Rivendell Bicycle Works Sam Hillborne Commuter Bike

5/5 (2 Reviews)
MSRP : $2000.00


Product Description

  • Investment cast lugs
  • Butted CrMo tubing
  • Rivendell design
  • Clearance for 40mm tires


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tom Duval a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2009

Strengths:    Frame, paint and lug quality
Very stable and comfortable ride
eyelets for racks front and rear
Comfortable geometry that enables you to put your handlebars at saddle level.


Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
This is a very versatile and beautiful bike. The paint and lugs exceeded my expectations based on the online photos I'd seen. The ride is very comfortable and stable thanks to the steel tubes and the relaxed geometry of the frame. I normally ride a 58cm road bike but chose a 60cm frame based on Rivendell's sizing recommendations and the bike fits perfectly...I think the 56cm frame would have been too small for me and they don't offer a 58cm frame. Most of my rides so far have been along the ocean on flat terrain but the bike climbs well and descends like it's on rails...very stable indeed. This is not a race bike even though you can ride it fast but it does many things well including trips on dirt roads/fire trails. Most people who buy road bikes would be better off with this bike than your average carbon fiber frame which forces you into an uncomfortable position for long rides. If you like to ride all day and multi-task this bike is a great choice for you.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   PCH - Long Beach to Newport Beach

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Rivendell - Factory

Similar Products Used:   Airborne Zeppelin titanium road bike

Bike Setup:   700 Jack Brown Blue tires
135/32 Budget wheelset
Sugino crank XD2 46/36/24
9 speed cassette 11-32
nitto noodle handlebar and Technomic stem
DER R Shimano Deore RR
DER F Campy triple 28.67
Shifters - Bar End Shimano Dura Ace 9's
Brake - Shimano V Deore silver


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fai Mao a Commuter

Date Reviewed: July 24, 2009

Strengths:    Stability
Clearance for 40 mm wide
Low bottom Bracket
Not a speck of carbon fiber
Rack mounts
eyelets for fenders
Old School Charm
High handle bars
132.5 spacing lets you run either MTB or road wheels
Comes with a headset and bottom Bracket installed
Will accept either a long reach side-pull center pull brake or a canti-lever, V-Brake

Exceptional value in a frame of this quality


Weaknesses:    650B wheels are not that available
Snot green color.
No down Tube shifter bosses (Odd for a Grant Petersen designed bike.
Perhaps not trendy enough for many riders.
The installed BB really only fits one crank. If you want a different crank you have to keep the Bottom Bracket.

No brazed on rear cantilever cable stop

The huge tire clearance makes fitting a cyclo-computer problematic


Bottom Line:   
This is a cool and practical if not exactly main stream bike. However, it should be a main stream bike. Lots of people could ride and enjoy this bike.

This bike is extremely stable and predictable. Well suited for medium/heavy duty touring, commuting or pleasure riding. This bike is lugged and brazed with gorgeous lugs. Unfortunately it comes in only one color, an ugly green.

You can ride this bike all day. It is smooth and the wide tires soak up road bumps nearly as well as suspension but weigh a lot less.

The "expanded Frame" means that you need to order a smaller size than normal. I normally ride a 56 CM frame and ordered a 52 Sam because the bike has a sloping top tube which gives it a top tube and steerer tube like a 59 CM frame. I probably could have gotten away with a 48 CM frame. That would effectively give me compact frame touring bicycle. But, doing so would negate the idea behind the bike.

The expanded frame means getting the bars up higher is a cinch but gives the bike a bit of an odd look especially with the 650B wheels. That steerer tube just looks too long for the frame.

It accelerates better than you'd think but has a turning radius similar to a cruise ship.Downhills are amazingly stable.

I don't climb well but the bike does not seem to be any worse there than other touring type frames. It is a confident if not fast climber

This is a really, really, really fun bike. It can be used for almost anything except racing and the 650B wheel might disqualify it for that even if you wanted to race it.

Perhaps the bike bike of its type on the market. I wish it came in black or a darker green.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   Sam Hillborne

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Renaissance Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   Dawes Galaxy
Cannondale Touring bicycle



Bike Setup:   Sugino XD500 Crank 48/38/26
DT Swiss 370 road hubs w/Velocity Dyad rims
Maxy Fasty 650B tires
NOS Suntour XC Pro derailleurs and thumb shifters and cantilevers
Cain Creek levers
8 Speed 12/32 cassette
Selle Italia Rolls Saddle
Nitto Periscope Stem
Sury Torsion Bar
Sugino Seat post
VO sealed bearing touring pedals
Soma toeclips and Straps
Soma Deco Rack



Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


New Riv Sam Hillborne

Here is my new bike just completed a month ago. I had ordered a single tube Sam but a double showed up instead. After pondering the situation, I decided to keep it because it IS a beautiful frame and the grams of extra weight are meaningless to me. This is not and never was intended to be a weight w ... Read More »

Rivendell Sam Hillborne vs 2012 Schwinn Slicker?

I am looking for a relaxed geometry road bike for occasional commuting, relaxed group rides and occasional general use. It will not be my only bike. I have a "racier" steel road bike already, which I will keep. I do not race. I may prefer to stay with steel for this bike as well. I am used to modern ... Read More »

A one Year Review - Sam Hillborne

I’ve had the Sam Hillborne on the road a year now and about 3500 Km worth of commuting later I think I have a good perspective on the bike. The short version, this is a really good bike for a commuter or credit-card tourist or everyday, non-racing use. This would also possibly be a good wi ... Read More »

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