Rivendell Bicycle Works: Quickbeam:
Rivendell QuickbeamThe Rivendell Quickbeam is a deceptively simple design. For a lot of people, a bicycle with no mechanical derailing systems might seem a little odd. But, the Quickbeam resonated with me the first time I read about it. It seemed to pull together a number of key components of cycling - singlespeeding, trail riding, cyclocross and (though it wasn't even a consideration at the time) brevets. Since taking delivery of my Quickbeam in February of 2006, it's been a tremendously versatile bicycle.

There have been a few enterprising individuals who have played with setting up shifting systems for the Quickbeam. Two methods appeared in editions of the Rivendell Reader. I've scanned these below for reference.

At this point, the following quantities of Quickbeams were produced:

Prototypes - At least one prototype, shown here. Possibly three US-made, according to R.D.
Green - 100 1st Run (2004?)
Green - 100 2nd Run (may have been 50)
Orange - 50 1st Run (2006?)
Orange - 50 2nd Run
Silver - 70 1st Run (Delivered Summer 2009)

The Silver batch also included an official 650B (ISO 584) tire size version, which uses sidepull rather than cantilever style. These were made in 52 and 50 cm sizes only. The silver batch also had a redesigned decal for the downtube which lacked the background wrap on the earlier style. There had been earlier examples of Quickbeams converted to 650B/584 wheelsize.

Other variations in the design include the adoption of brazed-on threaded mounts on the fork legs for attaching mid-stay racks. My recollection was that the earliest versions (green series) did not have any, and I have not seen images of any. Mine, which came from the first orange run, had a flat metal braze on, which was replaced with the more commonly found "hourglass" style (possibly on the 2nd Orange run, but definitely on the Silver run.) The Silver run also had a mid-seatstay mounted braze on for mounting a rear rack. All the models I've seen have a set of braze ons attached to the upper seat stays (near the brake) for attaching the platform mount points of a rack.

The headbadge background color was changed from white to a very light (robin's egg) blue for the Silver run.

It also appears that the silver Quickbeams have the kickstand plate which was introduced with the A. Homer Hilsen.

The Quickbeam has been built by Panasonic in Japan for Rivendell Bicycle Works. As of 2009. it was announced that the silver Quickbeam would be the final run, as the Panasonic-manufactured models would not be continued due to currency devaluation. It was suggested that there will be a slightly modified version (perhaps using similar sizing to the Sam Hillborne) (UPDATE - Nope! See below) which would be made in Taiwan.

Announced in the Holiday 2009 Email from RBW -
"The Simpleone will replace the Quickbeam, and it too will come in Spring (2010). Some as frames, maybe some as bikes. Exactly the same geometry as the QB, and in sizes 54-56-58-60-62-64. The smaller and taller QBs didn't sell well, so we're going with these. Not sure of the price, but they'll cost less than the Quickers and be as good. Made in Taiwan, not Japan. "

Quickbeam bicycles in the Galleries:
- SSG#320 - Lee Chae's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG#300 - Ron Hampel's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG#292 - Rocky B's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG#291 - Isaac Enloe's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG#287 - Esteban Del Rio's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG#283 - John Busteed's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG#278 - David Regen's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #266 - Clif Wright's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #126 - Jim Mather's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #89 - Dwight Dau's Rivendell Quickbeam
- CC #267 - Philip Williamson's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #79 - Angus Lemon's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #74 - Ray Shine's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #62 - David Estes' Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #46 - Brett Gilbert's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #44 - Gaylen Hamilton's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #36 - Frank Fulton's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #24 - Ron Lau's Rivendell Quickbeam 650B
- SSG #20 - Raoul Delmare's Rivendell Quickbeam (in progress)
- SSG #18 - Noah Gerhard's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #17 - Cyclofiend Jim's Rivendell Quickbeam
- SSG #14 - Dave Nawrocki's Rivendell Quickbeam
- CC #7 - Ron Lau's Rivendell Quickbeam (650B)

Scans of Quickbeam Announcements - RBW's Quickbeam Geometry Chart - UCQT's - RBW Owners' Bunch List Info

last update: December 22, 2010 - Most recent additions are at the top of the page

SimpleOne Update from Grant - 12/17/10

From the RBW blog post. Posted here as there is not yet a Simpleone Page here on the Cyclofiend site.

SimpleOne Update December 17, 2010

SimpleOne Update Sizes: 56-58-60-62

Why no smaller or bigger: It takes forever to sell them, minimums are 30 per size, and we can't sit on tons of bigger ones that long. We still have, like, six 50cm QBs left. We have long been, and at some level still are, dedicated to the taller and shorter riders not often accommodated by the bigger brands. But we're kind of tired of having them pile up and collect dust, and so keep them going in the more normal models that sell better.

How the SimpleOne compares with the Quickbeam:
-- Made in Taiwan by our Sam-maker. Hand-brazed. QB was Japan. Quality in this case is every bit as good, at least.
-- Geometry is nearly identical.
-- Same braze-ons plus a kickstand plate.
-- Same tire/fender clearance (for 40mm with fender, or 44 without)
-- Fancier paint. With the cream head tube, etc, that many of our bikes have. Mark picked a dark slimy green that'll look super.
-- Brakes. Uses sidepulls or centerpulls. QB was a canti-bike.

Frame price, with headset: $900 if you reserve one before Jan 20 with a non-refu $400 deposit (see below); $1000 if you wait till we've already had to pay for the lot before they ship. To reserve one: By phone, 800 345 3918. Complete bike price: We build it as you like, but will offer a package that should allow about a $1,600 bike before shipping.

Delivery: End March to Mid-April 2011 How many: 30 each of 56 cm, 58 cm, 60 cm, 62 cm

Some notes on riding a single-speed, for the benefit of those who haven't done it.
It's not just harder, it's different. You give up a lot by not being able to shift, but you get some things in return for that sacrifice: Having no options means having no pressure to shift, or be in the right gear. You see the hill ahead, and you know the gears are in your legs, so you just go. You grunt more, yes, but it is mentally relaxing to not even have a shift option.

On flat terrain, you go easier. Why spin like the blades of a Waring blender? The gear and terrain dictate the speed, which is always proper as long as it feels good. On steep hills, you have to get off. This is good for you. Rather than grunt like an overgeared fool, you get off and hoof it. It's almost, but not exactly, like being a duathlete! That's it.

Sometimes people say, and I'm sure I've said it myself at some point, that there's less maintenance because of no derailers and shifters. I don't say that anymore, because I never do anything to my derailers and shifters, and anything that might go wrong with them---it's hard to even think of what that might be---is not going to be long or hard to fix or replace. Bike variety is a good thing, especially if you ride the same routes all year long.

A different bike makes the ride different. Each bike makes it easier to appreciate other bikes even more. When you ride a one-speed, not shifting teaches you that you don't have to shift as much as you've been shifting on your 27-speed. When you really sweat it out on the one-speed, you really appreciate the gears on the 27-speed. A one-speed is a good way to put together a really durable, high-quality, fun bike for not all that much money.


Twin-Toptube Quickbeam Variant - 07/10

Shared to the RBW Owner's Bunch group by nathan s., this taller-framed Quickbeam had a second top tube added. According to the post, it had broken, and when the owner brought it to Rivendell for a repair, they agreed to a second top tube.

Rivendell twin-toptube Quickbeam

I know how much torque I've put on mine (a 58 cm framesize). I reckon that this one (it's gotta be a 66, although they did make a 68) is probably just about right with the addition of the second tube. It looks like this bike also got the Nexus Hub treatment on the rear. It's a pretty interesting setup, and if the owner gets a chance to fill me in with more details, I'd love to hear about it!

UPDATE 7/20/10 -
Seems like this bicycle (and owner/rider) caught the attention of erstwhile bikey blogger Ed Felker in the Washington D.C. Area -

turns out that it is a 68 cm frame, and it had originally been sent back to Rivendell to fix a cracked bottom bracket. That's the point when the second top tube was added.


"Clifbeam" Rolling in Austin, TX

First off, if you haven't seen Clif Wright's awesome custom-painted "everything's tall in Texas" Quickbeam, take a moment and visit this page.

Now, the folks down in Austin have a pretty great looking ride which runs in the evening of the summer months (maybe even through the winter...). If you check out the coverage in the Austin American-Statesman online, you'll see the same gorgeous Quickbeam rolling through, along with the legs that make it go.

Quickbeam on the Austin Ride

Article Link -

Quickbeam In the NY Times

Quickbeam in the New York Times

Now, the article isn't actually on the Rivendell Quickbeam, and in fact there's no mention of it in the actual text that I've found. And, if I were the art director for the image, I would've made sure that the exposure didn't quite cook out the highlights... but, hey - it's a QUICKBEAM in the New York Times.

And that's pretty cool!

Link to the article -


The New Color Scheme - Silver Quickbeams Arrive

Alas, this more than probably will be the last run of this phenomenal, adaptable, versatile model.

Silver Quickbeam - this one's a 56


Quickbeams in the Wild

Green Quickbeam, spotted in the wild. San Rafael, CA - 4/09



Rich's Quickbeam 650B Conversion from Rivendell Reader #37

Rich's Quickbeam Conversion

I was going back through an older Rivendell Reader and came across this small feature on Rich L's Quickbeam 650B (584 BSD) Conversion project. (Ron Lau had also converted a Quickbeam to 650B, shown here.)


A Shifty Quickbeam - 8 speed Nexus Hub System

Over yonder on (a great url, to be sure...), TS converted his Quickbeam to 8-speed using the 8-speed version of the Nexus (Red label).

Quickbeam 8-speed on

According to a post to the RBW Owners Bunch list, it worked very nicely, shifting was smooth and reliable. See for some pictures and a brief write-up.

The owner - Tim - kindly responded to an email query about the bike. He did have to respace the dropouts, to about 133mm, to accommodate the Nexus hub.

He has since converted the QB back to a single-speed*, and sold the Nexus hub/wheel. According to his post, he liked it well enough, but appreciated the QB better as a single-speed, and had another hub-geared bike. These make great hubs for a city/commuter bike.

This is what the gearing looked like with the two chain wheels of the QB:

NEXUS 8 Speed Gearing
Gear# Int.Ratio
Gear Inches
Chainring -

Sheldon's Nexus8 tech manual scan

* Tim sez - "Now it has a Phil SS/SS 135mm hub, and it's just off to the frame painters to have the color changed. Never did like that green. That bike has been through more transmogrifications than any other I've owned! :-) But it's fun, and it's a great bike to ride. "


Henry Kingman's Loaded Tour on a Quickbeam - RR#37

In response to a question posed on the RBW-Owners-Bunch Google Group, here are scans from an article by Henry Kingman, wherein he tours on a Quickbeam in decidedly non-summery conditions.

RR #37 - page 8  RR #37 - page 9  RR #37 - page 10  

Clicking on each page will open a full-sized version.

Big Tires on a 'Beam - 6/25/07


I'd actually seen this photo a while ago, but it popped back into view on the Quickbeam group on Flickr. This is a great example of a 45mm tire used on a Quickbeam. Thanks for the great photo, Philip!


Quickbeam Rear Rack Issues - 6/11/07

Jon K. posted this original notice to the RBW List on 6/9/07 -
I purchased the latest model Nitto rear rack (full size) for my QB. After I mounted it and leveled it, I discovered that the little welded posts at the bottom block the removal of the rear wheel. They are directly in front of the dropouts. It could have been solved with a hacksaw, but I was not spending $135 and then destroying a new Nitto Rack. I returned it and am getting a Pletscher Athelete 4B. It will give me the lower attachment points, braze-on mounts, and not look like I'm touring for a year (like the Nitto or Tubus). I really only need a light duty rack with bottom attachment points for a two wheel gear garment bag."

This was news to me - as I've not tried to mount a rear rack on the QB - and asked for some photos. Another Jon (actually "John" B.) supplied this photo (click on it to see more) and description of his QB, which runs the same rack:

Quickbeam Rear Rack Issue - click for the whole set

"This photo more or less shows how the little tab is in the way. I have the same problem. I spoke with one of the guys at RBW about it maybe 2 years ago and was also told cutting off the tab at the bottom was one solution but I have decided to live with it. I don't get many flats in Minneapolis. You must remove skewer completely before wheel will allow itself to be taken off. I have that issue on several bikes (front and/or rear) and have decided to switch to non-QR skewers which require allen wrench to remove - easier during removal (when rack-blocking is an issue) and perhaps less likely to be stolen."

I also emailed to Ken Y. - ( the fellow who rode his Quickbeam on the Trans-Iowa this year (and was the first rider to finish that event on a fixed-gear rig). From the photo's I'd seen of him on the event, it seemed that he was running panniers on some type of rear dropout secured rear rack.

Ken & QB on the Trans Iowa

Ken replied, graciously sharing his experiences and views:

Ken's Quickbeam Rear Wheel

"I am using the Rivendell Nitto rear rack, size Large. I have a 60cm frame. Before I bought one, I rode my brother's 58 with a similar set up for a couple of months trying to determine which size I wanted. I didn't have any problems mounting it on the bike... fit right on. My only beef is that there is only one set of eyelets so I have long bolts holding both the rack and Berthoud Fenders.

"Now, that said... I have two different Rivendell Nitto rear racks. I've had both on my QB with no problems. I recently installed the "junky" rack though. I picked up a Rivendell Rear rack from Ebay that had been used in a funky way by the previous owner who had it mounted on a recumbent somehow. He must not have had it level, because from using it loaded, it had bent the rack. I picked up the rack for a very fair price, bent it back straight, and now recently mounted it on the Quickbeam because I cannot tell that it is bent with the PA panniers always on. The owner had ground off the little tabs down by the mounts.

"Now, I have another thing going for me that others have complained about with the Quickbeam. With the rear-facing dropouts (or fork ends for Sheldon Brown followers) and fenders, I understand that it is difficult to remove the rear wheel. I use a Phil Wood single sided hub. No flipping or flopping for me. If I unthread the bolts all the way, the wheel drops straight out. That said, I am not sure if I am using my Quickbeam to its full potential... but I am. I ride it most every day. Over 2000 miles so far this year, just on the QB!

"If it were my design, I'd have gone with forward facing dropouts for easy wheel removal with fenders. I'd have put a second set of eyelets on for rack and fenders. I'd move the cable routing to 7pm. I'd improve the quality of the production; my BB was distorted from heat and is not round enough to engage the threads all the way around on the drive side and my headset is the wrong size. More on that here"


Sugino Bash guard / Chainring guard / Cuff guard / Pants guard Availability - 4/29/07

From the Bicycle Lifestyle googlegroup, a bit of chatter appeared concerning the metal Sugino chainring guard (well, I guess technically it's a cuff-guard...) that comes on the Quickbeam cranks. Ron L. had found the Sugino page, which prompted Anthony over at Trinity Bicycles to order some. At this point, that's where it sits, but I'll mention it here if they do show up.

Sugino's page showing the items:

Bicycle Lifestyle original thread

Trinity Bicycle's site


Rivendell Reader #37 - Brian Rigs his Quickbeam with a Sturmey-Archer Hub

RR37 - page 29

Rivendell Reader #36 - Jim W. Rigs his Quickbeam for Front Shifting

RR36 - page 27

After I posted this, James W. sent me a nice email, which said in part -

"The objective was to be able to have a front derailleur connected to a shifter so that there could be two radically different gears - one for single-speeding on flats, the other for single-speeding when you had a steep hill.

I tried other chain tensioners to take up the chain slack, but it turned out the only thing that would do it was a rear derailleur. The rear derailleur is only there to take up chain slack. It has no cable attached to it, and it does not shift. There is still only one cog in back."

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Rivendell Reader #34 - "Who'd Ride a Quickbeam?"

Elton's Quickbeam

Well, clearly Elton Pope-Lance. Click for big. This may be the first written use of the phrase "bagmatcher", even though it's used to describe what Elton is not.

Elton has some nice photos over on Flickr - see 'em here.

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Rivendell Reader #31 - The Ballyhoo-Worthy Quickbeam

Rivnedell Reader #31 - The Ballyhoo-Worthy Quickbeam
(RR #31 was published in January, 2004)

This announces the arrival of the first batch of 100 Quickbeams from Japan. The Quickbeam is described as being conceived "two and half years ago." As stated above, it is built by National/Panasonic. Price is $1,300 for a built bike, or $900 for a frameset. Green only.

RR 31  - page 25

Rivendell Reader #27 - Announcing the Quickbeam

Rivnedell Reader #27 - Quickbeam
(RR #27 was published in "Summer, 2002")

This is the first complete mention I have found of the Quickbeam which has photos and general spec's. I think the bicycle had been mentioned in at least one seasonal Flyer, and perhaps in the catalog before this RR. At this point, the text in this announcement states that he plan was to have Joe and Curt build the frames stateside, to keep the torches blazing in a more consistent manner. The article also indicates (on the second page) that there will be color options, and the possibility of a JB paint job for an upcharge. It gives a sizing chart based on saddle height, though that measurement is derived via a PBH measurement.

I believe there is at least one QB which was made as a prototype, possibly by Joe. The Rivendell Reader article references a "first prototype" on the second page. That is quite possibly this bicycle, but I have not yet confirmed that with the owner.

There also appears to have been 3 made-in-the-US versions, which appear to have been built by Curt Goodrich. This is based on Raoul Delmare's Singlespeed Gallery Submission, which clearly shows a very different lugset than what came on the Panasonic/National produced bicycles.

RR27 - page 44RR27 - page 45

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UCQT's (Unequovicbly Cool Quickbeam Things)

Back when the RBW list was part of the communications empire, I began posting little thoughts and observations which burbled up while riding the Quickbeam - just sort of subtle and/or obvious things about the bike which I really liked...I thought I'd aggregate them here, and encourage others to play along as well. If you would like to share something cool about your Quickbeam, zap me an email or post it to the RBW Owner's Bunch List.

"Unequivocably Cool Quickbeam Thing" - Item #1
When you are rolling along in a fixed gear, bucking a headwind or just making good time. You look down and on the top of the fork crown, the little "wing" reliefs are getting pushed backwards by your efforts. At least it seemed that way to me today. (yeah, I know it's the same crown on other models....)

"Unequivocably Cool Quickbeam Thing" - Item #2
It Just Rolls - I have other bicycles with big tires, and others with fixed gears, but none match the Quickbeam's inherent ability to just roll over uneven topography with utmost ease. Steady rains on Nor-Cal roadways have created a huge amount of puddle caused cracks and debris - downright nasty in places. But it just doesn't seem to care - just eats it up happily as riders with featherweight frames and thin tires scatter like chickadees before the storms.

"Unequivocably Cool Quickbeam Thing" - Item #3
It Tracks When You Need It To - Finally got in a decent ride this morning - first in a long time. Of course, towards the last half hour, sufferin'-B syndrome began to take effect. On many other bicycles I've ridden and ride, this means a degradation of handling (mostly operator error). The Quickbeam just handled extremely well, swooping through turns easily but not coming off line when my head and shoulders lolled off to one side. With a bit of a buffeting crosswind as I headed towards home, this was much appreciated.

"Unequivocably Cool Quickbeam Thing" - Item #4
Seated Uphill Climbing - A good week, riding wise - commuted 4 days out of 5 possible, all of which were sunny, took the open wheeled racer out on Saturday and tried to remember what to do with all those danged gears. Then, this morning, riding this year (this is a big thing) For The First Time Without Knee Or Armwarmers (ok, it was a little, um, ugly too...), I chanced to ride up a same hill that I'd ridden this week on three different bikes before the Quickbeam today. But, on a bigger gear than my fixed commuter, and feeling much more comfortable than my geared coastables, I trucked on up the entire climb while seated. Since I'm definitely in a different position on the Quickbeam, I attribute it to the frame design. It was a nice suprise when I thought I'd be sufferin' this AM. Have I mentioned that I'm really enjoying this bicycle?

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   RBW Page

- Rivendell Bicycle Model Pages -

Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen
Rivendell Bleriot
Rivendell Quickbeam
Rivendell Bombadil
Rivendell Romulus and Redwood
Rivendell Atlantis

Company Info:
Rivendell Bicycle Works
P.O. Box 5289 Walnut Creek, CA 94596
T 800.345.3918/ 925.933.7304
F 877.269.5847


If you are looking for information about Bridgestone bicycles, I have a reproduced page on serial number conventions here. The best source for further information would be Sheldon Brown's Bridgestone Bicycle Pages.


Please note - this is absolutely not meant to be a comprehensive representaton of Rivendell Bicycle Works, their products or their policies.
Please visit their website, or contact them directly regarding these products.

Last updated: December 22, 2010

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