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-   -   What is the Poor Man's Rivendell? (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/631114-what-poor-mans-rivendell.html)

gerv 03-23-13 07:16 PM

I just built up this Soma Doublecross for my son.

http://i1022.photobucket.com/albums/...t/IMG_0547.jpg

Chris_in_Miami 03-24-13 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rekmeyata (Post 15422468)
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.

You're preaching to the choir, believe me. Here's my 85 Voyageur SP, another good candidate for "poor man's Rivendell," one of my favorite bikes:

Great looking Soma, Gerv!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-P...317_113947.jpg

rekmeyata 03-24-13 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami (Post 15427292)
You're preaching to the choir, believe me. Here's my 85 Voyageur SP, another good candidate for "poor man's Rivendell," one of my favorite bikes:

Great looking Soma, Gerv!



https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-P...317_113947.jpg

Great looking bike, you kept it up very well. I have a set of Suntour bar end shifters but I haven't installed them yet and maybe won't because I'm having no trouble shifting from the downtube when loaded which I though I would have some problems.

In case you haven't seen the spec sheet on your bike here it is: http://bikecatalogs.org/SCHWINN/1985...Page_1%29.html If you hit the next tab the next page will show the Le Tour Luxe specs.

corwin1968 05-22-13 04:49 PM

I was introduced to Rivendell Bicycle Works and Grant Petersen's writings almost two years ago and was very intrigued. I bought my first adult bicycle, a Trek Multitrack, in 1995 and rode it for twelve years and then gave it to my dad and bought a 2007 Trek 7.2 FX. I was riding the FX when I discovered RBW and because I wanted to test some of Grant's ideas, I gave the 7.2 to my dad and got my old Multitrack back from him. I rode it for a bit and discovered it was too small so I started watching Craigslist for a replacement and about 3 months later I scored the same year and model Multitrack in a larger size.

I've spent the last year or so upgrading different components on that bike and reading about frame geometry and comparing that to the ride characteristics of my bike. I quickly discovered that my bike had too much trail so I bought a new fork with 1cm more rake and dropped the trail from 74 to 66mm. This was a vast improvement. I also decided I wanted to try longer chainstays, a lower bottom bracket and even lower trail so I started searching for appropriate frames and finally found the Handsome Devil.

Handsome Cycles was started in Minneapolis by a couple of guys who work in a bike shop where there is a great deal of reverence for Bridgestone bicycles. With Grant's blessing they recreated the XO-1 and then designed the Devil as a 700c version of the XO-1.

The Devil has 73 degree seat and head tube angles, a 45mm rake fork (trail of 60), chainstays of 43.6 + cm, and 70mm of bottom bracket drop. The Devil's trail is right where Grant has stated he likes it, the bottom bracket is higher by Rivendell standards but lower than what I was riding and the chainstays came out to 44.5 cm with the forward facing dropouts. All of my bikes have had 73 degree seat tube angles so the more shallow angles are still an area to be explored for me. Otherwise, this bike is a solid middle-ground between what I was riding and a Hunqapillar. In fact, it has the same basic geometry as the Legolas and the 1994 Bridgestone RB-T.

I've only ridden it a couple of miles but my initial impressions are very positive. I don't feel a huge difference from the additional chainstay length but the bike feels much more stable and smooth and surprisingly, the front end feels more stable with 60mm of trail than it did with 66mm of trail. The overall stability I attribute to the lower bottom bracket (an maybe the longer chainstays) and the more stable feeling front-end I'm guessing is a result of 60mm of trail being in the so-called "neutral steering" range. I know I never would have take my hands off the handlebars of my Trek but I was completely comfortable riding this bike with no hands. My Multitrack felt a little squirrely when making really tight turns (like doing a 180 in the width of a residenctial 2-lane street and I didn't like doing it at all with the 40mm Duremes on. This bike, even with the Duremes, just whips right thru that tight turnaround without any feeling of instability.

The plan now is to eventually make my way out to RBW headquarters so I can actually test ride a Hunqapillar. If the ride quality improvement from the Devil to the Hunqapillar is equal to the improvement from the Trek to the Devil, I'll set my sights on eventually getting the Hunq.

Future plans include gradually lowering the handlebars as I get back into bike riding shape, installing my 32mm Vittoria Randonneur Hyper tires and possibly converting to drop handlebars.

Specs:

55cm Handsome Devil
Deore 48/36/26 crankset
11-28 9-speed cassette
Deore V-brakes
Velocity Dyad rims
Schwalbe 40mm Dureme tires

As weighed on LBS digital scale: 26.7 lbs. I calculate that replacing the Duremes with my 32mm Vittoria's, the weight will drop to 25.5 lbs.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...ps570fc2fa.jpg

dvald001 05-22-13 06:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1987cp (Post 15417211)
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).

Put a lot of miles on mine and really enjoy it. I treat it more as a Commuteur though--I've added racks, fenders, high up Rando bars, and 40 mm wide tires. I've got nothing but praise for it.

gerv 05-22-13 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami (Post 15427292)
You're preaching to the choir, believe me. Here's my 85 Voyageur SP, another good candidate for "poor man's Rivendell," one of my favorite bikes:

Great looking Soma, Gerv!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-P...317_113947.jpg

Seeing your bike I'm kind of wondering why I went for a new frame. The Soma was for my son, but I saw a beautiful Schwinn Prelude (late 80s) at the bike co-op last week and had a sudden vision of something roughly like yours.

Lot of nice details in your build too.... but one question: are those Pasela Tourguards? If yes, do you like them?

bragi 05-22-13 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by futuregrace (Post 10571471)
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. 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...

tarwheel 05-23-13 06:19 AM

Handsome bike! I was considering one of their frames a few years ago, but they discontinued it. It was more of a road frame made with Reynolds 631, but stopped production almost as soon as they started for some reason. I also like their XOXO model, and that would be a top choice if I wanted a bike with 26" wheels.

bikemig 05-23-13 06:54 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by gerv (Post 15423479)
I just built up this Soma Doublecross for my son.

http://i1022.photobucket.com/albums/...t/IMG_0547.jpg

I love my doublecross; it's a sweet riding bike. I built it up using a mix of parts from old bike. There is something satisfying about recycling parts:
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=318678

bikemig 05-23-13 07:09 AM

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 wateford 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.

Rivendell sells more than just bikes; it is also a philosophy about bikes. If you buy it (and there are some attractive aspects of GP's philosophy), then by all means get the bike. If you don't, there are attractive alternatives like refurbishing an old bike, buying a reasonably priced steel from some Soma or Surly, or buying a custom bike.

rekmeyata 05-23-13 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerv (Post 15656007)
Seeing your bike I'm kind of wondering why I went for a new frame. The Soma was for my son, but I saw a beautiful Schwinn Prelude (late 80s) at the bike co-op last week and had a sudden vision of something roughly like yours.

Lot of nice details in your build too.... but one question: are those Pasela Tourguards? If yes, do you like them?

That happened to me too, I bought a 07 Mercian for touring ,and then about 4 years later ran into a mint condition used (if 250 miles is used!) Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, now wish I hadn't bought the Mercian because I'm not even using it since I got the Schwinn.

I also use the Pasela TG tires on the Schwinn because they came in 27" size and with tan sidewalls to give it that vintage look. I'm using the 1 1/4 size on the rear and 1 1/8th on the front. So far I love them. They seem to be wearing like iron after about 1,500 miles and no flats or cuts, and they ride nice though they are not racing tires - they are light to medium load bearing touring tire, their not heavy or sluggish like other touring tires just not as fast as a smooth tread lighter race tire would be, and the tread pattern is directional so you do have to mount them in the correct direction. I've ridden them off road, obviously not rough stuff but they handle dirt and gravel well enough. I did however put a Panaracer Flat Away liner in the rear tire because I wanted to make sure I didn't get any flats on the rear while touring because I didn't want the hassle of removing the panniers, and the fender just to get the darn wheel off then put all that crap back on. The front tire I didn't bother putting a liner in that since fronts typically get less flats and I'm not currently using front panniers. In word, I love these tires.

corwin1968 05-23-13 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tarwheel (Post 15657267)
Handsome bike! I was considering one of their frames a few years ago, but they discontinued it. It was more of a road frame made with Reynolds 631, but stopped production almost as soon as they started for some reason. I also like their XOXO model, and that would be a top choice if I wanted a bike with 26" wheels.

There is a Youtube video where one of the owners talks about their bikes and they cover the bike you are talking about. It was a very slick looking bike and I've wondered why they discontinued it.

dvald001 05-23-13 05:08 PM

http://i.imgur.com/y9mEHxj.jpg

I think the VO's Campeur makes a pretty nice Rivendell-on-a-Budget. It has lots of tire clearance, it's easy to get the handlebars high, and it's all steel. Personally, I prefer a good bike in the 1000-2000 price range to one that's 3-4k. If a bike is too expensive I think it'd be hard for me not to worry about it, which would make it less fun for me. I'm just not at that income level where I could shrug off a 3k loss, but I could grit my teeth through losing my Campeur if it got wrecked or stolen.

noglider 05-23-13 05:28 PM

bragi, you raise good points. The Surly bikes are really heavy. That's fine for some applications and riders, but it's a deal breaker for me.

I know a couple of people who own Rivendell bikes who didn't really expect to love them as much as they do. I guess there is something to them.

bikemig 05-23-13 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dvald001 (Post 15659692)
http://i.imgur.com/y9mEHxj.jpg

I think the VO's Campeur makes a pretty nice Rivendell-on-a-Budget. It has lots of tire clearance, it's easy to get the handlebars high, and it's all steel. Personally, I prefer a good bike in the 1000-2000 price range to one that's 3-4k. If a bike is too expensive I think it'd be hard for me not to worry about it, which would make it less fun for me. I'm just not at that income level where I could shrug off a 3k loss, but I could grit my teeth through losing my Campeur if it got wrecked or stolen.

Really nice looking bike; I've been tempted to pick one up. I think your advice is spot on. A bike is just a tool and you can't be so worried about messing it up that you don't ride it hard. And, to be blunt, you hit the law of diminishing returns on this stuff pretty fast.

nybble 05-23-13 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dvald001 (Post 15659692)

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?

gerv 05-23-13 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bragi (Post 15656836)
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...

Bragi, have you looked at the Soma San Marcos? Not a touring bike, but probably pretty close and it is a lugged, Rivendell design and probably much quite a bit cheaper. I believer you can get frames for about $750. Which would put a build with modest parts under $2000.

http://www.somafab.com/wp-content/up...ong_crop1K.jpg

http://www.somafab.com/archives/prod...rcos-frame-set

If I were looking for a new bike, I think this would be it.

gerv 05-23-13 07:41 PM

Although this Mercier I picked up (at least pieces of it) a few years ago is probably closer to a poor man's Rivendell. It's now my current fascination. I ride home from work and then take off on this one for a real ride.
http://i1022.photobucket.com/albums/...t/IMG_0637.jpg

bikemig 05-23-13 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerv (Post 15660298)
Although this Mercier I picked up (at least pieces of it) a few years ago is probably closer to a poor man's Rivendell. It's now my current fascination. I ride home from work and then take off on this one for a real ride.
http://i1022.photobucket.com/albums/...t/IMG_0637.jpg

I like it; that's a fine old bike.

gnome 05-23-13 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nybble (Post 15659955)
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?

Looks like it is one of the larger Carradice saddlebags.

gnome 05-23-13 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dvald001 (Post 15659692)
http://i.imgur.com/y9mEHxj.jpg

I think the VO's Campeur makes a pretty nice Rivendell-on-a-Budget. It has lots of tire clearance, it's easy to get the handlebars high, and it's all steel. Personally, I prefer a good bike in the 1000-2000 price range to one that's 3-4k. If a bike is too expensive I think it'd be hard for me not to worry about it, which would make it less fun for me. I'm just not at that income level where I could shrug off a 3k loss, but I could grit my teeth through losing my Campeur if it got wrecked or stolen.

That's a smart looking build.

Andy_K 05-24-13 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bragi (Post 15656836)
Surly LHT. OK, maybe not a poor man's version of Rivendell, more like a middle-income man's version.

I think of it more as a cheap man's Rivendell. I could probably afford an actual Rivendell, but I'm too cheap to buy one.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8544/8...df3b40f9_c.jpg

Sixty Fiver 05-24-13 01:53 AM

My Kuwahara Cascade must be the poor man's version of an LHT... albeit lugged.

http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikep...11cascade1.JPG

Chris_in_Miami 05-24-13 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerv (Post 15656007)
Seeing your bike I'm kind of wondering why I went for a new frame. The Soma was for my son, but I saw a beautiful Schwinn Prelude (late 80s) at the bike co-op last week and had a sudden vision of something roughly like yours.

Lot of nice details in your build too.... but one question: are those Pasela Tourguards? If yes, do you like them?

Thanks gerv! The tires are non-Tourguard Paselas in the gigantic 700x35 size. They're fine for my purposes and pretty hard to beat from a price/performance standpoint. I've heard that some folks don't like the feel of the Tourguard version, and fortunately I don't need the extra flat protection where I ride.

Chris_in_Miami 05-24-13 08:27 AM

Loving the bikes in this thread, especially that Campeur :thumb:


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