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  1. #1
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    Rivendell Atlantis alternatives

    I want something lugged, aheadset, heavy duty, 26" wheels (I'm 6 foot) and good tyre clearance. From what I've seen of the UK framebuilders no one seems to make anything like the Atlantis, unless you know different.

  2. #2
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    How about this excellent offering?

    Roberts Cumbria


    Roberts Touring Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by dooley
    I want something lugged, aheadset, heavy duty, 26" wheels (I'm 6 foot) and good tyre clearance. From what I've seen of the UK framebuilders no one seems to make anything like the Atlantis, unless you know different.
    Ron - Colorado
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Check out Thorn or Mercian. Both are UK frame builders.

    http://www.sjscycles.com/

    http://www.merciancycles.com/

  4. #4
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    And...all three of these wonderful shops will gladly make just about anything you'd like outside of their norm. I own a Thorn and have talked to Mercian and Roberts on several occasions. Great folks in my experience.

    Cheers,
    Ron - Colorado
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
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  5. #5
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    Here is a bike shop in California. They setup used bicycles. They will ship to anywhere in the US. They often have a nice collection of Bridgestone's. The XO by Bridgestone was the prototype for the Atlantis.

    Check the Mountain Bike and the Hybrid section for 26" wheels.

    http://www.teamkarim.com/bikes/used/mountain/index.html
    Would you like a dream with that?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles2go
    How about this excellent offering?

    Roberts Cumbria


    Roberts Touring Bikes
    The Cumbria looks good but you'd have to order it with drop bars. The Rought Stuff looks better still since it has the drop bars AND fenders. It is difficult to rate the value of fenders on a tour. But if there's any possibility that you'll hit rain then they are very nice indeed. They do require a little more effort to work around in case of flats.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgiaboy
    Here is a bike shop in California. They setup used bicycles. They will ship to anywhere in the US. They often have a nice collection of Bridgestone's. The XO by Bridgestone was the prototype for the Atlantis.

    Check the Mountain Bike and the Hybrid section for 26" wheels.

    http://www.teamkarim.com/bikes/used/mountain/index.html
    Karim is a strange shop. It's more like a French bicycle shop in that the emphasis is more on building bicycles to fit the rider than selling new bikes. If you can imagine it Karim will build it.

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    The Roberts looks good, for some reason I had it in my head they just fillet brazed. I will pop in and see whether they can come up with anything as heavy duty as the Atlantis

  9. #9
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    The Cumbria accepts fenders, it's just not pictured with them. They should be able to spec the bike as you wish but aren't like a huge mainstream shop like Thorn is. When you roll in there, give the Roberts folks the respect they deserve as they've been building frames for a lot longer than the bike you're comparing them to has been around. If you're in the UK looking for a tough touring bike then you have no reason to look beyond your shores, unless you wish to stand apart from what the locals are riding. Nothing wrong with that either.

    Tell us how it goes.

    Cheers,
    Ron - Colorado
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  10. #10
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    It seems insane to pay more for a Japanese made off the shelf frame than I would for a custom, which is why I'm looking at alternatives. However the Rivendell does seem to be the only one I've found to offer the tyre clearance I want.

  11. #11
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    Two suggestions: buy an Atlantis specified with S&S couplers (yes, they will do this, even if not advertised) and have it shipped to you in its air-travel case, or consider a custom builder who can do the same. Stephen Bilenky in Philadelphia makes beautiful lugged tourers that are finer than the Atlantis and have all of the tire clearances you would want. He also builds with S&S couplers.

    Co-Motion also makes beautiful stock steel tourers, but their construction is TIG, not lug.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles2go
    The Cumbria accepts fenders, it's just not pictured with them. They should be able to spec the bike as you wish but aren't like a huge mainstream shop like Thorn is. When you roll in there, give the Roberts folks the respect they deserve as they've been building frames for a lot longer than the bike you're comparing them to has been around. If you're in the UK looking for a tough touring bike then you have no reason to look beyond your shores, unless you wish to stand apart from what the locals are riding. Nothing wrong with that either.
    I think that's a pretty good philosophy. But being around a long time isn't the sign of great skill a much as stubborness. Remember that Harley-Davidson has been around almost forever and they never made anything like a good motorcycle.

    Rivendell has good ideas, competent design and almost perfect application. What Grant doesn't know, he is bright enough to ask of the best craftsmen around and to take their advice. Rivendell isn't a mass production facility so every detail isn't perfect. But every detail is thought about. There's NOTHING you can gain from anyone that's been around 100 years longer.

  13. #13
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    Just for fun...

    Exploring your theory... since my family's Martial Arts Dojo has been around the longer than most, (45 years or longer) means that my family is more likely to be stuborn than skilled? I think it's because we were recognized as being exceptional from early on, have kept our focus and thus, a thriving family Dojo.

    My point was along these lines:
    Some potential student walks in asking if I can give them a black belt in six months like someone else can and we'll send them on their way. If on the other hand, they come in treating our art with respect, they're going to have a better relationship with the business they're seeking services of. A pretty simple approach to dealing with people that works in the customer's favor. So, like I said, I'd give Roberts the benifit of the doubt. Tell them what you'd like and see if they can do it, rather than bring someone else's bike in asking for them to copy it. Or something like that.

    I'm not saying anything about Rivendell except that some guy that's devoted his whole life to making the best bike frame he can make, might want to be approached in a way such as I've suggested.

    Just my .02 and of course YMMV


    Cheers,
    (And BTW... I ride BMW motorcycles, have no experience with HD, so have no business commenting in that regard)


    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    I think that's a pretty good philosophy. But being around a long time isn't the sign of great skill a much as stubborness. Remember that Harley-Davidson has been around almost forever and they never made anything like a good motorcycle.

    Rivendell has good ideas, competent design and almost perfect application. What Grant doesn't know, he is bright enough to ask of the best craftsmen around and to take their advice. Rivendell isn't a mass production facility so every detail isn't perfect. But every detail is thought about. There's NOTHING you can gain from anyone that's been around 100 years longer.
    Ron - Colorado
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  14. #14
    Sasquatch Crossing mycoatl's Avatar
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    How 'bout Vanilla? If I were in the market, I'd be all over it. Beautiful bikes. If you want one with inches of clearance and 26" tires, you can get it. Custom all the way.

    http://www.vanillabicycles.com/bikes/touring/index.html

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles2go
    Just for fun...

    Exploring your theory... since my family's Martial Arts Dojo has been around the longer than most, (45 years or longer) means that my family is more likely to be stuborn than skilled? I think it's because we were recognized as being exceptional from early on, have kept our focus and thus, a thriving family Dojo.

    My point was along these lines:
    Some potential student walks in asking if I can give them a black belt in six months like someone else can and we'll send them on their way. If on the other hand, they come in treating our art with respect, they're going to have a better relationship with the business they're seeking services of. A pretty simple approach to dealing with people that works in the customer's favor. So, like I said, I'd give Roberts the benifit of the doubt. Tell them what you'd like and see if they can do it, rather than bring someone else's bike in asking for them to copy it. Or something like that.

    I'm not saying anything about Rivendell except that some guy that's devoted his whole life to making the best bike frame he can make, might want to be approached in a way such as I've suggested.
    Well I hadn't realized that building a bicycle was as complicated as learning a skill that takes perhaps 10 years to master and even then perhaps only if you're talented enough? Hell, Rivendell must be absolute trash since they haven't been around for 45 years.

    Oh, and there's several dojos in the bay area that have been here for more than 50 years and where you can barely learn to fall. Maybe you forget that Bruce Lee taught here but couldn't keep enough business to stick around for more than a couple of years. He taught downstairs from where my Uncle used to train for boxing.

    So is it skill or pure stubborness that makes a business? Not to say you can't have skill AND stubborness but what skill is required to stay in a business that at best is only likely to make you a passable living?

  16. #16
    a blend of wit and charm Moochers_Dad's Avatar
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    Check out the Jitensha frames. I found them online last week when I was looking for a chainstay protector.

    jitensha.com

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycoatl
    How 'bout Vanilla? If I were in the market, I'd be all over it. Beautiful bikes. If you want one with inches of clearance and 26" tires, you can get it. Custom all the way.

    http://www.vanillabicycles.com/bikes/touring/index.html
    Oh man, good thing I don't have any money right now... those touring bikes are beautiful. Leave it to those guys in Portland. Probably work in an old warehouse with a microbrewery down the street...
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc, Cannondale T2000 (touring), Stumpjumper M5 (Mtn - hardtail), Cannondale Rize4 (Mtn - full susp)

  18. #18
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    Roberts Cumbria

    What grade of steel is used to build this frame?

    How much do the frames cost?
    Would you like a dream with that?

  19. #19
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    Vanila - Nicely finished but a tad ostentatious for me. Also have you seen the chainstay crimping?!

    Jitensha - Wow, very nice, but not what I'm looking for.

    From what I can tell Roberts use a mix of tubng depending on your requirements.

  20. #20
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    Yeah, this is way off topic though I tried tying it in. I'll give it one last shot and then respectfully bow out here.

    It took me roughly 15 years to "master" not that one should ever really feel that way. I could have made the grade faster but my family wouldn't allow for that to be my focus. I don't know a gifted frame builder personally but I wouldn't be surprised at all if they'd tell you it takes ten or more years to come into their own. I'd be surprised to learn that anyone building frames a Rivendell has less experience than that. All a moot point as to my original tact though, which was to offer one line of advice in approaching the kind folks at Roberts. And I'm done beating *that* horse.

    For the record, as a kid, I trained for a number of years under one of the most proven Martial Artist in the world (with an incredible kick-boxing record), until we moved back to where my family dojos are located. My family knew Bruce Lee and just about anybody that was anybody in Martial Arts (In the US particularly but not exclusively so). Even so, I'd stop short of speaking on Bruce's ability to train others. There's a lot of urban legend surounding him and I'm a big on not getting tied up into any of it. And yes, there are plenty of schools out there that've been around a long time but fall short of the mark as far as I'm concerned. They're giving the public what they want though, or spending their own money to keep the doors open. I've not seen a school that was able to do the latter for very long but I suppose that could differ in the bay area.


    Best regards and I wish Dooley all the luck in finding the frame of his needs.

    Cheers!


    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Well I hadn't realized that building a bicycle was as complicated as learning a skill that takes perhaps 10 years to master and even then perhaps only if you're talented enough? Hell, Rivendell must be absolute trash since they haven't been around for 45 years.

    Oh, and there's several dojos in the bay area that have been here for more than 50 years and where you can barely learn to fall. Maybe you forget that Bruce Lee taught here but couldn't keep enough business to stick around for more than a couple of years. He taught downstairs from where my Uncle used to train for boxing.

    So is it skill or pure stubborness that makes a business? Not to say you can't have skill AND stubborness but what skill is required to stay in a business that at best is only likely to make you a passable living?
    Ron - Colorado
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  21. #21
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    The Roberts certainly looked good and for a person living in Great Britain seemed a much better idea than an Atlantis.

    I do find it curious that you don't understand that Rivendell is managed by Grant Peterson who was specing bikes for Bridgestone almost 20 years ago now. And these bikes are NOT being built by Rivendell in Walnut Creek but by really classy outfits all over the USA and elsewhere.

    The first Rivendells were built in the Waterford Paramount factory by Walter Schwinn - that name MIGHT ring a bell with bicycle afficiandoes. Later models were built by other cheaper but just as competent builders, painted by Joe Bell and the like and in every possible way are the closest thing to a studio bike possible.

    If you watch the Ebay sales of Bridgestone RB-1's you'll see bare frames going for the price the complete bike sold for originally. And between you and I, they weren't that great. The present day Rivendells are twice the bike for twice the price. And therein lies the rub.
    Last edited by cyclintom; 05-10-06 at 10:26 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Karim is a strange shop. It's more like a French bicycle shop in that the emphasis is more on building bicycles to fit the rider than selling new bikes. If you can imagine it Karim will build it.
    That doesn't describe the Karim Cycles I know. Could you be thinking of Jitensha Studio?

    http://jitensha.com/

    The Rivendell Atlantis is built and painted in Japan.
    Last edited by Grand Bois; 05-11-06 at 01:52 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtdrop
    That doesn't describe the Karim Cycles I know. Could you be thinking of Jitensha Studio?

    http://jitensha.com/

    The Rivendell Atlantis is built and painted in Japan.
    YES! Sorry about that - I DO mean Jitensha Studios. Really weird atmosphere but the bikes have real character.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Mr. Limura is not your typical bike wrench. He's an artist who works in bicycles. That's why he calls his bike shop a studio.

    That's quite a bike collection you have!

  25. #25
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    I have to confess that after all these years of collecting bikes I've finally gotten the feel for what a good bike is and isn't. If I were going to list my bikes in the order of how well they ride it would look like this:

    Look KG241
    Fuji Newest, Merckx Ex, Basso Loto
    Colnago Super, Merckx Corsa 0.1
    Colnago C40
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Raleigh Team CX, Pinarello CX
    Atala CX/Touring bike
    Santa Cruz Superlight

    The difference between the Colnago C40 and the Look isn't much. More like the difference between a Fat Tire Ale and a Sierra Nevada.

    Most high end bikes would match the C40. And a lot of not-so-high-end. I had a '90 Bottecchia painted in ADR colors and made with Alle tubing that was a GREAT riding bike.

    Price isn't very closely connected to riding quality.

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