A gentleman's bike

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LushMojo
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A gentleman's bike

Post by LushMojo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:29 pm

What's the perfect gentleman's bike? Vintage Raleigh? Rivendell? Pashley? And what setup?

For me I take the Grant Petersen (Rivendell) approach and shun pretty much all new tech and all the advice of the modern bicycling industry. I prefer lugged steel over carbon fiber. Who cares how light a bike is? I don't race. I don't plan to race. Why bother with weight and cumbersome riding positions when one can have a comfortable upright position on a bike that's made to enjoy (rather than one that's made to race and/or perform).

My current setup is a Kogswell P/R 59cm in 650B with a Sturmey Archer 3 speed internal hub. All black. Brooks saddle. Nitto North Road handlebars with shellac'd cork grips. Rivendell Grip King pedals.

It rides VERY quietly, shifts smoothly and looks the gentlemanly part. I have a Pass & Stow front rack on order and an old crate to put on front so it can assume its porteur attributes (the P/R in Kogswell P/R is for Porteur/Randonneur since it can be set up for either according to which fork you get). I like having the sensibility of an English 3 speed and the practicality of a French porteur.

I plan on saving over the next 5 years or so for a Rivdendell country bike. Perhaps an A. Homer Hilsen, Sam Hillborn or Atlantis. Or maybe a custom frame.

Mountain bikes are great and road bikes are fine, cruisers are fun, but there's nothing like a well-appointed gentlemans' bike.

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Post by TweednBriar » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:33 pm

Bicycle travel for gentlemen has been greatly hindered by the almost complete disappearance of trouser clips. No gentleman is going to go bicycling with his trouser legs stuffed into his socks. Plus fours are ideal, but when the weather is suitable for them, it is rarely suitable for bicycling.

Indeed, the disappearance of spring steel bicycle clips has greatly reduced the response times of a man with dysentery.

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Post by LushMojo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:41 pm

TweednBriar wrote:Bicycle travel for gentlemen has been greatly hindered by the almost complete disappearance of trouser clips. No gentleman is going to go bicycling with his trouser legs stuffed into his socks. Plus fours are ideal, but when the weather is suitable for them, it is rarely suitable for bicycling.

Indeed, the disappearance of spring steel bicycle clips has greatly reduced the response times of a man with dysentery.
Very good point. Either a chainguard or a Brooks trouser strap should suffice.

http://www.brooksengland.com/en/Shop_Pr ... user+Strap

Personally, I'm going to get a chainguard from Velo Orange (and have it powercoated black):

http://www.velo-orange.com/sunchaiguard.html

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Post by coco » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:08 pm

I'm with you. My pick would be a Rivendell.
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Post by LushMojo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:18 pm

coco wrote:I'm with you. My pick would be a Rivendell.
Rivendell is pretty much impossible to beat in this category. Not completely, of course, but those lugs are super fine.

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Post by coco » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:59 pm

If I had a lot of $$$ to spend, these would be five bikes I would like to have:

1. Road bike - Rivendell custom with SRAM Red components
2. Touring bike - Moots titanium, custom with 26" wheels and Rohloff internal gear hub
3. Around town bike - Surly Big Dummy with Rohloff hub
4. Mountain bike - Surly Pugsley with Rohloff
5. Ride around with wife and kid bike - Pashley
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Post by coco » Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:04 pm

LushMojo wrote:
coco wrote:I'm with you. My pick would be a Rivendell.
Rivendell is pretty much impossible to beat in this category. Not completely, of course, but those lugs are super fine.
A full custom, like this, would be nice... Indeed, I may have to reconsider my choice for a road bike in my previous post.
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Post by Thunktank » Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:36 pm

I have a Rivendell inspired bike with some Rivendelll bought parts. I need to recharge my camera and take a pic. It's not a Rivendell though, but rather a Specialized hybrid that I costomized to serve my purpose which is local comuting and cruising. It isn't completely done to my liking in the cosmetics and I will change some of it out. I want metal fenders and shalaced cork grips. I tried to shalac some cork grips on it before, only to have it peal off. It may be because I stained the grips first though. I may also need to add a little primer to make it stick as well.

I may build my own bike someday.

I do appreciate the Rivendell philosophy of riding overall though. A bit too much tweed for my taste though. I would feel somewhat pretentious with some of their bags.

I also have a mountain bike (Trek 8000) with lots of carbon fiber. It has it's place in my stable for trail riding. There is also a rusted China made blue beach cruiser that I leave at the office during the summer. I don't care if it get stolen. My office is within walking distance to Newport Beach. It's easier to get around by bike during the summer.
Last edited by Thunktank on Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Del » Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:53 pm

A Honda dresser would be great.

Or a Harley Geezer-glide.

Since I don't do enough cross-country trips, I ride a stripped-down Moto Guzzi California EV.

Gentlemen don't do pedals.
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Post by coco » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:00 pm

Del wrote:Gentlemen don't do pedals.
:evil:
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Post by coco » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:03 pm

Thunktank wrote:I do appreciate the Rivendell philosophy of riding overall though.
I especially like their philosophy of bike fit. I'm too old to be bent over like Lance Armstrong.
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Post by LushMojo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:24 pm

coco wrote:
Thunktank wrote:I do appreciate the Rivendell philosophy of riding overall though.
I especially like their philosophy of bike fit. I'm too old to be bent over like Lance Armstrong.
That's key for me as well. I just don't enjoy a racing position when I just want to tool around the neighborhood or make a trip to the grocery story. I want to sit upright. Just like Jesus sits on his bike.

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Post by UncleBob » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:33 pm


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Post by LushMojo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:37 pm

UncleBob wrote:Electra Amsterdam 3
That bike looks similar to mine. And for a larger company, Electra is good. My wife and daughter both have an Electra Hawaii.

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Post by Thoth » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:41 pm

No proper gentleman would ride anything other than a penny farthing bicycle.

(Though their Old English Roadster is nice and way more affordable than a Rivendell bike)
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Post by UncleBob » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:43 pm

LushMojo wrote:
UncleBob wrote:Electra Amsterdam 3
That bike looks similar to mine. And for a larger company, Electra is good. My wife and daughter both have an Electra Hawaii.
Yeah, I covet that bike. How nerdy is a chain guard?

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Post by coco » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:47 pm

UncleBob wrote:
LushMojo wrote:
UncleBob wrote:Electra Amsterdam 3
That bike looks similar to mine. And for a larger company, Electra is good. My wife and daughter both have an Electra Hawaii.
Yeah, I covet that bike. How nerdy is a chain guard?
The lycra crowd would say a chain guard is nerdy, but they are not going for the gentlemanly approach to cycling.
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Post by LushMojo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:10 pm

coco wrote:
UncleBob wrote:
LushMojo wrote:
UncleBob wrote:Electra Amsterdam 3
That bike looks similar to mine. And for a larger company, Electra is good. My wife and daughter both have an Electra Hawaii.
Yeah, I covet that bike. How nerdy is a chain guard?
The lycra crowd would say a chain guard is nerdy, but they are not going for the gentlemanly approach to cycling.
I agree. If loving a chainguard is wrong, I don't wanna be right. I'd rather have a chainguard and keep my pants grease/grime/snag free than having to "tight-roll" my right pants leg. Now THAT'S nerdy. ;-)

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Post by bean_counter » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:59 pm

I used to commute on a Raleigh road bike; a modern paint scheme, but a thoroughly old-fashioned ride. Long enough to put a rack and paniers on the back. And a Brooks saddle - of course.

I REALLY wish they had these when I was commuting:

http://www.brookssaddles.com/en/Shop_Pr ... p+Panniers
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Post by Jocose » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:09 pm

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