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Old 03-24-10, 12:36 PM   #1
futuregrace
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What is the Poor Man's Rivendell?

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?
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Old 03-24-10, 12:37 PM   #2
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Also could moustache bars be put on something like an Aurora? http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...aurora_gn.html
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Old 03-24-10, 12:42 PM   #3
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I don't know about whether or not this is a "Poor Man's" version, but this guy has built up a Surley LHT and even Homer had to do a second take.

Dig the Delta Cruiser tires in Creme to finish off the look.

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Old 03-24-10, 12:47 PM   #4
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The Rivendell folks themselves say that, if you don't want lugs or custom sizing, buy a Surly LHT (Long Haul Trucker). If you DO want/need custom sizing, then Gunnar makes high quality steel frames that are less expensive than Rivendell. In fact, the American Rivendell frames are made by Waterford, and Gunnar is part of Waterford. Even going the Gunnar approach will put you over the $2K mark. You can get a complete LHT for well within your budget.
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Old 03-24-10, 12:50 PM   #5
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Long Haul Trucker is basically a clone of the Atlantis.
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Old 03-24-10, 01:27 PM   #6
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If you're somewhat mechanical or have a local bike coop to help you out, try looking at vintage bikes. You're basically looking for a "sport touring" bike (essentially a road bike with more relaxed geometry and more fender/tire clearance), which were very common in the 80s. It may take some patience, but it will be by far the cheapest way to get what you want.
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Old 03-24-10, 01:45 PM   #7
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As others have said, the Surly Long Haul Trucker. Supposedly designed as a lower budget version of the Atlantis.
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Old 03-24-10, 01:51 PM   #8
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I love my Salsa Casserole Single, I currently have 35s on, but it'll fit 32s and fenders. There is also a pretty affordable geared bike they make that's worth checking out.

Official Site:
http://salsacycles.com/bikes/casseroll_double/

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/2879107...71844/sizes/l/
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Old 03-24-10, 02:01 PM   #9
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Do what I did, get yourself an old Kabuki. That's what Grant Petersen was making before he made Rivendells. I've got a Kabuki Syd that I have plans for turning into a touring bike.
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Old 03-24-10, 02:21 PM   #10
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Find an older Trek 520. Until some point they were lugged...right?
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Old 03-24-10, 02:28 PM   #11
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Fuji has some retro bikes for a good price. Check out the Classic series.
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Old 03-24-10, 02:43 PM   #12
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Any bike I've ever ridden could be called a poor-man's Rivendell, or even a poor-man's Rivendell substitute.
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Old 03-24-10, 04:03 PM   #13
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If you want lugs, check out the Velo Orange Rando Frame http://www.velo-orange.com/vorafrcoso.html or the Soma Stanyan http://www.somafab.com/stanyan.html
Also Riv and Soma are working on a low priced (for Riv) road bike http://www.rivbike.com/blogs/news_post/181
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Old 03-24-10, 04:05 PM   #14
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Rivs sure are pretty but I am not financially in the position to buy one new. I have less money in the Previa I bought 3 months ago and it has working dual A/C and it is Supercharged.
Most of the rivs are close to a Touring bike geometry.

My version.


1998 T700 C-Dale I bought for $350 already wearing STI's. I threw on a set of SKS's and the Brooks from the bike it replaced.

I have a 1984 Lotus that I just picked up last week and tinkering on. SWEET rider and came with 700's. Came from the Tsonada Bicycle company in Japan.


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Old 03-24-10, 04:09 PM   #15
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@Grim - Nice T700, wish mine was that same green color! Not that the blue is horrible...but well..you know.
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Old 03-24-10, 04:13 PM   #16
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My 95 is blue
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Old 03-24-10, 04:17 PM   #17
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A poor man can't afford decorative lugs. Everything else on your list can be had with practically any touring or so-called "sport touring" bike. My poor man's Rivendell is a '94 Bridgestone RB-T I found at a sports consignment shop.
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Old 03-24-10, 04:29 PM   #18
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I'd like to think that my Surly Pacer falls into that category as well. Although it helped that I had many of the pieces laying around.



More relaxed than my roadbike, but certainly not out of place when wearing lycra. I commute on it on nice days, and it's my century/charity ride bike.
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Old 03-24-10, 04:46 PM   #19
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thanks

Thanks for all the ideas. The Surly looks nice. All good ideas. I'll check them out more later tonight.

I did wonder about the every other bike I've ridden is a poor man's Rivendell. Is that to say they really are worth the money? Any of you own one and wish you didn't spend the extra cash on it?
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Old 03-24-10, 04:53 PM   #20
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A poor man can't afford decorative lugs.
Not so. I got a bike with these off craigslist for $40.



Of course, the rest of the bike wasn't up to Riv level, but it has nice lugs and a head badge.
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Old 03-24-10, 05:19 PM   #21
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Riv is buying bikes or the parts to build the bikes from Japan and putting their head badge. Riv has the market and they are sweet bikes. Love to own one one day.

That is exactly the same thing that was happening in the 70's and 80's till japans economy went to crap and the exchange rate got hosed. Miyata does all their own fabrications including Lugs. Miyata spec built a lot of other brands including Univega. Nothing wrong with that.

I suspect Miyata sells a lot of loose parts like lugs to other manufactures like Tsunoda that built my Lotus. I say that because I owed a Miyata and the head and BB lugs are identical and in fact that is a major reason why I bought that Lotus. Sheldon also confirms some of this. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/japan.html#miyata
The Seat stay lug and head lugs on the Atlantis look like those on my old six ten Miyata.

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Old 03-24-10, 05:37 PM   #22
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Here's mine:


The super el-cheapo route:

1. Buy a Windsor Tourist

2. Immediately remove and sell as new on ebay handlebars, stem, saddle, and STI levers.

3. Replace sold parts with Nitto Noodle bars, Nitto Technomic stem, Brooks saddle, and bar end shifters.

I still don't have a lugged frame, but oh well.
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Old 03-24-10, 06:21 PM   #23
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I too would love a Riv. Alas my finances don't allow ATM nor can I justify a purchase now for the long term... My poor man's Bombadil is a 95-96 Specialized Hardrock that I've fitted with On One Mary Handlebars, a Pletscher rack in the front, PB Hardcore fenders, MKS pedals with Power Grips and a Cardiff Wessex sprung saddle. I have some semi-slicks on the bike (26x 1.75 Fotre Gothams.) Once I got the saddle position and tilt dialed in, it's a really comfy ride. Not fast but quite reliable. Of course once I get it dialed in I start thinking about changing things... considering Xtracycle-izing the bike, not something I think anyone would do to a Rivendell.
Still prefer my Aurora though!

Last edited by Aeneas; 03-24-10 at 06:24 PM. Reason: Me spellz guud!
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Old 03-24-10, 07:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by futuregrace View Post
Thanks for all the ideas. The Surly looks nice. All good ideas. I'll check them out more later tonight.

I did wonder about the every other bike I've ridden is a poor man's Rivendell. Is that to say they really are worth the money? Any of you own one and wish you didn't spend the extra cash on it?

Your reference to "Rivendell bikes" is starting to look meaningless. If you want a particular geometry in a production bike that is similar to "Rivendell bikes" that can be found. To question whether a limited production or boutique production bike is "worth it" that's a question involving personal budgets which is like asking if people like brunettes or $40 entrees are worth it.
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Old 03-24-10, 08:17 PM   #25
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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?
Country bike is basically a Rivendell marketing term. Basically, it translates out to "all our bikes can take fat tires, can do moderate trail riding, and can haul a decent load". It also has a lot to do with looks, since Grant has very specific notions about what makes for a pretty bike. Lugs are a big part of it. Grant is a pretty tall guy, and their stock bikes are very much built for tall people. He thinks a bike built for tall is pretty, because it's what fits him. It's fair.

If you dig into the fitting stuff in more detail, Grant is also pretty sane on fitting very small people. That's a lot of why he likes long chainstays... they're not just for hauling, but also for making it easy to fit a small person on a bike.

Pretty much any stock bike that's meant for touring can be turned into a Riv-alike. Some cyclocross bikes can as well.

The one person I know whose daily ride is a Riv doesn't have a stock one. She's got full custom, and is happy as a clam. Given my disabilities, a Riv is actually a fairly cheap bike if I want a more roadie oriented bike. I've got some serious arthritis issues, and they're one of the few makes that does step throughs. But IMO if you do not really need the stuff that is damn near Riv-only... it's not really sensible to spring for their bikes.
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