Bicycles & Frames
The kind of bikes we don’t do:
We don’t “do” racing bikes; not road, not mountain, not gravel. We make bikes for daily riders, tourers, commuters, shoppers, trail riders. For athletes and get-arounders. Not for racers. Racing has tweaked and refined the comfort, safety, and versatility out of bicycles, and on the way, it has made the modern bikes into sleek and mean, dark and fat road bikes and mechanically overkilled mountain bikes.
The kind of bikes we DO do:
All Steel Road bikes.
Models: Roadini, Roadeo
Purpose: For pavement riding with tires between 28mm and 35mm. For unloaded or lightly loaded (10lbs?) rides on pavement or smooth dirt.
Rivendell differences: More comfort, safer, more useful, more beautiful, and much more versatile. The bigger tires improve life on rough roads, and the clear fenders with tires up to 32mm, or without fenders, tires to 35mm. . Most other road bikes still being made max out at 28mm, with no fender at all.
Finally, the steering geometry has been dialed in for 25 years. New steering theories pop up now and then, create a flurry and a micro-cult, but it is extremely unlikely that you’ll find road bikes that ride as well, and certainly not better, than a Rivendell road bike.
All Steel Country bikes.
Models: A. Homer Hilsen, Sam Hillborne, Cheviot
Purpose: For splitting the time on road and light trails. These days you hear a lot about “gravel bikes.” We made country bikes for 20 years before that trend, but they’re basically the same: Road bikes with more grit, less priss. Our Country Bkes fit tires to 45mm with a fender, 50mm without. Excellent road touring bike. Super on pavent, moderate dirt, gravel, chipseal, or unmaintained county roads, with loads up to 25 pounds
Rivendell differences: Like all of our bikes, comfort…handling…and especially in the case of our fully lugged models, beauty.
All Steel Hillibikes
Models: Gus Boots-Willsen, Susie W. Longbolts, Clem Smith JR.
Purpose: Trail riding, smooth or rough, loaded or unloaded. Also excellent for loaded road touring, all of them.
Rivendell differences: These are so different from modern mountain bikes that we had to come up with Hillibikes, to point out that we aren’t even trying to be like them. But you can ride them on the same trails.
Aside from only steel and no suspension, our Hillibikes are markedly geometrically different than modern “mountain” bikes, in that they have much longer chainstays and wheelbases. That contributes to a ride unequalled in unsuspended bikes, and yet makes them ideal for any trails. We have a separate Hillibike brochure, which raves on ad nauseam about ours, and offers good tips on style, technique, and gets into some other interesting topics.