Sunday, December 6, 2009

XO-2 vs. Red RockHopper

I built up a 1992 Bridgestone XO-2, yesterday, and now I have two bikes built for essentially the same use. That redundancy of bikes is something I am trying to avoid. So, the Red Rocker is going away. I've always wanted an XO (the red bike is obviously built up to emulate one), and I think it's a better suited bike for the use to which I put my daily rider (as opposed to the commuter).

Enlarge the picture above, and take note of the differences in the two frames. Compared to the red bike, the XO has pretty low bottom bracket and steeper frame angles, making it a bit more lively on the road. It also has less tire clearance, making it necessary to go with a slightly skinnier tire. All of these things could be viewed as disadvantages if you were using the bike for a lot of off-road use or loaded touring. There, the bigger tires and more stable steering of the RockHopper would give it the advantage.

For years, I rode my 700c cross bike everywhere I went and was pretty happy with it. The XO fills the cross bike niche, with smaller wheels (stronger and more agile) and will handle the occasional off-pave' jaunt just fine, once the 1.3 knobbies arrive (I don't care for the slicks that are on it).

Anyway, the upshot is that I am going to pull the Campy stuff off of the 18" RockHopper, rebuild it with some cool vintage mountain stuff, mustache bars, maybe bar-end shifters and sell it. Once it's built up, I'll post it here, if anyone is interested.

Also, if you are interested and want to spec it out as a custom build, let me know. It's pretty cold here, right now, so I probably won't be out in the shop to get started on it, for a while.

More details about the XO are posted up over on Two Wheels.


1 comment:

Tim said...

Good choice! I've been through a similar decision process a few years back, when I had a '85 Schwinn Cimarron that I set up as a sort of "XO clone", but when I got a '93 XO-2, that old Schwinn really paled in comparison for the uses I'd planned for it. Of course, having sold it, I'm now regretting it, and wishing I had found a different way to set it up that would have made it better for something the XO wasn't good at. Ah well, live and learn. Those XOs are great bikes.