The Great Blue Stripey Presale

Remember the purple stripey wool shirt that sold out in Small Medium Large and XL real quick after we introduced them? These much loved ones:


You can still get Xtra Small and DoubleX at this link. More pics there too.

We won’t be reordering purple any year soon, BUT we are doing BLUE!!!!!!!!


Ding ding ding ding ding ding! Brass bells hammerstrike over the horizon, it’s blue! If you can’t hang with King Arthur’s royalest color of majestic mountains or you just didn’t get one while we had them, soon you can own one in the color of the seas, the skies, sad bummers, 12-bar 4/4 time I-IV-V songs, and Homer Hilsens. Blue.

That’s a blue swatch there on the o.g. purple one. Exactly the same good Merino as the purple stuff. Sizing same. This stuff is so good. Maybe not so excited about the old red stripe underpants version on our 100+ degree days out here lately, but the long sleeve crewneck is an excellent campout shirt, cold weather riding shirt, going to the bar shirt, whatever.  Our staff will tell you it’s a perfect cool-morning wrenching shirt. They don’t show stains so you can go karazay with the seatpost grease and bacon fat splats in this shirt. What else is perfect about them? The wool is stretchy and we nailed the fit.

This is our own—can’t get it nowhere else—custom dye lot wool and it’s expensive to buy and we’re not getting a whole bunch, just like last time. Stitched up in San Leandro, California. We predict we’ll sell out rapidly of the common sizes like last time. So instead of selling out on day one, this time we are preselling. The only way to get one is presale because we’ll be ordering the sizes accordingly with a few extras for exchanges.

Place an order here. Please please please just preorder the shirt in a single order without other items. If you want other items, separate orders please. When they come in you’ll have a chance to swap sizes if you change your minds. 

Lock in the $62 price too with preorders. Price might go up when they land. As always with MUSA still a smashing value because we don’t quadruple the cost to get our price and all of our development and marketing is never factored into the cost. Brilliant! Buy factory direct and save!

Preorder here by plunking down $30 bones. Estimated arrival: September.

Last Week to Save 8%

Use coupon code


at checkout for 8% off any order between $200 and $900. If you live in the lower 48 and select the free shipping option, you’ll get an even sweeter deal.

This coupon code expires on the 31st and applies only to in-stock items and orders paid in full.

You can sign up for the newsletter here.

Speaking of lower 48:


This is one of those pics from space! Looking forward to some excursions into the darker parts in months and years to come.


Slingshot class this Sunday MAYBE

The idea is to give kids ages 8 to 14 a class in slingshot making.

We’ll supply the materials and guarantee that they’ll make with a slingshot. At the end of the class we’ll have them shoot mini-marshmallows at garbage can lids, seeing how loud a racket that’ll make.

It’ll be fun and safe, a good experience.

But there’s limited seating. Five is the number.

The class is free BUT BUT BUT to register, you must pay $20  in person by Saturday at 6pm. If you don’t show, we keep the money (we’ll donate it to a local charity, honest. If you do show and your son or daughter completes the class, you get your money back.

If you’d like to know how to make a slingshot but can’t make the class, here are some pics:

1. Find a fork. Buckeys and Walnuts grow lots of them. Pines and eucalyptus and sycamore and most other trees, none. Come to the class and we’ll tell you where you can find local buckeyes, and how to quickly, stealthily, and sustainably harvest a fork.

Then size the fork like this. Chamfer the ends at about 45-degree angle (pocketknife or file). This prevents splits. Cut 1/4-inch grooves around it to hold the rubber.

2. Will here is just digging in.

3. Cut a leather pouch. Cut holes in the ends for the elastic. Good elastic: Surgical tubing 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch, or Alliant No. 7 rubber bands, from Arkansas. If you’ve got another favorite, that’s great—but in the class, this is what we provide. We have some reindeer leather, cow too, and a bit of deer.

4. Here’s Will’s slingshot. It shoots fine! We shot balls of beeswax, but in the class it’ll be tiny marshmallows.

Again: If you want to bring your child or young person, confirm by paying $20 (per student), and you get that money back at the end of class.

It’s at BBH   1601 North Main #101, Walnut Creek. 10 to 1130 am.

A safe, satisying, wholesome, only mildly challenging event. We’ll make sure your student leaves with a slingsghot.

FIVE STUDENTS. Come on down! But register with the $20—

Newer Sam Hillborne Brochure

Dwindling supply of all sizes (except sold-out 62s) in stock. But more of all of them coming next month.

Check out our free Sam Booklet here.


grantpost x

Last week a rider came by the Hatchet store, having ridden this-his-only-bike from a pretty good distance—40 miles or so, hilly and hot—and was familiar with RBW, etc, and I happened to look at his bike, which he was neither flaunting nor hiding. You never know what you’re going to find, at least I don’t, so without further anything…

Dang, I should have had a full-bike shot. Listen, it was a late-70s Trek 27-inch tire road bike, originally. He converted to 650B, and look how how flexible and clever and accommodating he was. The “neck” below the normal headset cup is an upper headset cone (another part of the headset) fitted onto the fork crown race. Sorry to bore you non-mechanics out there, but this must be the first time in the 3.5 billion year history of life that this has ever happened. He did it to “lift” the front end up after going from the big 27-wheel to the smallish 650B (don’t be confused that is is often referred to as a 27.5. The radius of a 27 x 1 1/4” wheel is typically about 350mm, and the radius of his 650B’er was about 330mm).

Doing that meant pulling the whole steer tube down, so now—not enough room for the locknut. He locktit the upper bearing cup in place, and it’s held for several months and many hundreds of miles, so…there.  The knurled cup and zigzagged teeth were intended, many decades ago, to allow take-apart-by-hand, to make train-traveling easier in countries like Japan where yes you can take your bike, but you have to take it apart. There are other advantages. Bstone made its own headsets like this. Lots of French bikes had them—there was a Stronglight headset model called the V4 made this way. I rode one for 8 years on a Ritchey, maybe the only Ritchey to have a V4.

He made his own brake-drop fitting, so the pads would reach.

This bike wouldn’t stop most passersby or tresspassers W (first pm to nail that references wins $25 credit; second wins nothing), but it was sure fun to see how he did it. He got the bike from the dump.

Did I already post this? Maybe. The Albastache bar with assorted bar tapes, shellacked amber, clear, and not at all. Twined wherever. I like this look. I don’t see why it’s not more popular, seriously.

This one too—old news? I start BLUG posts and don’t finish, then forget, and anyway, the final Clem badge will look similar but way better. The foundation is there, but the execution and two details will be better.

At a gift shop in the airport in Taipei I fell in love with this, measuring about 17-inches wide and now on display at BikeBookHatchet. I’m not a bones-and-teeth person by nature, but I liked the title: Fish and Reptile Fossils From the Phosphate Mines of Morrocco. I didn’t know there were phosphate mines in Morrocco.

This is old-school bodybuilding stuff, found in a book in a used bookstore in Locke, California, for $0.50. The title is “Beef It,” which is funny enough, but it’s full of bodybuilding stories and photos like this, which I, like most of you, think are weird and disgusting—no need to say more about that—but like the tooth display, it’s the caption that makes the whole deal. The book is full of captions of this kind, but one’s enough for here. Find “Beef It” on Amazon used for a penny + $3.99 shipping, and see for yourself.

All of Our Bikes Have Disc Brakes

For a generation or at most a generation and a half, people have become used to the idea of purchasing computer and car and photo and music and some other kinds of performance via improved technology.  And to an extent that can happen with bikes, but … that’s the topic here.

Immature, emerging, nascent, and futuristic widgets are the ones most in need of and most likely to benefit from radical changes. Bikes have been pretty good for at least twenty of the past 154 years they’ve been around, but the whole headline-making machinery behind the popular bike demands constant change, and this situation creates another situation in which change is automatically positive, and anybody who questions it is automatically an anchor in the mud living in the past.

Let’s try to be objective about brakes. I won’t be able to be fully objective, but I’ll try, at least.

The bigger diameter the disc, the more leverage it has against the rotating force of the wheel. If you could somehow apply brakes well above the wheel, where now there’s only air or maybe a bee, it would take less force to slow that wheel. That’s currently impossible, so the next logical place to brake is at the rim. I’m not advocating the ancient spoon-brakes that pushed down on top of the tire; just talking ‘bout the rim.

The rim IS a disc, the biggest practical disc on the wheel, and mechanically it has a theoretical advantage over a hub-mounted brake. Hub-disc brakes compensate nicely by providing more contact area, which also dissipates heat well. But there’s a ton of force on that disc, and the force is transferred to the frame (seat stays) and fork and spokes, which is why frames have to be overbuilt to withstand the braking forces, and spokes on disc wheels break more often.

Hub-disc-ers point out that a rim designed for rim brakes has to compromise its two functions (braking surface, holding the tire), and that also is a theoretical point against rim brakes. But it so happens that the compromises are nearly invisible. The taller braking surface on a rim-brake rim also adds strength. Why don’t hub disc-brake rims have this? I can’t see the advantage to a low, curved, brakepad-incompatible sidewall, unless it’s to shave grams. There are better places to shave grams.

There’s room for all kinds of technology and detail in bicycles. Thank god not all bikes look like ours, or else ours wouldn’t be special and we’d go under in a month. But the idea that hub-disc brakes are an advancement or even desirable for general purpose riding…is nonsense. For special purpose riding, they must have their place. They belong in the panoply, for those super slimy gritty conditions that characterize downhill races on the slopes of volcanoes in the rain…and even maybe on the greasy trails you ride. But when they’re tossed onto $700 commute bikes and then sold (on the sales floor) as a desirable technology bump, that’s where it gets weird. For most riding (maybe not the extreme-condition riding that people fantasize about, but for most riding, in all seasons and over most terrain) rim-disc brakes remain our favorite.

- Grant

View more articles in our Learn section here…




RBW headquarters will be closed Saturday for the Entmoot.

Rivendell Bike Book & Hatchet will be open normal hours 12am - 8pm at 1601 N. Main St. on Saturday.

What is the Entmoot?

A gathering of Riv fans organized by Jim, now Dan & Joe. They’re organizing, coordinating, all that. It’s not an official Riv thing, but some Rivvers will be there (not working, so go easy on them), and we’re officially not the organizers so please use this link for info.  All the info is assembled here. Campouts and group rides.There’s also a virtual Entmoot ride that Patrick organized. Info here.


This weekend. See the link. Bike Book & Hatchet will be open Monday 10am-2pm for all the returning campers.


The San Francisco Bay Area. Again see the link for details.


It was all organized by members of the Rivendell Owners Bunch and some employees are going.


Fun, mostly.


Boy oh boy. See the link. All over the bay, ferries, bridges, BARTs, bikes.

What a great group of customers we have. THANK YOU for organizing this.

Buddy says enjoy your 4th of July & this Roadeo Mark (his dad) just built up. The color is going to be added as a standard option to the Roadeo line-up. I think it’s called Brilliant Blue? Could be wrong though, Mark knows.

Have fun out there.


Closed Friday - Independence Day

A Happy Fourth to You and Yours!

from all of us here at ArbyDubya’s.

*Business as usual Saturday. RBBH open Sunday.