|Grant Petersen from Rivendell...||Akirasho|
May 19, 2003 1:28 AM
|... gave a "seminar" at a local bike shop on Friday, espousing his philosophies for bicycle design and fit as well as a few interesting tales.
For those unfamiliar with Grant and Rivendell bicycles, please visit
Be sure to check out "The Reader" links.
To say the least, some of Grant's views stray just a bit from mainstream mass marketers (specifically in the areas of bicycle sizing and fit... but also along the lines of materials and geometries)... or more accurately... current mainstream mass marketers. For lack of a better term... and one that still seems to fit... they are a bit "retro".
This seems to give Rivendell bicycles a unique market niche with unique and loyal customers as well. Indeed, it appeared a "preaching to the choir" moment at last night's presentation (with Grant even whipping out an impromptu quick fit on a gentleman having sizing problems with a recently acquired bike... even going so far as to offer suggestions on fixing said rather than trashing the bike or the shop that sold it). In a paradoxical way, Rivendell philosophies tend towards the "image is nothing" skool of thought... all the while, creating a relatively unique image themselves.
Note too, the Grant Petersen was/is well versed in bicycle design philosophies and was/is readily able and more than willing (like my typing style... he tended towards a finer minutiae) to share, compare and contrast. It was quite interesting... and while I tend to fit differently, I can certainly see his points and am willing to try them (I still have a Rivendell on order). He also introduced a new Rivendell model... the pre sized Romulus which shares many of the features of a custom Rivendell at a more affordable price.
Special thanks to Gary, Jean, Sara and Henri of Gaansari Cycles for hosting these events and thanks to Grant Petersen for sharing with the community.
(nah, I don't work for them... I just like 'em)
Be the bike.
|Side note on Gaansari Cycles||abicirider|
May 19, 2003 4:30 AM
|Just a little side note kinda of interesting in the last 6 issues of Bicycle retailer and industry news they run a column on Gaansari Cycles basically a day by day diary for a week, they started this series before the store actually opened in Dayton, Ohio
Not bad for a LBS on April 14 they had their biggest day $3400.00
Looks like Gary Boulanger and his wife Jean are going to make out pretty good.
Be Safe Out On The Roads!!!!!!!!!
|I'm a bit of an "open minded devotee"||Ray Sachs|
May 19, 2003 4:38 AM
|I bought a Riv frame in '98 a couple of years after getting into riding as an adult, so I've been 'on the bus' for a while. While I reject a lot of Grant's ideas about old parts and friction shifting - nothing wrong with them but I like the new stuff much, much better - I've never ridden a bicycle frame that worked better for my type of riding than the frames he designs. I have the Riv Road (my favorite frame ever, despite a few newer and higher tech frames owned since) and now a Rambouillet and have owned a Riv All-Rounder and Heron Touring. His frames just plain fit me and his approach to fitting, riding position, and comfort are great for most recreational riders who aren't looking to race at a high level. I'm as fast on my Riv as I've ever been on any bike I've owned, but I'm so much more comfortable and relaxed on it than on anything else, that I probably put 70% of my miles on it (probably 90% between the Riv and Rambouillet). For anyone who's not quite as strong or flexible as they were in college and who's having problems getting really comfortable on a "racer emulation" bike, Grant's fitting advice can be a real revelation.
I keep hoping Rivendell doesn't overcommit on some of their older parts restoration projects and that they can keep designing / building frames for a long time to come.
BTW, Grant has always been great to deal with either in getting advice or working out the details of a purchase. Really nice guy.
-Ray "no affiliation except satisfied customer" Sachs
|No "neo-retro" for me either.||dzrider|
May 19, 2003 6:14 AM
|The frames are beautiful. The fitting philosophy will help many people ride more comfortably. The "trickle down" bikes look to me to be excellent values. I, too, question the value of old-school components. I've ridden the old stuff and I'm riding the new stuff cause it works better. It may not work better forever, but it's enough better to make me want it and pay to repair or replace it when it wears out.|
|Yeah, what Ray said.||Silverback|
May 19, 2003 8:18 AM
|I've had the same experiences with Rivendell--I rode for 25 years, off and on (200 miles one year, 2500 the next) from my 20s to my late 40s, but never really enjoyed it as much as I thought I should--something always hurt SOMEWHERE, though I adjusted the fit according to the prevailing (small frame, low bars etc) theory.
When my knees gave out and I had to quit running as my primary aerobic activity, I got semi-serious, bought an Atlantis and set it up according to Grant's recommendations. I had some concerns, but what I was doing wasn't working, so I figured I'd try it. The difference was amazing--I used to start to suffer after an hour or so on the bike, but I can ride comfortably for three or four hours now. I'm 20 years older than I was when I did my last century, but can match my time with much less discomfort. And as Ray said, everybody at Riv has been really good to work with. I'm trying to decide now whether I NEED a Rambo to complement the Atlantis, or just WANT one....
|Will mainstream companies catch on?||Continental|
May 19, 2003 10:21 AM
|Comfortable, well performing and reliable road bikes shouldn't be a niche market. Why can't I buy a Trek, Fuji, Giant, etc for $1300 that has the basic design features of a Rivendell Ram? There are many very good race design road bikes for under $1300. 80% of the roadies would be better off with a bike designed like a Rivendell instead of a racing design. I'd consider a Redwood (I'm 6'4") but I really like STI.|
|There are a few mainstream bikes out there||Ray Sachs|
May 19, 2003 10:41 AM
|First off, If you want a Redwood with STI, it shouldn't be much problem to get one of the shops that sells them to swap out shifters for an upcharge.
But there are a few bikes out there that are pretty close to what Riv has been offering. When I was first shopping for my Riv in '97, there was just about NOTHING comparable from the mainstream other than full on touring bikes, which aren't really comparable. Then, a few smaller companies started coming out with similar designs - IF Club Racer, Waterford, Gunnar, Surley all came pretty close. Recently, Specialized has brought out the Sequoia which is really quite close to a Riv geometry. Yeah, it has a goofy "elastomer insert" fork and a suspension seatpost (which you could get rid of easily enough), but it has nice laid back angles, high bars, longer chainstays, and long reach brakes with plenty of fender clearance. I think I've heard that Giant makes something similar, but haven't really checked it out. Also, there are a few cyclocross bikes on the market that are pretty similar as well, as long as you don't mind dealing with cantilever brakes. Lemond, Jamis, and Surly all make cross bikes that get really good reviews as more versatile than normal road bikes. I have a Lemond as my off road bike, but I commute on it and ride it in really crummy weather too, and it has a very nice ride on the road.
Not enough out there, but progress.