After long consideration my progressive sciatica and various SI/IT/disc issues have made the decision to sell my Rivendell Romulus a fait accompli. I needed an easy way to share photos so why not blog them! It is a 59cm Romulus (circa 2003/4) with cantilever brakes, no modifications, in great condition. Shimano 105 group set, Shimano hubs and brakes, Tektro interceptor brake levers, Sugino triple crankset, new Shimano cassette, and currently has a nice brushed Planet Bike rack installed.
I am a huge fan of Grant Petersen and his Rivendell Bike company. His design ethic and approach to cycling have kept me on a bike for many years when I had about given up. The common bike-shop bikes were making me miserable, and American spandex mafia bike couture is…. Gross. After finding his writing, looking at his bikes, and deciding I might find a used model to better fit my budget, I found this Romulus on eBay from the original owner in upstate New York. Two-wheeled bliss is to have a fast, comfortable, capable bike that can handle dirt trails as well as blacktop touring. This, is that.
There is a bit of a story behind the canti-rom, and this is how I understand it. Rivendell Bikes is all about steel framed bicycles with a focus on usability for the daily rider, commuter, and tourer. Many of the bikes are hand built, lugged steel construction, and kitted out with premium components. They are not, as you might expect, cheap. They are not nosebleed expensive, but if you are comparing them to mass produced bikes at the local shop you might feel they are out of reach. In the early 2000’s Rivendell wanted to sell a more affordable version of their custom Rambouilette sport-tourer. The Romulus was spec’d with the same frame materials and geometry, but with a plain paint job and it was assembled in Japan as a complete bike with a solid component selection. The original was designed with center pull Shimano brakes, but there were discussions between Grant Petersen and the factory about a cantilever brake version. There was a miscipommunication of sorts, and before he knew it Grant was taking delivery of a batch of complete cantilever equipped Roms. This is one of those bikes.
As you can see from the long Nitto stem and the seat position I have it set up for my 6 foot frame in a very upright position. That’s first a testament, if extreme, of Grant’s approach to rider comfort, and how I was able to parlay that into a back-friendly riding position. As of 2021 I simply can’t take the beating from high pressure tires. I am now cruising around on my 1987-ish Peugeot Orient Express, kitted out Riv-style with 26×2 Schwalbe Fat Frank tires, Riv sweep bars, and a good saddle. It’s super cushy and it’s all I can ride now. sniff.
So here are the pics. More on bikes and why I love bikes in a later post: