Rivendell News

News from Rivendell on upcoming changes and availability:

We’re nearly out of Sams, except in the 48s and 52s. We’ll have more in February, and you can reserve one with a non-refundable (to ensure sincerity, not to bum you out, and we’ve never not given back “non-refundable deposits in the past, and it’s never a tussle) $100 deposit. They’ll be orange again, and this time there will be a 64, too. Both the 60 and 64 will have double top tubes, which—we could’ve done without on the 60, but the 64 benefits for sure. Hey, in four years every big bike will have double toppers…

You understand what the second top tube does, right? It re-triangulates the frame so the frame resists twisting better. On a bike with a tall head tube, it matters. Tall riders tend to weigh more and so on, so it makes sense.

We got lugs made just for the second top tube. It’s what you do when you claim, as we do, to be Home of the Lugged Steel Frame.

The Simpleone will replace the Quickbeam, and it too will come in Spring. Some as frames, maybe some as bikes. Exactly the same geometry as the QB, and in sizes 54-56-58-60-62-64. The smaller and taller QBs didn’t sell well, so we’re going with these. Not sure of the price, but they’ll cost less than the Quickers and be as good. Made in Taiwan, not Japan.

We have a dwindling number of what seems to be the last of the Japanese-built Atlantis frames. They are stratospherically expensive to buy, and your price, $2,000 for frame-fork-headset, counts only if you buy a complete Atlantis from us. Frame only is now $2,300. Sometimes next year we’ll likely bring in a Taiwan-built Atlantis, also built under the guidance of Tetsu Ishigaki; and the fork will be made in the old Toyo shop, in Japan. There may be some changes. Fewer sizes, more upslope on the TT. It will be a good, good bike.

We’re getting Betty Foy frames in the usual 52cm and 58cm 650-B wheels sizes, plus two new sizes: 47cm (26-inch wheels), and 62cm (700c). These will also be available as Yves Gomez for guys who don’t want to ride a “Betty Foy.”

Rivendell Bicycle Works

6 Responses to “Rivendell News”

  • Andrew says:

    Double top-tubes strike me as a bit goofy, but I believe him that it would definitely benefit the rigidity. It does really emphasize the limitations of lugged steel construction, since you can’t use shaped tubing (i.e. hydroformed aluminium, or composites) to put the strength where you need it.

    It’s just a bit of a shame, since it makes for something of a silly aesthetic in my mind, which is supposed to be the high point of a olde-style steel bike.

  • Elliott @ Violet Crown Cycles says:

    The top tube is the part of the bike that gets the least stress, so I always find it interesting that people try to increase rigidity there. I would looked oversized downtubes and secondary chain stay bridges before doing a second top tube, any day. If you really need more rigidity, a Kriusframe style would do a much better job and look more elegant in my opinion.

  • Alan says:


    Double top tubes are not all that uncommon on large lugged frames:

    WorkCycles Transport

    The idea is to minimize the size of the main triangle. Personally, I find a double top tube far less “goofy” than a hydroformed “tube”, but perhaps that’s the retro-grouch in me coming out. :-)


  • Andrew says:

    Haha, I would say that’s indeed a retro-grouchy sentiment.

    As my counterpoint, I present the Cannondale Touring:


    That’s a small looking frame, but I consider the aesthetic to be equally as clean and elegant as lugged steel, and you have so much more freedom with the material. To quote their press material, the downtube’s “tube wall is thicker at the head tube junction for impact resistance, while the oversized, thinner wall diameter at the BB shell resists torsional flex.”

    Engineering appeals to me at least as much as craftsmanship when it comes to bikes.

  • thermador says:

    Yeah, it seems like Grant continues to go further down retro-grouch boulevard as he gets older. Sure, the Yen / Dollar exchange rate was partially responsible for killing Bridgestone, but the other half was certainly the way they ran the company.

    As a company, Rivendell fills the retro-grouch niche nicely, and because they have no corporate overlords to answer to, they can make great niche bikes. Sometimes, however, their grouchery gets in the way of common sense! Why not put a sloping top tube on the big frames? Oh wait, even though the frame would be stronger, easier to straddle, and lighter, this ‘new’ technology of sloping top tubes is just ‘old novelty’ and ‘new designs just because they are new’ – there are no real benefits, right? So let’s just double up the top tube which is a) heavier and b) ruins the ‘classic’ road bike look that we are supposed to be preserving. Where is the logic here?

  • Lugged-Steel « flakes of nuisance says:

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