Introducing Bike #5, another very dear old friend, my Samuel Hillborne. 
 This was my first Rivendell, and it marked a significant inflection point 
in my cycling career.  I bought it in December 2009, and my cycling life 
could easily be separated into BH (Before Hillborne) and AH (After 
Hillborne).  Before Hillborne, I was a TTLZ, a Top Tube Length Zealot.  I 
would look at one number on a geo-chart, the effective top tube length.  If 
it was 56.5cm, it fit me.  If it was not 56.5cm, it did not fit me.  That's 
what I thought.  After Hillborne, I realized that you can't say anything 
about fit from top tube length alone and in isolation.  The biggest thing 
for Rivendells, in my opinion is seat tube angle.  Before Hillborne, I 
slammed the saddle all the way back, on every bike, all the time, because 
every other bike had a steep seat tube angle.  I believe that in December 
2009 there was no other production 'road bike' on earth with a 71.5 degree 
seat tube angle.  There might still be no other non-Rivendell production 
bikes on Earth with a 71.5 degree seat tube angle.  Because the seat tube 
angle is slack, you'll run the saddle 1-2cm further forward, right in the 
middle of the rails, which looks great and fits.  Voila! You're top tube is 
2cm shorter that you thought when you were a TTLZ.  Anyway, here's Sam, on 
my morning 40 mile commute through the East Bay Hills, with Fog-gust in 
full effect. 


Every time I contemplate on a Rivendell Custom, I invariably end up 
defining a bike that is almost identical to my 56cm, single top tube, 
cantilever Hillborne.  For me in 2017, it is just about my perfect all-road 
bike.  38mm tires + fenders is ample for a sensible road bike.  After 
Hillborne, that's my attitude.  A road bike that only takes 32mm tires with 
fenders is most definitely a "racing bike" in my AH categories.  

News flash for everyone.  This was my first 40 mile ride on Compass 38mm 
knobbies, the Steilacoom, and they are freaking fast on the road.  I could 
hear a faint hum, but since I'm using strava for everything, I can say 
these tires are not significantly slower than 650x42B Babyshoe Pass 
Extralights, set up tubeless, on my Niner Seven Fiver.  These Compass 
knobbies are kind of a secret weapon, to me.  They have great dirt and mud 
behavior, and you sacrifice essentially nothing on the road.  It's kind of 
like cheating.  I suspect they will also be much better for flat resistance 
and cuts, because there is a thick chunk of tread between you and the stuff 
on the ground.  Unlike thick treaded tires, knobbies can still be supple, 
because the casing between the knobs can flex.  The knobs themselves are 
wide and stout, so they don't squirm in hard cornering on pavement.  There 
is less rubber in contact with the ground, so I assume the limits of max 
adhesion might be less, but on this foggy morning, I didn't push it.  

> Bill Lindsay
> El Cerrito, CA

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