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Bridgestone RB-1 worth restoring?

Old 12-06-16, 04:46 PM
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thrillhouse1
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Bridgestone RB-1 worth restoring?

Hello all,

I have an old early 90s(?) Bridgestone RB-1 which I used to ride pretty frequently until a couple of years ago. I purchased it from a gentleman I heard about via word-of-mouth who basically had this storage unit full of old 80s and 90s lugged steel road bikes. At that the time (and to this day, really), I don't know much about what constitutes a good "quality" steel road bike, or which models are more desirable than others. This bike just felt great to ride compared to several others (including several Bianchis among other makers).

Here are a couple of pictures of the bike in its current state:

Imgur album

My question is, in its current state, is it worth sinking money to restore the bike? The frame looks to be straight and intact, although it does have some rust/corrosion blemishes at a couple of spots. The rest of the components could probably use an overhaul.

Any other input/info about this particular bike model in general would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-06-16, 07:30 PM
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If you're paying someone to do the work, you'll be upside down on value very fast. If you can do the labor yourself, worth the investment. If you don't have the skills/tools, find a local coop if possible to help assist you.
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Old 12-06-16, 07:44 PM
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Go check out some Bridgestone-specific forums. Here are a couple: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/internet-bob and https://www.facebook.com/groups/115022193344/ .
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Old 12-06-16, 09:53 PM
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Yes it's worth it. You lucked into one of the more desirable mass market Japanese road bikes. RB-1s sell for more than their equivalents. This one looks more grimy and scuffed than actually rusty. So clean it and install new tires, some Tektro (or whatever you have handy) road bike brake levers, and bar tape.

Pic assist.


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Old 12-06-16, 10:27 PM
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Fine bike and worth restoring if you don't go too crazy on the project. If you are willing to do your own work, you'll learn a lot.
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Old 12-06-16, 10:51 PM
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The frame looks to be in fairly good condition as it sits. A through cleaning and polishing will make it look nice. If there are some spots that need touching up to prevent rust (or just because they bother you), the colors should be easy enough to match. It's not that difficult to sand the rusty spots and spray touch-up paint; there are plenty of tutorials to show how if you have no experience.

As others have already said, RB-1's seem to be very desirable so if you're comfortable doing the work yourself it would be worth the time, money and effort.
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Old 12-07-16, 03:21 AM
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Definitely worth a self based restore...but...I believe that this particular model is before the really desired RB-1's by a year or two. I am not sure about this, but just putting it out there...the semi-collectible RB-1's, I think, were mainly during Grant Petersen's time at Bridgestone...and, this one, from what I remember is before he arrived.

But...again...still a very good bike...and, if you can do the work, it is definitely worth restoring...
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Old 12-07-16, 08:33 AM
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I would not repaint or use spray paint. Testors or nail polish for touch up.

A pre Grant Peterssen RB-1 in recently overhauled condition with new consumables is woth around $400. If you have an LBS do the work, count on $200 + $150 for parts (tires, bar wrap, cables, housing).
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Old 12-07-16, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for all of the feedback. I may just go ahead and restore it, at least to the best of my ability. I absolutely loved how it rode, so I think it's definitely worth it. I'll dig around the many Bridgestone and RB-1 forums that I found for some specifics on the restore. Should be fun!
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Old 12-07-16, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by thrillhouse1 View Post
Thanks for all of the feedback. I may just go ahead and restore it, at least to the best of my ability. I absolutely loved how it rode, so I think it's definitely worth it. I'll dig around the many Bridgestone and RB-1 forums that I found for some specifics on the restore. Should be fun!
+1, make it so.
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Old 12-07-16, 10:03 AM
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give it a nice Pro Imron Paint job..

I bought one in 90, Bare frame & Fork, but since I dont ride it so much , [Rains here] its still in good , though not pristine shape..

Mine; red over white, to have the seat tube masked off & left W white band.

use what ever components 'floats your boat'.





...
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Old 12-07-16, 10:07 AM
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What's going on with those brake levers?
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Old 12-07-16, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
I would not repaint or use spray paint. Testors or nail polish for touch up.

A pre Grant Peterssen RB-1 in recently overhauled condition with new consumables is woth around $400. If you have an LBS do the work, count on $200 + $150 for parts (tires, bar wrap, cables, housing).
+1

I'd do a thorough detailing and replace all consumables and that bike will look and ride fantastic.

IMO less is more. Personally love a bike as original as possible. Look for the original brake levers (pedals/toe clips, and saddle as well if you wanna go all the way, although you probably won't get much return for your money on those parts) and I'd leave the paint and decals alone. They tell a story of sorts. If the paint issues really bother you go with Oddjob and just use nail polish.

As it sits right now, in Denver where I'm located, that bike would bring $200. With replaced consumables and sold in the spring you'd be much closer to the $400 Oddjob mentioned earlier.

Cool bike. Love me a good B-stone
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Old 12-07-16, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Seizedpost View Post
What's going on with those brake levers?
Yeaa... The guy I bought it from was vehemently opposed to traditional brake levers because they were "too agressive," so every single one of the bikes he owned had levers in this position. It was odd at first, but I got used to them eventually and just never got around to switching them out. That would be high on the list, though, as part of the restoration!
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Old 12-07-16, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rideandgoseek View Post
+1

I'd do a thorough detailing and replace all consumables and that bike will look and ride fantastic.

IMO less is more. Personally love a bike as original as possible. Look for the original brake levers (pedals/toe clips, and saddle as well if you wanna go all the way, although you probably won't get much return for your money on those parts) and I'd leave the paint and decals alone. They tell a story of sorts. If the paint issues really bother you go with Oddjob and just use nail polish.

As it sits right now, in Denver where I'm located, that bike would bring $200. With replaced consumables and sold in the spring you'd be much closer to the $400 Oddjob mentioned earlier.

Cool bike. Love me a good B-stone
I agree with the "less-is-more" mentality. Aside from cleaning and polishing, I'm not inclined to do much sanding or painting; I'm a fan of a more weathered look, especially if I'm riding it daily. Plus, I'm in Southern California, so rust isn't a big concern here. What's the rationale behind using nail polish over spray paint if one were to touch -up?
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Old 12-07-16, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by thrillhouse1 View Post
What's the rationale behind using nail polish over spray paint if one were to touch -up?
I was thinking of the little Testors bottles, not the spray can. When it is just a nick or dime sized or smaller area, a brush beats a spray can IMHO. Nail polish dries faster than Testors enamel, includes a brush, and has lots of whites and warm tones; reds, oranges, etc., as well as metallic tones. Testors has lots of cool tones; blues, greens, etc., some which match Schwinns and French bikes quite well.
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