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Old 07-09-14, 12:48 PM   #1
cbender
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Bridgestone RB1 restoration questions

Hi all,

I'm just getting back into cycling, after quite a few years of slothfulness, and have managed to pick up a 1989 Bridgestone RB-1 for a good price ($280). I've had an old MB-5 for years that's been completely reliable. I've always wanted a road bike, and now have one.

I'm pretty new to bike repair, but with the help of a book from the library I've spent the past couple of nights disassembling, cleaning, and reassemblying things (brakes, rear derailer, quill stem). I've setup the wheels with new Panaracer Pacela PT 700x25 tires, and decided last night that the bike is the correct size for me. The rest of the components are virtually stock (Suntour GPX brakes, dt shifters, crankset, front & rear derailer, front hub); even the brake pads say Suntour. The front wheel had (at purchase) what I assume is likely an original Bridgestone 700x25c tire (if some collector wants this, it's yours for the price of shipping).

The one bit that's not stock (per the catalog on Sheldon Brown's website) is the rear hub & freewheel. The hub is a Shimano 105, and the freewheel (cassette??) is labeled Shimano hyperglide. Some of the cogs are pretty beat up, so I've decided to attempt to restore these components close to the original suntour, including something that will allow the accushift indexing to work. Initial research suggests this will not be a cheap restoration, since good condition Suntour parts are selling for huge markups. But since my purchase price for the bike was pretty good, I'm not opposed to sinking some $$ into this ($200 ebay freewheels are a bridge to far, though).

I see numerous Suntour 7-speed freewheels on ebay and other places; some are explicitly labeled as accushift, some are not.

Can someone spell out for me what I should be looking for here? Winner Pro? Winner Ultra? Something else?

Thanks!

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Old 07-09-14, 03:42 PM   #2
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I have an Ironman expert with GPX. If you want to swap parts, PM photos of what you have to trade.
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Old 07-09-14, 03:46 PM   #3
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I would not bother trying to get the bike to work with suntour indexing and I'm a big suntour fan. Shimano indexing is better hands down and lots easier to find parts for. I'd get a new 7 speed cassette (they're readily available) and live with friction. If you want indexing, I'd pick up seven speed shimano DT shifters and a shimano rear derailleur. In the long run, this will save you money and give you better shifting.
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Old 07-09-14, 03:53 PM   #4
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I'm not a Suntour expert, but if I recall correctly, all of their 7 speed freewheels used 5mm spacing (sprocket center-to-center). So the only difference is in level of quality, I think.

I've seen there are different tooth profiles, maybe between Ultra and Winner? But not really sure. I have a 14/28 Suntour freewheel that looks to be in nearly unused condition, if this will help you out give me a shout at rccardr@cox.net and we'll work something out. It most likely came off of an Accushift equipped Cannondale some years ago...
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Old 07-09-14, 03:55 PM   #5
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Here's a page from velobase.com on their various brand's shifting systems. See SunTour AccuShift 5th one down & it will tell you what goes with what. Have fun. Not sure if you're near a co-op, but I bought a Suntour XC Sport 7000 for $7.00 at the local co-op and it allows AccuShift. I had already purchased an Accushift friendly freewheel, then bought Accushift 6 speed thumb shifters and it worked great. The shifters were new & freewheel "lightly" used & price wasn't too bad.
Sometimes we do end up spending more than the bike is worth, however, if that's not an issue, then it can be a good learning experience.
Have fun & keep us posted.
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Old 07-09-14, 04:12 PM   #6
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Nice looking bike. I always wanted to try that GPX group.

I agree with the others. I upgraded my '88 Bianchi with Suntour Sprint 7sp to a pair of shimano 7 spd cassette wheels and it shifts, as they say, like butter! Give it a try before you go spending money. Also if that is a cassette style wheel it is a bit sturdier than the older freewheel style

This may help with the terminology. Freewheel or Cassette?

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Old 07-09-14, 05:18 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the suggestions.

Transitioning to shimano is obviously the easier path, although I've already got the rest of the drivetrain and it's not obvious to me that the accushift will index with a shimano cassette (I see some people have gotten it to work, but I'm pretty green here so was attempting to avoid R&D projects.) Regardless, I'll see what the current shifting is like before doing anything crazy.

rccardr - Thanks for the info on the 7 speed freewheels; I've come across several suntour 7 cog models not explicitly labeled as accushift that are priced more reasonably. I think the 14/28 you have exceeds the capacity of my rear derailer (velobase says 23 for indexing, 26 for friction).

oddjob2 - Thanks for the trade offer. As I'm just getting into this, I don't have much of anything worth trading (unless you're interested in woodworking tools). I seriously doubt you want the existing shimano freewheel - the teeth are pretty torn up on a couple of the cogs.
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Old 07-09-14, 06:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I would not bother trying to get the bike to work with suntour indexing and I'm a big suntour fan. Shimano indexing is better hands down and lots easier to find parts for. I'd get a new 7 speed cassette (they're readily available) and live with friction. If you want indexing, I'd pick up seven speed shimano DT shifters and a shimano rear derailleur. In the long run, this will save you money and give you better shifting.
I agree. Suntour never quite perfected index shifting. Shimano did.

Trying to mix Suntour and Shimano is not worth the effort, in my experience. The result will be no better than mediocre. Others may have had better results.

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Old 07-09-14, 06:35 PM   #9
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I meant to post a link & see I didn't. Here's info.

VeloBase.com
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Old 07-09-14, 08:23 PM   #10
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I've got the duplicate model year RB-1 in my group of regular riders and the GPX indexed shifting is smooth as silk.
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Old 07-09-14, 09:02 PM   #11
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I thought the two smallest cogs on a suntour cassette had slightly narrower spacing than the rest which causes issues when using shimano indexing.
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Old 07-09-14, 09:51 PM   #12
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I've got the duplicate model year RB-1 in my group of regular riders and the GPX indexed shifting is smooth as silk.
23skidoo - do you know what freewheel model you have?
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Old 07-10-14, 07:56 AM   #13
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23skidoo - do you know what freewheel model you have?
It's a Suntour 4-tooth 7-speed that's a bit too grungy to read and I'm in my clean work clothes and don't want to mess with removing the wheel and wiping it off.
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Old 07-10-14, 08:05 AM   #14
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OK. Thanks.

I think I've located a New Winner model at a reasonable price, and will give that a try.
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