Clems: Rivendell, modernized?

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Bicycle Belle Ding Ding!

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Nov 16, 2021, 12:14:04 PM11/16/21
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84256557-932F-4AD7-99B6-8BE9DC178396.jpegCan we talk about the Rivendell Clems for a minute? I hesitate as I write this, because opinions on here tend to be strong, but I see this as a fun topic and worth exploring. We can be nice, even if we disagree. I have been seeing Clems in several colors, in a variety of configurations, all over Instagram. Blue Lug and Helmet Kids are two of my favorite bike Instagram accounts, and they frequently feature Clems on their group rides. Calling In Sick, a bike magazine you’ve likely heard of, did an entire issue on the magic of the Clem, which is also all over Instagram. I suppose it could be that Clem popularity is imagined by me; I personally love Clems and therefore notice them, so I’ll add that caveat here. But I really do think the Clems are having their moment.

When I first discovered Rivendell in 2012 the only social media I knew about was the List.  The bikes were all lugged, and built with silver parts. There was a definite prescribed look. The demographics of the group were not exactly varied. There were few women, and even fewer in my age bracket (early 30s).  But then Grant made the bike he said he’d never make, and the TIG’d Clem was among us. With the coronation of the Clem, those unable to afford a Rivendell suddenly could. I began seeing younger people riding them. Baby seats began popping up on these bikes. (I felt like I was the only one in the Rivendell world pulling my kid on my Betty Foy in 2012.) And in several generations of Clems, the owners have now taken that bike in new directions. Clems are for everyone! 

The Clems are pure Rivendell in manners and ride, but they are divergent. Black parts abound. 1x gearing. Trigger shifting. Young dudes shredding all over the ‘Gram with them. Some lucky kids are riding them! My sons have been raised on Clems (the H version, but we have the L version for when they are grown). Worries over the step-through frame being considered “a girl bike” seem to have been unfounded. (And in my family we have 2 giant Clem Ls the men ride.) People seem to really love the versatility and ease of a step-thru frame.

I see the Clem as a Rivendell, modernized. 

The colors have been brilliant; the Clem has never been subject to color constraint. Atlantis bikes will be Atlantis green, but Clems are like Skittles - we’ve had bright turquoise, black, orange (Clementines), creamy mustard, a creamy blue, a glittery blue, grilver, lime, bronzey green… We really do need a metallic red, but I digress…

On my own Clem, I have been unafraid to put zany parts on it. Anything goes. “It’s a Clem,” I say. I’ve got a red front hub and an orange rear hub. Bright red pedals that look like shoes to me. I damaged the paint when a U lock rubbed it off as we traveled, but I never think about it. I have blue wire soldered into the black dyno wire and it will never irk me. I’ve been way more picky about the appearance of my Platypus, but my Clem is unhindered by rules.

The newest Clems have just arrived at Riv HQ and I hope their owners will delight us with photos and write ups here and on Instagram. I’m so excited for another wave of customers to get to know these bikes. The Rivendell Clems, those gentle giants, are so good to us.

Patrick Moore

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Nov 16, 2021, 5:53:21 PM11/16/21
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When I read this post I did not look to see who posted it, and while reading through it I very quickly thought to advise the reader, "You are not alone! Leah has Rivendells tricked out in all the colors of Joseph's coat!" And then I scrolled up and saw the list ID. No need to preach to the choir director!

So, Leah, what is the question? Are people complaining that Clems are being built in unorthodox colors and kit? Is there a purist group who demands that Clems be restricted to authorized versions?

Me, I wholeheartedly encourage individual choice of builds and colors, subject of course to the universal rules of good taste which belong to no particular culture or group, and which within that general guideline permit a huge variety of tastes. For the record, there are objective aesthetic criteria, as rigorous as mathematical criteria; only, not susceptible to formulas. De gustibus non est disputandem means that these criteria have to intuitively recognized, and that they are not susceptible to quasi-mathematical analysis, though they can be articulated. It's no accident that sapere, "to taste," is the root of sapientia, "wisdom." Example in proof: 

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Patrick Moore, whose dog in this fight is that the Clem is currently at the top of his would-buy Rivendell list. How would I build it? First, it would be a true all-rounder, for running the dog and riding our sandy bosque, but also fleet enough to enjoy on pavement. Upright, but not omafiets: sufficient bend at hips to make pedaling comfortable. Fattest and softest tires possible. Fenders? Lights? Dunno, but certainly sufficient luggage for a 12-pack and chips. Perhaps my Med Saddlesack or V Large Ortlieb bikepacking saddle bag (extends rearward in an almost-unending tube). No rack. And no g-d front basket!!! 2-speed kickback? Fixed? Ss? S3X with freewheel? No derailleur, that's for sure. Perhaps bolt on the ugly mast to hold the QR dog leash. No attempt to lighten it up; heavy be damned as long as it's fun to ride.

Seriously, if the Clem could accommodate 700C X 76 mm tires (fully 3" WTB Rangers) with sufficient clearance even without fenders, this bike would be at the absolute top and pinnacle of my list; as it is, the Monocog replacement currently resides there.

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Patrick Moore
Alburquerque, Nuevo Mexico, Etats Unis d'Amerique, Orbis Terrarum

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Leah Peterson

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Nov 16, 2021, 6:09:59 PM11/16/21
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Hi Patrick,

I don’t have a question per se, and no one is complaining that the Clems are too unorthodox. Rather, I am musing (celebrating?) what the Clems have become. As far as I can tell, they have livened things up for the company and made a great number of customers very happy. Again, it is only my observation and not necessarily FACT, which is why I wondered if anyone else had observed the same…
Leah, whose Clem is really rather eccentric

On Nov 16, 2021, at 2:53 PM, Patrick Moore <bert...@gmail.com> wrote:


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Patrick Moore

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Nov 16, 2021, 6:10:37 PM11/16/21
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I see; thanks. Then thanks, Leah, for raising this very interesting topic for discussion.

I applaud and encourage the question: how would you build your Clem?

Aside: I don't ponder the Rivendell list of frame/bike offerings. Are there other models that do much the same as the Clem? How are they different, how are they better?

And: Is there any Rivendell "cruiser" model that takes true 3"/76mm tires with sufficient clearance at stays and fork to avoid rub when the tire collects mud?

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 4:05 PM Joe Bernard <joer...@gmail.com> wrote:
"So, Leah, what is the question? Are people complaining that Clems are being built in unorthodox colors and kit? Is there a purist group who demands that Clems be restricted to authorized versions?"

Patrick, I perceived the question as not a literal question but a jumping-off point to discuss the glories of Clem. A bicycle I don't currently own so don't feel I have much to say about, but the L model led to this: that droptube convinced me that high/level toptubes aren't my thing and I had my custom built with a lower one. Thanks, Clem L! 🙌

Joe Bernard

Patrick Moore

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Nov 16, 2021, 7:04:31 PM11/16/21
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Understood. The question about Clems is all the more interesting, then.

Doug H.

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Nov 16, 2021, 7:38:59 PM11/16/21
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Heck yeah! Great post Leah. Yes, the downtube was a barrier to me (thanks Joe for the term). But now that I've come to own a Clem and ridden a few miles I am amazed at the comfort and ability to climb hills on this 'heavy' bicycle. It can handle wide tires, racks, fenders, stickers, bags, mirrors, bells, and it suits me just fine. The lime green color was also way out of my bicycle comfort zone as I'm a black and gray color scheme person, or at least I was! 
Doug

Patrick Moore

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Nov 16, 2021, 7:39:30 PM11/16/21
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More than that: this is a wonderful question and I hope to see many Clem builds and, especially, photos and descriptions of out-of-ordinary builds with reasons for same.

Aside: "59cm - 86 to 96cm; 700c rim size, but with room for "29er" tires." I've never measured my pbh because I've known forever what st size and tt size make a bike fit me. But I'm 5'10" tall with Asian build (I wear 34 w 32 length jeans instead of v-versa; if I had an Anglo build I'd be 6'1" ), so would I fit a 59?

And, if so, how fat a 700C tire will a 59 cm Clem take?

Patrick Moore

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Nov 16, 2021, 8:03:18 PM11/16/21
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Perhaps more helpful: my perfect level tt road bike frame size is 60 X 56 c-c. My built road bikes have 57 and 58 cm c-c tts with Riv-type slightly upsloping tts. Please help me translate this into Clems.

And again, how fat a tire will a 700C 59 cm Clem take?

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 5:39 PM Patrick Moore <bert...@gmail.com> wrote:
..Aside: "59cm - 86 to 96cm; 700c rim size, but with room for "29er" tires." I've never measured my pbh because I've known forever what st size and tt size make a bike fit me. But I'm 5'10" tall with Asian build (I wear 34 w 32 length jeans instead of v-versa; if I had an Anglo build I'd be 6'1" ), so would I fit a 59?

Eric Daume

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Nov 16, 2021, 8:05:45 PM11/16/21
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Clems fit a bit bigger. At 6’3” and a guy who usually rides a 64-65cm road frame, I fit well on the 59cm Clem. 

I think the Clem can fit a 2.6” tire or so. If you want bigger in the Riv family, look at a Gus or Susie. They fit 2.8” and maybe up to 3”. Or a Jones. 

Eric
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Leah Peterson

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Nov 16, 2021, 8:12:00 PM11/16/21
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Well I hope you’re not asking ME.  I think it’s well-known around here that I just ride the bikes. Let me reply with a nonsensical answer then!

I can tell you that my sister with her Swedish/German Anglo build is 5’8” and can ride the 59 Clem L that belongs to her husband  who is 6’2” with a Nigerian build. But, he bought her the 52 Clem L for their anniversary, so that she would stop riding his 59 Clem L. 

There. Solved.



Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 16, 2021, at 5:03 PM, Patrick Moore <bert...@gmail.com> wrote:


Perhaps more helpful: my perfect level tt road bike frame size is 60 X 56 c-c. My built road bikes have 57 and 58 cm c-c tts with Riv-type slightly upsloping tts. Please help me translate this into Clems.

And again, how fat a tire will a 700C 59 cm Clem take?

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 5:39 PM Patrick Moore <bert...@gmail.com> wrote:
..Aside: "59cm - 86 to 96cm; 700c rim size, but with room for "29er" tires." I've never measured my pbh because I've known forever what st size and tt size make a bike fit me. But I'm 5'10" tall with Asian build (I wear 34 w 32 length jeans instead of v-versa; if I had an Anglo build I'd be 6'1" ), so would I fit a 59?

And, if so, how fat a 700C tire will a 59 cm Clem take?

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Joe Bernard

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Nov 16, 2021, 8:52:26 PM11/16/21
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Ok buckle up kids, your old pal Joe's got numbers. This is effective toptube, which Grant will tell you isn't enough information to size a bike so don't listen to me! 

New/current/late-2021 Clem L:
45cm        62.5
52              65.5
59              68.5
64               70

These are the numbers for the last H model, which I believe match the previous few years of L, too. My 2018-ish 45cm L matched this:

45cm         57.5
52                61
59               65.5
64                67

None of this (as far as I know) applies to the first gen Clem/Clementine, I believe they're all a smidge shorter in reach. One super-bad thing about the Riv site is you can still find PBH recs for these frames based on the first gen..it's way off now. Also I know nothing of stack/reach, which I'm sure affects all this stuff. 

For another chip in the cookie jar (I never remember idioms correctly so I'm just making up my own now), my custom was designed for me at 79-ish PBH with a tall headtube and intended to run Boscos. It's 54.2x63. 

Joe "numbers guy" Bernard 

Ron Frazelle

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Nov 16, 2021, 8:54:01 PM11/16/21
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I hope I'm not stepping on any toes. Bit Grant's "maxed out" Clem L is running 2.5's. and had to modify the rear cassette so the chain didn't run the rear tire in the granny. 

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021, 5:24 PM Doug H. <dhansf...@gmail.com> wrote:
Patrick,
I would say a 2.8 inch tire would fit. Maybe 3 inch but it would be tight...this is on my 52.

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Doug H.

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Nov 16, 2021, 9:02:52 PM11/16/21
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Not at all. I really don't know  how wide a tire will fit. Mine has 2.3 inch tires with some room to spare.
Doug

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Joe Bernard

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Nov 16, 2021, 10:12:57 PM11/16/21
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Here's a bit of history which I think will be interesting for this thread in light of how beautiful and colorful and modernized these bicycles have become: 

In the Blahg or Peeking Through The Knothole or whatever it was called then, the original murmurings about the new, lower cost TIG-ed Riv was that it would be painted flat black. The idea was you could use it as a beater townie and touch it up with a spray can. I think - not sure about this - the decals were going to be offered as a stick-on kit. The decal idea later - this part I remember well - was retained for the glossy-paint bikes and you were supposed to be able to have them do it for you with the regular name, plus you would get extra letters to mess about with as you wanted. But then the first frames came pre-decaled with a clearcoat and that was the end of that. Interesting, no??

On Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 6:13:50 PM UTC-8 Joe Bernard wrote:
Btw can we discuss the first Clem pictured in this thread? I think Leah's "eccentric" build is the coolest. One thing I can't really do with my custom cuz of the gray/red scheme is toss other colors at it, which is ever so slightly first-world-problems frustrating. I love the splotches of red and orange on her blue frame, that bike POPS! 💙❤️🧡

Garth

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Nov 17, 2021, 5:45:12 AM11/17/21
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Yeah, the Clem to some qualifies as a "beater bike", albeit a still relatively expensive one. The term is meant to convey something of a lesser investment/value/importance that one feels more liberated to be creative with. If you bought a new custom Riv, or a say a shiny new car .... would you take the liberty to adorn it with hand painted designs of your own ?  Would you gut the interior and replace it with your own design ?  While most do not, many do just that. 

Still, every bike is unique no matter how it adorned. In fact there are no duplicates of anything,  "Mirror mirror on the wall who's the fairest of them all ?"  Hah !  It's a trick question in that it starts with the assumption of two or more, when in actuality there is but The One. 

When I had my '83 Stumpjumper (silver) one mid-80's winter I just felt like hand painting some of the lugs orange as I had some Testor's paint handy. It was irresistibly fun !   I think this is exactly what my Bombadil needs too, some hand painting here and there. It's already a custom single color. no decals. I bought it used and it was flat black, which to me was worse in person than I imagined. So when it needed some frame work I had Jack @Franklin custom frames use that black powder coat as a sanded base to paint it with light green metallic Imron. I didn't like the original decals either so I left them off. About the only stock Riv color I've seen that I liked in the Clementine soda pop Orange. The Susie orange is a mildly burnt/dull offering. I expected something brighter ..... boo hoo hoo ! 

Spray-can painting is something we used to do as kids to bikes and anything else that would take it. I wonder how many are willing to paint over and/or accent their stock paint jobs ? I'm sure some have !  I like the idea of a "blanco" primed and ready to paint as you like frame. Given a blank canvas some may find it overwhelming at first.... but after that first step into the seeming abyss and seeing that all is indeed well ..... such is the Living as Life Itself. 

Gill

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Nov 17, 2021, 9:29:46 PM11/17/21
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So it’s been 15 months. I love the bike and extoll it’s virtues to anyone who asks (and to some who don’t). It was not love at first sight. I bought a clem for it’s personality - and price. Comfort and off-road capability were the inducements. As time passed I came to appreciate clem’s beauty and now find traditional diamond frame bikes look common and truncated in comparison. For me the price was a sweet spot. It cost $1650, enough to be a quality bike but not so much that it causes reluctance to ride the granite strewn trails of cape ann for fear of dinging it up. Clem does what you ask of it. Out last week a pedal came off at an inopportune moment stripping the crank so I push rode it like a scooter 4 miles home and thought it still rode nice. Can’t offer build inspiration as my clem is still stock. All I’ve done is reposition the shifters to below the bends freeing up hand space. This has made a big difference for any sort of aggressive riding/climbing, works well for long descents too as you can lay forearms flush on swept back and be comfortably aero. 

Maybe I’m just easy to please but for me this is a no-brainer. Whatever you need, on or off-road, loaded or unloaded Clem Smith is a first ballot hall of fame bike. 

Doug H.

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Nov 18, 2021, 12:53:25 PM11/18/21
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I have ridden my Clem a few times now and can report it is excellent on roads, gravel, and dirt. I rode with the rear tire at 25 psi and the front at 30 psi. On roads I'll probably pump that up to 35/40. The Tosco bars are better than I expected as I had already thought about putting Billie Bars on it but now I'm satisfied with the Toscos. I have them angled downward a bit which is comfortable to me. The MKS Monarch pedals are good too but I may try another flat pedal that is wider and flatter at some point, maybe even add some color bling like Leah has done on hers. Not much else to report yet but so far so good! 
Doug
Athens, GA

Paul Choi

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Nov 18, 2021, 1:12:14 PM11/18/21
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Just picked this up at RBW yesterday. I had a Clem a couple years ago and it does seem about an inch longer. It was great seeing Will again, he is such a great guy!
Mark was busy building up the other Clem's. I really like the Lime Green, much better in person. Wanted to try the new American Classic tires, green Oury grips from Blue Lug and the bear trap pedals from MKS. Life, really is good when you are on a bike. 

Hope you are all doing well :)

Paul
Santa Clara CA

Clem 1.jpg

Joe Bernard

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Nov 18, 2021, 1:34:53 PM11/18/21
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Doug: I use Deity Black Kat pedals and they're great, I didn't like how narrow the MKS were. Deitys come in a bunch of colors, I think Leah has the cheaper Deftrap model which looks to be the same size as mine. Good stuff. 

Paul: That's a nice bike. Dig the green Ourys! 

Joe Bernard

On Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 9:53:25 AM UTC-8 Doug H. wrote:

Doug Hansford

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Nov 18, 2021, 1:53:10 PM11/18/21
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I’ll order a set of those Joe. And I agree about the green Oury grips, they look Rad.  

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 18, 2021, at 1:34 PM, Joe Bernard <joer...@gmail.com> wrote:

Doug: I use Deity Black Kat pedals and they're great, I didn't like how narrow the MKS were. Deitys come in a bunch of colors, I think Leah has the cheaper Deftrap model which looks to be the same size as mine. Good stuff. 
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Mike Davis

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Nov 18, 2021, 1:59:24 PM11/18/21
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I have no Clem, I do have a 2002 Atlantis and a 1990 El Capitan. One of the real values of a Tig'ed frame is that you can do things that are prohibitively expensive with lugs (ie requiring completely custom lugs or accepting the compromise that might be needed for 26 inch legs and a long body).  A custom tig frame is going to be more affordable than a custom lugged frame. 

I am interested in the Clem or the Platypus at this point in life. 

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J Imler

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Nov 18, 2021, 2:03:51 PM11/18/21
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I like how my Clem blends in.
IMG-5609.jpg

Ben Mihovk

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Nov 18, 2021, 2:13:19 PM11/18/21
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I'll tell you what I love about Clems (and Roadinis for that matter...) is that Rivendell comes right out and says that tig welding is just as good/strong as lugs, just not as pretty. They could blow smoke and talk about all the reasons why lugs are "better," but instead there's that super on-brand blunt honesty you see all over their website in product descriptions, catalogs, etc... Lugs are prettier and cost more to do, which is the only reason why lugged frames cost more.

Clems are cool. I don't have one, and I don't know that there's anything I want to do on a bike that a Clem would be better suited to than what I have, but I appreciate the heck out of them. 


Ben 

Patrick Moore

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Nov 18, 2021, 6:26:48 PM11/18/21
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Just saw this, and am still analyzing it. As I see it, for a given height, Filipinos (mi madre was Filipina) have the shortest legs, Swedes longer, and black Africans the longest. When I sit, I am as tall from seat up as -- if not 1/2" taller than -- my 6'1" bro in law surnamed Hansen.

Someone else suggested that I'd be to short for a 59 and, anyway, that even 59s will not take true 700C X 3"/76mm tires, which are a given for my next (God willing) build.

Too bad. I'd love a Clem-type with long rear dropouts and room for 3" tires at 13 psi. Lovely.

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Patrick Moore

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Nov 18, 2021, 6:30:11 PM11/18/21
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Thanks, Doug. The situation is doubtful, alas. The present Monocog takes the 3" WTB Rangers with ~3mm to spare between stays at rear, but then the tires are mounted on 24 mm OW Alex rims; I'm sure that on 35mm+ rims they'd expand to full 3" plumpness, and one goal is new, wide rims and a frame to match; no need for fenders, but at least 5 mm between tire and stay. Oh, and also, no substitutes, 700C.

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 6:24 PM Doug H. <dhansf...@gmail.com> wrote:
Patrick,
I would say a 2.8 inch tire would fit. Maybe 3 inch but it would be tight...this is on my 52.

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Patrick Moore

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Nov 18, 2021, 6:39:28 PM11/18/21
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Isn't 25 psi high for anything above 50 mm ...? I rarely pump my 62 mm actual Big Ones up to 25 for pavement only; 20 is usual, for mixed sandy dirt and pavement, and for dirt only, 18. 41 mm actual 26" Naches Pass: 35 and 40 and were it not for our expansion cracks, 30 and 35. 28 mm actual 26" Elk Pass: 50-55. The WTB Rangers on skinny rims at 13 to 15. My former Conti and Michelin 22s actual at 80/90.

This after suffering for years on 35 mm Fatboys pumped to 110 psi because that's what it said on the sidewall. Talk about bouncy! (And try getting 100+ into Fatboys with the original issue Blackburn Airstik!)

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Joe Bernard

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Nov 18, 2021, 6:40:53 PM11/18/21
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You need a Gus or Susie/Wolbis to do the fat-tire Riv thing. They claim 2.8 will fit, I had knobby 2.5's on my Susie and there was a decent amount of room left. Nice bikes, beautiful fillet welds, get one. 

Joe Bernard

Patrick Moore

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Nov 18, 2021, 6:41:51 PM11/18/21
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Thanks, Joe, will check out their numbers.

Leah Peterson

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Nov 18, 2021, 6:50:01 PM11/18/21
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Gill - This is great. Tell us which color you ended up with; I’d love to see the bike. Riding your Clem like a scooter…well, that’s got to be a first, though in today’s newsletter Will from Riv WAS riding his Susie around shifting with his foot, so strangeness abounds.

I think $1650 for a Clem is an absolute steal. Don’t hate me, but I paid far less than that for mine. The first owner was out East and had bought his 52 blue Clem L on impulse. No sooner had he assembled it and ridden it a week than he was listing it for sale. A paltry $960. I offered to buy it, and he agreed. Too much time went by, and sure enough, he had changed his mind, decided to keep the Clem. But a day or two later he felt like he wouldn’t ride it enough and offered it to me again.

It has lived with me ever since. October of 2019. Best money I ever spent!

Leah

On Nov 17, 2021, at 6:29 PM, Gill <crgi...@gmail.com> wrote:


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Doug H.

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Nov 18, 2021, 6:56:23 PM11/18/21
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Patrick,
You are correct about tire pressure. I pumped front to 40 and rear to 35 and it was too stiff. I'm getting used to wide tires again and so 25/20 sounds about right. On tire width my assessment about Clem was too generous, it would not take much more than 2.6 as was mentioned above.

My wife called my Clem a Pickle and that does describe the color! Not sure I'll stick with that name but tonight I rode the Pickle in the dark. Yikes.
Doug

Joe Bernard

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Nov 18, 2021, 7:00:26 PM11/18/21
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Will shifting with his foot is so Will. I'm not trying that, the results would be hilarious and painful! 

Joe Bernard

Ryan

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Nov 18, 2021, 7:18:11 PM11/18/21
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I think, for me, Ben, you hit the nail on the head about Clems. I totally get why people like them. I think Riv found a good niche here...and if I had kids who ride bikes , investing in a Clem would be the ticket, rather than the flashy, lesser kid's bikes that have cheap versions of suspension, disk brakes....etc.  that really aren't necessary in 99% of real world riding....ask Leah and her sons. For me at this stage, I already have enough and maybe too many bikes. For Rivendell's sake, I am glad they're doing so well, and it doesn't hurt that Leah is such an eloquent marketer...and I know  she's not blowing smoke. I admit with all these groovy builds they're growing on me, however. 
Message has been deleted

Ray Varella

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Nov 18, 2021, 10:08:14 PM11/18/21
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Here’s mine, since these pictures were taken I’ve added a Mark’s rack and wald basket , a randi jo bag and some Gordita pedals. 
I need to run wiring for lights and add a rear rack. 
It’s a great utility bike and a super smooth cruiser. 
I’m not crazy about having more than five pounds in the basket, it feels like the load is cantilevered too far forward but for light bulky items it’s fine…hence the rack. 
I picked up one of their new models from Taiwan that were designed with the Clem in mind. 
They are extremely useful bikes. 

Ray
E2C3A5FD-2D21-4A6C-BA33-7A9755C61870.jpeg

Ray Varella

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Nov 18, 2021, 10:08:51 PM11/18/21
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9368CC7B-789A-449D-B5A5-FB65DCCC270C.jpeg

Kainalu V. -Brooklyn NY

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Nov 18, 2021, 11:26:14 PM11/18/21
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The granite of Cape Ann!! With two TIGd Rivs (Clem in 2019 on the breakwater and Rosco in 2020)
IMG_20190704_130839.jpgIMG_20200904_122038.jpg
Happy Rolling to all
-Kai

Kainalu V. -Brooklyn NY

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Nov 18, 2021, 11:27:56 PM11/18/21
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And Clem living as a bedecked kid cruiser with the Hellgate behind, from last night. It doesn't always have that plank on there, but my boys have been requesting bike service to school for the last couple weeks, making the trip into work just a little more challenging (getting that tail between cars at weird angles)
IMG-6896.jpg
With double the lugs! See it?
-Kai

Gill

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Nov 19, 2021, 1:28:06 PM11/19/21
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Kai - Did you ride your Clem out to the end of the breakwater? I’ve never thought to do that. I’ve also never seen another Riv out in the wild so if ever you return to glosta give a shout out. 
Leah - The color is, “blue-green shot thru with glimmer like sunlight on seawater” 

On Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 11:26:14 PM UTC-5 Kainalu V. -Brooklyn NY wrote:

Jeremy Till

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Nov 19, 2021, 4:03:10 PM11/19/21
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Great thread Leah! I too love my Clem (first gen "H" frame in green for me) and everything it represents about the evolution of Rivendell's designs. I became a Rivendell devotee during the "classic" era, lusting after Quickbeams, Rambouillets, Atlanti, early Homers, etc. During the later aughts and early teens they were already making smaller departures from their lugged, level top tube road bike aesthetic (the mixtes, sloping top tubes on the Sam, diagatubes on the Bombadil and Hunqapillar, etc.), each one decried by the wool jerseyed diehards who had been following Grant since the Bridgestone days. I bought my first Rivendell, the classic Quickbeam, the same fall they brought out the "Mystery Bikes," the original long chainstay bikes, and I have to say I was really intrigued by those designs. So much so, in fact, that I spent the next four years trying various upright bars on the Quickbeam, but it never seemed to ride as well as the Mystery Bikes (two of which, belonging to others, I was lucky enough to ride).  

I agree with Leah that with its long chainstays, swoopy tubes, tig welding, and really fat tires, the Clem probably represents the biggest single departure from Rivendell's "classic" aesthetics, and its success paved the way for everything that's come after it in terms of a general opening up of what was possible with a Rivendell. For me, that came together in a build using mostly black components, including a Thomson seatpost and Jones loop h-bar. With this build, it encompasses and goes beyond everything I had loved about the Mystery Bikes and had tried to replicate unsuccessfully with my Quickbeam. It's no surprise that shortly after I built up the Clem, the Quickbeam left my life. Aside from the occasional wistful glance over its current owner's Instagram, I don't regret it. 

However, to those that see the recent designs as nothing but a fundamental departure from what made Grant's designs attractive in the first place, I would say that there is one unifying feature running through all of them, and that is great handling for the intended fit of the bike. As anyone who has ridden albatross bars on racing bike can tell you, good handling is not just about steering geometry but also how the bike's geometry works with your weight distribution and fit. Grant's Bridgestone designs had a good reputation for handling, but were pretty much racing bikes that assumed low handlebars and a stretched out fit. My feeling is that the early Rivendell designs were attempting to replicate these handling characteristics but with a fit that was more achievable for non-racers; so things like (slightly) longer chainstays went along with drop bars roughly even with the saddle. As Grant got older and continued to experiment with things like Albatross bars, I'm sure he realized that "classic" Rivendell geometry didn't produce the handling characteristics he wanted with a much more upright posture, and thus began the experiments with longer chainstays that led to the Clem and more recent designs. His success in replicating those handling characteristics was evident to me the first time I chased friends on road and cross bikes down steep paved descents on Mt. Tam. I had never felt so confident in my bike's handling while sitting upright.  

Don't get me wrong, I still love the classic designs as well. A couple of years after the Quickbeam left, a green Rambouillet came into my life, and it's built up following the rules, with drop bars and lots of silver Nitto and Sugino. With the drop bars and a more "athletic" fit than the Clem, it also handles great and is the most comfortable "road bike" (in the traditional sense) that I have ever owned. 

-Jeremy Till
Sacramento, CA

Leah Peterson

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Nov 19, 2021, 6:18:45 PM11/19/21
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Gill is right about the name of this color, naturally. I mean, I couldn’t agree more 🤣. 

Kai, I love this. Fantastic use of Clem, and fantastic photo of it doing the good things.

On Nov 19, 2021, at 10:28 AM, Gill <crgi...@gmail.com> wrote:

Kai - Did you ride your Clem out to the end of the breakwater? I’ve never thought to do that. I’ve also never seen another Riv out in the wild so if ever you return to glosta give a shout out. 
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Leah Peterson

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Nov 19, 2021, 6:26:42 PM11/19/21
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Jeremy, doesn’t it border on sacrilege that we would favor a Clem over something as iconic as the Quick Beam? But here we are. 

I know the long chainstays have been a turnoff for some, and at times they make things difficult (like when putting on vehicle bike racks or choosing parts like stems) but I really, really love how I feel on these new models. My old Betty Foy was stiffer and far less plush feeling than my newer Rivs. I’ve always thought it due to the shorter chainstays, but I’m no expert…
Leah

On Nov 19, 2021, at 1:03 PM, Jeremy Till <jerem...@gmail.com> wrote:

Great thread Leah! I too love my Clem (first gen "H" frame in green for me) and everything it represents about the evolution of Rivendell's designs. I became a Rivendell devotee during the "classic" era, lusting after Quickbeams, Rambouillets, Atlanti, early Homers, etc. During the later aughts and early teens they were already making smaller departures from their lugged, level top tube road bike aesthetic (the mixtes, sloping top tubes on the Sam, diagatubes on the Bombadil and Hunqapillar, etc.), each one decried by the wool jerseyed diehards who had been following Grant since the Bridgestone days. I bought my first Rivendell, the classic Quickbeam, the same fall they brought out the "Mystery Bikes," the original long chainstay bikes, and I have to say I was really intrigued by those designs. So much so, in fact, that I spent the next four years trying various upright bars on the Quickbeam, but it never seemed to ride as well as the Mystery Bikes (two of which, belonging to others, I was lucky enough to ride).  
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Coal Bee Rye Anne

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Nov 19, 2021, 11:56:03 PM11/19/21
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It may be sacrilege... but I definitely favor the Clem I have over the Quickbeam I don't have, but admittedly kinda wish I did have.  Instead, I'll be awaiting any further news on Roaduno to, hopefully, one day join my Clem.  I'm otherwise glad I went with a 65cm Mustard Clem as my first and only Riv rather than what would have ultimately been a too small 62cm SimpleOne, had I followed through with my initial impulse on the model that first drew my attention when I initially discovered Rivendell Bicycle Works.  The Clem is exactly what it was intended to be... an even bigger, better version of what I tried to make my too small, long, and low 90's rigid 26" MTB into as a do-it-all bike!  Although I still have the 90's MTB and plotting it's next iteration with a bunch of spare parts I've realized could make a complete build, maybe just need a few cables.

Brian Cole
Lawrence NJ

Roberta

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Nov 20, 2021, 11:15:13 AM11/20/21
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I don’t have a Clem, but have ridden Leah’s ( both older H model and newer L model) for short rides and visits and was impressed with both. The L model was like riding in a Cadillac. Smooth and “yummy.”  I loved it. 

This thread has me wanting to sell my garage-less, shed-less city  house for something with a garage so I also house  a Clem L. 

Kainalu V. -Brooklyn NY

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Nov 24, 2021, 11:21:26 AM11/24/21
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Gil- I did! and a brag- I "cleaned" it, no taps. Big tires help negotiate those granite lumps for sure. I'll be there on Saturday!, but no bike...  If you find yourself cruising around, stop by, third house from the end on the Rockport side of Long Beach, AKA Pau Hana (Mom's fam's been renting that plot for over 100 years)
Maybe next summer we can shred Dogtown Commons (unless you've got a better secret granite trail stash)
-Kai

adh

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Nov 29, 2021, 12:35:09 PM11/29/21
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I'm one of those who just got a Clem and it's the first Riv that's been within my reach. I took it in direction that fuses the Riv and BQ influences in my life; but whereas my last bike, a 650b conversion of a 70s Raleigh Competition, went more in the BQ direction, this one is a bit more in the Riv direction. I think you're right that the Clem put it into a more mainstream world. I think even the choice to move production to Taiwan was a big boost. Lots more people who would otherwise be on an All City or Salsa (not dragging them) can squeeze in an Appaloosa on a relatively similar budget. So yay us!!
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