Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Randi Pratama's Bridgestone RADAC

When it comes to bikes that will stay with you for the rest of your life we believed that it's not you who found the bike, it's the bike that will find you. The story applies to this 1987 RADAC, owned by Randi Pratama of Can Apparels.

Around late '80s to the early '90s, a visionary bicycle designer by the name of Grant Petersen designed many of Bridgestone's most interesting, unique, and desirable bikes. Famous of his often out-of-the-box and innovative ideas, one of Petersen's designed Bridgestone is RADAC, the brand's venture into the realm of aluminum.

What set RADAC apart from most early aluminium frames is that it combines the lightness of aluminium in toptube, headtube and downtube while preserving the smooth riding quality of steel used in seatstays, chainstays, seattube and fork legs. The aluminium and steel tubing are bonded through steel lugs, except for the one-piece headtube casting.

Internally-routed rear brake cable. Sooo eighties.
Always eager to try something new, Randi wanted a lightweight roadster as opposed to his world-domination-ready Surly Cross Check tourer for his graduation self-present. He even managed to bought the Shimano Tiagra 4600 10-speed group without having any idea of what frame will he use to plant these components. That is, until one day a customer walked in to our shop and offered to sell his RADAC... in exact 49cm size. A series of emails and phone calls later, and the rest was history.

The 32-hole, 3-cross patterned AR-713 to Tiagra hubs even finished before the frame was bought.
Velo Orange saddle taken off the Cross Check, paired to 25,8mm Sakae seatpost.

Grant Petersen's concern in design is that the bike should be as comfortable as possible, contrary to the sharp-steering, neural tissue-fast geometry approach of today's road bikes. This concept is well reflected in his own brand, Rivendell Bicycle WorksAnd since this is a small-framed bike, the fork offset is extraordinary long at about 65mm to keep the wheelbase long and prevent toe overlap. Confirming with this spirit, Randi makes an unusual choice for cockpit setup with Nitto Randonneur dropbar. These type of handlebar is basically just like any ordinary traditional bend dropbar but with an upward sweep on either side of the stem, which provide a somewhat more upright riding position. The drops are also flared giving natural wrist position when your hands are on the hoods or hooks.

Oh, we have to add another thing about this graduation present: it was finished exactly after Randi's graduation ceremony. So he decided to immortalize the date on the chainring. Congratulations!


  1. You fit a ten-speed cluster back there. This frame spacing is 130mm then, not 126mm?

    1. Actually it was 126mm. Cold-setting it to 130mm was a no brainer since the whole rear triangle, including the seattube was made from steel.