By Tristram |
I lent it to Angry – one of our customers who organises some of the best mixed-terrain rides in Melbourne via There Will be Dirt and Melbourne Gravel Grinders. The Rawland site picked it up here, and now Lazy Randonneur has a post about it here. Since it’s old news now we thought we’d finally post something.
Rawland is an American brand who specialise in steel frames designed for a mixture of on- and off-road use. They are a little like Surly but newer, smaller, and a little more quirky. Their models all have Norwegian Viking-sounding names and are meant to be go-anywhere bikes which can carry some sort of load and be ridden under adverse conditions.
Rawland have a few models in the works – the Snekka (a 700c cyclocross bike with cantilever bosses), the Nordavind (a 700c Randonneur bike) and the rSogn (a 650b randonneur bike with cantilever brake bosses). You can read about them on their blog, or give us a call to have a chat about them. We’ve got an pre-order list of people who want the rSogn and as soon as it is available we’ll be getting some sent out.
Right now we have their Drakkars in stock. They are an off-road bike designed with versatility in mind – a monstercross bike. They are fully rigid, using big wheels to help soak up the bumps and smooth out the ride. Because they are designed around disc brakes the size of the wheel is up to the user to some degree. 650b wheels work really well, and any of the frame sizes fit them and any tyre presently available without toe overlap. 700c wheels can be used too, with touring tyres, cyclocross tyres or 29er tyres.
Drakkars are designed to be used with drop-bars. To get a good riding position with drop bars off-road you need a high front end so that you are upright enough to be comfortable in the drops. The Drakkar achieves this in part with a large amount of head tube extension above the top tube. It’s possible to use flat bars too, but it will give you a very upright riding position. The extension also suits mustache bars.
The Drakkar also comes well equipped with braze-ons for touring. It has double-eyelets front and back and mid-fork mounts for low-riders.
Like most of the bike we sell Drakkars are steel. The Drakkar is made with a very strong micro-alloyed steel called Columbus Zona. The high strength allows them to draw the tubes thinner to save weight and build in a small amount of flex without compromising the strength of the bike. The flex, along with the provision for large tyres helps with the comfort of the bike, especially off-road.
The Drakkar has very distinctive drop-outs. They are rear-facing horizontal dropouts with plenty of room to adjust chain tension for single-speed or gear hub bikes, but they also have a derailleur hanger so you can set them up with conventional gears. They also have disc mounts with slots for adjustment on the front end of the drop-out. This means that the disk brakes can be adjusted along with the wheel when built being used as a single-speed, and also that the wheel can be removed without the disc brake getting in the way. The dropouts also have a bottle-opener on the non-drive side. Finally, they are made from shot peened stainless steel so that the quick release clamp or axle nuts don’t damage any paint. Rawlands are also designed around a non-suspension fork, which opens up the options available for their geometry and makes them good touring bikes, since they have less moving parts to cause trouble while you are on tour.
If you’re interested, come in and take a look or give us a call.