After I get my work done I'm heading over to Rivelo to say hi to Grant Peterson. He's visiting from RBW to talk about his latest bike designs and Rivelo has a couple of test bikes for folks to try out.
Plus, I'm on a mission for more Lip Ivo, which Sweetie tried on our visit to RBW in 2004 and now cannot live without.
The latest bike design from RBW is being called the Hillybike, and it's basically a fat-tired, sit-upright 650B cruiser:
(from the RBW site)
Grant has been pushing step-through frames for quite awhile now. I believe it partly because a lot of his target market are getting older and want a bike they can enjoy for a long while, even after swinging a leg over the back of the bike becomes too difficult. (Look, at some point, even I will likely be looking for a step-through bike of some kind, though mine will take 26" wheels instead.)
More and more of RBW's bikes are mass-built and sport fewer lugs than the early models. At this point, they've been able to avoid Chinese-built frames, though for how much longer is anyone's guess.
The truth is that RBW, like any other bicycle company, has had to bow to market forces far larger than they can steer. One day RBW will either have to sell Chinese-made stuff like everyone else, or they'll have to stop carrying items made only there if they want to stick to their principled guns.
Rivendell still offers plenty of things made in the USA, Europe and Taiwan. Like Lip Ivo, for instance. And of course, Grant's oddball perspective on making your very expensive bicycle look funkier and cheaper:
Honestly, I don't get this aesthetic at all. It reminds me too much of every crap bike with a broken frame and gummy, old-duct-taped padding I ever dismantled. But every time Grant visits, he gives some kind of bar-taping demo that invites folks to make their bikes look like this. Whatever. It's all good, Grant; as we like to say in Portland, you do you.
I'm going to try and get there by around 1 or 1:30. Join me if you're in town. There will be plenty of beautiful bikes to admire, and lovely bikey people to commune with. I'll try and take some pix to share here.