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).
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.
Last edited by Abacus; 04-06-10 at 10:36 PM.
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?
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.
Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 04-07-10 at 06:47 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.
Last edited by tjspiel; 04-07-10 at 07:12 AM.
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 ).
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).
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.
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
2010 Masi Speciale CX
1993 Mt. Shasta Cappella
There are plenty of low cost alternatives.
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.
How about a steelwool tweed? Believe the frame set is about 600 bucks CAD.
Has an EBB to boot.
2010 Civia Bryant
2008 Trek 520
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--
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. I 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:
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.
this is my poor mans riv...
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.
You cant have a signature unless it fits in this box