Gallery: Dolan’s Rawland Drakkar

[Dolan sent us these great photos of his Rawland Drakkar for our Bicycle Gallery. —Alan]

The Rawland Drakkar pictured here is my second attempt at a year-round Northwest commuter. The vast majority of the parts were reused from its previous incarnation.

So far, the Drakkar has been filling its role admirably, replacing a Kona Sutra frameset. The ride of the Rawland is light years smoother than the Kona (understandable, since the latter is optimized for carrying loads), and I never realized how much I missed a properly raked fork. You can see the blades soaking up the bumps as you ride along. With a properly long headtube, the Drakkar is truly one of the most comfortable bikes I have ever ridden. The handing is very neutral and stable, the bike overall feels quite sprightly to ride. Indeed I’ve had no issues performing my daily curb drop except rattling loose a fender on the first day, since rectified. There are plenty of details on the frame that make me fall in love with it over and over. In the short time I’ve owned it, it’s gotten its fair share of compliments, especially about the Pacenti fork crown.

If you’re interested in a true all-rounder, Rawland frames are definitely worth a look. You’ll need to perform minor prepwork initally (headtube and possibly some thread chasing), but Sean (the owner) is fantastic about answering any questions, and you’ll be rewarded by a well thought out frame that can do it all in style, for a very reasonable sum.


18 Responses to “Gallery: Dolan’s Rawland Drakkar”

  • F. van der Zee says:

    Nice build! Do you use a Monkeybone? Darn, your Columbus-decal is put on straight (mine crooked)… ;^)

  • Rob in Seattle says:

    Very nice!

  • j. pierce says:

    Ooh – nice. I haven’t seen a curved-bladed-fork with discs before . . . the best of both worlds!

  • qx87 says:

    That`s what I call Bike Porn, thanks a lot.

    Please always include a pic of the Cockpit from the Riders Position, makes horny too.

  • Doug says:

    Very nice!

    The one thing that would prevent me from buying a bike like this is the rear facing dropouts. Must be a royal pain in the @#$ to take the back wheel off with when running fenders and a IGH.

  • Adam says:

    I discussed getting a Drakkar with Sean via e-mail. He was super helpful.

    One thing he mentioned is that in the 650b configuration the bike will have low trail geometry. The Pacenti fork crown is a jewel in any frameset.

  • Dolan Halbrook says:

    Thanks everyone!

    @F. van der Zee: Yes, I carried the Monkeybone over from the last bike. Works well enough, and it’s nice and clean.

    @q87: maybe I should start a pay site? ;)

    @Doug: yes, the rear-facing dropouts are a concern with the Honjos. At this point I pretty much need to loosen the Honjo R-clips to take off the rear wheel. Luckily it’s something i’ve had to do all of once in three years (touch wood). Those Marathon Supremes are truly awesome tires. Most of the other Rawland frames use standard dropouts. FWIW, in this regard an EBB design would definitely have an advantage.

  • Fergie348 says:

    That’s one sweet commuter. I’ve got something similar in mind for the next one I build, so of course I have questions. Dolan:

    1. It looks like you’ve got a Speedhub on there, with drop bars. What’s shifting that thing?
    2. Any reason why with a dedicated disc brake setup you chose rims with machined sidewalls?
    3. What is that front disc? It’s certainly not the Avid std. they ship with the BB-7. It looks ethereal – how’s the front braking?

    Thanks, she’s a stunner..

  • Fergie348 says:

    Oh, and unlike Alan’s bikes I see some (not much) grime on the drivetrain, so we can tell you actually ride it! ;)

  • Dolan Halbrook says:


    Thanks! The bike gets ridden nearly every weekday. The other days I’m riding a Big Dummy, dropping my kid off at school..

    1) I have the Rohloff shifter on a Hubbub on the lower right side of the drops. You can see it in the second to last photo.
    2) I built the wheels so they could be used either way (disc or rim brake) in case I ever wanted to reuse them in a rim brake application or sell them. Plus, the A719s are bombproof rims. Someday (when the kids are older) I’d love to do some more loaded touring.
    3) The front rotor is an Ashima Airotor — suggested by Sean, the owner of Rawland. Very light and quite inexpensive. Seems to work well enough; definitely better than the stock rotor, and much lighter.

  • Surly John says:

    I like it! Very nice build. Thank you for posting these photos. Not many bikes tempt me away from my Cross Check but this might be it. Hmmmm. Convert my Rohloff to disc compatable, build some new wheels, swap the rest of the parts over and I’d be in business. Seems like a pleasant winter project.

    I need to think about this. :)) John

  • dynaryder says:

    Sweet ride. How’s the front brake in the rain? I had a similarly designed rotor on the front of my cross bike,but ditched it because it seemed lacking in power in the rain(and squealed like a banshee when wet). Replaced it with a stock Avid and everything’s spot on now.

  • Dolan Halbrook says:


    So far I haven’t noticed much difference in braking power or noise, rain or shine, but then again I haven’t used it for very long. You should ask Sean, since he’s surely put his through a much bigger range of conditions.

  • David osullivan says:

    Looks great! How does it handle under loaded conditions? Road, off road? I’m looking out for something like this and am interested you replaced your sutra with this as the sutra was on my preliminary list.

  • Dolan Halbrook says:

    @ David: Thanks!

    I can’t say that I’ve tried riding it loaded yet. I asked Sean about this early on and his reply was:

    “The Drakkar is designed to comply with the stringent CEN European consumer safety standards, so it should handle loaded touring just fine.”

    In reality, it’s anyone’s guess once you drop 60 lbs of gear onto it, but you can extrapolate a certain amount of the fact that it’s a tig welded Zona frame. In other words, probably a bit more noodly than the Sutra, but solid enough for a reasonable amount.

    I built this bike up primarily for commuting duty. I still have the Sutra frameset and might use it for touring in the future if the Drakkar doesn’t work out. Hopefully the Drakkar can cope with a fair bit of weight just fine, but I don’t have the time to find out at the moment.

    Here’s a link that’s somewhat relevant: You might follow up with the author.

    One point to consider: the Drakkar will almost certainly have one benefit off road due to a higher bottom bracket.

  • Andrew Summitt says:

    I’ve been very interested in getting a Drakkar frame to build up but I’m not sure how to build it up. It might help if you could be so kind as to tell me what is in your bicycle. I see you went with an internal hub.

  • Dolan Halbrook says:


    There’s a mostly-the-same-parts-list from my previous bike here:

    Mind you, my parts list makes for quite a spendy way to build a commuter.

    If you head to the Rawland blog there are plenty of people (including Sean himself) who would be happy to make component suggestions. The Drakkar is a pretty flexible frame. A lot of it comes down to how you want to use the bike. A friend built his this way:

    Also, there’s the Rawland Cycles Tribe on Facebook — they’re a great resource as well:

    Let me know if you’ve still got questions and I’ll be happy to throw in my 2 cents.

  • Rawland Drakkar Porn… « The Lazy Randonneur says:

    […] Click on the image above if you want to read more about the lovely Rawland Cycles Drakkar you see. For some more Drakkar porn click here to see Dolan’s rig featured on Eco Velo. […]

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