Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

What Do You Think of Rivendell Bike Works?

  • [b]I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Riv FANATIC! Viva la Grant!![/b]

    Votes: 3 2.3%
  • [b]I like Riv a lot, they're a valuable alternative to the rest of the industry's groupthink.[/b]

    Votes: 59 46.1%
  • [b]Meh. They have one or two good ideas, but overall I don't really agree with their philosophy.[/b]

    Votes: 21 16.4%
  • [b]Grant P's pretty much wrong about everything, always has been, always will be.[/b]

    Votes: 7 5.5%
  • [b]I personally think it's just a scam to sell overpriced old technology.[/b]

    Votes: 28 21.9%
  • [b]WTF is a Rivendell?[/b]

    Votes: 10 7.8%
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 67 Posts

· Registered
Escorted from the White House
Joined
·
39,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You either already know of Rivendell (purveyors of wool, 650B, and the country bike, among many other things) and their philosophy, or you don't, and if you do, you probably know a lot about them.

Grant P and Co. seem to be a lightning rod for controversy and strongly-held ideological beliefs, part of the 'war' for the heart of the cycling consumer, and framers of the debate over what is and is not appropriate technology.

Love 'em or hate 'em, they seem to be one of the most interesting bike companies out there, so... what's your opinion? Do you agree or disagree with their philosophy and products? And why or why not?

Hoping for an interesting discussion, not a flame war... *crosses fingers* :smilewinkgrin:
 

· Devoid of all flim-flam
Joined
·
7,366 Posts
Riv bicycles are beautiful to look at. Grant is a persuasive, first-class writer. So I bought a Rambouillet. I didn't like it. Every single thing Grant said would make my bicycling life better, from the more upright seating position to the larger frame to the disregard for how much a bicycle should weigh, actually made my bicycling life worse. I sold it after two years.
 

· Registered
Escorted from the White House
Joined
·
39,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I had an email convo with Grant, and while I agreed with him on many things, bike sizing wasn't one of 'em.

To me it's like, okay, if you want the bars level with the saddle (or even a bit higher), won't an up-angled stem take care of that? Why do I need a big honkin' frame? Just so I can run a traditional stem 'cuz it's oh-so-pretty?
 

· Decrepit Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
SystemShock said:
Hoping for an interesting discussion, not a flame war... *crosses fingers* :smilewinkgrin:
Huh? You start a "poll" on frame materials that turns into scorched earth, and then start another on Grant Petersen and Rivendell?

You obviously like controversy; are you a troll?
 

· eminence grease
Joined
·
18,559 Posts
I think he presents an interesting alternative to the other stuff out there in the marketplace. Not one that is the least bit attractive to me, but I'm not everyone. He is almost certainly right for some people and completely wrong for many more. But when you see the result of some of the custom bikes built by companies like Serotta, you know that there certainly are people who need a certain position that they will never get on a modern "racing bike".

The more products there are, the better we are as consumers.
 

· eminence grease
Joined
·
18,559 Posts
Mapei said:
Riv bicycles are beautiful to look at. Grant is a persuasive, first-class writer. So I bought a Rambouillet. I didn't like it. Every single thing Grant said would make my bicycling life better, from the more upright seating position to the larger frame to the disregard for how much a bicycle should weigh, actually made my bicycling life worse. I sold it after two years.
Interesting. I think you're the first person I have ever heard actually admit that they tried to live the Riv vision and it failed. Very cool. Makes me wonder how many other people out there are in the same boat but unwilling to face the fact that they made a horrible mistake.
 

· Steaming piles of opinion
Joined
·
10,520 Posts
There's something to be said for simplicity and more conservative arrangement of self on bike. And not a thing wrong with some wider, softer rubber for an awful lot of riding.

And so on.

But I generally dislike and distrust ideologues of any stripe, and riding the back of the wave is just as bad as riding the front, in my book. Being just a tad less militant and accomodating to a newer idea every now and then would help Grant's position in this little world of ours a great deal... Though then Riv wouldn't be as iconic, which I beleive to be the point of a lot of it.

After all, once you strip away the mystique, he's essentially selling my 1978 Huffy Scout at a 3000% markup.
 

· noble dirtbag
Joined
·
98 Posts
I own a Heron which is a frame originally designed by Grant. I have purchased products from Rivendell and have many Rivendell readers. I agree with about 50% of what he expounds. He is also a great writer and his thoughts on even things non bike related are interesting and thought provoking. I work in a large bicycle shop where the state of the art bicycle is our bread and butter so I know what people think they need and why they think they need it. They are usually wrong but they have the right to buy what they want just as we all do. Grant has the right to sell what he wants and if you think old stuff is crap then by all means just buy the stuff that 95% of the shops sell.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
"he's essentially selling my 1978 Huffy Scout at a 3000% markup."-hah! (awesome)

Recently, my bike was stolen and I was actually considering buying an A. Homer Hillsen to replace it. Then I went to the website. Ugh. I wanted to buy a bike, not an ideology. Grant's stuff came off just a little bit cranky. I'm sure he's a nice enough guy when you meet him in real life, but that website of his is kinda self righteous.

I think I'll always be tempted by Rivendells. The geometry looks nice. The head badges are amazing. I like lugs. But I can't bring myself to buy a bike from a man who will think less of me if I ask for size 23 tires. Just my 2 cents.
 

· noble dirtbag
Joined
·
98 Posts
If you like the frame then buy the frame and build it up anyway you like. Just because he doesn't use the parts that everyone else uses doesn't make him evil or stupid. Are you afraid of a minority opinion? Do you think that selling a few downtube or bar end shifters is a real threat to Shimano or Campy's domination of the road market?
 

· Yo no fui.
Joined
·
8,486 Posts
Different strokes for different folks.
 

· noble dirtbag
Joined
·
98 Posts
You are exactly right Pablo. Rivendell's bicycles are just another option. They are not the only company promoting a more practical , everyday type of bicycle but they are one of the more passionate ones. Riding a bicycle on more varied terrain may require wider tires and slacker geometry and it is tough if not impossible to get 32c tires on most modern road bikes with the common carbon forks. So if you are a typical road rider with 23c tires on your bike just consider that maybe someday you might want to ride your bike to work or take a dirt road or do some touring. The country bike makes a lot more sense then. But if you are the type of rider that drives an SUV 30 miles to do a 40 mile group ride then maybe those Rivendell bikes just aren't your style.
 

· Registered
Escorted from the White House
Joined
·
39,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Scooper said:
Huh? You start a "poll" on frame materials that turns into scorched earth, and then start another on Grant Petersen and Rivendell?

You obviously like controversy; are you a troll?
1) I'm not the one that turned the frame materials poll into scorched earth; others did that, as anyone reading said thread can see.

2) Things are as controversial as ppl choose to make 'em. I simply do polls/threads on subjects I find interesting.

After all, while it'd be safely boring to do a poll on a subject that most ppl find noncontroversial (Ex: "Do you like gum?"), I'm not sure that you'd learn much. :frown2:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
"If you like the frame then buy the frame and build it up anyway you like. Just because he doesn't use the parts that everyone else uses doesn't make him evil or stupid. Are you afraid of a minority opinion? Do you think that selling a few downtube or bar end shifters is a real threat to Shimano or Campy's domination of the road market?"

I don't think he's evil or stupid and I like diversity in the marketplace. I just don't like the tone of his website. It rubbed me the wrong way. If you want to buy a frame from him, you can. I don't think I will.
 

· noble dirtbag
Joined
·
98 Posts
I just didn't think you were being fair to him. Do you really need him to sell you 23c tires? Is every bike shop out of them now? I run skinny tires on 2 of my lugged steel frames but I never thought Grant was looking down on me for doing that.
Grant runs a small company and barely makes a ripple in the marketplace. So if he comes off as a little preachy sometimes please try to understand that he is passionate and involved and he really doesn't hate the dominate bike industry. We should all welcome and treasure the small companies like Rivendell even if we don't agree with how they do things.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Once again, I respectfully disagree. I'm not going to "treasure" a small bike shop if I disagree with the manner in which they present themselves to potential customers. The OP asked for people's opinion of Rivendell. I'm firmly in the "Meh. They have one or two good ideas, but overall I don't really agree with their philosophy." camp. Grant has his way of doing things and that's fine. He just won't be getting any of my money because of it.
 
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top