I guess I was a good boy this year. For Christmas (and my birthday), I built up a new bike, a Rivendell Atlantis. I ordered the frame from Rivendell in Walnut Creek, California, which arrived a couple weeks ago. I have been collecting parts for the past three months. It was quite a lot of fun building it up. Rivendell’s are quite different than mainstream bikes these days. This, from their catalog:
Rivendells are not for riders inspired by survival rides, racing, or the suicidal stunts of Red Bull YouTube stars or anybody else who shows off for fame or money or seemingly harmless peer approval. We make bikes for shoppers, commuters, day‑riders, trail riders, tourers, randonneurs, all-purpose and no-purpose wanderers. We make them for people who love riding and know the best kind is hierarchy-free, hero-free, waiver-free, registration fee-free…who know riding isn’t made better by an audience, applause, or awards. Making bikes for normal people allows us to make them more useful, more comfortable, more beautiful, and much safer—because we don’t have to conform to market forces and trends that foul them up.
You can check them out here, https://www.rivbike.com/
It’s a steel-framed bike that is extremely comfortable. In fact, the first time I rode it, I felt like I could ride off forever. I’m quite happy with the build and look forward to riding many miles on it. It will be used primarily for road riding and long distance touring, though it is quite capable on dirt as well. It will take up to 2.2 inch tires. The frame in my size, a 53 cm, was built for 650b wheels, which I had not ridden before.
I went with a modest build, mostly Shimano Deore components. It has Velocity Dyad wheels with Panaracer Gravelking tires, the file tread ones, 48 mm wide. They are smooth and supple. SKS fenders round out the wheels.
Notice the gap between the seat tube and the rear tire. This bike has a very long wheelbase which makes for a very comfortable and stable ride. It took about 1 1/3 chains.
One of the things that sets a Rivendell apart from most bikes is the use of lugs on their frames. And not just any lugs, but beautifully designed lugs.
Though I’ve only ridden about 30 miles on this bike (it’s cold and snowy out), it is clear that it is unlike any other bike I have ridden. It is smooth, stable, responsive and a joy to ride. When I was visiting Rivendell in Walnut Creek earlier this month, Grant Peterson said all my other bikes would sit idle after riding this. We’ll see if it’s a true quiver killer. I know that it won’t replace my Surly Puglsy that I ride in the snow and for off-road bikepacking, nor will I use this as my commuter, but it will be my primary bike for any road, dirt road, and touring duties.
It will take some more miles to dial in the ride. I have already lowered the stem a bit, and evened out the angle on the bars some. It currently has a 100mm Nitto Technomic stem, but I may get a 110 some time. The Bosco bars sweep way back and I think I could use a bit more room in the cockpit. I anticipate riding many miles on this wonderful bike.