What Is/Was Your Favorite Bike?

What is/was your favorite bike?

Like most bike geeks I have a few bikes. I can’t seem to part ways with them. Even the Kona road frame with the bent top tube. It just sits outside my shop collecting dust, waiting to be turned into wind chimes.

I got to thinking recently, what is my favorite bike? Though I like them all, and it is a tough choice, I think my old ’88 Bridgestone MB1 is my favorite. From the very first ride I fell in love with her. I was riding an ’85 Fuji (which I still have), but the MB1 was a whole different ride. It was quick, stable and seemed to steer itself.bridgestone-1988-05


I think the reason the MB1 means so much to me, and the reason I’ll never get rid of her, is all the adventures we shared. The Mammoth Mountain Kamikazi, The Ultimate Kamikaze in Bishop, CA, where upon closing in on the finish line I heard the announcer say, “here comes the first female rider across the finish line!” Another proud moment for my parents ( I had long hair back then too ).

We also rode trails that would eventually be closed to mountain biking. Pine Ridge Trail in Big Sur, the PCT in the Angeles National Forest, and all the singletrack in the Santa Monica Mountains between Sullivan Canyon and Sycamore Canyon. So please forgive my Al Bundy moment, but when I look at my MB1 I relive all the beautiful trails that I’ll never see again on a bike.

As I mentioned earlier I still have her. She’s now my commuter bike. I scrounged for old parts and threw in a few new ones to make her rideable. The best thing is she still rides like I remember, quick, stable and.. well… she’s getting older so I have to do the steering.


What is/was your favorite bike? It could be your first bike or your current steed, the one that got away in a lapse of judgement, or even your childhood Big Wheel (the one with the plastic wheels we learned how to perform a power skid on).

18 thoughts on “What Is/Was Your Favorite Bike?

  1. I think it’ll come as no surprise that mine is my On One Inbred. Yes, the one everyone is probably tired of seeing pictures of. Its true personality really came out after I mounted Brian’s Mary Bars on it.

    I think I get the highest sense of accomplishment from completing a ride on it, sans suspension and multiple gears. I also think it’s beautiful in its simplicity and geometric harmony. It’s very tidy with all its tasteful cable routings and lack of shifting equipment. I know it’s going to work every time I get on it.

    I think I need to be alone now…

  2. Favorite = Gary Fisher 293. Full Suspension 29er. Cadillac on wheels.
    Most likely to get on every morning = Specialized Hardrock Soft Tail. Converted to a single speed. Clean and easy.
    Can’t get rid of = 1985 Univega roadie. Bought it Freshman year in college and it still runs smooth.
    Dream Machine = Misfit Dissent 29er. Just need to pull the trigger and she will be coming home.

  3. Special Ed, my 2000ish Specialized Enduro. It was my first full suspension mountain bike and I bought it beat up for $200. I learned to ride and wrench on that bike and when the frame finally gave up and the bottom bracket wouldn’t stay screwed in, I JB welded it in and kept on riding.

    How did Ed get its name? We were on a summer lunch ride going uphill through deep sand and I dumped the bike 5 times. Jeff said “the way you ride that thing, isn’t Specialized, it’s Special Ed”. I agreed with him, so that night I duct and electrical taped over all of the ‘IZ’s on the bike to create Special Ed.

    I’m sorry to say Ed is no longer with me. It was lost in a robbery from my locked garage back in 2005.

  4. Bridgestone = sweet ride! That was my first, real mountain bike (the MB-1) and it rocked. I even put one of the first Rock Shox elastomer forks on it and rode the thing forever. Just sold the frame about a year ago and it was tough to let go. That was a great bike.
    But picking a favorite is difficult. Almost have to break it down into categories. I have had a few and each had its charm. If I must select one, I am probably in Jeff’s camp; my On-One 29er. Though I have ridden and ride some great rigs with all of the latest tech and carbon chi-chi, nothing was as exciting to ride the first time as this bike. Though I have only had it for barely one season, I know I will be riding it for a long time to come. It is always my first choice when I have the time and never fails to put a smile on my face when I am done.

  5. J-Mo- If you had to choose, how does your On One 26er compare to K-mo’s On One 29er?

    Lester- I’m interested in test riding Fisher’s Superfly.
    How do you control the chain tension on the soft tail?

    Todd- JB Weld. Special Ed. Robbery. Locked garage. I suspect Ed packed a hobo bag and split town when you weren’t looking.
    I’ll keep an eye out for him when I pedal by F.I.S.H.

    Brian- I liked my MB1 so much that when a friend was selling his MB1 frame back in ’89, I purchased it as a spare just in case something went wrong with my current ride. I eventually sold that frame 6 years later.
    Sorry to hear you got rid of yours.

  6. 6dogs.

    My GF 293 is a 19″. Your welcome to give it a good test ride anytime.

    ooops typo on the Specialized. It’s a hardtail. Chain tension is controlled via a Surley Singulator, tension set downward. Works perfectly.

    Anyone have any experiences with Misfit Psycles?

  7. I own four. Three of them take turns being my favorite, depending on whether I’m riding dirt trails, the road, or snow.

    The fourth one I could learn to live without. But I wouldn’t want to.

  8. my chrome redline 600a, purchased sometime around spring/summer 1982 in N.H. rode it everywhere, all year (vans or timberlands depending on the conditions) jumped everything, used it as a trail bike on old roads through the woods, tore around on the mostly-complete bmx track we built, back and forth to the record store, etc. sold it in high school. wish i still had it.

    now, my FSR is my fav.

  9. “J-Mo- If you had to choose, how does your On One 26er compare to K-mo’s On One 29er?”

    They are two completely different bikes. Mine definitely accelerates faster, but hers is very smooth. I haven’t really got to ride it since it was converted to tubeless and disc brakes. I imagine it is just perfect now. If I were to buy a new bike today (and I’m pretty close to doing so…) it would be a 29er.

  10. I sold the Bridgestone only because I was planning to buy another bike and my wife said something had to go. It went to a good home; a guy who was going to buy retro parts and re-build it. Nice to know it is somewhere out there still being ridden.
    I still have one old, great frame left. An original Barracuda Team Elite MTB. It was the same frame the Dos XX team road back in 91/92. I am still planning to ride that one again some day!
    I have not ridden On-One’s 26er but I can speak to the 29er single-speed (which Jeff talked me into buying). A great bike for the price and with a few part changes that I have made, the bike weighs in at 22 lbs. Handles great for a big tire bike, the steel frame is perfect for the rough stuff and it climbs well even with one gear. I’m sure there are others out there like Vassago and Niner that perform well too, but I am more than happy with mine.

  11. I’ve had too many I think, to pick a complete favorite. Working in the industry I am makes it hard to have a “real” connection with a bike, I was always getting new ones. From ’00 to ’05 I had about 45 different bikes, horrible, I know.
    If I had to choose, either my ’04 Giant NRS Air, or the XTC carbon hardtail. Roadbike-wise, it’s my Look 555, which I still have. I don’t think I’ll be getting rid of that one, I just have too many good memories. I still have the XTC hardtail.

    Speaking of memories, way to reference Sycamore! I used to do those trails 2-3 times/week, my office was about 3 miles away from dropping in to the canyon. Good times…

  12. No, I didn’t shop there, but I did sell them stuff! 🙂
    Cool shop, lots of goodies in there.

    That was during my time at Giant, hence the tons of bikes, new model year, new bikes.

  13. I wish I never got rid of my first Mt. Bike. It was a Bianchi and i put those cool wrap around scott bars on it. It was fully rigid. We used to ride all the time out in Fairfield, CA at a place called Rockville Hills Park. It was the closest place to UCD. I remember debating between spending the money on clipless pedals or a front shock, when the time came. ( i got the pedals first) Then a mt. rack. We used to think that strapping our gear, or mini water coolers on the rack helped us with traction. The first season we were too cool for helmets. We learned quickly. I am still pretty close with all the guys I rode with at that time. Most are still riding and now work in the industry.

  14. I sold my ’87 (or so) MB1 to a friend in about ’89. It was the year they put drops on it. I enjoyed the bike, but I had that bad habit of buying a new bike every year then. The friend now lives in Steamboat Springs, CO. When I get to visit, she lets me ride it and I it reminds me why suspension is popular. Her current bike is a YBB. That might be my favorite bike if I was the owner.

    That’s it: my favorite bike is the next one I buy. Perhaps a YBB 29er.

  15. There were two bikes in my past that I could consider my true and lost favorites. First, was my 1989 Panasonic DX-2000. It was a steel framed machine with Exage components and a 6 speed freewheel. That was my first “real” bike. The second is an old department store bike from Montgomery Ward. It was my Dad’s at one time and we kept it as a commuter/beater bike. Eventually, I grew into it and as we upgraded our Panasonics, the parts would trickle down to the Montgomery Ward machine. It was made of heavy carbon steel, had non-indexed stem shifters, and 5 speed freewheel. I wasn’t afraid to that thing anywhere! Sadly, they were sold, passed along to friends, or in the case of the Montgomery Ward bike, simply tossed. Who would have thought that we’d be thinking of those bike almost 20 years later?

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