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

mkeller234 04-06-10 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by miket. (Post 10633415)
thats better, way to get those colorful leaves in the shot!

To be honest I never noticed how colorful the leaves were. That is sort of odd.

Grim 04-06-10 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mkeller234 (Post 10633569)
+1, all you have to do is look at a Klein.

Nice:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/110/3...8ee07ce5_o.jpg

I believe that is a carbon bike not a metal bike. A Cannondale would be a better example ;)

Abacus 04-06-10 09:17 PM

I've had a Trek 520 for some time. I can't complain about the way it rides, but I have to admit the TIG welds look a bit plain when compared to lugs.

A few weeks ago I bought this mint, virtually unused, 1996 Bianchi Osprey MTB for $AU100 (About $US90).

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....=STRK:MEWNX:IT

It is a full Tange frame with lugging on the main frame, and now wears a set of Continental Super Contacts, WTB saddle, Shimano M324 reversible pedals and Topeak rack that I had sitting in the garage. It rides damn nice.

I have a slightly used 105 triple chainset in the garage ready to install. I have to make some decisions regarding handlebars and shifters. I'm inclined towards Albatross bars, Tektro drop brake levers and Ultegra bar cons. Add fenders and I'm done. Eventually I will replace the 7 speed drivetrain with something newer, but I just can't justify throwing away something that's virtually N.O.S. just for the sake of a few more ratios.

So, I'll wind up with a very nice, light, and comfortable cro-mo commuter for about $300 all up.

It won't say "Rivendell" on the down tube, but it does say "Bianchi", which isn't all bad.

In fact, if I add up the total cost of buying and refurbishing my 3 steel bikes (2003 Trek 520, 1996 Trek 370, 1996 Bianchi Osprey), all of which are in very good condition, I'm sure I have spent way less than the cost of one Atlantis. And while all 3 bikes do most things just fine, each specializes in doing certain things better than the other 2, so I can choose a bike perfectly suited to whatever I'm doing.

If you can afford to slap down $3,000-$3,5000 on something really nice like an Atlantis (complete), and feel comfortable about it, then do it. But for my money there are more efficient ways of spending that kind of coin.

bikeculturetheo 04-06-10 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knobster (Post 10576961)
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.

Hey knobster, I'm curious what you're grizzly looks like. I recently bought one (out here in the bay area where the bike market is inflated beyond belief -- I paid a bit more than 50$ for the bike. argh....) Here's a photo of mine, that I've turned into a riv-a-alike. It is a really pretty frame. Just did a 125 mile brevet on it this past weekend, working well so far.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=145152

Abacus 04-07-10 01:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bikeculturetheo (Post 10634607)
Hey knobster, I'm curious what you're grizzly looks like. I recently bought one (out here in the bay area where the bike market is inflated beyond belief -- I paid a bit more than 50$ for the bike. argh....) Here's a photo of mine, that I've turned into a riv-a-alike. It is a really pretty frame. Just did a 125 mile brevet on it this past weekend, working well so far.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=145152


I believe the Grizzley, Osprey, Nyala, Ocelot, etc rigid mtbs basically had the same frame, just different components.

These are, indeed, sweet frames. I wasn't really aware that Bianchi even made mtbs until I saw my Osprey advertised on eBay, and bought it with the only bid.

What year is your Grizzley? Does it have a quill stem or an Ahead headset?

KonAaron Snake 04-07-10 05:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ortcutt (Post 10631881)
No, not at all. This is fascinating! I'll never stop scratching my head over the way GP inspires so many polemics. (Check out the thread over at 41 on his steel-fork/carbon-fork "swap" offer.)

It seems to me that his detractors, as represented on this thread, emphasize a single complaint for two different reasons. The complaint is that his frames and bikes are overpriced. The two reasons are (1) that excellent used/"vintage" lugged steel frames are available for considerably less money; and (2) that other manufacturers and bespoke framebuilders offer bikes that are just as good for a lot less money, or that are custom-tailored for little more.

Now, I salute the bargain hunters of this world, like KonAaron Snake, who know a good deal when they see it and have the knowledge, interest, and spare time necessary to spec out a quality used frame. And I salute the "green" impulse to buy used. But it should go without saying that even among cycling enthusiasts, such people are in a distinct minority. And some posters on this thread seem to believe that it is clearly a "better" -- more rational -- use of one's time and resources to become a knowledgeable buyer and restorer of used bikes, rather than to plop down more cash for a quality bike that looks pretty and "retro." And that's far from obvious to me. In fact, it seems more like snobbery masquerading as consumer advocacy. And there are other reasons one might cite for buying new: e.g., preserving a market, hence a sphere of activity, for builders of lugged-steel frames.

As for those who regard Rivendell's price/quality ratio as clearly inferior to that of other manufacturers of new bikes, it seems that they're partly right. If you don't care about where and how your parts are sourced -- country of origin, labor standards, balance-of-trade issues, etc. -- then go Taiwanese or Chinese, by all means. My wife and I ride Surlys; we love them; and GP admires Surly's products too, along with various offerings by the big manufacturers (Trek and others). But as is well known, he won't sell Chinese products. Period. He even regrets having mistakenly sold a batch of tape measures made in China (having been misled by their American-flag decorations.) Maybe the neoliberals among us want to skewer him for that. But in any event, I don't see anyone pressing the "free trade" argument very hard.

As for the availability of custom work by bespoke framebuilders: great. If you have specific ideas you want realized in a one-of-a-kind project, hooray. But I don't see how the availability of alternatives to Rivendell is an argument against liking what they do, in fact, offer.

However, there are darker suggestions on this thread, to the effect that Petersen is deliberately marking up his products so as to generate "snob appeal." Now, none of us can make him open the company books, so we'll never "know"; but this sounds to me like sheer, malicious fantasy. It's vastly more plausible that his bikes are expensive because his plant, materials, and labor are expensive. Which returns us to the question: Are you willing to pay more for a bike that's produced under GP's chosen conditions?

I think you made a lot of great points here...there is a cost in time and effort buying the way I do. I do think the costs of buying new custom built American bikes does tend to indicate a pricing problem with Rivendell. If a custom builder can get me a similar quality bike at a similar price point and take the time to make it to my exact specs...and to size me...that indicates a pricing problem on GPs part.

As to your last question...I can only answer for me. To me it's a balancing act of how much more expensive it is. If we're talking in the same vicinity, I will buy the product built using better paid labor. If the markup is really what I'd consider unreasonable, I won't. I certainly would never argue against buying American made products, but the reality is that it's just cheaper to build them else where with dirt cheap labor. What we mostly sell now as exports are food, guns/weapons, technology and culture.

A lot of those factories that exist in Taiwan have American ownership and we do see some tax revenue back. I'm not making the argument that we're seeing the benefit we would with American labor, but there is SOME revenue stream. Also...while those labor conditions are unfair and the pay is clearly unreasonable, that's how nations develop. That underpaid job is better than no job. Eventually pay scales will rise and manufacturing will go to another developing country.

My "poor man's Rivendell" will be done within the next week or two...I'm building up the Koga-Miyata with a Shimano 105 9 speed triple group, copper B-17, Honjo fenders and Tubus racks (talk about over priced!) and these really sweet Dia-Compe cantis I got from another member.

tjspiel 04-07-10 05:58 AM

I have a Bianchi Project 3. It's a 92 with a lugged steel frame. Not much of a Riv-alike since it's got a sloping top tube and a unicrown fork, but I like it.

Closest thing to a Rivendell in our garage is a late 80's Univega. Lugged chromoloy frame with a very relaxed geometry, long chain stains, Shimano 600 components, and two toned-paint. The lugs on the fork even have little cutouts. The foam handle bar grips kind of kill the look though ;) I spent $75 on it.

fuzz2050 04-07-10 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cyclaholic (Post 10633481)
If you really think TIG is a 'horrible kludge' compared to brazing then you don't know the first thing about welding, or you're just trolling.

I'm sorry, that was meant as sarcasm. It didn't quite come through clearly enough. Both are their own type of art, different but beautiful in their own way. Although for beautiful welds, looks away from the bike industry, and look at food manufacturing, what some of those people can do in stainless is just amazing.

dashuaigeh 05-09-10 09:30 PM

If you're curious about a touring-type poor-man's Rivendell. the Maruishi Wanderer (http://www.johnpiazza.net/mybike) can often be found for ~$300. Alternatively, Kogswell and Rawland also make high quality frames for cheaper than Rivendell (at least, when there's a sale :P).

buck65 05-26-10 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asphalt junkie (Post 10575921)
I think you're referring to my comment. I'm just saying that I'd love to own a Riv, but I've never owned anything close and probably never will. Not that I couldn't, but I don't want to peel off that kind of green for a bike. I've got a Surly LHT and the fact it's not lugged bothered me for all of about 2 seconds. Besides, it's more for commuting than touring, and that would be a terrible way to treat a Riv.

I used to have the LHT, but sold the frame so I could purchase a Sam Hillborne (kept my entire groupset from the Surly and put it on the Riv). Both bikes are functionally the same, but the Riv is laterally stiffer for out of the saddle sprints as compared to the LHT. I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with your comment about communiting as a terrible way to treat a Riv. Mine has scuffs and paint chips and tons of road grime because I really don't like to put it on a pedestal. It's a bike.

It's quite liberating to ride it anywhere and not worry about keeping in pristine. I don't know; I guess I just like the combination of the aesthetic appeal of the lugs and the utilitarian nature of the bike. I kind of used to idolize the Rivs until I got one....but after getting one, I have taken advantage of riding it as much as I can (1 century, weekly club rides, coffe shop jaunts with the wife, and commuting to school/work daily).



Quote:

Originally Posted by Cyclaholic (Post 10579335)
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

You're welcome,
Cyclaholic
(a slightly biased LHT pilot)


Haha, very funny comment....I can identify with your bias. In retrospect to having experience with a Surly and a Riv, I'd have to say that if my Sam was stolen tomorrow, I'd probably go by a Pacer/Xcheck/LHT tomorrow. While the Surlys don't have lugs, they really are awesome bikes at a killer price. The whole Riv thing is about comfort and good materials--Surly (IMO, the perfect poor mans Riv) has got this down at an excellent pricepoint.

texasdiver 05-26-10 02:07 PM

Lots of cheap alternative to the Rivendell, that's obvious. They are mostly boring.

How about the rich man's Rivendell? That makes a more interesting thread. Here's one

http://www.bgcycles.com/NAHBS07.html

ratell 05-26-10 02:50 PM

If I was willing to spend the money and wait 5 years...
http://www.vanillabicycles.com/

vettefrc2000 05-29-10 12:29 AM

There are plenty of low cost alternatives.


http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4061/...c5eb046d_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3108/...5b483686_b.jpg

fairscull 05-30-10 03:53 PM

What about theft?
 
Hey, I admire those beautiful Rivendells just like the next guy. But I live near Philadelphia. You don't see many such bikes in the city. The theme of this forum is commuting, after all. My first instinct is always to be riding a bike that "looks" cheap. I don't especially want people lining up to praise my custom machine. I recently bought an old Bridgestone MB4 and have set it up for commuting. It rides fine and cost me a fraction of what a new Riv. would have. Have you noticed that nowhere in Rivendell's ads is there a pic of somebody riding one of their bikes in an urban setting? Its all in the hills and dales of California [I assume] Yes they make beautiful bikes which I drool over. Then I get on my solid clunker and go to town minus the high anxiety that would accompany me on a Rivendell.

RayB 05-30-10 06:02 PM

How about a steelwool tweed? Believe the frame set is about 600 bucks CAD.

http://www.northparkbikeshop.com/wp-...6/IMG_0173.JPG

Has an EBB to boot.

Grim 05-31-10 06:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fairscull (Post 10888801)
Hey, I admire those beautiful Rivendells just like the next guy. But I live near Philadelphia. You don't see many such bikes in the city. The theme of this forum is commuting, after all. My first instinct is always to be riding a bike that "looks" cheap. I don't especially want people lining up to praise my custom machine. I recently bought an old Bridgestone MB4 and have set it up for commuting. It rides fine and cost me a fraction of what a new Riv. would have. Have you noticed that nowhere in Rivendell's ads is there a pic of somebody riding one of their bikes in an urban setting? Its all in the hills and dales of California [I assume] Yes they make beautiful bikes which I drool over. Then I get on my solid clunker and go to town minus the high anxiety that would accompany me on a Rivendell.

"Situational awareness"
You live in a crappy area full of moochers and thieves you ride a crappy looking bike that doesn't draw attention and do your best to look downtrodden.

BadBoy10 05-31-10 02:53 PM

I posted the same thought a while back. I love Rivendell. Often go their website and drool. Their bicycles are not made in America. Not much is--design might be but most bike companies get parts from Taiwan, China, ---I, like the OP cannot justify a 2K bicycle purchase.

Which is why I am going to buy the cheapie Dutch style by Elektra as opposed to a Bava--

Sundance89 05-31-10 03:44 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by ratell (Post 10870134)
If I was willing to spend the money and wait 5 years...
http://www.vanillabicycles.com/

Holy Cow... your post made no sense at first... now THIS makes no sense. :eek:
Scott


http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...7&d=1275341841

LeeG 05-31-10 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fairscull (Post 10888801)
Hey, I admire those beautiful Rivendells just like the next guy. But I live near Philadelphia. You don't see many such bikes in the city. The theme of this forum is commuting, after all. My first instinct is always to be riding a bike that "looks" cheap. I don't especially want people lining up to praise my custom machine. I recently bought an old Bridgestone MB4 and have set it up for commuting. It rides fine and cost me a fraction of what a new Riv. would have. Have you noticed that nowhere in Rivendell's ads is there a pic of somebody riding one of their bikes in an urban setting? Its all in the hills and dales of California [I assume] Yes they make beautiful bikes which I drool over. Then I get on my solid clunker and go to town minus the high anxiety that would accompany me on a Rivendell.

the bike I had at one time was a Schwinn Varsity set up with 700x35 tires, upright swept back bars and single 38 tooth chainring. Worked great.

SweetLou 05-31-10 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BadBoy10 (Post 10892363)
I posted the same thought a while back. I love Rivendell. Often go their website and drool. Their bicycles are not made in America. Not much is--design might be but most bike companies get parts from Taiwan, China, ---I, like the OP cannot justify a 2K bicycle purchase.

That would depend on what you mean by bicycle. If you mean the complete bike, then the parts do come from all over. If you mean the frame, then that would not be true. Some of their frames are made overseas and some are made here. Their custom frames are made by Mark Nobilette and their more expensive frames are made by Waterford, in Wisconsin.

As for a poor man's Rivendell, I haven't found anything. I have not seen such relaxed geometries on any newer bike. For example, a 48 Sam Hilborne has a 71.5 seattube angle. The closest I've seen is my Miyata that has a something around a 72 degree angle. That is rare for bikes and especially rare for smaller frames. Today, it would be hard to find a 50cm bike with anything less than a 74.5 degree seattube angle. Specialized doesn't make anything less than a 75.5 seattube angle for their small bikes. This is just way too steep for my comfort. Even the Surly LHT 50cm frame with 26" wheels has a 74 degree angle.

I am much more comfortable on a Rivendell designed frame than anything else I've tried, a close second is my Miyata and Trek 520.

BadBoy10 06-05-10 08:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SweetLou (Post 10892952)
That would depend on what you mean by bicycle. If you mean the complete bike, then the parts do come from all over. If you mean the frame, then that would not be true. Some of their frames are made overseas and some are made here. Their custom frames are made by Mark Nobilette and their more expensive frames are made by Waterford, in Wisconsin.

As for a poor man's Rivendell, I haven't found anything. I have not seen such relaxed geometries on any newer bike. For example, a 48 Sam Hilborne has a 71.5 seattube angle. The closest I've seen is my Miyata that has a something around a 72 degree angle. That is rare for bikes and especially rare for smaller frames. Today, it would be hard to find a 50cm bike with anything less than a 74.5 degree seattube angle. Specialized doesn't make anything less than a 75.5 seattube angle for their small bikes. This is just way too steep for my comfort. Even the Surly LHT 50cm frame with 26" wheels has a 74 degree angle.

I am much more comfortable on a Rivendell designed frame than anything else I've tried, a close second is my Miyata and Trek 520.


Hmmm, good points although the technical info you provide is beyond me.
I love the Betty Foy. http://www.renaissancebicycles.com/i...-betty-foy.jpgI want it outfitted exactly like Let's Go Ride A Bike (www.letsgorideabike.com)

but then I also want a Gazelle or a Batavaus. However, Im not inclined to spend $1600. Not now perhaps not ever. For me, honestly it is less to do with whether it is American made--nothing really is--our fault--it is more to do with my priorities. But then look at the Betty Foy and what you are getting--perhaps the pricing is perfect considering the amenities. I researched the angles you were discussing to familiarize myself: I think I want the 60 degree angles?? Not sure if this is it but I love this:

http://plumblines.files.wordpress.co...pg?w=459&h=342


I looked at the Trek Pure. Don't like it. I want a Dutch styled bicycle. I want it lighter because I live on the second floor. I may plug down and purchase the Bett Foy. But as of yet, I have been content to simply read Dottie's blog and dream.

fuzz2050 06-05-10 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by texasdiver (Post 10869846)
Lots of cheap alternative to the Rivendell, that's obvious. They are mostly boring.

How about the rich man's Rivendell? That makes a more interesting thread. Here's one

http://www.bgcycles.com/NAHBS07.html

I dunno, for one Bruce actually designed and built that bike himself, Grant just sketches up a head badge, calls a factory and says 'I want this, and can you add in another seat tube this time?' Also, how many NAHBS awards has Bruce Gordon won? Didn't he get it this year too, and for a carbon fiber bike no less?

iforgotmename 06-05-10 06:29 PM

2 Attachment(s)
this is my poor mans riv...

Grim 06-05-10 07:40 PM

Uhh I was told it was a Raleigh but a total repaint. Not sure as the SN doesn't Jive and I cant seem to make an exact match to the lug work to any Raleigh pictures.

It is light so a better grade of tube probably a 531. It has Campy lugs, It has Campy Seat post, high flange hubs and freehub. I bought it as you see it. Under $100. :D

http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...9&d=1275343801


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