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  1. #1
    "Put me back on my bike!"
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    Rivendell Bombadil?

    I'm thinking of maybe ordering a Bombadil, does anybody here own one, or had a chance to ride one? Any thoughts on that model?
    "Just put me back on my bike!"

  2. #2
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I think Riv bikes are expensive, personally. You could probably have something built by a poor local builder for as much and have similar quality. Or do Rawlands. If you have to have one, I bet you could find a review or two if you search for "retro grouch."

  3. #3
    esq.
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    rawlands is a much better bike for offroad riding, and a much, much better value.
    life is simple: i want to be in love, drink good coffee, and ride my bike. --drew degeer

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    You could probably have something built by a poor local builder for as much and have similar quality.
    I disagree. For the quality, the frames are quite reasonably priced, if they're what you want.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle
    I disagree. For the quality, the frames are quite reasonably priced, if they're what you want.
    When you qualify a statement like that, it is hard to disagree, but a local guy with a very solid rep did a frame and fork from True Temper OX Platinum for 1k-ish (no longer posting a pricelist, so maybe the cost has gone up) and is built locally. The Bombadil is a 2k for a heavier bike that is going to be made by Waterford/Japan, if that is what you want.

  6. #6
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    Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo! Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!

  7. #7
    ^ That's what I do
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus
    Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo! Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
    LOL, Bombadil was always so ridiculous.
    '08 Specialized Rockhopper 29er (modified)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    When you qualify a statement like that, it is hard to disagree, but a local guy with a very solid rep did a frame and fork from True Temper OX Platinum for 1k-ish (no longer posting a pricelist, so maybe the cost has gone up) and is built locally. The Bombadil is a 2k for a heavier bike that is going to be made by Waterford/Japan, if that is what you want.
    I reckon Grant wouldn't have added a second top tube if he were counting grams. Does your local guy do such nice lug work? You start looking into the handbuilt lugged steel world and two bills for the frameset looks pretty normal. I'm not arguing that it is the right bike for whomever, just that the price is well within standards.

  9. #9
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    Ah... I forgot people like lugs. Nevermind.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    Ah... I forgot people like lugs. Nevermind.
    Go to NAHBS and the Rivendell bikes start looking downright cheap.

  11. #11
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    Anybody know what the OP wanted to do with the Rivendell?

    Quote Originally Posted by flargle
    Go to NAHBS and the Rivendell bikes start looking downright cheap.
    You work on this thread has made me pretty happy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    You work on this thread has made me pretty happy.
    Today I am less grumpy and more patient than the day I posted to that thread.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acesingle
    I'm thinking of maybe ordering a Bombadil, does anybody here own one, or had a chance to ride one? Any thoughts on that model?
    My thoughts . . . When Grant first mentioned a Bombadil in the Riv Reader years ago, it was imagined to be an updated Bridgestone MB-1 with lugs. I was excited about that bike. What shipped over from Japan many years later was basically a heavy-duty Atlantis touring bike with a double top tube. I was WAY disappointed about the resulting bike and did not place an order.

    From everything I've read, it would be a great bike to load with camping gear and point down a bumpy Patagonian ranch road, but it would not be my choice for singletrack. And singletrack is where the Pacenti 650B tire really shines. (Both 26 inch and 700C wheels do the rough stuff touring gig really well . . . and you can find tires when you blow out a sidewall.) Oh yeah, and the Bombadil won't fit a Pacenti Neo Moto tire. Imagine, producing a lugged 650B mountain bike that won't take THE premier 650B mountain tire. Bummer.

    Anyway, if it were my money, I'd save some extra pennies and order a truly beautiful custom Curt Goodrich 650B Allrounder for $2800 (lugged frame/fork), or spend less than $2000 and order a custom IF or Pacenti or a Rock Lobster frame, or save a ton of dough and order a Rawland for $350 (IIRC, for blemish models). Unless you are a member of the Riv cult, I think you can do better than the Bombadil.

    Before the Riv worshippers start yelling "burn him!" or "build a bridge out of him!," let me say that I've owned a Waterford-built Riv, a Custom Riv, and an Atlantis. Loved them all, but ultimately sold them all. I never found the elven magic. The magic resides in a low bottom bracket and a Brooks saddle - both widely available in other bikes.


  14. #14
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    I am a big fan of the Bombadil. If I had extra money which I do not, this would be my second moutain bike to offset my fs cross country bike. Riv's have a lot of class which alot of off the shelf bike makers lack. My only beef with the Bomb is the tire clearance; the frame and fork won't accomodate the Neo Motos. There are some newer 2.1s out like the Nevegal and Fire XC Pro which should fit fine.
    I like the Rawlands alot as well. Rawland=Cadillac Rivendell=Bentley. Both do their jobs very well, but one will draw many more stares and comments.

  15. #15
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    Thankfully, "poor man's" Rivendell's seem to be a growth niche in the bike industry at the moment. Besides the afore-mentioned Rawlands, the Singular Peregrin http://www.singularcycles.com/bikes.htm looks really good (but you have to put up those pesky modern disc brakes), as does the Handsome Devil http://www.handsomecycles.com/index.php?s=geometry. Of course, Surly has been doing the budget-Riv thing for a while. The Salsa Fargo is another bike in the mold of the Bombadill. All the new "monstercross" models (Vassago Fisticuff, Voodoo Nikisi, etc) have a Riv-ishness to them. Steel bikes in general seem to be on the uptick. Grant should be proud (if he's not freaked out by all the competition he, in many ways, spawned).

  16. #16
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    Acesingle, at least do us the favor of posting a picture of whatever you ended up getting. Hopefully it's a nice Riv or at least a Rawland with some drops and bar end shifters.

  17. #17
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    Before the Riv worshippers start yelling "burn him!"

    Before the Riv worshippers start yelling "burn him!" or "build a bridge out of him!," let me say that I've owned a Waterford-built Riv, a Custom Riv, and an Atlantis. Loved them all, but ultimately sold them all. I never found the elven magic. The magic resides in a low bottom bracket and a Brooks saddle - both widely available in other bikes.

    [/QUOTE]

    I worked on an Rivendell Atlantis just a little while ago at a shop I was wrenching at and I noticed a couple of odd things, especially for a bike at that price range. (Note, I've been a bicycle mechanic with 20 years of bench time).

    1) It used a very old school approach to routing the cables under the bottom bracket shell in that it didn't use either a molded eyelet guide (as I've seen on some older bikes) or a screw on plastic deal (as you have seen on a kajillion other bikes) but just to molded indents on the shell itself so the cables slowly but surly sawed their way through the paint. That shouldn't be a deal breaker (and I'm sure that newer models may be different) but that is a sure way to have your frame to start to rust.

    2) None of the cantilever bosses were brazed parallel to one another. They were a good millimeter and a half difference between the center of each of the posts which is unacceptable for a frame at that price range. My buddy's Surly Cross-Check was brazed like that but that also cost a fraction of what a Rivendell does.

    3) The front end bike was extremely flexy. With a few exceptions I've been riding steel bikes for decades now but it's amazing how much of a difference it makes by moving from a 1" quill stem to a 1 1/8" threadless system with a 31.8 bar will make in how the front end of the bike it will make. Yes, the Nitto stem and bars look really nice but it's 2009 now. We've tamed fire, cured polio, and have put people on the moon so not all technological progress is bad.

    Ultimately, the decision is yours. I'm just a jackass with a computer.

    If it were my money, I'd buy either a Surly or a Rawland, invest in some nice XT and 105 parts, buy some good quality hand built wheels and pocket the difference.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acesingle
    I'm thinking of maybe ordering a Bombadil, does anybody here own one, or had a chance to ride one? Any thoughts on that model?
    Sorry to post this so late, but here's a good writeup on the Bombadil:

    http://chicogino.blogspot.com/2008/0...eek-fling.html

  19. #19
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  20. #20
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    Cool, thanks for the link. I know that trail and to ride it with drops ... props!

  21. #21
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    Maybe this is off topic a bit, but why couldn't Riv. make the headtube 1 1/8 and slap on disc brake tabs in addition for room for the larger 650bs?

  22. #22
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    Rivendells, disc brakes and 1 1/8 steer tubes.

    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    Maybe this is off topic a bit, but why couldn't Riv. make the headtube 1 1/8 and slap on disc brake tabs in addition for room for the larger 650bs?
    Grant Petersen has written quite a bit about his opposition to 1 1/8" headtubes (his thought they were designed so product managers could stiffen up low end bicycles by using lower quality oversized tubesets) and he seems to have almost a pathological dislike for any new bicycle equipment developed after about 1975 so that kind of rules out disc brakes.

    The Soma B-Side could probably be modified in order to take drops.

    Also, I had a buddy of mine modify a Salsa La Cruz to be able to use 650bs. He needed to ditch the fork and have the seatstays and chainstays crimped in order to use the wider tires but over all he's been happy with the experiment.

  23. #23
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacemonkey
    Grant Petersen has written quite a bit about his opposition to 1 1/8" headtubes (his thought they were designed so product managers could stiffen up low end bicycles by using lower quality oversized tubesets) and he seems to have almost a pathological dislike for any new bicycle equipment developed after about 1975 so that kind of rules out disc brakes.

    The Soma B-Side could probably be modified in order to take drops.

    Also, I had a buddy of mine modify a Salsa La Cruz to be able to use 650bs. He needed to ditch the fork and have the seatstays and chainstays crimped in order to use the wider tires but over all he's been happy with the experiment.
    I was just thinking the Bombadil with some modern considerations would provide a little bit of a better niche for those who wanted a nice lugged rigid. At least at that point the bike wouldn't seem quite as expensive because it would be the only lugged rigid that I know off (Rawlands only has a fork).

    I think the B-side might be a good option for drops, I don't get the modified La Cruz. Surely there is another cross bike that would fit an honest 2.1 and have decent clearance... Fisticuffs?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I was just thinking the Bombadil with some modern considerations would provide a little bit of a better niche for those who wanted a nice lugged rigid. At least at that point the bike wouldn't seem quite as expensive because it would be the only lugged rigid that I know off (Rawlands only has a fork).

    I think the B-side might be a good option for drops, I don't get the modified La Cruz. Surely there is another cross bike that would fit an honest 2.1 and have decent clearance... Fisticuffs?
    It's not realistic to expect disc brakes on it--just counter to Riv philosophy. But, I agree clearance for fatter tires would be nice! The story there, is (aside from Grant's preference for straight stays) that nothing fatter existed when this bike was designed! The NeoMoto's didn't yet exist...
    ...also, the bigger sizes are 29ers, FWIW.

  25. #25
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    Rivendell just broke a model that is a bit counter to their philosophy. Maybe disc brake tabs in the future, though perhaps that doesn't appeal to the riv set.

    700c is 29er (roughly- rim width aside). Road v. Mountain geometry is the discussion and apparently people want 2.1+ on road geometry. I don't know where the bombadil falls in this discussion.

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