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  1. #1
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Classic but not vintage (new Rivendell Sam Hillborne)

    So I've previously posted photos of my Peugeots and my Raleigh Professional. Well I just got an upgrade to run as my commuter (365 days a year). I spec'ed it out as a partial Rivendell build with a lot from Velo Orange in the mix. It briefly ran the Brooks B-17 and Nuovo Record seat post from my Raleigh Professional, but now it's spec'ed out like this:

    * 60 cm Sam Hillborne frame
    * Phil "Rivy" Hubs with Velocity Dyad Rims (Rich@Riv built)
    * IRD 7sp freewheel
    * Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 42mm tires
    * Sugino XD2 cranks (175mm) set up a la Riv
    * Campagnolo Mirage front derailleur
    * SRAM X-7 rear derailleur
    * Dia Compe Silver bar end shifters
    * Nitto Noodle bars
    * Cane Creek SCR-5 levers (tan)
    * Velo Orange Grenouille cantilevers
    * Velo Orange Constructeur straddle cable pulls
    * Velo Orange elk hide chain stay protector
    * Velo Orange 110mm stem
    * Velo Orange stem adaptor
    * Velo Orange road pedals (chrome cages) with MKS tall clips and
    Christophe straps
    * Velo Orange type 2 bottle holders
    * Velo Orange long setback seat post
    * Cardiff Mercia saddle (waaay nicer than you think)

    I haven't gotten the shellac on the bars yet, that's happening after my ride this morning!












    If you want to look at the whole gallery (with enlargeable photos, it's here: Gallery

    Cheers!
    Karl

  2. #2
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Wow, I thought surely someone would share my joy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    Jealousy has rendered them silent.
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  4. #4
    Senior Member drafters65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrock View Post
    Jealousy has rendered them silent.
    serious...
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    Originality is the art of concealing your sources - Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karmat View Post
    Wow, I thought surely someone would share my joy.
    It's gorgeous! Saturdays seem to be slow, I'm sure this thread will pick up later. Now go return your seat post to your poor old Raleigh!!!

    You know you have gotta get some clearer pics of the lugs!. As stated earlier, I am jealous.
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  6. #6
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Tell us more about the leather stuff.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  7. #7
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    I bet building a brand new frame with new parts was a blast too. I get all excited if something even looks close to new!
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
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  8. #8
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    I'm NOT jealous. No, ... I'm not.... so... there!





    Tell me more about the saddle.

    It looks both comfortable and solid (bulletproof, almost).

    Now that you have the fenders installed and adjusted, is it appropriate to trim the extra length off the stays? Perhaps you can get a lug welded to the stay in lieu of the clamp, either would look "cleaner" (the clamps actually look good, so it's the excess length I'm reacting to here).

    Also, if you don't mind too much, how much did it cost and how long did it take for delivery?


    P.S. What size are the tires, 700c or 26B or ...?
    Last edited by Mike Mills; 06-20-09 at 03:48 PM.

  9. #9
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    I'm glad you like your new bike . . but the Rivendell name makes it neither classic nor vintage. No offense intended

    And BTW, I also own a Riv frame, so I have no bias here, but I am admittedly a haughty SOB at times You could have put more classic parts on the frame though(brakes, FD,RD,Cranks,etc) but I'm just being a SOB If you want classic . . . you gotta work for it! Eprey is full of NOS vintage parts.

    I will give you props for not choosing XT hubs! It's one of those polarities about Riv bikes that makes me laugh, cry or puke when I see them in wheelsets on of their frames.


    But hey, enjoy the wonderful bike . .. . category be dammed!


  10. #10
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthr View Post
    I'm glad you like your new bike . . but the Rivendell name makes it neither classic nor vintage. No offense intended

    And BTW, I also own a Riv frame, so I have no bias here, but I am admittedly a haughty SOB at times You could have put more classic parts on the frame though(brakes, FD,RD,Cranks,etc) but I'm just being a SOB If you want classic . . . you gotta work for it! Eprey is full of NOS vintage parts.

    I will give you props for not choosing XT hubs! It's one of those polarities about Riv bikes that makes me laugh, cry or puke when I see them in wheelsets on of their frames.


    But hey, enjoy the wonderful bike . .. . category be dammed!

    As far as classic, I think the style qualifies as such... but that's just my opinion, YMMV.
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  11. #11
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Yeah, it was kinda weird building up a brand new frame with new parts. The closest I've come to this before was building up that Raleigh Professional frame that I picked up last year (someone had powder-coated the poor thing, but it looked brand new, just nameless). This was better though because the frame was already designed for real clearances, so fitting fenders (a must in Oregon) was not anywhere near as challenging as on a tight race frame like the Raleigh Pro (which also doesn't have a drilled chain stay bridge). I tried pretty hard to get new pieces that looked like classic ones, or were copies of classic ones. The VO bits have pretty decent design heritage, even if they're new in an of themselves. I'm digging the sort of MAFAC style cantilever brakes.

    So that saddle is a Cardiff Mercia, sold by Rivendell, and it's a darn close copy of a Brooks B-17 Special. I had it right next to a brand new honey standard Brooks B-17 (from the Raleigh), and they are exactly the same shape everywhere but in the nose of the saddle. The Cardiff is ever so slightly longer there. The quality of the thing is rather amazing. The leather appears to be as good as the Brooks (keep in mind this is a 2008 Brooks), but it also has a thick layer of fabric laminated to the bottom of the seat. It also comes pre-punched and laced with bit of leather to tie the bottom of the saddle. Grant @ Riv says it starts out softer than a B17 and breaks in faster (also in case this thing makes anyone mad, the Rivendell people did try to convince me to just buy another Brooks). Mine is definitely stiffer than a Brooks to begin with. I removed the leather tie to loosen it up a bit. Three days in the saddle and it's starting to feel good. Has a 5 year warranty on it, which is pretty amazing IMHO. I love Brooks and I will buy more. But I think competition is a good thing and this one deserves some praise.

    The leather chain stay protector is from Velo Orange, as well. It's cheap insurance, and it looks good.

    Yeah, the rear stays haven't been cut yet. I cut the front ones, but the rears weren't in the way of anything and I wanted to ride to work so I got them on as fast as I could (still took ~3 hours).

    Shellac of the bars is happening in a few minutes!

    I'll post some photos of the B-17 vs the Mercia.

    Cheers!
    Karl

  12. #12
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthr View Post
    I'm glad you like your new bike . . but the Rivendell name makes it neither classic nor vintage. No offense intended
    So imagine if I posted this bike in any other forum on this site what response I would get. Plus all my friends on this site hang out here. All the people I've helped and who've helped me out.

  13. #13
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Here's a comparison between the Cardiff Mercia and the B-17 standard. I don't have a Special to compare it to. The nose is ever so slightly longer on the Mercia, and the bag loops on the back on 8cm apart whereas the Brooks are 9.5cm apart. The camera angle also makes the Brooks look wider, but I measured and they are exactly (to the mm) the same width across the parts that matter. The Mercia can be set back a little more than the Brooks, and the front rivets are set a little farther back (don't know that I like that part of the look).





    Karl

  14. #14
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    Looks great! I didn't realize that the S. Hillborne could take such wide tires. That's cool. So how does it ride, particularly compared to your other bikes?

    Neal

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by karmat View Post
    So imagine if I posted this bike in any other forum on this site what response I would get. Plus all my friends on this site hang out here. All the people I've helped and who've helped me out.
    I'm glad you took no offense to my judgementallness (is that a word?)

    I can imagine what some hard-liners would say ruff.... ruff ....ruff


    I've butted heads with a few member about freewheels in some other forums. It seems the freewheel and it's hub are "absolutely" inferior to cassette hubs. I guess I've been living in a cave then , because I sure see lots of other cave-dwellers riding them and buying them. They seem to work, and axles don't break with every bump in the road. Hmmmm I've been using them since I was a kid, since my first "real" bike, a Fuji something in the 70's.


    I'm in the process of building a Bombadil, but I'm in no hurry really. I've been buying up some NOS parts when I can get them. I've got some 2nd generation Deore derailleurs, the all-silver ones. Suntour XC Pro cantis. . . and one of my 2 trusty Campy SR seat posts that've been through many frames but keep on ticking. I can't get a vintage crank though, as I need 185mm arms, and the chances of finding another new or used TA Zephyr are about zero, but it only takes one!..... otherwise it's a Cramina. I may actually get cassette hubs for this bike, if only because I can't do half-step gears on this frame, there's no clearance for bigger rings. I really don't like crossovers, so I'd be better off with 9 speeds on the cluster so I don't have to cross so much.

  16. #16
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    Looks great! I didn't realize that the S. Hillborne could take such wide tires. That's cool. So how does it ride, particularly compared to your other bikes?
    Hey Neal, thanks! It's been a blast to ride but kind of an adjustment, too. My daily riders have been a 1971 Peugeot UO-8 (I think you've seen the pics of that one), and a late 70's Fuji S-10-LTD in beater condition. The Hillborne has a longer wheelbase like the Peugeot and it takes bumps accordingly (no twitchy stuff). The riding position, however, is more upright and that took a little adjustment. I actually lowered the handlebars a bit from where I first placed them because I couldn't take it quite so far up there. I like where they are now, but I might lower them a little more. The seat angle is a bit more like the Raleigh Professional, though, so you're more on top of the pedals than with the UO-8 where you're behind them a fair way.

    Yeah, the Sam Hillborne can take 42s with fenders. That was one major attraction for me... being able to try something wider. The widest tires I've run before are 32s and these are a wopping 10mm wider so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was going to get the Rivendell Jack Browns at 35mm with tan sidewalls for the look, but Keven @ Rivendell convinced me to try these tires (cost about 3 times what I normally spend on tires). They are great! I am a big guy and the fatter tire seems to suck up some of the bumps better. The sidewalls are thin so they flex more than you might think. They give you the impression of floating over the rougher stuff (I ride through an industrial area on the way to work), but not being disconnected from the road like many thick walled MTB tires, do. They do make you go more slowly, though. But on a regular path that I ride often I felt better today than I have for awhile. Normally I'm a bit winded at the end (big up hill) but I think I was inherently taking it a little easier and it paid off.

    Love it so far!

    Cheers,
    Karl

  17. #17
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthr View Post
    I'm in the process of building a Bombadil, but I'm in no hurry really. I've been buying up some NOS parts when I can get them. I've got some 2nd generation Deore derailleurs, the all-silver ones. Suntour XC Pro cantis. . . and one of my 2 trusty Campy SR seat posts that've been through many frames but keep on ticking. I can't get a vintage crank though, as I need 185mm arms, and the chances of finding another new or used TA Zephyr are about zero, but it only takes one!..... otherwise it's a Cramina. I may actually get cassette hubs for this bike, if only because I can't do half-step gears on this frame, there's no clearance for bigger rings. I really don't like crossovers, so I'd be better off with 9 speeds on the cluster so I don't have to cross so much.
    If you want a vintage crank, you can get a TA Pro 5 Vis in that length. I have 180mm ones installed on my Raleigh Professional. Just plan on getting a proper French tapered spindle if you get an older set (newer Pro 5 Vis are JIS). There are fairly regularly NOS Stronglight BB cup/spindle sets on eBay (where I got mine) in the proper length (usually 122mm) in BSC thread.

    I actually have a set of old school Weinmann cantilevers (exact copies of the MAFACs) but they were too grungy to put on this bike. They'll go on another project as soon as I find a bike that has canti studs!

    Have fun

    Karl

  18. #18
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    What made you decide to use the threadless stem adapter insted of a quill stem?

  19. #19
    Bottecchia fan
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    Very nice Karmat. That's one of the nicest commuters I've seen. Please don't take offense but I'm going to nit pick just a bit...just my personal opinions so take it with a grain of salt. First, I think I would have prefered a quil stem rather than threadless. Was that an option? Did you pick that for a reason? Second, gumwall tires. Third, what's up with that mega long head tube and sloping top tube on the frame? That strikes me as very "modern" rather than classic. Is that Grant's way of getting the handle bars height up or something? I wonder if he makes a more traditional frame. Ok, that's it. The rest is great, even the modern components look nice and I'm sure they work really well.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
    Third, what's up with that mega long head tube and sloping top tube on the frame? That strikes me as very "modern" rather than classic. Is that Grant's way of getting the handle bars height up or something? I wonder if he makes a more traditional frame.
    The extended headtube is a fairly standard Rivendell feature to get the bars up high without showing tons of stem. As far as sloping top tube, I had read that given this frame comes in just four sizes (48, 52, 56, 60), the sloping top tube would somehow make those four sizes fit a wider range of riders, and the limited sizes would keep costs down (this frameset replaces the Bleriot, I believe).

    Neal

  21. #21
    Bottecchia fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    The extended headtube is a fairly standard Rivendell feature to get the bars up high without showing tons of stem. As far as sloping top tube, I had read that given this frame comes in just four sizes (48, 52, 56, 60), the sloping top tube would somehow make those four sizes fit a wider range of riders, and the limited sizes would keep costs down (this frameset replaces the Bleriot, I believe).

    Neal
    Probably necessary with the threadless setup. Not really my taste though. In the old days 19, 21, 23, and 25 was pretty common and fit everbody without the sloping top tube. Sometimes you have to suffer to be beautiful and that includes using horizontal top tube however inconvenient

    edit: Now that I think about it I'm not a big fan of the giraffe neck stem either which I sort of have on my Panasonic. That seems to be more a matter of the Champion Flyer saddle though requiring an unusually upright seating position. I'm sure I could come up with some mathmatical formula for bicycle aethetics if I tried.
    Last edited by Kommisar89; 06-20-09 at 07:53 PM.
    1959 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional, 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame),
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  22. #22
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtdrop View Post
    What made you decide to use the threadless stem adapter insted of a quill stem?
    That's the one decision I'm kinda unhappy about. I was thinking that using the threadless and stem adaptor would let me mess with different stem lengths without the pain of re-wrapping the bars every time, and having to drop $$$ on Nitto stems each time. Given the difference in top tube configuration I was nervous about the length being wrong. In the end I think I picked the right length based on my best guess, anyway, so it turned out to be a moot point. It could get a quill in the future, once my bank account recovers!

    As for the top tube... yeah I wanted a straight top tube. But alas, my budget couldn't take it. The Sam Hillborne is 1/2 the price of an A. Homer Hilsen, which is the one I would have gotten. The slope is Grant's way of getting the handlebars way up there. He calls it "expanded frame geometry" to contrast it with "compact frame geometry" used by most modern manufacturers. The idea is that rather than having two inches of head tube standing above the top tube with little support, the top tube is sloped up to support it.

    I know people are looking at all the modern parts... but I tried really hard to use stuff that at least is of vintage design or is vintage looking. The saddle, brake calipers, handle bars, shifters, pedals, clips, straddle hangers, bottle cages, and straps are all either remakes of vintage equipment, or designed to be very like original vintage parts. I run the same pedals on my '71 Peugeot, for example, and they look right at home. The bottle cages are copies of 30's French equipment. The shifters are re-pops of the SunTour Sprints (they are identical except the SunTours have a bit better finish). The saddle is a Brooks clone, the straps are Christophe (what's more vintage than that?), the clips are MKS and have been in production for 30+ years. The brakes are modernized versions of the MAFAC Criterium. The fenders are copies of 50's French fenders. The levers are copies of Campagnolo ergos (which are now 17 years old). The Nitto bars have been in production for many many years. Phil Wood hubs are real vintage equipment. It has a freewheel! Really the only equipment that's just plain new are the derailleurs, the stem, and the rims. If you saw any of the other equipment on a vintage bike you wouldn't even blink, I think. I had to get tough rims because I am 230lbs and with overnight gear the bike might have to carry 260lbs.

    Karl
    Last edited by karmat; 06-20-09 at 08:09 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    If I am spending the money on phil hubs, personally, I'm gonna rock cassette hubs... not just because of axle strength but because I have a lot more faith in the phil freehub than the IRD in terms of longevity. On top of that changing gearing is way easier and you can use 8 speed (the best of both worlds, durability, cheep and readily available at any bikes shop and more range selection).

    Anyway, that is a great build Karmat, you shall enjoy it.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  24. #24
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
    If I am spending the money on phil hubs, personally, I'm gonna rock cassette hubs... not just because of axle strength but because I have a lot more faith in the phil freehub than the IRD in terms of longevity. On top of that changing gearing is way easier and you can use 8 speed (the best of both worlds, durability, cheep and readily available at any bikes shop and more range selection).

    Anyway, that is a great build Karmat, you shall enjoy it.
    Hey Anthony, the Phil freehubs are 2.25 times as much as the freewheel hubs (ouch!), and they don't come in the machined high flange "Rivy" style. Besides, this way I have a dishless rear wheel, 7 speeds, and cooler looks. The axles are super beefy, so I'm not worried about it. Here's a close up of the Rivy hubs:



    Cheers,
    Karl

  25. #25
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    Actually, one of those passed me on the bike path a few weeks ago. Just got a glance, but it looked pretty sweet. Also seemed to have a lot of Velo Orange...

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