1993 Bridgestone RB-1

Guest Article: The Prodigal RB-1

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1993 Bridgestone RB-1

The RB-1

Pineapple Bob? @cyclops goes deep with this reference. Pineapple Bob was a mystical figure in American cycling. He was not known as a racer, more a California bike guru of unknown qualifications and ethnic origins. Bridgestone was a unique brand also of unknown ethnic origins, at least to me. It was not European, it didn’t sound Japanese or Taiwanese. It seemed Californian: a melting pot of components and design ideas. We can always depend on @cyclops to both enlighten and mystify us. His opening salvo of a guest article raised more questions than it answered; specifically, the coupling of Playboy swag and teddy bears in his photo. I’m still troubled by it.

VLVV, Gianni

A couple of weeks ago (the day after my birthday) the Prodigal RB-1 returned home after 15+ years of seeking his own way. While the original Prodigal Son found himself wishing that he was eating as well as the (unclean) swine he was caring for, my Prodigal seems none the worse for wear. Along the way he has acquired a crappy tape job (though the Lizard Skin tape is new and salvageable), a set of Shimano 105 pedals and a Bontrager saddle, but  still retains the American Classic seat pin that I remember installing. The STI shifters are an enigma however. I distinctly remember upgrading from the Shimano 600 downtube shifters to 600 STI shifters but they seem to have morphed into 105s. There is a chance that my memory has been corrupted by some unclean living back in the 90s.

What’s the big deal about a run-of-the-mill Bridgestone? When considered with the other “top-of-the-line” bikes in its day, at first glance, it doesn’t really seem that “top-of-the-line”. Nice Japanese Ishiwata tubes with a mishmash of parts like Shimano 600 shifters and derailleurs, Dia-Compe brakes, a Sugino gearset and Wolber rims laced up to nondescript hubs. No Dura Ace in sight and definitely not on par with, say, a Colnago handcrafted by Ernesto himself and hung with various Campagnolo Record accoutrements and Mavic hoops. But Bridgestone, and especially the RB-1, enjoy a sort of cult status among the retro-grouches that prefer throwing the leg over steel. There is a lot of history behind the acquisition of this particular steed.

The American face of Bridgestone was pretty much Grant Petersen* (*note references to “Pineapple Bob” in the linked article). If you are familiar with Grant Peterson, you know that he marches to the beat of a different drummer. While most top-of-the-line bikes were spec’d with either Dura Ace or Record, Grant was all about value. He was known for “weird” spec in that if a particular component had  special merit other than it being best-in-class, he might just go for it. Especially when value was thrown into the equation. Eccentricity also seemed to play a part in the bikes that came across the ocean from Japan – moustache handlebars anyone? If I remember correctly my RB-1 was a 1992. It was spec’d with Shimano 600 downtube shifters but this was right at the dawn of “brifters”. While Shimano STI shifters revolutionized the world of cog selection, there was the issue of the added weight. Does anybody remember seeing bikes in the pro peloton with a right brifter and a left D/T shifter? Rumor has it that my RB-1 was very nearly spec’d that way but evidently that was just a little too much for the Bridgestone brass to swallow, so they put the kibosh(i) on that notion. Besides, Grant was/is kind of a D/T shifters only kind of guy so the bike above ended up being a well -thought out conglomeration of quality parts selected for value and performance, durability, with nice lightweight tubes, as well as some influence and input from Richard Sachs!

I actually met Grant Petersen which brings us to the acquisition of the RB-1 in question. After getting a job at a bike shop and being taken under the wings of two of the most anal retentive bike mechanics in Portland, (they both owned their own Campagnolo tool sets, the ones in their own velvet lined wooden cases) and being introduced to such names as Eddy Merckx, Colnago, De Rosa, Fignon, etc, the Prodigal RB-1 was destined to lose his way. I had lost mine and found myself standing next to I-5 in Salem, Oregon with my thumb out and literally not a dime to my name. A couple of days later I ended up in San Leandro, California, home of Bridgestone USA. I walked into the front office and asked for a job. The receptionist gave me an application and a card with a familiar name on it. The name was that of the Bridgestone rep that used to service Oregon and Washington. He was really surprised and happy to see me but he said that they had no openings at the time. However, they did need somebody to put together all the bikes that they were taking to the upcoming InterBike show. I jumped at the opportunity and I was introduced to Pineapple Bob and we got busy. It only took two days for me and “Robert” to complete assembling the bikes so it was a short gig but the fruit of my labor was that I was allowed to buy an RB-1 for $314 +tax! Three hundred and fourteen freaking dollars for Bridgestone’s top of the line bike! I loved that bike and I rode it all over the western United States. I don’t know why I ever sold it but it has returned to its rightful place in the N+1 panoply at Cyclops Central.

Now the question is: what should I do with it? Should I just leave it as is (except maybe replacing the  saddle with something white, flat, and awesome and spinning some Look pedals onto the cranks)? Or do I restore it to original state and deep-six those 105 brifters? Or do I do what I fancy and add a modern take to the classic Euro-inspired angles and throw my Zipp 303 tubs and some Campag Super Record 11-speed bits on it? I could rebadge it as an RB-0 (zipp).

// Guest Article // The Bikes

  1. @macmark1

    Nice tinkering there mate!

  2. @Cyclops

    Beautiful machine; but the best part of the story is your excellent Velominatus Budgetatus qualification!  All that use and enjoyment and you have actually made money – by my calculations you are net positive $336.  Nicely done – chapeau!

  3. First throw a party in honor of the long lost RB-1. Then wait. Then this bike will tell you what it needs.

  4. @brett

    @Cyclops Great story ‘clops, and beautiful bike. I’d be keeping it period correct, lots of shiny stuff…

    @frank That catalogue is rad! That’s how you do it. Pineapple Bob, Gene O, those guys stick out in my mind from that time. I remember reading an article about Gene O somewhere, telling of his hard partying exploits; someone recalled how they were on the start line for an XC race, a car comes skidding into the carpark, a dishevelled Gene O spills out along with empty beer bottles, puts on his shoes and helmet, just makes it to the line and proceeds to lay waste to the field. Hardass.

    That wasn’t an article, mate – that was my best bro @spankles who witnessed it first-hand:

    http://www.velominati.com/mountain-biking/project-zero/#comment-39

    (your version is even better, though)

  5. Having been through the process of building up a classic steel in modern bits, at the end of the day the bike was designed for its time, and keeping it period-accurate is the most fun way to honor a bike.

    When my TSX was full 10spd Record Ergo, it filled an akward place in the stable; good-weather only, but too heavy and flexy to serve as a real hard training steed, so on the days when weather permitted it during the sumer, the #1 always won the push between the two.

    Now that its DT again, it actually sees the road on those days when I want to have fun, or just do an easy day, or just feel like going old school.

    Build her back up to how she was when you rode her like the girlfriend you likely didn’t have, like John says.

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

  7. @frank

    @brett

    @Cyclops Great story ‘clops, and beautiful bike. I’d be keeping it period correct, lots of shiny stuff…

    @frank That catalogue is rad! That’s how you do it. Pineapple Bob, Gene O, those guys stick out in my mind from that time. I remember reading an article about Gene O somewhere, telling of his hard partying exploits; someone recalled how they were on the start line for an XC race, a car comes skidding into the carpark, a dishevelled Gene O spills out along with empty beer bottles, puts on his shoes and helmet, just makes it to the line and proceeds to lay waste to the field. Hardass.

    That wasn’t an article, mate – that was my best bro @spankles who witnessed it first-hand:

    http://www.velominati.com/mountain-biking/project-zero/#comment-39

    (your version is even better, though)

    I dunno.  The “Otto, step aside” part of the story is fucking brilliant in its own right.

  8. @clops

    (see how that even looks a little bit like a single eye?)

    This is probably as good a time as any to spoil what I’m doing to the Nederaap. I’ve always had a massive hardon for the XO-1. With the ‘Aap being too big, its the perfect bike to fill that slot in my heart.

    I’m going with this build, I have all the parts but the bars (several local stores carry them, so I’ve just been waiting for the time to grab them and put the whole show together.)

    On another note, I love that Pineapple Bob rode wool jerseys in the 90’s. The dude was the standard example of Velominatus.*

    *Pineapple Bob violates Rule #36 because Pineapple Bob does what Pineapple Bob wants.

  9. @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?

    You only want to know because you weren’t at the first Whidbey Island Cogal. Once you meet him in person, you will stop wondering.

  10. @brett

    @frank That catalogue is rad!

    The first full page spread (2/40) pretty much says everything you need to know about the base spirit of Mountain Biking, doesn’t it?

  11. The great thing about RB-1s is that they are what you want them to be.

    Mine has been everything from a race bike to a gravel grinder to a winter bike, etc.  It has seen far more than 9 lives, going from 7 speed to 9 to 10, and back. Old School Suntour to modern Campy.

    I have n+n bikes, and have no real need for my RB-1.  It is currently stripped, sitting in dry-dock, but I can’t seem to part with it.

    Don’t over think it, just build it and ride it; it will be great regardless, because it is an RB-1.

  12. @frank

    And I see on a certain auction site in the US of A….

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Bridgestone-XO-1-Fork-Orange-Rivendell-Vintage-Bike-Retro-Bike-RB-1-MB-1-/231044827252?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35cb584874

    Which has a nice pic / brochure of what you are doing I think.

  13. That era of Bridgestone was super cool and I was sucked in hook, line, and friction shifting.  In ’91 I bought a new RB-1, MB-Zip, and MB-3 (for the wife).  Yes, it was the year of Bridgestone indeed.

    I still own the RB-1 and the MB-3 hangs in the garage.  Buried somewhere are piles of Bridgestone catalogs, BOB newsletters, and other assorted Bridgestone stuff – including a mint jersey from that era.

    My MB-Zip?  Sold it a few years ago and strangely enough, now owned by Frank of Velominati fame.

    If interested and/or bored, some additional Words ‘N’ Pics…

    http://yoeddy.blogspot.com/2009/05/personal-rides-bridgestone-mb-0.html

    http://yoeddy.blogspot.com/2009/03/personal-rides-bridgestone-rb-1.html

  14. another wonderful article.  you’re an interesting one, cyclops, and that pic of you with the stack of playboys and cinderblocks is probably my first memory of this site…much like learning to walk

    having glued on the sew-ups, ive been taking my steel out on nice days and loving life.  there is something about an 80s frame that elicits a smile, regardless of life’s stresses.  i mean it’s a neon frame on the shiniest of forks and c-record hubs, and if that doesnt make you feel like a gangster nothing will

  15. @Dan O

    That era of Bridgestone was super cool and I was sucked in hook, line, and friction shifting. In ’91 I bought a new RB-1, MB-Zip, and MB-3 (for the wife). Yes, it was the year of Bridgestone indeed.

    I still own the RB-1 and the MB-3 hangs in the garage. Buried somewhere are piles of Bridgestone catalogs, BOB newsletters, and other assorted Bridgestone stuff – including a mint jersey from that era.

    My MB-Zip? Sold it a few years ago and strangely enough, now owned by Frank of Velominati fame.

    If interested and/or bored, some additional Words ‘N’ Pics…

    http://yoeddy.blogspot.com/2009/05/personal-rides-bridgestone-mb-0.html http://yoeddy.blogspot.com/2009/03/personal-rides-bridgestone-rb-1.html

    Damn, its great to see you around these parts again. That Zip lives on, but I’ve strayed from the path and until I have restored it to credibility, I won’t show it around these parts…I’m going to put it all back the way she was, plus four-meter seat pin to get the girl back to how she should be.

    I loved the whole theory around no suspension (they already had front/rear suspension by the time they came out with the Zip) but said, “Fuck no, just let the bike be light and bounce around – no suspension will be better than the human body.”

    They had a point and still I think its valid. MTBs today seem much more geared towards going fast downhill – back then, it was about getting around and into terrain a road bike couldn’t get you to. Kind of like the Gravel machine’s we’re fucking around with now.

  16. 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.

  17. What kind of riding do you want to do with it – that will answer your question.

    I’d like to see you go modern with it though but in a way that is true to the Bridgestone spirit, i.e. choose an eclectic bunch of parts that are great functionally but good value.

    Either way a follow up article with the finished project would be nice to see.

  18. @Touriste-Routier that’s the perfect approach. I’ve got a 84 Centurion (in dry dock too) that I feel the same way about.

  19. @scaler911 Eroica-Cogal FTW!

  20. @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.

    Great. Another rig to start looking for. Thought I was done rationalizing for a bit, given holding steady @ s-1. Bastid

  21. @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.

  22. @frank

    @clops

    (see how that even looks a little bit like a single eye?)

    This is probably as good a time as any to spoil what I’m doing to the Nederaap. I’ve always had a massive hardon for the XO-1. With the ‘Aap being too big, its the perfect bike to fill that slot in my heart.

    I’m going with this build, I have all the parts but the bars (several local stores carry them, so I’ve just been waiting for the time to grab them and put the whole show together.)

     

    I think that actuall sounds pretty cool.  You’ll have the sweetest commuter in Sea-Town.

  23. @Frank

    Maybe I should change the name of Deacon Bikes to Clopsycles.

  24. @brett

    @macmark1

    Nice tinkering there mate!

    +1

    Sweeet!

  25. @frank

    @brett

    @Cyclops Great story ‘clops, and beautiful bike. I’d be keeping it period correct, lots of shiny stuff…

    @frank That catalogue is rad! That’s how you do it. Pineapple Bob, Gene O, those guys stick out in my mind from that time. I remember reading an article about Gene O somewhere, telling of his hard partying exploits; someone recalled how they were on the start line for an XC race, a car comes skidding into the carpark, a dishevelled Gene O spills out along with empty beer bottles, puts on his shoes and helmet, just makes it to the line and proceeds to lay waste to the field. Hardass.

    That wasn’t an article, mate – that was my best bro @spankles who witnessed it first-hand:

    http://www.velominati.com/mountain-biking/project-zero/#comment-39

    (your version is even better, though)

    Ah, there you go… I think I mashed two stories together, as I’m sure I read in a mag about Gene O partying hard, sleeping for 2 hours, then winning a race with a monumental hangover…

  26. @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!

  27. @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…

  28. @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.

  29. @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.

  30. 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.

  31. @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

  32. @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″³ 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

  33. @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.

  34. 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.

  35. @Fausto

    It was my VMH‘s suggestion.

    Keeper.

  36. 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.

  37. @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!

  38. Yes sir.

  39. 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.

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

  41. @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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. @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″²s, 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.

  45. @Cyclops Velo Sport?

  46. …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.

  47. @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″³ 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…

  48. 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.

  49. @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.)

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

    image 1

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