Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's Alive

I actually got it together on Tuesday night, rode it to work on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.   My new-to-me Rivendell Atlantis

I've been waiting to put together a new touring bicycle since something like 2005 when I got my first Rivendell Custom.  That (literally) raised the bar for fit and I put in an order for a new custom touring bike.

Due to the accident in October, I've had to do some juggling in bicycle priorities.  The what-was touring bike order changed into the super-commuter. (Still pending delivery.)  I put in another deposit for a touring bicycle with the prospect that it would be ready 2 years from now.  For a temporary bike, I put a deposit on a Bruce Gordon BLT with hopes that it might be ready for this summer. (Still haven't heard anything on that coming to fruition either.)

Plans change.  I came across a listing for a 61cm Atlantis on Craigslist in Austin, TX.  I shot the guy an email inquiring about his willingness to ship.  He was and I didn't hesitate to commit. I purchased it as a complete bicycle with the S&S travel hard-case.  It was delivered last week and in my typical fashion, I removed nearly everything and re-assembled it as I wanted with parts that I've accumulated over the years.

The frame and fork were ordered from Rivendell by the previous owner with the request to add the S&S couplers. It was then repainted yellow.  To me, this means two good things:
  • I hate the standard color that the Atlantis comes in, getting something different is refreshing.
  • While I don't know if I will travel with this bike, it's at least an option.  With the S&S couplers in the frame, it comes apart in two pieces and can be packed in the case to be checked as luggage without any over-side charges.
The frame had a few nicks and scratches in it.  I matched the yellow paint by mixing a couple of different color yellows so that I could touch up the worst of the scratches and cover any bare metal.  I also sprayed it down on the inside with JP Weigle Frame-Saver  to prevent corrosion.

I used an old Ritchey compact 94 bcd crankset in my desired 172.5mm arm-length.  I set it up as a double with 44x30 TA rings.  I haven't measured the tread width, but I couldn't be more pleased... The arms clear the chainstays within a couple of millimeters and the chainline is perfect with the "large" ring lining up pretty much right in the middle of the cassette out back.  Due to the seat-tube angle, chainstay, and low bottom bracket drop, I had to use a Shimano 105 Front derailleur.  The cage of the XTR interfered with the chainstay.

For the wheels, I used what I had... A set of 40 hole Phil Wood hubs on Mavic T217 rims.  These wheels are still in amazing condition after an estimated 30,000 miles.  I first built them up in 1999.  They've been on years of touring down to RAGBRAI and served commuting duty for years too.  They've been spared the abuse of winter commuting, so the sidewalls still measure out okay.  I've never needed to true them either.

I used a Shimano Ultegra 9 speed 14-25 cassette commonly referred to as "Junior Gearing." This gives me 14,15,16,17,18,19,21,23,25 mated with the double up front.  My "favorite" gear lands me right in the middle out back with the 44t ring up front.  The 30x25 will give me a low enough gear for climbing nearly anything I will encounter.  If I were planning a trip to the mountains, YES, I would consider changing the gearing... I could simply put a 12-34 cassette or mount a different crankset if needed.

The front wheel is just a front wheel. As much as I really, really enjoy having a dynamo hub and light combo, I cannot justify the additional cost at this time. For touring purposes, I'm strongly considering a side-wall generator.

I spent WAY-TOO long working on mounting the 50mm Berthoud fenders. I cut and used aluminum stock for the rear so that the fender-line was consistent around the 35mm Pasela tires. Leaving just enough room. For the front, I fabricated a piece of aluminum to fit under the crown. I cut a chunk from an old stem, then scalloped and shaped it to fit the profile of the fender.

The rest of the build:
  • Shimano Ultegra headset (came with the bike)
  • Rivendell Nitto Noodle handlebar 48cm (came with the bike) May switch to a 46 someday
  • Nitto 10cm stem (came with the bike)
  • Nitto Jaguar seatpost
  • Brooks Champion Flyer special saddle, honey.  Will switch to Black someday
  • Rivendell Nitto large rear rack
  • XTR rear deraileur
  • XT cantilever brakes with Velo-Orange cable hangers
  • Dura Ace brake levers
  • Phil Wood 103mm bottom bracket
  • Shimano 9speed bar end shifters, friction (came with the bike)
  • Time ATAC pedals
I'm pleased with the finished product.  I'll be honest and say that I am NOT a fan of the black/grey parts, but I had them as parts to use, not look pretty.  If I could change the color of the saddle, I think the whole "theme" of the bike works well.  The bike fits me well and the ride is fantastic.  I look forward to mounting a front rack and touring at some point this summer.  I'll be curious to learn how it handles loaded touring duty.


Kevin T said...

Yeah, you gotta do a front rack. You'll love it. I've put one (Nitto) on all of our bikes now; even our tandem.

Reflector Collector said...

Kevin, I do have one of the Nitto Rivendell large front racks that will go on when touring. I also like the Nitto mini front too.

You're a lucky man for living in Alaska. I've only been there once years ago. The scenery is phenomenal, the riding must be fantastic!

Harry H said...

Planet Bike makes an adapter that will allow you to mount your Super Blinky to the rear rack from your seat post. It's almost as cool as sliced bread =;^).

Reflector Collector said...

Thanks Harry! Here's a link to the product:
Linky-LinkyThat's slick, I played with trying to somehow mount the light somewhere else in case I am carrying a twelver home from the liquor store :)

Matt said...

Nice ride, Ken.

Phil Bickford said...

Great looking bike Ken and a nice build. Enjoy!!
Phil B
Sonoma County

Snak Shak said...

This is a really good post. I appreciate the insights on your gearing. I am going to look into that kind of set up. Nice bike, too!

Steve Fuller said...

Great looking ride Ken. For a front generator hub, the $100 Nexus DH-3N72 is a good alternative over a sidewall generator. Ultegra level hub. Not as pimp as the SON, but a heck of a lot cheaper. I saw a LOT of them on TI this year.

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