Thursday, May 6, 2010

Project 3 in flux

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

I'm all for hacking bikes, but I like the cheap-hacks-for-big-wins scenario. This Rawland deal is turning into expensive-hacks-for-potential/unknown wins.

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.


RJ said...

I didn't even read the whole post--

I would just invest in a new mountain bike. They are A-MAZING these days.

Apertome said...

I'm not sure about the 650b aspect of it, but I would think that with disc brakes, it shouldn't matter too much. Maybe it does, geometry-wise. But $670 is way too much to pay for a fork, in my view. My whole mountain bike (the one I upgraded TO) only cost a little more than that. It's basically an entry-level 29er, not exactly high end parts, but it works well and I'll upgrade things as they break, or if they bother me.

It WOULD be really cool to see the Rawland mountain bike-ified, but it's clearly not the most financially efficient way to go ....

Jason Gilman said...

I always thought the Rawland frame and fork combination was pretty cool as is. It seems a shame to have to permanently alter the head tube to make it all work. And paying that kind of money for a suspension fork that isn't really suited for that frame... ouch!

As others have said I think you should just put together the mountain bike you're looking for with an mtb specific frame.

Anonymous said...

Don't cut that headtube!!! Invest in a mtb frame. Wade

Anonymous said...

I'm always supportive of other people's ideas, even if I don't understand them.

Hacking the Rawland is a dumb fucking idea.

I support it 100%.

Pictures or it didn't happen.

Ken Paulman said...

I'd say, if it's got flat bars and fat knobbies, it's a mountain bike. Looks to me like you're ready to go.

Unknown said...

Dang, I was hanging onto my Rawland to see how this project shaked out so I could copy it! I copied it down to the Midge bars!