Joe's Sam Hillborne

We have been incredibly fortunate to have been a Rivendell dealer for a few years now.  We have built some great bikes over the years, and we as a shop were looking to take this relationship further.


Taking it further involved us bringing in a whole bunch of frames, and going off the deep-end with a Rivendell section in our shop (718's RivShop) also involved building up a bike for Micro-Tours, Tours and everyday life. these are not bikes to be left in the "dunce section" (Grant's term) of the shop.  


First, which frame.  My needs for this bike put me square in the Rivendell "Country Bike" section. 

"When you need to carry more stuff and ride rougher surfaces than even a Rivendell road bike can handle, get a country bike. They have stouter frames, longer wheelbases, fit bigger tires (up to 45mm), carry heavier loads, and are cushier when you need that. They easily fit racks, fenders, and carry light-to-medium touring loads. You can ride them unloaded with drop bars road-style, or switch bars and be super comfortable on day rides, commutes, and most fire trails. Our most popular style, barely (Rivendell 2018 Catalog)"

From there, the Sam Hillborne had all of the features I was looking for in terms of tire clearance, load capacity, and the ability to fit well with drop bars. In terms of size, my PBH (Pubic Bone Height...see 2018 Catalog for more info) was around 80, which had me on the 51cm Sam.  I went with black as we had just built a Sage on up in the shop. To get a better understanding of Rivendell Frames, check out their 2018 Catalog, or come to the shop and pick one up!

Handlebars and Bar-Tape

I wanted to go with drop bars, as I like having multiple positions on Micro-Tours. Nitto makes some great offerings in 25.4mm and 26mm clamp diameters. I selected the 44mm wide Nitto Noodle (Model 177). Brooks leather bar tape



Nitto seemed like the obvious choice here, as there aren't too many manufacturers making this component at this quality lever anymore.  I choose the Technomic for its length, and the 100mm version to nail down my fit.


Drivetrain Concept

I knew I wanted (needed) a triple for all of Micro-Tours and Tours that we do. I ended up going with a 9-speed rear derailleur/cassette as it afforded me more options in terms of shifters.  The term "9 speed is 9 speed is 9 speed" kept ringing in my head, as this is a rule of thumb when dealing with road/mountain compatibility issues with Shimano drivetrains.


Since we were using drop bars and a 3x9 setup, a great option were bar-end shifters (fine with me!) Going with the best available, I selected Shimano's Dura-Ace set


Front Derailleur and Crank

The only modern quality Shimano Triple crank out there is the Tiagra 4703 at this point, and I felt that there wasn't enough range for me. It also looks a bit clunky.  I went with a Sugino Alpina, and its associated front derailleur for range first, looks a close second.


Rear Derailleur and Cassette

In going 9-speed, Shimano XT was the way to go.  Great quality on the rear derailleur, and great range on the cassette.



I work with the best wheelbuilders in NYC...however, we are unbelievably busy this summer and me getting wheels built would push a paying customer aside.  With that being said, I found a great set of 36 hole 650b Velocity Dyads, with a Shimano Dynamo laced to the front.


I have great experienced using the WTB Horizons (650b x 47), so I wanted to keep the luck going.  They are probably a little on the heavy side, but the roll great on my Kona Rove LTD.


Brakes and Brake Levers

We selected Paul Components Mini-Motos, and they have great stopping power and clearance for larger tires. They are linear pull brakes, but are short-pull, therefor allowing for most drop bar brake levers. In this instance, I chose the TRP  RRL SR Retro Brake Levers for their quality and appearance.



I've had a few VP-01's in my life.  I love the bearing quality, the platform durability and their lightness. i had these on my Salsa Horsethief mountain bike, and literally beat the hell out of them.  I also currently have them on my Niner RLT and logged hundreds of read miles with them



I was going to use a Brooks B17, but that saddle rail conguration didnt work well with the bag system I am looking to use (Arkel RollPacker....there is a "Brooks" adapter available from Arkel to make this work).  I choose the Gilles Berthoud Aspin, which is their touring saddle.


Dynamo Light

I am using a Sinewave Beacon (with a custom built bracket!).  This light is amazing as a light, but it also charges devices AND can be powered by an external battery.


Bottom Bracket, Seatpost and Headset

These items come with the frameset, so I figured we'd just let it ride.

Build Images

The final build was 29 lbs.