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Anyone else baffled by Rivendell's photos?

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Anyone else baffled by Rivendell's photos?

Old 05-21-20, 11:26 PM
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uprightbent
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Anyone else baffled by Rivendell's photos?

I respect what they've done, but can't grasp the photos that apparently have become their odd norm?

Not a drop bar in sight. Seems like upright cruiser bars have taken over.
Helmets seem frowned upon. Don't want a helmet discussion, but it's clear they're not cool in Riv pics.
Lots of photos pushing bikes up hills?
And these crazy frames. Extra double top tubes. Can't understand 3 grand for what's really a hybrid?

I used to lust over the Atlantis and the Bleriot. Doesn't even seem like the same company.
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Old 05-21-20, 11:30 PM
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Yep. I follow their Instagram account and its certainly underwhelming, given their history and reputation at least. Their IG does not match the legend. Its fine, its just not what most familiar with them might expect aesthetically.
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Old 05-22-20, 12:10 AM
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Is there something wrong with high-quality, comfortable commuter bikes?

Bicycles of this description are naturally going to become more popular in the US when this society finally comes around to the understanding that the bicycle is a tool of transportation - and we're currently experiencing another Bike Boom at the moment. It's no secret that Rivendell has been in financial difficulty in the past, so positioning their creations to meet the market is a fair business strategy.

Or is Grant thinking too far outside the sealed Dia-Compe box for the C&V cognoscenti?

-Kurt
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Old 05-22-20, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Is there something wrong with high-quality, comfortable commuter bikes?

Bicycles of this description are naturally going to become more popular in the US when this society finally comes around to the understanding that the bicycle is a tool of transportation - and we're currently experiencing another Bike Boom at the moment. It's no secret that Rivendell has been in financial difficulty in the past, so positioning their creations to meet the market is a fair business strategy.

Or is Grant thinking too far outside the sealed Dia-Compe box for the C&V cognoscenti?

-Kurt
Yeah, this is more or less what I figured. Their current pictured bikes and photo style make a lot of sense for a company actually trying to sell a lot of bikes, especially right now. Just that when I stumbled on their IG account I thought ohhh this is gonna be a lot of pretty riv-porn. Maybe something more akin to the Cycles Grand Bois or Alex Singer accounts. So I was a little let down, and its not just the bikes themselves, just the whole packages. But nothing at all wrong with what they are presenting.

Some quick comparisons:









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Old 05-22-20, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
Yeah, this is more or less what I figured. Their current pictured bikes and photo style make a lot of sense for a company actually trying to sell a lot of bikes, especially right now. Just that when I stumbled on their IG account I thought ohhh this is gonna be a lot of pretty riv-porn. Maybe something more akin to the Cycles Grand Bois or Alex Singer accounts. So I was a little let down, but nothing at all wrong with what they are presenting.
EDIT: You're confusing Grant for Jan Heine with those feeds. Even though Grant's touring designs often evoke the French constructeurs, that's not his primary design language.

Grant is adding a bit of class to commuter bikes with Rivendell, and the marketing reflects that. Keeper of the flame? Yes. Purist? No.

I will say though - the Clem L is a singularly disproportional looking beast, but it seems to be popular, judging by their feed. No accounting for taste. Still, it is better than yet another generic, aluminum hybrid cockroach bike with gaudy graphics though.

-Kurt
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Old 05-22-20, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
EDIT: You're confusing Grant for Jan Heine with those feeds. Even though Grant's touring designs often evoke the French constructeurs, that's not his primary design language.

Grant is adding a bit of class to commuter bikes with Rivendell, and the marketing reflects that.

I will say though - the Clem L is a singularly disproportional looking beast, yet, it seems to be extremely popular. It's still better than yet another generic, aluminum hybrid cockroach bike with gaudy graphics though.

-Kurt
Agreed! I should clarify my gripe was more with the photos and presentation of their Instagram, which is admittedly petty and personal and not a big deal at all. But IG is the big thing right now and they have a chance to make it drip with Rivendell class and aesthetic. Im big on this sort of thing so I pay attention to it. That Alex Singer screenshot I posted, for example, screams Alex Singer just by taking one glance at it.
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Old 05-22-20, 12:51 AM
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Looking at those the 'gram comparisons, I think it may help set them apart from the legions of vintage/classic steel roadies usually pictured.
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Old 05-22-20, 01:52 AM
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When I saw the thread title, I thought this was going to be about the Bicycles & Frames section of the website. The garage door shots make it look like a craigslist seller page.

At least it's better than the former approach where each thumbnail was a shot of the headbadge. Flashing to the headbadge with mouseover like they do now is a sensible idea; having all the headbadges next to each other was entirely bewildering to look at and just felt like a pile of brown ovals.

Originally Posted by uprightbent View Post
Lots of photos pushing bikes up hills?
Goes right in line with the geo.

Using super-long chainstays on a bike made for unpaved riding is a dangerous game. It makes some amount of sense if you're going for a beach cruiser fit, because the center-of-mass gets pushed way back. But what happens when the road turns steep skyward? If you keep the weight back, you'll have to muscle up with your torso just to stay on the saddle, and you'll excessively unweight the front wheel; handling will get nervous, and you might start doing unintentional wheelies. If you pull the weight forward (which in a beach-cruiser fit would require getting out of the saddle and not just sitting forward on the saddle), the rear wheel ends up way behind the center of mass, and it's hard to keep it planted and keep traction on your power transfer.

This is a big part of why almost everybody who designs bikes for unpaved use keeps the chainstays pretty short... not much longer than on traditional road bikes, oftentimes even if that means compromising a bit on q-factor.
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Old 05-22-20, 03:00 AM
  #9  
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Rivendell Bikes are , to me , in a slightly different arena to the classic road bikes that I normally like. They are nice looking bikes and appear to be decent quality but there were so many beautiful bikes made in the seventies and eighties that to pay that kind of money for a bike that is not really my thing would not make sense. I understand the folks who like these Nuovo classic designs and that’s great. They pay tribute to earlier bicycles but I don’t think they intend to replace them. For now , I will stick with my vintage racers. Grant has always responded when I had questions about his early dealings with Bridgestone and is not afraid to speak his truth even if it goes against the general flow, I respect him for that and he has fought hard to keep this company alive. He may be on to something after all! Joe. Joesvintageroadbikes.wordpress
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Old 05-22-20, 04:08 AM
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You can love both, I have a Confente and ride my Quickbeam more.
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Old 05-22-20, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
When I saw the thread title, I thought this was going to be about the Bicycles & Frames section of the website. The garage door shots make it look like a craigslist seller page.

At least it's better than the former approach where each thumbnail was a shot of the headbadge. Flashing to the headbadge with mouseover like they do now is a sensible idea; having all the headbadges next to each other was entirely bewildering to look at and just felt like a pile of brown ovals.


Goes right in line with the geo.

Using super-long chainstays on a bike made for unpaved riding is a dangerous game. It makes some amount of sense if you're going for a beach cruiser fit, because the center-of-mass gets pushed way back. But what happens when the road turns steep skyward? If you keep the weight back, you'll have to muscle up with your torso just to stay on the saddle, and you'll excessively unweight the front wheel; handling will get nervous, and you might start doing unintentional wheelies. If you pull the weight forward (which in a beach-cruiser fit would require getting out of the saddle and not just sitting forward on the saddle), the rear wheel ends up way behind the center of mass, and it's hard to keep it planted and keep traction on your power transfer.

This is a big part of why almost everybody who designs bikes for unpaved use keeps the chainstays pretty short... not much longer than on traditional road bikes, oftentimes even if that means compromising a bit on q-factor.
How do longer chainstays affect the center-of-mass if the seat tube and the front triangle are the same as on a bicycle with shorter chainstays? I had an old Bianchi MTB with relatively long chainstays (I could fit a water bottle cage and 750mm water bottle behind the seat tube on a 21" frame) and it soaked up shock on logging/mining roads very well; plus my heels didn't hit my panniers.

Cheers
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Old 05-22-20, 06:59 AM
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I believe the last handful of pictures were from a Rivelo account takeover.

I also think comparing a shop that sells new bikes Instagram page to a Ren Herse fan page is silly.
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Old 05-22-20, 08:54 AM
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I already know how to set up my drop bar bikes and I continue to enjoy looking at pictures of them set up the way I know they should be set up. Lately, I have been seeking pictures and know-how for fine tuning my poor man's rivendell and we know who does that best. I wonder how many regular posters to this forum who also ride significant miles per week log the majority of their miles on either converted MTBs, Sports/DL-1s, touring bikes, or road bikes with the bars jacked up with Technomics? Rivendell is Relevant.
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Old 05-22-20, 09:04 AM
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All my riding is done upright without a helmet. I rarely push up hills but i always say there is no shame in it. Grant isnt for everyone but now and then he hits the nail on the head for me. Of course i cant afford his frames....
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Old 05-22-20, 09:11 AM
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Grant was always ruffling people's feathers by doing unconventional things, and he always had critics calling his unconventional things "ugly". Plus a change, eh?
The critics back then missed the old Grant of slick Bridgestone marketing, and wondered how he'd strayed into lug- and Brooks-craziness. Back in the day, it was showing people how to install fenders in a magazine. Today it's commuting and passhunting on instagram. The content is different, but the criticism all sounds the same. Which do we think is more interesting?

When it comes to trends, Grant is ahead of his time. We often think the prescient are crazy. Even Jan Heine has credited Grant for some portion of his inspiration to rebuild a randonneuring empire in a vintage image.
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Old 05-22-20, 09:25 AM
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I love outside the box thinking but sometimes I think builders like Grant Peterson are maybe just being a little too cute in their designs? Like no disc brakes because they don't look cool. Wow. Way to make a stand. That's just one example of resisting some of the newer developments that make bikes better/safer (no brake caliper = ability to run wider tires, very cool think in Urban/Gravel environments alike, not trying to open a debate about brakes but there's no denying it allows a wider range of tire and wheel sizes)

I follow Jeff Jones and he's almost the opposite - he thinks the best looking bike is the most useful one and his IG features 0 bandanna-clad gen z-ers in birks and horn-rimmed glasses pushing anything, anywhere (full disclosure, I pushed my bike over a TTF this AM, nothing wrong with that, but, ya know...)

I think Riv bikes are VERY high quality and I respect Grant Peterson but this is my critique. If I were in the market for a bike like that I think I would go with a Crust Scapegoat or something similar; also hi quality, small batch steel bikes but they have embraced such advances as thru axles, disc brakes, etc, although their IG is equally annoying but that's just my taste (queue "ok boomer"/"get offmylawn")
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Old 05-22-20, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post

I will say though - the Clem L is a singularly disproportional looking beast, but it seems to be popular, judging by their feed. No accounting for taste. Still, it is better than yet another generic, aluminum hybrid cockroach bike with gaudy graphics though.
Don't sugar-coat it or hold anything back now; tell us how you REALLY feel!
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Old 05-22-20, 09:45 AM
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I stand by my original post. Judging Rivendell for not fitting in to a preconcieved notion is just C&V elitism.

And if anyone wants to diss North Roads or similar bars...put up them dukes.

-Kurt
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Old 05-22-20, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
I love outside the box thinking but sometimes I think builders like Grant Peterson are maybe just being a little too cute in their designs? Like no disc brakes because they don't look cool. Wow. Way to make a stand. That's just one example of resisting some of the newer developments that make bikes better/safer (no brake caliper = ability to run wider tires, very cool think in Urban/Gravel environments alike, not trying to open a debate about brakes but there's no denying it allows a wider range of tire and wheel sizes
You just kinda get that with Grant. Eschewing taste can help you avoid fads- like when his mountain bikes came out of the box with round cranks and no silly early MTB fads like raised stays or chainstay U-brakes- but it also made them decide that putting an awful suspension stem on their high end bike because nobody really needs a suspension fork was a good idea.
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Old 05-22-20, 10:14 AM
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Upright, no drop bars, no helmets, no disk brakes, normal clothes. That pretty much describes 95% of the cycling where I live.

I've seen and listened to Grant Petersen on Youtube after noglider posted this wonderful thread. And I realized how totally different cycling in the US is from cycling here in Holland.

Outside the box? It all depends on the box you live in.
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Old 05-22-20, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
You just kinda get that with Grant. Eschewing taste can help you avoid fads- like when his mountain bikes came out of the box with round cranks and no silly early MTB fads like raised stays or chainstay U-brakes- but it also made them decide that putting an awful suspension stem on their high end bike because nobody really needs a suspension fork was a good idea.
I like what you're saying; I just think MAYBE a guy like Grant is so smart he can ferret out which are the truly useful innovations versus the ones that are just plain dorky (like you mention)... I like a lot of what he's doing, just offering some critique. At the end of the day, no one is forcing me to ride one so to each his own. I like the idea of having an internal compass in order to avoid industry pitfalls, I think it's also smart to look at what others are doing and what's working...

I would actually love to have a fireside chat with Grant Peterson and Jeff Jones and talk geo/frame materials/crank lengths/handlebars/politics - you name it!
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Old 05-22-20, 10:21 AM
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Also Grant let me in on the "secret" that a long sleeve button down shirt is entirely sensible in hot weather, so he gets big points in my book for that.

E) one of my favorite idiosyncrasies someone pointed out in his book was when he eschewed cycling gloves because he doesn't want to bother washing them - yet had an entire chapter about how to carefully prepare your bar tape with shellac! Like Grant, just toss them in with the washing, man!
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Old 05-22-20, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
Also Grant let me in on the "secret" that a long sleeve button down shirt is entirely sensible in hot weather, so he gets big points in my book for that.

E) one of my favorite idiosyncrasies someone pointed out in his book was when he eschewed cycling gloves because he doesn't want to bother washing them - yet had an entire chapter about how to carefully prepare your bar tape with shellac! Like Grant, just toss them in with the washing, man!
What does he suggest for cold weather riding? Wrapping and and applying shellac to your hands? Too funny man.....
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Old 05-22-20, 10:45 AM
  #24  
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I've seen a number of anecdotal reports that vintage mountain bikes are becoming more desirable. Maybe G.P. is trolling the forum for market trends. Or his Country and Hilly bikes are what he's making money on right now. The demographic that can afford one may also be less interested in riding in traffic. There are also a number of "road" bikes now available from other brands that are Rivendell'ish in form and function, but with out the lugs and paint. I myself have very much gravitated to bikes of the "style" and occasionally chime in with this exact sentiment on these weird love or hate G.P. threads. As a consumer you can choose to purchase the product. As far as influencing the Brand... I'm sure plenty of ink has been wasted critiquing Queen Elizabeth's choice of pocketbook over the years......
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Old 05-22-20, 10:53 AM
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It seems to me that 9 out of 10 people I see riding never use the drops, don't ride that far, and aren't going that fast. It doesn't really make sense for these regular people to be on racing bikes. Also, cyclists are increasingly being pushed off the roads, due to increased number of cars, distracted drivers, higher traffic speeds, and the disappearance of wide shoulders to ride on. I think this has pushed Rivendell to more of a do everything kind of bike.

The current aesthetic it seems to me is sort of an updated modern version of the pre war bikes like my grandfather rode. There were a lot fewer paved roads then. In a way, that makes a lot of sense for today's conditions.

I enjoy my 'starter' Rivendell. It's great for cruising old dirt roads and fire trails, or for when I just want to go out for a pleasant ride and not worry about racing anyone. It puts me in a mindset to, well, just ride.

Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Using super-long chainstays on a bike made for unpaved riding is a dangerous game. It makes some amount of sense if you're going for a beach cruiser fit, because the center-of-mass gets pushed way back. But what happens when the road turns steep skyward? If you keep the weight back, you'll have to muscle up with your torso just to stay on the saddle, and you'll excessively unweight the front wheel; handling will get nervous, and you might start doing unintentional wheelies. If you pull the weight forward (which in a beach-cruiser fit would require getting out of the saddle and not just sitting forward on the saddle), the rear wheel ends up way behind the center of mass, and it's hard to keep it planted and keep traction on your power transfer.
Hmm, I've found the opposite to be true. Long chainstays really help keep the front end from hopping on steep inclines offroad or otherwise. The long wheelbase makes the bike very stable and pleasant to ride over rough terrain. My Clem Smith certainly isn't as suited to super rough single track as a modern full suspension MTB, or trials, or anything like that, but it's perfect for my uses.


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