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Rivendell Owners, Ramboullett, Atlantis, Opinions?(9 posts)

Rivendell Owners, Ramboullett, Atlantis, Opinions?chipnseal
May 24, 2003 6:34 PM
Ok, What is the attraction to these bicycles?
I'm curious because their web site is very interesting, yet in some ways it seems they have stepped backward in time. An example would be STI shifters, etc.

Is the geometry that much different? I think I've seen one Rivendell bike in the last couple of years in my area.
Is the Atlantis the touring bike? The Rambouillet the "road" bike?

Any owners out there?
re: Rivendell Owners, Ramboullett, Atlantis, Opinions?Steve Bailey
May 25, 2003 3:17 AM
Ok, What is the attraction to these bicycles?
I'm curious because their web site is very interesting, yet in some ways it seems they have stepped backward in time. An example would be STI shifters, etc.

Is the geometry that much different?

I think I've seen one Rivendell bike in the last couple of years in my area.

Is the Atlantis the touring bike? The Rambouillet the "road" bike?

Any owners out there?

They are very practical bikes, designed to be versatle. An example is close attention to the placement of the brake bridge and crown placement on the fork so as to allow the longer reach Ultegra brake set, which gives plenty of clearance for larger tires and fenders. Note that on the typical road racing bike these days, you would have a hard time using a tire larger then 26 or 27 mm or so. The Rambo takes a 35 ?, which can be nice if you want to use it on fire roads.

The single biggest drawback I can think of, beside the price of a Rivendell, is that they tend to be 2 lbs or so heavier then a typical road bike these days.

As a rule, the bikes have more laid back geometry then what's typical in a road bike (excepting the very few touring bikes available). In the Rambo as example, it has 72.5 seat and head tube angles, a chainstay length of 43.5 cm or so, and a lower bottom bracket, all of which makes for a more stable ride, which when combined with larger tires also makes for a comfortable bike.

Grant's philosophy is for components that have proven themselves over the test of time, thus friction shifters, leather seats, wool clothing, etc... It's perfectly possible to order a Rambo or Atlantis (they are sold as frames) from one of the shops that sell them (Aarons, Harris) and have it built up with STI/Ergo, etc...

And, yes, generally the Ramboullet is the road bike, with the Atlantis more the touring bike, as it's designed for 26" wheels. The Rivendell models are the custom frames built here int he US with fancier lugs, paint jobs, etc..

Another similar frame and complete bike is the Heron, which was the Grant designed, Waterford built, less expensive model before the Ramboullet/Atlantis series. They are still sold - http://www.heronbicycles.com/

Other manufacturers are beginning to catch on to the concept, offering similar models. The Sequoia from Specialized comes to mind.

Re-post this over on http://forums.consumerreview.com/ retro-classics forum for more info.

Steve B.
re: Rivendell Owners, Ramboullett, Atlantis, Opinions?Heron Todd
May 25, 2003 10:11 AM
These frames can easily be set up with modern components. Rivendell also sells downtube shifters and Brooks saddles, so that is what they show their frames equipped with.

The attraction to these bikes I believe is three-fold. First, the position is better for most riders. Most road bikes on the market these days are designed around an extreme racing position. The Rivendell bikes are a bit more upright. This position also makes the drop portion of the handlebars more usable since many riders cannot comfortably reach the drops on a conventional road bike.

Second, the frames are very versatile. They have eyelets for fenders and racks as well as clearance for larger tires and/or fenders. Many road frames on the market today have no provisions for racks, fenders, or tires over 700x23. The longer wheelbase and crowned steel fork also provide a smoother ride.

Third, the traditional craftsmanship required to build these frames are attractive to many. There is something about a frame built in this manner versus a robotically-welded and glued frame (not that there is anything wrong with that). The example I often give is the fact that Waterford crystal sells for 4 to 5 times more than Mikasa crystal because Waterford is handmade versus machine made. Each Mikasa piece is perfect, but folks will pay extra to have the stuff that is traditionally made.

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL
http://www.heronbicycles.com/
hey todd, what about geom. diff. between heron and ramb?colker
May 25, 2003 1:14 PM
even compensating for slightly different seat tube angle and substantially diff. front angle, i see the heron road being bigger as in having a longer top tube.
is the front end longer too? btw, i've been measuring 56 frames. i find the rambouillet tight.
another thing: why didn't you extend the head tube on the heron like the ramb.? i see you built the road with a rising stem...
i mean: would they fit very different?nmcolker
May 25, 2003 1:21 PM
nm
hey todd, what about geom. diff. between heron and ramb?Heron Todd
May 25, 2003 4:18 PM
There is a brief comparison between the Heron Road, Heron Touring, Rambouillet, and Atlantis on the FAQ page of our website. In general, the Heron Road will be a litlle quicker handling than the Rambouillet. The Rambouillet has a bit longer wheelbase and clearance for larger tires. Call it a cross between our Road and Touring frames or a sport tourer.


The head tubes of the Herons are extended. The top tubes slope upward at a 2 degree angle making the headtubes about 2 cm longer than they would if the top tubes were horizontal. The extension is between the top and down tubes, not above the top tube as some builders do.

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL
http://www.heronbicycles.com/

ok, but are the top tubes longer on the heron?colker
May 25, 2003 5:46 PM
both bikes are "cousins", family, and i'm attracted to them. my main concern is fit. since i have no experience with riding with bars that high, i can't "sense" how long of a top tube i'll need. i know italian racing geometry and how i sit on that kind of bike..
my size being a 53/4(c-c), riding with a 12cm stem dropped 3in below bars, would that translate in a 56 heron, right? with an 11cm stem? or a 10cm?
ok, but are the top tubes longer on the heron?Heron Todd
May 25, 2003 8:07 PM
Yes, the top tubes are a little longer on the Heron than on the Rambouillet, BUT the seat tube is a little steeper. This makes the effective top tube length pretty similar (you will put the saddle further back on its rails on a Heron than a Rambouillet to get the same position relative to the BB).

For fitting a Heron, look at our sizing chart first. This will give you an idea which frame size to look at first based upon your saddle height. Next, look at the top tube length and stem length on your current bike. Because the higher bars on the Heron will effectively reduce your reach, you will need to go at least 1 cm longer in top tube plus stem length on the Heron. So, if your current bike has a 54 top tube and 12 stem (total reach of 66 cm) and you went to a 56 Heron, which has a 57 cm top tube, you would likely need a 10 cm stem (67 cm total reach).

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL
http://www.heronbicycles.com/

Love my Atlantis, but I think the catalog sold me...cory
May 25, 2003 7:24 PM
I've had an Atlantis for a little over two years, and used it for everything from fire trails to centuries. Just did the Indian Valley Metric (N. California--a really great ride) on it yesterday.
I'll admit it was the catalog, and Grant's approach, that sold me, but now that I have the bike, I wouldn't go back. Mine's set up sort of semi-retro just because that's what I like, but you could easily put anything on it you want. Index shifting, for instance, is no advantage to me--I don't race; I don't care if a shift takes 0.3 sec longer, and I enjoy moving the levers, sort of like a manual trans car vs. automatic. I use a Brooks saddle because it's comfortable, and I have a handlebar bag because I want someplace to put my jacket. But you don't have to have any of that.
The biggest advantage to me is the versatility, plus the ability to use tires bigger than 25mm. I weight 225, and the skinny little tires you have to use with most modern road bikes are even sillier for me than they are for an average size guy. The frame is a little heavy (a pound or two, I'd guess--I've never weighed the bike), but in the overall picture of a big rider, big tires and everything else, I'm sure it's quite a bit less than 1 percent. I have other bikes, and I have two friends my height that I swap with (carbon Trek and an Allez), but I wouldn't trade.