Sunday, January 20, 2013

A.H.H. The sum of the parts


58 cm Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen (Toyo Japan)

Nitto technomic stem
Ultegra headset
Nitto Noodle handlebars 48 cm
Silver Down tube shifters
Selle Anatomica Titanico X saddle with copper rivets
Crane Creek bell in copper
Leather bar wraps from Walnut Studios,in a Harlequin/diamond wrap
Ultegra Headset
Velo Orange Campagne bag (front) and croissant bag (rear)
Velo Orange decaleur
Nitto (Mark's) mini rack
Edelux light
Silver Brakes dual pivot caliper
Shimano Dynohub
Velocity Synergy 650b Wheels 36 spoke (built by Longleaf Bicycles)
Grand Bois Lierre tires "38 mm"
Sugino triple Crank
Deore XT front derailleur
Deore rear derailleur
Nitto 83 seat post
Connex wipperman chain
Deore LX hub 135 mm
Shimano m770 cassette 11-34
Velo Orange silver braided cable housing
Inox stainless steel bottle cases
Greenfield Kickstand leather wrapped and shellacked.
SKS P45 fenders
RUSA mudflaps

 For more pictures look HERE

Looking at a list of bike parts reminds me of looking at the ingredients of a recipe. It tells you some things, but not everything, maybe not even the most important things. How well will they go together?  Will it satisfy the appetite?

Before this, I never bought a bike without test riding it. I can never tell from geometry numbers on a page whether a bike will feel right. This time, after a long look and lots of questions to Rivendell owners, I swallowed the kool aid and took a blind leap with faith.

Each item on the list represents a choice. I've been looking at the A. Homer Hilsen frame for a long time. I saved for it by bike commuting and putting the savings into an account. It seemed a good way to do it.  I almost went with a Rando specific Frame built by a custom builder. But, in the end, after I found myself googling Hilsen images in  my spare time, I went with it. Will it feel right? We'll see. 

The biggest commitment was opting for 650b wheels. They are niche wheels - a size in between 26" wheels and 700C wheels. They have the fewest options for rims and tires, But for wide tires, 38 - 42mm , they are supposed to offer a best ride. We'll see.

Down tube shifters. 1900's technology in a 21st century world. But from riding a fixie, I learned that frequent shifting is overrated and with down tube shifters the look is so clean and classic. As for how it works out, we'll see.

I know that long distance riding magnifies small problems with a bike. Things that can be overlooked or ignored for a few hours can become show stoppers after a day or riding.

I wonder how this will turn out. 

We'll see.


  1. Bikes, make 'em how you like 'em.

  2. I'm reminded of Robert Penn's, "It's All About The Bike," where he builds his dream bike part by part, each chosen for its unique contribution to cycling history (Brooks saddles, Continental tires, etc...). It's pretty cool that you can point to each part of your bike and tell anyone (yourself included) precisely why it is there. Good luck!

    1. I'm not familiar with that one. I'll look it up. Thanks for the lead.

  3. Congratulations on your AHH. I just got my Sam Hillborne 1-1/2 weeks ago. We share some of the same components including 650b wheels; first for me. I'm going to ride my first populaire this June. BTW, love your poems.

    1. Thansk for the comments. I look forward to reading your blog.

  4. Beautiful bike! Just like you were prior to getting this bike, I too am saving for one and have been considering the AHH for long distance riding. Are you still using this for randonneuring? Is this what you used for PBP? just came across your blogs BTW, great stuff!