Picked myself up this Bridgestone RB-2 for two reasons.
1. I wanted a geared bike quickly because commuting on my single speed was killing me! I’m currently building myself a geared cyclocross frame but I’m not yet even done with the front triangle so it’ll be a bit.
2. Since I build frames mostly using double oversized tubing I wanted to try an old traditional tubeset.
This showed up on CL and I figured it was going to be trashed for the price they were asking. And it kinda is, derailleur cable for a rear brake cable, rear pads were almost gone, tires were dry rotten, bar tapes shot, drive line had a decade of WD-40/mud on it, frame and fork have chips and scrapes, Shimano DeoreLX derailleurs and wheel set… so I bought it!
Here it is right off of CL.
That Deore though.
It’s a 59 cm, which from the best I can tell is to the tip of the top of the seat tube. The top tube measures 585 mm. So far this thing is right on for fitting me! Head tube is about 160 mm tall and the rear end measures 410 mm. Head tube is about 74° and seat tube is about 72°. The fork has an axle to crown of 375 mm. So yeah, race bike geometry. Oh and the weight, 24lbs flat with 25c tires and a water bottle cage. Not bad IMO.
That short rear end doesn’t leave room for much more than a 25c Gatorskin.
Time to get into it. Braking has been addressed, bar tape, tires and tubes, cleaned the shit out of the driveline, cleaned and regreased the hubs, trued up the wheels, put SPD pedals on and just washed it!
I finally got to commute on it today. First impression is “Wow! This thing is FAST!”. My 8 mile commute involves about 600ft of climbing into work and 850ft home so this was a good chance to see what gears could do for me. The small diameter tubes surprised me! This frame is very stiff! That nice short rear end makes for some nice power transfer! The steering is razor sharp and the fork flexes enough to give some forgiveness on the bumps without unraking the fork too much under heavy braking.
I had always heard that Bridgestone bikes were highly regarded and I can see why now! According to Strava I had a few PR’s!
I’ll probably be sad to get rid of this bike since I’m only really buying it for a temp commuter till I can finish my CX frame. I would love to give it a 22 speed SRAM Rival group and some compact ergo bars! But then it would need paint first and better wheels. Oh the snowball.
I guess that means I’ll just enjoy it for what it’s for. Besides, the feeling of riding a bike you designed, built the frame and fork, speced the EXACT parts you want and assembled it all together FAR outweighs this bikes cool factor.
Hopefully next post will be of my next build but until then I’ll be enjoying this little rocket!
Ride safe and have FUN damn it! We’re only on this planet so long, don’t take the shortest way, don’t skip dessert, smell those damn roses, ignore bullshit, get lost, laugh hard, hug your kids often and just be a nice person!