Rivendell Headquarters will be closed on the following days.
November 28 November 29 November 30 December 24 December 25 December 28 January 1
That means nobody will be here for Black Friday or AmEx Small Business Saturday™. But we have created our own cyber shopping holiday and it’s not a joke, and we hope you take it to heart.
"Made in U.S.und.Ay"
Pronounced yoo-ess-und-ay. Make it a tradition to buy something produced stateside for at least one your loved ones this year. That might mean buying something that’s a little more expensive, fancier, nicer, more intentional, but also something you are proud to give and your recipient is happy to keep. It’s so easy to load up a grande shopping cart at Target full of cheap gifts made in an overseas factory, getting something for everyone on the list. But when you get home and look at your pile of stuff, it’s just… bleh. We’ve all been there.
We are proud to buy and sell quality American made products. Here are just some of them. Click on the images to be taken to the site.
Randi Jo’s Cycling Caps & Saddle covers. Made in Oregon.
Also different Aardvark Saddle covers made in Utah.
another form of leather saddle protectant from Idaho:
and other caps made in California
Absurdly fancy mudflaps
and exquisite bike bags
made in Connecticut.
We have waterbottles made in Silicon Valley, California.
and waterbottle cages made in Durango, Colorado.
Also hailing from Colorado, Lip Ivo
and the Wiggy’s Desert Mummy sleeping bag
And for the winter you can up your temperature rating with our very own MUSA Vapor Barrier Liner. Sewn in Oakland, CA.
Headlamps made in New Jersey by Princeton Tec, a company that had outsourced, and came to their senses bringing production back to America.
Here are some brakes made in Chico, California by Paul.
And Phil Wood hubs
and hand cleaner (great gift for home mechanics!)
from far away San Jose.
We have our very own line of Made in USA clothing that we sell under the brand MUSA. New items come out all the time. Here’s the newest. A packable wind jacket.
Update! The men’s rain jackets came in. Holy carp so nice
This crank puller and many other tools from from Park Tool in St. Paul, Minnesota
Blinding headlights for bikes, made in Southern California
Reflective stuff made in New Hampshire.
Biodegradable degreaser from Chicago
Can’t forget our famous Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap & Wald baskets
We sell more of this stuff than anyone else.
Don’t call ‘em “frisbees” from Michigan
Posters from Nashville, Tennessee
We got American products coming outs our ears.
All of our wheels, either made by Velocity in Grand Rapids, Michigan or by Rich in San Francisco.
If you want to go all in and support not just our suppliers but our very own design, assembly and packing departments in Walnut Creek, California, you could treat yourself or someone you really like to one of our bikes.
We have a world-famous touring bike
a fast and zippy road bike
a rugged mountain bike
and an epoch-making country bike
all made with our lugs in Wisconsin.
Or for the truly obsessed, get a just for you custom frameset brazed with care in Colorado.
and painted in San Diego. Fancy!
We assemble and ship the bikes here in Walnut Creek.
We have more American products coming for the holidays including great kids toys like we do every year. Stay tuned.
In almost twenty years of business, we have never sold anything made in China. We have never cheapened or outsourced anything so we can compete on price. That means we never copy an existing product and have it produced cheaper in a country that doesn’t have fair labor laws or pay living wages. We proudly sell the more expensive, superior, originals. We still get things made overseas, but make sure people are treated fairly, all the way down the line.
When you order anything from us, even our Swedish or Japanese or Portuguese products, you keep 20 Americans (part and full timers) employed here and you support our dedication to buying and selling American products whenever possible. We try to make this a place where you can feasibly work for life, a good place, with good benefits and decent pay, and a support network that takes care of the whole staff. The assemblers, marketers, sales people, shippers, receivers. All still here, not in a phone center somewhere else, not replaced by wheelbuilding machines, assembly lines, distribution centers. Never.
Buying all your gifts from Amazon supports the mechanization of these very types of warehousing and shipping jobs. Walmart’s low price guarantee practically guarantees the outsourcing of the manufacturing and the minimum-wage-ification of the retail jobs. Need phone support? They’ll patch you over to Pakistan. Switch up this paradigm by buying American this year.
At least a little. If not from us online on Made in U.S.und.Ay, wherever you can on foot. Ask your favorite shops to stock things made in the USA. Buy books in a bookstore. Don’t ask them to price-match.
Tell them about this new shopping holiday we made up:
Join us Saturday December 14, 2013 for our Grand Opening!
The party starts at 4pm. We will have live music, giveaways, a large raffle, feats of strength and pretty bikes.
Rivendell Bike, Book & Hatchet 1601 North Main Street Suite 101 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) We-R-RBBH
Doors have been open since mid October, sales are chugging along. It’s a whole new crowd coming in, not just customers who know who we are. And a few bought bikes, on the spot. We are minimizing our existing showroom at 2040 N. Main just up the street and steering folks to the shining well-lit, heated showroom downtown. If you want to pick something up in person, this is the new place to do it.
Rivendell Bike Book & Hatchet Grand Opening
Saturday December 14, 2013 @ 4pm-7pm
Take BART to Walnut Creek Station, head down Ygnacio and hook a right on North Main Street. We’re next door to RadioShak and across the street from Stadium Pub. There is plenty to do in the area; restaurants, pubs, bike paths, tougher rides up Mt. Diablo, shopping. Basically, your family won’t be bored while you geek out on hatchets and wait for the raffle. The big main pedestrian mall is a few blocks down the street. We look forward to seeing you there.
"What ever happened to y’alls printed catalogies, ‘member those?"
When the internet happened and the printing industry went into crisis mode, prices went way up and they became an drag on cash-flow. So something like 6 years went by since we released Catalogue 19. But for a leather and lugs company like us it seemed almost necessary to print one again, for the sake of the printed word, and to establish our permanence in an age when any cheap imitator can make a slick website for pennies.
So after more than a year of work we have printed catalogues again!
Catalogue #20 is here.
Complete with Olivier’s smashing photos & layout, Grant’s text and right-there-on-the-page final edits.
They are neat, informative, cost us a bundle, and took Grant out of circulation for almost a year working on it.
First 5000 copies are in the mail.
There was a sign-up for a mailing to the first 5000 signuppers. That list is long closed and those cats are arriving in mailboxes now, and may take another week or two to reach you.
But we can’t afford (really) to just send the rest of these out like junk mail. Imagine the $1-2 postage and multiply it by 15,000 and you see the potential for financial ruin.
So how to get one?
Order something, anything, from our store and as we’ve been doing for the last week or so, we’ll throw one in with your order. After a few weeks they’ll be on a by-request basis. Just ask for one.
The latest installment of our very own MUSA brand Chambray Shirt. The fabric is the same all cotton chambray as the last batch of blue (now only a few available in XL), same weight, etc. But this time in handsome Black Chambray. It looks grey from far away due to alternating black and white threads. The buttons are black this go round, still with red threads. The cut is a tad slimmer around the torso, slimmer in the arms, and shorter in length than the last round.
Sleeves are a little on the long side on fit model Dave but he always has to get his sleeves shortened, so no problem there if you’re normally dimensioned. Give $15 to your local dry cleaner and have it fit just right if you must. But wait, here’s an exercise we can all do at home: simulate your arm position riding a bike and wah-la you see the advantage of a little more arm in a bike-specific situation.
A bonus for odd sizers is that the neck is wider than usual so even fat-necked size-17 Dave can button the top button, which is a boon on cold descents (we bikefied it a little) because you can pop the collar and keep your neck warm. The tails are not as long as on previous runs, which is better for untucked but will still tuck in fine if you wear your pants at tuck-in height.
Brian in a pre-shrunk Medium. He generally wears Mediums. Goes with khaki.
A tad wrinkly because it was transported in a saddlebag after the wash/dry. The fabric is really nice and the black buttons and new cut are a big hit with the staff here and folks at the new RBBH store.
You can see with arms up, the side cutouts reveal a little of his untucked black undershirt. If that worries you go one size up. Or tuck in your undershirt and show off your belt.
Here’s Dave doing the roll-up thing, going on three days straight of wearing it as his go-to work shirt. It’s nice enough for a fancy dinner, but also tough and practical enough that when you stain it or tear it or otherwise “ruin” it as a dressy garment it can live on as a shop shirt. Goes with dark brown pants too.
Here’s the back again, trying to show off the new cut. Medium fits great on 5’11” 190lb Dave. A large after shrinking would work fine too.
Same Medium works on 5’9” Jenny too.
Posing with her beloved A Homer Hilsen.
Again with the back. Even goes well with blue jeans.
Close up of the cuff. Has two buttons for watch and watchless operation. Nice stitching.
Same ol’ pen slot on the left chest pocket for writing down those dreams before you forget, if you slept in the shirt. Fell asleep in it last night and didn’t bunch up around the armpits and wake me up. Again, the arms are slimmer but not “slim.”
Maybe your only chance to get this heirloom quality 100% cotton, made right here in the Bay Area, stylish and tough Black Chambray Shirt. Get them while they last. Reorder? Maybe, but for xmas, order pronto. Operators are sitting by.
This won’t continue publickly…but I’ve been absorbed with this lately, it being the first week and all, and…well, I don’t need to promise or lock in. The diarya is therapeutic. Can’t knock that…
Monday Oct 21
The store opens tomorrow and it’s about 85 percent ready as of this morning. Today, lots to be done. Fix or at least upgrade the picture hanging…do more book and item blurbs..clean the windows, re-apply the white sign so it’s not so bubbly. Window display needs work. It’s close, but little details…and I think it’s risky as it is, better for later, but for the opening it should be spartan, so I think we’ll put a clean bike on two rounds of wood and work in a hatchet or two and book or two, and that’s it.
We need to bring in $900 a day to break even, and I have no idea how we’ll do, especially the first month. Opening’s a big deal here, but do actual normal people care? We need a publicist. I am so lousy at that. And if people come by, of course it’ll be to check out the new place, not necessarily to buy anything. That can’t bum us out. Maybe at this point there won’t even be many of them. They’ll want to know (if the enter) what we do. The name of the store should tell them that, but still, it’s a reasonable question. And then: What’s the relationship btw bikes, books, hatchets? Are we crazy urban survivalists, are we retro riders, are we—- weird like that in any way? Eventually they’ll know us, nut right off the bat, we’ll be the weirdos.
I wonder how we’re all going to feel at the end of tomorrow, and the end of the week. We need to hook up a printer here and get a computer, so when I’m here and the place is empty I can at least be productive.
The iPad station-register thing should be here today. I need more practice on the Square. And we need to put some cash in the cash box. All we have in there now is $2 bills. I wonder if people will reject them in change. And, holy cow, I hope no drunks and crazies come in and start obsessing over the hatchets. We can’t allow that.
How we going to do music? We need some, because as Will says, if customers is solo in a silent store they’ll feel too conspicuous. We have a record player, but most of the records are my taste, and I want generic music, classical or instrumentals or stuff like The Flying Nun, or Don’t Cry Daddy. Bob Dylan’s newest would be great, but maybe not generic enough. I don’t know how to hook up an iPhone or iMusic—whatever it is. And I don’t want to argue about the selection. Will it even matter?
Do I keep this private or post it? Who cares?
Oct 22 night
We had an OK day, not great from a money point of view, but a new customer brought us a bottle of wine and water, which was so nice; lots of friends and friend-customers from RBW came by and spent most of the $750 we brought in ($350 short of break even). At first I didn’t count the “charity purchases,” but how great it is to have friends come by for that, to show support and to, you know, get good stuff.
We need to price the display clothing and tell about it, more and better signs. We had music on a turntable, and it seems to make the place less spooky-silent. Mostly books and clothing, although we sold one Japanese knife and a few books, too. Not bad, overall. Will bring more records tomorrow.
A common question is: What’s with the hatchets? So I wrote something and posted it by the hatchets. I don’t want people to think we’re hatchet…fiends, or anything like that.
OCT 23 NIGHT
Only $412 today and $42 of it was my own…and $38 was from Mark’s wife, Amy. I think if I subtracted all the charity purchases from friends and relatives, out $1200 so far would be more like $400…but it’s still OK, and maybe tomorrow will be better. I am whupped. We need a way to hang clothes. Dan suggested something…
Oct 24 Night
Just $316 today, seven sales, and one was the landlord, who bought two hatchets, saving us from a super measly day. Need more information up. And I think people walk though hushed, like they’re in an art gallery. We need to break out of that.
Oct 25 night.
No sales today until about 6:30, holy cow. And then the most surprisng thing of all went: The Japanese bamboo hatchet. The fellow had runaway bamboo….and a regular hatchet doesn’t work. A machete is too big and unwieldy. The machatchet is perfect, works on my oleander and olive tree, too.
We put signs up outside and inside, explaining about our history and business. Some people read them. Sales today, about $139. Tomorrow’s ouir first Saturday. Man, I hope we bring in at least $700. We need to advertise. No budget for that, but we’re unknown here on Main, so gotta do something..
I’m glad we’re doing well with books. People recognize them, especially the children’s books, and I guess are buying them for their own children. Yep—-really want a good Saturday, then Sunday…
Sat Oct 26 Day
It’s 5:30 and I’ll go in at 6 till closing…I wonder how we’re doing today. At least 500, I hope. For a Saturday, good grief, we should do at least that…and I hope lots of visits. The visits have to count, even if nothing sold. It’s a good location, and when everybody knows it’s here, we’ll survive. We don’t have to thrive, just getting by will be fine. It’ll be good to have Dave back. He says he has ideas, and will make a small website.
OK, going in now. It’s a weekend, so we all have to spiff up a little.
Sat OCT 26 10pm
A few walk-ins this evening, but sales only $313. Still, people learning we’re here. That has to be good, right?
We just got in The Circle (new Dave Eggers book).
Sun Oct 27
Wow—an $88 day. Will and Vince were there mostly, but I put in 4 hours, including the last three. Nobody came by at night. The other stores are closed, just some bars open…
I think we need a photo on the easel out front. I’m working on a “buya guya hatchet” thing that…drives home the normalcy and importance of hatchets. We’ll put one in Diablo mag, which has 80 percent women readership. Then we’ll put them up around the stores, and …we’ll get it together. Dave has ideas. We’ll do events. Mary can read to children; Keven can lead rides on weekends?
We don’t need two people there during the day. Two’s almost scarier for customers, I bet. But—one of the points was to get P/T to Full-Time.
Charlotte’s Web and The Circle went on the shelves today.
Dan has a good idea for the hatchet display.
And here’s an ad we might run:
I had to stretch the lad to fill the space, but I can’t run it like that, so maybe lad’s dad has an uncropped version that’ll work.
Now that BBH has been open a week, I don’t need to be there every day. I want to get a feel for how it is, and live there some so I can see what we need that I can supply…but I have a handle on that.
———— Tuesday 7:30… our seventh day. Sales so far, $270. Harry bought a book, though. We’re here throwing monkeys fists into a small garbage can. Not much traffic, but this dad-and-son came by:
Ferdinand the Bull.
—— The PLAN was to not do mail order, just have a tiny tidy store. We might have to reach out a bit more. We’ll see how it is after a month. We can ship out of here, of course. We’ll see how it all goes. I always used to walk downtown and wonder how it was to be a streetfront retailer and not be able to reach out, just to sit back passively and watch people walk by (or not walk by), and now I’m learning. It ain’t great. We’ll get more well-known with time, we tell ourselves. It can’t NOT work that way. The events, they’ll help.
The phone number is 925 937 7224 (WE R RBBH), and nobody knows it yet, so not one actual customer call so far, on our 1972 Westinghouse telephone. Which is right here:
That’s the phone. A hundred dollars online, works with modern stuff, and should last, the guy said, for like…thirty years. OK!
Mon OCT 28
It was slow, but not as bad as yesterday, and ended up good.. We were at $297 five minutes before closing, and two guys walked in—one late 30s. one about fifty, and I said, “We’re three dollars short of $300 for the day, can you buy a tub of beeswax?” They looked at the bikes, drifted to the hatchets, and bought a Sven Saw and a nice hatchet, and we ended at $472…but mainly it was a huge emotional upturn. I’m so glad.
Post by Dave (autoposted, actually on vacation till Nov. 5)
Old posters for sale
Rivendell has an attic. I was up there looking for paper napkins and more specifically a fork when I found this old Rockmount steel sign
We used to sell Rockmount shirts, I wear them all the time. They don’t intend you to throw them in the laundry with everything else, because they shrink. All of mine shrunk. Size up. Made in Denver since 1946. Buy them, but not from us anymore.
Here’s a lower head lug with threaded cable stops. Not ours.
Nitto stainless rod brake bars.
NITTO. NITTO. NITTO.
And some Fujis. None of that stuff is for sale. But wait!
What’s that hiding behind 60 raw pounds of “The Primal Blueprint” by Mark Sisson?
Count ‘em forty thick old Bridgestone posters. Big ones too. Three feet up & down by two feet horizontal.
"A man in a passion rides a mad horse." -Ben Franklin. It says this nowhere on the poster, just thought of it.
Not quite half as tall as Kevvy Kowlick and twice as wide. Keven is wearing our not-many-left WoolyWarm vest.
We’ve seen these selling on eBay for $80. Yours for $60 plus shipping. You might as well include some other posters and combo the tube. That way you’ll (maybe) qualify for our October $80 free shipping deal.
Consider them “collectibles” and maybe even an insider bro-deal. They are pristine, but sold as-is. Framing this big boy will set you back mucho, but don’t hesitate to thumbtack it. No we don’t have “the other one with the horses.” Really. Just this one with the sheep. Limited quantity.
Grant here now, and here’s what’s going on in Rivendell-America (Dave is not in America right now).
In two hours and ten minutes Riv Bike Book and Hatchet (BBH from now on) opens, and it’s not quite ready. We’ll make it work fine—it’s nearly read, but not quite. It’s a “wholly owned separate entitity” kind of thing, and so far, no shipping. It’s just a downtown store. The only things it has that RBW doesn’t is a few more hatchets and lots more stumps; and it’s a downtowny-tidy place.
The point of it—-as all RIV-emps know—-is to help our cash flow, which is always tenuous, with three or four super dreadful times during the year. If we can sell $1100 of stuff a day there, it may work for us. In the meantime, it’s a wild experiment. People have stopped by as we’re working, we invite them in, and they say perfectly normal predicatable things like , “What’s with the hatchets?” And yesterday a guy came in and immediately thought we restored old bikes to newlike perfection, and thought we could do a good job (and would love to try) on his beloved old Nishiki.
In that way it’s so diff than where we are now, when—everybody who comes by tried to find us and knew our deal before they got here. Let’s see how it goes, but if you’re local, stop by„,and if you’re an outa towner, stop by, too. Street parking is horrible, but there are lots, and if you can find Arryoyo just east of the south end of Target, park on that and walk seven minutes and you’ll be there, at 1601 North Main, just north of Radio Shack and next to a barber shop.
Final note: In today’s online NYT, in a column titled Room For Debate, there’s a thing I wrote about bike rights in city traffic.
I’m sure I didn’t consider downtown small town Kansas in it, but it was supposed to be geared for hustly bustly cities, and…yep, that’s about how I feel, although I am not going to fight tooth and nail for it in all my spare time. But still, it would be nice… Grant
Every now and then we are victims of ourselves and delivery…things don’t show up on time, then when they do show up, the bill is due the same day or week as another big one, or two, or three…and that’s when life sucks, that’s when none of the products or projects even seems worth it. Cash flow rules our life. We’ll get over this, but sheesh. Buy futures. Buy something. Shop early for Christmas. Pay off a bike you owe on. Something?
The new store is coming along, but has, you know, not exactly cost nothing. We haven’t gone big and stupid on anything. Nothing extravagant. It’ll look good, but—-it’s pretty basic. Tree branches from my back yard. Plywood, not solid wood fixtures. A used phone, no new computer—we’re going with the square and an iPad.
Stocking it with inventory is the worst of it, and that’s not so bad, since we have the bikes, and the hatches aren’t that many. The books are expensive, but there aren’t that many titles, and we’re well stocked and deeply with the books we want. Don’t suggest any more. Now’s not time.
Some neat bike projects are in the works. We’ll have a new mixte sometime.
New store opens maybe Tues. Some guys are down there now, a-spiffing.
Free shipping deal
Most orders over $80 ship free till the end of October
We are loading up on stuff for the holidays and still have certain items from last year we want to clear out. The usual exceptions apply. Only deliveries in USA, nothing rim-sized or larger (wheels, frames, bikes, duh). Just add $80 worth of in-stock stuff to your order and be sure to select “Free Shipping” at the dropdown during checkout. Or phone it in. 925-933-7304
This means most handlebars ship free (among other things), including the new Albastache and Bosco bars. Albastaches are the new go-to Roadeo bar for anyone who never uses the drops, wants approximately but just a tad less reach to the hoods than a Noodle and the extra ‘upright’ bonus section. Check ‘em here.
No coupon required, just add $80 worth o’ stuff, select the free shipping option and you’re golden.
Hey there, a new MUSA garment:
Here’s Jared modeling the new MUSA Mock-neck 100% Merino wool top.
Yep, it’s sage green, just like the last two new MUSA items. See how this works? We get many large rolls of the best fabric, stamp out a few styles and then move on to the next color. This is just about it for sage. If you like sage we have short sleeve, long sleeve and now mock neck. Lots of other tops at that link too.
The sometimes-controversial MUSA butt label is easily and discreetly removed if you must. Use a sharp tipped pocket knife or scissors. But if you like flying the old red-white-&-blue for every cyclist and driver in your wake, leave it.
Loose mock-neck. No scratchy. Perfect underlayer. The creases were from the packaging.
At $73, it might seem expensive for a top (in this day & age not really), but you probably don’t wear much Merino wool if seems it so. Major unnameable brands sell lesser wool tops for $150. Ours is 100% merino and the lightest, softest we could get without being so thin fingernails rip them up. No synthetic blends at all but still stretchy from the weave. And they are made right here in Oakland by Americans of Chinese, Boer, Saxon & Scandinavian decent. So how do we do it? We’d like to say that like our bikes and Japanese parts we only buy and sell direct, but in MUSA clothing’s case there is a giant middleman involved (Rivendell Bicycle Works) but we don’t pay him. All the design work, sampling, communications, stocking, warehousing, back and forth…. we don’t charge you for that. So don’t think of it as “sheesh, I just spent $73 on a shirt,” instead think “geez, I just got to spend only $73 for a wool shirt I can wear daily and proudly proclaim: ‘made in USA! By Rivendell & their friends.’”
These are great tops, not too many in stock and the last big run of anything sage. Returns and exchanges are easy too, there’s a form in the box.
For Sale: Jenny’s 59cm A. Homer Hilsen city scorcher. Saddle is set high so we don’t scratch the post. With 85cm or so PBH it’ll be lower.
The lastest in the Bike of the Month series. Shipper Jenny Klug’s turn. It’s a great setup for city riding thanks to the deep-V Chukker rims and chubby Little Big Ben tires. While not pot-hole proof, this is certainly the first choice for rough commutes. Don’t skimp on your rims, because rims aren’t cheap, & unless you build them yourself, you’ll pay a lot for labor on a new wheel too. Upright bars (not ones we stock, but Nitto and perfectly good, Jenny’s favorite). Jenny left this build rackless so we’ll let you pick the racks, & for now it’s just as shown. If you have a PBH of around 85cm and about $3800 to burn, grab it. It is ready to ship. A super bike and a few hundred bucks off the retail price: discounted plus we forgot to invoice the headset, bottom bracket and bell. Your gain!
Only one like it, no dupes. If you want one just like it, it would be around $4100 after this one sells.
Posted by: Grant (Dave does some, too, and whenever he does people think I did it, and I get comments meant for him, so from now on the posts will start this way.)
It’s bad practice to post a picture of a broken thing when the thing itself wasn’t to blame, because all people tend to remember is the broken thing, not the explanation. Pictures are like that, but here:
It’s our beloved Sugino XD-2 crank, but before you totally misread this, let’s account for the dark and light. The dark has been broken longer. It’s the fatigued, slow-creeping failure zone, and is dark because it’s been oxidized, or whatever happens to aluminum. It’s been exposed to the elements and got grungy. THen when it broke halfway thru, the slow creep stopped and it just ripped in half. But how and why?
Here’s the outer crank showing super severe wear marks caused by who knows what kind of shoes, but don’t wear ‘em. The grooves were as bad at the break-place, and maybe there was a notch or gouge there, too, that lead to all this. Anyway….he didn’t get hurt, he got a deal on a new arm or crank or something—Keven I think took care of it—and we got a chunk of a Blug post out of it.
Fedners. Snefdes. We don’t call them mudguards here in Walnut Creek, but we do have a good story for you. Kick back and relax with a Zevia Creme Soda, and here we go:
Customer-friend-muscian Dominic East was on the horn last week and this isn’t what he called about, but in passing he mentioned that he had a fender mishap on his Sam Hillborne. He was just riding along and the rear tire dragged something in between itself and the fender. If this happens on the front and the fender doesn’t have a quick-release, the wheel stops instantly, and you flip over and maybe the downtube buckles and the fork bends. It’s hard to say, but those are common injuries when the front gets jammed.
In this case it was the rear wheel, though, and there is no quick-release because if the rear wheel stops, you just skid, and presumably keep some composure and deal with it. If the fender’s metal, you wreck the fender and get a new one. Dominic’s fender was an SKS plastic Longboard, and this happened:
Isn’t that fantastic? The metal thing above it is a saddlebag loop-supporter we used to sell until people kept not being able to mount it even though we supplied instructions, but that’s another issue. Look at that picture. It’s so neat that he had camera there. Way to go, Dominic !
In Dominic’s own words:
If it hadn’t hit the underside of the saddle bag and pushed down on the rear tire, I’m not sure it would have slowed me down much at all. As it was, I jumped off, unfolded the concertina, bent the fender stays back into something like their original shape and carried on down the hill. Plastic!!!
BIKE BOOK & HATCHET progress: A quick, scroll-fast photo essay:
Up comes the old carpet. Jorge.
Augustine cutting the floorboards. See the dot on the far wall?
It’s a redwood round. We have redwoods in california. The wood doesn’t rot and it’s really hard to burn. This one had to get cut down for some other reasons. Disease… It will be used for a lug-toss thing. Ideally it would be a hatchet target, and that WAS the plan, but the landperson’s insurance nixed it. It’s 31-inches wide.
We’re getting faux-bamboo floors.
The CFO painting the employee lounge and bike storage.
Pro painter Susan on the walls.
Unrelated, but this is the only camera alive that I want (and don’t have). I saw it today in Camera West here in town. Oomph!
We continue to get these IGH questions regularly, so it’s a good time to repost this nugget from the old site:
February 18, 2010
Long letter and answer about internal gears and so on.NOW, with more FOLLOW-UP at the end..
(Part of our new “nearly a new posting every day here” program)
Nick W. wrote: My perspective on bicycle riding is as a commuter (13 mile round trip every day) and errands. I own several cars but almost never use them just by myself. Im 55 and just average fitness. Id like to take overnight trips and even travel by bike, but Ive never actually done that. I dont know anybody who is interested in bicycles as transportation; every cyclist I know is either a gung ho mountain biker or roadie wannabee. No sweat, but that means Ive had to figure out bicycle setup and gear without the advice of more experienced cyclists. What Ive settled on is that I want an upright riding position with a wide sprung saddle and pull back handle bars. I want an internally geared rear hub, a dynamo front hub, fenders, chain guard, kickstand, rear luggage rack, front basket. All of these set up decisions are based on having a comfortable bike with low maintenance and not being concerned with weight or speed.
It seems that you also have these same concerns and set up desires but theyve lead you to a bike with drop bars, narrower seat, and front & rear derailleurs. So my question is why derailleurs and drop bars? Isnt a 7, 8, or 14 speed rear hub a lot easier, simpler to use with a lot less maintenance and adjustment? Isnt an upright riding position with pull back handle bars instead of drops a lot more comfortable? Does the difference have to do with length of trip? I thought that maybe the upright position is more comfortable for trips under 10 miles and less comfortable for trips that are 2 or 3 or 10 times that distance? What about speed? Does your preferred setup make a little comfort compromise for the sake of better speed? Maybe the answer is simply personal preference but it seems to me that you know more about this than I do and have design basis reasons that arent just personal preference. Another way to put this is that Id like to understand reasons for preferring a certain setup based on practicality and not on fashion or market force. Fashion might be a reasonable concern but its not my concern.
My second question is maybe simpler. Have you considered selling a bike with an internal geared rear hub? If you did would it have to have a chain tensioner or could you have adjustable rear drop outs or adjustable bottom bracket? Have you considered a bike with a drive shaft or belt drive instead of a chain?
Like I say, I dont have anyone to discuss these ideas with so if you or Peter White or Sheldon Brown (rip) dont write about them then Im not sure what to think.
Sincerely, Nick W.
So I answered: Hi Nick, My tandem and Atlantis have Albatross bars. If I had to pick one bar forever it would be that bar. Plus, we’ve promoted upright sweepy bars more than most expensive bike places, and so—-I think you’ve read some of our site etc, but maybe not enough and not that part. It’s OK, there’s a lot to dig through. Your experience with local riders is pretty normal. The average Joe bike guy is head to toe spandex and rides in race costumes, believing that he’s going faster, or that without it his crotch would be scraped raw, or that he’d go slow without the shoes. It’s not easy to get out of that, and many never do, but they may enjoy the ritualistic dress and all that goes with it. The functional arguments aren’t there, though.
About riding position, I’d say it goes about like this: A bar with a rise and a sweep-back (like the Albatross) can make up for a bike that’s too small or long or for any combo of reasons makes you lean too much with drop bars, or flat bars on long, stretchy mountain bikes. BUT, and this is a big thing here, there is nothing inherently uncomfortable about drop bars. The shape is smart, and offers lots of hand positions.
The key is to get the bars high enough (in the comfort zone), and close enough. Not right in front of your ribs or anything, but certainly high enough to take weight off your hands and to not require an uncomfortable lean. Most bikes have the bars too low, and they cant get higher because the steer tubes are cut short, the stems are the clamp-on kind. You can get a steep rising angle, but that looks atrocious and it’s usually not enough, anyway.
The big deal with our bikes, and the way we fit any bike, is that we get the drop bars well up into the comfort zone, so you can take advantage of the lotsa-hand-positions. Bar position, not shape, is the big deal.
Internal gears, etc. We get this question or some variation of it many times a year. Eight or so. Sometimes, I’m not saying now, with you, but sometimes it’s more of an accusation than a question—-like, if you guys don’t talk about and sell bikes with Rohloff hubs or Sturmey-Archer gears, then you must be against them. How come you hate them so much? We don’t hate them so much. We’re a small company with limited resources and a website that sometimes gives a different impression. We just can’t do everything, and so we focus on what we know best, and everybody here grew up with derailers and is comfortable with them.
The innards of a Rohloff or SA hub—-or Shimano, for that matter—-amaze and befuddle me. I understand how they work, with the planetary gears and all, and I know for a scientific fact that the designers are about ten times smarter than I am. How did they come up with it? For some riding and some riders they’re the way to go. (That’s why we haven’t campaigned against them!) Internal gears were developed for —- well, one could say “all weather riding,” but I’d say something along the lines of “crappy weather riding, and/or for riders who refuse to do any maintenance whatsoever.” If I were riding my bike to the Birmingham coal mines every day and I got home too bushed to brush my teeth, I’d go for an internal gear and hope the gear-chain dealybob didn’t slip and leave me spinning air. I think—-not for all, but for sure for some riders, there’s romance in their history of utilitarianism, and how they’re so un-racy.
But it’s a rare morning for most Americans when the challenge is a sleety ride though a mucky peat bog. A typical bad weather ride is a commute on wet streets, or a ride on a muddy trail. I’d take external gears for that, any day, even if I were the only one, and here’s why.
If I get a flat or have any mechanical difficulty in bad weather, I want to be able to diagnose the problem instantly, and the black box of internal gears doesn’t let me do that. A fully enclose chain case (often touted as the way to go in bad weather) makes fixing a flat a pain in the neck. No matter how stout the tires, IF you get a flat, you’re screwed. I don’t buy the argument that exposed everything leads to more problems. I’ve ridden in too much muck to swallow that, and cyclo-cross racers do it for a living, with external gears. Some riders—and I know Sheldon was one of them—-understood internals completely, and could or can overhaul them with their hands tied behind their back, but I’m not one of them, and nobody who works here is. But we do ride our bikes all year long in challenging and crappy conditions, and now and then a half-chainring guard shows up on one of the bikes around here, but for the most part, everything’s external, so the rare problem can be found and fixed fast. BUT, internal gears have been around for more than a hundred years, and they’ll be here long after I’m not. It all comes down to me and everybody else here at Rivendell dealing with what we know, and we know external gears more. We have NOT ruled out an internal bike forever, but for now, it’s not in the works. We arent up to speed on them. Belt drives are fine, but I’m not into them, and replacing the belt requires a removable seat-stay. Again, it’s good for some things, theres tons of room for lots of different and good kinds of bikes, but for the most part, I think belt drives are an overreaction to getting a grease mark. Shaft-drives—-way over my head. I hear they’re even less efficient than internal gears, though. And you’re limited to one speed, aren’t you? G
Now, two emails rec’d from readers…
Dear Grant, Enjoyed your response to Nick W.s letter re. internally geared hubs. I live in Germany where these things are everywhere and thought Id chime in. Youre right on about the no maintenance part. SRAM 7 and 8 speed hubs are defacto on most commute bikes here, but its important to emphasize most Germans ride and treat their bikes differently than folks in the States. People will buy a bike, ride it to work/school/errands every day, keep air in the tires and squirt oil at something if it squeaks. Thats it. I have plenty of friends who, after two or three years of this, start complaining of funny shifts or weird braking action (most of these things do have a coaster brake), cant fix it because theyre too complicated, then ride the hub into the ground and replace the rear wheel. Youre right about being screwed if you have a flat, though for most people in town its not an issue as the next bike shop is maybe 500m away. Over the years (I moved here from the Bay Area in 2003), Ive come to doubt the long-term reliability of internal gears. You can have no maintenance or you can have all-weather, but unless youre riding something like Phils you cant really have both. The no maintenance part appeals to people, but in reality the weather eats them, then they break, cant be repaired and are thrown away. Theyre cheap enough that people deal with it, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Rohloff solved the reliability problem, but they cost a mint and you never see them in the city because bike theft is out of sight. (You see them in the woods though, always mountain bikes, always spandex). Derailleurs represent long-term reliability and serviceability, internal gears are just another thing you toss out when it breaks. It would be great to see someone other than Rohloff make one thats reliable and not priced through the roof. I live in Cologne where the city and surrounding area are mostly flat, in the meantime I do okay on a fixed gear with moustache bars and Schwabel Marathon Supremes. Karneval ended two days ago and the streets are still covered in glass, no flats yet though Im still keeping my fingers crossed. My best regards to you and Rivendell, Owen in Germany ——- Hi Grant —
I’d add a few thoughts to your comments about internally-geared hubs, based on my experiences working in a shop:
1. I am proud of knowing how to overhaul a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub. I am proud that we insist on requiring all of our apprentice mechanics to learn how as well. However, it has been at least FIVE years since I was last asked to overhaul one for a customer. The fact is that far fewer of these bikes are on the roads now, at least in the US, and those that remain are either junked beyond repair or already up and running.
2. The “new” S-A hubs (re-designed and updated for the European market) take almost all the same parts as the “old” ones, but not exactly/entirely. There are a few subtle differences and if you don’t know which is which you can really louse it up. At this point, we only stock parts for, and service, the “old” S-A hubs. We are sitting on a small mountain of parts for the “old” S-A hubs and try to source more when and where we can. We do this because we’re still known as “the three-speed folks” here in Portland, and other shops still send three-speed jobs to us. But those jobs are showing up far less often. The time may come when bikes with original S-A hubs may well go the way of the Boneshaker — they’ll become relics; and when I’m in my eighties (G-d willing) and see one parked outside a cafe I’ll go all misty-eyed and nostalgic.
3. I own four bikes. None of them has an IG hub. After helping other folks with their bicycle issues all day, the last thing I want to do at home is deal with mine. So when I HAVE to deal with my bikes I want it to be as straightforward as possible. I live in a rainy place and even I don’t want to deal with IG hubs. That right there probably says something.
Thanks for the blog posts. Happy riding —Beth
slack off & buff up (formerly don’t ride toooooo much)
Calling not all hatchets, but maybe ten or so, and only oldiish ones with a history, the kind you'd have to be nuts to send us, but we do want them.
They’re for a display in our new store. Opens Oct 1 or thenabouts. The ideal hatchet is:
• a family heirloom you’ll get in trouble for sending to us; or at least
• is more than 20 years old. The older the better. But if neither an heirloom not and oldie, at least, for the love of dog..
• nice looking. And clearly used. I needn’t be all wood, it needn’t be super high quality. We mainly don’t want something we could pick up at the hardware store today that is made in China, or otherwise available for less than $25.
And if you actually do send us a hatchet—-and it makes the cut (seriously, if it is two years old and was made in China—-where, no doubt they make some fine hatchets—-but nevertheless, we don’t want it)————if you SEND us one, send us also maybe fifty words of its history, your name and age and town—- for instance:
I got this in 1962 when I was in the Scouts. All I ever did with it was spit firewood. I lost it once, found it again, and now I live in a city and there’s no wood to chop. — Arthur Hooligan, 59, Irvine, NY
If you do this before Sept 27, we’ll give you a store credit for $40. It’s kind of like buying your lousy (or good) hatchet for $40. If you’re really attached, don’t do it. If you’ve got a few, send us the worsty and tell some lies about it, and all will be well.
I am donating my boy scout axe and my dad’s axe, both of which has chopped the heads off of several hundred pheasants, ducks, quail, doves, and a few geese, as well as made a lot of firewood.
A long one, only if you only have the time, and nothing else
I’m not going to drag this on except maybe just this little last one more time—the Oxford comma issue. My booky editor and many others call it the serial comma, because it deals with things in a series. It’s all the same. It’s not like I’M going to contribute anything that hasn’t been said before and better, and no matter what it’s going to be a divided camp. Probably not 50-50, but closer to 55-45, and a success here would mean shifting it to 52-48…and little victories are fine, but it’s not like I live for them.
Here’s a column I enjoyed because of the subject matter, but was unswayed by:
The Winston Churchhill blood-toil quote—-it shamefully took me three readings to see it, and when I did I instantly preferrred the OC version. Why lump together tears and sweat? Just because they’re both clearish body liquids? It doesn’t make as much sense. Is the author saying it’s not as powerful with the OC?
I’m wondering probably what many of you are: Is this the ORIGIN of the name of the old music group? How does the group deal with the OC?——not that that should have any impact. Here’s the answer to both of those questions. Here are the answers to both questions? There are two answers, so the latter must be right. Does it need “of” ? I am not a grammarian. I’m interested in it, I have books, and I read them now and then, and imagine a time when I’d have more time to read them, but when that time comes it’ll be too late.
When you read the first line and see that the group is also known as “BS&T” — it could be read—I mean, if you didn’t know, as Bullsh*t & Tears, which just reinforces the importance of commas, but I know abbreviations follow their own rules, and poems and songs don’t follow any.
When we finally open Rivendell Bike, Book, and Hatchet, I will go comma-free.
Here’s a funny thing. Knives. If you hang out here or on the site you may know that we now offer Opinel knives. I mentioned around here that some kind of cheap but not gross pocket knife might make a good companion to our hatchets, and after all, we don’t have the old Swiss Army Soldier model we sold for a few years. It’s now like a $45 knife, and maybe that’s just life these days, but it seems too close to half a hundred….for a Swiss Army Knife. I was raised on Case, Schrade, and Buck—none now is a boutique brand, but my dad wasn’t into the red plastic handles and all the gee-gaws, so I grew up think of Swiss Army knives as for people who liked red tricks and trinkets. I wasn’t indoctrinated that way, and I don’t feel that way now, but I was more of a knife snob then. The SA soldier is a great little knife. I always have one with me and I use it many times a year for some bike-related thing, in addition to normal cutting. The tiny screwdriver, the reamer, the—whatever, it’s there and useful. But still, $45. So I wanted something cheaper but respectable, and Opinel seemed perfect, so I mentioned it.
Seven or so weeks ago somebody here said Velo Orange sells them or mentioned them — something… and I said. “Oh.” But then two people here looked and saw no evidence of VO having the knives, so…door seemed opin, and we got them, and THEN I found out VO does sell them.
Now, I want to to clear about this, because a twister can twist this all up and get it wrong. Velo Orange’s carrying them doesn’t make the knives less — personally attractive or anything. But I don’t want to copy them, and here’s the part that I want to make super clear. Not wanting to copy can be taking two ways. I mean it the NICE way. If VO is cool (and they are) for selling the Opie knife, then — I want them to own that, at least in the bike world. They should be able to. I feel like we horned in, but it was not only unintentional, but we made a conscious effort to avoid doing that. And then this.
So maybe we’ll get the Swissy knife back after all, and the price is what it is. There’s a good cheap Swedish knife, too. Mora.
"Only" is another word with problems, but it’s all about placement. Again, let me say this may not matter, but it’s interesting if you’re interested in language.
Here’s a sentence:
I like fried fish. Now add “only in different places:
Only I like fried fish. Everybody else gags? How do you know?
I only like fried fish. Strictly, this must mean: All I do in my life is sit around liking fried fish. But it could be interpreted as: (1) Fried…is the only way I like my fish. or (2) I like fried fish, sure, but I wouldn’t exactly say I love them.
I like only fried fish. This could mean: (1) Branch out, fella! Try grilled sometime. (2) Just plopped in the pan and fried. OK. No butter, salt, pepper, lemon. Fried and nothing more. So shall it be.
I’m the one only who likes fried fish. Nobody would say this, but it is the next step in the sequence. It must mean something, but it’s hard to say what.
I’m the one who only likes fried fish. That sums up your life? You don’t do anything except sit around liking fried fish? You don’t watch television or walk the dog..you only like fried fish? (THis point would be better made if you sub “to knit” for “fried fish.” I’m the one who only likes to knit. <—-it if ain’t knittin’, I ain’t interested.
I’m the one who likes only fried fish. Branch out, bub! You’d probably like it grilled, too.
I’m the one who likes fried only fish. <—another way nobody’d ever say.
While I was off or away I forget for a few days, Mark reassembled my old custom (with few miles on it, because it’s roadish and limited to a 35mm tire, and no fenders at that) with Albastache bars, which of course I’ve ridden already, but it’s so nice to have a bike with them. I don’t THINK that future Roadeo customers, or road bike riders in gen’l, will convert 90 percent to Albastache from drops….but I would dare them to try them and not wish for them if it took only an eyeblink to make the switch. Mount the ends of the brake levers so they’re near the outer edge of the bars. Slightly in is OK, whatever—always try before taping. Here’s my bike:
It’s well-known in here but maybe not out there that we’re going to open a small retail store downtown (Walnut Creek). Opening day is in early October, shooting for October 1, but we may not make it. What kind of attitude is that? Well, we are us and we know we and there’s lots of stuff to do and we don’t have access yet. Here is a proto-button for the new place:
But we’re adding colors, I think. I told the maker to add this color and that, haven’t heard back, and it’s been a month. I need to follow up.
The $$$$$$$$$$ rainy day jacket we’re finally going to do after five years of thinking and three of talking about it…will have a snap at the cuff, and we got these snaps from Sweden:
——- In other not-yet-news: • Mark’s working on a crank. Some people, a surprising number, don’t trust the Sugino XD because it doesn’t cost enough, so we’re starting from scratch and making a more expensive one. YES, the higher price will be justified. You WILL get something for it. But the Sugino, hooboy, is such a killer crank. As of this time right now on this planet I’d say it is as reliable as any crank, as beautiful as a crank needs to be, and it has earned our confidence 1000 percent. But still———vanity, age, and fiscal irresponsibility have merged and got us going on a newer one, a SILVER brand, and within a year we’ll have them.
• A cheaplight good windy anorak, MUSA of course. By December 24, and with some luck three weeks earlier.
• The tongues on the Sackville Saddlesacks will come in colors now. Diff fabric just for the tongues, a running change. This fabric-that’s-new is not a cost-cutting measure, but a practical one, and I’ve liked for a long time the idea of a cheery contrasty flap-tongue. We have lots of the current stock.
• Some of you are low-carbing it; this we know, and if you’re one of those AND you like chocolate, look into Lilly’s. Erythritol is not bad stuff—google it before condeming it—and Stevia, well, hey. JS, as they say. Not forcing it, but if you’re there at the choco-bar counter looking longlngly and wishing—-snag a Lilly’s. Check out the sugars. That’s all. You’re still better off eating 100 percent, but honestly, it’s not that easy.
• Three MUSA things coming by Nov 25:
—the $$$$$$ rainy jacket
— the $ anorak — a gray chambray. It’s darkISH grey. The chambray shirts have been so popular, but if you already have a blue one you probably won’t be buying another, so we got this grey one.
Is it weird of me to scoff and hate “tyres” and still spell catalogue that way? I picked it up from ancient ones decades ago and have never in the last twenty-seven years spelled it without the UE at the end, and I’m thinking that’s just dumb. I’m in the kind of trap I dislike. Nobody cares, and I don’t, and it’s not like respectful of anything. My fingers automatically type it, though. Forget it. Our catalog is coming out in a month, we hear.
Here’s a printout as it is now. The final won’t be complete because things are always changing…somethings, anyway—-and it will have that annoying feature of having a separate price list, but we’re making it as little annoying as possible. We’re not J. Crew here, so we can’t do a catalogue every month, and so the separate price list will allow us to save tons of $$$$ on printing, and that, you know, benefits you as well.
Note: If you came here from the email update, our info about bikes on the new Bay Bridge was wrong. Correct info here. Thanks customer Mark for pointing that out.
To make room for a new shipment of MUSA knickers, for the month of September all Musa knickers are 30% off. We’re down to a pretty limited selection so to save you some headache on the site, here’s what we have left by size
Xtra Small: Black, Olive
Medium: Black, Olive
Large: Black, Olive, Grey
XLarge: Black, Olive, Grey, Butternut, Chocolate
More black are on order. Last chance for a while on the other colors. Inventory updated today so if an above option is not able to add to cart, it just sold out.
Use coupon code
for 30% off knickers till the end of September. While supplies last.
for $9 off the regular $24 price of these fine Japanese rings. Only the 32ers though. Fifteen bucks is a steal, stock up.
And finally, it’s a handlebar, a quill & two stems in one, the MTB handlebar of choice, the Nitto Bullmoose Bar on sale this month for 15% off with code.
Just look at all dem braze points so nicely executed.
As always with coupons, add the items to the cart, type in your codes as shown. Tax and shipping apply…
All coupons expire September 30th.
We have a new shipping option called SurePost. Basically UPS takes the box from here and drops it at your local post office for final delivery. Totally trackable, you’ll be sent the number still, might take another day or two in transit but it saves you a few bux and gives the ol’ US Postal Service some more business.
Our $150+ free shipping deal still goes UPS Ground.
The Luxos might have a better bigger beam pattern some might argue too big and bright, but Schmidt’s first LED licht EDeluxe is on a different level of sophistication and is still darned bright and has a good-citizen pattern that doesn’t blind traffic. So many customers ordered them for builds we stock them now.
The housing, switch, and glass lens are superior to any. The handsome polished bullet shape made it an instant classic. Luxos lacks in this regard, resembling a robotic eye:
You can remove that reflector, another German regulation requires that the light must be a reflector too when it breaks. It pops right off.
But like most dyno lights it’s made primarily to mount on the fork crown for German-market dutchy cruiser bikes and lots of our bikes have front racks. They have adaptors, but usually for the handlebars.
Here’s a Luxos again mounted German style in the sidepull sandwich of a Sam Hillborne. This is a 48cm size, discontinued. We only have a few left (hint hint…)
One bolt, one nut attachment (don’t come with the light, on your own there). Why not just flip the other one upside down? Because the Schmidt has an asymmetrical beam pattern with a cutoff on the top (for other road users) optimized just-so in it’s right-side-up config that mounting it upside-down is akin to flipping your guitar over and playing it left handed without reversing the strings. Yeah you can play it but it’s gonna come out all wrong. The housing is upside down, but the reflector is right-side up. Get it?
See how well thought out that reflector in there is? And the cutoff beam on top too? The light would go directly into oncoming road users’ eyes if you put it upside down and the cutoff would not illuminate the road. Worthless. Plus like most lights it is designed to be waterproof on top, drain on bottom. We have these in stock.
You can’t use them on a Mark’s rack without modification (because they don’t have the threaded light tabs), but Mark himself has worked this out by cutting up some scrap metal, bending it and mounting it on the front tab.
We’ll keep you updated as the Mark’s Rack light mount project develops.
Customer Leslie reminded us you can always use the fork-crown mounts that come with many dyno lights to mount a light in front of the basket or bag on the front tab of the Mark’s rack. Here’s his photo to prove it. He used a canti mount.
I accidentally put the wrong kind of rim tape on a wheelset recently and had to pull off this perfectly good roll of Newabaums Made in the USA rim tape (ignore the photos there, this is the new rim tape we carry). I needed a new layer on my handlebars, it works fine.
Looks like it just left the ER. They don’t let me tape customer bikes.
We have in stock a factory special run of Betty Foys in a great new color. We are offering them up as complete builds only, as shown above. This one is a 50cm.
UPDATE: Only four 47cms, two 50cms and three 55cms left (as of 11:30 Tuesday). No more 60cms.
It’s hard to beat this build kit package for a city bike. Bullet proof tires, pothole proof rims wide enough to seat them properly, upright bars for good visibility on the street, smooth-as-butter drivetrain and shifting with a good gear range. To be exact: crank is 46x36x24; cassette is 9 speed ranging from 11-32 …calculating… that makes 27 speeds!
I remember when “24 Speed” was a big deal. I was nine. Didn’t matter if the bike was junk or even fit, it was an arms race with my friends for most gears. I got a red Giant Rincon for my tenth birthday and that was that, 24 speed! Take that 18! Moving up from one, that was huge. Must have rode 5000 loops around Belle Arbor Circle in Titusville* Florida with my friend Micah and his BB gun hunting snakes and running away from his little brother Caleb. See all those lakes there? Full of alligators! Many fewer houses back then. My dad would send us with a milk crate on the back rack to harvest grapefruits from the nearby golf course trees and sell him the golf balls we found in the bushes for 25 cents a piece. The Giant was stolen when I brought it to college in Berkeley, parked overnight right outside the police station. Didn’t have renters insurance then, do now!
Back to the Betty:
This build is topped off with nice cream fenders that skirt lower than normal in the front to keep your fancy work shoes dry of city puddle water. City bikes take serious abuse, get a tough one with tough tires, rims and fenders.
So we’re selling them complete, ideally just like this but if you want to customize this or that, we’re flexible.
Betty Foy Headbadge, red hearts.
Sidepull brakes are simple and effective, easy to adjust on the fly. Set up superbly by our crack mechanic team. Easy to replace the pads too after rainy season.
Did I mention this is a limited color run? It’s not that far off the standard Betty color, but it’s lighter, more subtle, a little greener and has cream decals instead of gold. You see the standard Betty blue in the background there.
Here’s another try at showing the color diffs. See? Cream decals instead of gold, same ‘ol red hearts & dots.
Grant has been calling it Sage green, still the working title, the boxes are marked thusly but ask five people here and you’ll get two greens and three blues, so I call it blue sage. But when you order ask for sage. The closest color match in the PPG color book is under the “Soft & Subtle Colors” section: #17712 “Sugar Blue” for the record
As shown $2618. Tax and shipping when applicable. Only a few exist. Call us 800 345 3918. Talk to Keven, or anyone if he’s on the other line.
*Titusville used to be called Sand Point, then Confederate Captain Clark Rice came along and named it Riceville, but lost a game of dominos to Colonel Henry T. Titus in 1873 and thus became known as Titusville. It’s right across the bay from Cape Canaveral aka Cape Kennedy. Fun place to grow up if you’re into space ships. I was!
Stuff we have in-house, so no long wait (for now, while they last) on the following framesets. These numbers are only good at the time of posting. They may sell quickly and prices may change. Call soon 800 345 3918. Otherwise, wait times will vary.
We have 3 unpainted, Japanese 47cm canti Salukis available. $1500 for these rare, last of the breed Toyo Salukis. You MUST have it painted through us at your cost, but pick almost any color. Paint jobs range from $250-$400 depending on detail.
47cm Toyo AHH
Also 4 Toyo-built 47cm A. Homer Hilsens. Sidepulls, painted standard AHH blue. Also $1500, available here.
48cm Sam Hillborne Stock
Down to just 5 left. When they are gone they’re gone forever. If you’re a smaller rider and want a Sam, call soon because new sizing starts at 51cm.
50cm Waterford AHH
Lighter blue color. Brand new, 1 in stock.
51cm Soma San Marcos
Blue color. Ready to build.
Waterford built, 650B.
52cm Yves Gomez
Black paint, 650B. Discontinued size, very last 52cm mixte.
Up in the warehouse waiting for a buyer. Threadless, unpainted. Pick a color. Talk to Mark.
Waterford built, 650B.
56cm Sam Hillborne Specials
Two top tubes, plainer paint. If you pop your frame pump out all the time, these double top tubes are a godsend. Seriously amazing price. Four left. This is a discontinued size.
56cm Sam Hillborne Stock - SOLD
Only one standard paint version left. That’s with the cream headtube treatment. Standard price $1225. Discontinued doubletuber size.
We have limited numbers of Betty Foys in 47, 55, and 60cm. Three or four in each size. Sold out in size 50cm, so the above listed Gomez is all we’ve got in that range (50cm and old size 52cm are pretty much identical fit). More Betties are due in December but if you want one soon…. call.
I want to know more: Camping. Bring your own food and gear. Low carb snacks of the savory and sweet variety will be provided. We can likely outfit you with a bike and some gear if you’re missing something, just let me know. Approximately 16 miles to get there and expect some uphill:). Don’t panic, we’re not racing. Fun, remember?!
I like it. You have to get over the one word twice in it, but —- you know—it’s fine. To answer the potty-mouthed question, though, I’d say lots of people (care) about the Oxford comma. It’s not in the same caring ranks as war, taxes, the eviro, and civil rights, but tiny things matter, too, like this can be comforting in an escapist way, and then it’s back to reality.
One of my favorite songs—and for about two years back in 1974 to 1976 or so, my favorite, is a song about this place:
It’s Red Wing, a reform school in the same Minnesota town where the boots are made. My oldest daughter was there with her bf who was in town to buy boots. In 1961, Bob Dylan wrote this song about it and she knows how much I like that song—I’m sure she associated Red Wing with the song more than the boots— so they drove over and got this picture.
Red Wing reform school is still in business, but they don’t make them like this anymore. She’s a beaut. It’s what I’d LIKE RBW to look like, but here’s us from the outside:
We rent all six of the contiguous spaces.
Here’s the Red Wing song. It’s not the BEST version, but it’s good:
I won’t even ask for what. I’m just curious. I’d like to have a T-shirt from it. I’d like to know if the keys of the guards clicked the tune of the morning, and if the rain really did rattle heavy on the bunkhouse shingles. Did the sounds in the night make your ears ring? Did the wind punch hard to make the wall-siding sing? I know it’s serious, I’m not even chuckling. One summer I was a “counselor” at the local juvenile hall. I’ve never been an inmate, but I know how life is in there, and I know enough about other things to know that — sad and tragic whatever as it is—it’s not entirely their fault. But yes, people must be protected. It’s quite an imperfect, unideal system. ———
If you like poetry and are interested in –stuff like this—there’s a good book:
It says it all better than I do, of course. Here’s a long NYT review of it:
The lyrics to the OC Comma song cannot compare to Red Wing, but the sound is nice in a different kind of way, and the fact that they MADE a song with Oxford Comma in it—gotta give ‘em credit for that. Although, I can’t say I like how they don’t seem to care bout it.
Did I a few weeks ago show a picture of a fork that got all bent when the guy’s aluminum fender got jammed with a stick or something? We got the fork back. This is all simultaneously a vote for steel forks and plastic fenders, OR AT LEAST metal fenders that mount with a quick-release, which you can make yourself with medium thin white zip-ties, but most metal fenderists would rather lock ‘em in with stainless steel bolts and oil-stuffed bridle leather washers. I’ve seen “bridal leather” as often as “bridle—-” but the latter is right.
Did you see the column and then read the followup in the NYT about the use of “crescendo” to mean a final big bang or culminative event or something? Apparently it means a ramp-up of sound. It’s the staircase with all the stairs, not just the top one. This is not nearly —- to me —- as important as the Oxford comma. I’ll use the common wrong way still, but I’m glad to know the original right way.
Here’s the fork:
This, to me, is beautiful. Look at that gorgeous arc below the crown. This is what’s supposed to happen.
Rear view, showing where the fenders got stuffed and scraped off some paint. I see a goofy-guy smile on the left, and suave-and-slightly oily smile on the right, but they’re brothers. It bothers me.
A friend found this deer skull in the hills and thought we might be able to use it for the new Rivendell Bike, Book, and Hatchet place, if it ever happens:
Which we will. We have shirts coming in. They have the RBBH logo, and this Latin slogan (I mean, the slogan in Latin)<—-there’s a difference, I think:
QVARE ALICUNDE EMAS
We have two more cutting tools, cheap ones, in the camping area of the site. They are these;
If you’re not already on our email list you should be. Special email only coupons that aren’t posted on the site. Notifications about frame specials, etc. Good stuff. Sign up here. Here’s a reprint:
That’s a Bosco bar above. Makes any bike more comfortable.
Email newsletter #61. The heatwave is finally tapering off here in Walnut Creek, we’re busting through Betty builds, leases downtown are not happening, Waterford lead times are getting better, and Mark’s been on vacation for a few weeks so we miss him. We’ll be chugging along at normal velocity come Thursday.
Coupon Triple Play
As always, coupons only work if you enter them in the box at checkout. You can use all of these coupons at the same time! No limit. While supplies last, no backorders, yadda. All coupons expire August 31st.
First up is our favorite pedal, an upgrade worthy of any bicycle. Grip King. It’s our very own design, made for us by MKS Japan. A big grippy surface and the best cornering clearance in our line.
Code: GripKing Deal: 10% off our best selling pedal till August 31st. No limit. Stock up.
On deck: Casey Stengel was born this day in 1890. It’s a stretch but: he wore a jersey (#37), we have jerseys, jerseys on sale!
Code: Derby Deal: 20% off all four of our English Derby Tweed tops. That goes for the RollyNecker, Vest, ButtonUp, and Sergeant. Only a few left. Sorry if we sell out before you get there, but we do have plenty of the newer blue ones. The coupon is for the green ones, not blue.
A quote: “I want to thank my parents for letting me play baseball. I’m thankful I had baseball knuckles and couldn’t become a dentist.” - Casey Stengel
New Frames in Web Specials
A few new unique frames can be found here. Unearthed dealer frames, Bike of Months, three mixtes, last gasp of the 56cm double-tuber Sams. The next batch of Sams has new sizing and the 55cms don’t need the extra support. At $990 they’re a steal. The Bikes of Months got prices cut. Someone get them so we can move on to Harry, Jared, Jenny and so on.
English Rain Jacket News
Along with some other news about hatchets and my famous smoked trout check out the Blug photos of our Rain Jacket samples. The men’s sample you see there is genuine Ventile, the women’s is waxed cotton. Our version will be neither of those, instead it’s the swatch you see our models holding: our labor-of-love Italian Ventile-beater fabric (on an airplane as I write) and here’s why. The waxed cotton girl’s jacket is undeniably cute, but too heavy for riding. And hot! Our patternmaker just had some lying around, whipped up the sample. Italian cotton is half the weight and won’t attract grime like waxed cotton. The Ventile men’s sample is nice, no doubt. We are Ventile fans here. The WWII history of it, it’s Englishness, the green color, all great things. But it’s a tad heavier than the Italian and would have made for a $1000 jacket. Forget it. The Italian stuff is perfect for a bicycler’s rain jacket. Waterproof, light. Based on five staff Ventiles and a dozen other staff rain solutions, we came up with our own bike-specific garment that will beat the socks off every other rain jacket out there in comfort, functionality and style.
So the fabric is Italian now, but we’re still calling it the English Jacket because the design is based on the English duffle coats of bygone eras when jackets still had toggles to seal off the zipper. The design is bike-ified for leaning forward and what not. The arm and neck holes on the Hilltrek were way too small, so that’s bigger too. You can stuff a scarf or gaiter in this one. Bamboo toggles from Taiwan, via a colleague/friend from the bike biz over there. Swedish cuff snaps with RBW embossed right on them, Swedish elastic for lob’s sake. Sewn in San Francisco. There’s no hood or provision for a hood because if we picked head-size we’d set off the helmet debate, so not going there. Use a helmet cover or a Grunden’s rain hat, it’s unimprovable, and also has Swedish snaps.
The retail price on these jackets will be in the $450-500 range and if we didn’t source and sell direct (or gouge) you could expect it to go for $750 anywhere else. We are getting a very limited number of these, especially the girl’s cut and presale-ing them on the site now. We are lacking closeup photos, but have one more sample coming, we’ll shoot that one. Add your gender/size to the cart. We will only charge $150 now, but you lock in a $400 price when they land. The rest when they arrive in September. Maybe/likely the only time we do this.
After too many delays at the factory our 2013 run of Sam Hillbornes is wrapping up. New sizes 51, 55, 58 & 62. We have some old sizes in stock so please call soon. Thanks to all who have been waiting. A limited number of 48cms are available for delivery NOW, but we will not be restocking this smallest size. It’s the one pictured in the main image at that link, a 48cm. Don’t wait till we sell through these new frames, as often happens when they land. Presale can be scary to some, but guarantees that you’ll have one before 2015. Call us 800 345 3918. Talk to Jared. Also, when that shipping container arrives and we’re slapped with the bill, pricing might be adjusted in the upwards direction (hint… hint… call now). Been wanting to upgrade that touring bike of yours? Sam’s the bike and the timing’s right.
We expect more Betties (still a few in stock) in January and TaiwanoHunqs in February. Delivery times on USA Homers, Atlantises and Hunqs are getting better. We do have odd sizes of all models laying around the warehouses ready for sale. Call and see if we have your size in stock.
BART Strike Maybe Monday
Our local mass transit agency is in labor negotiations again. This might mean some of our staff will be out of a ride to work. We’ll be open, but hope for the best. ~Dave
One additon since Friday. Two, actually. Catalogue, hatchets, that super expensive rain jacket, food, and the new place we may or may not actually get, but probably will if we can handle a few more rigamarolls with the real estaters.
The best mouthful I’ve ever eaten was the head of one of these bacon-wrapped trout, barbecued here by Dave, maybe four or five years ago. It’s been on my messy desktop ever since, and I think about them a lot.
Do you know what the “Oxford comma” is? It goes by other names. Harvard has tried to promote is as the “Harvard comma,” but let’s go with England. It’s the comma before the “and” in this example:
I like pigs, cows, fish, and goats.
It’s the comma after fish. The OC used to be the only way to do it, but things change over time, and these days publications and grammarians are more flexible. I hate that.
The arguments against it include;
• it adds unnecessary bulk to a sentence. (?)
• the commas before it make it clear that this is a list of things, and they magically step in for the missing one. (Not always—- “Hey, man—what kind of samwiches do you like?”
"Moi? I like peanut butter, jelly and peanut butter and jelly."
Is that three kinds of samwitches or is it repeating? The OC would leave no doubt. It’s a tiny topic, no biggy, but it came up when I was researching capitalizing after colons, and color usage in general. It’s about time.
A mid-morning discussion today went something like this. It was me, Brian, and Rich, but I won’t ID who’s who.
X: You know how we can spend literally four hours helping somebody spec out his bike, and in the end it works, but also in the end it would have come out that way, anyway?
X: We’ll never do this, because—talking things through is a good thing and all, part of the deal here, but what IF we offered a $100 discount or credit if they let us pick the parts and save hours.
Z: We’ have to know SOMETHING. How much they weigh, how they’re going to ride it, and if a certain part would ruin it for them. Like, they just hate thumb shifters, or bar-ends, or whatever.
Y. And gearing needs.
X. OK, we could ask those questions….
It won’t happen. We enjoy the discussions, but sometimes the person on the other end thinks the standard build must actually be a collection of unsellable parts or something. It’s the opposite. Veer away, that’s when things CAN go loco, although we’re good at catching most locombinations before they’re on the bike.
The catalogue———-you know, here’s how that happened. In 1988 or so, when I was feeling half OK about the 1987 Bstone catalogue (not one of the trio that started in 1992), friend Tom Franges sent me a reproduction of an Eagle Bicycle Co. catalogue from 1894 or something, with a post-it note that said, “Now THIS is a catalog!” I took it as a challenge, but read the catalogue, and it was a good ‘un, and it became one of three role models for the ‘92+ Bstoners.
But that’s when I got in the “…gue” habit with catalogue, and now I wish I hadn’t. It was fine for the time—that’s the old way to spell it, and maybe in England they still do, but —OC aside, orgins of our language aside, the English are usually lousy language models—-at least the ones who write the mags that I read. They use fewer commas than anybody since the Egyptians, and anyway—the GUE ending—-is it in the same category as “tyres” and “kit” and “tucker”?
The PLAN is to open up a semiregular retail store downtown, so we can expose ourselves to more people. The name is set, and we even have a button for it. Some of you know. It’s been posted before, but now, the button:
The world of commercial real estate is——its own world, has its own rules, and it’s not all that fun if you’re a normal person just trying to rent. First the phone call, then the meeting, and everybody’s cool and helpful. Then the Letter of Intent, background checks, financial checks, guaranteeing that they’ll get my house if we can’t make rent. Fine, OK, the house. Unshackle me from that ball and chain, that dang house. Begone, blasted thing.
At this point we’ve agreed on the rent and length and NNN, which is shared costs with other locals to fix parking lots and bushes, and it all comes to a number. Yes, the broker says, this is the number we’re asking. Then we get the lease to sign and the number jumps. And the tenant who was going to leave suddenly isn’t, and it’s clear that we’re used to bump their rent up, that there was likely never any intention of renting to us.
We’ll still get a place—there are lots of them—but whether we end up in 300 square feet or 1500, still not sure. At this point we gotta get something, because we got the button. T-shirts on the way. Pins, patches, we’re ready. We gotta. Shooting for Fall.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t throwing a lot of hatchets lately. Here’s my range:
That’s a redwood round. Some local lady was having her tree cut down, and I asked the guys to make a few of these for me—-about 32-inches wide by 8-inches thick. And you know what they did with the rest of this humongous tree? They chipped it to bits. All that beautiful wood, gorgeous, the color of Old Yeller, smelling delicious, nearly fireproof, super rot-resistant…and they chipped it. Listen: Contact a tree service, and see if you can get yourself something like this, and then do this:
None of these are the groovy Gransfors hatches. The one on the right is my hatchet from my tenth birthday. The others are (technically) tomahawks—-it seems to be determined by the head shape, and it so happens that the English and French soldiers traded things like this to the Indians, and then the Indians threw them back at them. You can see from the round beausage that I’ve gotten to be good at it. It’s remarkably easy. You find the distance required for one rotation, and then let ‘er fly. After that, there are tricks and greater challenges, but Just Huck the ‘Hawk and don’t worry about super fanciness or beating Joe Schmoe in a contest, and you’ll find it to be therapeutic. When you hear it, you can feel it.
You google this stuff and of course immediately enter a world of tactical weaponry that belongs in comic books, but you can actually buy. It doesn’t feel that good. Is it really that dangerous out there? And if it is, don’t your foes have firearms?
So just get the ‘hawks and escape and do your thing. Contact a tree cutter or something, say you’ll pay $50 for a tree-base that’s about the right size (can’t be too big; shouldn’t be smaller than 30-inches across). Then don’t get all competitive—I mean, whatever you like, but just beware the possibility of losing the fun when it goes that way. Throwing these things is pretty fun. You can make a stand yourself. Here’s friend Dan’s:
And here, with the round and a son:
Dan came to my house and we threw a few after dinner. This is Dan’s doing here. With hatchets you don’t necessarily WANT a tight grouping—the clang & dull factor, the split handle risk factor and all—but in this case, Dan was….
….aiming for this apple. It was stuck on the end of a stick. He ended up splitting it several times, One-rotation throws with about a 19-inch hatchet from about 16 feet. Whatever…
—————— enough of that, but…it’s fun————
We’re going to have our own. SILVER brand. We were talking about sizes. 46? They’re all over the place. 44? Yes, that sounds good…but what about 45? Yes, for sure. And a 43. These are in the 110mm pattern, to fit our Sugino and hundreds of other cranks.
Then a 35 and a 25, too. Chainrings last a long time, but…we want these, anyway.
In other news: We’re going to do that fancy rain jacket. It’s not going to be Ventile. The Italians (who in the past have done a good job with fabric) have their own version of 100 cotton Ventile. They don’t reference Ventile in the description, but they call it H20, which sounds synthetic. We got samples, tested ourselves with faucet water and tear tests, and it is at least as good, and the color we got is better, and so..that’s that. Of course it’s nearly August and of course all of Italy (and France) shuts down in August, so of course we had to wire them more money than we even HAD immediately.
With Ventile or H2O—either one, you’re getting a super tightly woven fabric that’s uncoated and relies entirely on the tightness to repel water. But when it comes to absolute waterproofness, bet on plastic. I’m saying that because these jackets will cost around $440—that’s not firm—and for that you might expect them to be waterfall proof, but it does’t work that way. They work remarkably well. Ventile does, too. I have some Ventile, old and new, and I know what it can and can’t do. You can root for Mother Nature, sure, but don’t turn on her when she loses out to plastic. Still these will keep you dry enough in a good downpour.
In a month or so we’ll pitch to you an early adopter deal. We’re getting about 130 total, mixed mens and womens. A range of sizes. There might be twenty larges. They’ll have Swedish buttons. Bamboo toggles made by the guy who made those boxes and banks we sold last year and the year before for below our cost because of dumb calculations and no business acumen, whatever.
Here’s a boys and a girls. The girl one is more final, pattern-wise; but it won’t be dark brown like that.
The real one will be like the strip.
Back to the ‘hawks. Many of you ancients have seen this. Some of you youngsters maybe have not heard of Johnny Carson. He came after Jack Paar, I think. Ed Ames is an actor. He was on a tv show called Daniel Boone (Fess Parker), and Ed Ames played Dan’l’s sidekick, Mingo. It’s kind of like Tonto, but … Mingo. So you need to know that going in:
Firstly, we take PayPal now but it only works for web orders. Still call to chat, but if you want to use PayPal you have to do it through the site. It’s designed that way so we never know your password or card info. We just never see it. The PayPal rates (on our end) aren’t much different than our existing card processing, so use whatever one is convenient for you.
Just like eBay and any other PayPal acceptors you leave rivbike.com temporarily and do the payment through them. Once finished you return for your receipt.
Not that using our checkout isn’t secure. We have a Secure Socket Layer Certificate. Our payments are processed through the same eCommerce merchant as the Disney Store and National Geographic Magazine. That was a selling point. Still, PayPal has its fans.
You can send a check or money order or cash. Make sure you get the right amount first.
One feature of PayPal for those of you with excellent credit is that you can use the Bill Me Later feature and get 6 months to pay for something large. Web special impulse buys now easier than ever.
Jenny has said at least one a month, so this was July’s. It was hot, but not (as I understand it) NYC-hot. I hear it’s miserable there now. Well..that’s that.
Many of you know what an S240 is. Sub-24-Hour Overnight—and often they’re 15 hours, RiV-to-RIV, because we’re so close. They’re strictly illegal, and for that we’re sorry. We always leave the hill better than we found them—I know that because nobody litters and I always come back with some junk I found.
Here are some pix from last night’s.
This is ten minutes out from HQ, on the road.
From left: Brian on his Homer. Manny on his Sam. Scott on his Bomba. Jenny on her 2tt 59 Homer. Sean on a Surley (he has a Sam, but his Sam is distant for another month).
Well, ten seconds later. It was about 93 degrees, low humidity.
Sometimes it’s just a Grunt Fandango.
Manny and Jenny following.
Well…Manny weighs nothing.
Jenny showing the normal way up. This hill was on our last catalogue cover, or the one before that. Anyway, about 8 years ago.
Manny can’t ride everything. Neck to knee in J. Crew. He’s a teacher, and teachers get deals on it.
Manny’s face. Manny usually shoots photos, so I wanted to get him in these. J. Crew glasses, too? Maybe.
Brian, Scott (f/t teacher, does not take advantage of the J. Crew discount. Works at RIV summers and some saturdays); and Manny.
My tent near, Brian’s far.
My bike with SaddleSack Large in back, Slickster (discontinued) bag in front. My entire kit for this trip:
Sleeping bag, pad, pillow, VBL Tent (Anjan 2) Book (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra) Toothpaste-brush-floss, etc Wool longies, Ss wool top, thin wool sox, thicker wool top didn’t use it Knife, extra sharp cheddar Two light but bulky foam pads for lying around on Two bottles water (drank one) Empty bottle for … inside the tent use
Today a fellow called and this happened when a stick or something rode his tire up and under the fender. This cannot happen when the fender has a quick-release, as SKS fenders go. Rider is OK, but it happened 3 days ago, and today’s the first day he’s able to talk.
That’s quite a bent fork and wrecked-up fender. Here’s a closerupper:
Don’t be going guessing what was wrong with the fork, because the answer is nothing. This is exactly how a fork is supposed to behave. Somehow he’ll be on a new fork. Maybe new blades brazed into the crown, maybe we’ll keep this as a museum piece and he’ll buy a new fork. Important thing is he’s safe.
Keven is planning the first ever Rivendell Grin Fundo ride for August. If you’re local and can pony up the minimal dough, stay tuned. It’ll be a lot like the last one, but maybe not as much of a Grunt Fandango as that was.
We are closing in, but are by no means locked into a separate smaller retail place downer towner than we are here. By November, maybe. It could be good for us. The rent will be barely do-able—-it’s nervous-making in that way, but after nearly 20 years of stealthness, it may be time. _____________
LFLS (Looking for a Latin scholar)
Simple, three to seven word translation. PM<—-private message email@example.com
don’t refer me to your pal. i’m looking for one-stop shopping and you have to know Latin, be able to translate Eng to Latin. Quck freebie, is what I’m after. If you can do it in that spirit and without ‘specting a Sam for it, then…I’m all ears. If you’re reading this after Sunday the 21, probably I’ve gotten the answer already. I hope. Thanks. (And if I get more than one answer and the answers vary, please don’t get bummed if I don’t pick your variation. I know it’s just as good!
[We are trying to get a new space for a retail store called “Rivendell Bike, Book & Hatchet” somewhere near our warehouse headquarters in Walnut Creek. I enjoyed this letter to a building owner. Thought you might too. - Dave]
To: B.L. From: Grant Peteresen About: Us (short version)
Rivendell Bicycle Works is a 19-year-old Walnut Creek company known more throughout the United States than it is here in Walnut Creek. We’re a specialty high-end traditional bike business that for the most part operates well outside of the mainstream bicycle market. That is key to our success.
I am the owner, and was well known in the bike business before starting Rivendell. When my former employer folded, I started my own business, and the reputation I had in the mainstream bike industry helped publicize Rivendell Bicycle Works. It was in my garage for two years, then five years at the north end of town, and for the last twelve years we’ve had 6,000 square feet a bit north and east of Target, in what is known as “the Space Building.”
I have fifteen employees. They’re compensated fairly and have health benefits, and so are extremely loyal. I know businesses like to boast about their “family atmosphere,” but we really have that.
Our yearly sales are roughly $2.8 million, though with high operating costs, we’re barely profitable. But we’re strong, stable, and are never late with payments—to anybody.
And I want a downtown store so we can reach customers, who don’t already know about us.
Although “Bike, Book, and Hatchet” sounds like a strange mix, I’m confident it will attract a wide range of customers who will see the sign and be curious enough to walk in. More on our bikes, books, and hatchets below.
Bikes – about 83 % Each of our six production models is our own design, from the tube diameters, geometry of the frame, all the lugs, fork crowns, dropouts, decals, headbadges, paint, and unnamed other details. They’re hand-made exactly to our specifications in either Wisconsin, Colorado, or Taiwan, depending on the model and price. The frames made in Taiwan are every bit as well designed and made as the US-built models, but they cost us less, so they sell for less. We offer customs, too, where I design the frame according to your body dimensions and needs, and there’s extra fanciness. They are built in Colorado by friend and long-time frame builder, Mark Nobilette. We also sell bike clothing and accessories for them.
Books – about 7% We’re not exactly a bookstore—or if we are (with “book” in our name we might be), we’re the world’s smallest, and that means we have to pick our books really carefully—No Fifty Shades, no I Died and Then Came Back, no celebrity memoirs. Our books are all special in some way, often aren’t stocked by regular book stores, but have earned their spot here. With books not being our bread and butter, we have the luxury of focus—fewer than thirty titles at any one time is our plan.
Hatchets – about 6% Why hatchets? Well, a hand axe made of stone was one of the first tools (1.76 million years ago), and metal headed ones with hickory handles aren’t much different in looks or function. Hatchets chop, split, scrape, and pound. An axe (or hatchet) is the basic tool, as useful today as it was back then. It helps you manage wood, dead or alive. If you live in an apartment and never have a fire and don’t go camping, OK, don’t get a hatchet. But if you live in a house or camp now and then or have trees that need trimming and you’re in the ill-habit of hiring out for the simplest of jobs, then it’s time to man up and do it yourself, and if the problem is wood, the solution might be a hatchet. Our Gransfors-Bruk hatchets are hand-forged in a shack by a lake in Sweden, and initialed by the craftsman. The handles are hickory for strength and toughness and are widely regarded as the finest hatchets in the world, but they’re not collector’s toys. You can expect yours to last a lifetime, even if used every day. Eventually it’ll need sharpening, and we’ll sell tools for that and show you how.
Other – about 2% Italian toothpaste, pine tar soap, Portuguese shaving cream, Italian shaving brushes, beeswax, and Michigan-made Frisbees. Overall, Rivendell Bike, Book, & Hatchet will be an interesting store to investigate and hang out in. Occasionally, I’ll have “author events”—- authors talking about their books. I’d like also to have music events now and then, but if that’s against some city ordinance or zoning rule, I can easily give it up.
Many of our staff have seen the place we want to rent. Naturally, we feel it would be a good fit for us, and would love to occupy it.
Did you know our MUSA (Made in the USA) shirts are designed here in Walnut Creek and sewn in Oakland? Our sewer Ronnie delivered them himself yesterday. New staff favorite color.
Sage green 100% Merino wool. Magnets on the roll-up door had to do for photos this time. Short week, need to get them up. Quite nice for these hot days actually.
We have a Fourth of July coupon code: MUSA
Good from now through July 7th, good for 4% off any order between $76 and $1776. Excludes new frames, but that’s it. Standard shipping and tax rates. You have to type MUSA in the coupon box at checkout for it to kick in.
Back to the shirts. Above is the short sleeve Sage MUSA top. Same standard MUSA short sleeve pattern. Athletic, but not superhero cut. Looks good on lots of shapes. Buy your t-shirt size.
Here’s the long sleeve MUSA wool top. I stretched it out a bit to show where the seems are. It’s hitting the hundreds here in Walnut Creek, so long sleeve shirt modeling volunteers were few today.
Great new green color. Mark likes! Complexion complimenting neutral fabric.
New Style - Put a pocket on it
Jenny has been adding pockets to her shirts, inspiring others. In the back, sort of off to the right if I recall. This doesn’t quite have the charm of Jenny’s, but hey, these new MUSA pocket jerseys sure are nice.
Plain t-shirt like front. Even plainer than our sage tops above. Less stitching.
But with a neat reinforced pocket in the back. Perfect size for a banana. Or a waterbottle in a pinch, or sunglasses & keys.
It stretches a little bit, but not enough that stuff leans out.
This is the one and only run of this cobalt fabric color. We used up the rest of the roll on the MUSA Boxer Undies, which are back in stock in all sizes. You might get this old color or new brighter cobalt like the shirt. Close enough that we’re not making a new part.
Of course this will seem biased toward our bikes—with the black magic power of the subconscious and all, that’s inevitable—but it’s not like our bikes show up however and then we figure out how to sell what we’re stuck with, how to make the best of a bad situation. We make sure the bikes have what matters. That way, we sell what we LIKE. It’s so much better that way.
First thing that matters: Safety
Feeding yourself and walking, even if with a walker, is more important than riding your bike, and safer. Riding bikes is fun, but it should only minimally put your way of life at risk, so safety is paramount. A huge part of that is you. Anytime you crash on a bike and you aren’t totally blindsided, it’s probably your fault, and at at least isn’t the bike’s. The bike should be reasonably easy to control, strong enough to hold up, and be made of a material that if it fails, fails slowly. “Slow” is key. It doesn’t mean it will cry out to you in loud English that it’s about to go. You have to look, listen, and feel your bike. Just don’t be oblivious to things that aren’t loudly obvious.
Second thing that matters: Design that allows fit and feel
The bad things are:
1. Too low, too faraway bars.
2. Too short chainstays that position you too much on top of the rear axle.
3. Fork blades too short and brake bridges too low, so there’s no room for the tires you’d like to ride, and fenders.
There are others, but if your bars are high enough, your chainstays are long enough, and you can ride the tires and fenders you want, you’ve got a huge headstart on bicycle happiness.
Third thing: Good tube proportions
Tubing should resist buckling to a certain extent. Don’t be go making bike frames like Coke cans.
Third and a half: Nice looking proportions
This is more subjective, but to me nothing looks worse than fat tubes or blunderbusses with skinny tires that nearly skim ‘em, and low bars. Nothing looks better than skinny tubes and fat tires with lots of air around ‘em and high bars. You may be somewhere in the middle on that one. You don’t need to be anywhere near the middle. It’s just a guess.
Fourth thing that matters: Good frame design
Short frames get too-steep seat tube angles, almost always. I’ve tried to imagine the thinking behind it, and it’s all well-intended but either weak or flawed. Either the designer didn’t know, or preferred to go with the flow rather than having to explain a 72-deg seat tube on a 48cm frame. So they get 75-deg seat tubes that shift your weight too forward-like and put more weight on your hands.
Big frames have too-short chainstays, because they build to maximum wheelbase, maybe so the big bikes fit in standard boxes, or maybe it’s tradition based on short racing frames, and big manufacturers not demanding longer raw chainstays, because their customers (the frame-makers and bike makers) are good businesspeople but bad frame designers.
Fifth thing that matters: Good looks/graphics
There’s a trend to lower the down tube decal and put it on a fatter tube and curl it around the tube toward the underside and make the letters huge so the brand shows up on a race photo. I’d say the decal belongs on the upper part of the tube and should be rolled slightly toward the top centerline. It should be legible as a word, not just a look. Of course, whatever you like, but still, can the bike be proud without shouting? What’s wrong with that?
Sixth thing that matters: Rebuildability
A bike that gets wrecked should be fixable. Steel still wins because there are more people who CAN fix it, all over the world. If you break your carbon frame, it’s Craig Calfee—who probably makes them stronger than new, but there aren’t a lot of Craig Calfees around.
Seventh thing that matters: The afterlife
If your frame dies, wouldn’t recycling it feel kind of good? You needn’t be the Buddha to like that. Most frame materials is recyclable, even carbon, but steel and aluminum are the most recyclable—more places take them and they can be made into new things more easily than titanium, and way more easily than carbon. Steel wins the greeny war if there is one.
What Doesn’t Matter
Making your bike visually symmetrical. Putting the rarest acceptable part on it, or the newest ancient functional piece. Inappropriate showy materials for unshowy jobs. Picking every part just so. The past in the present when it’s not as good. The present when it’s not as good. Delaying because you’re waiting for the future (well, it depends). Overkill here and there. Any bike that wins any award is weird in some way, because when the selection is vast, voters tend to like extremes. Bikes that harken to or pay homage to. Era-inappropriate bikes, and yet also bad moderns. Total cohesiveness, the bike as the child you never had or an an extension of a part of you that doesn’t really exist, or as a manifestation of anything less important that seems important.
Don’t overly attend to cosmetics, but start with a foundation that you find pleasing, and let it age and get worn and improve over the years. Don’t falsify, fertilize, cultivate, take pride in it or get weird the beausage (beauty thru usage), just let it happen. Repair stuff before replacing it, except tires. Patch your tubes.
There’s never a fantastic reason to undo handlebar tape—just wrap over it unless it’s getting too fat. The closest to a good reason to not overwrap cloth is to avoid, fifteen years down the road, having to unwrap several old layers of tape and taking thirty minutes to do that, but you know, won’t that bring back some decent memories? It seems like it might. Nothing specific, but just a whiff of the old times and maybe a brief visual image of something.
Pedal without thinking about your cadence. It’s OK to shift too late. It’s normal to intend to attend to a quirk on your bike or to something on something that’s on your bike, but never get around to it. On my everyday bike I have a bell that I can’t ring because the hammer’s gone. Don’t weigh your bike without first weighing yourself. Here’s a secret: It’s hard to make a useful bike weigh less than 32 pounds. That’s not a challenge; I know it can be done and how to do it, but a bike that weighs 25 pounds and is useful is some combination of stripped down/obsessed over/too close to a dysfunctional edge. Pick rims by weight, but not the way you’ve been told to. It’s OK to clean your bike and OK not to. Let’s not make fun of the neat-nicks, for they shall inherit the earth, but be OK with a dirty boot-of-a-bike. It’s OK to ride your good bike slow and close, and it’s no better to ride it far and fast. Ride it some every day it’s possible to without making it a chore. As you ride it, imagine the effort it would take to run or jog that fast while carrying the load your bike carries for you. Your bike is just supposed to make your life easier and better, to bring convenience to it, not glory. Everyday convenience and fun matter so much more, and are their own gloriousness. This is not philosophical or even anything, but run your thoughts on bikes thru this filter just once and see if it works for you, or make up your own filter, or ignore all filters. You is here, the bike is there, the macho of shopping is everywhere, but ignore it.
Dave’s bike looks fine, despite its begging for a cosmetic makeover.
Who can look at this and not have an urge to start all over with new tape? Dave, is who. I’m at my limits here.
A couple of weeks ago Dave and did an S240 (bike campout) on an island in SF Bay. The bell was shiny to start. Now it’s just getting good. Will the tarnishment eventually wear thru? Only with loads of time and good luck. Imagine having a bell with a nature-born hole in it. Would you sell such a bell for $65? Would you say, “I could get three brand new ones for that?” and think it a no brainer? I bet you wouldn’t, and I know I wouldn’t. That would be insane. (Apologies to lunatics; apologies to the moon.)
———————————- We may have some neat news soon ——————-
That’s the winning order number. It belongs to A.R. of Atlanta, Georgia. Congratulations! A Nitto Mark’s Rack and a Sackville Trunksack got him in the contest, now he gets to pick a Sam or Betty/Yves. Did you get my voicemail yet?
Thanks to everyone who placed a big order during our Spring push. There were 417 eligible invoices so the odds were pretty good.
A sub-10-year-old girl won the $500 gift certificate at the SF Popup store’s opening night. She immediately started cashing it in for bandanas to Dad’s chagrin. The space was full of new and familiar faces, some baffled locals. Marvis licorice toothpaste and the new King Iris cages were the hot sellers (new items in the webshop).
Want the scoop on our latest promotions? Sign up for our email list. Good luck to all in the future and thanks again to everyone for your support. Our customers always come through and we sure appreciate it.
Here’s what it looks like now. The place is run by Asterisk magazine, they do art openings there. Nice huh?
Picture a bike in each window. At night there’s an accordion fence that slides over.
There will be bikes to see and touch, art from our other showroom, bags, handlebars. Some free schwag, brochures, coupons, a secret “have to be there to get it” super deal. Small items for sale, and discounted posters. No test rides, sorry, just too much to worry about at the start and our insurance for the rider, well, were not sure about that part.
Our big honkin’ 71cm Homer will be there though. It will be the only bike available for test ride. “Century Club” only (PBH is 100cm or higher).
Word is there’s an espresso machine, but not quite like the one we have in Walnut Creek. Rich Lesnik himself will be building wheels while you watch! At least a few days during the week. Meet our friendly staff.
Opening day is Saturday June 1st. At 5pm Saturday we’re doing something special, a giveaway? Hmm.
There are parking meters along the sidewalk for blocks. Plenty of bike parking. Yesterday I checked and the road between BART and Shotwell on 24th is under construction, FYI. Good luck parking a car!
Wouldn’t it be neat if every one of those parking meters had a Riv locked to it? Come by! If for no other reason than to get a coupon… but your support will be appreciated by us and make this stretch of the Mission quite the spectacle. When I visited yesterday there was a gorgeous red Glorious parked right outside. Come back Saturday please. That bike is the best advertisement we’ve got!
Walnut Creek location will be open normal hours, but since we’re taking a lot of stuff to SF, we’ll be low on test bikes & staff and the walls will be bare. You can pick up your bikes there, in Walnut Creek.
If the store is a smash success, or we break even, we might be able to pull a Rapha and extend it longer. I’d like that.
Cheap good bikes, used shoes, and the death of Dylan Thomas
All over the place there are old cheap and medium bikes that have been resurrected as modern street bikes and have secret artsy touches that can’t be had and will never again come on modern cheap or medium bikes. I have a mini-fascination with these bikes, at least to the extent that I always look for them and stop when I see them. It’s just the old kind of trickle-down from high-end to low-end, but it doesn’t happen anymore, since high-end isquitefrankly so blagly (bland + ugly). Here are some now ancient bikes with the kinds of details (specifically, fork crowns) that I’m talking about. All found in the west village of NYC, but they’re really all over the place.
Motobecane from the late ’70s. Flat crown, ornamental shoreline.
Raleigh from the ’60s? I completely dig these tubular crowns that must have been made from scraps at the factory, then closed at the end with a nice chome plug. Flat and tubular at the same time.
Flying Pigeon: The famous most popular bike in China. Maybe the biggest bike maker in the world? Riveted head badge, stamped-and-visible serial number, flat crown, good clearance, striped fenders—two color stripes, even. On a bike like this? It’s so great.
Sears Free Spirit. 1970s, I’m sure. More striped fenders, good clearance, and a twin-plate style crown with a cheap chromed cap. Matching paint and fenders. Totally cool, wonderful.
Ross from the ’70s. A lousy decade for pop music, hairstyles, men’s shirts and pants…but good for bikes. Chromed flat crown with a one-piece crank, even. Ribbed and striped fender. These bikes were on every other pole.
Schwinn Varsity. This fork, the most aero of all time, is a flat piece of steel, continuous from left dropout to right dropout, and with a nice chromey crowny thing. The Bridgestone “Technart” Fork—-which really belongs here, but I don’t have access and it’s just not worth tracking one down. If you have one and send a photo, I won’t post it…it’s a small thing. Well, maybe I would, but really, don’t look. If you have a Bridgestone Carmel from 1982-3-4, that’ll do.
Raleigh, old one again, another view of this wonderful crown. But it’s the fender mohawk that steals the show in this picture. So, so cool. And look at the fender tab, so integrated. Let’s not get overly sentimental about these things…but they are neat, right?
Raleigh later on, more sporty flat crown. The funky R decal there—-no, shouldn’t’ve done it. But the crown is fine, and the lug there.
Huffy. Flat top with chrome cap and that super chunk sleeve-thing coming out from it. Matching fenders, striped and all—-and on a Huffy. This is really cool, and speaking of cool, look at the Kool-Stop shoes. It makes you wonder what the salesperson said or what the motivation was to buy the most expensive brake shoes for this inexpensive bike. And they match both the paint and the tire, or close enough. This kind of thing makes me happy on a normal street-walk.
There’s nothing arty or to look at on this bike. The internal headset—it’s like how kids draw bikes, and it’s hard to find anything to harp on. It’s whole deal is absence. I’m not into it. —————————————
YouNew Yorkers may know the White Horse Taven on Hudson as the last bar Dylan Thomas ever took a drink in. He died on November 9, 1953, just 59 years and 6 months to the day from the date of this posting, and to force another coincidence, I ride a 59cm A. Homer Hilsen. There is some controversy as to whether he died from drink or a bad injection of morphine intended to clear up some pneumonia, and you can read about that here:
There have been allusions to a new Moustache H’bar. Here’s a comparison, old and new:
So: less reach and drop, more comeback, and wider. We’ll have these in a month or so. We have a few of the old ones left. We still LIKE the old ones. The newies are not an improvement as much as a reshapement, and only slightly, at that. They’ll work with a lower stem, so they won’t be as dependent on a DirtDrop stem as the others were. Oldies were 51cm wide, newies shall be 55.5cm—a bit less than an inch per side.
We’re looooooking at a Mini-RIV retail spot in a town nearby. It would be our first foray into the real world. We might not get it, but there’s a chance. I wonder what it would be like to be in a strip mall, and we may find out. ____________
I am not much of a wingtip-wearer, but in my advancing age I’ve come to like them a little, and four years ago I got a pair and wear them only rarely when I have to, even though I like them—-my lifestyle does’t call for them. And then about a month ago I found another pair I Had to Have, and—-uncharacteristically I bought them. I got a $5,000 royalty check from the publisher, and before turning it fully over to college tuition, I bought a pair of these, which you have to admit are the kinds of shoes you’d like to wear everyday so they can aquire great beausage:
But here is the pisser, at least from where I sit: They’re a hair too narrow. No, I don’t want to stretch them. Yes, I can take them back to Nordstrom and they’ll take care of me. But I see this as my fault, and although I don’t begrudge any of you your returning rights, once you l iive for a while on the receiving ends of returns, you get really reluctant to return anything, and that’s where I am. So I wanna sell them. They are Allen Edmonds Neumok, in olive, and 10E, and I had a thin rubber sole glued on over the leather one—for better pedal-gripping and less queasy slop-walking. You can go to the Allen Edmonds site and see that they cost a lot, and the rubber soles cost me an extra $30. I would LOVE to take this opportunity to sell them to you for $140, which, if you do the research, you will find to be pretty cheap. I’ve worn them for about four miles of walking, and with clearn feet and fresh socks, and they still have that “new shoe smell.” It’s up to you to know your size (these are 10E). If you have Allen Edmonds shoesm maybe you know. Don’t try them on locally just to get your size. I’d rather not sell them than be a part of that. But if you know and you understand that there are no returns, send me what they call a PM and then the $140, and then if they don’t fit you, you can sell them to somebody else. I’ma get me some 10EEEs..
This BLUG won’t turn into a place to sell used shoes. That is for sure.
It’s for some bike in the future, but not an inexpensive one. The name will come up later, but it’s only a working name, anyway. This is a beautiful lug, though. More so if you’re an investment caster, and can appreciate the challenge risen to.
Rear view showing the cast-in donut at the bottom of the slot. It’s a small thing, but actually a big improvement over a normal lug, cast or not, and only our lugs have it. It’s free for anybody to copy, go ahead—it’ll make a better slot-ending and give the painter something extra to paint (or the bike owner, after the fact—a fun project, not too messy.
Another picture of the Clem Smith Jr. lug. A frame builder or designer would look at this and think aha, that’s lousy, the seat stay angle is fixed, so how do you vary it as you necessarily have to do, on different frame sizes? That is a good question, but not one that went unconsidered. It’s like this: Most bikes are designed to specific chain stay lengths, and then indeed, as the seat tube gets taller, the seat STAY becomes more vertical, and this is the case even if you vary the chainstay lengths in a minor way to look like you’re thinking about things. I apologize for not being super clear about that, but visualize it and you’ll see.
But this lug is made for ONE bike that’ll come in ONE size, and it’s a big one. If later on we use this lug or another like it on a range of sizes, we’ll just make sure the big one has super long chainstays (which we’re into anyway), and then on smaller sizes, we’ll let the chain stay length be determined by the angle of the seat stay. Plus, there’s some flexibility in the dropout design—if the right elements are in place, and we’re working on that, too.
Has anybody else noticed that the new gmail formatting is worse than the old one? And that Tumblr has gotten more fussy, too, when you go to save, or even hit “return”? Right to the top of the page. Like now, I have to return, but it’ll shoot me to the top.
It did. I’m sure there’s a way around, but I don’t know it.
The frame below is a Legolas, a light cyclo-cross frame, and it got wrecked in a…wreck, and since it’s steel—and lugged at that —- the fix was fundamentally easy, although of course it required time and skill. But this is one of the good things about a steel bike.
New top, head, downtube
New steer tube, which bent. Same crown and blades.
Back to that Clem lug again. Here’s the top view, but look at the seat binder ears. All of our seat lugs (since…’99) are this way, with thick, straight sides that allow—-and this was the idea—-you to hold your seat post in with a vise-grip clamped on, if that’s what it comes down to. It probably won’t, but more practically, the ears will never pinch in and bend bolts or just wear out over time and repeated uses. They hold up to our demo fleet, and on a 40-year old Riv they’ll be as good as they were when you got it. It takes an M6 x 22mm socket head bolt and a 10mm hex nut, and if you lose yours you can get one at any hardware store in the world that sells nuts and bolts. And if you’re not at a hardware store, you can slide in any bold that fits, and on the other side use a washer and a nut. It isn’t genius, but it makes total (not just a lot of) sense.
Lugs too boring? (never, here). OK, here’s a prototype of a bar that looks a lot like a Moustache Handlebar. Made for us by Nitto….with some (not a fan of this word, but it comes in handy) tweaks here and there not to improve it, really, but to make it ——- well you know what? After 24 years of no changes, this is something we get to do. Less reach, less drop, wider, and more retrieve—-it comes back more. It’ll be a while, and we’re getting a round two-er with a hair more flair. We will have ridden this one by this time next week. I’ll probably put it on my bike-of-month, which will be up for sale in a couple of weeks.
There are ongoing projects.
Here’s something from today and the last few days. The topic is rim width to tire width to brake compatibility and set-up. It started when Keven put a new-to-us model sidepull on the back of his long Joe Appaloosa prototype. He was riding a 24mm wide rim and the brake—a big BMX-y sidepull with a reputation for power, felt super wimpy, like—dangerously so. Looking at it close down on the rim got us to thinking it wasn’t contacting the rim soon enough, so needed a wider one. We asked Tektro about that and it confirmed THAT brake was made for a 28mm to 32mm wide rim, and although it makes sense that the rim’s action and mechanical advantage will change as the arms go through their stroke, it had never occurred to me (Grant) that it would matter so much, because in all these years of bikiness, I’d never experienced a bad combo before.
It made me wonder if the Tektro 559 brake—first introduced as “SILVER” and the standard brake on Sam, Betty, Homer—was designed for certain rim widths. We know it works on a 23mm Velocity (brand) Synergy (model), and feels fine/great/the same on the new 25.4mm Velocity Atlas, but what about a 28mm Velocity Cliffhanger? Will mounted one, and the the Marathon 38 actually measures 38mm on the 28mm wide rim; so it sticks out only 5mm per side. Braking is even improved, if anything. But Tektro said this brake is for 22 to 25mm rims, so there was some relief there. In the next few months we’ll say more about this kind of thing. In RR44, for sure. It will actually come out this year.
I’m reading the new BSNYC book, Bike Snob Abroad, I think. It’s at home, so no picture yet. I just got it a day ago, but I’ll report later. I’m 40p into it, and it seems—-well, it’s good, entertaining, interesting, and he’s a really good writer, Eben Weiss. Good book.
The drag news of the day/week/month is that the Bettys will be a month late, which is sad-to-us because we need the bump in posi-cash flow. Sams too will be late. Arrghhh. Some of you with bikes on order are being called——-and are kindabasically coming through with payments you’d have to make anyway, earlier than you’d otherwise have to make ‘em. Soooooo appreciated, serious thanks.
Many of you know the name Manny Acosta. He’s a local, rides a 48 Sam, is the only man alive who actually uses his digital camera enough to give it beausage——-to the extent that can happen on a digital camera——and to everybody-who=knows=him, he is at or near the top of the list of favorite bike snappers. He goes out there, he shoots, he gets the grabs we all wish we’d gotten, but he’s Manny the Man, and he’s the one who gets them. I’m older, I have shot so much more than Manny, and all things are in place for me to hate him for his results, but he happens to be the nicest bicycle rider you’ll ever meet on top of that. Here’s his cover photo on the new Merry Sales catalogue (bike parts supplier to retailers). I know many of you have heard of this cover photo, but some haven’t seen it, so here it is:
That is friend Mike on his Atlantis, somewhere south of here, I think on the flanks of Mount Hamilton. Note to Manny and Mike: Don’t bother correcting me on the loca; I’m just showing a photo and have no time to fix it later, not that important, just be happy you shot the shot or are in it, because it looks so good.
Here’s a photo of the Marathon 38 on the 28mm Cliffhanger rim. It’s not a common look these days, but widening the rim to chase the tire has benefits:
It’s no Mike-on-the-hill, but it’s kind of neat, and this is what it looks like. The tire isn’t as skinny as the wide rim suggests.