I took advantage of Saturday’s lovely weather and took the rSogn for a much-needed shakedown cruise. Since the Rawland is my first exposure to low-trail geometry and 650B wheels, I was really curious how it would feel compared to my other bikes.
The first thing that I noticed was how well the bike smoothed out rough and broken pavement. With the SOMA B-Line tires inflated to 50psi front and 60psi rear, the ride was comfortable but still lively. Compared to 700C wheels, the rSogn’s 650B wheels seemed to accelerate more quickly, but unlike a 26″ (ISO 559) wheel, they held their momentum much better.
I’ve heard and read many things about low-trail geometry, but to be completely honest, I felt that the Rawland handled pretty neutral. It steered slightly quicker than my Salsa Vaya, but I felt comfortable on the rSogn almost immediately. Whether that’s due to the geometry and 650B tire combination, or having familiar components on the bike, I really can’t say. My GPS, however, will tell you that I pushed myself a little harder than usual.
In the dirt, the Rawland felt quicker than my Vaya. I was able to maneuver around rocks (and cow pies) easily, but the bike never felt squirrely on descents. One thing I did miss were the Vaya’s disc brakes. Cantilevers–despite their light weight–just don’t compare to discs, in my experience.
I still need to make a few minor tweaks and adjustments, but I’m very pleased with the rSogn’s build. Rawland deserves praise for spec’ing features like a 1-1/8″ threadless steerer, 68mm BB shell, 27.2mm seatpost, and 132.5mm rear dropout spacing, as it made life much easier when making my component choices.
Stay tuned for further updates.