Cheap, urban commuter-friendly frames based on retro-geometry? Lots of 'em.
Pake C'Mute and Urban.
Kogswell. (Out of business???)
Raleigh RRA or Clubman.
Bianchi has a few.
And so on...
No lugged frames here, alack. That costs money.... because it requires skill and dedication. I hate to say it, but if you can afford an off-the-rack Rivendell frame, you can afford a custom frame from a number of independent builders who will custom-tailor a lovely lugged steel frame just for you. A few will lay out a custom carbon frame in that price range, too.
Riv does sell some lovely bags, tho.
$680 CAD and they will ship internationally. Obviously a quality build could lead into some serious money, but if you have extra parts this frameset would make a handsome starting point. The eccentric BB means you could run a nice, clean SS, FG, or IGH for a nice, clean look. Alternatively you could use the derailleur hanger for a more traditional drivetrain and the vertical dropouts will let you run a QR or locking skewer.
- Velo-Orange Rando
- Bob Jackson World Tour or Audax
- Kona Kapu
- Rivendell Sam Hillborne
- Surley LHT, Pacer, Cross Check, etc.
- Soma Smoothie, Saga, Stanyan, Double Cross
- Salsa Casseroll
- Handsome Osell, Devil
- Pake C'Mute
- Velo-Orange Polyvalent
- Kona ***** Tonk
- Masi Speciale Randonneur
I went through all this a year or so ago. I had decided to buy a Salsa Casseroll
but they were out of stock at the time, so I ended up ordering a Bob Jackson World Tour
from England. It cost about $630 with shipping for the frame and fork, and I built up
the entire bike for a little more than $1000 using a lot of parts I had on hand and some
Soma's sport geometry bikes, with or without Lugs. Nice tubes. Careful with the seatbolts!
Sorry - I'm missing the love on these Rivendell bikes.
$2000 for a steel frame, fork, and headset?!! Seriously?
There's no way I would pay this much for a touring bicycle. Especially for commuting, where expensive bikes are targets. I'd consider it for long tours, but it's hard to justify that much when you can get a equally performing bike for half the cost.
What is that KHS grinning fool? How long ago did they have a paint job like that and lugs? That is a good Poor Man's Rivendell. The Bob Jackson one is interesting too. I'll look into that.
If you want a Rivendell just because it says Rivendell on the downtube and you buy into Peterson's hokey marketing, then save your pennies and get a Rivendell. If you want a lugged steel sport touring bike, then all of the above suggestions will fit the bill. If you want a true rando/sport tourer built around the 650B wheel and front loading for cheap, find yourself a Kogswell which turn up on the 'Bay every now again.
Old Trek bikes go for reasonable prices on ebay and Craigslist pretty regularlly. I found a Trek 930 from 1995 still in its box last year. I paid only 250 dollars for it. It isn't lugged but it is steel and I use it to commute. There is a thread on Classics and Vintage with ebay/Craigslist finds.
Some of the 80's MTB's were nice quality lugged steel bikes. I have an 87 Bianchi Grizzly frame that has nice lugs and uses OX Platinum tubing. Paid $50 for the entire bike. Unfortunately, it's too large for me.
Is this close? I think it's pretty cool.
214k miles. It's been to Maine, camping on the Housatonic and to Summer festivals, as well as running a hardcore 75mph
I95 commute when I can't ride my bike.
It's hard to justify putting big bucks into a bike when A. you're poor enough to be driving a $1 car, and B. in any situation where your bike will cost many times what your car did....
So here's my $40 Rivendell substitute.
Let's just clarify one big misconception that's been thrown around this thread. The Surly LHT is NOT the "poor man's Rivendell", how could it be? since it's the best bicycle in the known universe. The undeniable truth is that the Rivendell is the "rich-but-ignorant man's LHT", ignorant of the fact that a ridiculous markup doesn't make up for the Rivendell's inferiority to the LHT. :D
(a slightly biased LHT pilot)
If you look into the vintage world you can find some nice ones. The Miyata 1000 were really nice, but they are not exactly cheap.
Here is a 1990s Schwinn voyager I picked up for $100.00 for a friend not long ago. It is cosmetically in great shape, has touring geometry, cantilever brakes, double butted tange tubing, low rider braze ons, triple bottle cage mounts, and eyelets galore. Vintage deals are definitely out there.
Ignore the stupid fenders and light:
Take that back about those fenders and lights, or else send them to me. I think they look pretty sweet, and it's hard to find lights that look half decent any more.
If it is just about lugs, my daily rider (since 1985) has those.
Looking through this, my 1980 Centurion Super Lemans might make for a good "Riv Clone". Hrmm....
Some of the voyagers were built by Panasonic some by Giant. The Giants have a Giant sticker on one of the rear drop outs. If that has short near vertical drops outs or the Stainless clad it is probably a Panasonic. NICE bike excellent price if it was like that when you found it.