As promised, here are the details of my Rawland dSogn 650b disk brake bike. This was one of the frames discounted by Rawland in December for minor blemishes, though I can’t find any on this frameset. The red powder coat paint is evenly applied and looks good. The decals are applied over the paint and I suspect they will not last forever, but that’s OK by me.
I posted a set of photos at my Flickr page.
The bike set up well, my shop said. There is one feature to consider — the seat tube bottle mounts are low enough that the bottom bracket clamp will install between the two holes. My shop said my plastic Profile cage installed without any problem.
I took a few test rides and it feels a lot like my Rivendell bikes, but sturdier: solid with a hint of spring at the bottom bracket. I rode it around town with the semi-smooth Fatty Rumpkin 650bx42mm tires from Rivendell.
The verdict: fun! The handling had a tiny bit of shopping-cart feel compared to my road and tour bikes, but that will be a good feature on the trails when I have knobby tires mounted. The long seat post was a non-issue — I was able to get away with a Nitto two-bolt post and felt no flex. A Brooks sprung Flyer smooths out the bumps. I bopped around a nearby park and rode it on some broken path. It brought back the feeling of my balloon-tire Western Flyer bike I had as a kid. I steered that bike down streets, dirt alleys and gravel roads in rural Illinois without giving it a second thought.
For my intended bar height I left the steerer tube uncut. For cross racing I might lower the bars a little bit, but otherwise they feel good at saddle height of about 30 inches from bottom bracket to saddle top.
I have a set of disk 700c wheels that I plan to install and test ride with 32mm cross tires, and will report back on the outcome. I’ll also install the Pacenti Neo Moto 58mm knobby tires and post a trail report.
Here is the component list:
Frame: Rawland dSogn Medium-Large, disc specific, 650b
Headset: Velo Orange Grand Cru 1 1/8″ threadless, silver
Handlebars: Nitto Noodle 46cm
Stem: Dimension 80mm
Brake/shifters: Campagnolo Veloce Ergo, 10-speed
9-speed adapter: Jtek Shiftmate
Cross levers: Tektro
Seatpost: Nitto S-83
Saddle: Brooks Flyer
Wheels: Peter White-built Velocity Synergy 36-hole silver rims, rear offset; Shimano XT 6-hole disk hubs; butted spokes.
Brakes: Avid BB7 disk, 160mm disks
Crankset: Shimano XT M739 110/74 26-36-46 175mm arms
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Un-91 square taper
Front derailleur: Shimano XTR M900 clamp
Rear derailleur: Shimano XT M761 long cage
Cassette: Shimano XT 11-32 9-speed cassette
Pedals: Shimano M520