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Old 12-28-12, 11:34 PM   #251
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Those are a couple of nice looking bikes.
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Old 12-29-12, 05:38 PM   #252
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Agree. That Soma Saga is great substitute for a Riv bike.
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Old 01-01-13, 10:55 PM   #253
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In a nutshell, a poor man's Rivendell is an old used bike that you thoughtfully upgraded and outfitted to suit your needs and likes.
Just finished this one tonight. My 1987 Schwinn Cimarron. Some filet brazing. some lugs. all comfy and bomb proof. Double butted tubing throughout, and hand made in the good ol USA.
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Old 01-01-13, 11:02 PM   #254
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Just finished this one tonight. My 1987 Schwinn Cimarron. Some filet brazing. some lugs. all comfy and bomb proof. Double butted tubing throughout, and hand made in the good ol USA.
I like that bike.
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Old 03-21-13, 07:24 AM   #255
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I ride a Handsome Speedy, which is a Handsome Devil with a different paint job.

Here's a pic of it so ppl can see the beauty of the paint scheme:



Those are SKS Longboard Fenders in cream, which covers a 45mm wide tire (i'm only running 700x32s in the pic above). That gives you an idea on how much tire clearance this frame has. I ended up remounting the forward fender with the bracket in the front of the head tube to give myself a touch more clearance on the mud flap.

Those are 180mm cranks, so don't negatively judge cornering clearance or toe overlap based on the pic.

Other highlights: Mid-fork braze-ons for racks or something - you can see where I have my generator light mounted on the left side.
Braze-ons in the rear for both fender AND rack - not one or the other.
Pump peg on the head tube.
Downtube shifter braze-ons.
Semi-horizontal dropouts.

Handsome Speedy Page
Handsome Devil Page


One thing to note on this frame - the top tube is kinda long for the frame size, so if you find yourself between sizes, make sure to order the smaller of the two.

I received a 55cm Handsome Devil frame Saturday and I've ordered the last few parts to build it up.

Over the past 1.5 years I've become really interested in bicycle geometry and how it affects the "feel" of the bicycle. As I stated in a previous post, my biggest attraction to Rivendell bikes is the "ride quality" that all Riv owners rave about. I've come to the conclusion that the "Riv" ride may not be what I really want.

The Handsome Devil was definately based on the Bridgestone XO-1 with the owners of Handsome being huge Bridgestone fans. I find it interesting that Grant Petersen's most famous design has parallel 73 degree head/seat tubes, shortish chainstays and an overall emphasis on being fast and nimble. This is almost in direct contrast to Rivendell's current selection where most bikes have 72 degree head/seat tubes and longish chainstays.

I communicated with Grant via e-mail about a year ago and his opinion was the "nimble" should the be the last thing on a person's list of desirable characteristics in a bike. He also stated that the Atlantis was an evolution of the XO-1, although the Atlantis is more in line with touring bikes. He also stated that the Hunqapillar is a MUCH BETTER Atlantis (he really emphasized that) and it's even more in line with touring bikes with 46cm chainstays and one person on the Google Riv board weighed a Hunqapillar frameset at over 9 lbs.

It seems that Grant's bicycle design philisophy has actually changed quite a bit since the early 90's. I find my tastes in geometry and bicycle "feel" to be more inline with his early 90's thinking. In fact, I recently figured out how to use BikeCad and I designed a custom bicycle for myself and then was shocked to find it was almost identical to the Handsome Devil. I know for a fact that I like a nimble front end (my previous bike had 74mm of trail...the Devil has 60mm) but I'm unsure about bottom bracket drop and chainstay length. The Devil has a lower BB and longer chainstays than my last bike so I get to experiment with those to see how I like them.

The Handsome Devil is definately more "Rivish" than my old Trek 730 and if I stuff the wheels all the way back in the dropouts, it might even approximate the ride of a Hunqapillar. Trail of 60 and chainstays over 45cm on both bikes but the Hunq has a lower BB, longer top-tube and is much better tubing.

My wife and I plan a trip to California this summer or next and I'll finally get to ride a Hunqapillar and it will be nice to compare it's ride to the Devil.


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Last edited by corwin1968; 03-21-13 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 03-21-13, 08:11 AM   #256
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This is a great thread and I enjoy continuing to follow it. The important thing is to decide what you like in a bike and build it. Rivendells are bit out of my price range, and the ones that aren't (Soma San Marcos) are not the best geometry for me. I've got several bikes that generally follow the Rivendell philosophy -- eg, higher handlebars, room for larger tires and fenders, mounts for racks -- but mine are much lighter than a comparable Riv. It is very hilly where I generally ride, so the weight of a bike and its wheels is important to me. I am no weight weenie, and most of my bikes are heavier than what you see on most group rides around here, but I do think weight is important if you ride on hilly terrain. My bikes are set up for fast commuting and light touring, which accounts for most of my riding these days. If I lived somewhere with relatively flat terrain, lots of dirt roads and crappy pavement, I could understand the appeal of a fat-tired bike that weighed much more.
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Old 03-21-13, 08:49 AM   #257
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I agree. I've followed Grant's blog and writings for more than a year and I've tried several of his ideas that sounded good and some I liked and some I disliked.

For example, he was right about steel. I rode steel for 12 years and then moved to aluminum. Grant's writing prompted me to try steel again and I do like it better. The one thing I did like about aluminum is the snappy feel when it comes to acceleration. Those stiff, over-sized tubes just seem to transfer power much better than steel.

I disagree with him about fat and heavy tires. I bought some 40mm Schwalbe Duremes and they are very comfortable tires but I felt like I was riding thru sand. I went back to my 32mm Vittoria Hypers and any other changes I make will be more toward more performance oriented tires like the Grand Bois Cypres.

I completely disagree with him on Albatross handlebars. He praises them to heaven and they look awesome and appear to be comfortable so I tried some. Having the grips parallel to the top tube is about the most unnatural position I can imagine, even worse than a completely straight mtb bar. The handlebar I prefer is a rise mtb bar with 10 degrees of bend back toward the rider.

I don't mind a bike that's on the heavier side since the bikes I've ridden since 1995 were easily in the 27-29 lb range but if I would definately prefer a lighter bike.
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Old 03-21-13, 09:22 AM   #258
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I love Rivendell, I love their philosophy, their products, their logo and most of all their bikes. I'm not sure I can drop over 2 grand on a bike though. I've looked for a production or brand bike that is similar to a Sam Hillborne or Atlantis or Hilson. What I mean is comfy country bike style, decorative lugs, steel, not brown or black, ready to go with fenders and rack. gears. Drop bars or moustache handlebars. So anyone know of anything?
I am in a position to pay Rivendell prices, but wouldn't. Decorative lugs serve the same function for me as decorative pinstripes.

My $40 thrift store purchase of a 1969 Green Raleigh Sprite with the S5 hub had all the rest of the features you are seeking. Any good condition Raleigh 3 speed would meet your requirements, outside of decorations on the lugs and correct "philosophy."
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Old 03-21-13, 09:40 AM   #259
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Image of a Handsome Devil I found online. I read that in just the past week or so they opened a custom shop where you choose from their range of components and they build you your dream bike. From the images I've seen of their store and displays, this is one of their custom builds. Very Riv'ish.


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Old 03-21-13, 10:18 AM   #260
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I think my 520 qualifies
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Old 03-21-13, 01:53 PM   #261
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Here are my two poor man Rivs. The Nishiki even has Riv decals.

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Old 03-21-13, 06:33 PM   #262
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Everyone has different taste in what they want, need, and can afford in a bicycle. I almost bought a Atlantis from Rivendell, but I was comparing it a Mercian and Bruce Gordon. I think the Bruce Gordon is probably the best built most thought out touring bike on the market but I couldn't justify spending that kind of money, someone else may though. The Atlantis and the Mercian was more in my price range but was leaning heavy towards the Mercian due to the price being about the same at the time and I could get a ton of custom feature that Rivendell could not do with the Atlantis unless I went with a Rivendell bike which was going back to justifying the cost again. What sealed the deal for Mercian is when a business meeting sent me to England on 07, and while there I had a week of free time so my wife, who came with me, and I went to Derby where they build the Mercian, and that visit sealed the deal.

BUT, the Mercian is a pain, because it's just too beautiful of bike to abuse it on a tour across the US! Weird I know. So about 2 years ago I found the 85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe for $100 and bought it for touring instead and it meets all the requirements a touring bike should have, except a third set of water bottle bosses, so I put a Minoura bottle bracket on the underside of the down tube to make up for it.

After finding the Schwinn I kind of wish I never bought the Mercian because I'm the kind of person who doesn't really like to spend money like that, but resistance to the idea was weakened when I was in Derby. At some point if the Schwinn gets too old to tour on due older parts getting difficult too find I will start using the Mercian for touring. So it may turn into a huge positive in the long run.

But if your happy on a low budget bike then great, if you need a high budget bike then great too, I could have sprung for the Bruce Gordon but I couldn't see how spending that much more money would make touring any more easier, but it is a great bike. I just happen to think that a middle price range bike will fill 99% of the needs of someone looking for a touring bike and that bike will be 98% of what a much more expensive bike will offer. Even Grant at Rivendell admits that the Atlantis is 98% of what a custom Rivendell is. I think that is true with most if not all middle priced ranged bikes.
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Old 03-21-13, 07:02 PM   #263
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Cool - this thread is still going! The weather has turned cold again, so riding has been a bit curtailed. But I did get a couple of longish rides in the prior week... and I still love my Rivendell! I smile every time I ride it...
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Old 03-21-13, 08:33 PM   #264
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The poor man's Rivendell is whatever you build up lovingly with both aesthetics and functionality brought to their maxima.
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Old 03-21-13, 10:49 PM   #265
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1990 Specialized Rockhopper:



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Old 03-21-13, 11:00 PM   #266
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That's nice, Chris.
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Old 03-21-13, 11:20 PM   #267
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Any opinions on the new VO Campeur? No lugs, but it looks like it may have a pleasing ride, and adds a kickstand plate and high-stack headset that better '80s stuff seems to lack (from what I've seen, anyway).
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Old 03-22-13, 11:00 PM   #268
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If you want a classy looking bike without paying a lot another bike to consider would be the Jamis Aurora Elite which only cost $1650 retail; see: http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applica...cat_grp=road_9
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Old 03-23-13, 12:53 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by futuregrace View Post
I love Rivendell, I love their philosophy, their products, their logo and most of all their bikes. I'm not sure I can drop over 2 grand on a bike though. I've looked for a production or brand bike that is similar to a Sam Hillborne or Atlantis or Hilson. What I mean is comfy country bike style, decorative lugs, steel, not brown or black, ready to go with fenders and rack. gears. Drop bars or moustache handlebars. So anyone know of anything?
Raleigh Clubman & Jamis Aurora are best I've been able to find and they don't seem close. Anyone with deeper knowledge on this topic willing to help this poor man find a cheap version of Rivendell?
Surly LHT. It's possibly a shameless mass-production copy of the Rivendell Atlantis. Not as good, but almost, and for less than half the money.
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Old 03-23-13, 01:07 AM   #270
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A has luggs, B it's cheap enough..
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Old 03-23-13, 09:23 AM   #271
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That's nice, Chris.
Thanks Tom!

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Any opinions on the new VO Campeur? No lugs, but it looks like it may have a pleasing ride, and adds a kickstand plate and high-stack headset that better '80s stuff seems to lack (from what I've seen, anyway).
It looks like a well thought out design, go for it! I've been very tempted to take the plunge on the Campeur, but I've already got a Schwinn Voyageur that covers the touring/utility niche pretty well.
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Old 03-23-13, 12:49 PM   #272
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Thanks Tom!



It looks like a well thought out design, go for it! I've been very tempted to take the plunge on the Campeur, but I've already got a Schwinn Voyageur that covers the touring/utility niche pretty well.
Those Voyageur's are sweet and they sell pretty cheaply on the used market which makes them a fantastic bargain. I saw one for sale on CL where I live but being unemployed I restrained myself from getting on, it was a want not a need and I couldn't justify getting something I already have in a similar bike; but it was in new condition for only $275. A beautiful bike. Those bikes will compete against any brand of touring bike ever made, even the much praised vintage Trek 720. Some years of Voyagers were better then others so one does have to be careful a little. The reason I bought my 85 Le Tour Luxe was because that was the best year for the Luxe, it shared the same frame as the second from top of the line 85 Voyager, but shares the rear derailleur system of the top of the line Voyager of that same year, there are some other minor differences but nothing significant.
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Old 03-23-13, 01:00 PM   #273
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It's a Zefal pump. The pump is designed to fit either on seat tubes or top tubes. I just added a couple of pump straps to hold it on more securely.
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It's a Zefal pump. The pump is designed to fit either on seat tubes or top tubes. I just added a couple of pump straps to hold it on more securely.
That was simply what we used "back in the day" before mini pumps and swoopy frame designs that can't hold a long straight frame fit pump. I still use a Zefal HPx on my own road bike, which has a bit of a retro look to it, though it's not terribly Rivendellish. I also still have my original Zefal HP, which I bought back in the early 80's. Fills a tire quickly and efficiently.
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Old 03-23-13, 02:25 PM   #274
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That was simply what we used "back in the day" before mini pumps and swoopy frame designs that can't hold a long straight frame fit pump. I still use a Zefal HPx on my own road bike, which has a bit of a retro look to it, though it's not terribly Rivendellish. I also still have my original Zefal HP, which I bought back in the early 80's. Fills a tire quickly and efficiently.
I still have my 1981 Silca Impero pump in yellow with the original Campy chrome head that I bought new, now on display on my library shelf looking almost brand new. You can still buy those pumps new too, but you can't get the Campy head unless you find on e-bay, otherwise they look the same. That Silca was the lightest frame pump ever made from what I could find out. But that pump had no trouble getting to 120psi and could have gone beyond that but I never needed it to.
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Old 03-23-13, 07:16 PM   #275
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I just built up this Soma Doublecross for my son.

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