Old 08-20-16, 12:54 AM
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Bikes: 87 Marinoni SLX Sports Tourer, 79 Miyata 912 by Gugificazione

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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
Uhhh - I would say ride a Rivendell first before going this route. My experience is that the ride quality is NOT lively or springy.

On the plus side, I liked my Riv's stability due to longer chainstays - much like certain vintage Motobecanes - and I enjoyed its stability and easy control on long fast descents. It was certainly beautiful with its near-OCD attention to detail and the exquisite Joe Bell paint job. Mine was basically what was once the LongLow, but with short reach brakes, a mistake on my part. Let me stress this - it was a beautiful and beautifully made bike, the closest thing to rideable art I had ever owned.

In time, though, I realized that I just didn't enjoy the ride of oversized tubing. It became more of an issue than I thought it would. It was really disappointing to realize that for all the money and all the exquisite Rivendell-y parts I hung on that bike (T.A. Zephyr crank, T.A. sealed pedals, Campy-hubbed-MA2 wheels, Nitto everything), I just didn't enjoy riding it very much. I love Grant and his ideas, but frankly, the ride quality of just about every standard-diameter tubed 531 bike I owned was better for me, and I eventually started taking note of how on a set route I was faster not only on my Mercians, but even on beat up old French 531 bikes like a PX-10 or a Gitane TdF. The Rivendell was just a slower bike to ride, and I attribute that to the stiffer OS tubing and to a lesser extent to the beefed-up gauges Grant was spec'ing for them.

Oh - and yeah, no matter how much I tried, I could never get past that 1.5 degree or so upslope to the top tube.

I don't recall seeing this mentioned in this thread yet, so I will say it - pay close attention to tubing diameter. I think for a rando bike you want standard diameter stuff comparable to 531, Vitus 172, or better.
Rustystrings perfectly described my feelings about the Rivendell Rambouillet that was my daily rider for ten years. Something about it just wasn't as much fun/lively as I expected. It was certainly very capable, stable, solid, beautiful and comfortable (1.5 degree TT upslope never bothered me), just not a bike that made me smile. But the '87 Marinoni SLX Sports Tourer I found three years ago has all the pluses of the Riv, and it's a bike that truly always makes me want to ride it further.

BTW, I can just fit 32mm tires under the short reach brakes of the Marinoni thanks to perfect alignment and brake bridge placement. My old Miyata 912 has fender duty, which it can take with 28's, but it isn't quite as good with panniers since the chain stays are 2cm shorter. And it also proved to be more fun than the Riv when I decided to get it back on the road. So what Rustystrings said about tubing diameter is right on the money.

Last edited by Dfrost; 09-05-16 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Corrected Miyata chainstay length difference to something that would actual matter
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