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  1. #1
    convert TommyL's Avatar
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    Rivendell Redwood

    Someone in the Road Forum suggested I bring this question here:

    I might have an opportunity to buy a used Rivendell Redwood. I'm intrigued because I would love to someday own a nice steel bike for centuries, brevets and the like. Also, it is hard to find bikes big enough for me; they don't come along every day. Right now I have a newish Trek (with no eyelets for anything and no fender clearance) and an old steel fixed gear.

    If the bike fits me, I have only a couple concerns. I am 24 and I still like the idea of going fast. Is this bike going to be significantly slower than my Trek 1500? I know it is not a race bike, but I also don't want to ride a tank. I ask because I would need to sell the Trek in order to buy this.

    I'm sure there are tons of people who are happy with their Redwoods, was anybody unhappy with theirs?

    Lastly, what would a bike like this be worth? It is 5 years old with mostly 105, with a Sugino crank and dura-ace bar end shifters.

    Any info or opinions would be great. Thanks!

    p.s. I've never ridden more than 50 miles, but I would LOVE to get into long distance riding.

  2. #2
    sch
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    No direct knowledge of the bike but from cruising the net there are
    suggestions that it might be a little wiggly if you are heavy or very
    strong. Steel frames in the 64cm + range with standard size tubing
    should be very comfortable to ride but inherently 'other than stiff',
    not such a bad thing for LD riding. If you are flyweight for your
    size (180-210#) and it fits try it out and see. If you are much
    heavier, be a little cautious. Price: just a guess but $400-800
    for a 5yr old bike that I believe went for $2000 new. As to speed,
    likely it is 2-4# heavier than the 1500, but speed depends more
    on the motor. You will mostly notice slower speed on long hills.
    Unless you are very lucky, the Trek won't bring much. Bikes
    depreciate like crazy, faster than cars and mobile homes, but not
    as fast as computers.
    Last edited by sch; 02-28-08 at 08:54 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jawbone's Avatar
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    You could always ask Grant at Rivendell about the bike and whether this particular one might be the right size for you. grant@rivbike.com

    As far as I know, Grant designed the Redwood. He'll ask you what your pubic bone height is and then the size of the frame you're looking at to see whether it should fit or not. He will also tell you that unless you plan on racing, this bike will be fine. Choose skinnier tires if you want to, but like Sch says, its the motor that makes the biggest difference.

    If you're a tall, heavy rider, you may want to look into Rivendell's A. Homer Hilsen with double top tube for long distance cycling. That's a really stiff frame for clydesdales, if you fall into that category.

    Oh, and naturally you should keep your Trek. More bikes in the stable is always better

  4. #4
    Senior Member Goonster's Avatar
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    I've ridden a Redwood, and it is a very nice bike. I'm pretty sure the Redwoods are distinctly different from the Rambouillets in that the use tubing specifically intended for bigger riders.

    If at all possible I'd suggest you test ride the bike before purchasing.

    Seriously, these are great bikes, especially for longer rides. They are not tanks.

  5. #5
    convert TommyL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goonster View Post
    I've ridden a Redwood, and it is a very nice bike. I'm pretty sure the Redwoods are distinctly different from the Rambouillets in that the use tubing specifically intended for bigger riders.

    If at all possible I'd suggest you test ride the bike before purchasing.

    Seriously, these are great bikes, especially for longer rides. They are not tanks.
    I'm not super heavy, only about 180 lb, 6'5". I don't see myself crossing over 200 for some time. Does anyone know what tubing is used on the Redwoods, or how I can find out? Thanks,

    Tommy

  6. #6
    Senior Member Goonster's Avatar
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    I believe it's Kaisei tubing. I'll check my stack of Riv Readers.

    At 180 to 200 lbs. you really shouldn't be concerned about this bike being "noodly".

  7. #7
    sch
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    I agree with goonster, it will not be noticeably wiggly unless your
    power output is 300+watts. Looks like a good frame for LD
    riding, depending on the price. As to that, a steal would $300-600,
    a good buy would be in the $500-800 range, above $800 is, well
    optimistic or dreamland, on the part of the seller IMO. Others
    may have other opinions.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Goonster's Avatar
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    Sort of apropos of nothing . . .

    Here is the Redwood I test rode at RBW in the late fall of '02. This was a prototype, so some details may be different from production bikes.


  9. #9
    convert TommyL's Avatar
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    Thanks for the halp. I will definitely test ride it first. He asked for $1200, but I think I'm the only person interested, and I think he knows he's asking too much.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    $1200 for a complete bike? That might not be unreasonable considering it's a Rivendell. Modern bikes depreciate quickly because they are all about this year's fashion. How can you possibly be happy with steel ball bearings in the 2007 model when your life will be so much happier with the 2008 model with bottom brackets packed with elusive relative bearing grease? Rivendells are designed, built and equipped with the idea that this bike will be in use for the owner's lifetime. Since a lot of Rivendells are sold to fifty year old riders this might make this a safer bet but we do know that there are bikes that remain road-worthy for fifty and eighty years.

    It's not often that a twenty-four year old chooses a bike because it will remain a versatile bike that far into the future. I couldn't see past next weekend back then. But sometimes it happens accidentally such as when I bought a used Paramount at that age which remained my main ride for over fifteen years.

  11. #11
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    It happens! I bought a used MASI in '82 that I still ride to this day (well, I rode it yesterday, actually).

    Rick / OCRR

  12. #12
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    I can't speak about the Redwood, but I do have a 68 cm Rambouillet, and I love it. Their bigger framesets use larger tubing to make them strong. Certainly my bike has no noticeable flex in it, and I am 6'7" and 215 lbs, and with the bike currently set up as a commuter, it is hauling some serious weight.

    In May of 2005 I paid $900 for the frameset at a reduced price. They had built it up into a complete bike once and had nicked the paint in the process. Normally the frameset is $1400.

    I'd say that $1200 might be ok as long as the parts still have plenty of life left in them. My Rambouillet has Shimano 105 brifters/bottom bracket/derailluers from a bike I bought in 2002. They have thousands of miles on them and are still going strong.

    Speaking of watts, although I haven't used a power meter on this bike, I can safely say that I go well over 300 watts on short climbs, and I never notice the bike flex. FYI, my recumbent has the power meter, so I know what kind of watts I put out.

    This is a bike I will have for the rest of my life. It is that kind of thing.

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