Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Ten Years Of Tamlanding: Part 2

The Tamland Two as it was when I purchased it in 2014
In the previous post I told the story of how the Tamland model from Raleigh came to be and my part in that story. Today I will answer the question about how I got my 2014 Tamland Two.

There was no mention ever from Raleigh, its representatives, or from anyone internally, that I would be receiving a Tamland for my advice to them. I know that in the past some folks, after hearing that from me, think that is "unfair" and that due to the Tamland's initial success that I should have been credited by Raleigh, or at least compensated in some way. 

While I can understand where those sentiments come from, I never felt entitled in that way. That said, I did seek out a Tamland Two through the shop where I worked, as they were a Raleigh dealer at that time. I was required to work through the channels for an "employee discount" from Raleigh which was usually pretty generous. 

That said, I wasn't guaranteed a Tamland by any means. Dealers got first crack at inventory, and as I stated in yesterday's post, the initial shipment of Tamlands had been completely committed to dealers via sales. So, I had to wait for the "second wave' of orders to hit which did not happen until Spring of 2014, despite the bike coming out in the Fall of '13. 

And it did, obviously, come in. So, I spent my own money on my Tamland, albeit at a nice discount, and was not "gifted" anything, in terms of the bike. I did get a nice Tamland hoodie later on as a gift from Brian Fournes for my part in helping with the design and promoting the bike in my writing for this blog and my gravel website. So, it wasn't as though Raleigh did not recognize my contribution. Brian said at the time that he thought my purchasing the bike would mean more to those thinking about the bike for themselves and that he was happy things worked out the way that they had.

Ten years is a long time to own and ride one bicycle, but obviously, this is one I'll likely not ever let go while I can still ride. And it "works" just as well today as I thought this sort of bicycle would back in 2009. It is what I would have had built, besides the brake standard, back then. So, in a way, I got the custom designed bicycle I was wanting backed by a "real company". Although now days Raleigh is a shell of its former self. 

That the Tamland still represents the bread and butter behind most gravel bicycle designs in 2024 is kind of amazing. The geometry has become something of a standard, and the features, like being able to swallow even larger tires than I had imagined, (I've had 47mm tires in this frame), is astounding. I never thought this design would be good for 650B tires and wheels, yet I've run those in this bike with great success. 

Since I spec'ed a standard bottom bracket, there will always be some way to modernize the drive train, if I want/need to. The only thing I regret was not spec'ing through axles, but that wasn't even on the radar in 2012. However; more recent Tamlands did have that feature. I also think sometimes that maybe having a 44mm head tube would have been nice, but I still think the Tamland was, and is, a classic gravel bike. 

Look for the latest on this bike in a week or so from now when I introduce a new item in for review.


NY Roll said...

I need to re-read this blog post today again. It may be me, but there is a lot of over tones and take aways in this post. I think you have always had your life priorities pretty dialed in, and I think if influencers want to be relevant they need to read this post and understand the entire string of events that lead up to this post today with you and Raliegh.
Adults have drastically changed in one generation. I use to be in the car with my dad in the 80's driving on the Thruway in Buffalo, and my dad would say something like, I worked with your grand father on this section of road and some story would pop up about what they did or learned or something. Today, I think a father would say, I worked this section of road and I logged in X amount of hours of overtime and made XYZ of it.
In the end, is it really about the money or the learning along the way?

Guitar Ted said...

@N.Y. Roll - Well, speaking just for me, it hasn't been about the money. That's pretty obvious, since you know me, but for others, yeah - It's hard for them to understand sometimes.

Barturtle said...

I've still got my Tamland One, and it's my most ridden bike. I had to go drive several states away to get it, as no dealers near me had bought stock.

Guitar Ted said...

@Barturtle - That's awesome! Thanks for the comment.

I think that at the time (2014) "gravel" was maybe seen as a Mid-western niche style of riding that did not necessarily need a specific bicycle to engage in said activities. Of course, all that has radically changed now. But that may account for why certain dealers did not bring in the bike. It was an odd move for Raleigh, at the time, but as previously stated, a move that - had Raleigh capitalized on, it may have "saved" that brand from where it is today. I don't think Raleigh's upper management, nor some of its dealers, quite knew what was coming.

Andrew said...

I have one of the later Tamland 2's that I acquired shortly before Raleigh left the US market. Purchased mainly on the basis of your blog posts and comments. I didn't really know what I was doing when purchasing a drop bar bike and your comments seemed as good of reason to select a Tamland 2 than any other bike. Turns out, it's my favorite bike. Mine does have thru axles and a carbon fiber fork but don't believe the geometry changed.

Mark said...

Awesome Brother. You, Sir., Are a Legend! More please. Cheers - M

Guitar Ted said...

@Andrew - Thanks for the comment! I am happy to hear you like the bike.

And I believe you are correct about the geometry.

Guitar Ted said...

@Mark - Thanks Brother! I appreciate you!