Frame Colors

Looking for touch-up paint? We don't have it. But you can find close matches here. If you got a stock Waterford color you can buy touchup from THEM at this link. Scroll around and look for Rivendell colors on that page.

We'll update it soon with more information about custom paint. Stay tuned. Old info below.

We divide this into two sections: Custom Rivendells, and All Others.

Green Rivendell headbadgeCustom Rivendell colors
Joe Bell paints the custom Rivendells, using DuPont Imron or House of Kolor paint. In a perfect world (which, take a look around), you'll send us your DuPont or HOK color number, and that'll be that.

Can I get any color? Does it have to be listed?
It doesn't have to be a Big Company's official color, but that is the easy way. If you tell us "burnt orange," though, it'll be our interpretation of burnt orange. You'll probably like it, but you assume more risk when you don't use a number.

Where can I see the color books with the numbers?
That's a good question. In the past we've mailed them out before, with varying rates of return from two days to two weeks. We don't do that anymore, thanks to the two-weekers, but car painters and body shops and motorcycle painters have paint books you can leaf through, but you're on your own finding them. It's certainly easiest for us if, failing a color number from a familiar book, you just say "Robin's egg blue, please," or "Orange, like a genuine orange peel," or refer to Crayola colors.

Crayola colors
Not a bad idea. Everybody can get a box of crayons, and we have one here. It's a good start.

What about PMS colors?
If you have access to a Pantone color fan or book, we can speak that language. But most people don't, and so Crayola is a good bailout. The Crayola language reaches everybody. Just make sure you refer to the crayon color itself, not the wrapper.

May I send in a color of something I want matched? Or describe it in words?
Yes, but eight and a half hours of painting is kind of hard to wash down the drain just because we didn't match a color in nature, in your head, or on a piece of old fabric. There's so much good in these frames, and of course you want the perfect color, but we ask that you be tolerant of "not quite" matches when you pick a color that isn't an Official Paint Color. The alternative is to offer a limited selection of Official Colors, and we'd like to stay more flexible than that.

Graphics and decal styles for Custom Rivendells
Graphics All of our bikes have creamy head tubes and matching lug windows, and there's no varying from that. We have a standard paint style and a fancy paint style, and there's not much difference at all, since the standard is fancy by most standards, and the fancy is only about 5 percent fancier, although it costs $75 more.

Diamond seat tube decalDecals
Here again, two choices: Our original style has a forward-facing "RBW" diamond on the seat tube, and "Rivendell" on the down tube, and the letter styles match. The original original style had a dark blue outline, but that didn't show up so well on dark blue or brown bikes, so we've since kept the style but added a gold "halo" around the letters and diamond, and this seems to work well on all colors, from light to dark. Even though it is slightly different from our dark-outlined true original, it is close enough and identical in spirit that we still call it the original.

Our Viking style has more angular letters, but to anybody other than a letterist, it still looks a lot like the original. The big blatant difference is the Viking seat tube decal, which is a 6-inch cream panel that wraps around the tube, rather than a diamond plastered on the front of it. The original's front-facing diamond doesn't show up so well from the side; you see it some but not tons, and we thought we'd like to try a panel, which wraps around and doesn't care where you're standing when you look at it.

The thing is, this Viking panel seat tube decal works best on 57cm and bigger frames, because on small ones the upper water bottle hole gets in its way. It's not a simple round hole, either, because it has a swoopy-edged diamond reinforcement around it.

Joe Bell could cut a swoopy-edged hole for this reinforced hole to fit into, but that falls into the "major pain in the neck" category, and it's not that he won't as much as he'd rather not have to. At some point we'll fix this, and meanwhile, if you order a smallish Rivendell custom frame and want the Viking style decals with the difficult seat tube decal, we'll do it for you. It's one of the "perks" of a $500 paint job.

Custom Rivendell color comments, just fyi
Solid colors look thicker and less dainty and elegant, but the frame beneath them can handle any solid color, so if you're among the group who thinks metallics and pearls are for churls, we can accommodate you.

Red RivendellMetallics have flecks of something in them that make them look fancier, or like a super starry sky. I like them when the grain (or fleck) is super fine, and not when it's coarse. I think Joe Bell thinks the same way, but in any case he knows that I do, so if you want a metallic, you'll get one with a fine, not a coarse, grain.

Pearls are sort of like metallics, and there might be a technical, painter's difference between a pearl and a super fine grain metallic, but when they get close, I can't tell. Basically, it's a bit of tiny texture added to the paint. The difference between sand and dust, maybe (figuratively speaking). Pearls sometimes seem "deeper" than metallics. It's a world that I'm not able to describe in words, sorry.

How dark should it be?
Keeping in mind that the contrasting color is always creamy, here's the deal: A dark color hides the same-color lug edges, and also is too contrasty against the cream. Just like looking at somebody wearing dark clothing in front of a bright background, it confuses your eye. A medium or light-colored main color doesn't have this effect, and shows off the lugs better, too.

Colors and graphics for the normal, non-custom bikes
We don't have model years, but every so often, except for the Atlantis, we change the standard color. We generally have some unpainted frames on hand as well, and these can get painted any color you like (better read the last four paragraphs of the Custom Rivendell section, just above the NEW SECTION up there.)

A regular bike in a custom color costs $300 more than the same bike in a standard color. We don't mark up the paint jobs, and if you can get it done cheaper and to our standards somewhere else, we'll ship decals ($15) and the frame ($45-65) to that place.

The normal thing is to just get the stock color, but the fact is, there are other options.