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May Day was Rambouillet day.(32 posts)

May Day was Rambouillet day.MB1
May 15, 2003 5:28 AM
Miss M has had her Rivendell for several years now. It is a little beat up from all the miles but she still gets lots of compliments for the really nice frame with the fancy lugs. After my GT Edge Ti broke she kept pushing me to get a replacement frame so I would once again have a back-up bike. I tried to convince her that my Bianchi ‘Crosser was good enough but she just wouldn't give up.

What is a guy going to do????

I fit stock bikes fine so there was no need for the long wait and high price of a full custom Rivendell like Miss M's even though she encouraged me to get one. I was really tempted by some of the things Waterford had to offer and my LBS was willing to make me a fine deal on one but I already have a Gunnar (which is made by Waterford) and I had recently helped my brother in law purchase a Waterford so I was thinking about something a little different.

I had seen a Rambouillet on one of my NSA/OCE Centuries and really liked the look and color. Just the thing!
What is a guy going to do????MB1
May 15, 2003 5:30 AM
I fit stock bikes fine so there was no need for the long wait and high price of a full custom Rivendell like Miss M's even though she encouraged me to get one. I was really tempted by some of the things Waterford had to offer and my LBS was willing to make me a fine deal on one but I already have a Gunnar (which is made by Waterford) and I had recently helped my brother in law purchase a Waterford so I was thinking about something a little different.

I had seen a Rambouillet on one of my NSA/OCE Centuries and really liked the look and color. Just the thing!
Quick Rambouillet trivia question....philippec
May 15, 2003 6:38 AM
So, anyone have an idea as to the story behind the ram on the headtube badge? Extra points for getting the answer right in french!


re: Quick Rambouillet trivia question....cyclopathic
May 15, 2003 7:50 AM
Ram·bouil·let ( P ) Pronunciation Key (rmb-l, rämb-y)
Any of a breed of merino sheep of French origin, raised for wool and meat.

Dale covered french cylcing connection see you at Rambouillet on '03 PBP ;)
ooooh close, but not quite! (nm)philippec
May 15, 2003 8:06 AM
..and those wool jerseys (nm)cyclopathic
May 15, 2003 8:58 AM
here's the real deal....philippec
May 15, 2003 11:24 AM
there is a reason that the town of Rambouillet has a sheep named after it (in fact, very few people even know that there is a sheep species called Rambouillet) and that reason (and the reason fior the sheepish headbadge) is that the town is home to the Bergeries Nationales (the Nastional sheep husbandry centre) started back when wool=gold under Louis XVI (the first " Rambouillet" Merinos were actually derived from a herd of sheep bought by ol'Louis from his cousin Charles III, King of Spain. Back in its heyday it was an important economic research centre of sorts (when world trade depended on the amount of wool you could move, Rambouillet was a sort of "silicon" or "sheepicon" valley). Now, it's just a good research centre of all things ovine. Also, the Foret de Rambouillet is a primo destination for local cyclotouristes on their sunday outings. ... and now you know more than anyone should possibly care to know about the headbadge.

... and, yes, it was a slow day here at work.


Merci, Phillippe. Très intéressant! (nm)Dale Brigham
May 15, 2003 12:06 PM
wowee ... MB1 posts a clean bike picSpirito
May 15, 2003 11:26 AM
get that beauty scratched and dirty quick bro.

nice ride !!!!!

I've got a can of 30 weight just waiting for the first dirt rideMB1
May 15, 2003 5:54 PM
Drench the frame in oil and head for the dirt, that should be a fun picture.

I'll do a couple of road centuries first but I have a nice dirty route with a few stream crossings I am anxious to do just as soon as it dries up a bit around here.
90% of the Quality of the Rivendell?MB1
May 15, 2003 5:33 AM
From the Rivendell website "The Atlantis and Rambouillet frames are not custom, but are hand-built in Osaka, Japan, by Toyo, a small high-end frame shop that's been around for 30 years (proprietor and main builder there is Tetsu Ishigaki). The frames are made exactly to our specifications, using materials we provide. They are lugged steel, and the quality is 90 percent that of a Rivendell - and at least the equal of most custom frames that sell for many times more."

Well the frame and fork with headset installed showed up on May 1st, about 10 days after I placed my order. I had it together enough to ride the next morning-mostly built up with the parts from my old GT. For some of these parts it was the 5th frame they had been on. I had to get the new Shimano Ultegra standard reach brake calipers, a new front derailleur clamp and I replaced the chain, cables and housing and was good to go.

As I was assembling the bike I took a good look at the workmanship and finish checking for flaws and such. The paint is really first class but looking closely I could see a few file marks on the top head tube lug and there is a tiny brazing imperfection in the right top seat-stay cap.

Bottom line, I'd agree that the the Rambouillet is at least 90% of the quality of a custom Rivendell.
The fit.MB1
May 15, 2003 5:35 AM
When I first started riding in the late 60's I rode a 23" or 58cm frame. Over the years the industry trend was to ride smaller and smaller frames and I went along with the trend. I had a 54cm track bike and often rode 55cm road bikes. I have probably ridden big miles on over 50 frames-Cinelli, Fuji, Schwinn, Univega, Centurion, Titan, Exxon Graflex, Ron Cooper, Cuevas, Medici, Zeus, Bianchi, Raleigh, and GT and on and on.

Rivendell really pushes the idea of riding a larger frame than is now the industry norm for a more comfortable riding position. Their idea is that the top of the bars should be just about even with the saddle for a relaxed, upright posture for all day riding. I went along with their program and got a 58cm frame.

Now in my dotage I'm ready for something different. A nice comfortable bike sounds good. I figure I am out of pocket around $1,200 for the Rambouillet so sometime next month when I get the cost down to "A-Buck-A-Mile" I'll post a ride report about the bike and my reaction to the fit.

For now I'll just say the thing sure looks good and folks are coming up to me asking all about it.
Nice, MB1.KG 361
May 15, 2003 6:19 AM
Is it the camera angle or is that a slightly sloped TT? Really classy looking bike. Hope to see it in person soon-I'm working on a PA ride around here that I will TRY to have 2 century routes over a weekend. Many happy miles on your new baby!
They do in fact have slightly sloping top tubes (nm)Trent in WA
May 15, 2003 9:59 AM
I think it is just the angle of the shot.MB1
May 15, 2003 5:32 PM
Looks like a level top tube to me.
What saddle is that? nmKristin
May 15, 2003 6:33 AM
swift, brooks. ti rails. 350grs.. i need one. nmcolker
May 15, 2003 8:49 AM
Got it right the first time. and yes the Swify is a great saddleMB1
May 15, 2003 5:35 PM
When it looked like Brooks was going out of business I hussled around and got 3 Swifts. A black, a burgundy and the honey-the honey is my favorite but they are all good.
May 15, 2003 7:55 AM
and the build? NICE.colker
May 15, 2003 8:56 AM
my next bike will be an atlantis... or a rambouillet? an atlantis! no, a rambouillet! atlantis!
A little more on Rivendell fit...cory
May 15, 2003 9:06 AM
On color alone, I wish I'd bought a Rambo instead of my 2-year-old faux-celeste Atlantis....
About Riv's fit, though: I'd followed the industry trends and gradually been drawn downward into frames I once thought were too small. When I bought the Atlantis, Rivendell's sizing chart recommended a 65, which they didn't make at the time. I'd been riding 62, but bought a 64 on Grant's recommendation. With a little more room, a Brooks saddle and 35mm tires, I was instantly more comfortable than I'd been on a bike in years. I suspect a 65 (now available) would be even better. On that basis, I'd recommend anybody unsure about fit at least TRY the larger size before buying the smaller on.
re: May Day was Rambouillet day.koala
May 15, 2003 5:44 AM
Love the color and the lug work. Many happy and safe miles.
nice!JS Haiku Shop
May 15, 2003 5:52 AM
i've been eyeing that one, as well as the atlantis. my ol' cross-check is weathering well after about a year, though is starting to need some fingernail polish touch-up and attention.

where ya been?

obtw, what brooks saddle? looks like maybe the brooks swallow, which is the same dimensions as the b17 narrow. i'm wondering how that one comparese to the b17n.

observation: it's odd to see a riv bike with STI. i always imagined one hanging in my shop with bar-end shifters.


I've got some changes in mind.MB1
May 15, 2003 5:50 PM
As it is built up right now it is pretty much a standard Japanese bike with lots of clearance.

I'm thinking down tube shifters and once I get the stem dialed in I'll switch to a Salsa bar & stem. I'll probably change the chainrings to something smaller so I can run a 12/25 or 27 on the back. I figure it takes me several months and a few thousand miles before I get a bike dialed in.

Where have I been? For the last 3 weeks or so except when I have been at work I have been flat on my back in bed from a viral infection that is just now clearing up. No fun at all...
i was gonna say...rufus
May 16, 2003 7:25 AM
that bike is just crying for down tube shifters.

so after three weeks, will it be only one century this weekend? ;)
Beautiful machine, MB1! It needs a trip to it's namesake...Dale Brigham
May 15, 2003 6:11 AM
...the Floret de Rambouillet, which just happens to be on the Paris-Brest-Paris route twixt Guyancourt and Nogent Le Roi. Might you be taking her for a spin there in August?

Regarding your saddle, it looks to me like a well-broken in Brooks Swift in Honey. My new Swift in Black is coming along nicely, thank you.

That is one sweet bike! Thanks for sharing.

my size too!tarwheel
May 15, 2003 6:39 AM
I came real close to ordering a Rambo last fall and still have regrets about not doing so. If they had one in stock at the time, I'd probably be riding one. I love the color. Should work out great for you with the eyelets for fenders and racks. Does it have a pump peg too? Your handlebars and saddle are set up just like my Merckx Corsa, which is just about the same size and geometry (57 c-c seat tube, 56.8 c-c top, with 72.5 seat tube angle). I've got a Swift on my Merckx now and have it rammed all the way back on the rails to make it fit.

How about trying to organize another roadbikereview ride in DC in May or early June? I've had conflicts in my schedule the other times but would still like to come up there some weekend for a ride.
Beautiful......Len J
May 15, 2003 7:42 AM
I thought that was what you'd end up with. It's perfect for the riding you do.

Can't wait to ride with you guys again.

May 15, 2003 5:56 PM
Just give us a call, we are ready to go.
very envious hereDougSloan
May 15, 2003 8:06 AM
Looks like a great bike. You have certainly earned it.

Sweet!Heron Todd
May 15, 2003 9:48 AM
Those Rambouillets sure are pretty! Plus, they are a spiritual cousin to our Herons. Long live lugged steel!

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
A Heron was way up on my list of frames to drool over.MB1
May 15, 2003 5:39 PM
If I can be so petty the Orange of the Rambouillet is what took it over the top for me.

Man, that sounds like some of the shopers in the LBS asking, "What kind of bike do you have in red?"