Readers’ Rides: Michael’s Rivendell Custom


Readers’ Rides: Michael’s Rivendell Custom

There’s something special about a Rivendell. Everyone ought to own one at some point in their cycling journey. For Michael, his came after being hit by a car in Santa Cruz, California. Read on for his story!

On October 19, 1997, I was hit from behind by a drunk driver on Hwy 17 in Santa Cruz. It resulted in a four-month hospital stay, an artificial hip (at 32 years of age), two years of physical therapy, and the death of my childhood sweetheart and wife. I’ve never driven a car since.

Since the accident, I have been on many different types and brands of bikes, including my absolute favorite, a 1974 Rene Herse Randonneur N° 47. An absolutely beautiful bike that I found in a place in San Francisco called the Bicycle Closet. That beautiful bike was stolen from in front of a bar in downtown Santa Cruz after work. It was absolutely heartbreaking. Since then, I’ve ridden many different bikes, from Specialized to Elsworth. But that Rene Herse will always have a special place in my heart.

For a long time, I have wanted to build a bike that fits me and my current riding style, which, lately, has been gravel bikes. As I was searching for the perfect frame to start my build, I came across this 2006 Rivendell custom frameset, hand painted by Joe Bell in San Diego, on Etcy. It was absolutely beautiful and looked unblemished, like brand new. I was sold.

I spent the next 2 1/2 years planning my dream bike and slowly buying the parts I wanted. It was finally completed in December 2023. The only thing left to absolutely complete my build is a Nitto Campee 27R rear pannier rack, which I’ll get as soon as I have the $300 to plunk down on it.

It is an awesome ride. Without the fenders, seat-mounted tool kit, and some other things, the bike weighs only 22.7 lbs and 28.10 with. It is quick and agile, and despite the thin 28c tires, it handles well on gravel with those Panaracer Gravel King Sk tires. Though it isn’t exactly the bike I had originally planned, it came out far better than I could have dreamed.

Anyway, thank you guys for an awesome magazine, I always look forward to seeing some adventures in far away, beautiful places and reading about the professionals and their rides.


Michael Egger

Parts Spec:

  • Rivendell frame and fork set, lugged, custom 59c
  • Chris King Threadless GripNut headset
  • Hope RS4 Pro hubs (front and back)
  • Mavic Open Elite Pro rims
  • Panaracer Gravel King Sk tires 700/28c
  • Rene Herse double crank 48/36
  • Phil Wood square taper bottom bracket
  • Dura-Ace 9 speed rear derailleur
  • Dura-Ace 9 speed cassette
  • Dura-Ace front derailleur for 9 speed
  • Dura-Ace 9 speed shifters, bar end (friction front / index rear
  • Paul Industries Racer cantilever brakes
  • Paul Industries Love Levers
  • Nitto Bosco handlebars
  • Nitto S67 seat post
  • Brooks B67 seat
  • Rivendell Nitto quill stem, lugged
  • Portuguese cork grips
  • Pedals from Spain
  • Handsome Mud Butler fenders
  • Portland Design Works water bottle cage



We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!