Apr 10, 2009

Strategic Reconfiguration - Phase 4: Rawland Sogn

I been making systematic changes to my bike armada over the winter to get rid of bikes that were too specialized and/or that I found I was not riding for whatever reason. This began with Phase 1, which involved selling a Pugsely that I found on CL. The Pug was a lot of fun for short rides or specialized conditions, but too I found I rarely used it and there was an eager buyer, so it's gone to a better home.

Phase 2 was adding a Xtracycle to the Cross Check using the funds from the Pugsley sale. That seems like it was a good move and I think the X will be very useful for errands and such. I lost my regular all-around bike in this deal, however, and I found that created a void.

Phase 3 was the addition of a used Marin mountain bike to sort of replace the Pug and provide a capable bike for bad weather/ice and occasional single track. I thought this might be more useful as an all-arounder, but the mountain bike handling and low gearing would take some getting used to. It's also a cool bike - older high end bike, steel frame and good components, and it was a good deal, so I'll hang on to that one and run studs on it when I need to.

Phase 4 is now complete with the sale of a used Raleigh frame that was built out as a fixed gear and filling the empty bike hooks with a Rawland Sogn. The Rawland is built for 650B wheels, which might be a bit of a fad, but I think the advantages of the Sogn frame are very real. Tons of room for wider tires, handling that is a lot like a road bike but stable and smooth like a mountain bike, with road bike gearing. The Rawland soaks up the bumps well and is very sure-footed based on its relatively short test ride home.

It's got more of a "Grant Peterson" set-up than I am used to. The bars seem kind of high to me, particularly compared my other bikes, but I am going to give this a fair try before I bring it back to have the fork cut down a little more. I am trying disk brakes on this set up as well, so we'll see how we like that. I am particularly fond of the wheels, Jim suggested going stealthy black (Velocity Synapse rims, black spokes, Deore hubs). They look sharp.

I anticipate starting regular commutes on it Monday, and hopefully I can ride it a lot over the weekend as well, assuming the head cold that currently has me on my knees breaks.

Thanks to Hiawatha, Jim and Mark for the build!

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