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Momentum Mag reviews the Rivendell Cheviot bicycle.
The Rivendell Cheviot is described as an “upright step-thru for everyone” and after more than three months in the saddle I can say this is a fairly apt description. Bathed in brilliant orange (my favorite bike color) and equipped with topnotch components and smart accessories, this bike truly rides like a dream. The frame is constructed with high-quality, butted Cr-Mo steel brought together by steel cast lugs and a fork crown. This is a bike that will stand the test of time. The unique frame has some length to it providing a seriously stable ride – even laden with luggage like the Sackville rack bag and full panniers plus groceries in the front basket. Full fenders, leather Brooks England saddle, front and rear racks, and a dynamo-powered front light complete this build as tested.
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My first time on the Cheviot immediately felt different. In a really good way. Further riding affirmed my suspicions: the bike seemed to have everything in its place. Combining swept-back handlebars higher than the saddle and nice and large platform pedals, the components and frame all came together creating a cockpit that felt like an old comfy chair. Not to say that this bike is a slouch – far from it, it is just damn comfy and made my daily ride that much more enjoyable.
With the double-kickstand and a basket/ rack combo up front, the front end tends to swing right around when parked. This could be taken care of with a stabilizer spring or, in keeping with the spirit of Rivendell, some leather and twine wrapped around any contact points. I was surprised to see a quick-release, rear wheel since on a city bike removable parts don’t make sense to me. Others who rode this bike didn’t like the cork/twine grips with exposed cable but I have to say that they broke in nicely and have grown on me. The one item I would really wish for is a rear light that was also dynamo-powered like the front one. However, when you order from Rivendell, your wish list starts the conversation to build the exact bike you want, so any of these observations can be addressed long before you get your bike.
Rivendell developed the Cheviot as a “general getting around” bike that touches on touring, commuting, and some trail use. (The Schwalbe Little Big Ben tires felt great off road.) It’s safe to say that the ideal rider is almost anyone. The three frame sizes, 50, 55, and 60 cm, should fit riders between 4’10” and 6’3” (1.47 to 1.90 meters) and the specialty team at Rivendell takes everything into account when building up your bike. Even though when the bike arrived for review I wasn’t the known rider, all it took was a single saddle adjustment and I was riding as close to a perfect fit as I’ve ever felt.
The Cheviot’s purpose appears to be one of enhancement, comfort, and usefulness for your cycling life. I rode this bike to work daily, on weekends over dirty roots in the woods, and on longer haul, urban rides on pavement – all to my pleasure. I haven’t been on an overnight with it yet but given the opportunity, this is the bike I would gladly grab first. The gearing ratio is one of ease, not speed, making any uphill a laughing matter and keeping pedaling speed in check on the descents. I appreciate the attention to quality and detail from Rivendell. It is evident that every part of this bike has been carefully chosen and expertly specified and that the entire bicycle has been lovingly built. If there is a legendary Rivendell fit, I understand the appeal now and completely get the reverence for their products. I highly recommend giving the Cheviot – and Rivendell – a spin if you have the chance.