Ultra Romance and His Rivendell Atlantis Mountain Bike

“The kinda danger I’m into is riding tubes in the desert”

“Any bike can be a mountain bike if you ride it in the mountains”

These are just a few quotes pulled from the freshly shaven mouth of Ultra Romance, the cycling sensation, turned Rivendell sponsored rider and mobile dealer. Bené, as I like to call him, is wintering in Tucson where I was spending my New Years with friends. Turned out, there were a lot of out of towner cyclists around, so we organized a ride at the 50 Year trails. More on that later…

There was a bit of flack as a response to Rivendell’s update to the Atlantis geometry, mostly due to the lengthened chainstays. People speculated how the new design would ride, before throwing a leg over the bike. When I talked to Benedict about this update, he seemed unphased, as he pedaled away, up a rock face and through a giant leaning piece of cholla, a desert cactus known for jumping onto the legs of passing humans on foot or on bike. We met back up at the top of the climb and he said to me: “Geometry is a class you flunked in high school.”

People want to get out spreadsheets to analyze geometry all the time. I’m guilty of it and chances are, you are too. Was Rivendell trolling us? Or was Benedict just a rolling sales pitch? I don’t believe so, on either account.

Continuing away from geometry and onto the parts build. Like all of Ultra Romance’s bikes featured here on the Radavist, this one’s got some stories to tell. From the ultra-wide Crust Bikes bars to other components with a certain nostalgic history. Poppi got those parallel push XTR v brakes for his 16th birthday. When you got your first car, he got XTR.

Some more quotes: “Ritchey Logic cranks are the best, but they were made in 1995, and the non-drive side snapped off. Now there is some sorta parts bin SR Sakae waiting to snap off. ”

Eagle-eyed viewers will note the lack of a front derailleur. Bené calls this “the manual double.” “…is functional. If I am done with a mountain pass and just wanna nibble for a few hours, I’ll use a stick to shift and adjust the b screw accordingly.”

Oh and that friction shifter? You might recognize it from his SWorks Fuse Baja Buggy:

“That aggressively filed 12-13+ speed friction shifter pod has been everywhere. Baja, New Zealand, the Swiss Alps, Crete, Clinton CT… I think I will ask PAUL to machine one for me to sell to YOU. He doesn’t know that yet though.”

Please do!

If you’d like a Rivendell and would like some help specifying parts or ordering, holler at Benedict! You can also check out more information on the Atlantis at Rivendell!


Follow Benedict on Instagram, follow Rivendell on Instagram.

  • nothingfuture


    • He’s training for the Rita de Jefe. 🤷🏼‍♂️

      • GNARdina

        Haha, the ideal applies……. until it doesn’t. Great way to keep from becoming Dogmatic.

    • mikec

      not sure what was more off putting, no beard or the socks!

  • dan scheie

    Wild setup, always like the bikes that Ronnie puts a special touch into!

    What has the longer wheel base? This or the Sklar Nutmegger?

  • Nicholas Petersen

    This guy knows how to put together a compelling bicycle.

  • He’s so damn handsome without that cat attached to his face!

    • “Ronnie” Romance

      It was a nutria, but thanks anyway

  • Aaron Best

    I love that you can see the particles of sand flying off the front tire in #40. Great shot!

  • YaanG

    “Ritchey Logic cranks are the best”
    “the non-drive side snapped off”

    Choose one.

    • Old aluminum cranks fatigue over time. The Ritchey cranks have a nice look, maybe that’s what he meant?

      • “Ronnie” Romance

        No they’re the best!

        • Andrew

          So, running without a derailleur because the spider bent, right?

          • “Ronnie” Romance

            It’s a bail out gear. I have to talk myself into it each time. Rarely need it though cuz my elegant low Q factor cranks are practically electric

        • Sattelfest

          Exactly. “Elegant, Strong and low Q Factor”, Grant Peterson (in 1991 for Bridgestone)

  • “When you got your first car, he got XTR”. Your such a wordsmith John. XOXO

  • Sattelfest

    xtr v brakes to his 16th birthday..950 was introduced 1996. So Benedict was born in 1980…Mystery solved…(-;

    • “Ronnie” Romance

      But what ISSSSS time???

      • Sattelfest

        an illusion (augustine)…as the “updated” Atlantis clearly shows….an “Anschauungsform” our imaginativeness

    • Maybe he just turned 16 and someone scrounged up some vintage brakes for his B-day!

      • Sattelfest

        Mr. Romance and vintage? You must be joking, noooo, not him. This man is the pulse of time, don`t you know? Another try please.

  • Sam Scavo

    Whats the process of filing the bar end shifter to get more out of it in friction mode?

    • AdamBike99

      File a little bit. Check lever throw. File some more. Check…

      • Sam Scavo

        What do you file the lever itself, the pod or is it one of the internal washers/parts? I figured its a shit ton of filing.

        • The part of the pod that prevents the lever from advancing as far as you would like it to. Quick job with a bastard file.

          • Sam Scavo


          • Rider_X

            Its the only way to get a SRAM derailleur to cover the full range of gears. Shimano road derailleurs move more per mm of cable pull than SRAM

  • Terry Dean


  • AaronBenjamin

    The “Manual Double” voted best MTB upgrade of 2019. “Increase your gear range by 200% with only the weight of a SINGLE CHAINRING more!”

    • IronMac

      You’re forgetting the stick.

  • Logan Groves

    Beardless?! Clipless?! What next Poppi?

    • Oh you just wait… He’s got more up his sleeve!

      • GNARdina

        He’s buying a house and getting pants.

        • dan scheie

          I saw Ronnie wearing skinny jeans once. I was surreal.

          • “Ronnie” Romance

            They were Italian


    • “Ronnie” Romance

      Yeah, c’mon, anyone??? I gotta pay for this plastic surgery somehow!!

    • BurnDawg

      It’s tiny compared to Fabio’s Chest. It is still finely sculpted like any good genioplastic procedure should be. Maybe the Leno?

  • Jordan Muller

    All day comfort. The geometry of Riv’s is A + B = C? it doesn’t matter. It just rolls nice.

  • Nathan Fenchak

    If you’re not careful you could actually fall through that dang large gap between the tire and the seat tube!

  • “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Same time, same place! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb8ec9d3ef148d448aaa6f985e08ba07c24f4dd7e36f66d10a716d5b81ac42cb.jpg

  • Dave Pelletier

    awesome as it was, it has to feel good to be out from under that beard

  • Did the industry lie to me? Can you really ride a bike off-road without a dropper post, thru-axles, tapered headtube, disc brakes and the like!?

    • Lascauxcaveman

      SOMEONE may have been trying to sell you a new bike. :)

    • Quinn.e

      They didn’t lie, they just said what they want you to hear. Don’t hear the noise 😥 follow the soul

  • Steve

    Where did you ride in Crete?

    • “Ronnie” Romance

      Cris crossed the western 2/3rds of the island for 2 weeks

      • Steve

        Did you visit Matala? When I rode from Hersonisos on the north coast down to Matala in 1974 and 1975 you could still sleep in the caves.

  • Niels Christensen

    What kind of helmet is that?

    • “Ronnie” Romance

      It’s a 7 year old giro reverb. If you find another in the color scheme, let me know! I collect em

      • Niels

        I want one now.

      • Jonestown

        I have a black a red one that you can have.

  • Brendan Mahoney

    Those levers work just fine with 8-speed XT. They’ll even index.
    11 speed friction is for warm-weather riding only. Can’t be that precise when you’ve half hypothermic.

    • “Ronnie” Romance

      Brendan, this is 12 speed friction! Only grandpas ride 11 speeds!

  • Sattelfest