A Refurb for the Kid: 1993 Bridgestone RB-2

Bridgestone RB-2

Our teenage daughter has been riding a fixed gear bike for transportation the past couple of years. It’s been serving her reasonably well, but she’s been saving up for a road bike with gears so she can participate in road training rides with her mountain bike team and cover more ground with less effort. She decided it would be fun to purchase an older bike and refurbish it as a spring project. By lucky chance, a good friend of ours was selling a 1993 Bridgestone RB-2 in her size, so she snatched it up. We started work on the project today.

The first thing was to take the bike down to the bare frame. We shared tasks, with her working on removing the saddle and bars while I removed the brakes, crank arms, and derailleurs. Once we had all the parts in a box, she cleaned the frame, wheels, and other components as I stripped and re-packed the headset, bottom bracket, hubs, and freewheel. She then removed the old tires and tubes so I could true the wheels. As she touched up and waxed the frame I took an inventory of what we’ll need to complete the project. We wrapped up the afternoon on the computer, ordering the parts we’ll need to finish the bike.

The parts should arrive in about a week. Then comes the best part of any refurb project – reassembling the bike. We’ll report back on how it goes!

25 Responses to “A Refurb for the Kid: 1993 Bridgestone RB-2”

  • Chris Baskind says:

    Well, the frame looks great. Should be a pretty build.

    Time for me to pull my old Trek out of the garage and do the same for my son … ;-)

  • David Bolles says:

    Oh man, I can’t wait to see this! Great looking frame. Lucky girl.

    A friend of mine got a Bridgestone not long ago. It’s the type where the seat post height is adjusted by a bolt at the top of the post. Know anything about those, Alan?

    Thanks!

  • Jammy says:

    That is a beautiful red color!

    It’s cool that your daughter after having ridden a modern fixed gear is interested in a more vintage lugged road bike as well.

    What’s this about a mountain bike? I don’t remember seeing much about mountain bikes around here? ;-D

  • Joshua says:

    Kindred spirits–I just picked up a Bridgestone MB-6 frame three weeks ago that I am building into a commuter for my little brother. I am converting it to a city bike with 700c wheels, and a second hand Sturmey Archer internally geared hub (and drum brake). The frame was a bit worse for wear, so my project started with sanding and re-painting. The frame came with a seatpost, BB, crank, and pedals–all in decent shape. The rest I have been collecting from Craigslist and local used bike parts shops. First the SA hub and a front wheel from CL. I went with a new headset, threaded to threadless stem to ensure I can get the fit right (I’ll select the right length and angle stem later during fitting), and a front long reach brake (no need for a rear brake with the internal drum brake on the SA hub). The handlebars were a used find from CityBikes (had to go 22.2 to fit the SA shifter) and the seat was an extra I had hanging around. Should be done in about a week after I get the SA hub laced up. Just in time for the nice weather:)

  • Michael says:

    This is great. I picked up a 1985 Shogun 400 that I’ve cleaned up and replaced the tires, stem and handlebars, so it’ll be nice to see how you guys fix up another classic bike. I’m looking forward to see how your Bryant evolves, but just as looking forward to how this Bridgestone is fixed up and I’m always on the lookout for ideas and inspiration. As someone else who rides a comfortable fixed gear for daily transportation, I’ll be interested to see how the cockpit is set up (among any other changes).

    That paint looks great, BTW. My dad runs a body shop and would love that red paint job.

  • Ted says:

    Great bike choice and in such good condition!

    I’m doing the same project with my son with a similar bike…Raleigh Technium. Can’t wait to see how your’s evolves. Curious if you’ll trade those downtube shifters for cable stops. Also, I wonder if your’s will be a flatbar or some other configuration.

  • Don says:

    She has an excellent eye. That frame is immaculate!

  • Alan says:

    @David

    “A friend of mine got a Bridgestone not long ago. It’s the type where the seat post height is adjusted by a bolt at the top of the post. Know anything about those, Alan?”

    I haven’t seen that..

  • Alan says:

    @Joshua

    Yours sounds like a more ambitious project than ours. The RB-2 had nearly all of the stock parts in place, so it’s been mostly a matter of cleaning and lubing combined with replacing the consumables such as tires and cables.

    Good luck with your project and enjoy!

  • Alan says:

    @Ted

    “Curious if you’ll trade those downtube shifters for cable stops. Also, I wonder if your’s will be a flatbar or some other configuration.”

    She wants to keep the bike mostly original, including the downtube shifters and drop bars. She’ll use the bike for transportation, but its primary function will be as a bike for her training rides with the race team. As such, she’ll need to keep it configured for fast group rides.

  • John L. says:

    Alan, what a great father-daughter project! Can’t wait to see the completed bike, but would also like very much to see pics of the reassembly, if you’re able to take some (for those of us still learning bike maintenance and repair).

  • John Ferguson says:

    Alan,

    You don’t see those frames in such good condition very often – nice find! If memory serves, those bikes mostly came with Suntour components (probably not the Superbe Pro, but the group one level down from that), which will make sourcing replacement components a little bit tricky. I look forward to hearing (and seeing) a bit more detail on this one. 8 speed Shimano and Campy parts are still pretty available, although I don’t know what you’re starting with. If you need 8 speed Campy cogsets (with lockrings), I’ve got some floating around I can send you.

    Cheers, John F.

  • doug in seattle says:

    I loved my RB-1, until the bottom bracket cracked. Apparently a common fate for Bridgestones, which were better designed than built. But it rode quite well and I loved carving lines through traffic and the like ( I was young!). I hope she rides that thing until it dies — that’s what old road bikes are for!

  • Jaime says:

    I have an RB2 that I bought new back in 1990. It was my main rider until just a year ago or so. It was always the funnest of my bikes to ride, especially with a set of 650b wheels and a pair of Panaracer Nifty Swifties installed. While it’s not my daily commuter any longer it will always be in my stable (as my fun bike).

  • Alan says:

    @John

    It is indeed in very good condition.

    Thanks very much for the offer on the Campy parts. I’m pretty sure the bike has all of the original parts which are a mix of Shimano 105 and Exage. Even the chain and 6-speed cassette are showing little wear. At this point we should be able to use most of the original parts with only incidentals like cables, saddle, tires, and bar tape needing replacement. The toughest thing was finding matching bright-white saddle, cable housing, bar tape, and bottle cages. :-)

    Regards,
    Alan

  • joe says:

    I worked for a Bridgestone dealer in the ’90s. We loved the bikes that Grant designed. We were very sorry to see them leave the US. This bike brings back fond memories.

  • voyage says:

    Great find, especially that your daughter’s bike seems to have the original fork (putting on a carbon would considerably jack the costs, wreck the period-correctness, and for what?). Hope that fork is true. Staying with down tube shifters is a good call in terms of period-correctness, simplicity, and learning, especially in friction mode. I believe these sport/rec bikes spec’d with Shimano EX400 at 7 speed on a freehub and amazingly, 7 speed Shimano cassettes are still readily available.I don’t think Bridgestone ever put Sun Tour on its late 80’s- early 90’s bikes. In any case, sadly, Sun Tour was pretty much “over” by 1993.

    My last, I swear, Technium build will be a NOS Team Competition from 1991. I have all the NOS parts. 105, unfortunately–can’t even find decent 600 used anymore. The reluctance/excuse having something to do with making a chimera.

  • John Ferguson says:

    6 speed, huh? I took a look through the very well maintained Bridgestone catalog archive over at the SheldonBrown site: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/1993/index.htm

    It would appear that the bike in question is a 1993 RB-2, if so that bike came stock with 7 speed Exage. The RB-1 that year came with Ultegra, which might be a bit easier to find as I think more people stocked up on the 7 speed Ultegra parts. I wonder where the 6 speed freewheel came from? It might be nice to return her to a 7 speed setup, especially if she’ll be doing longer group rides.

  • voyage says:

    “I wonder where the 6 speed freewheel came from? ”

    You’ll never know. That’s how it goes with oldish bikes of the churning early 1990’s road bike market. My experience.

    Those two will figure it out.

  • Buck says:

    Nice frame choice; from my favorite era for steel construction! I’m a huge fan of downtube shifters, glad you guys are sticking with those (can’t be beat for their low weight and accuracy). Looking forward to the full build pictures!

  • Lane says:

    “A friend of mine got a Bridgestone not long ago. It’s the type where the seat post height is adjusted by a bolt at the top of the post. Know anything about those, Alan?”

    I haven’t seen that..”

    I had one on my Schwinn 684 aluminum from 1990. It was an idea that didn’t catch on, and left some frames with no clamp at the top of the seat tube.

  • Garth says:

    I just picked up an ’86 Trek Elance 400D and spent the weekend working on it. Looked like it hadn’t been ridden in 20 years, very dirty, but nearly flawless paint, and all original equipment in great shape. It should be a fun spring project.

    Garth-

  • Brian says:

    I did a similar project last summer for my 12 yr old daughter. A 1986 Trek 420. My upgrades were mostly from my cast off bin from previous upgrades to other bikes and I didn’t have much of a helper. Next time I’ll definitely make her more involved in the project, so she takes more ownership.

    I did upgrade from a 6 speed freewheel with downtube shifters to a 7 speed freehub/cassette with some 7 speed RSX STI shifters. She is nervous enough about moving her hands around the bars as it is, to have her reach down to shift might turn it into a single speed!

    All in all ‘we’ completed the project for less than $200 in parts!

  • Dean says:

    Wow! Love the frame, and this definately peaks our interest here. Please be generous in your coverage..I can’t wait!!

  • Lawrence Chin says:

    Even your daughters frame looks pristine! Lucky girl!

    What did the bike look like before was cleaned? That’s a picture I want to see, the before/after.

 
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