Build — Bridgestone CB-2
The Poolside Luna Ride
Perspective — Danny’s.
I love building bikes. Creating excuses to do so is half the fun.
Back in May we got a puppy — a border terrier we named Luna. It seemed only right to build her a bike that’d make it easy for her to join us on biking adventures. So the criteria was set — something to carry a her & all our stuff, big tyres to keep things comfy on the gravel tracks, bosses to fit racks and fenders.
For a long time I’d been looking at all those awesome 90s MTB builds showing up on my Instagram feed. The more I “Liked” the more seemed to appear (particularly good accounts for this sort of fun are @commuterbike, @steelfightsback & @save.the.rat.bike).
The penny dropped. A build like this would be perfect for Luna. I’d be silly not to. This must happen.
A “Retro MTB, Bridgestone or similar” advert was posted on Happy Ride — the search was on.
Soon after I got a reply to my wanted ad — a guy was offering an old Gary Fisher for sale. I went to check it out and even though it wasn’t exactly what I was after (and the frameset was a bit too big) I figured I’d buy it anyway. The paintjob was too good not to…
There was little to dislike here. Everything on it was original, as if it had been preserved since the day it was purchased. Gary Fisher-labeled quill stem. Even the handlebar was panto-stamped with the Gary Fisher logo.
Nothing really worked — especially the shifters — but everything was an easy win. Just take it to pieces, clean, re-grease, and put back together with new cables. So that was my plan.
Then I got another email responding to my wanted ad… And so, the Bridgestone.
Having 51% committed to the Gary being the bike to build, I was reticent to reply to the Bridgeston ad, but the offer seemed too good. Here’s the photo the seller sent…
So, I had to buy another bike. Hard to justify and space is always an issue, but sometimes you just have to do it.
The Gary was parked and the Bridgestone became the focus for this project. Unlike the Gray, I didn’t get many parts with the Bridgestone. Frame. Fork. Headset. Some research was in order.
The model is a Bridgestone CB-2. Some Googling told me this frameset wasn’t a particularly desirable one — “CB” standing for “City Bike” pointed to it being a low-range model aimed at the commuter market. None of this mattered. It looked cool AF.
However, it being quite nondescript also meant there was very little info out there in terms of specs. Found a few links to posts on forums where others were in a similar situation to me, but never much help. Kept finding this image (with a weird bit of causal sexism thrown in)…
Building a modern bike is easy. You can find out the sizes, specs and standards of all the threads, holes and components almost instantly. This was a different kettle of fish. Did the fact it was a “CB” mean clearances were tighter? Will the rear triangle fit a 10sp hub? WTF is the seat post diameter?
A goal of this build was to keep it cheap. I had plenty of parts ready to go. But figuring out what was needed to turn this into a rideable machine took some time — much faffing. This build was also a chance to cut loose a bit in terms of “allowed” parts and colours — the normal rules went out the window. Bright pink cables from Jagwire? Hell yes! It’s a 90s MTB after all.
The budget was blown when it came to racks. I was, and am still really, quite clueless. Saw some lovely hand-made ones (e.g. the folks at Fista Stockholm make their own) but this seemed a stretch too far given the little patience I had left. A friend recommended the Pelago Commuter rack — it ticked all boxes. Click “Buy now”.
A mixture of second-hand and brand new parts (seat post was the biggest hassle, 26.0mm FYI) were sourced and, finally, it was time to build. This all coincided with summer vacation, so made for some pretty nice photos…
What this post can’t really convey is the excitement and anticipation. Corona meant the new parts took a long time to arrive. Shit, I nearly didn’t get the Schwalbe Table Tops due to a stock-counting error from the place I bought them. Patience won out and the things required ended up in the same place at the same time.
Time taken, things done right, pleasure in details. The bike was built. Still missing a few parts — key being grips on the handlebars — it all came together in a glorious afternoon punctuated by full-on thunderstorms (which made for pretty fantastic photos).
Given the bike sort of fits with our “Poolside” colours. And it was built for Luna. And I love silly names for things. It’s now affectionalty know as the “Poolside Luna Ride”. Here’s some photos of it taken in the eye of the storm…
A quick summary of the actual build —
Bridgestone CB-2 original
26.0mm cheap option from Biketown.se (super-fast delivery FYI)
Brooks Cambium C13 carbon — yeah, this bike is a little “over saddled”. This one will be replaced pretty soon with a San Marco Rolls — much more suited. The Brooks looks banging though.
Kona — apparently they were from one of their bikes called a ‘Ute” — I got them free with the wheels. Probably the one single best thing of this whole build.
FSA Gossamer — according to my mate Ollie “Shiny boi” — hate to admit it but he’s right.
WolfTooth 40t narrow-wide
SunRace 10sp 11-32 — is there a nicer name in cycling than “SunRace”? Kinda cool they’ve been around forever too.
Shimano Deore 10sp trigger shifter (donated for free by a friend). Love the double-action shift on the “up” shift.
Shimano Deore XT 10sp — shadow/cluthced
Shimano Deore BL-T610
Deore BR-T610 V-Brake Set — I’ll never get those who turn their noses up at V-Brakes. These seem to work brilliantly.
Jagwire — love the colour!
Shimano Ultegra BSA Xxmm blah blah blah (who cares once you find the one that fits, right?)
Wheels & hubs
Well-used 2nd hand no-name options. First things to upgrade for sure.
Schwalbe Table Tops — OMG how good to they look? It’s ridiculous.
The last task was assembling and fitting the Pelgao rack. I’d been warned to set a day aside for this but happily it wasn’t that arduous. As ever with these self-assembly type tasks (yes, IKEA) the senses of satisfaction and achievement are palpable. So here’s the bike with the rack fitted —
There’s no doubt this is only the start for this bike. Handle bar grips are simply an essential, but then there’s also the matter of finishing what I started — it’s supposed to carry a dog! To that end a friend scored me a fantastic wooden box/crate that once held a rather fancy Barolo (it has a Rhino for a logo — grattis if you’re familiar).
After that I’d like to upgrade to better wheels. Maybe try some different bars (Bullmoose was always the original idea). Definitely want to get a rear rack (in Chrome) from Pelago at some point too.
What happened to the Gary Fisher you ask? I still have it. It’s in pieces waiting to be cleaned and put back together. I guess I should sell it but for some reason I don’t want to. Oh well.
Please don’t ever respond to one of my “wanted” ads. Thanks.