[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.