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The Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018

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The Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018

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!

Kyle From Outer Shell and His Beausage Rivendell Blériot

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Kyle From Outer Shell and His Beausage Rivendell Blériot

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!

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Follow Outer Shell on Instagram.  

Rivendell: A. Homer Hilsen Frames are in Stock

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Rivendell: A. Homer Hilsen Frames are in Stock

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.

Rivendell’s New Bagboy Saddlesack

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Rivendell’s New Bagboy Saddlesack

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.

Rivendell’s New Sackville CLEMBASACK for the Wald Clem Bosco Basket

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Rivendell’s New Sackville CLEMBASACK for the Wald Clem Bosco Basket

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

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Bike Jerks HQ: The Tale of the Ritchey Prototype Bi-Plane Fork Crown

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’s Rootbeer Rivendell Rosco Bubbe

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Ryan’s Rootbeer Rivendell Rosco Bubbe

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.

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Follow Ryan on Instagram

Blue Lug and Rivendell’s Frank Jones Single Speed

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Blue Lug and Rivendell’s Frank Jones Single Speed

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!

A Hail Mary for Rivendell

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A Hail Mary for Rivendell

Rivendell needs our help

“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.

Rivendell’s Hubbuhubbuh Tandem

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Rivendell’s Hubbuhubbuh Tandem

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!

Rivendell Has a 58cm Hunqapillar in Stock

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Rivendell Has a 58cm Hunqapillar in Stock

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.

Bicycle Quarterly on Rivendell

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Bicycle Quarterly on Rivendell

“When Bridgestone USA closed in 1994, many mourned the loss of what they saw as the last bastion of sensible design in the quickly changing world of bicycles. They rejoiced when later that year, Bridgestone’s marketing manager Grant Petersen started Rivendell Bicycle Works. The new company’s first project were three hand-built frames, the Road, Mountain and All-Rounder.”

Check out more on this 1995 Rivendell at Bicycle Quarterly!

A Pair of Honeymoon Hunqapillars – Morgan Taylor

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A Pair of Honeymoon Hunqapillars – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

Being out on tour for the past six weeks Stephanie and I have met a lot of other people traveling by bike. The different ways people travel on two wheels has become a point of interest for us: despite the fact that we can get caught up in gear nerding and finding the perfect setup, it’s so rad to see all the different approaches to problems that anyone traveling by bike faces.

Troy and Jen were part of the larger group of people who descended on Missoula for the ACA’s 40th. It turned out that they, like us, were also on their honeymoon, on matching bikes. Since they’re from Nutmeg Country their tastes trend toward traditional aesthetics, and their Rivendell Hunqapillars are all class – and pieces of flair. These bikes were shaken down on east coast toodles through backroads with good friends before setting out on tour.

Rivendell: Hubbuhubbuh MTB Tandem Pre-order

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Rivendell: Hubbuhubbuh MTB Tandem Pre-order

Designed with Clem Smith Jr, the new Rivendell Hubbuhubbuh is a tandem unlike any other modern steel bicycle. Well, maybe there’s something similar floating around, but this one’s made by Rivendell! These frames come in three sizes, are tig-welded, fit 650B wheels, come with two seat posts (29.8mm), a elegant fork and a special Nitto stoker stem for $1,600 at the time of pre-order. Head to the Hubbuhubbuh (did I spell that right?) website for ordering information.

Only a Few Months Left for Bike + Book + Hatchet – Kyle Kelley

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Only a Few Months Left for Bike + Book + Hatchet – Kyle Kelley

Only a Few Months Left for Bike + Book + Hatchet
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

A couple years ago my girlfriend Liz and I were driving back to Los Angeles from Mt. Shasta and we stopped in Walnut Creek to visit Rivendell. Funny thing is, we never made it to Rivendell because we stumbled upon Bike + Book + Hatchet first. We were so completely immersed in the store, which is dedicated to the Rivendell ideology, that we forgot the original reason for our stop. I knew I wanted to shoot some images and share the story of this place, but I didn’t have a digital camera or any spare film with me at the time. It took two years, but Liz and I finally found ourselves traveling north for a wedding and made the detour to Walnut Creek again.

Jonathan’s Rivendell Joe Appaloosa Touring Bike

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Jonathan’s Rivendell Joe Appaloosa Touring Bike

If the Greek god Zeus rode a touring bike, it’d be a Rivendell and most likely, it’d be a Joe Appaloosa. Rivendell is straight forward with the Joe Appaloosa. First off, it’s named after a rather unique breed of horse, then, they took their two most famous touring bikes, the Sam Hillborne and the Hunqapillar, combined them and made one bad-ass road touring bike. These bikes are confidence-inspiring works of art, chiseled from stone and as timeless, or legendary as mythology. Ok, maybe that was too much… They’re just damn sexy!

Those frames scream fully-loaded confidence with a fist-sized gap between the rear tire and seat tube, ensuring that even if you want to dive into a turn, this frame will take its own, secure and smooth line. Which is great for a touring or city bike. Loaded on descents, this long wheelbase makes for a predictable and comfortable ride.

Or, to be more concise, the Appaloosa is:

“It’s not for stunts, boulder-bouncing, or loaded expeditionary off-road touring, but as a trail bike for sober non-yahoos who weigh less than 215lb, it’s ideal, perfect.. That 215lb isn’t a scientifically-derived number, just a hipshot suggestion based on the Joe having a heavier fork than Sam’s and lighter one than Hunqapillar’s.”

So, when Jonathan was looking for a new bike, meeting the above description, he went with a complete Appaloosa. After a few upgrades, namely Paul skewers, Paul brake levers, a Brooks Cambium saddle, SOMA rack, Swift saddle bag and a Tomii bell, this bike is ready for anything… For $2,600 complete, this is the best looking complete touring bike on the market. Find out more at Rivendell!