I just bought a "Bridgestone 450 racing series" as my first road bike in many years. Can anyone tell me anything about these bikes? How the numbering worked with Bridgestones? How to read serial numbers? The bike has Suntour Deraillers (some kind of symbol [alpha?] before the number 3000), rear has clicks (shifter is designed for it specifically) and front seems to be friction. Bridgestone side pull brakes with Dia Compe levers, Weinmann wheels, Nitto stem, Sin Lung bars, quick release hubs say Jou Yu on the levers, it is 12 sp., and has cr-mo frame and forks. It is triple butted and I am not sure but think it's made with Ishiwata tubing. I have tried to date it by the brake levers and deraillers but they conflict. Brakes indicate 1986, deraillers indicate 1979. I paid $75 and the bike is in nice shape. Any Bridgestone knowledge would be appreciated. Thank you. This bike also says made in Taiwan on it. Is this a good bike?
Last edited by Ciufalon; 11-13-04 at 12:04 PM.
Reason: forgot to mention:
Check "search.bikelist.org" and put bridgstone 450 in the search field between the BoB list and the Classic list your answers should be there.
Thank you Djudd, I will try that.
I think you misdated some components. Indexed SunTour derailleurs were introduced in 1987. The Alpha models were 1987-1988. Going on that, I found specs for a Bridgestone 550 in a 1987 Bicycling magazine. It had Alpha 5000 derailleurs and Tange Infinity CrMo tubing. Given that model 450 is lower than 550 and Alpha 3000 was a notch below 5000, your bicycle was proably one model below this. The model 550 sold for $500 US, so yours was likely in the $400-450 range.
Bridgestone was a reputable Japanese company that built good value bicycles. During the 1970s boom, they produced C.Itoh and Kabuki brands. My first exposure to the Bridgestone brand was in the late 1970s. In the late '80s and earlier '90s Grant Petersen designed some some very popular bicycles for Bridgestone USA. See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/japan.html#bridgestone
Thanks for your help Tmar. Couple of questions. Does this mean my bike is mid-range or lower midrange? Do you think mine is also made of Tange tubing? Because I have heard that only the top of the line "prestige" Tange tubing is good. Also, is the sign I referred to on deraillers Alpha? It kind of looks like a fish pointing left.
The fish swimming left is the Alpha symbol, which was the first letter of the Greek alphabet. SunTour made 5 models of Accushift road derailleurs in 1987-1988. In order from bottom to top they were; Alpha 3000, Alpha 5000, Alpha 7000 Cyclone, Alpha 9000 Sprint and Superbe Pro.
Originally Posted by Ciufalon
There is a good chance that your frame is also made of Tange Infinity tubing. It was not uncommon for bicycle manufacturers to create 2 or 3 different models by using the same frame and specifying different levels of components. Given that the model 550 has Alpha 5000 derailleurs and probably a few other upgraded components, it would be reasonable to suggest the same frame was used.
Tange does/did not make "bad" tubing. Every tubeset is designed for a specfic purpose and pricepoint and therefore has specific tradeoffs. During this period Prestige was Tange's top line tubeset and came in two different grades. It was very light, very strong and intended for competition models. However to achieve this, it was expensive and bicycles with this tubeset typiclly cost $1000 or more, depending on the components. The butted tubests below Prestige in descending order were; Tange No.1, Tange No.2, Infinity and Mangalloy 2001. As you go down the line the line, the tubesets get heavier and less expensive. Inifinity was about 350g heavier than Prestige and was actually about equivalent to No.2 in weight. The material and thickness were the same as No.2, but instead of being drawn as a extruded tube, it was formed from a flat plate which was welded into a tube and is much cheaper to produce. Many people feel these "seamed" tubests are inferior, but I have yet to see any fail from tube manufacturing problems. The Mangalloy tubests were the only non-CrMo butted tubests produced by Tange.
While the properties of tubing have an effrect on the frame, the only noticeable characteristic to most cyclists is the weight. Other noticeable characteristics are more the result of geometry and the techniques used by the particualr framebuilder. Given frames of identical geometry, manufactured by the same framebuilder, using the same techniques, the vast majority of cyclists could not tell the difference between various grades and makes of tubesets. If you need a replacement tubing sticker, I have several new, old stock Infinity labels.
Given the era, the bicycle could be considered upper entry level, or lower mid-range. The components lean towards the former, but the frame leans towards the latter. Many paople would draw an arbitrary lean at the $500 price point and consider it the former.
T-Mar, that is realy great information. Your explanation about the tubing makes a lot of sense. I am just getting back to biking after many years off of one and I never knew a lot about them. This web site and people like you are helping to educate me and making it a lot more fun and interesting. The bike seems to have all it's original stickers, it's just that they don't say the brand or type of cr-mo. They just say CR-MO FORKS, or Bridgestone CR-MO Triple butted tubes. Seems like this bike will be fine for going on rides with friends (sort of training rides) in the mountains and just riding around, getting some miles in while I build up a base. I also have a Miyata Nine 14 sport touring bike I can use. I greatly appreciate your knowledgeable input and passing on what you know about it to me.
It's not unusual to find the bicycle brand on the tubing label. All it takes it a little extra cash. The tubes could be standard tubesets, a mix of existing tubesets or even custom tubes manufactured to specification. Given the position of the 450 in the Bridgestone line-up, it likely the first option, but could be the second. The third option is unlikely.
Your Miyata 914 is one of the rare cases where the tubes were actually manufactured by the frame builder. Miyata had their own tube foundry and produced very nice tubesets, espically the splined, triple butted sets as found on your 914. Miyata are my personal favourite of all the mass produced Japanese bicycles. In case you are wondering, the 914 is an upper mid range model and is from the period 1989-1991. If you need further information, I have the 1989 and 1990 catalogues (and the specs but no pictures for 1991). I can also decypher the Miyata serial number codes. Feel free to contact me via a private message if you want.
I couldn't car less.
?Different Tange steels are good. Ritchey Logic and Prestige are very nice IMO.
They seeem to have used possibly Ritchey proprietary steel @ least in MB1 and 2.