Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New in the shop: Rawland...

A while back I mentioned that Rawland was one of my favs from this past Interbike. Well, I put my money where my mouth is and brought in three dSogn frames (sizes M, ML, and L). I like drop bars. I like drop bars on mountain bikes. I like the fact that the Rawland frame was designed with drop bars in mind. Some may say the extended head tube looks goofy, but it just conjurs up images of Miguel Indurain riding his Pegoretti (er, Pinarello, I meant to write). Big Mig wasn't afraid of riding a bike that didn't look just like everyone else's.

I also like the fact that the Rawland is so versatile. Is it a mountain bike? Yes. Is it a cross bike? Yes. Wait, how can it be both? Easy with 650b mountain bike wheels and with 700c cross wheels and disc brakes. Swapping wheels shod with 650b x 2.2 tires or 700c x 45 tires is as easy as changing a wheel. The outer diameter of these two wheels is virtually the same. Heck, running the fat wheel in front and the skinnier in back is also a very real possibility if one was so inclined to do. I'm inclined. Might not be inclined to run skinny front/fat rear, but who knows.

I built up the large with parts that I had laying around, XTR cranks and derailleur, Dura Ace triple front derailleur (road derailleur is necessary when using STI shifters as they match the cable pull), Ultegra 9-speed STI shifters, Avid BB7 road calipers, Salsa Bell Lap 46cm bars, and an old WTB SST saddle to top it off. Hubs and rims are: King/Blunt 650b, XTR/WTB SpeedDisc 700c. I had been running Pacenti Neo-Moto 650b tires (which I like a lot) on a previous bike but put on a set of WTB prototype Wolverine 650b x 2.2 tires initially. Tires on the 700c wheels are Panaracer's Fire Cross 45's.

Visuals or those who still like picture books.

Fat tires
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Fat and skinny tires
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Skinny tires
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Skinny tire clearance
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Fat tire clearance - and there's also a lot of room down at the chainstays.
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Nice touch with the Ritchey dropouts.
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Kirk Pacenti designed fork crown.
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In case you've never seen a Wolverine up close...
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Unlike mountain bike brake levers, road levers don't have a barrel adjuster to compensate for cable stretch. Instead of installing an in-line adjuster like I did for the derailleurs, I used a small aluminum threaded barrel adjuster that you might find in a headset cable hanger. It fit perfectly in the cable stop in the Avid road caliper. Should have taken a better shot - and maybe I will as soon as my camera battery finishes charging.
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Well, that didn't take too long.
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Mmmm, beer.
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Double wrapped bar tape.
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Frame design was also in conjunction with Kirk Pacenti.
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Now I just got to get out and ride, which I plan to do both tomorrow morning and Friday morning. Although it's been downright frosty (it was 27 this morning at the house).

Boy, there are some bikes that just look "right." This is one of them.

(What's playing: Ella Fitzgerald Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered)

3 comments:

jkeiffer said...

Looking forward to a ride report (if you braved the cold this morning). But you need to take it in the dirt...

Jim G said...

Mike, Rawland needs to make an XL size for you. ;)

Can't wait to hear your impressions of this bike. I'm loving the 650B/700C mash-up you're playing with, too -- a fat front tire at lower pressure gives all the suspension you need for dirt road riding.

I'm hoping to get a long ride in and get out to Pt. Reyes again soon...

blackmountaincycles said...

An XL would probably be ideal, but what really matters to me are that my seat is where it needs to be (height and bb set-back) and the bars are where they need to be in relation to the seat.

I could see the head tube being 15-20mm taller and the seat tube being about 50mm taller - giving the top tube a more horizontal position. Us big guys don't worry none about stand-over height!