This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Blue Sam Hillborne, N+0 for now.

A while back I identified a hole in my arsenal.  I have a road bike, a commuter, a touring/mountain bike and a folder but my selection lacked a hybrid.  The one in between the Trek and the Hunqapillar.  I loved the ride and handling of the Hunq so much I really wanted a lighter version.  I had begun gathering parts when I saw things on sale, and thinking of the frame.  I thought of a Surly Cross Check and really liked the Velo-Orange Rando, but what I really wanted was the same geometry as the Hunq.  The Sam Hillborne is the best answer.  When Riv offered a pre-order discount on a new shipment with fancy paint jobs, my inner consumer jumped all over it.  I took delivery the day I was leaving for the Harpeth River Ride and threw it together.
I absolutely love the colors, and the combination of the blue with the signature cream that Rivendell uses for the lugwork and decals brings a beautiful understated elegance to to bike.
I assume their collaboration with SKS to develop the Longboard fenders provided the opportunity to stipulate a color which exactly matches the cream on the head tube and lugs.
The bike is gorgeous!
I was even more struck by the weight.  It feels as light as my Trek which is made with Reynolds 531 butted tubing.  It doesn't roll quite as fast with the 32mm tires but who cares!
The bigger tires and full fenders make the bike a lot more versitile 
and I will be able to enjoy some of those places a really light fast roadie can't go.
It is, after all, a country bike.
My first ride was the metric century in Tennessee and I awoke the next morning without an ache or pain.
I've heard somebody say that riding a Rivendell makes you feel like you are sitting in a bike rather than on one.  I think that's very appropriate, I feel more a part of their bikes when I ride.
The Bosco Bars provide a wonderful range of comfortable positions and I especially like the addition of the Dia-Compe knobs
which helped provide an all-day grip without any feelings of numbness in my hands.
The knobs fit comfortably in the fleshy part of the hands between the thumb and forefinger
and leave the palm sitting almost weightlessly on the top curve of the bar.
I kept the build as simple and inexpensive as possible:
Shimano 105 hubs laced to CR-18 rims with Panaracer Pasela TG 32mm tires,
Tektro Brakes, levers and interrupters,
VO bottom bracket and Polyvalent crank (46/30 chainrings)with Grip Rite pedals,
HG-61 Cassette (36/12 9spd) with Deore LX derailers the new Soma thumbies are placed on the stem where they are centered in midst of the myriad hand postitions,
a VO seatpost with Brooks B17,
and the infamous Bosco Bars on a Nitto 12cm stem, mirror and Cardiff leather grips.
The longboard fenders, old Pletscher Rack (I know they ain't pretty, but damnit they work!)
and a Salsa stainless bottle cage are the only accessories I intend to keep on it.
After a week, I am hooked!
I look for any excuse to get on it.


  1. What size is your new Sam. I am five feet eleven and I would choose the 56cm however I do not think I would want a double top tube so that would be a deal breaker for me. I know they use to have a 56cm Sam with one top tube.

  2. Ken,
    Mine is a 56cm. It was an accident. I preordered the frame before they were shipped from Taiwan and the factory had mistakenly made 2 with a single top tube. They offered me a choice because I had preordered a 56. Since I already have a Hunq for all the rough stuff I went with the single. I ordered expecting a double TT and don't see anything wrong with them, they'll have less give and flex in the bottom bracket.


  3. I am considering the Bosco bars for my touring (and only) bike. I'm worried that I will miss the option of the drops for going against strong winds. Do you find that you are able to get "aero enough" with your bosco bars? How do you use the bar on long descents? Thanks for your help

  4. I am very sorry about missing your comment. I think the Bosco bars are great in the wind and particularly on fast descents. They work counter intuitively to drop bars. When in an "aero" position, your hands are on the flats which are 3 1/2 inches below the regular grips. Essentially you are in a semi time trial tuck. Not only is this good aerodynamically, it draws your hands together on the bars for more subtle and safer steering at speed. I hope this helps and again I am sorry for overlooking your post.

  5. When you are ready to sell please let me know. This is the perfect bike. The double top tubes drive me mad for some reason.

  6. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, I've been riding Sam around Torch Lake in Michigan for a charity ride. You might check with Riv. It seems they get a few 56cm with single TT on every production run. Mine? Huh! When you pry it from my cold dead...!

  7. Looking for interrupter brake levers to use on my Bosco bar like you did on your Sam. Do yours have a 22.2 mm clamp? If so do you know the model # of the Tektro levers. Having a hard time finding Tektro interrupter levers with 22.2 clamp.

    1. I'll take a look at them tomorrow. Mine came with shims which worked quite well...or I had some shims from something else which worked quite well, I'm not sure which now that I think about it. On the other hand, I used them without the shims on my Hunq and have found it convenient that I can move them smoothly around to accommodate "stuff" in the front basket when I am traveling I know, really scientific, right?

    2. I am so sorry, I kept forgetting to answer this after I checked the number on the brake parts. The ones I am using are Tektro Rl 720. As I mentioned, I am using shims on the Hillborne which keep the levers secure. On the Hunq I use them without the shims, the stay pretty secure, but I can rotate them up or down easily which is nice when I travel and use a basket full of stuff on the front.