From the land of the rising sun

“You ride a what ?”

 

pan6

Panasonic dx6000

“They don’t make bikes do they ?”

 

pan5

Panasonic dx6000

Over the last few months I have been lucky enough to track down a Bridgestone Synergy RB02 and a Panasonic DX6000. Both of the above reactions have been some of the replies I have had from people who have asked me what I was riding at the moment .

Bridgestone Synergy rb2

 

Both the parent companies are better known for products not normally associated with Cycling , although Bridgestone do make tyres and bikes use tyres I am not aware of them making pushbike tyres , Panasonic are better known for electrical products .

 

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Panasonic tv

 

Both of these bikes are built around steel lugged frames , the Bridgestone is made with Ishiwata 4130 cro mo tubing whilst the Panasonic seems to be made with Tange 1 tubing and both provide the very smooth ride you normally get when riding a quality tube set . They both tip the scales at under 11kg so even though they are not the lightest they are far from the heaviest bike out there .

Bridgestone Synergy rb2

 

It would be a tough decision to decide which one is the better of the two bikes as both are very similar. The Panasonic has the slightly better spec out of the pair in my mind with Shimano 600 Tricolour as standard fitment. Although over the years mine has lost the rear wheel and the chain rings are not the normal round rings but Bio space items.  The Rb 02 has Shimano exage equipment and a set of unidentified hubbed wheels that I added to replace the original Wolber rimmed items , which are finding their way on to my Shorter .

 

short1

Shorter Rochford

 

So far the Bridgestone has covered more miles but then I have only owned the Panasonic less than 5 days and has so far only covered about 25 miles in my ownership whereas the Bridgestone has done nearer to 200 miles . I don’t think either have had an extra hard life prior to them coming under my ownership , they both have a fair degree of age related paint defects and marks on them which I think adds to the character of a bike .

 

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Panasonic dx6000

Neither of them have mudguard or rack mounts which is a real shame as they would both make ideal winter or wet weather bikes never mind touring machines . I am hoping to get a few more miles in this weekend on the Panasonic which I will hopefully enjoy covering . At present the Bridgestone is sat in the garage not being used and has been advertised for sale a couple of times but has so far not found a new owner but then I have not tried too hard to sell it .

 

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Panasonic dx600

Bridgestone Synergy Rb2 and its not a tyre

My latest purchase is a Bridgestone Synergy Rb2 circa mid 1980’s.

 

Bridgestone Synergy rb2

 

I have been keeping an eye out for one or an Rb1 which is its slightly better specified brother , I have not seen either come up for sale for ages

. This one popped up a few weeks back at slightly over my budget for a bike that I wouldn’t be able to see in the flesh before handing over the cash so any decision was based on half a dozen pictures and a handful of words from its seller .

Bridgestone Synergy Rb2

It didn’t look in bad condition in supplied pictures with just the normal amount of age related marks and associated wear and tear for a bike that is 20+ years old , all of its original equipment was still fitted which is always a bonus . So once we agreed an all in price that included carriage to me the deal was done and the excitement began.

Bridgestone Synergy rb2

 

There is always a bit of anticipation when receiving a bike sent via a courier as you never know how well the sender has packaged it up to help keep it undamaged during transit by the various transport companies and handlers . The seller was good to his word and packaged the bike with lots of large sized bubble wrap around all the components including the frame . So upon lifting the components out the box it was nice to see it all neatly wrapped up . Once out of the packing I placed the frame in my bike repair stand and started to rebuild it , which meant re fitting the front wheel , pedals , handlebars seat post and saddle .

Bridgestone Synergy rb2

I always like to re assemble the bike just to make sure there are no missing or unexpected damaged parts . The only thing that I noticed was the rear wheel was slightly out of true more than I would like but it should be an easy fix . Once a substitute rear wheel was slotted in place and the brakes were re set , I set off for a tentative ride around the cul de sac a few times just to give me an idea what or how the bike felt like . My initial reaction was good apart from a slightly sticky rear brake caliper or cable .

Bridgestone Synergy rb2

A few daily commutes were done with the bike to give me a better idea of what work was required to turn this into a useable bike , it also gave me time to dig out a set of red rimmed Veluta road wheels that have been hanging around for ages . A couple of early morning tinkering sessions soon had the following parts replaced; wheels and tyres , 130 mm stem swapped for a 90mm one , brake cables , brake calipers , chain and 28 – 12  cassette fitted , I also fitted a couple of bottle cages and a pump along with fitting one of my selle smp 209 lite saddles for comfort .

Bridgestone Synergy rb2

I also did some gentle polishing of the paintwork as I removed things to make it easier, this also helped with the general appearance of the bike as the original red and white paintwork was rather dull in places and soon came up with a bit of elbow grease. I have still got a lot of polishing to do but at least the bit that has been done has shown it should come up quite nicely .

Bridgestone Synergy rb2

 

So far I have done two days of commuting with all the mechanical changes done and it is a lot smoother to ride , it is my intention to try and get at least one or two 10+ mile loop rides done before I venture any further away from home on it .

Bridgestone Synergy rb2

 

The last two pictures were taken over the weekend where i used the bike for a nice 43 mile ride on the Saturday and a quick 23 miles on the Sunday its a fantastic bike and on these two rides my average speed was 1 mph higher than normal , ok i now the weather makes a bit of difference but so does a good bike .