Tuesday, December 5, 2006

1994 Bridgestone RB-1

Back in the early nineties, I was a wee young lad working in a bike shop. Anyone who has ever spent time in a bike shop knows that the shop employees are very particular about the equipment they personally use. This makes sense given that they spend 40-60 hours a week up-close and personal with the stuff that makes the bike world go around. Mechanics spend hours trouble-shooting and repairing products and honing their preferences for equipment.

Over my time in the bike industry there have been very few products that have arrived at the bike shop door worthy of bike shop employee praise. There are even fewer that have gone on to become objects of desire. The Bridgestone bicycle in any form is such the item.

From the very beginning, Bridgestone took a no-nonsense approach to building bicycles. They relied on no trends to sell their bikes. From the deign of their frames to the hand selection of components, everything on the bike had a purpose, often making the Bridgestone the best choice for someone who could only afford one bike.

Thirteen years later, my Bridgestones continue to impress me with their forward-thinking and commitment to the pure joy that is cycling. Grant Peterson, who was the marketing end of B-stone and is a true visionary, continues to design, develop, and sell products in the same vein as Bridgestone. He keeps the vision alive.

I finally have enough parts lying around to bring my RB-1 back into service; I plan to build it back up with an old DA 9-speed kit and some tubs.

So check back in a bit for a complete review of the 1994 RB-1, complete with all the B.S. subjectivity you come to expect from bike reviews. I'll be sure to comment on how comfy the saddle is and how I personally would prefer a bar tape with a bit more contrast to the paint scheme.


curt said...

Could not agree more. Just had the experts at Pony Shop convert my '94 RBT into a single speed.


Anonymous said...

Love my '92 RB-1 - red just like yours. I think the only difference is the Ishiwata tubing instead of the Tange.

Mine's got Campy Delta brakes and one of those old Mavic cranks. It's still 7 speed with down-tube shifters (the bar ends wore out).

Radio Freddy said...

I am still looking for a Ritchey Force stem to complete the build, I always thought the stem gave the bike such a cool look. The influence from MTBs made the transition to road riding a bit easier.

Anonymous said...

Have you completed the build? I can't wait to see photos.

Radio Freddy said...

Bradley - Not yet, but I will be sure to post an update once it is finished. Thanks for dropping by. RF

al said...

I have two, a 91 and a 94, both red. The 91 was my A bike for many miles until I got the 94 as a frame just as Bstone was getting out of the US market. I liked the graphics more than the earlier bike, and it had the eyelets and the Ritchey fork crown that made it so cool. So, I built it up and trained/raced on it for 1500 miles before a car turned left in front of me and I landed on the hood. I was ok but the frame was slightly bent. You needed to run your finger along the down tube to tell. The driver paid to replace the frame with a TSX Bianchi, and I was left with a damaged, but beautiful, end of an era RB-1. A few months ago, I built the old frame up with some SunTour Superbe Pro parts (also end of an era stuff) and the original stem and bars. I have put it on display in my office, and hundreds of employees have admired it. People stop by to ask about it all the time. It's really pretty, and I've mounted it on top of my cabintets on a special rig that lets the wheels spin. I'm sad that my time riding the 94 was so short, but I feel like I'm doing the bike some real justice. I still ride the 91 and feel it's the best overall bike I have ever owned.

amphibiousarcher said...

this is going back along way, but i got white with yellow back in '88...i have always regretted getting rid of that bike....never/until those old school bikes have i felt that snap..i could scream up hills. i cant remember the model, but $400 dollars in '88 was big dough for a kid like me.