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  1. #301
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    Lots of drool-worthy bikes in this thread.

  2. #302
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    Surly LHT. OK, maybe not a poor man's version of Rivendell, more like a middle-income man's version.

    When (if) I get another bike, though, I'll seriously consider a Rivendell. Yes, it's an obscene amount of money for a bike, but an LHT costs $1300 now (I paid $900 in 2008), and when you compare the cost of a Rivendell to other things, like cars, vacations, nice kitchen appliances, or a single semester of graduate school, it doesn't look that bad. Plus, it's a really nice bike, even nicer and more durable than a Surly, and it will probably last for decades if you take care of it. I can think of worse ways to part with $3600...
    A poor man's Atlantis, sure. Rivendell does make more than one kind of bike.

  3. #303
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybble View Post
    Very nice bike! Can I ask you what the bag on the back is? It looks like it's attached to the saddle and some sort of mini rack?
    It's a Zimbale bag, a really nice Korean version of the Carradice bags. The rack is just a cheapo sunlite front rack that I mounted on the rear.
    "To me, it's always a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, 'Hey, can you give me a hand?,' you can say, 'Sorry, got these sacks.'"

    -- Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]

  4. #304
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
    A poor man's Atlantis, sure. Rivendell does make more than one kind of bike.
    And most of them have cheaper versions available. The Roadeo could be a Soma ES, The Homer Hilsen could be a Rawland Stag, A Karate Monkey could substitute for a Bombadil (although I would miss the full length second top tube).

  5. #305
    Senior Member DIMcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
    I like this thread. I really believed in Bridgestones and sold a lot of them when I worked in a shop. I own three (an RB-1, XO-2, and a CB-1). But I have mixed feelings about Rivendells. The bikes look good and they're interesting. They're also priced in line roughly with equivalent bikes from custom builders but (and this is a big but) they're not built by Rivendell and there are no options. I like the Heron a lot as a touring bike, for example, but you can pick up a Bruce Gordon Rock and Roll tour for less (a lot less). For about the same price, you can pick up a Co-Motion Americano or a Waterford Adventure Cycle and actually have a choice in colors and other options. If I were going to pay that kind of money for a bike, I'd like to buy it from the builder and have some options.
    I agree. While the Rivs are pretty nice bikes, I tend to harp on them for their price point: price-wise they're pushing into the realm of fully bespoke bicycles. You can have a top-notch lugged frame custom built for about the same price as a fully decked-out Riv. Also (and a shout-out for the home team), if you're willing to shell out for a Riv, check out Breadwinner Cycles, Ira Ryan & Tony Periera's latest venture.

    If you can read Japanese and you'd prefer a sport bike, you can order a semi-custom lugged Panasonic directly from the company website. Granted (pardon the pun) they aren't cheap. If you do the Yen conversions, they come out to- again- about the same price as a Riv, but you do get a full range of colors, logo, & paint styles to choose from.
    Last edited by DIMcyclist; 05-27-13 at 12:53 PM.
    Trek 820 (650b), Univega Rover 10 (650b), Trek 930, Fuji League, Bridgestone RB-2, Bridgestone XO-3, Soma Smoothie ES, LeMond Buenos Aires, Torelli Corsa Strada

  6. #306
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    And most of them have cheaper versions available. The Roadeo could be a Soma ES, The Homer Hilsen could be a Rawland Stag, A Karate Monkey could substitute for a Bombadil (although I would miss the full length second top tube).
    It's possible to get close to a Rivendell by buying a much less expensive frame but I don't think I've seen one that is a close copy. Most Rivendells seem to be a combination of touring bike seat/head tube angles, very low bottom brackets, long chainstays and here's the kicker....road bike trail measurements. The Soma Saga & the Surly LHT come close in a lot of ways but both have higher trail measurements. There's one guy who posts here who went from a LHT to a Hunqapillar and he commented that the Hunqapillar felt more lively than the LHT. I think a substantial part of this is that the Hunqapillar has less trail, although it might also have stiffer tubing which might contribute to the lively feeling.

    I really want to try a Rivendell so I can experience the ride that so many people rave about. I'm sold on a lot of Grant's ideas....steel frame, wider tires, upright riding position, versatility, etc.. but I don't know if his idea of a perfect bicycle geometry is the same as mine and I'm really curious to find out. My new frameset has a lower bottom bracket, longer chainstays and less trail the bike I was riding and the ride is a huge improvement over the old bike. Right now, the trail and chainstay length are perfect for me but I would like to try an even lower bottom bracket. The major question left in my mind is whether I would prefer the slacker angles that Grant prefers. I'm pretty happy with the 73/73 angles I have now but I was also happy with my old bike's ride until I rode my new one.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  7. #307
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    Word on the street in 2012 was that Rivendell is planning on putting out a "workingman's" version Rivendell model, I think they called it . But I think the price they mentioned isn't what I'd call "poor".

    I think they mentioned it will be designed by one of their employees. If you search their 2012 BLUG entries at rivbike.com it was mentioned if I remember right.
    Last edited by lungimsam; 05-27-13 at 02:17 PM.

  8. #308
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    Word on the street in 2012 was that Rivendell is planning on putting out a "workingman's" version Rivendell model, I think they called it . But I think the price they mentioned isn't what I'd call "poor".

    I think they mentioned it will be designed by one of their employees. If you search their 2012 BLUG entries at rivbike.com it was mentioned if I remember right.
    I remember reading about this as well but I don't recall seeing a price attached to it. Unfortunately, Grant doesn't really do things in a way that most people would think is logical. He talked about a Rivendell mountain bike for years and finally came out with the Bombadil, which is one of the most expensive framesets they've made. To help more people get on that type of bike he designed the Hunqapillar as a "budget" version of the Bombadil and then he goes and puts the fanciest (ie most expensive) paint job on it of any Rivendell model. The Hunqapillar is now right up there at the standard price for upper level Riv framesets.....$2000.

    He stated in an interview that he thinks about a tig-welded Rivendell every single day. If he is really serious about getting people on the type of bikes he advocates, he really should go this route. But, it would destroy the boutique aspect of Rivendell and those folks who have spent thousands of dollars for their bikes (and kept Rivendell in business) would pitch a fit.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  9. #309
    Senior Member DIMcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    It's possible to get close to a Rivendell by buying a much less expensive frame but I don't think I've seen one that is a close copy. Most Rivendells seem to be a combination of touring bike seat/head tube angles, very low bottom brackets, long chainstays and here's the kicker....road bike trail measurements. The Soma Saga & the Surly LHT come close in a lot of ways but both have higher trail measurements. There's one guy who posts here who went from a LHT to a Hunqapillar and he commented that the Hunqapillar felt more lively than the LHT. I think a substantial part of this is that the Hunqapillar has less trail, although it might also have stiffer tubing which might contribute to the lively feeling.

    I really want to try a Rivendell so I can experience the ride that so many people rave about. I'm sold on a lot of Grant's ideas....steel frame, wider tires, upright riding position, versatility, etc.. but I don't know if his idea of a perfect bicycle geometry is the same as mine and I'm really curious to find out. My new frameset has a lower bottom bracket, longer chainstays and less trail the bike I was riding and the ride is a huge improvement over the old bike. Right now, the trail and chainstay length are perfect for me but I would like to try an even lower bottom bracket. The major question left in my mind is whether I would prefer the slacker angles that Grant prefers. I'm pretty happy with the 73/73 angles I have now but I was also happy with my old bike's ride until I rode my new one.
    Good point about the trail, Corwin... at the moment I'm having a fully-lugged early '80s frameset with surprisingly similar characteristics modified by one of our local builders (it's a bit shy on braze-ons, bosses, and a couple of the cable guides have snapped off over the years). It's a native 650a Japanese commuter with interesting geometry: 73 degree HT with a slack 71 or 72 degree ST, low trail fork (steerer tube aside, almost identical to my friend's Kogswell), 46cm chainstays, and fully 60mm of BB drop. Should be an interesting ride.
    Last edited by DIMcyclist; 05-27-13 at 04:27 PM.
    Trek 820 (650b), Univega Rover 10 (650b), Trek 930, Fuji League, Bridgestone RB-2, Bridgestone XO-3, Soma Smoothie ES, LeMond Buenos Aires, Torelli Corsa Strada

  10. #310
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIMcyclist View Post
    I agree. While the Rivs are pretty nice bikes, I tend to harp on them for their price point: price-wise they're pushing into the realm of fully bespoke bicycles. You can have a top-notch lugged frame custom built for about the same price as a fully decked-out Riv. Also (and a shout-out for the home team), if you're willing to shell out for a Riv, check out Breadwinner Cycles, Ira Ryan & Tony Periera's latest venture.

    If you can read Japanese and you'd prefer a sport bike, you can order a semi-custom lugged Panasonic directly from the company website. Granted (pardon the pun) they aren't cheap. If you do the Yen conversions, they come out to- again- about the same price as a Riv, but you do get a full range of colors, logo, & paint styles to choose from.
    That's exactly why I bought the Mercian instead of the Atlantis because I could get no options that I wanted and the Mercian with the options cost almost the same amount of money as the Atlantis.

  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    It's possible to get close to a Rivendell by buying a much less expensive frame but I don't think I've seen one that is a close copy. Most Rivendells seem to be a combination of touring bike seat/head tube angles, very low bottom brackets, long chainstays and here's the kicker....road bike trail measurements. The Soma Saga & the Surly LHT come close in a lot of ways but both have higher trail measurements. There's one guy who posts here who went from a LHT to a Hunqapillar and he commented that the Hunqapillar felt more lively than the LHT. I think a substantial part of this is that the Hunqapillar has less trail, although it might also have stiffer tubing which might contribute to the lively feeling.

    I really want to try a Rivendell so I can experience the ride that so many people rave about. I'm sold on a lot of Grant's ideas....steel frame, wider tires, upright riding position, versatility, etc.. but I don't know if his idea of a perfect bicycle geometry is the same as mine and I'm really curious to find out. My new frameset has a lower bottom bracket, longer chainstays and less trail the bike I was riding and the ride is a huge improvement over the old bike. Right now, the trail and chainstay length are perfect for me but I would like to try an even lower bottom bracket. The major question left in my mind is whether I would prefer the slacker angles that Grant prefers. I'm pretty happy with the 73/73 angles I have now but I was also happy with my old bike's ride until I rode my new one.
    I got to visit Rivendell's shop a few years ago as part of a bike tour down the coast. The employees were extremely nice and helpful people who let me test ride about 3-4 of their bikes. And the bikes were nice, of course. Beautiful lugs and amazing paint jobs. And while they rode great too I still wouldn't buy any of them. I could put together two great bikes for the price of a single Homer or Atlantis--sure, I would give up lugs, but I just put together a Soma DC that I think is NEARLY as comfortable and versatile and aesthetically pleasing and it was far cheaper. It's the law of diminishing returns. Sure, there's a big difference between a 500 dollar bike and a 1000 dollar bike, but the gap between a 2k and a 4k bike is MUCH smaller.
    "To me, it's always a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, 'Hey, can you give me a hand?,' you can say, 'Sorry, got these sacks.'"

    -- Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]

  12. #312
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvald001 View Post
    I got to visit Rivendell's shop a few years ago as part of a bike tour down the coast. The employees were extremely nice and helpful people who let me test ride about 3-4 of their bikes. And the bikes were nice, of course. Beautiful lugs and amazing paint jobs. And while they rode great too I still wouldn't buy any of them. I could put together two great bikes for the price of a single Homer or Atlantis--sure, I would give up lugs, but I just put together a Soma DC that I think is NEARLY as comfortable and versatile and aesthetically pleasing and it was far cheaper. It's the law of diminishing returns. Sure, there's a big difference between a 500 dollar bike and a 1000 dollar bike, but the gap between a 2k and a 4k bike is MUCH smaller.
    This is something I consider a strong possibility. My bike, with Deore everything, custom built wheels and Schwalbe tires, was substantially less than a Rivendell frameset. I'm thinking there is a possibility that a Rivendell will have a more pleasing ride but I wonder if it can be better enough to justify a 5x cost on the frameset. I do want to find out, though.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  13. #313
    Senior Member DIMcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvald001 View Post
    It's the law of diminishing returns. Sure, there's a big difference between a 500 dollar bike and a 1000 dollar bike, but the gap between a 2k and a 4k bike is MUCH smaller.
    Sure. It's like Zeno's Arrow: the closer you get to perfection, the farther away it continues to be.

    But in practical terms, I think it also goes to show how being shrewd about buying your gear, knowing your resources, and knowing what to look for (as well as how to build a bike) can be very well worth it. It's a trip I'm sure we've all done at one time or another.
    Last edited by DIMcyclist; 05-27-13 at 10:43 PM.
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  14. #314
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    This is something I consider a strong possibility. My bike, with Deore everything, custom built wheels and Schwalbe tires, was substantially less than a Rivendell frameset. I'm thinking there is a possibility that a Rivendell will have a more pleasing ride but I wonder if it can be better enough to justify a 5x cost on the frameset. I do want to find out, though.
    I like Grant's philosophy with regards to how factory workers are treated and compensated. To me that's worth paying extra for. At the same time I seriously doubt that he's doing anything magical with respect to diamond frame geometry or construction that hasn't been done before or couldn't be duplicated by somebody else.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  15. #315
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    The Soma San Marcos is the real deal -- Rivendell designed with all of the features their frames are known for, at a reasonable price ($950). If you are dead set on a Riv bike, the San Marcos is the least expensive option unless you can find a used one for less.

  16. #316
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    I like Grant's philosophy with regards to how factory workers are treated and compensated. To me that's worth paying extra for. At the same time I seriously doubt that he's doing anything magical with respect to diamond frame geometry or construction that hasn't been done before or couldn't be duplicated by somebody else.
    It can be duplicated. The question is, is it duplicated?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  17. #317
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    It can be duplicated. The question is, is it duplicated?
    Not that I've found, at least in a modestly priced frameset. The best I can come up with would be to buy a Surly LHT and get a custom fork built for it. That would probably get real close.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  18. #318
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    Not that I've found, at least in a modestly priced frameset. The best I can come up with would be to buy a Surly LHT and get a custom fork built for it. That would probably get real close.
    So here is my question. Let's say the difference between an LHT vs an Atlantis in terms of geometry mostly comes down to the fork. Did Grant hit upon a fork design that is truly better than most anything else or is it more that the Atlantis fork entails a different set of trade offs that are more pleasing to some riders but maybe not others? Because it seems to me that this stuff is pretty well understood by frame designers.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  19. #319
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    Not that I've found, at least in a modestly priced frameset. The best I can come up with would be to buy a Surly LHT and get a custom fork built for it. That would probably get real close.
    I'd bet there's a big difference in weight. I've had two Surly Cross Checks, and they are quite heavy. They're a decent value, since they cost a lot less than other frames, but I can't say they are a duplicate of a Rivendell in any way when comparing weights.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  20. #320
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    I know that weight is not something Grant likes to talk about but one customer said his 54cm Hunqapillar frame, fork and headset weighed over 9lbs. I'm thinking that easily outweighs the LHT by a pound or more but I'm not sure which direction you were thinking the weights might swing. The Hunqapillar probably has the same tube thickness as the Bombadil, which I've read is straight guage cro-moly. I think the Atlantis comes next with the Sam Hillborne/Mixtes being equal to the Atlantis or maybe slightly lighter. It may well be that this thicker tubing has a smoothing effect on the ride. Grant did state that the test bike they get the most positive comments about is the one with the heaviest tires so he seems to value some weight on a bike.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  21. #321
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    So here is my question. Let's say the difference between an LHT vs an Atlantis in terms of geometry mostly comes down to the fork. Did Grant hit upon a fork design that is truly better than most anything else or is it more that the Atlantis fork entails a different set of trade offs that are more pleasing to some riders but maybe not others? Because it seems to me that this stuff is pretty well understood by frame designers.
    I think it's more a factor of the way Grant combines different aspects of frame designs. His main ideal is that many bike are too specialized in their purpose (and design) and that more bikes should be all-rounders. Road bikes tend to have steep angles, shorter chainstays, medium low bottom brackets and trail in the 58-62mm range. Touring bikes tend to have slacker angles, longer chainstays, very low bottom brackets and trail in the mid-60mm range. Road and touring bikes are very specialized. Grant simply takes the aspects that make a touring bike comfortable (very low bottom bracket, longer chainstays, slack angles) and combines them with one of the aspects that make a road bike feel more lively (trail in the 58-62mm range). He then adds fatter, lower pressure tires to increase felt comfort, higher handlebars for weight bearing comfort and possibly even heavier tubing to even further smooth out the ride. Theoretically, this combination should yield a bike that is very stable and smooth yet still retains a somewhat lively feel. This is precisely how fans of Rivendell bicycles describe their bikes. Some people ride Riv's and find them to be sluggish or truckish (much the same as many people feel about Surly's Long Haul Trucker). I think this is largely a factor of people who are used to light and nimble road bikes getting on a bike that is neither. I suspect that the average person who doesn't spend a lot of time on road bikes would be inclinded to like the ride of a Rivendell.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  22. #322
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Here's an interesting frame that would beat the socks off of Soma and the like...at least in my opinion: http://www.bianchiusa.com/archives/2...el/tipo-corsa/

  23. #323
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Years ago I was considering buying a Rivendell Rambouillet. I called or emailed Rivendell asking how much the frame and fork weighed. They wouldn't tell me. The gist of their response was: "Weight doesn't matter. If you think it's important, perhaps you shouldn't buy a Rivendell." I ended up buying a Merckx Corsa 01 instead, largely because it was available and Rambouillets had something like a 6-month waiting list at the time.

  24. #324
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    I also forgot to mention the Raleigh Record Ace, lugged steel again at a low price at around the $1600 range equipped with 105.

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    My wife and I were in Walnut Creek, CA and took the opportunity to stop by Rivendell. I'm happy to report these people are the real deal; true bicycle enthusiasts. I got the opportunity to meet Grant as well as a couple other members of the staff, and I can honestly say they practice what they preach. Shortly after we arrived, Grant rode up on his current commuter, a prototype in development, and wasnít wearing a stich of lycra. He didnít look at all like what I had pictured in my mind, nor did he behave like so many anti-Rivendell posters would like you to believe. We were there because my wife was interested in the Betty Foy. I was just interested in checking out Rivendell. We fully disclosed the fact we were just looking, but they still took the time to measure us both and encouraged us to go for a ride. I, on the A. Holmer Hilsen and she on the Betty Foy. We were both impressed by the quality of the product and the quality of the ride but did not have enough time to fully evaluate. We left without purchasing and did not feel any pressure to do so. Afterall, at that time I rode two different ďvintageĒ road bikes; a Bianchi and Nishiki and was perfectly content.

    A couple/three months later we went back to Rivendell. Lisa really wanted to give the Betty Foy model a good test run. Right up front I told Grant I wasn't interested in the Sam Hilborne, but that I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and give it a try. They set me up and sent us on our way. Lisa and I didn't come back for about three hours. Walnut Creek is pretty bike friendly with tons of dirt and paved trails. To make a long story short, we came home with a Betty Foy and a Sam Hillborne. I had never felt so comfortable on a bicycle. I did not want to get off.

    I disagree with posts comparing all Rivendellís to custom frames. Both the Sam Hillborne and Betty Foy frames cost well below custom steel. For example, the frames cost $1,050 each, not $2,000 and included fork, headset, bottom bracket, and frame saver treatment with ample customer service and test rides to ensure the best possible fit. A custom frame/fork from my local builder would have cost me $2,500. That would have been worth every penny to have gotten the right fit, but for me anyway, I was able to find that on the Hillborne. And, I could still get all fussy about parts, customize my bicycle anyway I want, and make it uniquely mine, because I came home with only frames.

    Iíve put more miles on my Sam Hillborne this year than any other bike, in a given year, for the last 20 years. Iím a commuter and averaged 3,000 miles per year. This year I rode 4,200 miles in 10 months! Iíve ridden my Bianchi once since purchasing the Sam Hillborne. I have not ridden the Nishiki and I have a Rivendelized 1994 Trek 950 MTB just hanging from the rafters collecting dust. Rivendellís work. People think they are expensive, and they are, but nothing is more expensive than trying to make a bike fit that never will.

    Matt

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