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school me on bridgestone bikes.

Old 09-19-14, 06:43 PM
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school me on bridgestone bikes.

I've read Sheldon Brown's site on bridgestones, looked at the catalogues.
I basically want to know everything there is to know about them

What tubing was used?
I have an 86 500 and its marked as triple butted 4130
Who made the bikes?
This model was middle-top, and weighed 23 pounds(56cm model)
Mine is a 53 and would assume weighs a little less especially with tri color bits I added

How did bridgestones compare to other companies.
Any Info you have would be greatly appreciated.

Any information on my bike would be great too
Most importantly the tubinguality
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Old 09-20-14, 07:18 AM
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I've seen one of the highly lauded Bridgestones that has Ishiwata tubing.
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Old 09-20-14, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Randy
Those catalogs have the most information on Bridgestones. Bicycle magazines from the 1980s would also have a lot of good information. Check with your local library.

Triple butted was the best. Double butted second best. Straight gauge was the cheapest to produce and the heaviest of the three.
How many of the "great" bikes that are discussed here are triple butted?

I think of my Schwinn High Sierra, triple butted CroMo, but it's still a tank. It seems to me most bikes that were high end back in the day were double butted.

I could totally be wrong, but I would imagine the best steel would be drawn to it's limits- it started out thin and got thinner, but the "lesser" steel needed to be thicker- thus had more thickness to step down from. Just a guess.
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Old 09-20-14, 07:33 AM
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By the way- I don't mean to infer that a bike (or your bike) is "lesser," it's just that a mid-line bike that was specced to keep the weight down and still be affordable. 23 pounds is a respectable bike weight, and if the bike rides nicely- that's a win, regardless of where it falls in any bike lineup.
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Old 09-20-14, 07:50 AM
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Triple butted is different not better than double butted. Triple butted just means that the tubing has 3 different wall thicknesses along the length of the tube rather than two. 3 is not necessarily better than 2 since triple butting can be cheaper to produce and is often found on less expensive bikes than those with double butted tubing. I own a 93 bridgestone xo-2 which is triple butted. Great bike but it is less expensive (and the frame tubing a bit heavier) than the bridgestone xo-1 which is double butted.

Here is a catalog page for the 93 b'stone bikes and you can see that the RB-2 and the XO-2 use triple butting and the RB-1 and XO-2 that year use double butted tubing:

Bridgestone Bicycles 1993 Catalogue page 64

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Old 09-20-14, 08:26 AM
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My 89 RB1 is triple butted 4130. I don't know what it weighs.
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Old 09-20-14, 08:51 AM
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My CB-2 is high tensile steel, aka hi-ten. The components that I could tell were stock were low end.. but it ride's like no other townie I've owned.
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Old 09-20-14, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
How many of the "great" bikes that are discussed here are triple butted?

I think of my Schwinn High Sierra, triple butted CroMo, but it's still a tank. It seems to me most bikes that were high end back in the day were double butted.

I could totally be wrong, but I would imagine the best steel would be drawn to it's limits- it started out thin and got thinner, but the "lesser" steel needed to be thicker- thus had more thickness to step down from. Just a guess.
I gotta agree.. my triple butted triple splined miyata ridge runner is very robust even though it is a quality frameset.
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Old 09-20-14, 09:45 AM
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My '93 XO-2 is Ishiwata triple butted. Don't remember (in storage) what tubing is on my '91 CB-0.


Catalog says Tange chromo double butted for CB-0.

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Old 09-20-14, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Randy
Does the sticker say "tri caliber" or "triple butted" ?
Tri Caliber- which was Schwinn's fancy way of saying "triple butted"

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Old 09-20-14, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Randy
Here on this forum? Peugeot? Lotus? Bianchi? In the early to mid 1970s Triple butted was the frame to get. Maybe something changed in the 1980s.

There's some information in this Ishiwata tubing catalog from the 1980s that may shed some light on this:
Ishiwata Tubing Catalog circa early 1980's
If you wish to extrapolate "discussed here" into whatever "forum" (whether it be an internet forum or any sort of discussion group) you wish- you may. I guess you can go through catalogs, see what the "flagship" bikes are, and see if they're triple butted.
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Old 09-20-14, 08:11 PM
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My 1989 Team Miyata is splined triple butted, if that counts for anything?,,,,BD
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Old 09-20-14, 08:59 PM
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I believe even Grant Petersen once reflected that triple butting seemed a gimmicky idea that achieved nothing that double butting didn't already. The idea with double butted tubing is slightly thicker wall at each end where it's brazed in the lug and a thin wall in the middle of the tube for lightness and flexibility. In between these two wall thicknesses is a tapered section that transitions from one to the other. Triple butting replaces the tapered section with three sections: a shorter tapered section, an intermediate straight section, and another tapered section. Functionally not really different.

Triple butted tubing can be welded and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
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Old 09-20-14, 09:12 PM
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I can't think of any early 1970s bikes that had triple butted frames. Can you name some? Were they all Japanese? I don't recall ever seeing a triple butted sticker on anything but Japanese frames and I don't think there were many of those around at that time, at least in the US.

I can understand what is meant by triple butted, but what is quad butted?
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Old 09-20-14, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois
I can understand what is meant by triple butted, but what is quad butted?
Your question made me curious, so I did some searching......I found an article (@ gttandems) that explains it this way: "While double-butted and triple-butted tubes both have two internally-tapered transitions (one at each end of the tube), a quad-butted tube has four internal tapers---one at each end plus a pair in the middle to create a mid-tube reinforcement (i.e. 8/5/8/5/8---read each slash mark as a transitioning taper)."

Bottom line: A "quad butted" steel tube seems like a pretty elaborate way to make a steel tube to me....FWIW.
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Old 09-20-14, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Randy
. . .

I remember shopping for bikes in the 1970s and triple butted frames with seamless tubing were the lightest and most expensive.
Really? Triple butted tubing was considered better than say reynolds 531 or columbus sl tubing? 27 TdF victories were won on Reynolds 531 tubing. The Japanese made great tubing sets some of which were triple butted and some of which were double butted. One is not "better" than the other and at the end of the day triple and quad butted didn't take off.
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Old 09-20-14, 11:41 PM
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Bridhestone to despit the the name is a long established Japanese company that has made all levels of Tires and secondarly bikes for over 100 years. All of there stuf I have come across has been very good in proprtion to the price. Some of there 80's road bikes are truely eceptional and noteably light under 22lbs fully stock.

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Old 09-21-14, 12:05 AM
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Wow this thread had a certain burst of action
Saw it had 179 views and no replies and didn't think I was geeting any

I'm aware of Bridgestone using ishiwata tubing for the 90s rb, and xo models
But earlier marks were just marked 4130.
From what I've read Bridgestone didn't make theyre own tubes.

The weight displayed for from the catalogs is for the 56cm frame size.
Am I being to hopefull in thinking the 53 and 56 have a pound of difference?

Basically what I'm most curious about is what the tubes compare too.
Does my 86 Bridgestones tubing compare to tange infinity or a higher quality tubing
I'm not weight weenie but I'm just very curious. This is the lightest bike I've owned and I'm happy with it. With the mavic/tricolor wheels it ride like butter


Side note for the triple butted discussion.
My friend owns a 1987 univega gran record, it has triple butted tubes, think they're marked mangaloy or something like that.
It feels lighter than my bike
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Old 09-21-14, 12:52 AM
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Yours is likely Champion double butted a set or two below the triple butted infinity for practical or strenght purposes you won't notice much difference it's only about 1lb total and actually little bit stronger.
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Old 09-21-14, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Randy
We're not talking about Tour de France custom made racing bikes. We're talking about consumer grade bicycles, particularly a 1986 Bridgestone 500. If you would like to rant about your own personal opinions and beliefs, start another thread. Location: Middle Earth?
Making an argument and backing it up with evidence is not a rant. Reynolds 531 and columbus tubing came on a lot of bikes and in the 70s, which is the period you were talking about, were considered the best tubing available.

If you look up a few threads (thread no. 2), you stated that tripled butted was better than double butted. That's not right. There was some great Japanese made triple butted tubing and there was some not so great triple butted tubing (still good stuff but not top end).

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Old 09-21-14, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Randy
I used to have some literature on bikes from the 1970s which I no longer have. Consumer Reports used to publish an annual buying guide. I'll see what I can dig up through Abebooks. I pretty sure that Motobecane and Peugeot had triple butted Reynolds frames.
I think that you may be "misremembering".
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Old 09-21-14, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Randy
I'm old enough to remember moose and squirrel. As I recall, triple butted was marketed as a better alternative to double butted frames in the 1970s. The only downside was the extremely thin tubing walls that dented easily.
Here's a 1983 Austro-Daimler with a triple butted Reynolds 531 frame. 1983 Austro-Daimler | Cycle Logical
Uncle Randy- I'm not trying to be rude or anything- but no one doubts that triple butted tubing, or even triple butted 531 existed- it's your assertion- entirely without any evidence that:

Originally Posted by Uncle Randy

Triple butted was the best. Double butted second best.

Your replies have been... "aggressive." As such, replies to your replies have been equally belligerent.

You possess a great amount of bicycle knowledge- and if you've got that in your head- great. However, the vast majority of "top of the line" bicycles from most of the major bicycle companies seem to have been built with double butted tubing.
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Old 09-21-14, 12:30 PM
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Grant Peterson designed Bridgestone bikes have a cult following. Kind of a poor man's Rivendell. Prices seem to be at a premium right now especially for the higher end frames.
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Old 09-21-14, 12:50 PM
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Japan still has a bike division of the Tire giant, they just no longer bother with the US market
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Old 09-21-14, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Randy
I'm old enough to remember moose and squirrel. As I recall, triple butted was marketed as a better alternative to double butted frames in the 1970s. The only downside was the extremely thin tubing walls that dented easily.
Here's a 1983 Austro-Daimler with a triple butted Reynolds 531 frame. 1983 Austro-Daimler | Cycle Logical
I'm skeptical that Reynolds 531 came in a triple butted flavor. I could be wrong, though.

It's not quite right to say that triple butted's downfall was that the walls were too thin. No doubt your right and some triple butted tubing sets had problems with the walls being a bit too thin for the intended use. The thickness or the thinness of the walls does not turn, though, on whether a bike is double or triple butted.

By the way, two of my all time favorite bikes are triple butted and neither is a lightweight bike with thin walls. My team miyata is the best riding road racing bike I have ever owned. It has splined triple butted tubing and it no lightweight racing bike. My 1992 Bridgestone XO-2 is a just great bike. It has triple butted tubing and it is definitely not a lightweight butted tubing.
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