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Anyone own a Bridgestone RB-1?(17 posts)

Anyone own a Bridgestone RB-1?sierranevada
Dec 27, 2002 7:31 AM
I've been interested in a steel project bike for a while now (having ridden an aluminum bianchi for the last three years).
I see an RB-1 currently on E-Bay that is my size, and remember reading somewhere that the Bridgestones were fairly nice frames for the money. Question: Is the frame worthy of eventually sporting a mid-range campy group? Also, it appears to be a lugged frame, which I have never ridden. Would this type of frame be recommended for a 175lb rider (won't be raced)?

Thanks.
Mines an RB-2.Spoke Wrench
Dec 27, 2002 7:42 AM
Lugged frame. Mine came originally as a 7 speed with a 130mm rear triangle. I think that it might get new a black satin paint job this winter just for something to do. I love it! Bridgestone's have become a sort of semi-cult bike. If you think that it's the right size, I would definitely go for it.
You'll not regret it. nmOldEdScott
Dec 27, 2002 8:07 AM
Lots of info on RB-1OldEdScott
Dec 27, 2002 8:11 AM
http://equinox.unr.edu/homepage/addison/bridgestoneandrivendell.html
No RB-1, but three Bstones still in the familycory
Dec 27, 2002 8:14 AM
The LBS owner who handled Bridgestone was a friend, and my wife and I have owned half a dozen of them. We still have three, her road & mountain bikes and an old MB I use in winter. I wanted an RB-1 when they were new, but they didn't come tall enough for me.
The designer for a lot of Bstone stuff was Grant Petersen, who runs Rivendell now. The bikes were thoughtful and well done, and I'd still be buying them if they were still available. Your weight shouldn't be a problem (I've got 50 pounds on you), and the lugs are mainly an aesthetic and repair issue (you can replace tubes, which you probably wouldn't bother to do on an old frame like that). But the RB-1 was a nice bike, and if it fits and the price is decent, I'd go for it.
Bridgestone culttarwheel
Dec 27, 2002 9:38 AM
Hey, there's even an internet newsgroup devoted to Bridgestone's. Here's a link:

http://www.bikelist.org/mailman/listinfo/internet-bob

I borrowed someone's RB-1 for a week while visiting relatives in San Diego a couple years ago. It was a road frame set up as a hybrid with straight handlebars and 7-speed clickshifters. It was a nice riding frame and I would have bought it for the right price. Used B-stones seem to fetch good prices on eBay and other on-line classifieds.
very proud owner of an RB-1...I bought mine in1992...Djudd
Dec 27, 2002 9:42 AM
you will never regret the purchase. I replaced the original group, Suntour GPX, with Superbe Pro. The classic laid-back geometry and the lugged steel give a smooth, very forgiving ride. You might take a little time to get used to the ride after riding aluminum, but it is worth it.
The above post is correct in pointing out the cult status of the bike, witness the BOBlist, a discussion group based on the Bridgestone Owners Bunch periodicals that came out until the early 90's. Check out the Rivendell site, Grant Petersen, the mastermind behind the RB line, makes Rivendells and espouses his philosophies (as well as sells products) on this site....Buy the bike!!!!
Nope, but I'd gladly own one. -nmTig
Dec 27, 2002 11:08 AM
Yet Another RB-2 OwnerAndy M-S
Dec 27, 2002 1:05 PM
These are great bikes. When my rainbike was trashed by a truck, I replaced it with an almost virginal '92 RB-2 from my LBS for $150. It's such a nice ride that I'm thinking of moving "the good parts" (Ergo) over from my Bianchi and making that into a rainbike. Seriously!

I'm 195 and have no problems with it.

BTW, I have a friend who has his RB-1 set up with 9-speed Record.

Note also that the bikes changed over the years. '92 was the last year they were built without eyelets on the frame and/or fork, for example. Check out some of the reference sources that people have given here, and you'll be much more aware of what you'll be getting.
How about a T700???msmootsiemartin
Dec 27, 2002 2:50 PM
This is the touring version of the RB's. Bought it as my first "real" bike when I got my first "real" job back in 1985. It has a 4130 CroMo lugged frame that rides like "real" steel. Comfortable, if not a little on the flexy side. I rode my first Triple-By-Pass Century on this tank. I think it weighs in close to 30lbs. I still have all the orginal components (early generation Deore) except for the seat and tires of course. The bike has now been retired to my trainer and still gets weekly use. Long live the Bridgestones.
re: Anyone own a Bridgestone RB-1?sprockets2
Dec 27, 2002 9:59 PM
First, I don't get the "steel project bike" thing. What's that mean-this ain't like its a car or something. Two hours of new gizmos and cable and your done. Puff. If you are putting Centaur on it, it ain't a beater, and if you are buying it to simply have a steel bike to horse around with, why Campy? why RB1? I don't get it, but read on.

The RB1 was a very decent bike in its time, so if you can get it for cheap, it will make a decent ride, BUT for not a lot of money you can get a good 853 frame these days, and that is better stuff than they put in the RBanythings. The RB1 was made to accept considerably more abuse than you can throw at it-it wasn't stupid light. In fact, it ain't all that light by modern standards.

The Bridgestone ride is basically, well, stable. A good long-day-on-the-saddle bike. If you can get it cheap, go for it, but don't expect an overlooked gem, or some diamond in the rough. The cult has kept the fires burning, but its their socks that are on fire, not the eternal flame.
Yep.Spoke Wrench
Dec 28, 2002 6:25 AM
If you have to ask, you'll never understand.
I have to disagree with "sprockets2" you miss the point...Djudd
Dec 28, 2002 10:24 AM
B'stones were not made to have one or two points of interest (weight or specialized tubing) the word on the top tube is "Synergy"...the entire package is where you find the RB's faithful.
The longer I ride and read bike reviews, the more I realize measurements and stats are pretty much made up. 15 years ago every bike review had "trail" measurements...don't see that too much anymore!!. Now it's the cult of weight. 16lb bikes for overweight riders.
The "overlooked gem" in B'stones is the timeless feel of a bike with well thought out geometry and the pieces coming together under you. When I was a young would-be boy racer we called "riding on rails"

peace
with all due respect, and I do mean that as I have an RB2....sprockets2
Dec 28, 2002 4:10 PM
You Got It BAD, And That Aint' Good. Well, maybe its not *bad*, perhaps it is alright, with no harm done. I just had to keep the expression intact. I have an RB2, and I am not eager to part with it and I am in fact outfitting it with modern componentry suitable for its abilities. Yeah, I like the bike, and I think that it is a shame that the marketplace did not reward Bridgestone with more success, for they surely deserved it, but as you point out, the marketplace is a strange place. However, all that notwithstanding, and ergo, and furthermore: lets not go all gushy, now.

Grant wasn't a wizard, the bikes are nice, but they are not magic, and equally satisfying geometry (with more reasonable top tube lengths) was and is available in other bikes, and many modern bikes perform even better-in terms of handling and ride-by virtue of better steel and other modern materials, and, yes, lighter weight.

The reason the RBs "rode on rails" is that they were biased to stability at the expense of quick handling and responsiveness. As I noted, that is great for long days in the saddle, but when I raced in crit-style races, I rode an old Peugeot with plastic derailleurs. Grant himself has noted that his concept of geometry has evolved since those days, and while stability is still important, so is handling. Ride a Rivendell if you want to fall in love with a sweet bike.
Rivendellmotta
Dec 29, 2002 5:29 AM
How can you recommend a Rivendell and consider a B-stone mediocre. They are the same thing, with the same product manager behind it. The only exception is the unbelievably high price of the Riv's. $2500 and almost a year wait? Talk about marketing hype, anyone who can get that kind of money today for frame that was at the pinnacle of technological achievment in the '70's is a genius.
Rivendell reduxAndy M-S
Dec 29, 2002 11:31 AM
Here's how I see it. The RB series bikes were very good bikes for their time, and are very good bikes still. My '92 RB2 has everything a contemporary bike has, including a short wheelbase, no eyelets, and fairly tight clearances. Maybe a little more than is popular today, but not by much. These bikes were designed to be fast, quick-handling racing bikes.

Rivendell is something different--and, I hate to say it because it sounds bad when it isn't--really an Old Man's bike. That is, they are not designed for speed. You can probably race them just fine, but that's not what they're designed for. Long chainstays, loads of clearance, designed for (comparatively) short seatposts and (comparatively) high stems. They are designed with fenders and racks in mind. The Rivendell philosophy emphasizes comfort and leisure time (shellacking the bars, tying them off with hemp, using small cranks, friction shifting, upright position). There is absolutely nothing wrong with this picture, but it's not a go-fast philosophy.

I would buy a Rivendell if I had a lot of money and wasn't planning on racing. Same way I'd buy a vintage Mercedes. It's a luxury item. Not exclusively so, but in the main.

I would buy a Bridgestone RB-series bike if I didn't have a lot of money and I wanted something very quick on its feet. More like a mid-60's MGB. On the other hand, you can commute with an MGB or an RB.

Just because Grant Peterson was involved with both bikes doesn't make them the same thing, by any stretch of the imagination. Both Bridgestone and Rivendell bikes evolved over time, so don't tell me the geometry of my '92 RB is the same as that of a similar-sized Rivendell, 'cause it ain't so.

I suspect the flames are about to begin...
Yes, but...peter1
Dec 29, 2002 2:20 PM
The reason you could say B-stones are mediocre is because a lot of them were semi-mass produced. There's definitely an a-line and a b-line.

Isn't marketing as important as design? GP puts A LOT of effort into selling Rivendells and his B-line bikes, as well as shilling for that weird Carradice garbage.

But I think he's sincere, and that counts for a lot. And he does seem to think about why bikes are designed a certain way, maybe to the point of obsession.

As for buying the bike...after reading some of these posts, you know what you're getting yourself in for (not as far as riding the damn thing, but in upholding the Peterson Philosophy. Now all you gotta do is think up your internet handle for the retro-classic discussion).