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Anyone know anything about this bridgestone?

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Anyone know anything about this bridgestone?

Old 08-26-08, 01:43 PM
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Anyone know anything about this bridgestone?

I was given an orange bridgestone triathlon al a few years ago. I have recently gotten interested in bikes and wanted to know more about the bike. I've looked online and even through some of the old catalogs, but can't find anything about it. I may have missed something, but if you know anything about it let me know.

Thanks.

Oh, and here's a picture of it.

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Old 08-26-08, 11:21 PM
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no one knows anything about it?
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Old 08-27-08, 05:05 AM
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After a few seconds in Google I can tell you it's probably a 1983 model. I can't tell much from your photo, generally the left side of the bike is the "wrong" side to take a picture of. The drivetrain is what we want to see. Seems like a nice mid-range bike.
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Old 12-17-09, 01:18 AM
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Not much response on this, and maybe you're not still listening, but I have one just like this; acquired it about 3 years ago. It's a 58cm frame. Haven't had time to do much digging, but the little I have done has not produced much info. I don't think the "Triathlon AL" is really the official model name. Seems more like some marketing trick.

But I think it's a pretty nice bike. I love riding mine!

Will do some more digging, maybe post some info if I find anything useful.

BTW, have you been riding it? Done any rehab on it?

Steve
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Old 12-17-09, 01:59 AM
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Large manufacturer of bikes from Japan, also marketed bikes under the Kabuki brand name. Popular bike during the 70's-not sure what happened to the brand here in the US. Very high quality bike.
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Old 12-17-09, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Yogurt
After a few seconds in Google I can tell you it's probably a 1983 model. I can't tell much from your photo, generally the left side of the bike is the "wrong" side to take a picture of. The drivetrain is what we want to see. Seems like a nice mid-range bike.
Those DT shifters put it in the early-to-mid-eighties time period.
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Old 12-17-09, 06:57 AM
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They made some good bikes. Have you searched through https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/index.html
I can't tell from the picture, but is that a metal head badge? If so it is probably earlier than 1985.
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Old 12-17-09, 08:46 AM
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Pretty sharp bike, love the color and contrasting head tube and seat tube. Not the usual lettering style for Bridgestone. They usually stayed with their usual logo.
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Old 12-17-09, 11:20 AM
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Kinda looks like it hit something. maybe it's just the angle of picture.
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Old 12-17-09, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Yogurt
After a few seconds in Google I can tell you it's probably a 1983 model. I can't tell much from your photo, generally the left side of the bike is the "wrong" side to take a picture of. The drivetrain is what we want to see. Seems like a nice mid-range bike.
+1. It is a 1983 Bridgestone Triathlon Al. model. However, I don't for the life of me know why they added the Al suffix, as the frame was definitely CrMo. As for what's hiding on the other side, it should be SunTour ARx derailleurs mated to a Sugino crankset and a relatively wide range (~13-28T) freewheel. I'm not sure which model of crankset, but it's not one of the swaged models. Could be one of the numerous Mighty variants. Looks to be all original, with the exception of the tires and the missing lever hoods, toe clips, straps and some reflectors. I'd call it lower mid-range.
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Old 12-18-09, 05:15 PM
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(Reply with quote isn't working for me.)
gmouchawar wrote: " They made some good bikes. Have you searched through https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/index.html
I can't tell from the picture, but is that a metal head badge? If so it is probably earlier than 1985."

Yes, it has a metal head badge. The research I've been doing the past few days leads me to the same conclusion, too. Probably early 80s. Sheldon Brown's site (https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/#catalogues) has a Bridgestone catalog archive, but it doesn't go any earlier than 1985.

Primitive Don wrote: "Pretty sharp bike, love the color and contrasting head tube and seat tube. Not the usual lettering style for Bridgestone. They usually stayed with their usual logo."

Yes, I think the logo / logotype on this bike probably pre-dates what you see on 1985 and later bikes. (I love the color scheme, too!)

T-Mar wrote: "+1. It is a 1983 Bridgestone Triathlon Al. model. However, I don't for the life of me know why they added the Al suffix, as the frame was definitely CrMo. As for what's hiding on the other side, it should be SunTour ARx derailleurs mated to a Sugino crankset and a relatively wide range (~13-28T) freewheel. I'm not sure which model of crankset, but it's not one of the swaged models. Could be one of the numerous Mighty variants. Looks to be all original, with the exception of the tires and the missing lever hoods, toe clips, straps and some reflectors. I'd call it lower mid-range."

So are you saying that "Triathlon Al" was the official model name? Info I just got yesterday may corroborate that, and give some insight into the provenance of the name. Here's a bit that I got from the iBob (Internet Bob) list, which I finally tracked down... posted a question and got this comment:

"Triathalon Al was Pineapple Bob's predecessor. With his long blonde locks and pouty SoCal lips, he was sorta the Jeff Spicoli of cycledom. My favorite Bridgestone ad featured Tri-Al riding up a volcanic ridge, clad only in his neon speedos, wads of melted Powerbar stuck to his top tube, and the BRIDGESTONE decals on his bike rearranged into RIDESTONED. Not sure if his dazed, blank stare was due to the bonk or the bong.

Rumor has it he and Grant didn't get along and he was soon replaced."

Now I have no idea who "Pineapple Bob" was, nor "Triathlon Al." But it sounds like Al worked for Bridgestone, and I'm guessing probably had a hand in the creation of the Triathlon Al model, in some fashion or other. Grant Peterson (this comes from Sheldon Brown's site) was the marketing director for Bridgestone, probably starting sometime around 1985. He apparently was pretty instrumental in building Bridgestone's reputation and popularity (particularly among the dedicated group of BOBs)... and also for developing the "retro grouch" reputation that the company and its followers had.

If Grant Peterson didn't get along well with "Triathlon Al," then I'm supposing that earlier on (in the early 80s), Al had enough influence to get a model named after him, and maybe even having a hand in the design of the bike. Of course, this is pretty much guesswork on my part. The history of this particular model seems to be pretty obscure, and I've had a hard time tracking down any real solid information about it.

Hopefully this weekend, I'll take some photos of my bike and post them here. (I've made a few modifications -- new bars and stem, new brake levers, new saddle and seatpost, different freewheel, rebuilt rear wheel, and soon a new (NOS) Suntour rear derailleur.) But when I got it about 3 years ago, it did have the same brake levers and calipers as you see on jrpallares' bike, has Suntour ARX derailleurs, same handlebars, stem and wheels. The crankset is Sugino "M-Type" 52-42.

I'll keep digging for info on the iBob list, and post more later. Anyone else with more info, I'm interested to know more.

Steve
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Old 12-19-09, 09:21 AM
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I remember Pineapple Bob but not Triathlon Al. If I recall correctly, Pineapple Bob came along during the Peterson era, in an attempt to make the company image more hip and not look like a big corporation. The Triathlon Al is from the pre-Peterson era. Other models from 1983 had suffices too, such as the the Altair DL and the Antares LDT. I'm pretty sure these aren't peoples names. DL could be an abbreviation for Deluxe, while LTD is almost certainly Long Distance Touring.

I've got the 1983 advertisement for this bicycle and there's no mention of Triathlon Al, nor does it include any person. If Al did exist he was probably created during the Peterson era to fit the model name. For the most part, Bridgestone replaced model names with numbers starting in 1984. 1983 was the only year that I could find evidence of the Triathlon Al. Bridgestone refers to it solely as the Triathlon in the ad copy but you can make out the Al on the top tube in the ad's picture.
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Old 12-19-09, 11:14 AM
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The downtube shifters look like they might be Suntour symmetric...
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Old 12-20-09, 12:50 PM
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T-Mar, thanks for the additional information. Would you be able to post the 1983 ad that you have? I'd be interested to see it.

Re: "Triathlon Al," so you're saying he was a fictitious persona created by Bridgestone strictly for marketing purposes. The poster from the iBob list seemed to suggest he was a real person... So who knows? Well, somebody out there probably does; I know the "BOBs" have quite some history behind them, so maybe I can dig out something more from the iBob list. (Haven't had time to post back to the list yet.)

This is all obscure stuff to me. I've only been cycling seriously for the past 3 years (well, a bunch way back in college, but that was _way_ back), so I'm not up on all the lore of cycling.

Re: leftthread's comment: Yes, these look like the same shifters I have on mine, Suntours.

Later...

Steve
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Old 12-21-09, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by helios
...Re: "Triathlon Al," so you're saying he was a fictitious persona created by Bridgestone strictly for marketing purposes. The poster from the iBob list seemed to suggest he was a real person... So who knows? Well, somebody out there probably does; I know the "BOBs" have quite some history behind them, so maybe I can dig out something more from the iBob list. (Haven't had time to post back to the list yet.)...
I'm not saying he didn't exist, but it all seems a bit strange. Pineapple Bob and the other Bridgestone "test riders" didn't start appearing until the very late 1980s, about five years after the Triahtlon Al bicycle. In the interim, Bridgestone used traditional advertsing. If Triathlon Al had existed at the time of the model bearing his name, you think he'd be featured in the ad.

Though I don't remember all their names, Bridgestone had a handful of test riders who appeared in their ads. There was a guy with the nickname Whitelegs and a couple of girls, one of which was Pineapple Karen (not sure on the actual name but she was a Pineapple something). Pineapple Bob was the most memorable, thanks to his hair, and was featured the most. While other brands relied on racing celebrities (i.e Specialized with Ned Overend and Mongoose with John Tomac), Bridgestone favoured the creation of characters. It fit well with their anti-corporate, free-thinker image. The ironic thing thing was that it seemed to part of a very carefully planned and calculated marketing plan, just what a corporation would do.
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