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Rivendell Atlantis or Vintage

Old 03-28-14, 01:59 PM
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cs1
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Rivendell Atlantis or Vintage

While the Atlantis is a classic in it's own right it ain't cheap. Seems that there are plenty of 80's vintage MTBs that could fill the bill nicely. Has anyone here tried it? I have an 84 Stumpjumper that seems like a perfect candidate. The drop bar MTB thread has plenty of great looking bikes on it for inspiration. What say the experts?
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Old 03-28-14, 02:17 PM
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Years ago I attempted to build a poor man's Atlantis from an MB-2. It's a very nice ride, I still have it and ride it often. I don't know how successful I was because I've never had a chance to ride an Atlantis. One of these days I'll make the short trip to Rivendell and take one for a test ride.

I just switched from 1.3 slicks to 1.75 Paselas and I like it even more. The poor man's Compass seemed fitting.

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Old 03-28-14, 02:19 PM
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Once you have a Rivendell, its hard to make do with much of anything else.

I had a Bombadil for a awhile and I have never missed a bike more.

Lots of folks have built Atlantis type builds using all manner of 80's era MTB's but none of them are as perfect as the original.

My advice is find a gently used Atlantis. When I sold my Bombadil frame, I sold it for $1200. I'm currently trying to figure out how I can afford my next Rivendell.
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Old 03-28-14, 02:24 PM
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I just found out about the rivendell brand just days ago. However, I am quite familiar with the work of grant peterson as bridgestone's US marketing director. He's very humble, but I can say I probably learned more about riding technique, bicycle manufacturing and design philosophy in his most entertaining catalogs than I did from any book written on cycling. Possibly combined.

Theoretically, that information should inform the design of rivendells and it obviously does. Practically, since the bicycles are limited run and made in the USA, they're going to cost a small fortune. I've grown accustomed to the 'market price' of outsourced manufactured bikes. On top of that, my current ride, manuf. in taiwan, has very good weld quality. The price to performance ratio IMO is off the charts.

Only you can decide if the premium of a made in the USA frame is worth it to you. Rivendell does a good job of promotion, saying that their price is amortized over a lifetime of use, which can in fact be true. But the same could be said for a custom frame or even a vintage bicycle if you're willing to look.

It really does depend on your budget. What have you got to lose from converting a bike you already own? If you love the conversion, great. If you don't, no skin off your back, just re-use the parts.

Be sure to budget around $4K total for the frame, wheels and components for the rivendell.
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Old 03-28-14, 02:26 PM
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what is your intended use? Mountain bikes are designed to be mountain bikes so as a general question will a converted stumpjumper work well that you are happy with it (and of course you need to make cost difference adjusment)
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Old 03-28-14, 02:45 PM
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I owned an Atlantis for a couple of years, and it was a great bike. When I moved to CA, I sold it. For the past 18 months I've been riding a 1987 Schwinn Cimarron conversion that has proven to be every bit as good as my old Atlantis, albiet a little heavier. (pics are in the drop bar conversion thread)

The Atlantis is a great bike, and pretty for sure, but it doesn't function any better than my 87 Schwinn, and that's spoken from experience.
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Old 03-28-14, 03:47 PM
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I paid $75 for the MB-2. That's a pretty big cost difference adjustment.

One place there may be a significant difference between the MB-2 and Atlantis frame is bottom bracket height. I've never gotten around to comparing that spec between the two, but I've been meaning to for years. The large MB-2 frame is a road bike fit for me and I feel very tall in the saddle.
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Old 03-28-14, 05:01 PM
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I have a 1999 Atlantis (bought used), and a 1983 Stumpjumper and 1989 (I think) Miyata Terrarunner that I've tried to set up as Atlantis clones. Bottom bracket height is one difference; the Atlantis is lower than the MTBs. The Stumpjumper has a very slack headtube angle that makes it handle quite differently from the Riv (not as well, IMHO); the Miyata geometry is closer to the Atlantis. Both of the MTBs are heavier. For my money, neither of them has the combination of ride comfort and handling that the Atlantis has. But the Miyata isn't that far off. If I didn't have the Atlantis, the Miyata would be a perfectly acceptable substitute. Having said that, I'm not getting rid of the Riv.
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Old 03-28-14, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
The large MB-2 frame is a road bike fit for me and I feel very tall in the saddle.
I feel very "tall in the saddle" on my drop bar'd High Sierra compared to any of my "road" or "touring" bikes.

I think my 1987 High Sierra is cool as all get out. It was my first bike since I was an adult and I've owned it for in excess of 20 years. I did a drop bar conversion last year or the year before. As much as I want to love that bike- there's something about that fit that just doesn't work like my "purpose driven" drop bar bikes. But it is WAY cool and has a whole bunch of really cool traits- the dual braze on eyelets, the mid fork rack mounts, the roller cam brakes, the lugged unicrown fork, the fillet brazed head tube, dual bottle mounts, crazy long chainstays and Black Chrome on top of it all.



Fillet Brazed headtube:



Roller Cam brakes:





While it's not exactly a Rivendell Atlantis- the 1985 Trek 620 is a purpose built touring bike. It does look and feel more elegant, and it does seem to be more comfortable- especially over distances.








Chainstay lengths are about similar...



Personally, I would not trade the 620 for the High Sierra. Even if the values were similar- IMO, the 620 is a better "touring" and "all around" bike.
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Old 03-28-14, 05:52 PM
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Strangely, this is right up my alley, being the fruits of the research I've been doing on my oddball Panasonic...

If you can find them, the '83 to '85 MB-3s are a closer match to the Atlantis in terms of geometry than either the Stumpy or, say- an MB-1 or 2, as is the '85 Fuji Boulevard XC, which has a much nicer DB Valite tubeset (I seem to recall reading somewhere that Valite tubing was custom-drawn for Fuji by Ishiwatta).

Each of these are fully lugged framesets and have more road-ish geometry- with steeper head & ST angles and more BB drop (55mm for the Fuji; 60mm for the MB-3)- than an average MTB. This also makes them excellent candidates for 650b conversions, if you feel like going that route.

Also, Bridgestone's CB series matches that general profile in some years, but not in all; most of the time the CBs were basic MTB-derived hybrids, with the attendant shorter chainstays & high BBs.

You might also look into the '84 & '85 Miyata StreetRunners, which have similar geometry and probably the best frames of the lot (Fuji's Valite is nice- it's stiff & resistant to corrosion, but it's also heavier for being vanadium rather than cro-mo; that is, actual tool-steel). Btw, Miyata forks generally don't have enough clearance for 650b wheels.

If you don't mind the higher MTB BBs, check out the '85 Trek 850/70: long wheelbase and lugged, DB Tange Prestige tubing.

The closest match for the Atlantis is (of course) still Bridgestone's XO series; the Atlantis Mk 2's direct ancestor. With the exception of BB drop, their geometries are very nearly the same, and they're all designed by GP.

If you feel like going the serious vintage/ collector route, look for an original Bridgestone Atlantis Mk 1, or the even earlier Eurasia & Diamond frames (mid-to-late 1970s). The Atlantis evolved from the earlier Diamond (which was quite sexy) and the Eurasia (which was sort of the 'student' model) had a biplane fork; both apparently had hi-ten tubesets. Bear in mind, these were true randonneur bikes came in 650a, 650b, and 700c versions.

Last edited by DIMcyclist; 04-25-14 at 02:25 PM. Reason: grammar & punctuation.
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Old 03-28-14, 06:38 PM
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Old 03-28-14, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel View Post
Why?
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Old 03-28-14, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Why?
It is one of the best places to shop/trade for anything Rivendell related. I am on the list and there are lots of folks who sell/trade stuff for a good bit less than retail. Really nice people too. Lots of dedicated bike nuts who love their Rivendell stuff and most other bike stuff as well. You don't have to own a Riv to join.
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Old 03-28-14, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
However, I am quite familiar with the work of grant peterson as bridgestone's US marketing director. He's very humble,
He makes Lance look humble fer Chrissakes. His ego wouldn't fit in Madison Square Garden.

Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
Practically, since the bicycles are limited run and made in the USA, they're going to cost a small fortune. I've grown accustomed to the 'market price' of outsourced manufactured bikes.
While it may seem hard to believe that anything as heavy as a Rivendell could be manufactured anywhere but the good ol' USA, many, if not most, of them are "outsourced" to Asia.
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Old 03-28-14, 08:36 PM
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I'm good here.

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Old 03-28-14, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
He makes Lance look humble fer Chrissakes. His ego wouldn't fit in Madison Square Garden.
Wow! Are you serious? I watched a couple of riv's promotional vids and gp paints himself as a dyed in the wool bike geek with empty pockets who happens to love his employees like his children.

I guess it could all be an act, I suppose. Any articles or vids to check out? Personal experiences you've had?

Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
While it may seem hard to believe that anything as heavy as a Rivendell could be manufactured anywhere but the good ol' USA, many, if not most, of them are "outsourced" to Asia.
You're right. I only checked the atlantis. Some models are made in the usa, others are made in taiwan. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the taiwanese bikes were actually better built.

Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
I paid $75 for the MB-2. That's a pretty big cost difference adjustment.

One place there may be a significant difference between the MB-2 and Atlantis frame is bottom bracket height. I've never gotten around to comparing that spec between the two, but I've been meaning to for years. The large MB-2 frame is a road bike fit for me and I feel very tall in the saddle.
You can check out all of the bridgestone specs here:

1989 Bridgestone Bicycle Catalogue

The bb height is 11.5."

The mb's had racier geometry with a 72 degree head tube, and slightly shorter chainstays than was the norm (16.75"?) with many other brands.

That price difference is astronomical. The atlantis frame is US made and is a dedicated tourer; you'll have to weigh that vs the price difference ($3600 to $3900).

Best of luck!
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Old 03-28-14, 09:08 PM
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^^^^^Read his blog. I do for laughs every now and then. He is like the worst excesses of the 41, but clad in knickers, riding a too large frame and bragging about how much it weighs. He is like Bizarro Cervelo dentist.
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Old 03-28-14, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
Bizarro Cervelo dentist.
lol
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Old 03-29-14, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by DIMcyclist View Post
Strangely, this is right up my alley, being the fruits of the research I've been doing on my oddball Panasonic...

If you can find them, the '83 to '85 MB-3s are a closer match to the Atlantis in terms of geometry than either the Stumpy or, say- an MB-1 or 2, as is the '85 Fuji Boulevard XC, which has a much nicer DB Valite tubeset (I seem to recall reading somewhere that Valite tubing was custom-drawn for Fuji by Ishiwatta).

Each of these are fully lugged framesets and have more road-ish geometry- with steeper head & ST angles and more BB drop (55mm for the Fuji; 60mm for the MB-3)- than an average MTB. This also makes them excellent candidates for 650b conversions, if you feel like going that route.

Also, Bridgestone's CB series matches that general profile in some years, but not in all; most of the time the CBs were basic MTB-derived hybrids, with the attendant shorter chainstays & high BBs.

You might also look into the '84 & '85 Miyata StreetRunners, which have similar geometry and probably the best frames of the lot (Fuji's Valite is nice- it's stiff & resistant to corrosion, but it's also heavier for being vanadium rather than cro-mo; that is, actual tool-steel).

If you don't mind the higher MTB BBs, check out the '85 Trek 850/70: long wheelbase and lugged, DB Tange Prestige tubing.

The closest match for the Atlantis is (of course) still Bridgestone's XO series; the Atlantis' direct ancestor. With the exception of BB drop, their geometries are very nearly the same, and they're all designed by GP.

If you feel like going the serious vintage/ collector route, look for an original Bridgestone Atlantis Mk 1, or the even earlier Eurasia & Diamond frames (mid-to-late 1970s; the Diamonds were quite sexy and the Eurasias had biplane forks, although both had hi-ten tubesets). Bear in mind, these were true randonneur bikes came in 650a, 650b, and 700c versions.
Here is my Bridgestone Atlantis which I am improving bit by bit:

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Old 03-29-14, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by williwoods View Post
Once you have a Rivendell, its hard to make do with much of anything else..
+1. The bigger bargains in their stable right now are the Hillborne and Cheviot. They are made in larger production runs in Taiwan and are less expensive as a result. They are good for touring, trails, city streets, charity rides, whatever.


my Hillborne my Hunqapillar

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Old 03-29-14, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by williwoods View Post
Once you have a Rivendell, its hard to make do with much of anything else.
Better emend that to: "Once you buy into the Rivendell mystique, it's hard to do with much of anything else."

And to a limited extent, I'll agree: Rivs ARE nice bikes- and some of them fulfill funky, in-between roles that other bikes don't address (if you really want a double top-tube, you don't have any other choice in an off-the-shelf bike). BUT-- as has been covered in many places on this forum-- there are equally nice alternatives; sometimes even at the same price-point. Nobody ever seems to mention Ebisu when they bring up Rivendell... Does anyone mention Breadwinner or Toei? Toyo? How about cutting out the middleman and going straight to Waterford? And for $4K? C'mon-- for $4K you can get a fully bespoke frame. Hell- you can buy a Singer or a Rene Herse for $4K. At the low end of the pricing scale, how about Soma? VO? Handsome?

Just in terms of pure performance there are A LOT of better bikes on the market. But let's make some fair comparisons-

Is the Roadeo a better (lugged steel) sport bike than the Torelli Delirio or the Serotta Colorado CS? Than a Bob Jackson or a Mondonico Monza?

Is the Atlantis reeeally a better touring bike than a Koga Traveller or a Thorn Nomad? A Miyata 618 or Trek Cirrus? Or- new, for the price- even an LHT?

And you'll answer: "But they're not Rivs." Precisely my point: Rivendells are subject to commodity fetishism of a type I find quite surprising; it's almost cult-like... The fascination with Rivs is an ardor for a specific object, an intoxication with a specific bicycle, not with how well that bike performs its role, or even how it's made or looks. With a Riv, you're also buying into GP's philosophy on life- it comes fully equipped with Nervex lugs AND a meta-narrative; no other bike can offer it's owners so much.

Btw, don't take my critique the wrong way- I don't mind Rivs; I just find their owners a tad overbearing at times, like when the J-Dubs & Hare Krishnas try to sell you a religion.

Originally Posted by sd8450 View Post
Here is my Bridgestone Atlantis which I am improving bit by bit:
Beautiful! That crankset's a real stunner.



Here's my oddball 650b Panasonic (same vintage as your Mk 1); semi-custom frame & (eventually) full-custom paint; when fully built- and very nicely kitted out- this bike will clock in at $200 LESS than a stock Hillborne frameset. Behind it, my 650b Trek 820 (orig. $90), and my XO-3 (orig. $300).
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Old 03-29-14, 04:21 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
He makes Lance look humble fer Chrissakes. His ego wouldn't fit in Madison Square Garden.
Have you ever met GP?
Not a Rivendell owner, now or ever (although I did buy a front rack many years ago) - My opinion is that GP is firm in his beliefs about bicycle design and definitely a 'retro-grouch' about materials/components. He is not afraid to express strongly his ideas regarding the industry and it's trends. In the 3X I've met him, he was mild-mannered, intelligent and considerate - but a serious fellow, without a doubt. He runs a relatively small company, retains employees, and sells a quality product. He is not building race bikes, but has been selling 'gravel grinders' (and tourers) since before the term became recently popular. More power to him - I appreciate the diversity he offers.
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Old 03-29-14, 06:57 PM
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i tend to agree with DIMcyclist- i don't really understand the whole rivendell worship either.

i appreciate and largely agree with their whole approach towards cycling. but at that price range, i am far more excited by the works of Waterford/Gunnar. Or hell, even something by VO or Soma.
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Old 03-29-14, 09:17 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by DIMcyclist View Post
Better emend that to: "Once you buy into the Rivendell mystique, it's hard to do with much of anything else."

And to a limited extent, I'll agree: Rivs ARE nice bikes- and some of them fulfill funky, in-between roles that other bikes don't address (if you really want a double top-tube, you don't have any other choice in an off-the-shelf bike). BUT-- as has been covered in many places on this forum-- there are equally nice alternatives; sometimes even at the same price-point. Nobody ever seems to mention Ebisu when they bring up Rivendell... Does anyone mention Breadwinner or Toei? Toyo? How about cutting out the middleman and going straight to Waterford? And for $4K? C'mon-- for $4K you can get a fully bespoke frame. Hell- you can buy a Singer or a Rene Herse for $4K. At the low end of the pricing scale, how about Soma? VO? Handsome?

Just in terms of pure performance there are A LOT of better bikes on the market. But let's make some fair comparisons-

Is the Roadeo a better (lugged steel) sport bike than the Torelli Delirio or the Serotta Colorado CS? Than a Bob Jackson or a Mondonico Monza?

Is the Atlantis reeeally a better touring bike than a Koga Traveller or a Thorn Nomad? A Miyata 618 or Trek Cirrus? Or- new, for the price- even an LHT?

And you'll answer: "But they're not Rivs." Precisely my point: Rivendells are subject to commodity fetishism of a type I find quite surprising; it's almost cult-like... The fascination with Rivs is an ardor for a specific object, an intoxication with a specific bicycle, not with how well that bike performs its role, or even how it's made or looks. With a Riv, you're also buying into GP's philosophy on life- it comes fully equipped with Nervex lugs AND a meta-narrative; no other bike can offer it's owners so much.

Btw, don't take my critique the wrong way- I don't mind Rivs; I just find their owners a tad overbearing at times, like when the J-Dubs & Hare Krishnas try to sell you a religion.
Disclaimer- I don't own anything Rivendell-

I'm not sure what you're saying in your post- If your argument is "there's a commodity fetishism" around Rivendell- most any brand exists to perpetuate itself. For the same reason people drink Coca-Cola vs "cola" or Mountain Dew vs Mountain Fury. Petersen has built Rivendell around a really simple premise of enjoying cycling for the sake of cycling. It's a whole lot of common sense ideas, it's an attractive aesthetic, it's functional bikes that look pretty. There's not a lot of outlet for *that* type of bicycling- and not on that price point. And maybe that price point thing scares people away and swats back at Rivendell and Petersen. The venom towards that company is amazing.

The argument against "But they're not Rivs" is a non-point. Every choice you make takes more than any one logical point into consideration, and that's not factoring in personal preference. The argument TO get a Rivendell is really: "no other bike can offer it's owners so much" as you put it. Hell, that's a better reason than not buying anything Trek because they're "The Borg."

I happen to like Prairie style architecture, Arts and Crafts and Craftsman style furniture and design, and bicycling for leisure. I also drive a BMW station wagon- so I suppose I'm a prime Rivendell candidate.
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Old 03-29-14, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by zazenzach View Post
i don't really understand the whole rivendell worship either.

i appreciate and largely agree with their whole approach towards cycling. but at that price range, i am far more excited by the works of Waterford/Gunnar. Or hell, even something by VO or Soma.
What are the things by Waterford/Gunnar that excite you over the Rivendell stuff?

What are the things by VO and Soma that excite you over the Rivendell stuff? There's a bit of a price difference in the most expensive VO and Soma frames and the more popular Rivendell frames.
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