Fans of Rivendell are well aware that the brand does much more than make comfortable and classic bikes for cruising, touring, and exploring. Their clothing over the years have been legendary, so while a blind apparel pre-order might be scary in some sectors, you can rest assured that Rivendell knows what they’re doing. Check out their Cheviot Wool Sweater pre-order for more information.
I’ve always jokingly called Rivendell Bicycles a Luddite cult of rim brakes lead by the charismatic Grant Peterson wielding his fistful of seatpost and wool undies. All kidding aside, I’d be honored to own a Rivendell, they are amazing and beautiful bikes made by great people, but as the first mechanic I worked under told me oh-so-many years ago, “Grant doesn’t sell his bikes to hipsters” as a response to my ogling of one of their bikes. So, I guess I’m outta luck. Anywho, when I pinged Al about his Sam Hillborne for some stories or insight into the build the first thing he said was, “The purple, white and black motif was inspired by the Heavens Gate cult of California when they left earth for the UFO behind the Hale-Bopp comet. That’s where the colorway came from.” Whelp there ya have it folks, a “bicycle cult” frame built around the color scheme of an actual cult, my low-hanging-fruit-esoteric-bike-nerd joke had come full circle.
In case you missed this in our Shop Visit to Rivelo today, we’re posting it in Radar! Be sure to check out this ride if you’re in the Portland area on Saturday. Roman and Will will be on the ride, shooting film, and it’s leaving from Rivelo at 11:30am sharp, Saturday, July 27th.
This is the unofficial mantra of Rivelo in Portland, Oregon, the only Rivendell bike shop in Portland. Crazy, right!?! That’s what I thought too! Rivelo is also the only bike shop in the world that only carries Rivendell. There are no All-City, Crust, Rawland, Velo Orange, Soma, or any other bikes but Rivendells. While many bike shops carry brands that have all been inspired by Rivendell or maybe even wouldn’t exist without Rivendell. Rivelo makes it a point to just carry Rivendell. They aren’t scared of 1″ threaded headsets and rim brakes, that’s for damn sure!
“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…
If you’re tandem curious and want to spend the year accelerating your relationships, check out Rivendell’s Hubbuhhubbuh. Rivendell describes the Hubbuh as:
“A HILLYBIKE tandem for everything from fun family rides with reluctant riders, to let’s go get ’em rides on road, to trails. Loaded or unloaded. It’s speedy on the flats and descents, as all tandems are, and also as all tandems are, slowish up hills.
Allows captain and stoker to both sit upright, for super relaxing, ergo riding. You will never find a more comfortable non-beach cruiser tandem.”
Place a deposit between now and January 9th at Rivendell.
We shoot a lot of bikes here on the Radavist. A lot. From my estimates, including tradeshows, and events like the Chris King Open House, or the Moots’ Employee Bikes, and even the Speedvagen Build Off, we shot 220 or so bikes in 2018. That’s a lot of bikes. A lot of details. A lot of component selection, build styles, and uses. From road, to mountain, and everything in between, noting the permutations that exist in this ever-so-special era in the cycling industry, I really feel like we’ve shown you just about everything you could see this year.
Out of those 220 bikes, I looked at the data in the form of traffic metrics, social chatter, and comments to pick the Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018. While many bikes had a lot of comments, some had higher traffic or social media shares. Compiling all the numbers, a very compelling list was formed. Not included in this lot are bike reviews, of which Morgan’s review of the Midnight Special and Kyle’s review of his Chubby Cosmic Stallion took the highest metrics from all others on this list. I guess they’re in a league of their own!
At any rate, check out the complete Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018, in no particular order, below!
Rim brakes, a classic geometry, fenders, and a triple. Yep. Sounds like a Rivendell. In the 2000’s, Rivendell Bicycle Works had a model called the Blériot. While it has fender and rack mounts, the Blériot was a light tourer, keeping the geometry relatively snappy and responsive with its 71° parallel geometry as compared to other Rivendell models. Over the years, RBW has put out plenty of 650b bikes, but when the Blériot came out, this new trend in drop bar bikes was a classic nod to French randonneuring bikes. The very word, Blériot, comes from the 1900’s French aviator and inventor, Auguste Louis Blériot.
Kyle from Outer Shell found this bike in San Francisco, where the previous owner had stored it under a tarp in his backyard. He bought the bike for a song and built it up with his spare parts and a few new components. In the rear, Kyle had his RatKing T rack powdercoated to match his Pass and Stow front rack. On the front rack is one of his own Rack Bags, with a custom chain-stitched patch by his friend Shane York.
Yeah, I can’t resist a well-loved Rivendell, especially when it’s owned by such a solid human being. Thanks for the ride, Kyle!
Follow Outer Shell on Instagram.
While the rest of the industry calls them gravel bikes, Rivendell likes to call their bridge between road and mountain bikes, “country bikes.” That’s the realm where the A. Homer Hilsen resides. They can fit a 44mm tire, although the chaps at Rivendell usually ride a 40mm tire with theirs, and can be used for anything from a sub-24-hour overnighter, to a brevet, or just dirt road riding. They’re $1,500 for a frameset and in stock now. Check out more details at Rivendell.
In the world of Rivendell’s Sackville bags, specificity is key. When their Sackville Small wasn’t selling all that well, they retired it and redesigned a new pack. Coming in at 7.25”H x 12W x 11”, the Bagboy saddlesack has just enough space to make it useful for anything from sub24 overnighters to grocery runs and everything in between. Head to Rivendell for a complete list of changes and for ordering.
Over the years, Rivendell has been one of the biggest supporters of the almighty Wald Basket, often times designing bags – dubbed Sackville – specifically for use in these affordable cargo solutions. Their newest is designed to fit in their Wald Clem Bosco Basket, named the CLEMBASACK, these sacks come in light grey, blue and olive. All three colors are in stock now at Rivendell.
Bike Jerks HQ: The Tale of the Ritchey Prototype Bi-Plane Fork Crown
Words and photos by Jeff Frane
Behold, perhaps the coolest thing that has crossed my path since I inadvertently started collecting vintage bicycle stuff. One of the rarest for certain. What you’re feasting your hungry eyes upon is one of the few examples of the legendary bi-plane fork crown that Tom Ritchey produced during the heady and formative year of 1983. Now, I have no actual idea how many exist, I should probably ask Tom, but I’ll leave the actual journalism to the professionals. Or the commenters.
It never saw production, as Tom instead decided to focus on the uni-crown, but was later famously copied by Grant Peterson for his legendary MB-1. How was this acquired? Well, my good friend Jeff Schmidt purchased it directly from Tom to potentially use to build a fork for a giant size Ritchey he had previously acquired. See below for their correspondence.
Ryan might not be known too well in the cycling scene. Unless of course, you’re at Golden Saddle where he’s a regular to the shop, tweaking things on his bike, or figuring out where to bicycle camp, and just ride. He’s an accomplished skateboarding photographer though, which is the realm where he’s best known. Ryan traded his previous bike for this Rootbeer colored Rivendell Rosco Bubbe, which he swapped out a few parts on to make it his own. The details on this thing are exceptional, as are all Rivendell frames, but it’s the build kit that really stands out.
From the Sugino triple, to the JJJ Bars, to the Red Monkey Grips, Pass & Stow rack, a Bell Tower to raise his Spurcycle bell up, PAUL brakes, and Swift Sugarloaf bag, this bike is highly functional but looks damn good at the same time. Remarkably, Ryan was able to cram in those 50mm Cazadero tires into the frame, making it a perfect off-road machine for LA’s fire roads.
Follow Ryan on Instagram
This made me smile. Thanks to everyone who came together to give Rivendell some extra air in their tubes.
To commemorate Blue Lug‘s 10 year anniversary – congrats guys! – Rivendell teamed up with them to design a single speed. You might recall their Quickbeam single speed, and the Frank Jones is a relative to that bike. Blue Lug made 55 of these frames and Rivendell took in 25. There’s a lot more to be said about this collaboration, which will come at a later date once a certain someone builds theirs up, but I wanted to give all of you a heads up, in case you missed out on a Quickbeam back in the day.
Oh and if you’d like to see more photos of Blue Lug’s build, head to their Flickr!
“We’ve always provided special gear and encouraged any kind of riding that doesn’t require training, conquering nature, or beating others. We’ve designed and made good gear that enables a personal approach, as opposed to a sports-approach, to riding your bike. Going on 24 years.
We’re struggling now, though. Not with design, sourcing, marketing, but with cash flow. That’s always been the monkey on our back, but now it’s more like King Kong.
Bad planning and over-optimism—both my fault—and some unfortunate timing that was out of our control, have created a threat we might not be able to ride out unless we chuck up a Hail Mary that works, so here it is.
We hope two-thirds of you will buy a $10 credit—for $10—to be used whenever you want. And there’s a bonus: A new printed frame and bike catalog will be at the printer by the end of March (it’s too late to pull out now). We’ll print one for every $10 credit sold, plus 250 extras, and we’ll send it with the first order you place after April. Of course we’ll put it online too, so the information will be available to you regardless, but it seems right to offer a paper catalog option for our analog bikes.
Will you, before Monday, buy a $10 credit toward a future purchase and a paper catalog? Just add the “Catalog Cashflow Special” to your cart. You’ll receive a code you can use immediately. Onward ho?
-Grant, on behalf of me, Robert, Jenny, Spencer, Mark, Dave, Will, Roman, Corey, Harry, Mary, Vince, and Rich.”
If you are able to and would like to assist Rivendell, do so at their web store.
It’ll fit a 27.5 x 2.4″ tire and where ever your relationship is going, it’ll get there a lot faster on the Hubbuhubbuh Tandem by Rivendell. In typical Rivendell fashion, these bikes have been designed to take on just about anything, but most importantly, to be fun. Check out all the details at Rivendell!
With the Hunqapillar lead time lookin’ a bit longer than normal, Rivendell has a 58cm frameset in stock that will ship now. Eventually, these frames will go back to a 3 to 4-month wait, but who knows when that will happen. Head to Rivendell now to check out this beautiful frameset.