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Can we talk about the this Rivendell Hillibike thing?

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Can we talk about the this Rivendell Hillibike thing?

Old 01-26-21, 11:02 AM
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bark_eater 
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Can we talk about the this Rivendell Hillibike thing?

From the horses mouth:"
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 will 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."

Hillibike rough draft?



So Rivendell started pitching "Hillibikes" to the huddled masses a while back. I recall a comment that this was a reaction to the global shortage of vintage lugged mountain frames, suitable for conversion into "Poor "Mans" Rivendells". I'm sure there's a couple essays on postmodern consumer cachet in there, but I'm more interested in how Mr. Petersons Hllibike paradigm contrasts with a good old fashioned Country Bike?

Now at present I have my own version of a Country Bike, with Moustache bars, thumb shifters, Brooks, bags, racks, basket, bell, lights, fenders and fat tires. And there's a Bridgestone sticker peeking out from all the tacked on bits. The frame is a low end CB-1, but the geometry is right, and with all the extra weigh added on the frame weight isn't an issue. This bike lives in the country, but mostly sees pavement. It does fine on "fire roads" but I have felt like I've asked a bit much at times, and it can sound like a tinkers cart going over a cliff when things get interesting. The thought that perhaps I would be better off on a mountain bike occasionally crossed my mind as the color returned to my knuckles.

As far as real mountain bikes, I'm not a fan of flat bar's, or being super stretched out. I will spend a good amount of time in the drops on my road bike, but for cruising around I like to be more upright. Superficially the Rivendell Hillibikes seem be on a parallel track with "Altbars" and upright Jones bike geometry.

In my pile, I have a slightly too large Bridgestone 93 MB-5. When I was a kid I got sold a slightly too small MB-5, that I got discouraged with after a few long road rides, and when I did finally jell with it my younger self's expresso fueled interpretation of traffic codes led to a rather dramatic unresolved misunderstanding in a small town, so the bright red bike was passed on.. but I digress.

So if I put a set of Choco bars on high rise stem and hang a saddle bag off the back of an over sized MB-5 am I there? Will My Down East Maine Repack moments rise above merely survival?

Or did Mr. Peterson really come up with something new that the "poor"man"" can not simply replicate?

Semi P.S. My original thought was that crashing with a cruiser style handle would be dangerous as the swept back ends would try to skewer you. So there is an "is this even a good idea" aspect.

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Old 01-26-21, 11:20 AM
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I dunno what they're on about. It sounds like they are trying to put personality behind an old 1980's rigid mountain bike found on Craigslist for $47

Nothing about friction shifters though, so there is that.
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Old 01-26-21, 11:27 AM
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The Choco bars look cool...

you like drops (me too) and are scared of being impaled (me too)

I’d save the Chocos for a city/town bike and put some 54cm wide parallel drops with long hood levers on a short-length+tall stem for my Hillibike (if mine didn’t already have some perfectly fine Bullmoose bars).

regarding undersize/oversize frames... that’s on you.

I sorta like long frames for the no-toe-overlap, but am happy to compromise that for the flickability of small frames with long+tall stems and a qr & hiterite on the seatpost and it’s high setting a bit on the low side.
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Old 01-26-21, 11:59 AM
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Hang on- is that actually a rough draft of their catalog? Thats messed up if it is, whoever leaked it is lame. If that isnt a rough draft, then what exactly did I just scroll thru?
The history of MTB is played out at this point- why is it being recapped for the millionbillionth time? And the Genghis Khan piece in a bike brochure was...confusing, at least the part that I even managed to read.

It looks like they are trying to sell what they always sell- nostalgia. And they are apparently going into great detail to show how to use the nostalgia(ride the smooth line on a bumpy trail, keep pedaling, lift the front end, get your butt back on descents, etc) in an effort to mitigate its inherent limitations compared to modern design.
- Are 2 of the 3 frames designed for a quill stem? Really? I get this is the C&V forum, but a quill on mountain bikes is simply just less than awesome when ridden harder than a sunday social roll through the idyllic countryside for a picnic.
- What wheelsize are these designed for?...i couldnt find anything in the documents.

I no longer own a modern MTB as I came to accept that I disliked it on the singletrack I ride in my area. The super slack HTA, boost 27.5 wheels, 140mm suspension = a Humvee in the twisty flat singletrack I ride. It was brutal to throw around on trails and I enjoy my gravel bike a lot more in those woods.
Point is- this sort of bike is in theory for me, yet I look at it and it just seems...manufactured nostalgia rather than purpose built to meet demand, even if there is ultimately demand to be found.
Ill continue to look for a rigid frameset that fits, has good tire clearance, and rides quickly in twisty singletrack.
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Old 01-26-21, 12:02 PM
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I think the Rivendells have much longer chainstays like the earliest MTBs or ever a bit longer. So to get a similar ride, you would have to get one of the earlier Stumpjumpers, or a Cimarron. I have never seen a Hillibike in person, but I bet they are much lighter than an old MTB and that makes a little difference, depending on your espressos, if you are throwing it around on a trail.
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Old 01-26-21, 12:03 PM
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I’ve built more’n one “hillibike,” even a couple out of old bridgestones. I like the aesthetic.
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Old 01-26-21, 12:11 PM
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It’s a Grant bike slackish with long chain stays though these are in essence step through

what’s the confusion
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Old 01-26-21, 02:27 PM
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Skipping the quotes:

The Brochure draft was "leaked" on a Rivendell blog.

My Bridgestone has chain stays 45mm shorter than a 1985 bike , so this 93 frame wouldn't give the full long wheelbase experience. I've got a damaged 84 Stumpjumper that would be a some day candidate.

The only cognitive dissonance I'm trying to smooth out is the fully swept back bars on a Hill/Mountain bike.

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Old 01-26-21, 03:09 PM
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jones did it first!!
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Old 01-26-21, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post

The only cognitive dissonance I'm trying to smooth out is the fully swept back bars on a Hill/Mountain bike.
it's just image. they certainly aren't practical unless you're camping/packing. even then, it's questionable...and awkward
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Old 01-26-21, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
jones did it first!!
I've got a set of Jones bars on a Big Dummy. Their not magic yet, but I will be trying a new stem in the spring. My single speed mountain bike has Soma Clarence bars, but they don't give much variation in grip. I also run VO Crazy bars on my touring bike, so Rivendell's presentation of sweptback bars as viable "Alt Bars" is interesting.
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Old 01-26-21, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
I've got a set of Jones bars on a Big Dummy. Their not magic yet, but I will be trying a new stem in the spring. My single speed mountain bike has Soma Clarence bars, but they don't give much variation in grip. I also run VO Crazy bars on my touring bike, so Rivendell's presentation of sweptback bars as viable "Alt Bars" is interesting.
interesting at most

given jones' frames are long in the top tube but "short" in reach, i believe shorter stems are what he had in mind for those bars. personally, i don't like much sweep. 15 or so degrees at most. much more doesn't feel quite as natural to me on real rough terrain, but i can see how folks would like them. i'd have something like the clarence...just not as extreme so bar extensions don't look whack and are still usable
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Old 01-26-21, 04:23 PM
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Damn it! Now I'm about to talk myself into driving 3 hrs. RT for a '85 Schwinn MTB frame.

edit: missed it.
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Old 01-26-21, 06:55 PM
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Edit: Rats...

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Old 01-26-21, 08:53 PM
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Hillibike? or Sillibike?
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Old 01-26-21, 09:17 PM
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NouveauKlunkiBike
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Old 01-26-21, 09:35 PM
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I would still really love a Homer with the old geometry and cantis.

I really like my super long chain stay Treks, I get the 'long chain stay' thing. I don't understand why the entire line had to be changed to that. I also understand having too many models, but if you really, but make another long chain stay option- but keep the models like they were.
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Old 01-27-21, 02:58 PM
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Boy, have I been out of the loop! This is the absolute first mention I've seen of these bikes. Then again, I haven't checked the Rivendell website in a couple of years now. Never saw a reason to, for the simple reasons of: 1. I can't afford their bikes, and 2. Anything they sell I can build using a vintage frame, at a price that I can afford. Being a die-hard roadie, I always do own one mountain bike for the 3-4 times a year I get the urge to go out on the dirt (current bike is a 90's Trek 6500, hardtail, suspension fork, V-brakes, 3x7, and the second most modern MTB I've ever owned).


I'm completely non-plussed with these bikes. While I completely agree with the cry of, "modern MTB's are nothing more than motocrossers minus engines" (my one experience with a state-or-the-art MTB, carbon frame, hydraulic disc brakes, etc. was the one time I came seriously close to injuring myself), I don't see anything appealing regarding these bikes at all. First off, the step-thru frame is a major turnoff. Yes, that's probably little George Robert circa 1958 convinced that step-throughs are for girls only, and is a bias that I'll only drop a week or so after I've gotten comfortable with road frames where the top tube is not parallel to the pavement. Good luck.


From a couple of those pictures in the catalog, taken head-on, the handlebars look like something from my rod-braked roadsters. Nope. If I'm riding off road, I like having a straight bar in front of me. I've ridden a few dirt bikes in my time, and this is one of the places where I'm glad MTB's copy motocrossers.


And then there's the prostelizing. No, I'm not a Mongolian warrior out riding the steppes to plunder, loot and ****. I'm just a guy who likes chugging on a few woodland trails, and stays away from the difficult sections to due to a gross lack of skill.
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Old 01-27-21, 05:09 PM
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They sell the bikes they want to ride. And don't have have any problem selling said limited production bikes, as their inventory status shows.
There is a choice of bike for everyone, this is one.

Jim
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Old 01-27-21, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
And the Genghis Khan piece in a bike brochure was...confusing, at least the part that I even managed to read.
Left me wondering if the bike came with studs on the saddle.
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Old 01-27-21, 05:51 PM
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"Can we talk about the this Rivendell Hillibike thing?"

Well, it's about Grant Petersen, so it's impossible not to have a 15 page thread.

-Kurt
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Old 01-27-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Left me wondering if the bike came with studs on the saddle.
Why would I want studs in the saddle? Aren't I enough?
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Old 01-27-21, 07:13 PM
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this is nothing new for grant....remember the xo-1? (pic below)

and here is a link to the bridgestone 93 catalog....it reads a lot like a rivendell catalog https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridges...3/pages/30.htm

I think he has a vision and builds sells to that vision. IMHO I don't think it is nostalgia, but what in his mind works, if it was nostalgia he wouldn't have sloping top tube frames


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Old 01-27-21, 07:48 PM
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I'm going to have to read the brochure again, but I can kind of see how the straight back bars might be part of the whole with a springy long chain stay bike that you sort of ride inside of and are already so upright that when you get out of the saddle you go straight up and your weight distribution stays the same. That could be the genesis of the Genghis ride.
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Old 01-27-21, 08:36 PM
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I mean how much chainstay do you really need 95% of the time. How one makes their choice regarding bar selection and the subsequent handling oneself issues is a personal one.
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