I’m not a single-speed aficionado or purist or snob, but I’ve owned and ridden four over the years (Team Raleigh track bike, Zeus track bike, custom one-speed, Quickbeam. I thought Bridgestone should have one. I was getting disgusted with the bike trends back then, so the UNO was going to help my state-o’-mind.
By my last three or four years at Bridgestone (1991-1994) I’d had enough oddball successes to earn a long and floppy leash, and the Japanese big mother arm of it always cut me more slack than many on the American side did…so when I said “Let’s do a one-speed,” it wasn’t something I “ran by” anybody over here.
It made the 1994 catalog, but some of us found out in March that we were going to be looking for work in October, so at that point it didn’t make sense to make the oddball fun-ish bike. We got a sample, which I rode a little, and when we shut down on September 30, 1994, tons of good stuff was getting tossed into a dumpster, but Robert (“Pineapple Bob” who worked here 18 years and just retired) escaped with the UNO. Then it was sold and resold, and I didn’t think about it until Brandon called and said he had one. He’s local, so I said bring it down. I told him I’d offer him $300 in Rivendell credit for it. Brandon said, “I put $1300 into it and am trying to sell it for $2,000 (so, no thanks). I felt like ye olde stupe.
It is the only one in the world. A lot of people tend to think that the Bridgestone models I influenced represent my truly best works. Not even close. Here, there are no restrictions, and I've gotten better with bikes in the last 27 years. The RoadUno coming up will, with all due respect to my former self, knock the jockstrap off the UNO.