Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rawland love

Last September or so I put some straight up drop bars (46 cm Noodles) on the Rawland for Alex.  He needed a bike to borrow for a quick weekend CDA NF trip. Before that, I had put flat-riser bars on the Rawland. I didn't like that at all. And before that, I had the Midge bars on it. I liked that pretty good. In fact, I thought that the Midge was a perfect bar for the Rawland, given the crazy-ass huge long head tube and all.

This trail is about 12 minutes of riding from my house.
High Drive trails of course.

By the time I had set it up with Noodles for Alex, I was sort of thinking of trading the Rawland in for a proper, front-shocked cross-country mountain bike (I like the Jamis Dragonfly). But the Noodles made the Rawland complete. I run Noodles on most of my other bikes (747, Elephant, tandem, RB-T cx), so I'm really comfortable riding trails, road, dirt, snow, whatever with these bars.

This is sort of a hard picture to understand. Basically, it shows how hard core I am: I'm stopped by the side of a big drop off cliff thing. One mis-step from certain death. For you, during this holiday season, I take these risks.

So, the Rawland, with Noodles, becomes this weirdo trail tuff guy rough stuff road-ish bike that just works for me in a really easy way. I used to think the big honking OS tubing on the Rawland was a liability, but now I dig it. I like knowing I can put 2.3" knobbies on there and sort of pick a line or not. All of my other bikes require attention and skill to pick through the hard stuff. On the Rawland, with the fat tubing and the stop-fasting disc brakes -- I can really charge through dirt/rock/gunk/snow and not worry so much about finessing my way through it.

This time of year, where one ride may include slushy roads, unbroken snowy trails, rutted snowy dirt roads, and patches of icy snowy pavement, I really love having the Rawland. I love the steep, road-y feeling of the front end (though it's quick to washout on slippery snowy climbs if I'm not on the money with weight and speed), and the disc brakes, which generally, I feel are over rated.

But for snowy wet icy build up on the rims, disc brakes are hard to beat.

So, in a nutshell, during this holiday season I'm thankful for all my bikes. But lately, I've been really thankful to have the Rawland to play on while the snow and slush comes and goes and lingers and surprises me.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Hmm, looks like we have a UFO down there in the depths!
(That is the depths and not the sky, right? That photo is totally disorienting)