1993 Bridgestone RB-1

Guest Article: The Prodigal RB-1

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  1. @Cyclops

    @Gianni

    Sheeeit…am I the only one who wants to know why Cy was hitchhiking on I-5 with nary a dime to his name?

    @Gianni

    Sheeeit…am I the only one who wants to know why Cy was hitchhiking on I-5 with nary a dime to his name?

    Long story short: Around ’89 or ’90 I was death metal stoner dude that was really into racing BMX and I was working in the BMX department at the Bike Gallery on Sandy in Portland. One day this beautiful California blond pulls up in a gray market AMG’d Mercedes 500SEL with a huge rock on her ring finger looking to get her two kids into BMX racing. I showed her some stuff and then she was on her way. Well, just before closing that night she comes back in and asks me if I want to go to dinner. She was married to some older dude that owned half of Vancouver, WA. I did the whole hiding in the closet naked when he comes home for lunch unexpectedly thing. Anyway, she divorces him and take a big chunk of change with her and we move to Salem. In the meantime God tracks me down and says “It’s time for you to change the direction that your life is going.” so after living the high-life of having a killer babe and condos on the coast of Oregon and all the Volkswagens I ever needed and not working – which in reality was the worse years of my life – I walked into the house one day and grabbed a back pack and stuffed it with some clothes and a Bible, walked down to the highway and the rest is history* as the say.

    *I actually ending up marrying her because she told me I was the father of her child which it turns out I was not but that’s another story.

    Holy shit! What a story! Worst years of your life? Sounds awesome to me!

  2. @frank

    I still hit the Velominati site, just been kind of lurking in the background.  My riding pendulum swings back ‘n’ forth over the years, last few on the low side with not much mileage.  It’ll swing back up again, always does.  My racer son, now 14, also on a bit of hiatus.  I did run/coach a junior high school mountain bike team last spring, which was a fun experience.

    Yeah, the mountain bike gig has leaned more towards downhill(ish) pursuits – at least in media coverage.  Even so, XC riding is alive and well.  Test ride a few modern mountain bikes (off road) and you’ll be shocked how well they work everywhere – uphill and downhill – with 5 inches of suspension travel or so.

    For me, a hardtail 29er is the way to roll off-road.  80-100 mm travel fork.  Need to pick your lines via old school thinking, yet rides much nicer then older 26″ wheel bikes.  A cool setup, you’d probably dig it.

    Congrats on the Velominati site success.  I’m always in awe with number of comments, organized rides, and community connected to this.  Cool stuff…

  3. @cyclops – Sweet!  Great story about how it came back home, too.

    A white Concor or Regal would look good, since the cable housings and bar tape are white.  (I’ve got a white Regal on my ’87 Centurion Ironman.)  Ultegra-grade eight speed STIs are still offered by Shimano, though their nomenclature escapes me.

    As for when to ride it…it’s perfect for sunny days when you have no intention whatsoever of hammering.  I’ve got carbon and aluminum are for Rule #9 rides, but the steel doesn’t intentionally get wet.

  4. @Cyclops

    @Gianni

    Sheeeit…am I the only one who wants to know why Cy was hitchhiking on I-5 with nary a dime to his name?

    @Gianni

    Sheeeit…am I the only one who wants to know why Cy was hitchhiking on I-5 with nary a dime to his name?

    Long story short: Around ’89 or ’90 I was death metal stoner dude that was really into racing BMX and I was working in the BMX department at the Bike Gallery on Sandy in Portland. One day this beautiful California blond pulls up in a gray market AMG’d Mercedes 500SEL with a huge rock on her ring finger looking to get her two kids into BMX racing. I showed her some stuff and then she was on her way. Well, just before closing that night she comes back in and asks me if I want to go to dinner. She was married to some older dude that owned half of Vancouver, WA. I did the whole hiding in the closet naked when he comes home for lunch unexpectedly thing. Anyway, she divorces him and take a big chunk of change with her and we move to Salem. In the meantime God tracks me down and says “It’s time for you to change the direction that your life is going.” so after living the high-life of having a killer babe and condos on the coast of Oregon and all the Volkswagens I ever needed and not working – which in reality was the worse years of my life – I walked into the house one day and grabbed a back pack and stuffed it with some clothes and a Bible, walked down to the highway and the rest is history* as the say.

    *I actually ending up marrying her because she told me I was the father of her child which it turns out I was not but that’s another story.

    All fucking right! Hiding in the closet naked…you are my hero! Blue Velvet Baby.

    Thanks, I’m glad someone was doing that because I sure wasn’t.

  5. So this is what I’m actually thinking of doing to the RB-1:  I like the thought of more gears and modern wheels (think carbon clinchers) so I was thinking NOS Dura-Ace derailleurs with D/T shifters but I want to throw everybody a curve and go with some Simple Retrofriction shifters…

    …10sp in friction mode?  Yeah, I’m that nuts.  Also, these days I really dig the seat pin (and stem) being the same color as the frame.  I just got a new set of decals from VeloCal and I think a repaint (in the original color) is in order.  I also had some issues bitd with speed wobbles on this bike (but that was when I liked going 95+ kph downhill so it might not be an issue anymore) so I got a Ritchey Carbon Comp fork with a 1″ steerer that will get painted to match.

  6. @Cyclops You should be brought along to the stateside book signing of The Rules.  Listening to your stories would sure beat listening to Frank laughing and cursing at 105dB for 30mins

  7. @Cyclops

    So this is what I’m actually thinking of doing to the RB-1: I like the thought of more gears and modern wheels (think carbon clinchers) so I was thinking NOS Dura-Ace derailleurs with D/T shifters but I want to throw everybody a curve and go with some Simple Retrofriction shifters…

    …10sp in friction mode? Yeah, I’m that nuts. Also, these days I really dig the seat pin (and stem) being the same color as the frame. I just got a new set of decals from VeloCal and I think a repaint (in the original color) is in order. I also had some issues bitd with speed wobbles on this bike (but that was when I liked going 95+ kph downhill so it might not be an issue anymore) so I got a Ritchey Carbon Comp fork with a 1″ steerer that will get painted to match.

    my $0.02 worth, use the Simplex on Euro components, Campagnolo, Galli, Zeus, Mavic, and use Japanese DT shifters with same origin components, Shimano, Suntour

  8. @Cyclops

    I went 10spd friction on the TSX, works great, although the sweep goes 180deg. But its really nice being able to share wheels between all the bikes still.

    Personally, I think you should forget all that and just get some 600 STI and TD shifters, and go left-right, the way Pineapple Bob intended…

    The VMH’s first steel runs 600 and its still working great. That old 8spd stuff is bulletproof. Also still widely available on eBay.

  9. It wasn’t a Bridgestone, or even a road bike for that matter, but I was reunited with a lost love some time ago. I bought one of the early Cannondale Super Vs back in ’94 when they were the sort of thing that made jaws drop with their canti-beam back end and top tube-less ‘V’ frame. I cultivated it into an XC and DH weapon back when 3″ travel frames were the limit of what was available, but as DH developed it had to go to fund my first ‘proper’ long travel DH rig.

    I always regretted it and about 10 years later bought another one off fleaBay and treated it to some nice new components. The only thing it was missing was the carbon swing arm I’d upgraded on my old one. I kept hunting for one and in ’08 found a bike on eBay with one fitted. As I read the ad I realised it was my old bike, still owned by the guy if sold it to when we were both bike shop techs. I phoned him up and was gutted when he told me it had sold and a guy was picking it up the next evening. I hopefully said “If he doesn’t show, can I have it?”

    The buyer never turned up, and she became mine again, and was lavished with care, new bits and new adventures on the trails. I retired her from active duty last year as I was getting concerned about the integrity of the frame, but there’s a good chance of her going on display in the house for posterity. It was my VMH’s suggestion.

  10. @Fausto

    It was my VMH’s suggestion.

    Keeper.

  11. One more variable in the mix.  Since all the graphics on the bike are white and with the white cables and tape (and seat soon) I always thought that Shimano Sante would look really cool on it.  There happens to be a new Sante complete groupsan on ebay right now.

  12. @Cyclops You’re already in major danger of overmatching your shit with the same-color stem/seatpin crap you’re doing; stay away from an ugly painted groupset!

  13. Yes sir.

  14. An article and discussion that really has it all!

    Not only have I learned some more about Bridgestone’s, though I’m happy to say that with some personal reading education, I did know a fair amount of this about the RB-1s (though not nearly as much as you guys who owned them when they were new), we are also talking about fucking bonkers Lynch movies.

    No matter how many times I see Blue Velvet, nor how much older I am than when I first saw it, I’m still shocked.

  15. Oh, and we find out about the plans for the Ned!!

  16. @scaler911

    the PDX Super Cogal fell apart (so be it, shit happens), but this article has me thinking; what about a Cogal where you have to show up on steel? No more than 9spd. Hmm.

    Yes. Sweet yes. Not that my current budgetatus status of n+1=1 for road bikes would allow it but maybe I can retro-fit my Rocky Mountain Blizzard for the occassion – cantis et al.

  17. If you REALLY want to do the right thing with your RB-1 give Grant a call at Rivendell Bicycle Works, tell him what you’ve got, and buy whatever he wants to sell you.  Just like in the ’90s, he still won’t steer your wrong.

  18. I very briefly met Grant when he chased me down on Skyline in the Berkeley hills after a protracted battle in the early 80’s, whereupon he credited me with being ‘very stimulating’. hahahahahahah. I’d been riding all those fine roads advertised in the ‘Roads to Ride’ topo books he put out with John Kluge, and later, when I realized who he was, rued my subsequent attempts to drop him again.

  19. @starclimber

    I very briefly met Grant when he chased me down on Skyline in the Berkeley hills after a protracted battle in the early 80′s, whereupon he credited me with being ‘very stimulating’. hahahahahahah. I’d been riding all those fine roads advertised in the ‘Roads to Ride’ topo books he put out with John Kluge, and later, when I realized who he was, rued my subsequent attempts to drop him again.

    Obviously, I was in that area too.  There is some awesome bike shop in Berkeley that that I rode to from San Leandro and then I rode around the foothills a lot, out to Sunol, etc. but I wasn’t from the area and didn’t know many people so I rode around solo a lot.  I was only down there for about two months before I went back to Oregon.

  20. @Cyclops Velo Sport?

  21. …what to put on it? depends…casual rider? period appropriate components; hard core tight paceline “A” group? Nothing would send the message that the frame and fork are still high performance and relevant than by putting cutting edge components on it! My favorite Road bike is my black 90 RB-1; and I have a just-delivered 6800 groupset for it. The gleaming grey also pays homage to the original Suntour GPX, as well (though silver needed for a red or yellow RB-1-hope you are listening Shimano). I am keeping it classy with real cork tape (shellac), Nitto/Dura Ace hidden bolt stem, oh, brandname escapes me-those stainless WB cages with copper buttons, and Guilles B Aspin Natural saddle, DA 6410 post. Yeah, show your vintage frame and fork are still able to perform with the slave labor made carbon bikes.

  22. @Cyclops

    So this is what I’m actually thinking of doing to the RB-1: I like the thought of more gears and modern wheels (think carbon clinchers) so I was thinking NOS Dura-Ace derailleurs with D/T shifters but I want to throw everybody a curve and go with some Simple Retrofriction shifters…

    …10sp in friction mode? Yeah, I’m that nuts. Also, these days I really dig the seat pin (and stem) being the same color as the frame. I just got a new set of decals from VeloCal and I think a repaint (in the original color) is in order. I also had some issues bitd with speed wobbles on this bike (but that was when I liked going 95+ kph downhill so it might not be an issue anymore) so I got a Ritchey Carbon Comp fork with a 1″ steerer that will get painted to match.

    Yes yes yes.  Two of my six bikes now have friction shifters, including the rig I commute on, because they work and they are easy to adjust!  Plus, my ultra-slick Rivendell Roadeo has 10-spd DA index downtube shifters (bought new in 2012 – they still make them) paired with 2005-vintage DA derailleurs (when they were still shiny aluminum, none of that ano crap).  This latter is an amazing setup – light, precise, just a great drivetrain to ride.  I’d recommend it for your RB-1.  Wish I still had the MB-3 I owned when I was in college…

  23. I’ve got an RB-2 of 1990 vintage hanging in the garage. It doesn’t get the exercise it used to, but let’s just say Bridgestone was right. The frame makes tbe ride. These were versatile frames, and strong as all hell. I threw a set of Hutchinson cross tires on it (30s fit nicely!) and it goes like stink on a gravel trail. I’ve even used it to pull my kids’ trailer. Keep it original and just ride the hell out of it. Some of us will get it when we see the huge smile on your face.

  24. @Dan O I did the same thing as you BITD. I have a ’91 MB-0, a ’93 XO-1, and a ’93 RB-1/7. They all still get ridden, the XO daily and the RB weekly. The Zip is semi-retired but gets out once a year or so.

    I’m pretty retro-grouchy, so keep it basically period-correct and ride the bejeesus out of it, I say. No deep rims or that sort of nonsense. You will have a hard time finding a better-riding frame at any price, just enjoy it for what it is and was.

    My RB-1 is pictured here: http://stevetilford.com/2012/06/19/out-in-california/img_2474/. I also rode it on the SPY BWR this year; it rocked in the dirt but not so much on Double Peak.

    (Besides the snot on the top tube, you may notice the lack of paint on the rear dropouts. That’s because I broke one and had to braze in a new pair. Still haven’t painted them yet.)

  25. I am wondering what model of Bridgestone bike this is, does anyone on here recognize it?

    image 1

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