Rivendell Romulus and Redwood Page
the introduction of the Rambouillet,
the Romulus and Redwood appeared briefly in the Rivendell lineup.
first catalog in which they are mentioned was the Spring 2003 "General
Calogue (sic) But No Bikes". They are described as such:
Romulus and Redwood are complete road bikes based on the same frame
design ideals as the Rambouillet, and only minor differences that
allow a lower price without structural or real compromises. The
result is a bike that at around $1,400 complete, is an untouchable
value. The drivetrain is mostly Shimano 105, but with a Sugino triple
with much more usable gearing (48 x 36 x 26) than the Shimano comes
with (52 x 42 x 30). If you want a super comfortable, versatile,
and stunning-to-look at road bike for the cost of a generic, get
it. The Romulus is light blue and comes in odd sizes 55 thru 63.
The Redwood is light green andcomes in 65 and 68cm only (for tall
model is not mentioned in the Spring/Summer '04 Catalog, which lists
"Standard Models" as Atlantis,
Rambouillet and Quickbeam,
with mention made of the Saluki, Glorius and Wilbury as "arriving
was also a reappearence of the Romulus with a twist - the "Canti-Rom".
It seems that Rivendell had discussed making a cantilever brake
version of the Romulus with Toyo in Japan. After the discussion,
Toyo contacted Rivendell with an estimated delivery date, which
caught them a bit by surprise. Rivendell agreed to take the bicycles
and they were offered for sale (in a Reader? - I'll poke around
for the citation) and snapped up reasonably quickly. There are examples
of the Canti-Rom in the Galleries.
folks have shared their recollections regarding the Romulus, and
some forwarded email communicatioins:
Posted to the RBW List by Aaron Thomas:
the dropout issue, this is from an old Canti-Rom file I saved: "Dropout
joinery. The Romulus uses the British method, same as on Mercian
and Hetchins frames. It's also called "domed and slotted" for the
treatment of the ends of the stays and fork blades. It is just as
strong, not the least bit ugly, but less fancy and not as expensive."
- Doug Shaker recalled to the RBW List:
The style of joining the dropouts to the frame was different between
the two bikes. I don't know the names of the two styles, but they're
- I think the drive-side chainstay on the Rambouillet used splined
tubing. I don't recall how I came across this information.
- Rambouillet has an extra set of water bottle bosses under the
And there was a follow-up by Grant to the List (the original thread
was discussion the brake clearances of the different models, and
so has references to that aspect of the designs):
has it right, or easily right enough. I will add this (doesn't not
1. Originally, there was the RIVENDELL ROAD. Short reach, not custom.
2. The the RIVENDELL LONG LOW...similar to road, but slightly shallower
head tube and made for longer reach brakes. Reach went from high
forties (in the ROAD) to mid-50s in the LONG LOW. Some LONG LOWS
were made for cantilever brakes, with same reach dimensions as those
3. RAMBOUILLET is our medium-reach (mid 50s) frame made in Japan.
As Doug said, it is prettydarnroughly equivalent in all practical
aspects, to the LONG LOW.
4. The ROMULUS was a just-as-well-made but cheaper-to-buy version
of the RAMBOUILLET. Cheaper because it came in as a whole bike.
Cheaper because it was painted all one color (no cream details).
The lugs were simpler, but they cost us as much, and are the same
quality. The ROM got cut only because the Dollar was taking too
big a beating, and continuing it would've meant raising the price
about $400 per bike. Maybe we shoulda, maybe we shouldn'ta, but
a $400 price increase with no significant change in spec is hard
to swallow, so we dropped the bike.
Rambouillet with A. Homer HIlsen: Biggest diff, and I'd say the
only one worth even breathing about, is the brake reach/clearance/
tire capacity/fenderability. The Rambouillet maxed out the potential
inherent in Shimano's "long reach" (which isn't all that long) sidepull.
It allows you to fender a 28 easily, fender a 32 barely, and fit
a 37 with no fender at all. Those are tremendous features.
so-- in my assessment--the Rambouillet/Romulus were the most versatile
fantabulous road bikes possible to make with those brakes, which
at the time were the only sidepulls available. It isn't JUST a matter
of using those brakes. It is all about maximizing the potential
in the brakes by putting the bridges in the right place and making
the fork blades the right length. Many bikes that use the same brakes
don't do that.
whole world changed when the Silver brakes arrived. It is also available
in a fine but slightly downgraded version (only in the brake pads!)
as the TEKTRO R556. In any case, it was made to our specs, it was
made on our behalf, and it included all the things we wanted in
a Dreamy Sidepull for Puffy Tires 'n Fenders. This brake allowed
us to multimaximize the clearances and make life heavenly with puffy
tires and fenders.
AHH has 64mm of reach, which doesn't even require bottom-slotting
the brake pads. (It does allow easier 700c-t-650b conversions, though.)
The 64 reach lets you mount a fender and a 38mm tire. So now that
we had this brake, we designed the A. Homer HIlsen. The actual geometrical
numbers on the Ram/Rom and Hilsen vary more than the actual rides
do. Since the AHH is our "Country bike," and was designed to slot
between the Ram and the Atlantis, we designed a slightly shallower
head tube and increased the chainstay length a 2cm or so. The actual
ride difference is similar, and the most noticeable difference will
be in the tires themselves, not a degree here or less than an inch
in the chainstay. Those READ more significantly than they FEEL,
but that's always the case. The overriding influences on bike FEEL
are your position and the tire pressure. Geometry isn't nothing,
because it affects position and resposnsiveness, but a good way
to ruin a bike is to give it super short chainstays in the name
of "responsiveness," only to have it handle funny and be limited
to no fenders and tiny tires.
the short story is: What Doug Said! G
and Redwood bicycles in the Galleries:
- #660 - Neil Doshi's
- Esteban Del Rio's Rivendell Romulus
- JimD's Rivendell Romulus
- Andrew Karre's Rivendell Romulus (canti)
#388 - Eric Daume's
- #318 - Ralph
Rognstad's Rivendell Romulus
- #284 - Franklyn
Wu's Rivendell Romulus
- #194 - Brett
Gilbert's Rivendell Romulus
- Bill Burns' Rivendell Romulus
- #131 - Frank
Fulton's Rivendell Romulus
- #114 - Jeremy
Miller's Rivendell Romulus
- #87 - Joe Broach's
- #55 - Gordon
- #38 - Bill