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  1. #151
    cherish the day buck65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d2create View Post
    lol, what thread are you in? No one ever said Riv was a better value than some of these cheap alternatives.
    But for an extra $100, it's a no brainer to take it over the gunnar, when you are looking for a Riv-ish bike. Hence the thread title.
    Honestly though, both bikes are too expensive for this thread so it's really a non-issue.

    Now when you've actually owned a Riv, then you can come back and talk to me about what they're selling and what it's worth.

    You're right on the money.

    I had originally started with a Surly LHT as my poorman's Riv. After lusting over lugs for a year, I decided to sell my LHT frame and trade up for a Sam Hillborne. I couldn't be happier with that decision.

    I see a number of people suggest strange geometry and overpriced frames as a result of marketing....and to be fair, I kind of agree with them. The frames DO look a little off with the top tube slopes. Also, the marketing IS a bit overbearing at times. But in the end, Riv makes some awesome bikes that are a great value. When taking it for what it is, makes extremely comfortable bikes that are fun to ride.



    In continuing with the point of this thread, I'll mention that I spent enough time to put a thousand or so miles on a Surly CrossCheck....great bike and it reminds me of the versatility of my Sam. Great for the dirt and the road depending on what tires you happen to have on the bike. With any of the Surly offerings, I think a Brooks saddle, leather bar tape, and fenders will do the trick to make the good candidates for a poormans Riv.

  2. #152
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I know that Rivendell and GP are controversial, start argument topics...if you're happy with your's, that's all that matters. It's your money. I'm far too cheap to justify paying that for a Riv and I have my Raleigh International to be that kind of bike.

  3. #153
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    Say whatever about Rivendell, but for a small company at least they take the initiative to offer production frames in proper proportions for tall and short riders. Almost no one offers production frames above 62cm. Certainly none that can take wider tires. Surly comes close, but the 62cm LHT is really a 60cm. frame with an extended seat tube.

    I think most people who dish Rivendell have never actually ridden one. I don't know anyone who's said they preferred a LHT to an Atlantis after extensively riding them both, for example.... but I'm sure there's someone.

    Theres isn't anything negative about the quality a Riv frame I couldn't say about any other. All paint chips, scratches ..... mistakes are made ...... and on and on. It's a frame meant to get you to point A to B. If a cheaper frame fits you, get it, and consider yourself fortunate. If you're real short or tall, the budget frames don't cut it.

    You can always go custom, and some can be had for around a grand or less, but these are no guarantee you'll be any happier. Mis-communications still happen, builders often are set in their ways of doing things, so it can be a tug of war. That's why production frames are popular, you know exactly what you're getting, good or bad.

    Value is totally within the eye of the beholder. People complain about a 2-3-500 dollar price difference in a frame they'll likely keep for many years, yet waste money every week on stuff they don't even need, let alone think about. In a years time it adds up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

  4. #154
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d2create View Post
    ...for an extra $100, it's a no brainer to take it over the gunnar, when you are looking for a Riv-ish bike.
    Again, I am not a Rivendell basher, but I wouldn't call it a no-brainer to pick a Sam Hillborne over a Gunnar Sport. The Sam Hill only comes in 4 sizes, ranging from 48 cm to 64 cm, in 4 cm increments. The SH frames have extremely long top tubes. Eg, the size 56 has 59 cm top tube, which is 2 cm longer than my size 57 frames. The Sam currently costs $1,250 for the frame, fork and headset. It is available in only one color, orange.

    In contrast, the Gunnar Sport comes in eleven different sizes ranging from 48 to 68 cm, in 2 cm increments. It costs $800 for the frame, with forks ranging from $120 to $275. So, with a decent headset (eg, Cane Creek S-2), you could buy a Gunnar for as little as $950 -- or $200 less than the SH. You could choose from a range of paint colors, in contrast to only one offered by Rivendell. For modest upcharges, you could customize the paint or pick just about any color in the book. The Gunnar stock geometry is much more conventional than Rivendell, and if it doesn't suit you, they can fully customize the geometry for an extra $350. Rivendell doesn't publish the weight of their frames & forks -- and good luck finding that information from them -- but I suspect that the Gunnar is considerably lighter.

    The Gunnar Crosshairs (CX frame) is available for the same price for the frame and fork, with similar sizing and geometry, if you prefer a frame with room for larger tires and canti brakes.

    In short, I don't think it's a no-brainer at all. I am sure that the Rivendell craftmanship and lugs are appealing to some -- if you can make geometry and sizing work for you -- but I personally feel that Gunnar offers much more selection in terms of sizing, geometry, colors and for less money.

  5. #155
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The Surly LHT is not anywhere close to being original and like Rivendell uses what I consider to be classic and time proven geometry to create a very capable touring bike.

    As far as value goes, the LHT is a nearly unbeatable deal unless you are buying used and they have proven themselves to be tough and ultra dependable bicycles.

    My expedition bike is a 1987 Kuwahara Cascade that I have ridden in excess of 30,000 km since I bought it and passed on buying a Miyata 1000 because the Cascade is just that freaking nice.

    Have done a lot of work on it but as new it was a 900.00 bike which is pretty good for what was a hand built Japanese frame built on Ishiwata quad butted tubes... it rides beautifully and has handled epic amounts of abuse as it spent a few winters as an ss and fg bike and then I decided she was too nice for that.



    The Raleigh / Carlton Gran Sport that Keller posted is one of the sweetest riding bikes... it is not one that I put put a Clyde on but the combination of that 531 frame and fork, long wheelbase, and sport geometry all comes together to make for one hell of a nice ride.

  6. #156
    Senior Member
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    The Gunnar Sport is very different for the Sam Hill though. Much smaller tire clearance, fewer eyelets, shorter stays ...on and on. There is no end to comparisons though, and it's just mind fodder to do it really. They each are what they are, take them or leave them.

    Value the one you get.

  7. #157
    cherish the day buck65's Avatar
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    So I decided to visit the folks this past weekend and I found an old sewing machine in the garage. Having lusted for some of the bags on the Riv site, I decided to try and make my own because the Sacksville bags are waaaaay out of my budget. So, with 2 hours of lessons on how to use a sewing machine, and $20 in materials, I had everything needed to create my own bicycle bag (on the cheap, of course).

    Here's a shot of the bag on my bike.


    Here's a closer look of the inside (tons of extra space for other items):


    Now, I know this is nowhere near the quality of the Riv bags, but I had fun designing and sewing the bag. The fabric is a duck canvas, but it's pretty flimsy. I'm going to look for some heavier material in the future....perhaps there is a better grade of canvas that I didn't see. I'm really pleased with the outcome, even though there are some major problem areas. And, I also have enough material to make about 5 more of these bags, or maybe a seat bag and some panniers instead.

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    The SH frames have extremely long top tubes. Eg, the size 56 has 59 cm top tube, which is 2 cm longer than my size 57 frames.
    The top tube length on the Hillborne isn't really as long as it appears. First, the seat tube angle is 71.5 degrees, which negates much of the perceived length. Second, since the SH uses Rivendell's expanded geometry, which raises the front of the bike, the TT measurement is being taken along a line that is higher from the ground compared to a "traditional" frame. So although a 59cm TT may sound long compared to other bikes of it's size, it's really not.

    I own a 56cm Sam Hillborne and really enjoy the way that it rides.

  9. #159
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buck65 View Post
    So I decided to visit the folks this past weekend and I found an old sewing machine in the garage. Having lusted for some of the bags on the Riv site, I decided to try and make my own because the Sacksville bags are waaaaay out of my budget. So, with 2 hours of lessons on how to use a sewing machine, and $20 in materials, I had everything needed to create my own bicycle bag (on the cheap, of course).

    Now, I know this is nowhere near the quality of the Riv bags, but I had fun designing and sewing the bag. The fabric is a duck canvas, but it's pretty flimsy. I'm going to look for some heavier material in the future....perhaps there is a better grade of canvas that I didn't see. I'm really pleased with the outcome, even though there are some major problem areas. And, I also have enough material to make about 5 more of these bags, or maybe a seat bag and some panniers instead.
    Buck 65-- have a pattern or a link to a thread on your bag project?
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  10. #160
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Since this thread started, another very worthy option has come onto the scene -- the new redesigned Salsa Casseroll for 2011. If you were interested in or unsure about the Casseroll before, take another look because they have made substantial changes to the design, including:
    -- longer head tubes (perhaps even longer than many Rivendells)
    -- nearly level top tube
    -- cantilever brakes
    -- clearance for much larger tires, up to 38 w/ fenders
    -- front rack and painted stem included w/ frame
    -- curved front fork w/ rack attachments
    -- new color, light blue w/ silver trim

    The suggested list price is $600 for the frame and fork, which includes a seat collar, plus a stem and front rack painted to match the frame. They also sell complete bikes, I think for about $1,200.

    http://salsacycles.com/bikes/casseroll/

    In short, the new Casseroll is a Rivendell-buster if money is at all an issue for you. It costs half as much as a Sam Hillburn and has all its features and more.

  11. #161
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    This might have already been pointed out, but a poor man's Rivendell is a Grant Era Bridgestone.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  12. #162
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    Haven't checked out this thread in a while, but why do Buck's post about and sixty fiver above have a window?

    I am enjoying this thread overall.

  13. #163
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShinyBiker View Post
    Haven't checked out this thread in a while, but why do Buck's post about and sixty fiver above have a window?

    I am enjoying this thread overall.
    I just noticed that on a post of mine in C&V, I think it has something to do with the image size...

  14. #164
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Mercian and Bob Jackson are charming, lower-priced alternatives to Rivendells.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  15. #165
    Junior Member adriennevan's Avatar
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    You can make a lot of lower-end bikes into quality touring bikes, in my opinion. I took a 2009 Jamis Coda, modified it, and rode Vancouver to Tijuana this summer.

    Bike stock:


    Bike after:


    Some of the steps:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/adrienn...th/4513496677/

    The hardest part was putting on the bullhorn bars, since I was now using time trial brake levers (with bar end shifters) and learned the hard way that I needed to convert long-pull to short-pull with a travel agent.

    But anyway, regardless of make or model, I think it's up to you to make yourself a poor man's Rivendell! My bike cost $500 new and I added about $300-400 to make it what it is.

  16. #166
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adriennevan View Post
    You can make a lot of lower-end bikes into quality touring bikes, in my opinion. I took a 2009 Jamis Coda, modified it, and rode Vancouver to Tijuana this summer.

    Bike stock:


    Bike after:


    Some of the steps:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/adrienn...th/4513496677/

    The hardest part was putting on the bullhorn bars, since I was now using time trial brake levers (with bar end shifters) and learned the hard way that I needed to convert long-pull to short-pull with a travel agent.

    But anyway, regardless of make or model, I think it's up to you to make yourself a poor man's Rivendell! My bike cost $500 new and I added about $300-400 to make it what it is.
    Beautiful! (and the bike is not bad either)
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
    Live in Houston? Come to http://bicyclecommutehouston.blogspot.com/
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  17. #167
    Senior Member
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    Saw the Flickr stream Adrienne. Lovely. Oh, and the bike is very nice too!
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  18. #168
    Junior Member adriennevan's Avatar
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    Thank you both!!

  19. #169
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShinyBiker View Post
    Haven't checked out this thread in a while, but why do Buck's post about and sixty fiver above have a window?

    I am enjoying this thread overall.
    My default image is 1000 by 750 so it creates a viewing window.

  20. #170
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    Resurrecting an old thread here.

    Does anyone with experience the Surly LHT and the Cross Check have an opinion on which bike would be most like a Riv A Homer Hilson or Bleriot? I'm interested in a poor man's version of those bikes but I don't know enough about Rivendell bike's handling and how they compare to other maker's bikes.

  21. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    Resurrecting an old thread here.

    Does anyone with experience the Surly LHT and the Cross Check have an opinion on which bike would be most like a Riv A Homer Hilson or Bleriot? I'm interested in a poor man's version of those bikes but I don't know enough about Rivendell bike's handling and how they compare to other maker's bikes.
    Thank you for bringing it back to life.

    I would love to have a Rivendell, but working in the public sector means you earn less money. My budget is lower than the more recent suggestions -- I am stuck looking at craigslist for an old Schwinn or Trek for less than $200. Something like this is dreamy to me, heck even this looks good.

    Any opinions on which older bikes would be a good comfortable option?

  22. #172
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    No actually, average US public sector employees get paid more, and that was before the crash.

    Has anyone seen a pick of the new Handlebars Grant is working on?

  23. #173
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
    No actually, average US public sector employees get paid more, and that was before the crash.
    That's highly dependent on your field. The OP may very well be making less than his counterparts in the private sector.

  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriswrong View Post
    Thank you for bringing it back to life.

    I would love to have a Rivendell, but working in the public sector means you earn less money. My budget is lower than the more recent suggestions -- I am stuck looking at craigslist for an old Schwinn or Trek for less than $200. Something like this is dreamy to me, heck even this looks good.

    Any opinions on which older bikes would be a good comfortable option?

    In general early to mid 80's Japanese "10 speeds" are great bikes at affordable prices. Sometimes they even have 12 speeds. Brands like Fuji, Miyata, Nishiki, Centurion, Panasonic, Bridgestone, certain Schwinn models, and a few others I am probably forgetting. I personally love my Suteki - a Japanese bike of the period sold by Sears. Most of the ones out there are what was called "sport touring" bicycles, which makes their geometries pretty Riv'ish - long chainstays, long reach brakes, space for 35mm wide tires, and somewhat relaxed angles.

  25. #175
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    Resurrecting an old thread here.

    Does anyone with experience the Surly LHT and the Cross Check have an opinion on which bike would be most like a Riv A Homer Hilson or Bleriot? I'm interested in a poor man's version of those bikes but I don't know enough about Rivendell bike's handling and how they compare to other maker's bikes.
    I replaced my LHT with a Hunqapillar. My experience with it is filed under Hunqapillar on blog.The LHT is similar to the Hunq in function but the Hunq is more nimble and more comfortable. I'd say the Cross Check is closer to the Hilson. The LHT and Cross Check are both great bikes,my '86 Trek 560 is a great bike but there just isn't a "poor man's Riv." Their geometry is different enoughto make them a completely different animal.

    Marc
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