This has to be the best Rivendell thread ever! 3 years 6 months and still rolling along.
FYI, I love my Hunq.
This has to be the best Rivendell thread ever! 3 years 6 months and still rolling along.
FYI, I love my Hunq.
This is my second attempt at making a poor man's Riv. My first attempt is post #356 . Didn't like the upright riding position for a commuter so it was converted back.
Now I am in need of an upright style bike and so I built this with 650b wheels and Hetre tires. Unfortunately this bike doesn't quite hit the mark. I want the bars a lot higher than the saddle for that sit up and beg position. All the components have bee removed from this frame and in time they will go onto a Riv frame. Just have to find the right one.
Okay, I'll play. I didn't set out to make a "poor man's Rivendell", but I can't deny there are some similarities between what I ended up with and some of the aspects of Rivendell bikes. Although I'm intrigued by 650b tires I don't have any interest in going there any time soon, and I'm quite content with my converted MTB's ('88 GT Timberline and 1993 GT Outpost) for touring and commuting (respectively). In fact, although I wonder about how the ride feels on Rivendell bikes, none of their frames appeal to me aesthetically.
That said, I have some sympapthies for what Grant is trying to do and provide, despite the fact that I personally need some specialized cycling clothes to commute about 15 hilly miles in the rain each day. Although, I favor polyester short sleeved dress shirts (or motocross jerseys), wool tights, and a pair of shorts over my padded bib tights, so I think I'm closer to what he espouses in that regard than someone in racing kit. I understand where he is coming from on the issue of riding clothes, I think he is just going a little far to the other extreme to make his point, which might do a disservice to some people who attempt to ride in all street clothes without realizing you might need cycling undergarments or to tweak the materials of the clothes you wear for riding. The rest of his philosophies I tend to be in a similar position, heading the same direction generally, but on a slightly little different course. I see him as an ally and asset, but I don't want to emulate what he is doing exactly.
Further, I've patronized Rivendell for some parts, my kickstand mounting plate and its chainstay pieces, my Nitto Big Front Rack, Spanniga fender light (went on my girlfriends converted MTB), Sheldon's fender nuts, my kickstand itself, and going over my records, I see that my wool tights actually came from Rivendell as well! I've also purchased some Newbaum's bar tape from them that I'm eventually going to wrap the bottom of my kickstand legs with to keep the feet from climbing up and shellac it, as well as wrapping my brake levers with it and shellacing that too. Some of these things (all of them?) I could have purchased elsewhere, but I want Rivendell to succeed, and so I sometimes order from there even when I could get what I need from somewhere else cheaper. Although them having enough of the type of things I am looking for on their online store makes it a no-brainer for me to order from them sometimes rather than several other places instead.
Obviously, I prefer an upright riding stance and platform pedals as well:
1993 GT Outpost
I've actually just picked up a very similar frame that I am in the process of building up to replace this low-end Outpost that likely has hi-tensile rear stays and the replacement is actually going to have the handlebars up a little bit higher. The geometry of my 1994 GT Corrado appears to be identical to this Outpost, but I expect the double butted True Temper tubing will be a little nicer on me over Seattle's awful, awful roads. Besides, as much as I love my Outpost, there's no denying it weighs a ton and the Corrado's frame is definitely lighter!
Now for some caveats on my build:
* The Brooks saddle: this came from a friend who didn't like it, after I broke a different saddle. I was curious about Brooks, but leery enough about them that I'm not sure I would have purchased one on my own. I was quite happy with my decade old $35 gel ergonomic Serfas double sprung saddle, but I cannot mount the Carradice quick release saddlebag support on it. I've had a difficult break-in with this saddle, and am at over a thousand miles on it now and think it might be broken in, but I'm still not 100% pleased with it. I was able to do some longer rides on it recently without any issues so I guess I have to say it is working for me. I'd prefer something else though. I worry it is a theft magnet and I don't like that I have to put a rain cover on it all the time, and still feel that my old gel saddle was more comfortable most of the time. It has finally gotten to where it is comfortable most of the time, so the urgency for trying a Terry or something else has definitely dropped quite a bit now that it doesn't feel that I am sitting on rock hard plastic anymore.
Long story short? I ended up with a Brooks by happenstance and it may well get replaced, I certainly didn't choose it in an attempt to get a certain aesthetic, although I think some of the compliments my build gets come from folks who like seeing a Brooks on there which elicits a sort of wry smile from me as I bite my tongue and don't say I'm not really a fan of this saddle and didn't purposely mount it for effect.
* The large saddlebag: I orginally went this route because this because this bike didn't have the usual upper mounting points for a rear rack. I'm glad I got forced this direction, because I absolutely love it and can't imagine carrying around all my everyday stuff any other way now. I'm the kind of guy that needs a "man purse" or messenger bag just for all the things I always have on me, but I hate riding with anything on my back (unless it is a minimal Camelback offroad or on a tour). The Carradice quick release saddlebag support means that I can have this bag off the bike in just a few seconds and with it's sling brought out from where it was tucked under the flap it is quickly on my shoulder and is comfortable across my back walking. Since the bike is parked in my livingroom at home this bag kind of functions as the top of my dresser as my glasses, wallet, keys, watch, and phone are usually in this bag when they aren't on my person. This bag has the long-flap feature as well and so has quite a bit of carrying capacity, usually I can fit a days worth of work clothes and sometimes my lunch in there along with spare tube, pump, tools, spare gloves and all my daily accoutrement.
At the risk of getting flamed, I really don't like the looks of the bags Rivendell offers, I think that in some ways they look cheap, and often they look floppy which I can't stand. I'm not keen on the colors and don't want plaid. Likewise, although I totally respect Carradice and patronize them when I can, I don't like their more modern offerings aesthetically, and I don't really like the white leather on their other bags. I was quite happy to find Zimbale bags which are quite similar, but come with honey colored leather. As much as I'd like to support Carradice, I'm okay with giving South Koreans my business as well, I don't think their workers are treated anything like a lot of other workers in Asia. Besides, I've given Carradice my business not only for the saddlebag support, but the eagle eyed will spot a Carradice Cape Roll mounted on top of the 18 liter Zimbale saddlebag. We may well choose Carradice for one of my girlfriends bikes as well, she's expressed an interest in a saddlebag similar to mine, certainly I'll be showing her their offerings as the benchmark and one of our choices.
Again, I ended up going this direction due to necessity and when I went looking around for alternatives to a pannier on a rear rack, Rivendells' offering of a floppy plaid bag didn't inspire me! :lol: Nonetheless, I can't deny the similarities between an archetypical Rivendell set-up and where I ended up being, and having them out there as an example probably helped lead me to similar solutions that were more my style.
This bike definitely functions as an all-rounder for me, I sometimes go on longer rides with just the saddlebag, I ride it every day to work and school with my bookbag strapped to the top of the front rack and one day a week with work clothes and lunches in an Ortlieb hanging off the front. With two saddlebags on the front, a small frame bag, and a small top tube saddlebag I've used it to carry all of the toiletries, spare clothes, and loot for my girlfriend and I on a couple of bed and breakfast tours this summer as well:
(Not the best picture, I've rather untidily stowed my sweater and cap under the flap of the saddlebag, it and all the other bags are bulging with loot, and there is a small box (knitting needle case) now strapped to the front deck, but this picture was taken as we arrived home from our last short tour and illustrates the full range of what such a set-up is capable of.)
I was quite happy to travel loaded down like this so she could ride her converted MTB (which she loves) unloaded instead of her heavy tourer which she hates. Besides, I miss riding loaded down, it reminds me of some cycle camping tours I've done and when I used to specialize in cargo as a legal messenger. We had a blast, and I didn't mind my tourer being stuck mid-overhaul awaiting time and money, because my all-rounder was up to the task and handled being fairly well loaded on the front quite well. Surprisingly well in fact.
Poor man's Rivendell? Not my intent, and I don't really want a Rivendell*, but I think it fits in this thread. Did it help my build having Rivendell's examples out there? Maybe, but I'm more tempted to say that we both arrived at a similar place because of similar needs and desires. If I had to give props for inspiration, I'd have to thank Cyclofiend's Current Classics page (http://www.cyclofiend.com/cc/), there are aspects of a few bikes featured there that I either took inspriation from or copied directly, for instance my pinstriping of the Honjo fenders. Originally I was just going to transfer over my Velo Orange hammered fenders, but when I saw the Honjos on a bike on that site that someone had hand pinstriped themselves I knew I wanted to do the same thing. The Honjos lend themselves better to this due to the slight differences in design between them and the VO offering, luckily someone had the Honjos on sale for a great price as I was building this bike up and I was able to make the 650b fenders fit decently on a 26" wheeled bike (they don't offer them in 26 as far as I know, 650b is the closest).
* Someday when I have room for more bikes, I'd like to give one a try and see if the ride is as magical as so many describe, but I'm not really lusting after one or feeling I need one. For me, my old converted mountain bikes do a great job and I'm quite content with them.
Great thread! Love the pics. Thought I would share my $12 thrift store find...Attachment 344468
Find a bike that makes you happy when you ride it, and you're doing it right!
Eventually this will be my Rivendell-ish build...it's taking a while to get to. I've acquired most of the parts, but still am not sure if I want fenders, or what kind of brales I want. I'm leaning towards Mafac racers because I don't want to pay for Pauls.
Yes! Although I must admit that since '99, when I got it, I have spent a bit more than that on it.
Fenders would depend if you want the shiny aluminum look, hammered or smooth or ridged (some call these fluted), or do you want black, or something different like bamboo. You may want to go to the Rivendell or the Mercian site and look at some file photos of customers bikes and see what fenders they choose and whether you would like any of them. You can even do a google image search. Right now all I'm using is some cheap black Planet Bike fenders on my 85 Schwinn but I may change over to the hammered look when these fall apart. Smooth shiny aluminium looks great (IMO of course) when new, but the hammered look won't show scratches as much as the smooth style will after they start seeing some use. Or instead of real aluminum you can save some money and get the look of aluminum in a polycarbonate instead, but Velo Orange has hammered aluminum for only $55 vs $35 to $45 for Polycarbonate. But be careful with fenders because you have a road bike and you have to know your clearances and tire widths or they may not fit; and see this for more info on fenders: http://sheldonbrown.com/fenders.html
Don't forget LBS's will be more expensive for stuff like the above than internet places.
I'm still kicking a few aspects of this build around...essentially the debate is - city bike build, Rivendell'ish build, or some hybrid approach.
Things I'm debating:
1x crank or 3x.
brakes - dual pivot vs. center pull (obviously this will have a lot to do with fenders)
north roads or mustache...I've never had a mustache bar build and it seems worth a try...I have a HIGH stem to pull it off.
I bought my bike used with Honjo hammered aluminum fenders. Since I only use fenders for a couple months of the year, I traded the Honjos for a new set of SKS aluminum look plastics. They're much easier to install.
I've got the hammered Honjos on my touring bike...I like them, but they're pricey...and redundant. I'd probably go for something different.
I've coveted a Rivendell for about two years now but finally made the decision to just go with a non-Riv custom. As much as I like and respect Grant and RBW, none of their bikes fits what I want. Grant has changed my views about a lot of things in regards to bicycles and my custom build will be heavily influenced by him (not solely by RBW). ;)
I'm just on the concept stage right now, obsessively using BikeCad to play around with ideas. What I'm thinking about may end up being the bastard child of the Hunqapillar and the XO-1.
Your idea of a cross between the Hunqapillar and the XO-1 is neat. I think the closest you might come is the Sam Hillborne of Rivendell's current frames. I have one, and with the mustache bars, it rides fast. A very comfortable ride; a GREAT bike. It's probably their closest to a gravel grinder/cyclocross style bike. If I had any criticisms, it's that it doesn't handle quite as securely on rough road surfaces, or gravel trails that get too pitted; mind you, I'm no expert cyclist. I'm a fairly strong, reasonably athletic person who rides his bikes fairly assertively, so eventhough the bike is really, really stable, it almost seems I'm a bit too "high up" sometimes and that the bike should be a little heavier (for lack of a better term). I recently picked up a Hunqapillar on sale from Rivendell, and eventhough this size one doesn't have the double top tube, it handles very securely.
So, yes, I can see why you might want a cross between the two!
My thinking, based on how I ride, is that I need an XO-1 on steroids. Sheldon Brown described the XO-1 as a "fast, urban street machine" or something to that effect. Given my size, I'm not going to have a bike with road bike thin tubes but I can have a bike with geometry that is closer to a road bike. I also have some aspirations to off-road riding, primarily gravel & hard dirt, so that will need to be taken into consideration on the geometry.
So, take the stout tubing and all-terrain aspect of the Hunqapillar and combine that with the 26" wheels of the XO-1 and a slightly modified XO-1 geometry, and you've got my current idea for a custom bike. There are a lot of little details I want as well along with the fact that I'm thinking I want it to look like a classic mountain bike! I'm stuck squarely in the middle between a nearly level top-tube (ie, 80's MTB's) and a sloping top-tube (ie, mid-90's to present MTB's).
Of course, I could change my mind tomorrow and want a custom 700c road bike. :roflmao2:
I'm not sure if they're "that" fast, but have you considered a Kona Rove or a Specialized AWOL? They seem like good, all around bikes, steel frames, take wider tires, etc.
"Fast" is a relative term and I know any bike that is adequate for me is going to be heavy so that's okay. I'll just focus on sporty geometry. It's good to see that other bicycle companies are getting into the expedition/gravel grinding market. Those two areas excite me.
Corwin - as someone who also appreciates a custom bike...I advise you to listen to your builder on design rather than handing off a design. When you buy a custom, you are commissioning an expert to build you a bike that fulfills your stated needs; frankly he should know a lot more about how to get from A to B than you do. I'm also a heavy guy - and I'm riding a MAX frame with 700c wheels - no problems. There is no reason - none - that you have to have 26inch wheels, indeed a high spoke count hub in 700c is quite tough. We have near 400lbs on our tandem with 700c, 48h wheels. 700c wheels will perform just fine on dirt/gravel...I've done it with 23c tires many times. It's better with 28-32c obviously.
A sports tourer'ish build should do just fine for you...650b, 700c, who cares.
Not sure how much cheaper they are, but try Waterford bikes maybe?
I'm not concerned about wheel durability as I'm riding a set of custom built 700c wheels right now with no problems. The 26" wheels are something that I've somehow never experienced in my 18 years of riding and it's something I want to pursue before making a final decision. I picked up a 1995 Trek 820 yesterday and will get that tuned up and the tires replaced with something smooth and make it my primary bike for the winter. So far, my impressions of the 26" wheels is very positive. I like the fact that they are designed for the fat tires I plan to run and that their smaller diameter makes them a bit easier to maneuver in tight quarters. Jan Heine has concluded that 26" wheels feel the best with wide tires and plus, the fat tire/26" wheel combo just looks right.
How cool looking is this?