Five Rivendell Fork Crowns

We were at Harris Cyclery the other day and I took the opportunity to photograph the fork crowns of the Rivendell frames that were hanging in the shop. Enjoy the colourburst!

the Atlantis

the original green Sam Hillborne

the orange Sam Hillborne

the A. Homer Hilsen

the Betty Foy

Nice, aren't they? I think the "curly-cue" design that's on the Betty Foy, the A. Homer Hilsen, and the orange Sam Hillborne tend to be most people's favourites. But as a girl of simple tastes, I prefer the one on the original green Hillborne.


  1. From a purely aesthetic viewpoint; I must say that I love (love) the look of fork-crowns and lugs on a steel bicycle.

    My preference from the sampling you put here is certainly the Hillborne, with the Atlantis a close second... which is not to take away from the curly-q! It is also quite appealing.

  2. My heart will always be with the classic pointy lugs and their simple elegance, so I'll have to go with the Atlantis crown. My Quickbeam has the curlicues. I'll live; especially as I just got in from riding it. Best damned bike I've every owned. In fact, despite claims of the management, I'd have been happy to race it back in the day. The whole "tight and twitchy" trend of racing bikes is based on false premises now taken to reductio ad absurdum levels.

  3. It's so good to see that there are still some bike builders out there taking the time to add elegant details to their creations. I'd be proud to ride a bike with any one of those. I do like the Betty Foy colour scheme and curlicue best though. All the others are tied for second. Can't choose!

  4. Any one of them provides sufficient reason for buying a lugged steel bike. I'll admit I'm partial to the Atlantis, as it's much like the fork crown on my two beloved Mercians. On the other hand, I enjoy the whimsicality (as well as the colour scheme) of the Betty Foy.

  5. while i can appreciate all of them, i definitely prefer the classic look of the Atlantis' lugs...

  6. Ah I knew that all the vintage fans would prefer the Atlantis fork crown!

    I think the colour scheme of the Betty Foy lugwork is extremely successful and a great choice on the part of Rivendell. The dots in the fork crown provided the perfect opportunity to show them off.

    The fork crown on the original Hillborne (which was also on a few other Rivs that are no longer in production) appeals to me, because it is fairly modest, allows for 2 colours to be used, and is unusual. I do like the classic Mercian crown, but on a Mercian - whereas the other two styles seem to be unique to Rivendell.

  7. Definitely a fan of the classic Atlantis lugs.

  8. I like them all. The Atlantis lugs remind me of the insanely refined frames at Jitensha Studios that I used to lust after in my student days, waaaaaay back when.

  9. I've recently had the rare pleasure to visit a bicycle frame artist's studio and look at many lugged frames in progress. Lug artistry on custom bikes and on these semi-production Rivendell frames is nothing short of amazing. I've spoiled myself to any frames except lugged. :)

  10. True, whenever I leave Bryan's studio (Royal H. Cycles) I feel drunk. And Peter Mooney's lugged frames are downright fever-inducing. And then there are Mike Flannigan's custom copper lugs/sleeves...

  11. I just ordered a used Sam from someone on the RBW list, apparently with the one-dot fork shown above.

    Now you've got me curious. Is there any functional difference or is the difference purely aesthetic?

    Did I get the good one? :)


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