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Would Grant Approve your bike??

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Would Grant Approve your bike??

Old 05-17-15, 07:26 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I think Grant would say something like, "You ride that bike?" "Do you like it?" If yes, it's a damn fine bike.
This. We ascribe more demagoguery to GP than I suspect he intends. I don't think GP thinks his bikes or opinions are right for everyone, I think he believes in them for himself and as practical for many other riders. I'd wager he's happy when any bike is ridden.
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Old 05-17-15, 07:40 AM
  #52  
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Could someone please serve me up a small portion of the GP philosophy, the good stuff, triple distilled and properly aged? Nothing watered down, please, and it has to come from someone who cares, i.e. neither GP himself nor one of the many scoffers. Anyone?

For my part, as I understand it (and I have no doubt this will merely underscore my woeful ignorance), it boils down to this:
"You don't need a fancy expensive custom bike and hundred dollar pants to enjoy cycling, and we can sell you the prefect fancy expensive custom bike and just the right pants to make that happen. And our pants are only $94."
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Old 05-17-15, 07:46 AM
  #53  
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General and 18th president Ulysses S Grant ?
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Old 05-17-15, 08:11 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Could someone please serve me up a small portion of the GP philosophy, the good stuff, triple distilled and properly aged? Nothing watered down, please, and it has to come from someone who cares, i.e. neither GP himself nor one of the many scoffers. Anyone?

For my part, as I understand it (and I have no doubt this will merely underscore my woeful ignorance), it boils down to this:
"You don't need a fancy expensive custom bike and hundred dollar pants to enjoy cycling, and we can sell you the prefect fancy expensive custom bike and just the right pants to make that happen. And our pants are only $94."
yeah, that isn't it. Riv knows the value of a well designed, fancy, good looking frame and they aren't trying to compete on the low level of the price scale. I've never gotten the impression that Riv was ever trying to compete price wise with Linus or even Surly.

Pick up the book "Just Ride" and read it. Plenty of good bike "philosophy" in that.
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Old 05-17-15, 08:28 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by RJM View Post

Pick up the book "Just Ride" and read it. Plenty of good bike "philosophy" in that.
No. That would be contrary to the purpose of my question.

Admittedly, I don't care enough to do my own research. But aside from that, I'm want to hear what people have learned from GP, rather than read everything what he himself has written.
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Old 05-17-15, 08:48 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Could someone please serve me up a small portion of the GP philosophy, the good stuff, triple distilled and properly aged? Nothing watered down, please, and it has to come from someone who cares, i.e. neither GP himself nor one of the many scoffers. Anyone?
I think Grant's main point is that the bike industry' marketing strategy primarily consists of trying to sell racing bikes to everyone by appealing to the desire to be glamorous and heroic, like the racers (I'm not sure how that all works now that we've discovered that many of them are druggies). He thinks (correctly IMHO) that this results in many people buying racing bikes with overly tall gearing and uncomfortable and flashy clothing that is at odds with what stuff that would be far more practical.

I agree with Grant's philosophy, and I think that it occurs in all sports. For example, windsurfing used to be a sport for the masses where you could putter around on lakes on a cool, minimalist device. However, the marketing departments got hold of it and made it seem like you had to be some kind of extreme athlete to participate, thus killing off the family fun side of the sport.

I think the part that people scoff at is that Grant (through the Rivendell catalogs, etc) goes a bit overboard with telling people what they should and shouldn't use (especially when it comes to clothing), veering into attempting to dictate taste.
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Old 05-17-15, 11:28 AM
  #57  
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To me there is a difference between what gp espouses as an advocate and what he sells to a certain extant. I think as an advocate GP promotes cycling that is practical for a lot of people. I've heard him promoting hybrids. I think as an advocate he wants to promote cycling to non-cyclists...and he stresses that you don't have to buy a fancy bike...even one of his. Its a simple throw your legs over, ride and have fun without taking it too seriously approach. I don't think he's opposed to riding roadies, I think he just wants people to understand that you don't have to. He promotes lite touring bikes over full tourers to MOST people because most people can't take a month off to tour, and credit card/lite touring is more realistic.

Boiled down, I think he eschews the extremes of cycling for people in the middle.

He definitely espouses steel, or metal in general, being superior to CF. I've never ridden CF, I've heard the argument both ways and I don't really care. At my current weight, irrational or not, I feel more secure on steel.

Personally I think he's right more often than wrong. I think he's wrong for me regarding padded shorts...and 50 + miles in a cotton shirt will put me in pain. I also like spd sandals.
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Old 05-17-15, 12:50 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Boiled down, I think he eschews the extremes of cycling for people in the middle.
Personally I think he's right more often than wrong.
Yep. He also works really hard to tear down many of the marketing myths that have convinced people that "real cycling" (whatever that is) requires piles of money and gear.

In response to the original question: I think he'd be a big fan of my Super Sport.
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Old 05-17-15, 01:06 PM
  #59  
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I guess the recent comments point out how Grant has backed himself into a corner. He points out (correctly in my view) that there is too much marketing hype. But he is in the business of selling bike stuff, so he has to market it, which includes at least implying, if not stating, that his stuff is superior. So whether or not there is a contradiction, there will appear to be one.

@rhm maybe we can boil it down by saying you don't need any equipment or training or fitness level in particular to ride a bike; you should just ride.
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Old 05-17-15, 01:22 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I guess the recent comments point out how Grant has backed himself into a corner. He points out (correctly in my view) that there is too much marketing hype. But he is in the business of selling bike stuff, so he has to market it, which includes at least implying, if not stating, that his stuff is superior. So whether or not there is a contradiction, there will appear to be one.

@rhm maybe we can boil it down by saying you don't need any equipment or training or fitness level in particular to ride a bike; you should just ride.
I see it a little differenty Tom. GP the advocate sells cycling to people who will never buy one of his bikes because cycling is important to him. When I heard him on NPR his marketing consisted of telling people a $400 bike is good enough for them.

GP the guy who has to make a living sells small numbers of bikes he wants to make and ride and has discovered there is a dedicated group that likes his approach and buys them. I don't think his approach mandates destroying what others like, I think it involves marketing an image that will appeal to some.
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Old 05-17-15, 03:11 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Could someone please serve me up a small portion of the GP philosophy, the good stuff, triple distilled and properly aged? Nothing watered down, please, and it has to come from someone who cares, i.e. neither GP himself nor one of the many scoffers. Anyone?

For my part, as I understand it (and I have no doubt this will merely underscore my woeful ignorance), it boils down to this:
"You don't need a fancy expensive custom bike and hundred dollar pants to enjoy cycling, and we can sell you the prefect fancy expensive custom bike and just the right pants to make that happen. And our pants are only $94."
rhm...my take, from reading his Blugs and even reading Bridgestone brochures years ago (I was considering an XO)

The most important thing is to ride and any thing that encourages riding is good and discourages riding is not

Steel is the best frame/form material, period. Lugged steel is nicest (aesthetically) (though he as has designed frames for soma that are welded)

Bike riding position should be comfortable with handle bars high, even if you are using drop bars

Bikes need to be practical, i.e with the ability to have fenders, racks and handle bigger tire sizes

Components should be good enough to work well, but need not be any better (if an altus derailler works great, no need for ultegra)

better to spend money on stems/handlebars than shifters

Brooks saddles are the best

Friction shifting is best, bar end shifters or thumb shifters are the epitome of design, brifters are overly complicated and not needed

Clipless pedals are bad, even toe clips are not needed, stiff cycling shoes are not needed

clothes: wool


Personally, i basicallly disagree with his thoughts on pedals, clothing and brifters. I have bike that cover the whole range and use the one that fits what I am doing and my mood whether it is errands, commute, long training ride etc. I also vary my clothing based the the same criteria, from hop on with what I am wearing to put on the full kit and elf shoes.

I think it interesting that his bike designs continue to evolve subtly and are by no means fixed and even 100% classic
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Old 05-17-15, 03:25 PM
  #62  
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@KonAaron Snake, I think we're saying the same thing but maybe you put it better. So by that description, he would approve of our bikes, not that we built them for his approval, nor should we.
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Old 05-17-15, 03:59 PM
  #63  
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If that dude came near me, I would step on his sandal clad foot.
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Old 05-17-15, 06:46 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
If that dude came near me, I would step on his sandal clad foot.
+1 with and spd cleat

jk, I would just drop him while switching gears with my campy brifters


but on topic: I think that comment about him talking on NPR or whatever is telling. he's an advocate but at $400, which probably is a correct price point for what he would approve of, just ride (reliable***) cycling doesnt seem aa accessible as it should be
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Old 05-17-15, 07:10 PM
  #65  
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Sheldon Brown approves of my latest rig, and that is good enough for me!



Motobecane Grand Record

grant would probably be ok with it too...

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Old 05-17-15, 07:26 PM
  #66  
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I am no expert on Grant Petersen.... but I did read his book "Just ride". I enjoy his views and opinions (and I don't feel compelled agree everything).

I recently traded my vintage steel of a non-vintage aluminum with down tube indexed shifters. BUT.... I have a new/old steel 3 speed with fenders, and a chain guard coming my way. I intend to add a rear rack... and a bell. I think Grant would be pleased. But more importantly... I think I will enjoy having a "hop-on-and-ride" bike.

P.S. Just ride.... Is a great book to read on a smartphone. It is an easy read with bite-sized chapters.
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Old 05-17-15, 08:19 PM
  #67  
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Well okay, if the message is that bikes should be fun and useful and easy, I'm all for it. I'm really not that interested in bikes as sports equipment, though I realize they have that role as well. Would Grant approve of mine? Well, I ride them. Sounds to me like I share his outlook.
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Old 05-17-15, 08:40 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Well okay, if the message is that bikes should be fun and useful and easy, I'm all for it. I'm really not that interested in bikes as sports equipment, though I realize they have that role as well. Would Grant approve of mine? Well, I ride them. Sounds to me like I share his outlook.
Just be careful of the Kool-aide.
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Old 05-17-15, 09:26 PM
  #69  
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My bike is probably 80% Grant approved.

I have upright bars placed a little higher than my brooks saddle. I ride in normal clothing (and that means dresses and skirts are included). I have platform pedals (see note about normal clothes).

I do not have a cycle computer (but I am logging miles for a the bike challenge. I forget to turn on map my ride and guesstimate distance. No clue about my speed - not fast)

I have a Wald basket and a rear rack: I need a spot to stash my purse. And maybe some groceries on the way home.

I have 38mm tires, fenders and Dynamo lights. I also have an internally geared hub and Riv doesn't seem to be a fan of those.

My Soma mixte frame is mostly welded, not lugged.

I do think the Riv bikes are pretty and stopped by their store. I'd call it well edited. I did get a Shopsack after much debate. It served itself well this weekend. I loaded my takeout, a few groceries and odds and ends and clipped it on my rack. Worked great. And the flat bottom + rack is a better combo for the takeout than the unlevel platform of my basket.

All in all, just ride is a great philosophy.
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Old 05-17-15, 09:44 PM
  #70  
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"Would Grant Approve your bike??"

No.
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Old 05-18-15, 07:02 AM
  #71  
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Lugged steel frame: 2 out of 4 bikes
Handlebars at seat height or higher: 3 out of 4 bikes
Platform pedals: 3 out of 4
Fenders: 3 out of 4
Wide tires: 4 out of 4
North Road or moustache bars: 1 out of 4
Leather saddles: 0 out of 4
Saddlebags or handlebar bags: 1 out of 4
Cork or twine on the handlebar: 0 out of 4

Of course on clothes, I'm with some others here: shorts or liners designed or biking if going more than about 3 or 4 miles. And I tend to synthetics in very hot or cold temps, not because I'm against wool, but because I find I harder to afford.
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Old 05-18-15, 07:55 AM
  #72  
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Let's see ... All 4 bikes have lugged steel frames (1 Tru-Temper, 2 Reynolds 531C, 1 metric-gauge 531), all the road bikes have B.17 saddles, tops of bars level or within one inch of saddle height, clips and straps on two, fenders on one, all tires at least 28mm wide, two handlebars with shellacked cotton bar tape, 3 sets of Nitto handlebars, two Nitto Technomics and one lugged Nitto stem, capacious Carradice Nelson saddlebag purchased from Rivendell c.1998 when they still sold them ... yeah, I think he would approve of some of my bikes, anyway.

I owned a Rivendell Road Custom for about a dozen years, and it was a lovely Joe Starck-build machine that I built up to pretty much full Rivendell spec - lugged stem, Nitto Dream bars, Nitto cages, Mavic MA-2 rims, T.A. Zephyr triple (but with the T.A. Axix BB), vintage SunTour Superbe brake calipers with Scott-Matthauser pads - but Campy Chorus 8-speed cassette hubs, Campy Triomphe triple front and a Campy Olympus rear derailleur, operated first by vintage SunTour barcons and later by a set of Rivendell silver downtube shifters. I put a bunch of miles on it and found it stable and well-mannered enough - but as time passed I realized that I prefer standard diameter tubing to over-sized, and that, truth be told, I like the ride of my Mercians (or, for that matter, vintage Gitanes) a little better.

I like Grant's attitude about the competitive side of bike marketing, largely because when I started cycling in the mid-70s it was all about touring and day touring and racing was something the European guys did. Might have been different had I lived nearer to a major city, but I didn't and that was fine. Grant's writings felt more like a continuation of those ideas than anything else going on c. 1998.

I think as the years have gone by, Grant and Rivendell have been living out what happens when newer technologies come along and displace highly developed traditional ones - the traditional becomes an artisanal craft elevated to an artform, and one is expected to pay more to support a very labor-intensive product using classical materials. Expect that divide to get wider every year as the internet of things and 3D printers get more use.
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Old 05-18-15, 08:22 AM
  #73  
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An entertaining thread now.

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Old 05-18-15, 09:52 AM
  #74  
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@rhm, I consider getting on a bike and riding for fun to be a sport. It's just not a competitive sport. So many of your bikes are sports equipment. And that's just fine. Of course.
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Old 05-18-15, 09:53 AM
  #75  
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I'd like more tire clearance and a front rack and it'd be a lovely Rivbike replica.
If money were no object, I'd have an Atlantis or a Hunqapillar.
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