A rebuild and upgrade project by Ted Phelps.

     Bridgestone bicycles made a rapid rise to popularity in the U.S. in the mid 1980s to mid '90s in recognition of their inovation and quality of products. This was mostly due to the leadership of Grant Peterson, who headed the operations for the United States. Without going into the details of the entrance and departure of Bridgestone in the American marketplace, let's just say that the plug was pulled rather quickly in the mid-90s, because the Japanese ownership and Mr. Peterson couldn't agree as to what types of bikes should be produced for our market. (Continued below)

Photos captured using Olympus C-2100 UZ and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18
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rearsurlyrack_small.jpg drivesideviewonemorelook_small.jpg frontangledview_small.jpg rearangledview_small.jpg touring_small.jpg

Visit the Bicycle Touring pages-->>>

     During Bridgestone's hey day, there were several models of their bikes that were very well received by the bike-riding public, and have reached "cult" status since Bridgestone's demise. These models were the RB-1, RB-T, MB-Zip, and MB-1. The XO series, especially the XO1, which was introduced in 1992, was one of the most inovative mass-produced bikes ever introduced, but it, like the CB series before it, didn't sell. What few people realize is that before the XO series "cross-over" bikes, was the CB-0, or CB-Zip. The CB-Zip was brought out in 1990 as an agressive "urban assault" all-rounder. It featured a Tange MTB triple-butted chromoly frame, fork, and stays, more assertive riding position, stout 26 inch 36-spoke wheels, triple road crankset, and a nice component group, with braze-ons for racks, fenders, and two bottle cages. For some reason, the CB-Zip never really caught on--perhaps it was the marketing. Meanwhile, in 1992 Bridgestone (Peterson) dropped the CB-Zip and repackaged the philosophy of the all-round "urban assault" bike, and we have the XO series. When the XO1 premiered, there were horns blowing and ticker-tape parades, that is, lots of marketing buzz. Needless to say, the XO series was a big success in the press, receiving great reviews. Although they never sold very well either, these bikes went on to enter cult status. The CB-Zip has never enjoyed such status, even though the fabled XOs heritage really stems from the CB-Zip. Meanwhile, nearly two decades later, there are still a few good examples of the humble CB-Zip out there, and their owners still recognize that these were/are "really cool bikes."

     In the fall of 2007 I was fortunate enough to pick up a very nice 1990 CB-Zip. Being a bit of a retrogrouch, I had been looking for a suitable vintage 26 inch wheeled bike to convert into a loaded touring rig to be used for expedition and "rough stuff" touring, to include occasional dirt/fire roads and international travel. This CB-Zip caught my eye and when I looked over the specs I realized that it would be perfect for such a project. This particular example came to me with Nitto Moustache bars, bar end shifters, a riser stem, and was in excellent condition. For the rebuid I wanted to use a combination of the best components from her day, such as the excellent XC Pro brakes, and at the same time, incorporate some of the best components available today. You can see from the component list below just how that was accomplished. I've also just recently built up a pair of 36-spoke wheels using stout Sun Rhyno Lite rims. What do you think of her so far?

Safe journey,

Ted Phelps

BRIDGESTONE CB-Zip (circa. 1990)
  • Frame: Tange MTB triple-butted chromoly (frame, fork, stays)
  • Stem: Profile Design "H20"
  • Handlebar: Nitto "Moustache"
  • Seatpost: CLB from Giles Berthoud
  • Saddle: Brooks Champion B-17 narrow (laced) in antique brown
  • Headset: Tange Levin
  • Brakes: Suntour XC Pro Cantilever
  • Brake levers: Cane Creek SCR-5
  • Shifters: Shimano Dura Ace indexed bar-end
  • Crankset: Truvativ Stylo GXP (44x34x22)
  • Bottom Bracket: Truvativ Giga X Pipe external bearing
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano LX
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT SGS 761
  • Cassette : SRAM PG730 7-speed (12-32)
  • Chain: SRAM PC971
  • Cyclocomputer: VDO MC1.0
    • Front Wheel (Handbuilt):
    • Rim: Sun Rhyno Lite w/36-eyelets
    • Spokes: 36 DT Suiss 14/15/14 double-butted stainless
    • Hub: Shimano 700CX sealed-bearing 36-hole
    • Tires: Maxxis Overdrive (26 x 1.75)
      Rear Wheel (Handbuilt):
    • Rim: Sun Rhyno Lite w/36-eyelets
    • Spokes: 36 DT Suiss 14/15/14 double-butted stainless
    • Hub: Shimano 700CX sealed-bearing sealed-bearing 36-hole
    • Tires: Maxxis Overdrive (26 x 1.75)
    • Rack (for all-rounder set-up): Axiom Streamliner
    • Racks (for loaded touring): Surly racks front and rear.

    © Ted Phelps * Photos taken with Olympus C-2100 UZ and Panasonic Lumic DMC-FZ18
    Permission is granted to freely copy and distribute photos from these pages * tphelps@daystarbotanicals.com

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