequent visits to the LBS who had his BC there for some parts switch. I admired his bike, and he expressed nothing but good things about it.

As you said, though, this purchase only makes sense if you shed a few others that would overlap, and that’s always hard to do—for me, anyway.
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Old 08-11-22, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I put one of those Bikeman Carver steel forks in 410mm A-C length on a 90s OXPlat Trek 9XX MTB that had the RockShox Quadra 5 elastomer suspension and do not regret it at all. Well worth the $. The switch dropped a bit of weight and the bike no longer nose dives when the front brake is used.
Plus, there are mid-blade eyelets in case you want to run some sort of front rack.
I have one as well on my '92 Fishlips Toxic Tuna; you are correct - it is worth every bit of the $90 I paid. That's why I'm considering one for my 930.
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Old 08-11-22, 04:52 PM
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A few other thoughts rattling around in my head, in no particular order of importance, relevance, or significance:

I'll probably never embrace a thru axle design if I can find a way around it. My son has one on his mountain bike fork; it appears to be a solution looking for a problem. In our experience, it is a major pain to put his bike on the roof rack. You have to balance and align the fork on the adapter while pushing the axle through, then try to line up the threads so you can bolt the whole shebang together. I guess we could buy a hitch mounted rack that doesn't require you to pull the front wheel. But then I'd have to install a hitch on my car! Or a roof tray that clamps on to the down tube.... No thanks!

26" wheels aren't dead (yet, anyway). Tire selection isn't horrible (yet, anyway), but the selection at the LBS is very limited. Gone are the days of walking in and buying just exactly the tire you hoped for. Rather you have to order it online and wait a week or more. Or settle for what the LBS has in stock that will work okay.... And rim selection? Where do you buy nice rims these days?

I'm not entirely sold on disc brakes. I've experienced them on my aforementioned Curtlo (built in 2003) and have been underwhelmed by them. Granted, they are 1st generation XTR (M960), but it seems the pads wear out quickly and they require a lot more maintenance than V or cantilever brakes. They've probably gotten better in the past 19 years.

I like my 3 x 9 drivetrains. I don't often use the granny gear. Except on my Curtlo mtb, but then on that one I never use the 44t ring either. My one hybrid (700c wheels) that I also use for touring has an 11x36 9 speed cassette and a 20/32/44 crankset. That 20x36 is so slow I can barely keep my balance, but it does enable me to keep pedaling rather than walk. The front shifting on all my bikes, whether they be 3x9 or 3x8 or 3x7, is flawless. I think the only reason manufacturers went with 1x or 2x is to move the chain further from the centerline of the bike, thus enabling obscenely fat tires. Maybe I'm wrong. Getting an affordable, alloy carrier 9 speed cassette will be getting difficult in the not too distant future. My Curtlo, with its XTR hubs, requires that kind thanks to the titanium freehub body. Is there a way to future proof a bike? I tend to keep my stuff forever and am generally dragged into the next advancement kicking and screaming....

So with all of that said, I'm having a hard time seeing what major advantage a new BC (or any other new bike, for that matter) has over what I already own, for my riding purposes. Maybe parts availability?
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Old 08-11-22, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post
A few other thoughts rattling around in my head, in no particular order of importance, relevance, or significance:

I'll probably never embrace a thru axle design if I can find a way around it. My son has one on his mountain bike fork; it appears to be a solution looking for a problem. In our experience, it is a major pain to put his bike on the roof rack. You have to balance and align the fork on the adapter while pushing the axle through, then try to line up the threads so you can bolt the whole shebang together. I guess we could buy a hitch mounted rack that doesn't require you to pull the front wheel. But then I'd have to install a hitch on my car! Or a roof tray that clamps on to the down tube.... No thanks!

26" wheels aren't dead (yet, anyway). Tire selection isn't horrible (yet, anyway), but the selection at the LBS is very limited. Gone are the days of walking in and buying just exactly the tire you hoped for. Rather you have to order it online and wait a week or more. Or settle for what the LBS has in stock that will work okay.... And rim selection? Where do you buy nice rims these days?

I'm not entirely sold on disc brakes. I've experienced them on my aforementioned Curtlo (built in 2003) and have been underwhelmed by them. Granted, they are 1st generation XTR (M960), but it seems the pads wear out quickly and they require a lot more maintenance than V or cantilever brakes. They've probably gotten better in the past 19 years.

I like my 3 x 9 drivetrains. I don't often use the granny gear. Except on my Curtlo mtb, but then on that one I never use the 44t ring either. My one hybrid (700c wheels) that I also use for touring has an 11x36 9 speed cassette and a 20/32/44 crankset. That 20x36 is so slow I can barely keep my balance, but it does enable me to keep pedaling rather than walk. The front shifting on all my bikes, whether they be 3x9 or 3x8 or 3x7, is flawless. I think the only reason manufacturers went with 1x or 2x is to move the chain further from the centerline of the bike, thus enabling obscenely fat tires. Maybe I'm wrong. Getting an affordable, alloy carrier 9 speed cassette will be getting difficult in the not too distant future. My Curtlo, with its XTR hubs, requires that kind thanks to the titanium freehub body. Is there a way to future proof a bike? I tend to keep my stuff forever and am generally dragged into the next advancement kicking and screaming....

So with all of that said, I'm having a hard time seeing what major advantage a new BC (or any other new bike, for that matter) has over what I already own, for my riding purposes. Maybe parts availability?
Buy parts likely to wear or break and that will be be hard to find and stash them...like your alloy carrier 9 speed cassette. I am doing this with ultegra r8000 for a future, really nice build
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Old 08-11-22, 09:57 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
There are 2 houses - both are 3 bedroom, 2 bath and are 1700 sq ft. One was a craftsman built in 1891 and the other was built a decade ago. The older house has a lot of original charm but the newer house has better insulation and wiring. Which one is better?
Whatís in the fridge?
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Old 08-12-22, 04:44 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post
I've been looking at the Surly Bridge Club as a potential replacement for many of the bikes in my garage in an effort to reduce quantities (N-5 or 6) and simplify. Its pretty affordable at $1500 and gets lots of good reviews online.
But comparing geometry charts between it and my 1996 Trek 930, the two are remarkably close to the same bike. Surly at the top, Trek at the bottom, comparing the 21" Trek to the LG. Surly.




I've been reading a little bit and the general consensus I'm finding is that "new, modern" geometry is so much more comfortable and somehow better than "old, vintage" geometry as it relates to mountain bikes. But the chart shows that in this instance, theyre about the same bike... Effective top tubes are within 15 mm of each other, chainstays are within 5, head and seat angles are the same, head tube length is the same, wheelbase is only 16mm difference and standover is only 1mm different!
I almost bought in to the hype... But I still kind of want a new bike ya know.
So I guess I could buy a new Surly or I could build the Trek into a "Budget Bridge Club" using a rigid fork from Bikeman.com , get a sweet swept back bar like the Ritchey Coyote and save myself $1000. Maybe sell off the redundant bikes in the garage and pay for the upgrades to the Trek?
Pros: Save some big cash, have something kind of interesting.
Cons: Still a 26" wheeled bike with cantilevers / linear pull brakes and not as many mounting options...
I like that the Trek was built in the US, I like that it was a ridiculously cheap initial purchase, and I like that I have it in my possession right now. Bird in the hand, you know... But I don't like that after all is said and done, I'd still have a bike limited to 26" wheels and cantilever/linear pull brakes...
But conversely, what major advantage would a new Bridge Club have over a well kitted older MTB?

What are your thoughts?
The bridge club is not modern geometry
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Old 08-12-22, 08:24 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
whatís in the fridge?
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