Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Family" Portrait

Well, after my latest burst of activity in building up "project" bikes that have been gathering dust, I've now got 3 more bikes up and running, which is a good thing. Part of what got me going on this flurry of activity was a customer bringing in his nice old Bridgestone road bike, either an RB-1 or -2, I don't recall which just now. It reminded me that I had several Bridgestones I needed to get rolling myself, so I dove in, and got all three put together. Now that my little "flotilla" of Bridgestones is complete, I figured I'd shoot a few photos of the set. A very bike-geeky thing to do, I know. But I suspect there are folks out there who will enjoy this.

In this view, the bike closest to the camera is the latest one completed, a 1992 RB-2. The next in line is the 1994 RB-T, which I think has my favorite Bridgestone graphics, with the oval around the "RB-T" on the seat tube and a real metal head badge. Behind that bike is my XO-2, the closest to "all original" of the bunch, with only minor modifications. The "splash" bar wrap is kinda weird, but it was either that or white or black. The XO series is arguably the weirdest and most collectible of the Bridgestones, as they reflect Grant Peterson's unique interpretation of the "hybrid" idea.

Now, here up front you see my lone mountain bike, a 1987 MB-1. I'm not by any means a "serious" mountain biker... I tend to take it easy on trails, just noodling along, generally with a grin on my face. And the MB-1, with no suspension and simple, solid components and good geometry, suits me just fine. I might at some point try putting an Allsop Softride stem I have on it, to give a little bit of cushion to the bars. But honestly, I don't know that I need it for the limited trail riding I anticpate doing on this bike right now. Back when I lived in Flagstaff, I might have felt differently, but I was younger and the trails were more plentiful and accesible.

A view from behind of the group, showing the different handlebar styles.... left to right, MB-1 with MTB flat bars, XO-2 "dirt drop" bars, RB-T "moustache" bars, and RB-2 with classic road drop bars. The XO bars are original, but oddly enough are also what the MB-1 had when new. I've never ridden a mountain bike with drop bars, so I have no idea how I'd like that. Maybe I'll try one day. The RB-T would have originally had standard drop bars, but I wanted another bike with moustache bars, and from what I had heard about the RB-T's handling, it seemed like a good choice. I'm loving it so far. And the standard, classic Nitto drop bars on the RB-2 are an old favorite.

This view and the first photo give a pretty good idea of the different intended use of each bike as well. Notice the tire sizes on the bikes... skinny road tires on the RB-2, wider road on the RB-T, 26" medium width tires on the XO-2, and 26" knobbies on the MB-1. In terms of versatility, the middle two win out, but the extrems of the MB-1 and RB-2 are a lot of fun for the right conditions.

I had a lot of fun building the bikes up, and now I'm having even more fun riding them. I can't really pick a favorite... they each have their strengths, and each has a distinct ride from the others. Variety, is after all, the spice of life.


Jerome said...

Wow. Great collection. You are absolutely right, there are those of us out there that really enjoy seeing photos of nice older bikes. Thanks for posting this!

I'm eye around my part of the world for an old Bridgestone MB-2 or 3 to re-build my Xtra-cycle on.

Great bikes!

Tim said...

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed. I sure have fun building them up and riding them.

Dick said...


Nice herd. How'd you ride them all over to the shop on the same day? :-)

Tim said...

Dick -

Too funny. Actually, I'm currently keeping several of my bikes at the shop, since I'm living in a smaller place with less storage space now. So it was just a matter of rotating the stock, so to speak, to get all four in one place.