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  1. #1
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Rivendell vrs Bruce Gordon?

    Use: primarily commuting daily, with the annual trip to somewhere, and of course the usual long weekend century rides. Don't want a prima donna bike, want a good strong quality bike.

    No racing involved, looking for long term commitments. Last bike was custom built in 1984 and it is ready to retire. Looking for good steel, and good groupo to last the next 20 years. No carbon.

  2. #2
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Your description says "Rivendell" all over it.. I'm considering going Riv for my next bike. Since you keep them a long time, Riv's even a better choice. Good shopping!

  3. #3
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    Your description says "Rivendell" all over it.. I'm considering going Riv for my next bike. Since you keep them a long time, Riv's even a better choice. Good shopping!

    http://www.livejournal.com/community...s/1390707.html

    EXCERPT: "Rivendell is a marketing company founded by an ex-Bridgestone USA employee. They have a couple of different American framebuilders do the custom bikes. The production bikes come from Japan... Nice bikes, but not worth the money."

    ALTERNATIVES:
    Circle A
    Vanilla
    Jonny Cycles
    ANT
    Independent Fabrications


    Google them. Vanilla's are GORGEOUS and attainable.
    Last edited by af895; 08-13-05 at 01:52 PM.

  4. #4
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by af895
    http://www.livejournal.com/community...s/1390707.html

    EXCERPT: "Rivendell is a marketing company founded by an ex-Bridgestone USA employee. They have a couple of different American framebuilders do the custom bikes. The production bikes come from Japan... Nice bikes, but not worth the money."

    ALTERNATIVES:
    Circle A
    Vanilla
    Jonny Cycles
    ANT
    Independent Fabrications


    Google them. Vanilla's are GORGEOUS and attainable.

    Vanillas are gorgeous looking bikes. Nice lugs, beautiful dropouts. Thanks for reminding me about them.

    But that comment about the Rivs being made in Japan and the lousy paint jobs... I gotta check that out. I don't buy it. Walnut Creek CA is up the road a couple hundred miles. (disadvantage of Vanilla... have to go all the way to PDX to check them out). I know of Joe Bell of JB paint... his work is good, (he painted one of my 20+ year old bikes way back then... ) he is local. I think the live.journal bikepirates site is wrong.

  5. #5
    cyclotourist
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    Well I think Bruce Gordon is quite a bit cheaper.

    The Riv Atlantis, Saluki ,Rambouillet are built in Japan by Toyo. Its no secret and no shame either. They are all individually hand built, beautiful bikes, but not custom made

    The current wait time for a Riv custom is two years.

    I don't think you could go wrong with either Bruce Gordon or Rivendell

    I have an Atlantis, the paint job seems fine to me, I have to admit after several thousand km it has a few battle scars.

    My Atlantis page

    Oh and Rivendell is definitely a cult, your pocket book will be much happier if you don't get sucked in,
    Last edited by skookum; 08-12-05 at 05:31 PM. Reason: addition

  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
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    OK, I guess I am being a bit picky. I want a bike made in America. I had a Trek years ago that was US made, and one of my current bikes was custom made in a shop in San Diego. My other bike is all Italian.

    I know the groupo will be Japanese, but the next time some Detroit SUV jerk gives me a hard time, I can tell him that "mine was made in America too!" Simple enough.

    RE cult... how about Merlins... Yikes!

  7. #7
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Use: primarily commuting daily, with the annual trip to somewhere, and of course the usual long weekend century rides. Don't want a prima donna bike, want a good strong quality bike.

    No racing involved, looking for long term commitments. Last bike was custom built in 1984 and it is ready to retire. Looking for good steel, and good groupo to last the next 20 years. No carbon.
    Both make custom and production frames. Rivendell's production frames have gone WAY up in price in the past year or so. It's to the point you can get a custom frame for less elsewhere. You have to really dig their whole aesthetic to justify the cost. Bruce Gordons strike me as more workmanlike.

  8. #8
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    I had the chance to visit Rivendell this summer. Their shop is literally two giant storage-locker-like rooms in a series of storage-locker-like rooms behind a car rental place. The staff was all very pleasant, and not at all snooty. I tried several of their production bikes, and they felt great (I'm used to a cross check). They seemed embarrassed by the long wait for customs (currently 2 1/2 years).

    The price is supply and demand. Lots of people want their customs. They can only build so many.

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    I had the chance to visit Rivendell this summer. Their shop is literally two giant storage-locker-like rooms in a series of storage-locker-like rooms behind a car rental place. The staff was all very pleasant, and not at all snooty. I tried several of their production bikes, and they felt great (I'm used to a cross check). They seemed embarrassed by the long wait for customs (currently 2 1/2 years).

    The price is supply and demand. Lots of people want their customs. They can only build so many.
    Thought about the Surlys too, but I want a bit of flash. Surly just seems very workman like... too close to my current "truck" commuter bike. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I want to treat my ego and legs to something more. Dammit, 20+ years on the same ride, I deserve it.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I like the look of the Bruce Gordons ... for heavy duty touring! If I were to ever head off into South America or Africa or some place like that, I would seriously consider one.

    http://www.bgcycles.com/

  11. #11
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    What about a Gunnar?
    If you ride, ride with RoadID.
    2005 Gunnar Crosshairs My new ride

  12. #12
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed
    Both make custom and production frames. Rivendell's production frames have gone WAY up in price in the past year or so. It's to the point you can get a custom frame for less elsewhere. You have to really dig their whole aesthetic to justify the cost. Bruce Gordons strike me as more workmanlike.
    Yeah, it's kind of scary when you can get a full custom mikkelsen for less than a production rivendell.

  13. #13
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Thought about the Surlys too, but I want a bit of flash. Surly just seems very workman like... too close to my current "truck" commuter bike. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I want to treat my ego and legs to something more. Dammit, 20+ years on the same ride, I deserve it.
    I just mentioned what I rode so you knew my perspective, not ecause I thought you should buy what I have. A Surly is a workhorse, and it's a fantastic value for the money. But I can tell it's not at all what you want with this bike purchase. Good luck with your search!
    Last edited by Daily Commute; 08-15-05 at 03:36 AM.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    For steel bicycles, there's also:

    Waterford: http://www.waterfordbikes.com/2005/index.php
    Gunnar: http://www.gunnarbikes.com/
    Seven: http://www.sevencycles.com/
    Serotta: http://www.serotta.com/
    Trek's 520: http://www2.trekbikes.com/Bikes/Spec.../520/index.php
    Mariposa: http://www.bikespecialties.com/marip_randonneur1.html
    Marinoni's Ciclo or Turismo: http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/html/2005/05_en_turismo.asp

    And many more! When I was hunting for my bicycle, I actually came up with a list of at least 50 bicycle manufacturers who did steel bicycles.

  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Thanks all... you've given me some exellent places to start my "shopping."

    Glad to see there is still a strong steel market out there.

  16. #16
    H23
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    Senior Member H23's Avatar
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    I'm going to recommend an ANT . I had one made for me, and I absolutely love it to death.

    Here's a pic...


    Mr Flanigan designs and makes very frugal, zero-bull**** bikes: low key but super fine. My club racing machine is perfect for "make-it-a-day" type rides.

    Here is an interview with him...
    http://istanbultea.typepad.com/large..._mike_fla.html

  17. #17
    cyclotourist
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    Nice bike, H23
    I like the Honjo fenders.

    Interesting who Mr. Flanigan says are his greatest influences

  18. #18
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I have a Gunnar Sport, which is just what you describe.
    Gunnar is the Waterford budget line. Waterfords are semi-custom,
    and something you should take a look at.

    http://www.waterfordbikes.com/2005/d.../rse/index.php

  19. #19
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    http://www.kirkframeworks.com

    get a kirk, you can get it with or without the terraplane stays

    Dave used to work at Serotta (and created the DKS system for the Hors Categorie) and (I think) Carl Strong. Absolutely awesome frames.





  20. #20
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Lotsa nice suggestions, but depending on where you'll be parking it, I'd steer clear of the high-endy stuff for a daily commuter.

  21. #21
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadbuzz
    Lotsa nice suggestions, but depending on where you'll be parking it, I'd steer clear of the high-endy stuff for a daily commuter.
    If I had the money, I'd ride a custom steel frame in nice weather (safing my Surly for the rough stuff). My commute is about an hour a day, and the custom steel would make those 250 hours/year just that much more pleasant.

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