SOLD: Amazing 56cm Bombadil Frame

Rivendell Bombadil mountain frameset: 56 cm frame
Frame/fork/headset/BB, asking $1200 shipped.
Bought on the 'bay

The seller (friend Pudge) says, “There are some chips and rubs, no dents. If I kept it I would probably have had it repainted, but I’m a bit fastidious about such things.” I read that as “almost flawless,” but I am NOT fastidious about such things. I love the solid blue color for this style of bike. It’s an early Bombadil, with the parallel twin top tube, not the diaga-tube, and without the later “extra” mid-stays.

Interested, click through to comment on the Flickr picture.

If you’re interested in the bike as built, you’re going to have to make an offer, which might necessitate some research to get values on the unique parts build. Ghisallo wooden rims, creme Hetre tires, and the great custom “cats” chainring. Put on your sunglasses, this is awesome.

Rivendell Bombadil glamour shot


56 cm frame; Nitto Lugged Stem, Mini Front Rack and Bullmoose handlebars; Brooks B-17 Select and Plump Grips; Ghisallo beechwood rims; Weigle-modified Campy front and White Industries ENO rear hubs; Bruce Gordon cantis with replacement cork pads to accommodate wooden rims; Paul Canti levers; Stronglight 49D crankset with Bespoke Chainrings “Solida Cats” 44 tooth chainring; Phil Wood pedals; Berthoud Saddlebag and rack; Grand Bois Hetres.

Rolling Tires… off the rim!

So this happened. Twice.

My new (to me) Phil Kiss-Off wheelset, WTB Dual Duty rims, and new (actually new) Vee Rubber “Mission” tires don’t seem to work together. I don’t know if the fault is with the rim, the tire, or if they’re each slightly out of spec.


I rolled the tire in the neighborhood after installation, reinstalled it, it blew off, then I put the tube in another tire on another rim. Twenty minutes after installation, the tube exploded like the Death Star. This Stan’s-filled tube off another wheel stayed on fine for two days and 1.25 rides.


Riding up a steep short climb, traversing to work with my 36×17 gear, I suddenly was rolling on the rim! My first thought was “I am SO HAPPY this didn’t happen going DOWN this road!”

I rode home super slowly, after my riding friends bailed me out with CO2 (I bought a box of cartridges online as soon as I got back to my desk).

My plan is to replace the WTB Dual Duty with a Velocity Blunt 35 (same ERD), and throw the tire in the trash. I’m scared of both of them, now!

Entmoot Patches arrive!

I got the shirts on Wednesday, and the patches arrived today!

Entmoot Patches Arrive!

They look BETTER than expected.

Now’s the moment of reckoning, where goods get matched to orders, and the shipping labels get printed.

Entmoot Patches Arrive!

I only have about 5 patches to take to the Entmoot itself, and a couple of those are spoken for already. The Patch Hoarders will be able to flip their extras sometime next week…

Entmoot Patches Arrive!

Entmoot Patches

In addition to the tee shirts (and posters, hopefully) for the Rivendell Owner’s Bunch unofficial RBW 20th Anniversary Jamboree and Get Together, I have arranged for “Entmoot*” patches.

These are drawn by me, produced by Falls Creek Outfitters. I’m pretty excited; it’s the first patch I’ve ever designed. I may do a lot more if this works out.

It shows the China Camp derelict boat, to tie it to the 2014 Jamboree, and there are three Quickbeam bicycles.


They represent the three runs of Quickbeams:

And three possible styles of setup:

My first thought was a simple flipping of the jamboree graphic, and replacing its Sam Hillborne with a Quickbeam. But… an Entmoot of one is no Entmoot at all, right? Plus I’ve had this idea of showing multiple setups of Riv bikes for a while. So, with the lower fidelity of patches, and my new interest in showing the handwork in my finished artwork, I busted out a new drawing last weekend. It took longer to color it in Photoshop than it took to draw the bikes.

There were a couple of versions – the first one had worse bikes, and too much blackness.


The second version had the wheels, bike overlap, and front end geometry adjusted, and the ship simplified.

entmoot patch - cleanup

I didn’t know how the “colorway” should go, except for the colors of the bikes.


After leaving the two colorways alone for a couple of hours, I chose the final one. Maybe a little plainer, but definitely clearer, and without the background color coloring the bike colors.

I learned not to outline silver parts (maybe not outline anything) – they get knobbly. Much better to simply make a solid bar for a crank or a stem. Next time.

*Entmoot = Gathering of Ents from The Lord of the Rings. Rivendell’s “Quickbeam” bicycle is named for the ‘hasty Ent’ in that book. So a gathering of Quickbeams = an Entmoot. A nerdery at least three layers deep.

Mixte is one of many styles of women’s bike frame!

My old friend, inspiration, and mentor* Sheldon Brown, states that a “Mixte” is a ladies’ style of bike characterized by twin top tubes that extend all the way to the rear dropouts. He further states that there is a variant with a single top tube and the extra set of stays. He says if it don’t have three sets of stays, it ain’t no mixte.

I have always been leery of this interesting pedantic fact, because:

    • Sheldon presents the definition with no supporting evidence
    • In French, “Mixte” means “co-ed” in the old-fashioned sense, which seems appropriate for all step-through frames
    • Really, who cares?

His main point was “don’t use the word mixte to refer to any old ladies’ frame bike,” because it’s a specific style.” I generally skirted** the issue: I tried not to make any embarrassing gaffes, but didn’t correct people on the internet.

Cut to the big mixte news this week on the iBOB list:  Greg Reiche posted a link to a C. S. Hiroshi page about creating a ladies bicyle, specifically a “Sport.” One of the pictures showed a publication from FNCRM (Fédération Nationale du Commerce et de la Réparation du Cycle et Motocycle), a French bicycle and motorcycle trade group. Another image was of a page of that publication, showing some of the different styles of step-through frames.

I’ve redrawn the graphic here. Don’t sue me, bro. Popular styles of French women's bicycle frames Mixte – Twin tubes from the upper head lug all the way to the rear dropouts. Hot.
Sport – A single top tube, with a third set of stays. Also hot. Rivendell and J.P. Weigle style. Sheldon calls this a kind of Mixte.
Berceau – Bendy twin top tubes, for more standover height. Lots of potential, but I’ve never seen a truly sexy implementation of this style.
Jumele – Twin top tubes, with NO third set of stays. I have never seen this style of bike. Doofy.
Anglais – Second top tube, no extra stays. Angelina’s Steyr was this style. Workmanlike.
Col de Cygne – Swoopy top tube, with supporting struts to the down tube. Nice, but tend to look heavy.
Double Col de Cygne – Swoopy top tube, and down tube, with struts.  Trying too hard?

I propose that Americans call the “Sport” style “Mixte Sport.” Other bike nerds know what you’re talking about, and it clarifies Sheldon’s postion. 

Of bikes that have passed through my house, apparently the Steyr was a “style Anglais,” while the Belleville is a true mixte. The couple Suburbans Angelina had were… variations on the Anglais?


* Internet-style. He may or may not have recognized me on the street. ** See what I did there?

Brewvet #3 and #4

Last week, I did two of the shortest Brewvets possible, back to back.


Third Street Aleworks growler. #BREWVET

Wednesday, June 4th, I rode Angelina’s bike to Third Street Aleworks for a point-eight mile round trip  and two growlers (Puddle Jumper and Anadel Pale Ale). Friday I took a point-six mile out-and-back to Russian River for a pint of Blind Pig, and a growler of Pliny the Elder.

Russian River Brewing #BREWVET

I chatted with a fellow from Seattle at the Russian River, who tried to impress upon me how famous this place is, in the beer world, but I prefer to get my beer from a bartender, not a bouncer. Third Street Aleworks wins on beer, ambience, staff, and graphic design.


Like the Coffeeneuring Challenge, I DNF’d, only getting in four rides, and less than half the mileage. I’d planned to ride my bike to work last week and stop at Lagunitas and Heroine (101) on my way home for the mileage, but didn’t.

Brewvet #2 – Ernie’s Tin Bar

We (at my work) ride a 10 mile loop out Lakeville, up Stage Gulch, and then back on Adobe, most days of the week.
The Stage Gulch climb is called “The Tin Bar,” after the tin fish-shack/gas-station at the bottom of the hill. I’d never been inside, even though it’s a place also frequented by my workmates.

Last Thursday, I was doing a late ride, solo, and I thought, “This is it! The perfect opportunity to drop in at Ernie’s and have a post-lunch beverage!” So I did.

The interior is long and narrow, with just enough room to pass between the barstools and the outside wall. The regulars are at the darker, wider, far end, talking about the Port of Sonoma, the (im)possibility of a ferry every making its way there, and (not) dredging in the (protected) tule marshes.

Down that way the bar opens up a bit, and there’s an opening into the dark space of the old garage, where an older fella with a cap is bellied up to a little bar-for-one, taking part in the conversation.

The barkeep is another older gent, bearded and quietly helpful. The beers run to the Stone Brewery, and more local brews, most with ABVs north of 6%. I bought a pint of Stone Levitation, at 4.4%. Caramel colored, richly flavored and nicely balanced. Very refreshing, with the sun beating down on my bike leaned against the tin siding, and not worrisomely debilitating for riding solo alongside cars*.

The interior has an interesting patchwork quality, with a timeless feel. The old squat white glass doored cooler in the middle of the rear of the bar is filled with bottled beer and covered in local union stickers. Contra Costa Electrician’s Local 302. UA Local 38 Pipe Trades.  Carpenter’s Local  751.

I finished my beer, left a dollar, and continued my ride. 10 miles. You pretty much have to do the loop because westbound Lakeville from the Tin Bar to the top of the rise has the shoulder torn up, and concrete barriers right on the white line. Really torn up, with dump trucks, Cats, and workmen in the trench behind the barriers.

I weigh 235+ – I’m not too worried about a single beer.

Brewvet #1

I did MG’s Coffeeneuring challenge last Fall, and DNF’d like a boss. I hope to do better this Spring on the Brewvet challenge. Saturday, I rode down to the Toad In The Hole for a pint or three with my wife, kid, and friends.


My local brew was the Bear Republic cask conditioned hootsie. I also had a pint of Old Speckled Hen, which is named after an MG, which I like, because it was my first car, and it tastes great. I also had a Hoptimator, which is Sierra Nevada channeling Lagunitas, sweet and dry-hopped all in one.


High points: kid liked the fish and chips enough to go back, even with the insane wait. You know the critic Ego in Ratatouille? That guy actually likes food. My kid… not so much.
Low point: 54 minutes before the server took our order. For drinks.


Our friends go there two or three times a month, for the last 8 years. Regulars. I have never seen Sid so agitated. Catching the server’s eye, bobbing up and down in her seat, visiting the the bar for an update. I think the Dalai Lama would have gone up to the bar to see what the f*ck* was going on. The server forgot about every single one of our beers halfway through the pour process. The cask beers came up 1/4 short, and she said, “Oh, I should probably come back to top these up.” BUT SHE DIDN”T. She was nice, though. The new server had the dead eyes of a killer.

I would say that giving bad service to people who have BEEN servers is bittersweet. We feel your pain, but we can see every single way you could have made the situation better. “You gotta circulate. Get the new people their drinks before you cash out the 14 separate checks. Those people can’t leave until they’ve paid, but the new customers can just walk out.” Regular entitled yuppies would just leave, but entitled dirtbags like us, we’re rapt, watching it like a slow-motion car wreck, except we DO want our beer and chips, just like anybody else.


My kid, new to calculating tips, says, “I was hungry when I came IN. Now I’m STARVING. It’s been an HOUR. This is where I’d bust the tip down to 15%.” You’re a nice boy, Max. Someone raised you right.

We ended up having a good time, but part of that was probably learning how to count bad times as interesting adventures. Lifetime bike-riding for the win.

*One of these asterisks is a footnote, the other stands in for a letter, so’s y’all won’t be offendicated.

2014 Bike To Work Day

Last year I rode to work all week for Bike To Work day. The high point of the Friday ride was meeting an anti-fixie hipster. Then that next Monday I rode to work and fell over from vertigo that lasted a week, and still affects me a little. Probably some kind of hipster curse. This year I notice that due to the subtleties of page layout, and the lameness of the internet, not only do Pingbacks on the Sonoma County Bike Coalition Bike-to-Work page look like the names of sponsors… most of them are flat-out spam. header layout makes pingbacks look like sponsors So that’s me – art nerdery and UI/web nerdery spilling into the bike nerddom. I did set 6 Strava PRs on my commute this morning, though!

Pass-Fail Bicycle Flowchart

I thought this up while riding my bike. I think it applies to anything that people might obsess over.

Pass- fail bicycle tinkering

I am very particular about some things. Words. Pixels. Behaviors. Presentation phenomena, mostly. Bicycle fit and feel.

In other things, I don’t even register major differences. I like coffee, but I can’t tell the difference between the Kona and the Italian Roast at work. They taste like coffee. Ten years ago, I had already drunk more coffee than you will ever drink in your life. Coffee is pass/fail. “Does it taste like coffee?” Good. Does it taste like great coffee? Great!

Is it coffee?

It’s not like I have blind tastebuds. I can taste large differences. I can tell “delivered today” from “delivered last week,” because today’s coffee tastes better. Weak coffee gets poured out. I like espresso Americanos, because they generally taste like great coffee.

My kid is a supertaster. We go out for sushi, now, which is a big development. This is a kid who lived for years on goldfish crackers. All his crackers go in airtight jars, because if we keep them in the bag or box, he won’t eat them. “They’re STALE.” “Dude, they’re four hours old! It’s… only a little stale.”

He likes the red tuna more than the lighter fish like maguro or super-white tuna, so we always order a custom “rainbow” roll without the rainbow – just tuna. I am not a supertaster. To me, they all “taste like sushi.”

Pass-fail sushi connoisseurship

I worked in a sushi bar as a teenager. I ate a lot of sushi. I also ate a lot of tonkatsu chicken. I know that avocado mysteriously robs wasabi of its fun nose-rush high, a thick slice of octopus tentacle is bouncy to the tooth and oddly astringent, and uni is ‘challenging!’ Sushi tastes like sushi. I like it. Mediocre sushi tastes like sushi, and good sushi tastes like awesome.

Rivets Galore

Holy cow.
I saw this as an ad on Kent’s Bike Blog. Oh myyyy… Rivet porn. Almost unlimited styles of rivets: split rivets (like I used on the Swift), solid rivets (like Brooks uses, and Wallbike sells), semi-tubular rivets like I used on  Angelina’s bike, and something called “Riv-nuts,” which I like just for the name.

Rivets - all kinds! buy rivets online


Something that does NOT make me happy is trying to write a post from the iPad. I swear it worked okay for a few months. Now it just makes me want to kick a programmer in the nuts.

So, since links can’t be formed, Wallingford Bicycles is at, and sell Brooks rivets.  Kent can be found at Google BROOKS BIKETINKER to see Angelina’ B72 repair.