Frame - Atlantis
This has been our flagship frame since we introduced it in 2003. It's an all-'rounder, originally designed for almost anything you'll need or want to do on a bicycle: loaded touring, trails, commutes, and day rides. The current Atlantis defines our approach to bikes and our ride and fit and aesthetics as well as any bike can.
Compared to earlier Atlantis frames, which seemed unimprovable at the time, the current ones have a dozen or more refinements that make them the best ones yet:
• More tire clearance. You can fit a 2.4.
• Longer chainstays and wheelbase, for a better ride.
• a new seat lug and seat stay connection that eliminates all shear stresses at the joint, and has a wonderfully non-classic look that suggests we're thinking.
• an ovalized seat tube bottom, from a round 28.6, to a lateral 31.8 x 25.4 oval (starts as inch-and-an-eigth, gets squished to an inch by inch and a quarter). Since there's no bottom bracket shell for the oval tube, the joint is tig-welded with a fillet braze laid over the upper portion. We do something similar on the Hillybikes, and it's probably the strongest way to make this highly stressed joint.
There's some confusion over the difference between the Atlantis and the Appaloosa. The Atlantis came first, and when it was made in America, we wanted an equally good Taiwan version—that bike became the Appaloosa. Now they're both made in the same shop in Taiwan, and the are not just "as good as ever," but better.
Geometry, Tires that fit, Ride, Handlebar recommendations...
The Atlantis wheelbase is about three to four percent longer. In theory, the Atlantis will feel smoother, less reactive. In practice, any difference you might feel in a side-by-side test is far more likely to come from the bar, stem, and wheels.
Both fit tires up to 2.4 inches fairly comfortably.
The Atlantis top tube is about a centimeter or two longer than the top tube on the closest-sized Appaloosa. That makes it marginally better for swept-back handlebars. I have both bikes, set up similarly, and I can't tell ANY difference.
COLOR is the big diff. The Atlantis comes only in Atlantis greenish blue, a Testors model paint color copying the inside of Russian submarines, a color to keep them calm. In the past we've offered some custom options, but we think the Atlantis color is the way it should be on this bike.
Quirk: The 59cm and 62cm have "rainbow" tubes that add style and structure by triangulation, and a better lifting tube than a standard top tube. The tube begins at 25.4mm, and is squashed to an oval 22.2mmx 28.6mm. Both ends are lusciously fillet-brazed, making these two sizes more expensive for us, but not for you. In the past three years, the 59cm Atlantis has been our top-selling 59 of any model.
Atlantis History/Trivia/non-essential reading
The Atlantis more than any other model is the one most-associated with us, because it was the first production model (since 1999?) made in small bunches. It was a refined and renamed version of the Rivendell All-Rounder, then made in batches of three in Wisconsin. The Atlantis then came out of Osaka a hundred at a time, and reached more riders, and helped get our name and reputation out there. Thanks, Atlantis! Around 2008, the exchange rate shifted dramatically, and the Japanese-built Atlantis was going up in price 40 percent. We predicted doom for sales at that rate, so we brought it back to Wisconsin, where, ironically, it was suddenly somewhat affordable again.
It was a lower key success for about nine years, during which we’d gained experience with Taiwan bikes and our small-shop builders over there, and when it came to pass that our American supplier didn’t have the tooling to deal with some of the improvements we wanted going forward, so we added a second “line” of Atlantis frames from Taiwan. You can still get an American-made Atlantis, but now there’s an option that costs $1200 less and has our latest improvements over an already spectacular frame. Four little things, with the significant cumulative effect of making this new Atlantis a slightly better bike. The classic has evolved, but it’s still, and obviously, an Atlantis.
The color is the same Russian creamy blue-green. Headbadge, the same. Decals are a little different, but I hope we’ve earned your trust there, and you can see the attachments.
People generally suspect all change as a cheapening or as a way to cut manufacturing costs without raising the price. That’s a driving force behind lots of change (and lots of technology). But in the case of the Atlantis, it’s just not true. The upcoming Atlantis is worthy of a higher price than the current ones, but the frame alone is almost half the price. It will go up as the American frames go up.
What you can do on an Atlantis
The Rivendell Atlantis is what we've always called an All-Rounder. An Atlantis is as happy on the road as it is on fire trails, unloaded or heavily loaded. It's not for roadie weight cred or upside-down downhill MTB tricks, but for folks who ride their bikes often and everywhere, generally carrying more than just a water bottle.
It's an every day useful bike and your go-to touring bike.
Where it's made
These here Atlantises are made at our frame shop in Taiwan, where the majority of our framesets have been made for over a decade. Produced in runs of 30-per size and painted, prepped and packaged together, these frames fetch a more competitive price than our one-at-a-time frames. Underneath, the investment-cast Rivendell lugs and custom drawn Silver tubes are the same. All frames are brazed and welded to the highest standards, with samples of each new production passing the rigorous EN tests. It's something you simply do not get with custom made single-production frames (custom builders don't make you two frames, then wreck one on a testing machine).
*If you will use Cantis, be sure to purchase cable hangers (not included)