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Old 05-08-07, 11:22 AM   #1
tn_roadie
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Rivendell?

I looked at a Rivendell Rambouillet this weekend but have not yet had a ride. Rivendell was unknown to me a week ago. Their "country bike" philosphy is enticing but the prices are not. I had budgeted $2K for my new bike and $2,400 is definitely more.

Does anyone who rides one have any thoughts or advice? I am definitely buying a triple but I'm not sure about those bar end shifters. Is the position more comfortable than your average road bike? A sore back and shoulders are the main reason I'm looking for a new ride. I also tried a Trek Pilot and Specialized Roubaix.
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Old 05-08-07, 12:10 PM   #2
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I've had a Rambouillet for two years, and have 12,090 miles on it. I can't say enough about the quality of the bike and the feel of the ride. The fit and positioning is noticeably more comfortable. Plus there's room for much wider tires, which are better than most people think these days. I evolved from 25s to 28s to 32s to 35s, with no loss of speed on the roads I usually ride, which aren't perfect.

As far as bar end shifters go, you aren't limited to them. You can install brifters, or even down tube shifters. I went from brifters on my previous three bikes "back" to downtube shifters, and actually prefer them...once I got used to them, which took a couple of weeks.

The added cost shouldn't be a consideration if you are looking for a bike to last 10 years or more. But, if this is just a stop on the road to getting a new bike every couple of years, it's still a pretty good deal, because they do hold their value.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:15 PM   #3
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I got passed by a guy on a Rivendell Sunday morning immediately after descending the Torrey Pines hill northbound. Great-looking bike!
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Old 05-08-07, 06:02 PM   #4
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I've ridden a Riv Romulus for 4 years...it's the plain Jane cousin of the Rambouillet-- same geometry and largely same ride. I'm quite infatuated with the bike. It is stable, loves to go straight but carves sweeping downhill turns like a GS ski (I should write ad copy except this is true). The bike encourges a very comfortable position with correct sizing. The steel and the geometry absorb buzz and make this a fine bike for long weekend rides. Romulus(probably no longer available except for maybe a few cantilever brake setups) & Rambouillet seem to me life-time bikes that do a little bit of everything in the road-bike category. They used to call these "sport-touring" bikes.

Regarding shifting....I switched to Ergo brifters and enjoy them. I also shift bar-end on another bike. Both are fine, easy to get to, have advantages and a few disadvantages. Most riders can adapt to either. The barends are generally bombproof, long-lasting, allow front derailleur ultra fine tuning, silky feeling in friction and positive/simple to use in indexing mode. Not that big a deal really.

Comparing/contrasting these bikes with Pilots & Roubaix's may be apples and oranges: either side will present arguments leading to "mootness". Your aesthetic taste and your perception of "feel" will help decide. Oh, and whether or not the shop does a good job of setting up for you whichever bike for a test-ride. Less expensive but good bikes in the Rivendell vein can be had from Kogswell, Heron, and perhaps Surley. Check out their websites and confuse yourself further! LOL. Good Luck.....you'll be happy with any of the bikes mentioned unless "roadbike" is not the category meant for you.

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Old 05-08-07, 07:37 PM   #5
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Many years ago, I was torn between an all steel National Tricone and a "Silver" plated brass Style 1.
The steel was in my range of $2K or less; the Style 1 was $2400. Both were fine instruments... excellent instruments. I would have been happy with either but the Style 1 just had that "something extra". I was really torn over the $500 difference in price until my buddy asked me if I would miss that extra $500 ten years from now? I still own that Style 1 and I've never looked back.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:42 PM   #6
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I wonder how a person would go about test riding a Rivendell. I was kicking it around to look at or ride one, but couldn't find any dealers that had any in stock.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by George
I wonder how a person would go about test riding a Rivendell. I was kicking it around to look at or ride one, but couldn't find any dealers that had any in stock.
Now, now, George. You want a Roubaix, not a Rivendell.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:46 PM   #8
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Now, now, George. You want a Roubaix, not a Rivendell.
Two days ago, you couldn't even spell Roubaix, poseur.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:50 PM   #9
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Money, money, money, or plastic, plastic, plastic, got to be careful, but if I don't do it I know my kids will. I know a guy, his father died and left him and his brother, $350,000 a piece. The father didn't do anything, just saved money, the kids had it gone in 6 months, true story.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:54 PM   #10
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I have an Atlantis I bought new four years ago, with about 12,000 miles, and a Rambouillet I got last year, a former shop demo I bought from Grant; it's three years old, I think, and I've put about 1500 on it.
As the other post said, I can't think of enough good things to say about either one. I built the Atlantis myself with some Riv parts and some stuff I had around, and whether by luck or unsuspected expertise, I nailed it the first time--I haven't changed anything since the day I first swung a leg over it. The Rambo is as Rivendell assembled it, with mostly 105 components, my saddle (B-17) and pedals, and when i sit down and try to think of something I'd change on either bike, I can't. There isn't anything I'd do differently. They're similar in feel, but the Rambo is lighter and more nimble, thanks to the geometry, lighter tubing and different tires (27mm Ruffy Tuffys instead vs 35mm Paselas). The bar-end shifters are a non-issue--I liked them on bikes in the '70s and like them now. They're both in friction mode, never miss a shift and I don't give them a thought.
They're $2400 now, though? Whew. I bought the Atlantis frame and fork for $950 and have about $1500 in it. The Rambo was $1000 complete except for seat and pedals.
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Old 05-08-07, 08:01 PM   #11
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I have an Atlantis I bought new four years ago, with about 12,000 miles, and a Rambouillet I got last year, a former shop demo I bought from Grant; it's three years old, I think, and I've put about 1500 on it..

...I've ridden a Riv Romulus for 4 years...

...I've had a Rambouillet for two years
All these Rivendells and no digital cameras? This thread is useless without photos.
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Old 05-08-07, 08:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by George
Money, money, money, or plastic, plastic, plastic, got to be careful, but if I don't do it I know my kids will. I know a guy, his father died and left him and his brother, $350,000 a piece. The father didn't do anything, just saved money, the kids had it gone in 6 months, true story.
die poor. bob brinker.
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Old 05-08-07, 08:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by George
I wonder how a person would go about test riding a Rivendell. I was kicking it around to look at or ride one, but couldn't find any dealers that had any in stock.
George, there are some Riv dealers out there...a very few. Check out their site (www.rivbike.com) for a list-- or call them.
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Old 05-08-07, 09:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jet Travis
Two days ago, you couldn't even spell Roubaix, poseur.
Post of the year, so far!

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Old 05-08-07, 09:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog
and a Rambouillet I got last year, a former shop demo I bought from Grant;
If it's a size 60, 62 or 64...I rode that bike!
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Old 05-08-07, 09:29 PM   #16
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All these Rivendells and no digital cameras? This thread is useless without photos.
OK, OK...

Last edited by Big Paulie; 10-04-07 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 05-08-07, 10:07 PM   #17
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OK, OK...
Nice white wall.

Is that a Regal saddle?
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Old 05-08-07, 10:29 PM   #18
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So in my test rides of bikes, I've only been able to fit on bikes with slanted top tubes, whether it be a hybrid, mountain bike, or compact geometry road bike. On horizontal top tube frames, I have to move all the way down to around a 48cm frame to have any clearance over the top tube. On those small frames, the geometry for my upper torso is all wrong.

I'm assuming that if I had a custom bike built, they would be able to cut a frame that fit both my lower and upper torso, even with a horizontal top tube, correct?

It would be interesting to ride such a bike and see how it felt.

I like to think of my vintage Bridgestone CB-1 as sort of a Neanderthal Rivendell.
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Old 05-08-07, 10:30 PM   #19
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That model is not really a country model,it's a rather fast,extremely well made traditional road bike,made in Japan,expressly for Rivendale.The one member wrote of the tire options,I wouldn't have guessed it accomodates such a range of widths,all the better.Their prices aren't out-of-line,once one takes all into consideration. I've taken a fancy to the Blurieot,not getting it quite yet though,maybe next bike,next-next.They will gladly sell one direct,they've a few vendors to whom they sell listed on there site.Unless one's local,why not get one direct? Perhaps a different model will do anyway.
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Old 05-08-07, 11:17 PM   #20
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I bought the Romulus on impulse....it was a heck of a buy at $1400-- I think Grant regretted that initial price. Anyway, always ridden 54cm (ctr/ctr) but, over the phone in an interesting fitting conversation, I was convinced to get their 57cm (ctr/top). I was worried, but the bike fit like a glove...no need to change stem extensions even. I can't imagine a better fitting bike...certainly not to the point of waiting two years for a custom Riv and paying more than twice the price. Naturally I wouldn't turn down a Seven or a vintage Neo Primato or the sister ship of DG's Roubaix.

Not being a work of art, I happily ride the Rom in the rain and muck; it falls over in the garage and I don't feel a heart tremor. It has that lovely steel twang, takes many widths of tire....not sure which of us is Sancho and which is Don Quixote.
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Old 05-09-07, 12:20 AM   #21
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It has that lovely steel twang, takes many widths of tire....not sure which of us is Sancho and which is Don Quixote.
I'll assume the mantle of D.Q. anytime!
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Old 05-09-07, 12:20 AM   #22
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Nice white wall.

Is that a Regal saddle?
Yes, although I have switched to an Alias in recent months. Both are great for me, but I think I like the Alias a bit better.
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Old 05-09-07, 12:21 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee
Now, now, George. You want a Roubaix, not a Rivendell.
Actually, if I didn't have a Rivendell, the Roubaix would be the first bike I would look at. A great choice, Gary!
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Old 05-09-07, 12:58 AM   #24
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If'n I were to get a Rivendell, I would get a Wilbury.
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Old 05-09-07, 04:24 AM   #25
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Lately, my Rivendell dream bike would be the Legolas or the A. Homer Hilsen, but for now I'll stay with one of Grant's earlier works of art, my Bridgestone RB-1.
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