This week’s Reader’s Rig comes from William Henderson, whose 2007 Rivendell Atlantis was resurrected after a crash and given several unique touches in the process, including a disc brake tabs, internal Dynamo routing, and a custom fork. Find photos and details on this one of a kind Atlantis here…

Words by William Henderson

An ancient Greek allegory has it that each year Theseus, hero of Athens, replaced a plank on his ship. Eventually, after decades of hard sailing, Theseus had replaced every plank of the ship at least once. Theseus was perplexed – was this still his old ship though everything was new? And if not, when did the old ship become a new one?

Rivendell Atlantis, William Henderson
  • Rivendell Atlantis, William Henderson
  • Rivendell Atlantis, William Henderson

I’m asked the same question about my bike so often that I’ve taken to calling it the Ship of Theseus. Back in 2008, I rescued a Rivendell Atlantis frame from a California garage and built it up. Since then, I’ve worn out just about every part besides the bell. Though on second thought, I did replace the bell’s striker. Even the frame has changed. A couple of years ago, we collided with a car at speed. The bike absorbed most of the force and likely saved me from serious injury – the wheel tacoed, the fork slammed back, both down and top tubes buckled. The insurance agent said it was totaled, but I decided to take the money and save the bike anyway. For about the cost of new Rivendell, Dave Levy at Ti Cycles masterfully rebuilt the frame with a custom fork on the original crown. What’s more, he made some small improvements I requested: internal routing for dynamo wiring, new rack mounts, and tabs for disc brakes instead of the old canti posts.

  • Rivendell Atlantis, William Henderson
  • Rivendell Atlantis, William Henderson
  • Rivendell Atlantis, William Henderson
  • Frame Customized Rivendell Atlantis (61cm)
  • Rims Velocity Blunt 650B
  • Hubs Velo Orange Grand Cru Disc Touring Rear, Shutter Precision PD-8 Front
  • Tires Thunderburt 2.25″
  • Handlebar Nitto Noodle
  • Crankset Sugino XD2 converted to 26/42 double
  • Cassette Shimano 11-34, cheapo 9-speed
  • Brakes Paul Klampers, TRP RRL SL levers
  • Shifter(s) Mix of Rivendell Silver & Dura Ace
  • Saddle Brooks B-17
  • Seatpost Nitto S65
  • Stem Nitto Technomic
  • Rear Bag(s) Rivendell Baggins
  • Rack Nitto Hub Area, Nitto 32F
Rivendell Atlantis, William Henderson

Resurrected, the Ship is more versatile than ever. It’ll probably see more miles than most cars do. It’s been my year-round transportation in Portland, Oregon. It’s been a slick-tired randonneur through the hills of Marin, Sonoma, and Mendocino. It’s hauled groceries, kids, and lumber. Last summer, I converted it to 650B knobbies for the Oregon Outback and I liked it so much it has stayed that way since. And to answer your question, it’s definitely the same bike I fell in love with over a decade ago.

Photos provided by John Cranford.

Send Us Your Bikepacking Rig

Use the form below to submit your bikepacking rig. We’ll choose one per week to feature in a Reader’s Rig Dispatch and on Instagram. To enter, email us your best photo of the bike (preferably at a 90° angle), your Instagram username (optional), and a short description of you and your rig. If your bike is selected, we’ll need a total of five photos and a little bit more info.

Readers Rig

  • Make sure to set your shared image folder to public!

  • *By clicking submit, you're also subscribing to our email list. You'll receive an opt-in email before being added.



Reader's Rig

Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.