The Sam in many ways, a few ways, is the best all-around bike we’ve ever made. It’s not better than the Homer, but it costs like $1,000 to $1,300 less, and that has to count. It came after the Homer, so benefited from things learned from the Homer.

They ride identically enough that I can’t tell which bike I’m on.  I have a Homer-on-the-big side for me (a rare 60), and a Sam-on-big-side, a 56. They both fit fine, I ride them the same amount, both are set up alike, and when I’m not looking I can’t tell, and at any point on any ride I might not even know. This was the plan—to make the Sam ride like the Homer.

The second top tube doesn’t hurt anything. It must make the bike laterally stiffer, better for touring with a load, but since I have my Atlantis for that, I don’t put the 2TT to the test.

The Sam’s made in Taiwan. The SOUND of those syllables isn’t musical, but that it’s not musical is —- because we associate, still, deep down and from years of seeing it plastered on toys and junk, those same words.

I’ve been to many bike shops and factories, from one-manners to Bridgestone, with maybe seven others in between. Panasonic, Wford, Match, Toyo, and many small custom shops. They’re all impressive in their way, but none is more impressive than the one that makes the Sam. It’s big enough to require efficiency. There’s no pipe-smoking gnomes contemplating the next hand-miter there, but there’s also no rush. The floor is the cleanest I’ve ever seen. Each operation has a specialist who learns perfection by repetition, exactly the way you want your surgeon to learn it. There’s no sign of rushing, just of no wasted movements, no backtracking an oops, or anything like that. The frames are checked for alignment at various stages, and there are in-house testing machines that use hydraulics and computers to replicate specific tests.

Even if you don’t ask for test results (we do), they test the frames, because they’re in the loop and they want to know. It’s a comforting level of concern, and not at all what you might expect when you think of a “Taiwan bike factory.”

-G

www.rivbike.com

In for a new set of brakepads and tires is an older production Saluki with some signs of love as a daily commuter with gentle beausage. Every thing is understated but primo. Only thing missing from this real-world ride is her trusty SaddleSack.

It’s a great city bike setup for a smaller rider who doesn’t weigh much. The aluminum albatross cockpit is very light by cockpit standards. The frame is stout, but there’s no fat. And while we usually send commuters out with tougher rims and tires, when you weigh a scant 105 pounds, you can still get away with carrying 25 pounds of food over city streets on a featherweight wheelset so long as your tires are chubby enough (these are 38mm). Rich-built DT Swiss 340 hubs and w/ Velocity A23 wheelset makes it a true cat-5 race machine. Bolt-on German tail-light and MKS platform pedals with reflectors are no-brainers for the stop-start city commutes.

We used to sell these pari-moto tires but they’ve been discontinued, so we’ll be replacing this bald pair with our new ultralight 650b x 42mm Soma GRs.  She managed zero flats in a year of commuting on those light tires on her route so we think they’ll be fine.

Saluki is what we used to call our A. Homer Hilsen in smaller sizes.

We have just a few 47cm and 50cm size NOS Saluki a.k.a. A.HomerHilsen frames left. If you like this one…. call us 800 345 3918.

-D

Mark just finished up building this well equipped Sage Green 55cm Albastache’d Sam.

Brian just built up the last of our Cheviot samples. This one is a 60cm with a coupla baskets.

-jared

Our Sam Hillborne demo fleet.

All sizes are currently in stock, ready to be built up and shipped out.

-jared

New Green Sams came in today. Available for assembly and shipping in about a week turnaround!

We have the new sage green color in all sizes. We still have remaining stock of the blue&cream versions also shown above in all sizes but 62. That largest 62cm size is sold out in blue. The last pic shows a 55cm, 58cm, and 62cm together.

Jared’s 67cm A. Homer Hilsen.  Was once crashed and is now repaired.