Agreed on everything you said... We do vote with our dollars.  When and 
where we spend our dollars equates in its way to, we vote for more of that, 
and unfortunately, in the zero-sum sense, we vote for less of whatever we 
did not choose.  If money did fall from the sky, there are several custom 
builders (known and unknown) that I would be talking with.  Until then, 
though, the Rivendells are exactly the bikes that interest me and fill my 
needs.  I have been one of the constant search but that seems far less 
important now.  Time to ride, time to explore, time to be more the rider 
than the never quite satisfied.

That said, my incredibly poorly timed good sense and austerity cost me $$ 
when the deal on Sam's and Cheviots appeared!  Seems that stubbornness cost 
me but at least it is all going to a good cause, something I want more of 
and for it to succeed.

Bob Lovejoy
Galesburg, IL

On Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 9:37:03 AM UTC-6, Dave Small wrote:
> I have a couple of thoughts:
> I like well-designed and well-made steel bikes that are lugged or 
> fillet-brazed, are built for 1" threaded quill stems, and can accommodate 
> tires of at least 32mm and preferably wider.  Offhand I can think of a few 
> specific models from other companies that meet those criteria, but Riv has 
> a line-up of them.  My criteria describe Riv's core philosophy, despite the 
> relatively recent introduction of TIG-welded models.  The specific models 
> from other companies are about the same price as a Sam frame or are more 
> expensive, so comparing like-to-like, Riv is priced competitively. 
>  Comparing Riv to, say, Surly or Salsa or other mass-produced Chinese 
> frames, Riv is "overpriced" but Grant acknowledges the better value of a 
> Surly frame if all you care about is utility.  I want more than that (and I 
> own a Cross Check, so know the differences firsthand) 
> I respect entrepreneurs in general, what Grant's done specifically, and 
> I've been pretty heavily influenced by him over the past 5 or so years.  I 
> like what the company is about, I like the people who work there, and I 
> want them to succeed.  Grant's been open about Riv's financial woes over 
> the years, and I want to help when I can.  I feel the same way about 
> another small bicycle company with whom I have a closer relationship than I 
> have with Rivendell, and I also support them with my dollars whenever I 
> can.  This isn't altruism, but it's a conscious decision on my part to send 
> my dollars to people who fill a niche I believe in, who've been good to me 
> over the years, and whose success I want to *actively* contribute to. 
>  I'm not just a satisfied customer, I'm a loyal customer, and I get 
> satisfaction out of knowing that in a small way I'm contributing to their 
> continued success.  
> I love Waterford (and BTW, that's not the company I referred to above).  I 
> own 2 Waterford-badged road bikes, owned a Waterford-badged racing bike 
> that I recently sold, and own a Waterford-built Homer Hilsen.  I tell 
> people that Richard Schwinn must have a pot of magic-dust that he applies a 
> little of to each bike they make, 'cause they all ride beautifully.  All 4 
> are outstanding bikes, but that excellence comes from a combination of many 
> factors, especially build quality and design; it's not just about brazing 
> technique.  The craftsmen in Taiwan are just as capable as the Craftsmen in 
> Wisconsin, and I wouldn't foresee any difference in overall build quality 
> or ride quality between an identical model made at Waterford or in a good 
> shop in Taiwan.  The Taiwanese Sams and the Cheviot I have are just as 
> pretty and well put-together as my Waterford-built bikes, but I can't 
> compare them directly because they differ in design and purpose.  
> Based solely on price, I don't foresee ever buying a custom Riv.  There's 
> an excellent local builder who'd build a custom lugged or fillet-brazed 
> steel frame and fork with all the bells and whistles I'd want for 
> (currently) $2350 or less.  I'd go that route and get a bike just as nice 
> for much less than a Riv custom.  A lot of good builders exist who would 
> build a nice custom in the same ballpark of price, so in that respect Riv's 
> custom prices do seem high.  It's a good thing that custom orders aren't 
> their bread and butter.   
> Last and least, I'm glad I took advantage of the recent Sam and Cheviot 
> presale on the day they were $1000; that was a great price even then, and 
> as of today it's even better!
> Dave (yes, that's my real name)

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