Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Frame Is Here


There's a back story to this.

It started with wanting a good snow bike. After riding Joe's Karate Monkey a couple times last winter in the deep stuff, I decided that I wanted gears and disc brakes for the next winter.

I've had disc brakes before when I commuted in the Seattle area about 6 or 7 years ago. I think disc brakes are overkill for rain commuting. But in the snow and ice where your rims and tires get caked with ice, rim brakes don't always cut it. For that reason, I have stuck mostly to fixed gear riding for most of the winter.

When it gets deep you need fat knobbies. The only bike I had with fat knobbies the last couple years was the Fuji Turd. Riding that super-low geared fixed turd around was pretty slow. And not so fun after a while.
I've also done a lot of exploring on off-roady, dirt road, rocky stuff this summer and I've really enjoyed it. But my bikes have taken a beating for it, so having a bit more wheel under me I think would be nice. In addition, I'd like one bike with a triple chain ring for the Mica-type rides.

So that's half the story. The "why" part.

About 3 months ago I decided I'd kill the mountain bike and snow bike bird with one stone. I liked the Novara Muir Woods: cheap, steel, 29'er, disc brakes. The one nagger was the front end. I knew I'd have to fuss with it to get it right. My plan was to get a custom fork made for it, which kind of killed the value. In addition, the top tube on the bike was long. It was a hack. My buddy Alex talked me down and a day later sent me a link to the Rawland.

The Rawland is truly a fat-tired road bike. Steep-ish angles, mid-trail (with huge 58 mm knobbies, this bike has the same trail as my RB-T!), and disc brakes. Steel. Made at the Maxway factory in Taiwan (Surly, Kogswell, Rivendell Bleroit, Voo Doo, etc). It ships with the insanely cool and out of this world Pacenti bi-plane fork crown; a copy of the classic MB-1/2 Ritchey crown. And at $500, a pretty good deal.
The plan is to build it up with a triple crank set, On-One Midge (dirt drop replicas) bars, and fat tires. My thinking right now is to run the Rivendell Fatty Rumpkins until snow flies. The Fatty Rumpkins are about 40mm with inverted tread and made by Panaracer. Once the snow comes, I have a set of 58 mm knobbies (Pacenti NEO-MOTO) that I'll try out.
Fenders? Racks? I don't have solid plans yet. We'll see what evolves there.
More pics to come.

7 comments:

Sean said...

Nice choice!

Jason said...

So the question is: Will it be ready for a shakedown ride tomorrow? That's pretty cool that it's a 650B frame with disc brake support. Were those wheels you were lacing up recently a set of 650Bs? At any rate the Sogn looks like a really versatile frame- I'm looking forward to checking it out.

John Speare said...

Sean: thanks. I'm hoping it turns out to be the perfect Spokane bike.

Jason: I wish. I'm running up to Spoke n Jo this morning (gotta love bike shops that open at 6 am), to install the headset and cut the steerer tube. Today is stacked up for me. If things go well, I may be able to take it for a spin tomorrow afternoon.
Yeah, the wheels I laced up were 650b -- Velocity Blunts with LX hubs.

Greg said...

John, do you have a link to info about Rawland frame geometry? I'd like to check out the angles and top tube lengths. I'm also curious which size you bought. I have a RockCombo and while I like that bike a lot the Sogn Disc is definitely a step up.
Thanks, Greg

bleckb said...

The fork crown is pretty wild. It will be interesting to see how the bike looks when it's built. Is it more of an mtb frame? Seems to be from the looks of it, but it's hard to tell.

Jim G said...

I can't find the "Novara Muir Woods" anywhere -- did you maybe mean the "Marin Muir Woods"?

Also, don't forget to Framesaver that frame before you build it up! ;)

John Speare said...

Greg: odd. They had a link to their geometry up on the site just last week. Not sure why they took it down. Luckily, I save everything... I posted it on my site: http://www.johndogfood.com/john/rawlandspec.pdf. I bought the size ML -medium large: based on effective toptube length (57.5). In ML, HT is 73 and ST is 72.5.

Bradley: It's a true fat-tired road bike. Roady geometry that can take fat tires. I'm hoping it's the perfect John/Spokane bike. To a road biker it looks like a mountain bike and to a mountain biker it looks like cyclocross bike.

Jim: you're right. It's the Marin Muir Woods. That explains why i couldn't find the url! Framesaver. yeah. I hve a brand new can of boesheild that has a busted and un-hackable top. So i didn't spray it. I will before snow comes. Spokane is damn dry this time of year.