Rivendell Bicycle Works

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Anonymous's picture

Does anyone have any knowledge of or experience with Rivendell Bicycle Works http://rivbike.com/ ?

Anonymous's picture
Douglas (not verified)
Re: Information about Rivendell Bicycle Works

"I've seen a few of their bikes in person -- quite nice, high quality, etc. But it's impossible for me to get past the pretentious, self-righteous, even smarmy tone of the website and ""reader."" And I say this as a bit of a retro-grouch (who loves steel) myself.

If you've got the means, and the bikes (and the attitude) appeal to you, you could do a lot worse. As for me, no thanks.


Anonymous's picture
hannah (not verified)
Romulus rider

Christian and David Hallerman will have plenty to say about Rivendell, so I'll mostly leave it to them. I have a Romulus that I'm very happy with, and I also really enjoy the Reader. Good content that you'd never find anywhere else.


Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Rivendell Bicycle Works

"Reace Stanford asked:
""Does anyone have any knowledge of or experience with Rivendell Bicycle Works http://rivbike.com/ ?""


Mordecai ""always glad to be helpful"" Silver"

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Careful there, Mordecai...

...that kind of answer smacks of Dave Sabbarese's [email protected]$$ response last week and gawd knows what a tempest in a teapot that caused, lol.

(I think Grant Peterson has his head in the sand but does offer some decent stuff that's almost impossible to find elsewhere. I've bought a few things from Rivendell, but his frames don't interest me and I do have a lugged steel bike [Anvil] that is relatively ornate.)

Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
lugged works to keep an eye out for

"Too bad this thread was not started say a week or two earlier as it would have been a good public service for the club's balloting of ""Best Retrogrouch"". :-)

+1 for your stealth looking Anvil as well as the other webmaster's sweet, as in pure eye-candy, new lugged steel ride."

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
Grant Peterson

"The founder of Rivendell, Grant Peterson, is famous for designing the classic Japanese-made Bridgestone road bikes of the 1980s.

Rivendells are quirky in their insanely large frame sizes and high handlebar position, the opposite of the current fad of too-small frames and too-low bars. The elaborate lugwork is beautiful but unnecessary, as is their emphasis on things like expensive lugged quill stems, wool jerseys, and toe-clips. Still they might be right for some riders (tourists, or folks who don't turn around when the pavement ends).

It would be great if they offered frames similar to the mid-80s Bridgestones, with longish chainstays, ample tire clearance, and reasonable geometry, but without fancy paint, lugwork, and the high price tag.


Anonymous's picture
John Segal (not verified)

Kogswell Bicycles

Anonymous's picture
Christian (not verified)

I have a Rivendell Rambouillet. It's a nice bike. What particularly do you want to know?

Oh, and I don't like the reader any more. It used to be good, but now it's gone off the deep end. Kickstand reviews? You gotta be kidding me.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Rivendell Reader

"Christian wrote: ""Oh, and I don't like the reader any more. It used to be good, but now it's gone off the deep end. Kickstand reviews? You gotta be kidding me.""

What's wrong with kickstand reviews? I don't use one, but kickstands are quite useful on utility bikes and fully-loaded touring bikes.

I liked the latest Reader a lot. Good tech stuff: at least a page each on straddle wires, installing cartridge bottom brackets and bar-end shifters, tire pressure, bent forks, the Ritchey Breakaway, chain-suck, etc.

Nice article, with great photos, about how most new innovations were already introduced many years ago: indexed shifting, integated brake/shift levers, cassette hubs, etc.

Very interesting interview with Richard Schwinn. It also contained an introductory paragraph in quintessential Grant Petersen style: ""I think we all know somebody, about whom it can be said, that if you call them a jerk or think them a jerk, you must be such a miscreant that you should probably be clubbed in the knee. That sums up Richard for me. He is a terrific guy."" Priceless!

Those are just a few of the good things in R.R. #36. In my opinion, the Reader has improved greatly since its inception."

Anonymous's picture
Matt P. (not verified)

"Visit www.roadbikereview.com and do a search for ""Rivendell."" That group at RBR.com is much more informative and entertaining than this NYCC bunch.

There is a two-page thread active over there today: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=20587&highlight=rivendell"

Anonymous's picture
Jessica (not verified)
Atlantis rider

I have an Atlantis and she is my only bike, so she is used for club rides and my daily commute. I love her and always have a huge smile when I walk into work.

I have no experience with Rivendell, though, as I bought my bike through Harris Cyclery in Boston and had a fantastic experience with them.

I ignore the whole thing about only riding with wool and carrying expensive bags. I love my bike, lycra is more comfortable for me and I use whatever bag I want. That's the point - she is MY bike, not Grant's, and I love her.

Her name is Daisy.

Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)
Most of what I hear is positive, but...

"Most of what I hear is positive, but a friend of mine, (road and track racer, experienced former shop mechanic who knows how to ride and set up a bike), bought a used Rivendell. He set it up and did laps in Prospect Park and got it dialed in as to his position on the bike.

We went for a ride to Nyack. On the first big descent on 9W, the bike started to shimmy wildly at high speed. He got it under control, but just barely. We turned around and rode home slowly. After this he had a new fork built for it– it seems the fork blades it came with were very light guage.

It could be that it was not the original fork. It could be that the original customer specified light guage blades. Could be something quirky about the geometry of that particular bike that the customer asked for.

I've never heard anything else bad about Rivendell, except that some people don't agree with their ""retro"" design theories."

Anonymous's picture
hannah (not verified)
shimmy shimmy

Hey come to think of it I have a shimmy too. It's not wild, and it's sometimes more noticeable than other times but I haven't pinned down what the relevant variable is. It's not that bad so isn't a priority to deal with.


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