SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


Chameleon Cycles #3 - The Cyclofiend's Quickbeam

Welcome to the next installment of the Chameleon Cycles series. It's week Number Three, and although this entry is a little late, it's a doozy, so hold on tight....

This week we're checking out Cyclofiend's Rivendell Quickbeam, a bike designed with versatility in mind. At first you think it's a single-speed, but it's got extra gears accessible via "Rivendell shifting": There's dual freewheels out back and two 'rings on the crank, so with a bit of flip-floppin', axle-slidin', and a greasy finger or two, you'll have access to a dizzying range of four gears. Not as fancy, perhaps, as a Cambio Corsa cog-switcher, but a whole lot less finicky! The QB frameset is also spec'd with huge tire clearances, canti brakes, and rack mounts galore (including special mid-fork rack-mount tabs). All things that make a good chameleon-bike stew!

Cyclofiend got this bike just a little over a year ago now, and it's definitely evolved for him during that time. At first, the bike wasn't too different from the stock Rivendell build (blasphemy--it did NOT have a Brooks saddle, hooray!) and was broken in on "country ramble" rides.

Next we come to a dark time, but with a silver lining. Cyclofiend was readying his Lemond Poprad for an upcoming CX race and discovered the thing we all dread -- cracks in the frame. Time to retire that bike, but what to do about the race tomorrow?!? Thinking fast, he turned to the Quickbeam, and with an easy tire change and a few other minor adjustments, hey-presto we've got a single-speed racing machine even Tarik would love! Shod with knobby work boots, the bike adopts an understated, burly attitude that isn't often seen on this model, but suits it quite well. Cyclofiend really tore things up at the races, and did it in style!

Most recently, Cyclofiend caught the randonneuring bug, and it was easy to decide which bike to spend a day (or longer) on -- his most versatile ride, of course! Like a kid with LEGO blocks, SNAP on go some fenders, CLICK on goes a rack, swap out the tires again, and we're good to go. A versatile bike makes it easy! The 'Fiend (amazingly) rode his first 200k brevet in fixed-gear mode (mostly), finished with a great time, and had one of the best-looking bikes in the bunch.

So there ya have it, three versions of the same bike, a bike which changes over time to meet the needs of its rider. What's next, Cyclofiend -- maybe morph this into a flat-barred SS 29'er with V-brakes and a Softride Suspension stem? ;)

Chameleon bike? You betcha.



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