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Old 07-23-08, 06:39 AM   #1
d2create
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Hardcore BIKE PORN: My New A. Homer Hilsen!

So ya'll know how much I love my Rivendell Atlantis. But some neck/back problems that have developed over the past couple years (and probably aggravated further by bicycle and motorcycle accidents) have caused me to want to sit more upright and less stretched out than I was currently on my 58cm frame. So since Riv's tend to hold their value well enough and I was in the mood for a new project, I decided it was time to let her go and start anew. Over the years I've built up several bikes and ridden several others and nothing ever compares to my Riv in terms of overall build and ride quality. I'm a sucker for lugged steel and two-tone paint jobs. And Rivendell has a nice selection of models to choose from based on your needs. So after briefly looking at some other options that are available in the same price range, I went back to the Rivendell site and found one of their newer frames, the A. Homer Hilsen. It's built to do about 90% of what the Atlantis can do with fully loaded touring being about the only thing it can't and that's fine with me since I don't do that. It can still take very wide tires and fenders, but without the extra weight of the heavy duty tubing. The Hilsen also uses road style caliper brakes as opposed to the cantilever brakes on the Atlantis. Looks like I found my next bike!

So I contact Riv and speak to Grant and explain my situation. Lo and behold he has a few frames left in stock! One of them is a 57cm 700c in the stock blue color. And one of them is a 56cm 650b that's an unpainted frame. Then in about a month they were due to get a whole new batch in a slightly "lighter" blue but no pics yet. After perusing their own pics, as well as pics on flickr and liking the color in some pics and not so much in others, I decided the blue didn't quite fit the retro feel that I think goes best with Riv bikes. So I decided to jump on the 56cm 650b unpainted frame and go with a custom color once again! So after some more searching, I fell in love with a drab metallic green and decided to go with that. It just so happened that I got an email back from Keven at Riv saying that their frame painter was on his way over to pick up frames so if I told him what color now, he could hand off the frame today and save me a month! I quickly grabbed some pics together, send them over and got a reply back that it was Joel Green and they gave the frame to the painter... should have it back by the end of the month (about 2 weeks). Woot!

Now it was time to start looking for parts.I knew I could grab some stuff from my Atlantis but I was going to need some new parts as well. To start with, I needed a new 650b wheelset! So I got on the phone with Riv once again and spoke with Richard Lesnik, their pro wheel builder and had him build me up a set with a regular cassette hub in back but a shimano generator hub in front... the DH-3N71. Then between Riv and Harris Cyclery I started putting together a list of parts and got them ordered.

Well, fast forward a couple weeks and my frame was back from the painters and ready to ship out. And my boxes of parts showed up as well. Eventually got a tracking number from Riv, and the frame showed up less than a week later (4 weeks to the day after ordering). And wouldn't you know it, 2 days before heading out of town for a long wedding weekend. The only thing I hate more than weddings is out of town weddings, and having a brand new Riv frame and boxes of parts at home was even worse! But since I have no patience at all, I was actually able to get the entire bike built up mechanically and ride ready and then when I returned this past Sunday I started adding all the accessories, bar tape, etc.

So.... Introducing my new Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen!
You'll notice a few things done differently on this build, but still a mostly typical Riv selection of parts. I'm trying out moustache bars again which seem to be working out better for me on the smaller frame than they did on my Atlantis. I also have some new Acorn bags on order in the tan color rather than the black. One of my favorite things about this build is the kickstand. Riv actually builds a kickstand mount into the frame. I haven't had one since I was a kid, and OMG is it nice to finally not have to lean my bike against something all the time. The other really nice thing is the shimano generator hub and lumotec IQ fly headlight. Man this thing is bright and it's so nice not having to worry about charging batteries. It lights up to full brightness at only 4mph and it has a standlight when stopped and I don't notice any drag on the front wheel.

My commute yesterday was it's maiden voyage, and these pics were taken after I arrived home. The ONLY thing I'm having an issue with right now is the Honjo fenders. They are a bit noisy. Everything seems tight but they make a clanging noise when hitting bumps in the road, the rear more than the front. I need to get in their and make some adjustments, but if anyone has any tips I'd appreciate it. They also seem to get some wacky bends/twists in them that are much harder to deal with than the plastic sks fenders I had on my Atlantis. The front fender is also very long.... the lowness in the back of the wheel worries me a bit. Anyone ever cut one shorter?

Ok, here's the pics. There's a lot.
I guess now I just need to sell my Atlantis frame and parts.



















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Old 07-23-08, 06:40 AM   #2
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Old 07-23-08, 06:42 AM   #3
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i got chubby
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Old 07-23-08, 06:50 AM   #4
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Nice bike, hope to see you around Houston sometime on it.
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Old 07-23-08, 06:50 AM   #5
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Your dog love it too!
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Old 07-23-08, 07:05 AM   #6
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damn! That is one nice job! I really like hte color you picked out too. Do you find that the shimano genny and light setup you picked give sufficient light at night on lightless roads? I love the inherent simplicity of the genhub, and I am looking fora new lighting solution for my next bike. I have about 6 miles of non-lit roads to commute on, and it gets dark.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:06 AM   #7
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Damn, that is a sweet bike.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:11 AM   #8
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Fantastic! Two questions: What bar tape is that, and why not brown hoods?
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Old 07-23-08, 07:43 AM   #9
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Thanks!
Actually, speaking of "around houston"... I was on my way home yesterday and I heard someone say something from a car next to me as we were rolling up towards a stop sign. I turned and said, "what's that?" A guy in his late 20's in a pickup truck calls back, "Is that a Rivendell?" I said yes, and he gave me a huge grin and a big thumbs up. I asked if he had one and he said no but he loves the Quickbeam. And then I said cool and thanks and was on my way with a smile.

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Fantastic! Two questions: What bar tape is that, and why not brown hoods?
That is two colors of the Japanese cloth tape that Rivendell sells. I can't recall the name that was on the package. I then wrapped it using the harlequin method. I never did it before and it's not hard once you get the hang of it if you are doing straight sections. But these moustache bars are nothing but curves! Ugh! Major pain. I ended up starting from the both ends on each side of the bar and working towards the brake hoods cause i couldn't figure out a good way to continue this style of wrap around the hoods. When I originally ordered the brakes I was undecided on what I was going to do with the bars/tape so I chose black. And I wasn't that fond of the levers that came with brown hoods. Looking at it now, brown hoods might looks nice but I don't think I can get any that fit these shimano levers?

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damn! That is one nice job! I really like hte color you picked out too. Do you find that the shimano genny and light setup you picked give sufficient light at night on lightless roads? I love the inherent simplicity of the genhub, and I am looking fora new lighting solution for my next bike. I have about 6 miles of non-lit roads to commute on, and it gets dark.
Thanks! The light setup is the brightest I have EVER had. Never had HID so I can't compare to those, but it is tons better than any other rechargeable light I've had. My Atlantis had a Light & Motion Vega and this is wayyyyy better. It's almost like riding my Vespa! Gives a nice bright beam with a hard cutoff out in front and it even sends light out to the sides as well. I took it down an unlit section of road near my house and had no problem seeing plenty of road ahead at normal cruising speed. I'd take a pic but it doesn't output full light unless you're moving so I'll have to try that sometime...
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Old 07-23-08, 07:45 AM   #10
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Great looking bike! Nice color choice. Did you transfer a lot of the parts from your Atlantis? Also, I'm curious, couldn't you have tried to adjust the riding position on the Atlantis to aleviate your back and neck problems? Maybe you tired that and it didn't work. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of getting a new bike! Enjoy your new ride!
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Old 07-23-08, 08:03 AM   #11
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Very nice looking bike. Would fit in well in the classic/vintage section.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:06 AM   #12
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Great looking bike! Nice color choice. Did you transfer a lot of the parts from your Atlantis? Also, I'm curious, couldn't you have tried to adjust the riding position on the Atlantis to aleviate your back and neck problems? Maybe you tired that and it didn't work. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of getting a new bike! Enjoy your new ride!
Ya, i transferred the stem, seat, seatpost, crank, pedals, bb, water bottle cage, rack....
The stem was my attempt at shortening the reach on my Atlantis. And pushing my seat closer. I messed with it for quite some time...But it wasn't quite enough. Albatross bars (Grant's suggestion) probably would have been perfect but I don't like that style bar. Now with the new frame I have my seat in a normal position, using the same stem and these bars are working out good so far. If I need to, I still have the option of putting my noodle bars back on with my interrupter brake levers on the top which would probably sit me almost straight up, lol. Right now I'm at about a 45 degree angle with a straight back and neck.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:32 AM   #13
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Beautiful
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Old 07-23-08, 08:47 AM   #14
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Not porn to me... looks heavy, slow, and boring

But Its a sweet bike it it's own right.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:50 AM   #15
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You going to shellac the tape to protect all that hard work?

Also, why the twine on the kickstand?
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Old 07-23-08, 08:53 AM   #16
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Ah, excuse me while I, ah, go, ah, be right back.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:05 AM   #17
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Not porn to me... looks heavy, slow, and boring
But Its a sweet bike it it's own right.
haha, fair enough.
But I did hit over 26mph on a short flat stretch yesterday morning. It's not as slow/heavy as it looks.


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You going to shellac the tape to protect all that hard work?

Also, why the twine on the kickstand?
I haven't decided whether to shellac or not. Part of me wants to, to protect it and slightly darken the color. But the other part of me really likes the soft feel of the nekid cloth and wouldn't mind seeing it get frayed and worn over time, kinda like the brooks. Plus then it would be an excuse to try something different.

The kickstand treatment was done to make it "fit" the overall look of the bike an not just look like an ordinary kickstand. Purely aesthetic.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:28 AM   #18
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Shill.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:36 AM   #19
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Shill.
Sorry, couldn't help myself.

But seriously...

Wonderful bike! That is just a lovely collection of little details that really synergizes into a beautiful whole. Love that bar tape, especially.

On the fenders being rattly--I got VO fenders on my bike and had the same thing going on. I can't see how the front is mounted to the fork--is it a bendy thing like on the rear or an L bracket that bolts to the fender? On the rear fender, the attachment piece between fender and seatstay crossover is one of those bendy things (flat piece that bends around fender, under the sides, and up into it) and I think that's where your rattling is coming from. Right now, I'm running some real swank duct tape over it all, and the rattling went away for the most part. This is ghetto, but it works. I'm thinking I will try placing some old innertube around the bendy thing and see if that helps out as a longer term solution. Otherwise, I'll probably get an L-bracket, same as the front. Edit: Oh and the front fender being low means it protects you that much more, no need for a mudflap. My VOs run the same way.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:36 AM   #20
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wow, that is hardcore.

That handlebar tape is sick. I love my pletscher kickstand too.

me want rivendell ...
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Old 07-23-08, 09:42 AM   #21
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Damn. Just damn.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:43 AM   #22
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Ahhhh ,ummm wow. For around here, the title should have included the NSFW lable. Or perhaps "NSFYM"... Not safe for your marriage.

How do those 650b's take the turns?
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Old 07-23-08, 09:49 AM   #23
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584x32.8 (or so)

ha!
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Old 07-23-08, 09:52 AM   #24
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On the rear fender, the attachment piece between fender and seatstay crossover is one of those bendy things (flat piece that bends around fender, under the sides, and up into it) and I think that's where your rattling is coming from. Right now, I'm running some real swank duct tape over it all, and the rattling went away for the most part. This is ghetto, but it works. I'm thinking I will try placing some old innertube around the bendy thing and see if that helps out as a longer term solution.
I was talking to a friend last weekend about this same issue. He's coated his rear fender clip in Plasti Dip and hasn't had any more issues with it. I suppose you could do the same with all the other mounting points.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:56 AM   #25
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I've seen that bike before...

Very sweet. Ever consider an IG hub for the back?
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