1993 Bridgestone XO-1

Joys!  Yesterday I finished overhauling and detailing the orange XO-1.  Today I learned the color is Construction Pumpkin.  Says so in the catalog page below.  Isn’t it fine?

It didn’t need much.  I repacked all the bearings with fresh grease (none needed it, but you can’t tell without opening and once you are in there it makes sense to freshen things up), cleaned the chain, cogs and rings (pretty clean as they come, but not to my standards), installed the original specification seatpost and rear quick release skewer, adjusted the bar wrap (it was coming up short of the ends because of the addition of Nitto shock pads installed in the curves), trued the front wheel (the spokes were not evenly tensioned and some were shockingly slack) and gave it a light surface cleaning.

I obtained the dummy levers to complete the stock set up on the bars, but opted not to install them.  Dummy levers are the black brake levers behind the bar in the picture below.  They are called dummy levers because they do not operate brakes.  They are in place to provide additional hand holds most typically on drop bars for the stoker on a tandem bicycle.  I like the idea of the bicycle being stock, but the dummy levers make no sense to me and look terrible.  I will just keep them on hand.

The bicycle is wonderfully minty despite being old enough to view rated R movies.  I can’t find a scratch on it except for light marring under the quick release skewers.  I removed the front tire while truing the wheel and noted that the tube is marked Bridgestone and has no patches.  I don’t know about the rear, but I don’t care enough to remove the tire.  Despite plenty of chances to become an expert installer of tubes, I pinch far too many for my comfort.  Best leave it alone.

The Shimano chain is surely original and now has two replacement pins.  It came with one that was installed improperly, so I shortened the chain by one link and correctly installed two pins.  Shimano chains are finicky.  Three rules.  First, the pins are to be installed on the leading edge of an outer plate in the direction of travel for the chain.  That is hard to visualize.  See the picture below.   Second, replacement pins are only to be installed in place of an original pin.  You can’t, that is, replace a replacement pin.  Once you replace a pin if you open the chain again you need to do it at a new location.  The replacement pins slightly enlarge the holes.  If you were to replace a pin in a spot that had already had a replacement pin, the second replacement pin would be more likely to fail.  Third, the replacement pins need to extend evenly beyond the edges of the outer plates on both sides.  The pin that was in the chain when I got the bicycle was on the trailing edge of the direction of travel and was not evenly protruding.  In fact, on one side the face of the link was puckered.  I should have taken a picture.  It was sketchy.  It probably would not have failed, but I needed to shorten the chain anyway.  I didn’t like the way it sagged when run on the smallest ring and cog combo.  I did the same thing on my 1992 XO-1.  After all that, my recommendation is to replace Shimano chains with SRAM chains.  They have a master link that makes removal for cleaning so much easier.  I kept the Shimano chain only because of my interest in keeping the bicycle stock.  If it had signs of any wear, I would have replaced it in a heartbeat.  

Chain wear!  Do you have a chain wear indicator tool?  If not, buy one and use it.  A worn chain will wear both the front rings and the rear cogs.  Eventually the chain will skip when pedaling hard.  To correct it, you need to replace the worn chain, rings and cogs.  Very expensive and sometimes difficult to find the parts for vintage bicycles.  If you ride a fair amount, check the chain at the beginning and the end of the season.  Replace it before it is worn.  If you only have one bicycle and ride it regularly, consider replacing the chain once a year.  This can cost as little as $15 and will result in a smooth drive train and longer life for your rings and cogs.  The other great use for a chain wear tool is to check the condition of a chain before you buy a used bicycle.  Knowing that the chain is worn before you buy the bicycle can save a lot of heartache.  Just add the tool to your bag when you pedal to garage sales.

Air from Canada decided to pay a visit here, so I have no interest in riding today.  The high will be 15 without the wind chill generated by the wind gusting to twenty miles per hour.

Thanks to Ryan and Chuck from the iBob list for providing the parts needed to bring the XO-1 to original specification.  I couldn’t be happier.

Time to bundle up and walk the dog.  Not looking forward to it, but the sun is out.  Twenty percent chance I will actually enjoy it.


19 responses to “1993 Bridgestone XO-1

  1. Beautiful photos. I particularly like the last one — the head-on shot. The symmetry is fantastic. It looks almost not bike like.

    • I appreciate your compliment. Would have been nice to get outside for some shots, but you know how nasty is out there. Each time I woke up to a roar of wind last night I’d look at the clock to see if the power was still on. Hope you are warm, too.

  2. Wow, really fantastic bike. One day i find a 93′ in my size. One day……

  3. It is great to see one of these in such great shape. You did a nice job of bringing it back to the original spec.

    • Thanks for the compliment, but it wasn’t but an inch or two short of perfect when I got it. My job will be to keep from screwing it up!

      I think I met you at NAHNBS last year. Are you in Seattle (or were)? Take care in any event!

  4. Is that seatpost really the original? My 1993 RB-1 came with a lightweight Kalloy forged post, so I’d have thought the XO-1 would’ve had the same post.

    • Thanks for writing.

      A challenge! That’s what I like to see! Seriously. If I have something wrong, I want to know about it. I just don’t think I am wrong on this one!

      ‘Tis not true (your assumption that XO-1s and RB-1s shared posts). I have a 1992 XO-1 that I bought new and it had a SR Sakae post like the one I just added to the 1993 XO-1. Moreover, the 1992 and 1993 catalogs specify SR Sakae posts for the XO-1. Could be that they changed the version of SR post from 92 to 93, but I have another less elegant version at hand should that turn out to be the case.

      I have a couple of 1993 RB-1s with the Kalloy posts as well, so that much of your assertion is right on.

      Thanks again.

  5. Well that’s good, because the stock post on the ’93 RB-1 was prone to slipping at the seat clamp. I had to replace mine (With a Kalloy UNO, a much better post IMHO), though it was tough to find a 27.0mm size!

  6. Nice job. I’d love to know where/how you found it.

    I’m lucky enough to own a couple of rivendells; my 1993 x0-1 I bought in September of 1993 is still my favourite bike. Not stock though, and it has a few war wounds. But it’s a terrific bike. I think you’ll enjoy riding it as much as looking at it.

    A classic bicycle.


    • Thanks for the nice note. This one was an eBay find. While I wasn’t actively searching for it, I am subscribed to get notices of all Bridgestones being sold on eBay. Sometimes things come up that I cannot resist!

      Take care.

  7. I picked up a ’93 XO-1 on craiglist last year for $225. It’s in remarkable shape. The only bummer: it has an original uni-crown fork, made to replace the cooler forks that evidently were recalled.

    I actually bought a NOS ’93 XO-1 fork on Craigslist for $75. Unfortunately, it’s too small for my 55 bike.

    So I’m debating about having a builder replace the steerer tube and repaint, but I’m worried about the paint not matching correctly.

    Any advice?

    • Thanks for writing. Some people have some of the luck!

      If you intend to ride the bicycle, I’d ride it as is and wait for the right fork to show up, rather than have the NOS fork modified.

      If you’d consider selling the NOS fork, let me know the length of the steerer on the NOS fork and the color. If it is the right fork, I would be interested in buying it.

      Enjoy Spring!

  8. do you have a color code for construction orange?

    • Sorry, sir, but I do not. Please let me know if you come up with it. For now, my plan is to do everything within my power to not scratch my XO-1. With fingers crossed,


  9. Nice refurb. Looks great! I love that bike. I have an XO-1, bought new in 1993 and ridden ever since. Not “mint” at all these days! I bought it when I went to work in Saudi Arabia and had no idea what, if any, riding I could do there. the XO is an all-around so I figured it would fit no matter what. Turned out there was a racing crowd there as well as triathlon. I did both on the XO as well as dirt riding. I ended up with several wheelsets and handle bar/brake lever setups and would change them out according to what kind of riding I would do. Worked great. When I came back to the states after 5 years I used it for commuting for then next 7 years. It’s pretty beat to hell now, but still going. But I never liked the moustache bars. I got rid of them after about a year and put on straight bars for dirt/commuting and road bars for other things.

    • Thanks for writing! Using a bicycle–what a great idea! This one didn’t need much when I got it. Just swapped a few parts for the originals. Little things like a quick release skewer and a seat post. I can make bicycles nice, but I can’t make them minty like this one. That comes only with years of under use! Take care. Have fun.

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