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

AusTexMurf 05-24-13 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 15661296)
My Kuwahara Cascade must be the poor man's version of an LHT... albeit lugged.

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


Amazing bike, SixtyFiver......always one of my fav's on BF.
Nice.

erg79 05-24-13 12:23 PM

Lots of drool-worthy bikes in this thread.

Commodus 05-24-13 03:44 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...

A poor man's Atlantis, sure. Rivendell does make more than one kind of bike.

dvald001 05-24-13 09:48 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?

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.

fuzz2050 05-25-13 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Commodus (Post 15663949)
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).

DIMcyclist 05-27-13 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bikemig (Post 15657390)
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.

corwin1968 05-27-13 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fuzz2050 (Post 15666420)
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.

lungimsam 05-27-13 01:11 PM

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.

corwin1968 05-27-13 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lungimsam (Post 15672648)
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.

DIMcyclist 05-27-13 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corwin1968 (Post 15672425)
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.

rekmeyata 05-27-13 05:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DIMcyclist (Post 15672380)
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.

dvald001 05-27-13 07:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corwin1968 (Post 15672425)
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.

corwin1968 05-27-13 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dvald001 (Post 15673978)
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.

DIMcyclist 05-27-13 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dvald001 (Post 15673978)
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.

tjspiel 05-28-13 09:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corwin1968 (Post 15674227)
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.

tarwheel 05-28-13 11:48 AM

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.

noglider 05-28-13 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tjspiel (Post 15675763)
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?

corwin1968 05-28-13 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noglider (Post 15676511)
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.

tjspiel 05-28-13 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corwin1968 (Post 15676769)
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.

noglider 05-28-13 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corwin1968 (Post 15676769)
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.

corwin1968 05-28-13 02:35 PM

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.

corwin1968 05-28-13 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tjspiel (Post 15676843)
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.

rekmeyata 05-28-13 06:56 PM

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/

tarwheel 05-28-13 07:57 PM

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.

rekmeyata 05-28-13 09:29 PM

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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