Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Francisco!
Bikes: 2010 Surly LHT (main rider and do-everything bike), 2011 Bike Friday NWT (back-up bike and multi-modal)
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Having actually visited Rivendell HQ in Walnut Creek, CA, it's pretty much as Retro Crouch says. Rivendell sizing is really strange compared to more mainstream bike sizing. I was pretty surprised myself by the frame sizes I was given for test rides. See, I am about 5'9" and according to Rivendell measurements, I have a Pubic Bone Height of 84 cm (in bare feet...shoes add like 1-2cm of height).
My main bike is a 54cm Surly Long Haul Trucker. I find that around 54cm (52-53cm for cyclocross bikes and 56cm for others) seems to be the sweet spot for other "road-oriented" bikes as well (from companies like Trek, Specialized, etc.) with regards to the top tube length. My ideal top tube length is about 550mm if I'm using a 100mm threadless stem.
At Rivendell, I was given a 54cm Hunqapillar, 56cm Sam Hillborne, and 57cm and 59cm A. Homer Hilsens for test riding. I was told that the 57cm might be a little small for me, too (and they were right)! And you know what, the 59cm A. Homer Hilsen actually did feel more comfortable for me, even though the standover clearance was like 1 cm. When I inquired about the Rivendell Atlantis (which my Surly is supposedly a "knock-off" of), they told me that they would have put me on a 56cm Atlantis.
Last edited by fat_bike_nut; 06-23-12 at 11:28 AM.