Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 47
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alex City, (Central) Alabama
    My Bikes
    Still trying to figure that one out
    Posts
    39
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Thoughts from Rivendell Bombadil owners

    I'm considering the bike, but don't really know anyone who owns one. There's plenty of discussion on Trek or Lightspeed or Cervelo, etc. etc., but I guess Riv owners are fewer. If there's anyone out there who owns the Bombadil, what are your thoughts? Are you glad you bought one? Would you buy one again?

  2. #2
    nun
    nun is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    My Bikes
    Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS
    Posts
    2,628
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm a Riv owner, but not a Bombadil, however Riv bikes are built well and have all the necessary clearance and braze ons for touring. The philosophy of lots of tyre clearance makes for a good touring bike. The Bombadil is a really heavy duty bike so I'd ask how heavy are you and what type pof touring do you intedn to do with it. If it's expedition style the Bombadil would be suitable. But I think it's overkill and would recommend an Atlantis or a Hilsen for general touring.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alex City, (Central) Alabama
    My Bikes
    Still trying to figure that one out
    Posts
    39
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for your reply. I weigh in at 289 right now, at 5'10". I was once athletic and stupid, and broke my back and neck falling down three stories and landing on my back. By all accounts, I am lucky to be alive. But that was 10 years ago, and a long time of inactivity (forced, then fear, then laziness). At 41, I am getting back into cycling, but I need a comfortable bike.

    I am assuming that because of my weight, I need a heavy-duty bike. At least that's what I am being told. One LBS told me ay bike would be fine, but that I had to have specially made wheels. My (now deceased) cousin who had worked in a LBS in my hometown (2,000 miles from where I now live) told me that that was, in his words, "horsebunk." He said any bike would be fine. Suggestions from friends (who don't own one) were the Bombadil, as a bike that would endure me (their words) and still be comfortable. I am not sure about the 650B tires, though. I don't know if that's enough info to help.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Frisco, CO
    My Bikes
    '93 Bridgestone MB-3, '88 Marinoni road bike, '00 Marinoni Piuma, '01 Riv A/R
    Posts
    1,059
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Have you looked at the "which frame" chart on the Rivendell site?
    http://www.rivbike.com/assets/full/0...amecompJan.pdf

    It describes the Atlantis as being suitable for 300 lbs of rider and load on fire trails, which seems to meet your needs. Hopefully you'll be shedding a few pounds afer you get the bike. I mention the Atlantis because it comes uses 700C rims in the medium to large sizes (56 cm and bigger), and it has room for wide tires, which will make your wheels last longer. If you're worried about breaking spokes, you can get wheels with 36, 40 or 48 spokes, although I doubt that you'll need more than 36.

    The folks at Rivendell have spent some time designing bikes for people quite a bit heavier than yourself, and all of their bikes are pretty sturdy. Get in touch with them, tell them your situation, and see what they say.

  5. #5
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    811
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you have a gmail account this would be the group to send inquiries:

    http://groups.google.com/group/rbw-owners-bunch?hl=en

  6. #6
    Senior Member late's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    8,290
    Mentioned
    54 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your cousin was mostly right. Because of your history, your idea of getting a comfortable bike is good.

    First thing to do is set a budget. At a bit over a grand, it's hard to beat the Surly LHT. You might need stronger wheels, but they'd be worth trying. There are some tough hybrids if you need to spend less. You can ask about those in the Clydesdale Forum. Actually, you might want to place some questions there to see what the guys think.

    If the budget can go higher you have quite a few choices. For one thing, Waterford makes bikes for Rivendell. Most of the off the rack frames are actually made at Waterford or Toyo.

    Gunnar is Waterford's 'budget' line. They have a new frame called Fast Lane.
    http://www.gunnarbikes.com/fastlane.php
    My Gunnar Sport has a piece of tubing inside the seat tube that allows my seatpost to bottom out. Not seatpost slipping. I really like that. They could add that to any frame.

    I would suggest getting strong wheels. If you want a touring style frame, then touring wheels, 36 straight gauge spokes, prob 14s, on Shimano hubs would
    never let you down.

    For more of a lite touring approach, Synergy rims, 36 spokes, Shimano mtn hubs.

    A fast roadie setup would be CXP33 rims, 32 spokes, shimano road hubs. When I first got them, I weighed almost as much as you do. Really, really strong rims.

    Road bikes typically take 23c tires which are pretty narrow and are hard. Touring tires run large, and are heavy and a bit slow since they usually are used with heavy touring wheels. You can go in between, and use one of the lighter 32c tires.


    Test ride a bunch of bikes, you need to get a feel for what works for you. When you do, keep us updated on your progress.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,273
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The bombadil is essentially the SAME BIKE i just bought for 150 bucks on craigslist. a 198X peugot canyon express. I stripped the paint and might clear-powdercoat it.

    dont get me wrong I like rivendell, but the bombadil is very similar to what you can find in a vintage lugged steel mountain bike without much trouble. you would save over a thousand dollars easily by going this route. Their other bikes offer something that is harder to get, like large tire clearances on a road bike, or 650B or 26 inch wheels on large frames. In my view there is nothing on the bombadil that justifies its existence, nothing that sets it apart from a vintage MTB -except the cost.

    now the atlantis, thats a different story....

    my 2c

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Frisco, CO
    My Bikes
    '93 Bridgestone MB-3, '88 Marinoni road bike, '00 Marinoni Piuma, '01 Riv A/R
    Posts
    1,059
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by positron View Post
    The bombadil is essentially the SAME BIKE i just bought for 150 bucks on craigslist. a 198X peugot canyon express. I stripped the paint and might clear-powdercoat it.

    dont get me wrong I like rivendell, but the bombadil is very similar to what you can find in a vintage lugged steel mountain bike without much trouble. you would save over a thousand dollars easily by going this route. Their other bikes offer something that is harder to get, like large tire clearances on a road bike, or 650B or 26 inch wheels on large frames. In my view there is nothing on the bombadil that justifies its existence, nothing that sets it apart from a vintage MTB -except the cost.

    now the atlantis, thats a different story....

    my 2c
    The Rivendell website calls the Bombadil "a modern mountain bike in the spirit of a 1983 or 1984 model", so you're not too far off there. The folks at Rivendell seem to think that bicycle design peaked sometime in the 1980s, and a lot of the changes in bicycle design since then have been more marketing driven, "change for change's sake" than anything else.

    If the OP knows what to look for then a 1980s/early '90s steel frame MTB with no suspension would be a great way to go.

    I would argue that putting 650B wheels on the small frames and 700C wheels on the larger sizes sets the Bombadil sets it apart from a vintage MTB somewhat.

  9. #9
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,437
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rivendell bikes tend to be not to be very good values. And they tend to have what some people have described as insidious marketing hype. You can find excellent bikes that are plenty strong for better money.

    Also, 26" wheels (559mm) are probably a better way to go for you.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alex City, (Central) Alabama
    My Bikes
    Still trying to figure that one out
    Posts
    39
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Niles,

    why 26" wheels?

  11. #11
    Buh'wah?! Amani576's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    1972 Raleigh Twenty, mid-80's Trek
    Posts
    2,131
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    26" rims are largely more rugged, since 26" is the (almost) standard for mountain bikes, which take ALOT of abuse and still keep going. They also build up with shorter spokes, leading for slightly less spoke tension overall, not that it really makes a difference (the spoke length, not the tension). Although in the same context you could go with 29'er (heavy duty 700c) rims.
    -Gene-

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    121
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    well, i'd suggest looking at a sury karate monkey. have mikesee over at mtbr.com build you up some xt hubs on mavic a719 rims and then put any tires you can possibly think of. here are some other folks that set up their monkeys as touring bikes:

    http://www.calhouncycleshopcast.com/?p=49

    http://www.dirtragmag.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18925

    perhaps not as classic and pretty as a rivendell, but the monkey is the most veratile bike available and tough as nails. oh....and very affordable.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alex City, (Central) Alabama
    My Bikes
    Still trying to figure that one out
    Posts
    39
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you for all the information thus far. While I’m not a big fan of the “off-road” biking, “on-road” biking around where I live is just plain dangerous. I like the idea of riding on fire trails or “rails to trails,” but can’t limit myself to those -- who doesn’t like speed sometimes?

    Some conclusions or basic principles I’ve drawn from reading all the information and links attached to this or similar questions. Please feel free to correct a misunderstanding.

    1. While almost any bike is a good bike for almost any style of riding, more time on an improper bike leads to stress on the bike and or rider.
    2. Wheels are a good thing to pay attention to, reasonably.
    3. Bikes seem to be marketed on ideas, and in turn whole-heartedly defended or repudiated.
    4. Comfort in the parking lot doesn’t necessarily translate to comfort at 100 miles. Fitness and practice leads to that.
    5. There is a “component-spec/ fanaticism” symbiosis: the more you pay attention to one, the more it feeds the other.

  14. #14
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,772
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Delano View Post
    “on-road” biking around where I live is just plain dangerous
    Out of curiosity, where might that be?

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alex City, (Central) Alabama
    My Bikes
    Still trying to figure that one out
    Posts
    39
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Out of curiosity, where might that be?

    I'm in Alabama, an hour and a half by car southeast of Birmingham. The two-lane roads around here are winding and hilly for the most part, and the towns aren't really even pedestrian friendly. I drive an hour and a half to the nearest "Rails to Trails" in Anniston.


    I'll update my profile -- just never got around to it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,772
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Delano View Post
    I'm in Alabama, an hour and a half by car southeast of Birmingham. The two-lane roads around here are winding and hilly for the most part, and the towns aren't really even pedestrian friendly. I drive an hour and a half to the nearest "Rails to Trails" in Anniston.
    Different strokes I guess, but it sounds like the roads and terrain are similar to those of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Western Georgia, all of which I consider great riding and a lot safer than many places I have ridden.

    I would suggest that you broaden your riding to the area's rural two lane roads. I bet it really isn't that bad once you are used to it. Riding roads is so much nicer than "Rails to Trails" in my experience.

    I will qualify all of that by saying that the only place I have been to in Alabama is the northwest corner of the state.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alex City, (Central) Alabama
    My Bikes
    Still trying to figure that one out
    Posts
    39
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The northwest corner of the state is in my opinion the most beautiful part of all Alabama. The roads there are, yes, quite pleasant and meandering, and safe -- there are a number of people who ride bikes in that area, and the neighborhoods are quintessential small town America. Where I am is dominated by major state or county highways and pick-up trucks with attitudes.

    Markf, what does "OP" stand for? As in the sentence:
    "If the OP knows what to look for then a 1980s/early '90s steel frame MTB with no suspension would be a great way to go."

    I have checked a bunch of flea markets and antique type shops, and found only junk -- I've only been looking for names I recognize, though.

  18. #18
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,437
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just got back to this thread. Someone else did a good job of answering your question, though.

    There is another factor to consider: if you test ride enough bikes, you will probably come across one (sooner or later -- it might take quite a few before it happens) that you fall in love with. Some bikes just ride differently, and they are a world apart from the rest. You can actually break out laughing when you take off on one of these, the ride is so exceptionally great.

    It is a very individual thing, though. Reviews can help, but you actually have to ride them to find this.

    Fit has a lot to do with it, but there are many other factors as well.

    Good luck, and hope you find something that suits you well.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Frisco, CO
    My Bikes
    '93 Bridgestone MB-3, '88 Marinoni road bike, '00 Marinoni Piuma, '01 Riv A/R
    Posts
    1,059
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Delano View Post
    Markf, what does "OP" stand for? As in the sentence:
    "If the OP knows what to look for then a 1980s/early '90s steel frame MTB with no suspension would be a great way to go."

    I have checked a bunch of flea markets and antique type shops, and found only junk -- I've only been looking for names I recognize, though.
    OP stands for "Original Poster", the person who starts a particular thread. In this thread, that seems to be you.

    E-Bay is a good place to look for the kind of bicycles I'm describing, but it helps to know enough about bicycles to read between the lines of an ad and figure out what the seller is really offering. you should also know something about fitting a bike and know what size frame you need. Bridgestone MB-1, MB-2 and MB-3 are perfect examples of the type of bicycle I'm talking about, older (pre 1990 or so) Specialized Stumpjumpers and Rockhoppers are also good.These bikes are getting harder to find as time goes on, though, and a lot of them got retrofitted with suspension forks which make them less suitable for touring. Lots of bicycle clubs run classified ads in their newsletters or on their websites, this could be another place to look. Here in Colorado we have lots of stores that sell sports equipment on consignment, if you're near a good sized city or university town these are a great source for all kinds of cool stuff.

    If you can afford it, though, a Bombadil or an Atlantis would be awfully nice.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alex City, (Central) Alabama
    My Bikes
    Still trying to figure that one out
    Posts
    39
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I find it a bit odd that a forum of this size wouldn't have a Bombadil owner visiting from time to time. I did join the RBW group -- thanks bwgride -- and there's a lot of good info there, but I would have thought at least one Bombadil owner would chime in on his thoughts. Could chalk it up to vacations, work, etc. I guess. I hope it's not indicative...

  21. #21
    Let's Coast! shakeelium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    My Bikes
    1980s Ishiwata Bianchi SS conversion, 2005 Fuji World
    Posts
    33
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Delano - although this is a big 'ol forum, my guess is that there aren't really that many Bombadil riders out there.

    Although I think Rivendell makes quality and aesthetically beautiful bikes, they tend to be kind of cult-ish and not very good values (I don't hate Riv or anything, they make nice bikes, but the Riv philosophy isn't as universally just and true and good as many bridgestone/riv folks are convinced). I've been to the Riv shop and have bought bike accessories there. Nice folks, very pretty bikes.

    I think the suggestion of finding a used stumpjumper is a very good one. It's more work, but you'll get maximum value for your $ (especially if $$ is a constraining factor). The Surly LHT is a tank and should be plenty strong. Another very cool bike that might be up your alley is the Salsa Fargo, a kind of mountain/touring bike hybrid.

    Good luck, try out loads of bikes, have fun.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    My Bikes
    Franklin Frames Custom, Rivendell Bombadil, '83 Specialized Stumpjumper
    Posts
    1,289
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The Bombadil is not quite a late model Stumjumper(or the like)... at least not the one from '83. I have one of each. The Stump has a very relaxed front end..... too relaxed. Try riding it no handed..... at your own risk. The top tube is 80's-like short, and they didn't make it in a 60 or 64cm size.... or with 700c wheels. The Bombadil front end is stable. I was fortunate to find mine used, sort of. The front end was out of alignment by 6mm, one of the chainstays was brazed 1mm too short, and the RD hanger was jammed in 2mm. After a trip to a frame builder, all is fixed, but it did burst my mind bubble of a Riv/Waterford frame being put on a pedestal. I'm not saying their frames are not very good, I'm saying they are not always perfect and don't deserve to be held in such reverence-like regard.... and who is? No one.

    BTW, any good frame builder can make a frame similar to , and better than any classic frame you wish. It may or may not be lugged, but you can get the ride and angles you want. You can do this for $1100-1300 from some builders. Some even less.

    If an old Stump fits you though, and don't mind the front end, they are frames that can last forever. I may end up selling mine as it is just not big enough for me at 22"..... back in '83 there wasn't all the choices we have today!
    The frames are built really well, and designed for proper clearance of a low-Q triple and wide tires. A real innovation.
    Last edited by Garthr; 05-17-09 at 09:07 AM.

  23. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alex City, (Central) Alabama
    My Bikes
    Still trying to figure that one out
    Posts
    39
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you for so many responses. Obviously the biking community is one that cares. I have a lot to think about here.

    I'll post a picture of my bike when I make my decision, at the end of this month.

  24. #24
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Delano View Post
    Thank you for so many responses. Obviously the biking community is one that cares. I have a lot to think about here.

    I'll post a picture of my bike when I make my decision, at the end of this month.
    Just to muddy the waters, here's what I tour on. I'm currently 289, 6,1", and have assorted structural problems:



    I suggest getting any bike that fits you and riding it. Pull a trailer if it doesn't accept panniers easily. Upgrade the rear wheel. (You may notice I'm missing two spokes on the 32 spoke rear in this photo.

  25. #25
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL
    Posts
    6,479
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Rivendell makes fine bikes and they have a somewhat unique philosophy that can be refreshing or annoying, depending on your viewpoint. Personally, I think the Bombadil is an overpriced mountainbike frame. However, if you like it and the geometry would fit you, then I am sure it would make a nice bike for touring and general purpose riding. But ... you could achieve the same ends by spending MUCH less money through the following options:
    -- Search for an older mountain bike frame with a rigid fork on eBay or Craiglist; cost should be about 1/10 the price of a Bombadil.
    -- Buy a new Surley Long Haul Trucker, Rawland or Kogswell for about 1/4 the price of the Riv.
    -- Bruce Gordon is offering a new Taiwanese version of his BLT frame that is less than half as much as the Riv frame, and the price includes front and rear racks, headset, stem.

    Bear in mind that the Riv, Rawland and Kogswell use 650b wheels and tires, which are a nonstandard size that could be more expensive and difficult to find.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •