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I’ve had this bike for a couple of months now, but I only recently got around to taking some pictures.  It’s an original Grant Petersen-designed Bridgestone RB-1 from 1990, and when I found it on eBay, it came with all the stock parts: Suntour GPX drivetrain, Hatta Vesta headset, Dia-Compe BRS 400 brakes and levers, and Sansin hubs with Wolber rims.

A month ago I switched the groupset to a NOS Shimano Santé group I pieced together.  Santé is a rare and misunderstood groupset – in 1987 Shimano created it with the idea of appealing to consumers who wanted pro-quality parts with a slicker design.  Perhaps due to the cheesy name and white powdercoated parts, many people assume Santé is low-end stuff – not so!  Mechanically, it sits between Ultegra and Dura-Ace., and the Disraeli Gears site enthusiastically calls it “most innovative and influential derailleurs in recent history.”

Santé performs beautifully – after switching the groupset this bike went from “very good” to a truly remarkable and amazing ride.  It’s now my favorite bike, the kind you look forward to riding, regardless of the weather.  The shifters are set to friction and it shifts and coasts smoothly and nearly silently.

I held onto the original parts for the RB-1 in case I ever decide to sell it, but it will take a pretty special bike to replace this one.  More pictures after the jump…

4 Responses to “1990 Bridgestone RB-1 w/ Shimano Sante”

  1. Alejandro Aceytuno says:

    Awsome setup.
    I have a question for you.
    I recently purchased a Sante group, and I am having problems getting the shifters to fit properly onto the frame. The frame is an 87-89 bianchi.
    The bolts that come with the Sante group are too big for the boss holes on the frame. Did you encounter such a problem?

    Again that is a mint ride.


    Alejandro Aceytuno

  2. naptrax says:

    sounds like you will need Campagnolo to Shimano shifter converters. Bikes designed for Campy parts had different sized shifter bosses, but Shimano made a converter kit. Sorry but I don’t know where to get one, though. I would suggest watching eBay for one to pop up.

  3. […] WTB saddle from my Surly Long Haul Trucker, and the original Bridgestone tires that had come on my RB-1.  It was purchased by a young art student from […]

  4. […] tubing.  The size and geometry of this frame was based on the famous Bridgestone RB-1, of which I owned a 1990 edition, and which had the best handling characteristics of any steel road bike I have ever […]

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