1986 Bridgestone 700

1986 Bridgestone 700 Silver Bicycle with chrome fork

I bought the 50cm frame and fork from the second owner who lived in mid-town Sacramento, who was like me, a total Bridgestone nerd. Two days later, I built the entire bike up of spare parts and a few small bits that I needed to hunt down during the pandemic where parts where scarce. When I got the bike built up, I quickly discovered a few things.

This is a really fast and nimble frame, that's not too heavy and not too light. Feels weightless in motion and with just the right amount of compliance for comfortable pedaling and road noise dampening, but also stiffness so that every pedal stroke I made felt efficient and went straight into the wheels. It steers as though it wants to carve the ground, however, with the speeds that I rode this bike with, it also felt as though it wanted to kill me. This bike was extremely fun, however, too small for me, hence the aggressive posture I've established on the handlebars and saddle.

1986 Bridgestone 700

To make this bike even a bit more comfortable and add more grip around turns, instead of 700c 32cc tires, I installed 650b wheels, and eventually 42cc tires. This was made possible with Tektro R539 front and R559 side pull brakes. The tires shown in these photos are old Panaracer Col De La Vie 38cc, which I later replaced with Rene Herse Baby Shoe Pass 42cc Tires.

Sakae Royal stem and Sakae Randonneur handlebar on a 1986 Bridgestone 700

The Sakae Royal stem and Sakae Randonneur handlebar setup are my oldest paired handlebar and stem combo. Flared out enough with a really nice drop and subtle rise. These are the handlebars that sold me on road drop bars. I can't ride any drop handlebars without comparing them to these.

Dia Compe brake levers with Cane Creek Good Brake Hood Replacements

These Cane Creek Good Hood Replacements on top of these Dia-Compe brake levers work fantastic. They make these old brake levers as comfortable as they possibly could get while also easing the transition from the handlebars. Some light gray Neubaums tape to tie em all together, twined and shellacked. The entire handlebar setup necessitates some comfortable gloves for extended riding.

Suntour Bar-End Rachet Shifters on a 1986 Bridgestone 700

The 2 x 10 Shifting was executed with Suntour Bar End Rachet Shifters. Possibly the greatest shifters ever to come into market.

1986 Bridgestone 700

The original drivetrain on this was a the Shimano 600EX groupset. The last remaining original part on this bicycle is the headset. I managed to find a 1986 Shimano 600 FC-6207 crankset with 52-42 chainrings. The seatpost is generic, the saddle is a Brooks Cambium Carved C17, which is comfortable on road, I would advise against it when it gets really bumpy -- unless you'd like seatpost bolt to the taint.

1986 Bridgestone 700

On the Rear, we have a Shimano 105 10 speed Derailleur. This is a sport bike, hence the lack of rear-rack and fender eyelets. I wouldn't even dare to put any kind of rack system on the bike, although I did mount a saddle bag rack a few times for a few rides.

I eventually sold the frame, headset, and fork, just the way I bought it. It was a bit sad, taking apart this bicycle. But it deserved a smaller rider, the frame was about 50cm, I normally ride anywhere from a 54-56cm. If this bike was just a little bigger, I would have loved to keep this in my stable. If you could find one of these bikes in somewhat a good condition, buy it. Its a great ride.


  1. The ol' seat post bolt to the taint...a true c17 classic.


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