I know that since leaving Bridgestone and starting Rivendell in 1994 he tried a bunch of ideas while staying true to some basic preferences:
- lugged steel frames
- threaded forks
- high and unusually shaped handlebars
- low bottom brackets
- as few sprockets as he can get away with
- flat pedals
- rim brakes
- plenty of tyre clearance
Anyway, his Leo Roadini intrigues me, first of all because at $900 it’s a lot cheaper than Rivendell’s earlier Rambouillet or Roadeo frames. That’s because it’s built in Taiwan with fewer lugs and cheaper tubes. Still, it looks high quality in pictures.
Here’s a description in PDF format, starting with a rabble-rousing assessment of the present-day road bike:
“When the ‘80s mtn bike & its lite variants took over comfortable & practical riding, the road bike retreated to extremism and hasn’t recovered. Today’s typical road bike is suitable only for head-down/follow-the-butt riding on dry and smooth roads. Years of tech-chasing and weight wars have sucked the sense out of it.”
Comparing the geometry of the 54 cm Roadini with my 54 cm Spa Audax:
- the 75 mm bottom bracket drop is fully 12.5 mm more than the Spa
- despite this, the head tube is much longer at 190.5 mm versus 135 mm. The head tube is for 1-inch forks rather than 1-1/8". The supplied fork is threaded rather than threadless
- same seat tube angle of 72.5 degrees
- same head tube angle of 72 degrees, but the Rivendell has 5 mm more fork rake for a somewhat lower trail
- 450 mm chainstays, considerably longer than the Spa’s already generous 425 mm
- 26.8 mm seatpost versus Spa’s 27.2 mm. Presumably the Spa uses thinner-walled tubes
- an unusual seat cluster lug with ball and socket joints for the seatstays versus TIG welding (the Roadini is welded elsewhere)
- and many other small differences.
What think ye of Petersen’s design? How would you buy it in Europe anyway?