With Raleigh’s stunning 2009 Rainier singlespeed project a surprise hit and quickly sold out, the company has been hard pressed to come up with a successor. The Rainier Brewery-styled logos combined with the understated white frame and fork (reviewed in Issue 6) was eye-catching, and the small production run and custom finish of the singlespeed was rare for a mass manufacturer using overseas production.
But for 2010, the bike is back, only this time styled after a beverage more of the country may be familiar with. Cyclocross Magazine got our tubular-glue sticky mitts on a pair of exclusive photos of the new frame. The white frame and fork remain, and a red beer-inspired logo graces the headtube once again, only this time reminiscent of a different brand of beveration.
At the Seattle Cyclocross Expo last weekend, after cornering product manager Brian Fornes and admitting we managed an early peak at his baby project, we asked him to explain the drinking Flanders lion logo with the word “Hodala” almost hidden behind the seat tube.
Fornes sheepishly revealed that “Hodala,” a Taiwanese drinking cheer, was the source of inspiration behind the Rainier project. And with the success of that project and the company’s new emphasis on style and unique, small-run models, it has adopted the Hodala term as the family name of its special edition bikes.
“It felt fitting to tie in our manufacturers, who make our bikes, and drinking, which is where much of the inspiration for new bikes comes from,” said Fornes.
With quantities limited and distribution strategy unclear for these limited-edition models, it’s probably not too early to send gifts and bribes to the crew at Raleigh to get on their list. And if you’re not so lucky? We’ve got word that there will be a special, one-off, fully custom singlespeed awaiting one lucky person in conjunction with the third-annual SSCXWC.