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  #1  
Old 02-26-2007, 10:37 PM
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chakatrain chakatrain is offline
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Help me understand Bridgestone RB-1

So...I've read some reviews about the Bridgestone RB-1; it seems like the frame has a lot of fans. What's so special about it? I've been really enjoying reading about bike craftmanship and history lately and realize how many holes of ignorance exist in what I call my knowledge. Would be mighty grateful for a fan of this frame to share the love.

this thread in the classifieds forum got me thinking about this.
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:47 PM
eddief eddief is offline
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mystique?

dbrk would probably be much more endearing in his comments, but as I understand it, these bikes are basically well made lugged steel from Japan from a day sometime in the past.

I have never ridden one, but think much of the mystique is connected to Grant Peterson's role in their design and marketing in the US...and Grant's ongoing role as a significant figure in the bicycle industry.

Used to ride with a guy with a near perfect red RB1 and always thought it was a fine statement in traditional lugged steel.

Wonder sometimes if my Taiwan-made Bleriot is of equal or better quality when compared to the legendary Bridgestones.

Last edited by eddief; 02-26-2007 at 10:49 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2007, 10:55 PM
Louis Louis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddief
Wonder sometimes if my Taiwan-made Bleriot is of equal or better quality when compared to the legendary Bridgestones.
Probably not a fair comparison to the RB-1. Lots of stuff is done better these days.

Remember ATMO's dissing of that oldish tan / light brown frame of his?

I wonder if a different color was used for the new paint job...

Louis
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  #4  
Old 02-26-2007, 11:06 PM
GoJavs GoJavs is offline
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Solid, affordable bikes that ride very well sold by a guy with a great deal of marketing talent who had them outfitted with a wonderful, ecclectic mix of components. The ultimate is the '93 yellow with the yummy Ritchey fork.

I own an '89 RB1 and a '93 RB2. They are tanks.
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:00 AM
Marcusaurelius Marcusaurelius is offline
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I rode an 1993 Bridgestone RB 1 and it was a great looking bike and it rode quite well. Grant peterson was all about keeping things simple and has never had many kind words for shimano's sti shifters. Bridgestone only put sti shifters on their bikes at the very end. I recall they put an unflattering picture of sti shifters in a bridgestone catalog. Even to this day Grant Peterson will only sell down tube or bar-end shifters on his website.

I'm not sure but I suppose retro grouch could be used to describe his philosophy--or he just likes simple, reliable bicycle components.
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2007, 02:30 AM
Gothard Gothard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis

Remember ATMO's dissing of that oldish tan / light brown frame of his?

I wonder if a different color was used for the new paint job...

Louis
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Old 02-27-2007, 05:19 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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As others have said,

It was just a simple, well made, RELATIVELY versatile steel racing bike. I wondered what the fuss was all about until I bought one, an old yeller '92. For reasons that I could never figure looking at the geometry chart, it was a much more stable ride than most racing bikes I'd ridden to that point. Still very quick and responsive but also more confidence inspiriing than I expected.

The quality of construction didn't compare to anything Grant Peterson is making at Rivendell these days, but the geometry didn't either. It was a racing bike, pure and simple. Grant doesn't do those anymore. I suppose he might do a custom racing bike, but that's not where his muse has led him for the last several years. And there are plenty of other fine production racing bikes out there, so he's going after a much different, and less well served, part of the market.

-Ray
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:20 AM
sspielman sspielman is offline
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Like all of the Bridgestone's, they were cleverly marketed, average bikes....Cleverly marketed to the point that it was difficult to connect the hype and image created to the actual product. When the company folded (presumably due to a lack of sales) the company's fans elevated the brand to martyr status. It was not unlike the death of Elvis....
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:30 AM
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dbrk dbrk is offline
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In it's day, particularly between '91 and '94 when Bstone left the US market, the RB was usually more expensive than other comparable bikes (like those from Specialized, Fuji, Trek). They often broke the OEM rules with mixed parts, especially really nice stuff from Nitto and Ritchey, and the ride was (and is) a particular positive trait. Most seize upon the 93 as the pinnacle because that was likely the most famous of the three catalogue years (if you have never seen a Bstone catalogue, you need to...from 92-94) and because the X0-1 of 93 was the Molteni one with cantilevers (rather than the white or purple one with calipers). But Grant has always said that he thought tubing-wise, etc., that the 92 was likely the nicest bike they made. I think that was either Tange or Ishiwata tubing, the one that said "Synergy" on the top tube (and more than one year did so). I still have two RB-2, different from the -1 only in tubing and a few finish details. They have eyelets for fenders and great clearances and simple details that most production bikes now lack and shouldn't because there is no reason not to make a bike a bit more versatile.

Ray, eddief, and others have it all right about modern Rivendells. The Toyo made Rivs now are about a million times nicer in finish than the Bstones and the Panasonic builds too are finished better (like the Bleriot).

dbrk
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:36 AM
stevep stevep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sspielman
Like all of the Bridgestone's, they were cleverly marketed, average bikes....Cleverly marketed to the point that it was difficult to connect the hype and image created to the actual product. When the company folded (presumably due to a lack of sales) the company's fans elevated the brand to martyr status. It was not unlike the death of Elvis....
elvis is dead?
grant was and is a very smart bike guy.
his flaw i thk is that he worked very hard to try to increase the size of his target market... and he could not increase it enough to make the company any money. a lot of folks rever the guy for what he has done and i give him full credit as a #1 genuine bike guy. i thk, however that he misjudged the opportunity to increase his "offbeat" market to a sufficient size to make bridgestone profitable. his bstone catalogs make great reading for sure, though.
his mustache bars, assorted somewhat quirky products and his unwillingness to accept newer technologies killed his company ( not him thankfully ) in the end. from inside the business i also believe that his heavy committment to suntour and sr products during that time period was admirable in some ways but even at that point suntour was sledding down a pretty steep slope to oblivion in the bike business. shimano at the time was the king and the future king....even though suntour first developed index shift years earlier they were really unable to market something that worked anywhere near as well as their now giant competitors.
also note that there are a lot of "grantphiles" on this forum...
i pass the torch to them...
dbrk...to you and the posse... fill in the blanks.
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  #11  
Old 02-27-2007, 08:20 AM
DonH DonH is offline
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I had a 1993 RB-1 that I bought directly from Bridgestone when they were selling off inventory during their pullout from the US market. It was a good riding,sensibly priced,nicely spec'ed bike. Not a lightweight by any stretch, but thats OK -im not either
I had a hugh facination with Bridgestone bikes at the time and was thrilled to get the RB-1 at such a reduced price. The catalogs are great reading material and are somewhat collectible also.
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2007, 09:00 AM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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For as long as I've been building I've always had what I called the "RB-1 test". Whatever was done with a design it had to pass the RB-1 test. If it wasn't better in some quantifiable way than an RB-1 then why bother.........back to the drawing board.

I felt it was true back then and to a great degree still feel the same way..........that a good athlete only needs an RB-1 to win a road race. If the rider has good legs and an RB-1 then that's all they need. Any more than that is gravy.

Dave
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2007, 09:03 AM
michael white michael white is offline
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I really, really loved my Bridgestones. To me, what Grant did with Bridgestone was more appealing than what he's done since with Rivendell. (Sorry, Grant.)

Much of the appeal had to do with the context of the time: if you were used to riding a rigid aluminum bike and then hopped on a higher end Bridgestone for the same price, you (or I, anyway) realized how great lugged steel really is. Functionally, it was unbeatable for the buck. And by the early 90's, most of the other Japanese lugged bicycles, developed in the 70's boom, were gone--the companies either folded or moved on to other materials. So in the showrooms Bridgestone was just about the only lugged production bike you could buy. In that light, they were simply sensational.

But these days, looking at Rivendell compared to other expensive lugged frames, the choice is not so simple--and perhaps the whole "outsider" thing seems less relevant.
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  #14  
Old 02-27-2007, 09:15 AM
Serpico
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imo

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  #15  
Old 02-27-2007, 09:17 AM
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atmo atmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis
Probably not a fair comparison to the RB-1. Lots of stuff is done better these days.

Remember ATMO's dissing of that oldish tan / light brown frame of his?

I wonder if a different color was used for the new paint job...

Louis
late-to-this-party...

i didn't diss anything; iirc i was inferring that a
frame from then shouldn't be confused with a
frame from now, and few among this board's
list are still doing the same (level of) work that
they did in the late 70s/early 80s atmo.

just sayin'.
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