Per my plan, I began mountain-bikifying the Rawland tonight. To be more precise, Glen began to mountain-bikify the Rawland. I just hung out and watched and asked silly questions.
This plan is in a funk. In fact, I think by the time I wake up tomorrow, I'll probably have talked myself into pulling out of the deal.
There are a few key issues with converting this bike to a mountain bike. Here are the ones that are bugging me. In priority order:
- The suspension fork thing. I could write a bunch of posts on this, but the net is that 650b wheel size complicates things and Fox is the best no-brainer option for quality and for the 650b thing. But the "deore" level Fox fork starts at $620. With tax, we're looking at about $670. So there's the big money part of this that is driving me bonkers.
- The other part of the fork thing is that it's going to slacken the headtube on this bike quite a bit and while I'm all for high trail mountain bike bombers, I'm not crazy about just sticking a big honking fork on here willy-nilly and hoping for the best. If this was a $200 gamble or so, I might bite. See item 1.
- I need to tweak the fit: I need a longer/lower cockpit. This is pretty minor, but it could involve chopping down the honkin headtube on the Rawland. In fact, with a suspension fork, and how far that will jack up the front-end, I'm pretty sure that hacking down the headtube would be required. Again, not a huge deal, but it bugs me.
Doing a bit of math reveals that my odds are better at just finding an OK hardtail that has 80% of what I want and upgrading into the bike I think I want, and ditching this Rawland mountain bikify project before I dig too deep a hole to crawl out of. The math part is that I can probably spend around $1000 on a good-enough bike that will suit me better than the hack I'm building for about the same amount of money.