[Mel sent us these photos of his Rivendell AHH. —ed.]
My Hilsen is really pretty normal. It is a 59cm Waterford frame. The bars are the Nitto Noodle with the Standard Technomic stem. I got interrupters because I had always admired them but never had them on my own bike. Brakes are Silvers with the SRAM S500 levers. Shifting is done with Dura-Ace 9-speed bar-cons. The crank is the standard Rivendell Sugino triple. There is a 9-speed SRAM cassette shifted with a Shimano Deore XT M771 rear derailer and a Campy triple front. I splurged on the wheels and bottom bracket. In the years I worked in a bike shop, I handled a few wheels and bottom brackets built with Phil Wood’s equipment. So for this bike, my first Rivendell, I got a Phil Wood “Rivy” front hub and the Phil Wood 135mm cassette hub for the rear. The rims are Velocity Synergy with the rear being the offset rim. I wanted the rotating components to be strong, long-lived, and relative maintenance free but also totally rebuildable. The tires are the Jack Brown Blue’s that Rivendell sells.
Everything else is a work in progress. I have a Nitto Mark’s rack on the front. A Nitto Top Rack is waiting for installation on the rear as soon as I get a few shorter M5 socket head screws. The kickstand is waiting for a short, socket head screw replacement so it can be mounted on the kickstand plate. I am currently using my older Brooks B17 Special. It really was the same color as the Brooks Honey handlebar tape when it was new! I have a new pair of the SKS P45 longboard fenders in brushed silver waiting along with a pair of fluted Velo Orange fenders I will have to decide on mounting. The seatpost is the Nitto Crystal Fellow. But I have to say that I am really looking hard at the new Paul seat post as an alternative somewhere down the line. I have entered into the quest for the perfect pedal. So far, these MKS touring pedals are running neck and neck with their Grip Kings – which are currently on my Litespeed.
What else can I say? Everything others have written is true. The bike is superb. Building it up, I often had to just stop, look, and run my hands over the work. It is truly an artisan bike. The lug work that Grant talks so much about is truly beautiful. The frame is straight, true, and relatively light. But even beyond the beauty and thoughtfulness that has gone into the design, the actual riding of the bike is wonderful. The miles I have logged on the Hilsen have been slower than on my Litespeed. But the comfort level has improved incredibly. The larger frame (I have always ridden 56cm frames) puts everything where my body tells me it should be. That means little if any lower back pains. It is amazing.