DSC00086Just arrived at my front door, a Rawland Nordavinden frameset! Here is an excerpt from Rawland’s website and their blurb on the bike:

“Norwegian for North Wind, this is a versatile, lightweight steel sportive designed for 700c wheels with tire clearance for 35c  In keeping with Rawland’s established design language and versatility tradition, the Nordavinden is ideal for any kind of road riding, with gravel and dirt thrown in for good measure. Designed without toe overlap, the Nordavinden is optimized for a front load, which is generally the preferred position for carrying food, tools, camera, rain jacket, and so on, over both short and long distance; the ride is equally intuitive without load as well.”

This frame seems to be a new iteration of some older bicycle design ideas but ready for modern components, such as, thread-less headset and 130 mm spacing. It is not a high end frame, being priced at just $725 for frame and fork, but it does seem to be a good value at that price. Quality of construction, particularly the welding and other reinforcement plates seem just average but the fork lugs and dropouts look very good! I love the fact that is has no lawyer tabs on the fork dropouts! The paint and graphics are attractive and it appears to be nicely clear-coated.

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I would like to build a modern L’Eroica style bike, totally up to date but with a classic look. Of course, “L’Eroica style” to me means that the bike can perform as well on pavement or dirt roads. The excellent tire clearance on this frame is hard to find in anything modern and sporty but makes this bike suitable for that purpose.  If you go back to the 1970’s you can find desirable qualities like these in many bikes but you simply cannot fit most modern components such as thread-less headsets, 130 mm rear spacing on these older frames. Most fine Italian frames from about 1980 and after all feature racier characteristics which means some toe overlap with the front wheel, narrow clearances and not enough room for larger tires or fenders. Of course you can get anything you want in a custom build for $3000 or more (and a years wait) if you want to go that way. But the Rawland seemed like a good way to go for what I was looking for.

As I proceed with the build I will post my progress and show the results. It should be fun!

http://www.rawlandcycles.com/

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