All manner of plastic bikes are currently riding through the Alsace region during the fifth stage of the 2019 Tour de France but, for the moment, I can’t take my eyes off a recent build by Japan’s Blue Lug: an “Un-obsoletable” Rivendell Clem Smith Jr.
Don’t get me wrong, bikes of all materials are considered beautiful here on The Spoken, but Rivendell’s Grant Petersen and I share a common belief that longevity is a quality to be aspired to.
The Clem Smith Jr model is Rivendell’s most affordable because most of it is TIG welded — a cheaper method than lugged or fillet brazed — but, like every Rivendell, it still makes for a very elegant bike.
A lot of that elegance is attributable to its solitary lug, found at the top of the seat tube, and the head tube’s reinforcement rings, as well as Rivendell’s RC-05 fork crown, wide enough to house a 2.4″ tire.
The Clem Smith Jr is available in an L version (low top tube) and this H version (high top tube), as well as a frameset for USD$900, and complete for USD$1,650. It has to be said, however, that Blue Lug has an impeccable style and they have applied it here.
From the Shimano LX and Velocity Atlas wheelset (one of the most dapper we’ve seen) to the Sugino, Wolf Tooth and XT drivetrain, Brooks Swift, Nitto Bullmoose cockpit and cork grips, this is the unflappable outdoor person’s bicycle.
When it comes to details, Blue Lug know what’s up. The green cable housing, Swift Zeitgeist saddle bag, twine-bound chainstay protector, and Pletscher kickstand prove it. Grant is right: this bike will still be wonderful and highlyrideable in 60 years time.
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