Festival of Light

The new to me Rivendell Road is together.  The frame was made by Joe Starck in 2000 and painted by Joe Bell.  Something I never expected to own, but life is funny.  If over a decade you get notices of every eBay listing containing the word Rivendell, read the notices first thing in the morning, see something interesting and then click buy it now, sometimes things show up on your doorstep.  

It isn’t rideable (the brakes are installed but lack the nylon inserts to stabilize the nutted bolts in the openings made for recessed hex nuts), but I rode it anyway.  I just didn’t use the brakes.  I could only go as fast as would allow me to do a u-turn on our wide street, but I was able to confirm that the fit is perfect for me.  56cm frame with the extended head tube allows the use of a normal length Nitto stem and results in bars just a bit higher than the saddle.  So comfortable!  My proportions are such that I don’t really need a custom frame for fit purposes.  Frames made with 56 cm seat tubes and top tubes such as this one can very easily be set up to give me a comfortable ride.   

I bought the frame and fork from the original owner.  Our correspondence has been fun.  We have a lot in common, including one coincidental geographic overlap–he spent time at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute so he knows the area where we now live.  

I had on hand vegan pleather toe straps from MKS  in white!  Pretty shaggy crank arms, but the rings are in great shape.  The big ring will without a doubt stay perfect while I own it.  The small will probably as well, but at least it will get used.  I am firmly in a camp and in a location that suggest running a 42 – 32 double, but I still like to pretend that I can make use of an old school 52 – 42 set up.  

I didn’t need to wait for the clamp to install the Superbe Pro braze-on front derailleur.  I bothered to look through my collection of front derailleurs and found not one but two Suntour Superbe front derailleurs with band clamps.  One was a Pro, the other standard, but the finish on the standard was better so I installed the standard.  I’m guessing the Pro I have was made later when the finish on certain parts was cheapened to reduce costs.  Fighting exchange rates is never fun.

The 28 mm Roll-y Pol-y tires look skinny with all the room afforded by the design of the frame and the 57 mm reach Shimano 600 brakes.  Plenty of room for fenders when and if I ever decide to ride this bike in the rain.  Like that will ever happen!  More likely to run wider tires the next time around.  You know, when I wear these out.  I can hope that happens, but I am not holding my breath.  

My collection of hemp twines in various colors came in handy.  I had a spool of twine in a nice deep blue which matched the frame nicely.

The Joe Bell paint job is looking pretty good for a frame that is nearly a bar mitzvah.  I like that it has a few nicks here and there.  I can ride it without undue concern.  Just the normal amount of care will do nicely.

The nylon inserts will be here the first day of the new year.  Since the brakes are all set up, it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to pop in the inserts and be completely done with the build.  Then a real ride.  I am so lucky!

Be well.


4 responses to “Festival of Light

  1. Looks like you did a great job. She’s a beauty!
    Watch out for those Albany potholes !!

  2. Hey Randy, that looks fantastic!!!

    I love the dark blue twine & white bar tape combo, especially with the frame colors [though the roadie bike aestheticist in me favors matching saddle & bar tape colors–btw, Soma has a nice collection of reasonably priced “retro”-inspired saddles here: http://www.somafab.com/parts/saddles ;^) ].

    I’m also digging the Superbe Pro bits, white MKS vegan pedal straps, Rolly Poly tires (super tires!), and the single pivot 600 calipers (I’m still rocking a 25-year old pair on an otherwise updated steel frameset).

    If you’re itching to ride your new bike before those nylon flange spacer/inserts for nutted brake bolts arrive, then check your local hardware store for them (in the fastener section). I bought my inserts from the local mom & pop corner hardware store for less than $1.00. I’ve actually got a spare pair in my bike tool box that I’d gladly send your way, but I doubt they’d get there any sooner than Dec 30th.

    Anyway, I’m sooo glad you’re happy with the Riv! Happy 2012! Dave

    • Glad you like the build! I have a white Turbo saddle with perforated leather that might look good, but I love Avocet Racing 1 saddles. Turbos are nice, too… so many choices!

      Thanks for the offer of sending the inserts, but I agree the shipment from Rivendell will arrive at roughly the same time. I actually enjoy a little delayed gratification, so I am happy to wait some. Anyway, seems like winter is threatening to show up.

      Enjoy your weather! Take care.

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