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Newbie in need of help and tips! 1991 Bridgestone RB2

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Newbie in need of help and tips! 1991 Bridgestone RB2

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Old 07-20-11, 10:47 AM
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Skiingcrazed
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Newbie in need of help and tips! 1991 Bridgestone RB2

I signed up and am training for my first sprint tri in August. My father's friend gave me his 1991 Bridgestone RB2. I am totally new to riding (aside from gallivanting on my beach cruiser).

I am having a lot of trouble on big hills. I think most of the trouble is that I am unsure of how exactly I should be shifting. I am unsure what gear is what on this bike and what gears I should be in when.

Any advice or tips? The majority of the race course is long steep hills that I find myself walking up (so embarrassing to admit this).

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 07-20-11, 11:39 AM
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icemonkey
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Ok, phew lots to add - but here are a few small tips. Go to a local bike shop and make sure the bike fits, that will help in the long run. Small cog at the front, big at the back is easier - big at the front small at the back is harder to pedal. Try and change smoothly and without putting too much stress/weight on the pedalls, try and avoid big jumps in gearing. You want the rythem of your legs to be a little quicker than you think and as even as possible. lookup cadence. Make sure your wheels spin smoothly and your breaks dont rub. You will find your legs and lungs will begin to carry you past everyone else on those climbs before long - and dont be embarrassed, we all walk sometimes.
GOOD LUCK
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Old 07-20-11, 11:54 AM
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The RB-2 doesn't come geared really well for steep hills. So if it's SUPER hilly, you may want to consider a triple crank setup.

Icemonkey hit the the basic idea, but I'll just add that the longer you ride your bike, the more you will naturally get the feel of ****ing and which gear you are on.
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Old 07-20-11, 12:31 PM
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I assume that a Bridgestone RB-2 has downtube shifters? To add what has already been said.

The right lever controls the back gears (freewheel, rear derailleur). Pulling back on it goest to a larger sprocket, which will be easier to pedal, but will move you slower.

The left lever controls the front chainrings/front deraileur. Forward will be the small (inner) chainring. This will be the easiest to pedal. Pulling back will shift to the large chainring, which is harder to pedal, but moves the bike faster (assuming the engine can power it ).

If you find that the small front chainring/largest rear sprocket is still too hard to pedal on those hills, you will need to lower the gearing, either by going to a triple crankset (as mentioned) with a 30-something tooth inner ring, lowering the present inner chainring if possible, or going to a freewheel with a bigger large sprocket.

Count the teeth on both the front chainrings and on the freewheel itself. I would guess the front is probably a 52/42 or something like that. No idea what stock freewheels were for these.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:21 AM
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RB-2 from that era should be bar end shifters, the one I had back then did. Actually was one of my more favorite bikes.

I would take my RB-2 up all the canyons in the SLC area, so it will do hills just fine once you have the motor running well.

I would certainly make sure that all the bearings are repacked and adjusted well, double check the tire pressure before each ride, and start putting on miles.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:26 AM
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Thank you all so much for your advice (and patience)!
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