RAAW Madonna – The Hot New Trail Bike You’ve Never Heard Of

by
October 11, 2017

Sometimes, it seems like you can barely move for new 160mm trail/enduro bikes, making the choice difficult if you’re looking for one. Here’s another freshly announced one in the shape of the RAAW Madonna., but it has some features that will appeal specifically to British riders. Firstly, every pivot bearing, and even the shock hardware, is a cartridge bearing behind a weather sealed cap. Secondly, the frame and linkage are designed to not have any pockets for mud to gather in. Thirdly, it has external cable routing and a threaded BB shell, making maintenance of both a little easier.

RAAW MADONNA 2017
The RAAW Madonna – not designed in California.

As well as that, apparently the top and down tubes will feature gear integration, though they didn’t send any closeups of that. The downtube has room for a tube and CO2 cartridge, and that part of the top tube that angles up to the seat tube a small tool holder. The suspension is designed with a four bar linkage, and the frame is 1x only.

RAAW MADONNA 2017
It can be hard to differentiate a 160mm bike these days, but the RAAW Madonna has a few features to set it apart.

Price for a frameset will be €2,690 including taxes. Preorders open soon, and delivery will be March 2018. You’ll be able to find out more at their website. As well as geometry, they sent us a heap more data about the suspension than most frame manufacturers are willing to divulge; you’ll find all that at the bottom of this story.

Here’s a little background on the company:

“The bike industry offers a wicked number of bikes and we like a lot of them. But we feel that the development got stuck in many directions. There are so many chances to simply make bikes better. The industry is obsessed with ‘the next big thing’ and has a hard time bringing that year after year. RAAW was founded by Ruben Torenbeek in 2016, after working for seven years in the industry as a bike engineer and designer. At RAAW we started the development of the Madonna with a long list of new solutions. Some of the solutions will convince on the first ride and others will make you smile after a full season of riding.”

RAAW MADONNA 2017
Standover short enough to be laid back on.
RAAW MADONNA 2017
The frame hardware, including the shock mounts, is entirely bearings rather than bushings.

Some highlights from the release below:

“Ten large 28mm bearings and two 52mm bearings are fully sealed with a new ‘hub-cap-style’ pivot design. Every single pivot is sealed from water, dust and mud and guarantees performance on long-term. The shock bushings are replaced by large ball bearings and are partly responsible for the unseen sensitivity of the suspension that gives the rear-wheel traction unlike anything else. The frame’s hardware is designed to work with a single 5mm Allen key

RAAW MADONNA 2017
The bike is shown with coil or air shocks.

“Design Without Pockets: The Madonna-frame has been designed with closed surfaces only. Weight optimization has been done from the inside, with hollow forging parts. This way we have been able to avoid pockets, that gather mud and are hard to clean.

RAAW MADONNA 2017
The welds are apparently placed to maximise tyre clearance.

“Gear integration: Times when you forgot a spare tube or tool are a thing of the past. From the start of development, we have focused on smart integration of the essentials. A bottle cage mount is standard on all frame sizes. The downtube features a deep recess that not only creates space for shock clearance and cable routing but also a small spare tube and a CO2 cartridge.

RAAW MADONNA 2017
Cable/house routing is external, and above the downtube to protect it from rocks.

“The top tube is made from two separate tubes, creating a tapering pocket for a gear bag. This handy and rattle free bag is held in place with a magnet and can be used for your individual needs. A small tool, chain link, zip-ties and CO2 inflator will all fit and are accessed in no time.”

RAAW MADONNA 2017
All of the frame hardware is behind sealed caps.
RAAW MADONNA 2017
While the photos only show the matt black version, it’ll be available in red or raw with clearcoat.
RAAW Madonna
It’ll come in three sizes.
RAAW Madonna
Handy reference.
RAAW Madonna
Some companies jealously guard this kind of data.
RAAW Madonna
But not RAAW.
RAAW Madonna
It’s not just your shock type and setup, but the frame linkage design too that define exactly how your suspension will behave throughout the travel.
RAAW Madonna
That X-axis definitely exaggerates the axles path.

They also sent this list of features they think should be obvious to every frame manufacturer, “but somehow aren’t”

  • “Massive tire clearance with room for flexing rear wheels.
  • Welds that are positioned, not to interfere with the tire in extreme situations.
  • Loads of room for your feet to move and not interfere with the chainstays.
  • Chainstays designed to be as far from the chain as possible, to minimize chain-slap.
  • A large recess in the downtube provides space for clean cable-routing, a tube, CO2 cartridge and will fit all 2018 Fox and Rockshox shock models.
  • Safe cable-routing that isn’t exposed to rocks under the bike and also doesn’t rub, move, or rattle, even at bottom-outs.
  • Pre-cut chainstay and seatstay protection made from ‘3M Scotch Rubber Mastic Tape 2228’ comes with the frame-kit.”

 

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