Thursday, November 7, 2013

Here's the RUB...

1982 Miyata Street Runner FS on ebay. Courtesy: Value Express/ebay
There is a seller on ebay, with whom I have no affiliation, who sells vintage bikes such as the one pictured above and refers to them as RUBs.  Here's how the seller describes a RUB:

"RUB".....stands for Retro Urban Bike or Retro Utility Bike.  
Our Recipe starts with the frameset - old school Rigid Fork Chromoly Steel Lugged Japan Tubing from early 1980's.  This frame has straight gauge (not butted tubing).  Upside is that it will resist those annoying handlebar dings better than the thinner walled.  Downside is that it is a bit heavier and not as sexy to ride.

Downsize the front chainring from Triple to Single.  Swap the alloy chainring for a stainless steel full profile - improve the performance (less skipping) and durability (steel outlasts aluminum).
remove the front derailleur and shift lever.  Use friction shifting only.  Btw if you can text on you cell phone,  you can friction shift. No Worries.  Add the stem / handlebar of your choice since a 1" steer tube accept just about anything except old bmx or frenchie.  Keep the classic "non cartridge bottom bracket" because is can last for decades with minimal service and is super easy to clean / lube.  And will never "SEIZE UP" and ruin your day / week like badly neglected cartridge BB.  if you have had to "arm wrestle" and possibly strip the splined cups, you feel my pain.

we like old school cantilevers versus the liner pull / V Brakes because they are virtually maintenance free, easy to adjust & center clearance and will never seize up or pull through the cable guide and completely ruin your day - aka fail to stop you!
the whole idea is that you can tear apart this bike and complete overhaul it in a single day - no digital assistance from your I-Phone or I-Pad needed.  No Apps to check.....unless Sheldon Brown Bicycle ???

I approve of this message.  What they call a RUB is what I call a vintage Bike For The Rest Of Us (although "BFROU" is, admittedly, a less workable acronym than RUB).  I believe in this concept so much that I own my own RUB, a Miyata Ridge Runner.

Ridge Runner outside Swings Coffee in D.C. Courtesy: Flickr.
If you like old, lugged steel bikes, if you want to save money, if you don't mind a heavier frame, if you want something indestructible, if you want something versatile, then this is the way to go.  Find yourself a lugged steel bike from the 80's or 90's and go to town! You can easily build it up yourself or with a little assistance from your local bike shop. 

Do you own a RUB?  Please show and tell!

1 comment:

New England Bicyclist said...

We have one, an early 80s Bianchi 215 mixte. I think you need the right mindset to have a vintage bike as a RUB. They can be hard to adjust as you mix old and modern components and maybe you get what you want. But it is a nice city bike that we don't worry about losing as much as our other bikes.