New Bike Day! Rawland Nordavinden
Felkerino and I celebrated New Bike Day at the Dining Room Bike Shop this past weekend. New Bike Day New Bike Day!
This edition was particularly exciting, as 1. the bike was for me; and 2. I purchased the frame and fork in June of last year, but took another ten months to get the parts for the bike in order.
The bike I purchased is a Rawland Nordavinden, designed by Rawland Cycles out of Danvile, California. Unlike the Rawland dSogns that Felkerino and I own which are a mix between a mountain and cross bike, the Nordavinden is meant to be a fast-ish
touring “all road” bicycle.
While I think it could be a little duplicative of my Rivendell Romulus in some ways, the Nordavinden appealed to me for several reasons.
I wanted an attractive steel bike with a responsive feel that I could use for commuting, century bike rides, and the occasional 200K brevet. The Nordavinden is an icy blue-gray color with attractive decals and a little lug work on the fork and rear dropouts. I’m not a huge fan of lugs, but I find the lugs on this nice looking. As for the bike’s feel, I have only ridden it a total of four miles so I will get back to you on that.
Unlike my Rivendells, the Nordavinden is designed to eliminate toe overlap. That has not been a big deal on my Rivendells, but it can be annoying, particularly when riding in the city where there is a lot of inevitable stopping and starting.
There is versatility in the tire widths I can use on this bike, with the maximum tire width being 35s. I could take this bike on dirt if I wanted, or keep it on the road. It’s nice to have choices. I am still deciding on what tires (both type and width) I will use. I don’t like spending a lot of money on tires, but I also want the ride to have a good feel. Suggestions?
The Nordavinden is also made to take fenders. Yippee! Even though I sometimes dream of riding a fenderless road bike without a care in the world about a little rain, I know how I am. If I can avoid a rooster tail by applying full fenders, I will do it.
The bike’s price point suited my budget, with the frame and fork retailing for $725. Felkerino and I used as many parts as we could from the Dining Room Bike Shop to help with the overall cost of building up the bike.
The Nordavinden will take a light load. It’s not a touring bike, though. In fact, it’s designed to take a front load. I’ve never been a huge fan of the big porteur bag, but I will likely use one on the Nordavinden. I’m still working through my front bag options. Do you have any ideas? For the moment, the bike has a small Carradice seatpack on the rear.
College Park Bicycles did a great job taking all of the parts and getting the bike to where it is now. I will go into the parts spec some other time; I don’t have the bike finalized yet so explaining it would be premature. Also, I’m not a huge gear head so keep your expectations in check. It was a fun group project to put this bike together, though, so I will do a build post at some point.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be dialing in the fit of the Nordavinden and getting a feel for how it rides. I’ll keep you posted.