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Rivendell seems to have changed

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Rivendell seems to have changed

Old 01-02-19, 09:56 AM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
Linus Pauling once said the way to have a great idea is to have a lot of ideas, most of which are not so great, but every so often, you might have a great idea. GP and Rivendell have a lot of ideas, but they aren't all great ideas, but some are. Small outfits like Rivendell are important, otherwise we'd all be dependant on the big firms like Trek and Specialized.
And their implementation of those few great ideas is what spurs changes and new styles in the giants.
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Old 01-02-19, 11:46 AM
  #102  
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Don't own a Rivendell, never rode one.

Still the conclusion is clear to anyone not living with blinders on. It is a company that has or soon will outlive it's window of relevance. Rivendell almost exactly mirrors another American company, Harley Davidson. Harley is the greatest motorcycle ever built or a hopelessly outdated relic depending on who you ask. The Motor Company has been taking it on the chin the last few years, because it went all in on the "we're right and everyone of those idiots buying a different design is beneath our contempt" H-D was guided for the last several decades by an ego-maniac that thought he was a genius. The true reason for their huge success from 1984 -2006 had nothing to do with who was running the company and everything to do with baby-boomers flush with cash and deep feeling of nostalgia. Harley's core base group is dying off fast, and they made the huge mistake of alienated the next generations by treating them like they were idiots.
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Old 01-02-19, 01:58 PM
  #103  
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HD doesn't treat others that ride other brands like idiots. Really they don't do that. I ride Italian motorbikes and have always been comfortable around HD riders when I see them. Nice people ride Harleys, too. HD, along with the other bike makers, missed the mark by pushing larger and larger machines on the market. The Japanese brands have been able to respond quicker than HD as they already produce small displacement bikes for other markets and have been able to adapt them to the US market. The other thing the Japanese makers have is the four-wheeler. The saving grace of machines for these manufacturers. They have some sharp people running those companies, and they saw the four-wheeler as an emerging market and adopted it quickly.

All of the motorcycle companies are suffering sales loss. Not as many young people ride motorbikes as the boomer generation did. If they do, they want scooters and small displacement bikes, not 1400cc monsters. HD's electric bike is a mistake, but it will be a learning tool for them and the rest of the market.

How does this relate to Rivendell? It doesn't. That is the point here.
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Old 01-04-19, 11:36 AM
  #104  
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The cycling concept that embraces "street attire" is the keystone of the Rivendell philosophy, and that alone is fine. I get it.

I truly enjoy cycling, but inwardly groan every time I don the gear. Once underway of course, the modern cycling gear is fantastic. I have a lot of bikes, but every one requires the use of cycling specific shoes etc.

One of these days, I will assemble a bicycle that I can ride in jeans and sneakers, but will I ride it? I have completely embraced the suffering of cycling, and riding casually is a completely foreign notion at this point (I am 50).

Where GP goes wrong is this totally dogmatic view, where he is going to save us from ourselves (my perception).

Anyway, it's all good. Live and let live.
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Old 01-04-19, 12:39 PM
  #105  
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In 2005 I'd been motorcycling for 15 years and loved it. I rode BMWs and never cared for the outside noisy, inside empty approach of the cruiser riders, preferring to ride instead of standing around talking about living the biker lifestyle after trailering their motorcycle somewhere. Late that summer I'd stopped at a rest stop out in the country and saw this guy ride up on what looked like a cool old bicycle at the time that was likely a Rivendale. He was wearing a straw hat, a Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts with sandals and seemed to be having as good a time as possible considering the heat and the hangover he seemed to have. We got the talking after he asked me to take his picture, and he mentioned he was on the way home from an overnight 80+ mile ride putting me in the position of thinking that was a long way to ride instead of being the guy doing the riding. After he left I thought that I should get another bicycle and start riding again to help cut down on some of the weight that I'd put on over the years. So I did and am glad I did too. I still ride the same bike I got then too, my old Hardrock has changed over the years to be more like a commuter version of the Rivendale that inspired me to resume riding.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:50 AM
  #106  
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I want Rivendell to live, love the aesthetic and so on.

But I wonder if what's hurting the company is that his philosophy of cycling is kind of self-defeating for, like, selling new bicycles, especially given the booming market in old bikes. If you're into Things that Last, despise new technology, so on and so forth, isn't the logical solution to buy a Miyata or something off Craigslist for a couple hundred bucks instead of a new Rivendell with the same tech for a couple thousand?
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Old 02-12-19, 09:18 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by Angrybk View Post
If you're into Things that Last, despise new technology, so on and so forth, isn't the logical solution to buy a Miyata or something off Craigslist for a couple hundred bucks instead of a new Rivendell with the same tech for a couple thousand?
Fair point. There are a couple of counters, though.

First, that Miyata's been around for 3-4 decades. What's it like internally? Was it left in a soggy Florida garage for 20 years, and it's rusted inside? The new Riv (or any other new bike) is more expensive, but how much is it worth not to risk getting out into the middle of the country and having to walk 15 miles back?

Second, and related to the first, robotic welding and quality control have improved quite a bit in the last 30 years. Perhaps 95% bike boom bikes were machined and welded quite well; 99+% are today.

Ultimately, it's the buyer's choice. How much is extra reliability worth to you? How much are you willing to pay for style points (at least in certain circles)?
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Old 02-12-19, 10:30 AM
  #108  
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The problem Rivendell faces is not that GP's ideas are outdated, it is that GP's ideas are now mainstream, and now every major company is imitating some aspect of what he is doing. And doing so for a lot cheaper.
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Old 02-12-19, 01:57 PM
  #109  
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"The problem Rivendell faces is not that GP's ideas are outdated, it is that GP's ideas are now mainstream, and now every major company is imitating some aspect of what he is doing. And doing so for a lot cheaper. "

I agree 100% with this statement. Everyone is imitating Rivendell designs intents. Grant was way ahead of the curve. Some say he created the curve.
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Old 02-12-19, 03:45 PM
  #110  
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If I ever need a heavy bicycle, forged from dwarven steel, for tootling around the shire, Grant and his merry band will be the first person I call. Until then, I will stick with the numerous products that work better, weigh less and are priced more reasonably.
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Old 02-12-19, 06:43 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
If I ever need a heavy bicycle, forged from dwarven steel, for tootling around the shire, Grant and his merry band will be the first person I call. Until then, I will stick with the numerous products that work better, weigh less and are priced more reasonably.
+1. I never had enough disposable income for a Riv, at those prices I never understood why someone wouldn't just go to a custom builder instead. Until recently I just had a cheap late 80s - early 90s index shifting mountain bike for touring, commuting, bicycle assisted loitering while wearing hush puppies, etc.
If I ever start my own business I'm sure as hell going to try and get Grant to handle the marketing!
I dropped out of school in 1977 and got a job at a gas station to buy and race the first Campi Super Record bike I ever laid eyes on. I was better at nailing shifts with friction than almost all the guys I raced with. When indexing came out I was very impressed, when 8 speed STI came out I was in love. Been riding Shimano Dura Ace exclusively since then on the road and never had one single issue with it, never understood the hate or worry about STI. Everything else is a distant second place.
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Old 02-13-19, 05:50 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
+1. I never had enough disposable income for a Riv, at those prices I never understood why someone wouldn't just go to a custom builder instead. Until recently I just had a cheap late 80s - early 90s index shifting mountain bike for touring, commuting, bicycle assisted loitering while wearing hush puppies, etc.
If I ever start my own business I'm sure as hell going to try and get Grant to handle the marketing!
I dropped out of school in 1977 and got a job at a gas station to buy and race the first Campi Super Record bike I ever laid eyes on. I was better at nailing shifts with friction than almost all the guys I raced with. When indexing came out I was very impressed, when 8 speed STI came out I was in love. Been riding Shimano Dura Ace exclusively since then on the road and never had one single issue with it, never understood the hate or worry about STI. Everything else is a distant second place.
I hear you on the cost thing. But eBay can be a wonderful place. I picked up two really nice Waterfords in the last 10 years for a song. There is no difference in quality on their earlier non custom built frames vs their newer custom sized ones. Actually buying an older one is easier to find your size. You can easily pick up an 853 frame for $500 without too much trouble.
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Old 02-13-19, 11:25 AM
  #113  
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Yes, I have bought and sold a lot of small items and a couple frames on the bay. About 10 years ago I got a really nice new 853 Ironhorse racing frame (tig welded Tiawanese) with aluminum fork (not my cup of tea) for super cheap. I was short on cash, I had another racing bike, and foolishly sold it! Waterford is on my radar, always liked 'em and their business model. Now to totally derail the thread: I got to see the old Schwinn factory and Paramount room in Chicago in the early '80s. All I can remember is that the room was fairly small and the frames were brazed by very ordinary appearing women about 50 to 60 years old.
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Old 02-16-19, 11:55 AM
  #114  
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Grant's been importing bikes for years, he designs some of them and sends those designs to Taiwan because they still build lugged steel bikes and use cast waxed method to make lugs, and some are Taiwanese designed and Grant approves them for sale; . Grant knew for quite some time he couldn't survive just having his custom made Rivendell brand as his only bike to sell, so he had to find cheaper alternatives to appeal more to the bay area masses, not only has he done that but his bikes are beautifully painted and have wonderful looking lugs even at the lower price points, a couple are bit odd like the twin top tube stuff but that's Grant for you. I just wish he would make a true expedition type of touring bikes instead of those commuter or going to a picnic type of bikes, I can't even call any of his bikes a true touring bike, there's no provisions for a third water bottle, no provision to attach water bottle cages on the fork, so really what are his bike really good for? Old time artistic charm, looks and high quality primarily. And as hard as I tried, I couldn't find any complaints about his bikes, unlike any other manufacture. Waterford was or still is? producing the top of the line custom built Rivendell labeled bike, Joe Bell use to paint them after Waterford built them, not sure if Joe Bell is painting them any more or not.
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Old 03-05-19, 09:18 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
One reason is they are very knowledgeable, and freely share that knowledge. They have absolutely exceptional customer service, something some of their competitors do not have. They have helped me a lot over the years, spending unexpected time on the phone with me when a quick email would have been fine, but the phone conversation gave me more information that emails would have, quickly answering questions and followup questions, and them sharing advice that many companies would not have shared, some nonstandard ways of doing something, that worked perfectly, and cost me nothing.

Selling a product is one thing, selling an exceptional product is better, and providing stellar customer service is even better.
I have visited their store(s) a few times - I wish every bike shop was as friendly and helpful as Riv. I came in looking at handlebars for a non Riv bike and they were so well-informed. Whether it meant buying from them or not. One time I saw a woman come in with a 1940s or 1950s bike needing some service - they tried to help - even though it was a tricky issue.

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
This is a good point. Peterson outright rejects things that are pretty clearly "better" for most riders: indexing, STI, clipless pedals, padded bike shorts etc. Peterson's habit of positioning his opinions as fact gets a little tiring as well.
If that is what is "better" for most riders - that is probably why the number of riders is stuck in slow gear. Not everyone wants to wear special clothes and shoes to go out for a bike ride.

Originally Posted by Bill Gem View Post
I think you mean cm, not inches. Those bikes in your examples are about as long as youíll find, and they still donít match what Rivendell is making. The mid sized Clem Smith Jr, for example, has chain stays of 52 cm, and there are Rivs with stays as long as 56 cm. On a bike like the Clem Smith Jr, that means that weíre looking at a wheel base of 117 cm on the model I rode while the LHT has wheel bases in the 105-108 cm range.depending on size.
I test rode a Clem, Cheviot and Betty Foy over various periods. All 3 rode nicely and were pretty speedy (especially compared to my then bike a Public C8i). They were comfy, practical and just really great all around bikes. I considered them, but really I am #teamIGH. Also Riv bikes are so tall, long and big. They are just giant bikes. I realize I like smaller bikes a little lower to the ground. They are very much like the bike version of a Cadillac.

Quite a few people around have Rivs, I see them out and about when I am on the streets. They always catch my eye. Well equipped and beautifully finished.
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Old 03-05-19, 10:06 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I have visited their store(s) a few times - I wish every bike shop was as friendly and helpful as Riv. I came in looking at handlebars for a non Riv bike and they were so well-informed. Whether it meant buying from them or not. One time I saw a woman come in with a 1940s or 1950s bike needing some service - they tried to help - even though it was a tricky issue.


If that is what is "better" for most riders - that is probably why the number of riders is stuck in slow gear. Not everyone wants to wear special clothes and shoes to go out for a bike ride.



I test rode a Clem, Cheviot and Betty Foy over various periods. All 3 rode nicely and were pretty speedy (especially compared to my then bike a Public C8i). They were comfy, practical and just really great all around bikes. I considered them, but really I am #teamIGH . Also Riv bikes are so tall, long and big. They are just giant bikes. I realize I like smaller bikes a little lower to the ground. They are very much like the bike version of a Cadillac.

Quite a few people around have Rivs, I see them out and about when I am on the streets. They always catch my eye. Well equipped and beautifully finished.
I've have yet to see a Clem, Cheviot or a Betty Foy in real life, the only Riv bike I've seen is an Atlantis (model before they went with that very weird arch shaped double top tube) and it wasn't tall, long and big, but it was a beautiful bike, the guy riding it said the same thing you said, it's a Cadillac of the bikes. The build, the fancy lugs, the paint was just perfect, and you don't see fancy lugs like that at all in real life. The only problem with Riv bikes is that he touts them as touring bikes but in reality their not, their mostly fancy commuter bikes, or credit card touring bikes, real touring bikes will have a couple of water bottle cage mounts on the fork and another cage mount on the underside of the downtube, none of the Riv bikes have any of those, and when touring water is of prime importance. None of his bikes are really made to haul around an additional 65 or so pounds of touring gear. I'm kind of surprised that Grant hasn't made a true touring bike, I think he would have a decent selling bike if he did.
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Old 03-05-19, 10:36 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
I've have yet to see a Clem, Cheviot or a Betty Foy in real life, the only Riv bike I've seen is an Atlantis (model before they went with that very weird arch shaped double top tube) and it wasn't tall, long and big, but it was a beautiful bike, the guy riding it said the same thing you said, it's a Cadillac of the bikes. The build, the fancy lugs, the paint was just perfect, and you don't see fancy lugs like that at all in real life. The only problem with Riv bikes is that he touts them as touring bikes but in reality their not, their mostly fancy commuter bikes, or credit card touring bikes, real touring bikes will have a couple of water bottle cage mounts on the fork and another cage mount on the underside of the downtube, none of the Riv bikes have any of those, and when touring water is of prime importance. None of his bikes are really made to haul around an additional 65 or so pounds of touring gear. I'm kind of surprised that Grant hasn't made a true touring bike, I think he would have a decent selling bike if he did.
Well I'm about 5'4" so their smaller frames are a bit bigger than other "small" frames. Probably the long chain stays and upright bars. Their bars (and bikes) are very much like a dutch bike and not a road bike. They also seem to have higher bottom brackets. (This is all anecdotal and from memory - measurements may not tell the same story). Super cushy feeling for sure.

I live around 20 miles away and there are a few special stops that stock them as well. For a bit they also had a mini shop in the downtown of their suburb HQ - which is where I first found them. It felt like an OG hipster store in an upper middle class suburb. I wonder if they opened up shop in one of the hipster areas of my city they'd find a willing audience. The new school hipsters have a lot more disposable cash than hipsters of old.
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Old 03-06-19, 09:02 AM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Well I'm about 5'4" so their smaller frames are a bit bigger than other "small" frames. Probably the long chain stays and upright bars. Their bars (and bikes) are very much like a dutch bike and not a road bike. They also seem to have higher bottom brackets. (This is all anecdotal and from memory - measurements may not tell the same story). Super cushy feeling for sure.

I live around 20 miles away and there are a few special stops that stock them as well. For a bit they also had a mini shop in the downtown of their suburb HQ - which is where I first found them. It felt like an OG hipster store in an upper middle class suburb. I wonder if they opened up shop in one of the hipster areas of my city they'd find a willing audience. The new school hipsters have a lot more disposable cash than hipsters of old.
Speaking of disposable income, the guy I saw on the Atlantis was around his 70's, which in the back of mind I was thinking gray hairs can afford bikes like that and Corvettes, but now that you mentioned hipsters, and some of which make a lot of money probably can afford them as well, I just don't have any wealthy hipsters where I live that I know of, either that or they don't know about Riv bikes, I think most are just trying to afford their homes and cars.
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Old 03-06-19, 09:59 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
Speaking of disposable income, the guy I saw on the Atlantis was around his 70's, which in the back of mind I was thinking gray hairs can afford bikes like that and Corvettes, but now that you mentioned hipsters, and some of which make a lot of money probably can afford them as well, I just don't have any wealthy hipsters where I live that I know of, either that or they don't know about Riv bikes, I think most are just trying to afford their homes and cars.
Lots of people donít drive around here, if the live traffic in more urban center neighborhoods. They bike, scooter and Uber.

I have a car and garage and rarely drive more than once a week. Though more with my loss of bike. Iím up to 2-3x a week. Lots of people I know donít have cars at all. Even more so for younger people (Iím 40).

There is a hipster local bike brand selling steel bikes in a lot of colors: https://www.missionbicycle.com/home

While different messenging than Riv, not too far off. They operate a small storefront in a pricey, gentrified urban neighborhood where 1 bedroom apartments rent for $4k and sell for $800k.

Riv is in a now posh upper middle class burb with Tesla, Tiffanyís and Niemans in the local mall. But when they opened was a more quiet middle class suburb with a few Berkeley refugees who wanted families and an all-American vibe.

The town has changed a lot around them. They may find greener pastures in the city.
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Old 03-06-19, 04:33 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
If that is what is "better" for most riders - that is probably why the number of riders is stuck in slow gear. Not everyone wants to wear special clothes and shoes to go out for a bike ride.
1. In fairness, Rivendell is hardly a mass market company. They are designing and selling stuff for a specific type of cycling enthusiast, not the mass market. Grant Peterson is not trying to increase the number of riders with his very niche offerings (loosely defined by me as: retro/practical bikes with a very specific aesthetic and very specific set of ride characteristics for people who don't really care about going fast but are willing to pay for a bike that's too expensive to use/abuse as a cheap utility/commuter bike).
2. I agree that not everyone wants to wear special / clothes and shoes, note my "most riders" caveat. I would also say that for many hours on a bike, special clothes and shoes are superior to general purpose clothes and shoes. This is especially true if you want to go at all fast and / or sweat. Which, again, I get some riders don't want to do. On the other hand, most people spending several thousand on a bike are doing those things.

Last edited by Hiro11; 03-06-19 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 03-06-19, 05:01 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
1. In fairness, Rivendell is hardly a mass market company. They are designing and selling stuff for a specific type of cycling enthusiast, not the mass market. Grant Peterson is not trying to increase the number of riders with his very niche offerings (loosely defined by me as: retro/practical bikes with a very specific aesthetic and very specific set of ride characteristics for people who don't really care about going fast but are willing to pay for a bike that's too expensive to use/abuse as a cheap utility/commuter bike).
2. I agree that not everyone wants to wear special / clothes and shoes, note my "most riders" caveat. I would also say that for many hours on a bike, special clothes and shoes are superior to general purpose clothes and shoes. This is especially true if you want to go at all fast and / or sweat. Which, again, I get some riders don't want to do. On the other hand, most people spending several thousand on a bike are doing those things.
If you separate the bikes from Riv's philosophy, the things he is advocating are very much mass market and what the average Joe probably wants to do with their bike.
i.e. go for a ride around the neighborhood and carry some stuff as needed. Riv basically makes attractive hybrid bikes. Really a Riv bike is exactly the aspirations of a hybrid bike - a good, comfy and multi-purpose bike you can use every day.

The reason fewer people are biking these days is because every single "modern" "improvement" is all about getting further and further from sitting back and enjoying the ride. It is all about "go faster," "be more like a pro," "get more aero," "improve your cadence," "track your performance," and "win your club ride."

Riv dispenses from all of that and basically says "grab your bike and have a great time," no special preparation needed.
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Old 03-06-19, 05:07 PM
  #122  
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If they ever change from 1" headtubes and rim brakes, I might look at one.
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Old 03-06-19, 06:08 PM
  #123  
greatscott
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[QUOTE=jade408;20826028
Riv dispenses from all of that and basically says "grab your bike and have a great time," no special preparation needed.[/QUOTE]

there's lots of times I've done that, but usually on shorter rides when I don't want to hassle putting on a kit, just grab the bike and ride, it's actually fun, kind of like that once I was a kid feeling.
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Old 03-07-19, 04:47 AM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
If they ever change from 1" headtubes and rim brakes, I might look at one.
For their intended purpose Rivendell is perfect albeit pricey. The head tube and rim brakes work perfectly. I ride in the rain and have NEVER had a problem with cantilever brakes. Manufacturers played up disc brakes to sell more bikes. Rim brakes and 1Ē head tubes get the job done. Youíre doing yourself a real disservice by not trying one out.
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Old 03-07-19, 06:53 AM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by cs1 View Post

For their intended purpose Rivendell is perfect albeit pricey. The head tube and rim brakes work perfectly. I ride in the rain and have NEVER had a problem with cantilever brakes. Manufacturers played up disc brakes to sell more bikes. Rim brakes and 1Ē head tubes get the job done. Youíre doing yourself a real disservice by not trying one out.
The one issue I have on their new Gus Boots is the lack of discs. For a trail bike with wide tires and wide rims, discs make all the sense in the world and I really don't get sticking with cantis on that bike. It will take some clever routing of the rear brake cable for the brake too...I just don't get it. Plus, they are going to have to source a new rim for the bike if they plan on using 3" tires they want to, because they insist on sticking with canti bosses. My appaloosa has v brakes currently, which is fine. They work well and are relatively easy to set up (not as easy as Paul Klampers though). I do not mind using rim brakes, but I do believe discs are better in most applications.
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