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Rivendell Clem Smith Jr. build -- planning stages

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Rivendell Clem Smith Jr. build -- planning stages

Old 06-30-20, 09:45 AM
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Clyde1820
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Rivendell Clem Smith Jr. build -- planning stages

Am in the process of selecting a vendor for the build-up of a Rivendell Clem Smith Jr bike. Rough initial list of component preferences noted below.

If anyone's got suggestions or recommendations for components, on this bike, I'm all ears. Open to suggestions on lighter components to aid in keeping the weight down. But then, as a "Clyde," myself, there's a limit to "weight-weenie" thinking on the vitals such as wheel set and bearings (hub, head).


Basic goals: extreme low gearing; commuting, with occasional very light "credit-card" over-nighters; a decent "Rivendell" look to the thing; reliable and fairly durable, but without unnecessary weight. Probably a Bronzey Green, leather & silver "classic" color scheme to everything, but we'll see.
.
.
Frame set -- Rivendell Clem Smith Jr., step-through "L" model possibly, 26in wheels.
Crank set -- Spécialités TA Carmina, 9spd double (94/58mm BCD), 155-160mm arms, 34/20T rings, 11-42T cassette, Connex chain.
Bottom bracket -- undecided.
Derailleurs -- Shimano 9spd.
Shifters -- Shimano 9spd barcon "guts" on Paul Components "thumbies" frames; friction/indexed.
Headset -- undecided, at this point. (1" threaded.)
Brakes -- Paul Components touring cantilever, w/ Velo Orange Grand Cru levers.
Wheels -- Velocity CliffHanger 26 36H (25mm I.D.), Sapim Force spokes and brass nipples.
Tires/tubes -- ReneHerse Rat Trap Pass 26x2.3" (or Naches Pass 26x1.8") tires, with Schwalbe tubes, Velox cloth rim liners.
Hubs -- Bitex touring 36H.
Stem -- Nitto Tallux or Nitto DirtDrop, sizing based on fitting.
Handlebars -- Nitto Bosco 58cm (aluminum).
Seat post -- undecided.
Saddle -- Brooks B67 Aged.
Grips -- undecided.
Cables -- JagWire Pro 5mm, polished stainless.
Cable Housing -- JagWire Pro 5mm housing, brass ferrules, inline adjusters.
Lighting -- undecided, as yet, but considering dynamo front hub and Busch & Müller lighting.
Security bolts -- decent anti-theft bolts all around (ie, PitLoc or similar).
Rack, front and rear -- undecided; lighter, if done.
Panniers/bags -- undecided. Possibly, just a front porteur rack and bag.
Bell -- a stem-mounted brass bell, of course.
Fenders -- undecided.
.
.

Looking forward to it.

Of course, there's the frame availability (which will drive everything). Piddled around earlier in the year, until all the frames were gone. Oops. Anyway, hopefully it'll be an autumn build, assuming frames come available.

Yaaaay!


Example bikes @ Blue Lug (Japan):




Last edited by Clyde1820; 06-30-20 at 11:50 AM. Reason: spelling corrections
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Old 06-30-20, 10:16 AM
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I predict you'll get more interest once you've purchased a frame. Folks have wasted time with more than one "help me build my dream bike" thread only to find it's only some teenager or other Lookie-Lou.
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Old 06-30-20, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I predict you'll get more interest once you've purchased a frame. Folks have wasted time with more than one "help me build my dream bike" thread only to find it's only some teenager or other Lookie-Lou.
Nobody's asking people to waste their time. It's a thread about an intended build and an arrangement of component choices that others might find interesting. (It is a cycling discussion forum, after all.)

Indeed, if some wish to chime-in with any improvements they themselves might suggest, great. Folks can participate in that way, if they'd like.

Not everyone will be interested in such a build. In which case, there are plenty of other ongoing discussions that might be of interest.
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Old 06-30-20, 10:36 AM
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Nice! What is the advantage of the 'thumbies' shifters, vs the usual ratchet clickers?
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Old 06-30-20, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Nice! What is the advantage of the 'thumbies' shifters, vs the usual ratchet clickers?
They can be switched to friction if necessary. You can also switch from the smallest cog to the largest in one sweep, instead of clicking through each cog to get to the largest.
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Old 06-30-20, 11:21 AM
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I see. Twistgrip shifters will also allow you to shift as many cogs as you want.
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Old 06-30-20, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
I see. Twistgrip shifters will also allow you to shift as many cogs as you want.
Though, with a riser bar with lots of sweep, twist-grips can be a challenge.

For me, at least, I love the classic aesthetic of "thumbies" for the shifters.
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Old 06-30-20, 07:46 PM
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Check out the RBW Google user group. Clem Smith frames for sale seem to pop up fairly regularly.
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Old 06-30-20, 08:14 PM
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I’m developing an appreciation for the Albatross style bar. I have the Sunlite copy on my vintage MTB. I ride mostly on the (taped) forward bends. It seems to come back plenty, even with a long stem on an MTB with a long top tube. Are you expecting to just use the grips on the Bosco or tape the forward sections?

I’m also fond of keeping the whole bar taped forward of the grips and brake levers with no (thumb) shifters in the way. Both Bosco and Albatross work with bar end, if you want.

Otto
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Old 06-30-20, 10:30 PM
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I would go with White Industries or Phil Wood hubs personally, if you are doing other MUSA bits you might as well do that. Also me personally would find a different frame, for some reason Rivendell just doesn't do it for me anymore. There are tons of great U.S. builders that could build something strong and lighter weight, plus I personally am not a huge fan of quill stems and the ones that are a little better look terrible.

9 speed is fine but it can be a little hard to find quality stuff these days. Plus most of the stuff out there doesn't do the wide range stuff as well and if I want wide range I want 11 speed so I don't have such big gaps or I would lower down the gearing on everything to give me similar range without maxing out derailleurs. I could try the new Microshift Advent groupset or BOX but honestly I like Shimano just fine.

I would also go with Paul levers for the brakes, I mean why not? They have purple anodized, what more could you want?

Other than that not a bad spec list.
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Old 07-01-20, 11:57 AM
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Your build sounds pretty good. I would change out a few parts but that is my personal preference. First, V brakes vs cantilever. There is a reason that cantilever fell out of fashion. For seat post, that cheapie that Riv usually sells with their frames is just fine. I got it with my Rivendell and it works. Bottom bracket would be a Shimano cartridge, as long as it fits those cranks. Which brings up, why so short on the crank length? Unless your really short, then by all means.

Also will you need a Wolf Tooth Road Link or Goat to get to the 42 with the derailleur? If you do, they are 10 and 11 speed and and don't know if this is feasible with your proposed 9 speed but someone can correct me if I am wrong. I am out of the loop on large cassettes.

Anyways, good luck on your future build.
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Old 07-01-20, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
First, V brakes vs cantilever. There is a reason that cantilever fell out of fashion.
Brakes -- Prefer cantilever over v-brake from an aesthetic perspective, mostly, I'll admit. On several bikes, I have had v-brake and didn't particularly find them harder-stopping or easier to adjust than a quality canti. (Though, I'm sure the physics would show stronger clamping power, and thus braking performance. I'm just saying that I haven't needed such braking that the performance difference mattered all that much, in practice.) I'm still mulling, and am open to v-brake, but have spec'ed canti's so far.


Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Bottom bracket would be a Shimano cartridge, as long as it fits those cranks.
BB -- So long as the thing is sealed bearings, decently strong, and reliable, I'm open to whatever. Doesn't need to be a $150+ item, in this build. I'm okay with basic/functional, if of decent quality.


Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
For seat post, that cheapie that Riv usually sells with their frames is just fine. I got it with my Rivendell and it works.
Seatpost -- Am mulling a suspended seatpost (a la Kinekt BodyFloat or Cane Creek ThudBuster. Not certain, yet, but likely. Though, with a suspended seat like a Brooks B67, there'll be less need for a similar seatpost. And so, possibility exists for a decent quality set-back seatpost. Needs to work with suitable anti-theft security bolts, as well, whichever gets selected.


Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
... why so short on the crank length? Unless your really short, then by all means.
Cranks -- Shorter, yes. And old injuries, resulting in greater comfort with a shorter crank stroke. I'm okay with the comparative disadvantages. Have 170mm on the current bike, and they're okay, so I can tolerate crank arms up to that length (despite less comfort).


Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Also will you need a Wolf Tooth Road Link or Goat to get to the 42 with the derailleur? If you do, they are 10 and 11 speed and and don't know if this is feasible with your proposed 9 speed but someone can correct me if I am wrong. I am out of the loop on large cassettes.
Drive train (speeds) -- Am still mulling 9, 10, 11spd. At this point, have gotten some vendor suggestions for a 2x9 that'll get the very low gearing I'm after. I know that, if set up correctly, 10spd and 11spd can also achieve this. Initially, I began by imagining a 2x11spd config would function well and get low enough. It's still a possibility, given the parts combination I've seen. I'm also somewhat "out of the loop" on the more-contemporary configs and the ultra-large cassettes; so I'm reliant largely on past experiences with builds that qualified vendors have on their record. Anyway. Open to a different setup, here, ultimately. Still only the first few weeks' of planning, at this point.


One thing I'm fairly solid on, as well, is the overall look of the thing. Strong preference against anodized black as the color scheme, on all the components; much prefer silver, probably anodized over polished. Not all of the options are available in anodized silver, as so many makers have turned to black-only componentry.
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Old 07-01-20, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I would go with White Industries or Phil Wood hubs personally ...
Have considered White Industries, with their MI5 hub.

Of course, the frame/fork and hub/axle need to be compatible. I like the White Industries' strength, and the weight on the components over the Phil Wood and some others. The Bitex hubs are very strong reasonably light, and they're in silver and look to support the correct axle/skewer size.


Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Also me personally would find a different frame, for some reason Rivendell just doesn't do it for me anymore. There are tons of great U.S. builders that could build something strong and lighter weight, plus I personally am not a huge fan of quill stems and the ones that are a little better look terrible.
For me, the geometry's right. In puny-sized frames, which is for the most part what I look at, it's one of the few with a decent stack/reach, longer CS and longer WB, while maintaining a low enough SOH. (Lots of frames have part of that, but miss on much, in terms of sizing that works for me.)

Am also considering a Rodriguez build, either their Adventure or UTB series. A good bit more expensive than the Riv Clem, once the custom geometry alterations are made, to basically get similar geometry the Riv Clem has. A better steel choice, and probably better build quality on the frame/fork.

As for off-the-shelf frame sets, the smallest Kona Rove ST seems close in terms of geometry, though with a tad long TT and a bit shorter CS and WB. Love the Velo Orange Piolet frame's functional specs, but the darned TT is far, far too long for me even in the now-discontinued XS sizing. Otherwise it might work, in a pinch.


Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
9 speed is fine but it can be a little hard to find quality stuff these days. Plus most of the stuff out there doesn't do the wide range stuff as well and if I want wide range I want 11 speed so I don't have such big gaps or I would lower down the gearing on everything to give me similar range without maxing out derailleurs. I could try the new Microshift Advent groupset or BOX but honestly I like Shimano just fine.
Have considered the MicroShift group set, their XLE 11 (2x11spd) config. With a 34/24 crank and their 11-46T cassette, it certainly gets the low gearing low enough for me. Am not that familiar with the Box line, but I wouldn't be averse to either, or Shimano. Again the ultra-low gearing is a hard requirement, for me; and an anodized Silver look is the aesthetic I'd prefer, if it can be gotten with gearing suitably low.


Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I would also go with Paul levers for the brakes, I mean why not? They have purple anodized, what more could you want?
Am open to the Paul levers. Looking to keep the price and weight down, where reasonable, so long as quality, durability and utility can be retained. Nice stuff, definitely.
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Old 07-01-20, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
I see. Twistgrip shifters will also allow you to shift as many cogs as you want.

Have you ever tried riding long distances with twist shift? I found I was getting repetitive motion pains in my wrists, it's a big never again.
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Old 07-01-20, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Brakes -- Prefer cantilever over v-brake from an aesthetic perspective, mostly, I'll admit. On several bikes, I have had v-brake and didn't particularly find them harder-stopping or easier to adjust than a quality canti. (Though, I'm sure the physics would show stronger clamping power, and thus braking performance. I'm just saying that I haven't needed such braking that the performance difference mattered all that much, in practice.) I'm still mulling, and am open to v-brake, but have spec'ed canti's so far.
.

Is side pull out of the question? I find it more reliable than either of those kinds of brakes.

And you need fenders, even if it's just for the esthetics.
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Old 07-02-20, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Is side pull out of the question? I find it more reliable than either of those kinds of brakes.
Haven't considered side-pull, no. Got any suggestions on a couple of reliable, durable, good-looking side-pull brakes that might work on the Rivendell frames? I'll definitely evaluate. (My own experience is limited to canti and v-brake, plus side-pull on an old Schwinn Le Tour back in the '70s.


Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
And you need fenders, even if it's just for the esthetics.
Sure. The "undecided" on the OP was indicative that I hadn't yet determine which make/model of fender I would do. Definitely planning on it.

Of course, on the Clem Smith frame, it's limited to ~2.4" tires and ~2" with fenders. So, tires such as the ReneHerse RTP in 2.4" or the ReneHerse NP in 1.8" would be suitable, dependent on with fenders or without. (One of the aspects of the "larger" Gus Boots Willsen model of frame is support for larger tires, though that one's pricier than the Clem frame set.)
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Old 07-02-20, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Haven't considered side-pull, no. Got any suggestions on a couple of reliable, durable, good-looking side-pull brakes that might work on the Rivendell frames? I'll definitely evaluate. (My own experience is limited to canti and v-brake, plus side-pull on an old Schwinn Le Tour back in the '70s.




Sure. The "undecided" on the OP was indicative that I hadn't yet determine which make/model of fender I would do. Definitely planning on it.

Of course, on the Clem Smith frame, it's limited to ~2.4" tires and ~2" with fenders. So, tires such as the ReneHerse RTP in 2.4" or the ReneHerse NP in 1.8" would be suitable, dependent on with fenders or without. (One of the aspects of the "larger" Gus Boots Willsen model of frame is support for larger tires, though that one's pricier than the Clem frame set.)

The Rivendell website lists a few side pulls, although they're out of stock on the Shimano one. Generally, I just find them the most reliable design for rim brakes, and some of them look good.
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Old 07-02-20, 06:26 AM
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That frame is not designed for side pull brakes, so you have to stick to cantilever or V brakes.

Your choice of cantilever will also mean purchasing cable hangers for front and rear. Not insurmountable but a needed part.

As for side pulls, I have the Tektro 559's on my Rivendell which are suppose to be one of the better brakes. My opinion is they are adequate at best and even changing out the pads to Kool Stop didn't help much. I don't have much faith in brakes that have a long side arm.

It sounds like you have a great grasp of what you want for your future bike so good luck.
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Old 07-02-20, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
I see. Twistgrip shifters will also allow you to shift as many cogs as you want.
From one who had the indexing fail on a Shimano bar end shifter, the biggest advantage to me is the fact it is able to be switched to friction mode. I was able to ride on, and shift with no issues. A twist shifter doesn't work on drops either, so you are limited.
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Old 07-02-20, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
From one who had the indexing fail on a Shimano bar end shifter, the biggest advantage to me is the fact it is able to be switched to friction mode. I was able to ride on, and shift with no issues. A twist shifter doesn't work on drops either, so you are limited.
I like that feature also but it only works up to 9 speed. The ten and eleven speed shifters don't have that function anymore.
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Old 07-02-20, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
I like that feature also but it only works up to 9 speed. The ten and eleven speed shifters don't have that function anymore.
Actually the Microshift 10 and 11 speed bar end shifters can be switched to friction.
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Old 07-02-20, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Seat post -- undecided.
You might need a setback seatpost, so I wouldn't invest in an expensive one until you're determined how much setback you need.

The Velo Orange Grand Cru seatpost is one of the longer setback ones (30mm) and comes in silver and isn't very expensive.
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Old 07-02-20, 04:05 PM
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@Clyde1820

Have considered White Industries, with their MI5 hub.

Of course, the frame/fork and hub/axle need to be compatible. I like the White Industries' strength, and the weight on the components over the Phil Wood and some others. The Bitex hubs are very strong reasonably light, and they're in silver and look to support the correct axle/skewer size.

Go White Industries you won't be disappointed. They are excellent quality hubs, nice and durable and MUSA. I am sure the Bitex are fine but if you are going for it, go for it. I have built up enough bikes at this point where the times I have compromised to save a bit here and there always leads me frustrated and spending more to get what I wanted or being unhappy filed with regrets.

I would also recommend considering Dynamo, SON is the best choice on the market but for lower pricing the Shutter Precision actually isn't so bad and has worked well on one of my bikes. Granted that bike doesn't see the same use it did when I first built it up as I had been using it for other purposes.



For me, the geometry's right. In puny-sized frames, which is for the most part what I look at, it's one of the few with a decent stack/reach, longer CS and longer WB, while maintaining a low enough SOH. (Lots of frames have part of that, but miss on much, in terms of sizing that works for me.)

Am also considering a Rodriguez build, either their Adventure or UTB series. A good bit more expensive than the Riv Clem, once the custom geometry alterations are made, to basically get similar geometry the Riv Clem has. A better steel choice, and probably better build quality on the frame/fork.

As for off-the-shelf frame sets, the smallest Kona Rove ST seems close in terms of geometry, though with a tad long TT and a bit shorter CS and WB. Love the Velo Orange Piolet frame's functional specs, but the darned TT is far, far too long for me even in the now-discontinued XS sizing. Otherwise it might work, in a pinch.

Rodriguez is excellent and very low cost for what they offer. I might also look at Co-Motion if you haven't I have been happy with my Cascadia. Treat it as your forever bike (not that you will not get other bikes N+1 baby)




Have considered the MicroShift group set, their XLE 11 (2x11spd) config. With a 34/24 crank and their 11-46T cassette, it certainly gets the low gearing low enough for me. Am not that familiar with the Box line, but I wouldn't be averse to either, or Shimano. Again the ultra-low gearing is a hard requirement, for me; and an anodized Silver look is the aesthetic I'd prefer, if it can be gotten with gearing suitably low.

The gearing is a big factor my next gravel build when I get the chance is a 44-30 WI crank with an 11-46 cassette because that will get me closer gearing to my touring bike with a touch more low end. Granted you may need a bit more but don't go too low and not have enough high end. Microshift isn't a bad bet, certainly I would go Shimano in most cases but they make some stuff that Shimano doesn't offer like a thumb shifter for 11 speed Dynasys.

Am open to the Paul levers. Looking to keep the price and weight down, where reasonable, so long as quality, durability and utility can be retained. Nice stuff, definitely.[/QUOTE]

Price and weight are a factor but Paul levers are the best. 3DV, 3D MF V. The MOST AWESOMEST COLOR out of the 90s MTB era. The Grand Cru levers do look decent though and VO makes some decent stuff but Paul is twice as nice.

if you are looking to save money Avid Speed Dial levers are really excellent. SRAM generally has had some mediocre brakes but their levers are fan-freakin-tastic.



Also for seatpost Thomson makes a fine seatpost, it is one I have used quite a lot. I did recently purchase a Paul Tall and Handsome for my 90s MTB build and that is certainly a useful option for saddles that require a lot of setback. My Brooks Cambiums have done fine with the Thomson setback when needed but again with Paul, 3DV.
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Old 07-02-20, 04:21 PM
  #24  
Clyde1820
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Rodriguez is excellent and very low cost for what they offer. I might also look at Co-Motion if you haven't I have been happy with my Cascadia. Treat it as your forever bike (not that you will not get other bikes N+1 baby)
Had a custom fitting, many years ago, with Co-Motion and did a tour of the facility with one of their tech/engineer folks. Was eye-opening. Very high-quality builds. For a price, can get any reasonable tweak to a frame/fork and have it come out right, once everything's put together. Great shop. These other alternatives seem to have decent geometry right "out of the box," so to speak, and would end up about ~half a full Co-Motion build, so far as I've penciled it out. But, Co-Motion's definitely a possibility. I like what Rodriguez is doing on materials and builds, and the custom-geometry and step-through would yield a good match. But the Riv has great geometry and is the starting point, for me.

Thanks for the reminder about Co-Motion. Long before the Pangea 26 came along, we'd roughly spec'ed out a 26in-wheeled frame set with a longer wheelbase and suitable for wider rims/tires.
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Old 07-02-20, 04:25 PM
  #25  
veganbikes
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Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Pink Klein MTB, Phil Wood VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame

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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Had a custom fitting, many years ago, with Co-Motion and did a tour of the facility with one of their tech/engineer folks. Was eye-opening. Very high-quality builds. For a price, can get any reasonable tweak to a frame/fork and have it come out right, once everything's put together. Great shop. These other alternatives seem to have decent geometry right "out of the box," so to speak, and would end up about ~half a full Co-Motion build, so far as I've penciled it out. But, Co-Motion's definitely a possibility. I like what Rodriguez is doing on materials and builds, and the custom-geometry and step-through would yield a good match. But the Riv has great geometry and is the starting point, for me.

Thanks for the reminder about Co-Motion. Long before the Pangea 26 came along, we'd roughly spec'ed out a 26in-wheeled frame set with a longer wheelbase and suitable for wider rims/tires.
I do that frequently I love my Co-Motion and am always happy to spread the gospel, They are super nice and make excellent bikes. Rodriguez isn't a bad option either and they are also quite nice.
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