Rivendell Bikes: Any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by kaikane, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. kaikane

    kaikane New Member

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    I recently came across the web site for Rivendell bikes and I was wondering if anyone had any first hand knowledge of their products.
    I must admit that I was drawn to their "old-style" approach, not to mention their very informative site.
    Thanks

    Here's their link if you're interested:

    http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/index.html
     
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  2. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    I don't own one but I do agree with their take in fit and sizing...

    Fit and Sizing.
    These are the most important aspects of any bike, and the most misunderstood. Most people buy bikes too small. If you’re over 6ft 4in, it’s a sure bet, because bikes don’t come big enough for you. Basically, bikes were originally designed for underfed Europeans, and the sizing hasn’t changed since, at least in the mainstream. But even normal-sized and small folks ride bikes too small.

    Around here we joke that “we like to put people on bikes that are too big,” but what we really mean by that is “your bike shop and local fit guru may think it’s too big, but we know better.”

    We have too much to say about fit and sizing to include it all here (see our print catalogue or elsewhere online). But basically it goes like this: You will be more comfortable if the handlebar is as high or higher than the saddle; and that relationship is hard to achieve on most bikes, because they were designed by folks who don’t think that’s important.

    To determine your saddle height: see our print catalogue. You do not benefit from an in-person, hands-on, expensive and industrialized and gadget-dependent bike fitting session if the specialist is following a routing with a fundamental flaw or bias built right into it, and they all have that.
     
  3. kaikane

    kaikane New Member

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    the sizing part of the website made me re-think buying a used road bike on ebay. now i feel like i should try on everything for size.
    and they seem to pay special attention to quality and making a long lasting product, something very important considering my very small budget in getting a new (or "old" in my case, most likely), bike.
     
  4. cydewaze

    cydewaze New Member

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    Cool bikes for retro grouches or someone looking for a touring bike, but I was turned off by some major BS on their site. It used to be under the "frame materials" section, I think, but now they re-labelled it "opinions on frame materials". I guess they finally got some flak.

    If you go by their website, you'd be an idiot for selecting any frame material other than steel, and I just don't agree with that at all.
     
  5. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Any frame except the insanely light will last longer than most riders keep them and all parts wear out. Rivendel pedals nice enough stuff at a big price,but Grant spins alot of self serving BS.
     
  6. buckybux

    buckybux New Member

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    They have a very high reputation in the business. I did a lot of reaseach and used there site for a lot of the information. While everyone has their own opinion, steel does appear to be a superior frame material over aluminum for longer bikes rides. In terms of the sizing, most LBS size the bikes smaller which places the rider lower up front which is more aerodynamic, however, I am 50 and want to be higher (and I find larger a frame more stable and comfortable). There are cheaper steel bikes if you search the net, I ended up purchasing a steel Marin for $550, which is about half the cost of a Rivendell.

    --Jeff
     
  7. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    You probably ought to check the current pricing on a 'Rivendell'. Then add parts to make it a complete bike.
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Well, the bit about steel is a big, steamy pile of moose bollocks, no matter who spews it. As has been repeated by many, it's the design and proper use of the material in the design. There's absolutely nothing intrinsically superior or inferior about any material, with the exception of maybe Unununium (element 110): its muy short half life prolly makes it a lousy material to build a touring frame out of. As for Grant's ideas on fit, they're just as ridiculous, when broadly applied as he does. "Underfed Europeans?" I guess that means that means that Rivendell builds frames to fit overfed, overweight, lazy Americans, right?

    Rivendell frames are beautiful, but it's too bad Grant is a frothing whack job, apparently completely lacking any semblance of critical thought skills. He has been skillful, though,in constructing a self-consistent universe that justifies his business venture.
     
  9. Nein11

    Nein11 New Member

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    retro grouch
     
  10. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    That's pretty much the impression I've gotten. The bikes are nice looking and well built, but they seem rather closed minded. There are plenty of other quality steel frames in that price range that are made by saner people.
     
  11. kaikane

    kaikane New Member

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    That sounds like any number of successful business men: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney.....
     
  12. B Rubble

    B Rubble New Member

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    Ah, but it's the idea of having something unique also. In a world of Treks and Felts, and to a lesser extent, Specialized, it's nice to be different.

    In terms of frames, every type has its strength and weakness, from steel, titanium, aluminum or carbon fiber.

    What is it you want the bike to do?
    Do you want to use it as a competitive racer on smooth roads or bike paths?
    Do you want to use it as a commuter on typical road conditions?
    Light touring on poorly maintained roads or good condition fire roads
    Do you plan on touring, and carrying heavy loads with 5-10 hours per day riding?
    Or just recreational fitness.

    Rivendell makes excellent bikes for the intended use they were designed for. That is why they are successful.

    And as to the price. Why is it some people buy Ford Mustangs and other buy Porsche at twice the price. Technically, they do the same thing?
     
  13. Stallion

    Stallion New Member

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    No first hand knowledge, but after looking through the site it seems that all the frames besides the Rivendell model are overpriced. The others are made in Osaka, Japan and seem to cost way more than other steel frames on teh market
     
  14. B Rubble

    B Rubble New Member

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    It goes beyond just the price. There is the quality of the steel and the craftmanship that goes into it.

    As an example, the Rivendell Bleriot, which is pretty much a clone of their saluki, is made in Taiwan instead of Japan. The metal is a different quality. The frame is tig welded instead of brazed. And of course, the labor is cheaper. It may weigh a few ounces more, the lugs are not as intricate and after that, I just go into speculation.

    Here's the bottom line:
    Some people think that anything over $50 at a garage sale is too much for a bike. They run it into the ground and then get another used one. For them, $400 for a Surly LHT frame is too much. Others want only the top of the line of everything and pay $7-8,000 for a carbon fiber everything. Is one of them wrong? No.

    You say it's overpriced. And it is, for you. For someone else, it may be just perfect. To rephrase what I said earlier, a used 1983 Dodge Omni, a Ford Mustang and a Ferrari do the same thing, get you from point A to Point B.

    There's a market for the Rivendell and their $1,400 frames just as there is for Trek and their $7,000 top of the line frame. There's a market for Surly and their $400 frames. There's a market for Walmart fully assembled bikes for $100.

    I don't judge anyone for their choice in bikes, just their bicycle apparel fashion sense.:eek:
     
  15. Stallion

    Stallion New Member

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    I also shouldn't be too quick to deem Rivendell bikes as overpriced because I haven't had the chance to ride one. It's probably a great riding bicycle seeing that a lot of care goes into the building process. What you said is true though, the bike may be a perfect choice for someone else.
     
  16. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    The Rivendell shop is just across the block from me. I know some of the folks who work there and I know a lot of people who have their bikes. They've found a niche market of people who like their bikes and their philosophy and they're good at promoting themselves.

    If you think you'll like a Rivendell, you probably will.
     
  17. kaikane

    kaikane New Member

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    hmmm...
    well i'm not sure, but i seem to be even more confused than i was when i started looking at rivendell.
    as a 40-something rider who pedals about 60-80 miles a week, maybe i should set my sights on a more "pedestrian" brand (and price).
    plus i think i'd rather buy from my LBS which for me out here in the boonies means either a trek or a lemond.
    thanks, all, for an enlightening discussion.
    i must admit, i sure do like that Rambouillet's robin's egg blue paint job...
     
  18. Dietmar

    Dietmar New Member

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    If you are thinking about a high-end custom steel frame, you should check out Waterford: http://www.waterfordbikes.com/
    Not as eccentric, and better frames, too, IMHO...
     
  19. kaikane

    kaikane New Member

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    if anything, i'm looking for something in steel under $1000.00. that's mmy challenge.
    the waterford's sure are pretty, though. i can always dream...
     
  20. B Rubble

    B Rubble New Member

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    There we go. I take it this is recreational riding or for casual fitness?
    You could try the bleriot from Rivendell (here's a link to specs and pics) http://www.cyclofiend.com/cc/2006/bleriot/index.html
    or you could try Surly. Their LHT is a good touring bike that should (if fitted right) be fairly comfortable for just about anything you want
    http://www.surlybikes.com/ and I have to admit, I really like the green powdercoat on the LHT. Sorta reminds me of an old army jeep.
     
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