Egyptian Sun God, Norwegian forest sprite or simply a shortening of brand founder Rafi Richardson's name, Rå could mean many things, but the main subject we're now interested in is the range of aggressive steel bikes being designed and built in the UK.
Rafi has been building his own creations for most of the past decade and a look back through the archives will show him racing on a 29er downhill bike with an idler at Fort William way back in 2013
. Over the years however, he's refined his processes and designs and now has three bikes ready for the market that were unveiled at the Bespoked Show at the end of October.
165mm (180mm fork recommended)Intended Use:
29" front and rearHead tube angle:
tbcMore info: ra-bikes.com
The range includes the .410 hardtail, the .20 trail bike and the bike we're featuring in this article, the 165mm travel .12. Rafi describes this 29er as a bike that is "built to take the hits and call the shots", basically it's the burliest bike he currently offers and should do everything from enduro racing to bike park smashing. The bike is made in the UK from T45 stainless steel. This is a less common form of frame building steel from the usual 4130 Chromoly or Reynolds 853 we usually see from boutique brands but it has been most famously been used by Curtis
who have been working with it since the '70s.
At the bike's heart is a linkage drive single pivot design with a 3.13 - 1.99 progressive ratio. Rafi believes the bike is suitable for a coil shock as pictured or an air shock without the use of spacers. That linkage drives 165mm worth of rear-end travel which is paired with a 180mm fork upfront.
We don't have a full geometry chart yet but Rafi has given us some vital stats including a 64° head tube angle, a 78.5° seat tube angle, a reach of 475mm in size large, a 30mm BB drop and 435mm chainstays. Rafi built his frame up with a Lyrik and Double Down tires and it tipped the scales at 34.5lb. Rafi is expecting frames to cost between £2,750 and £3,000 but final availability, pricing & details will be released in December 2021.
If you can't wait that long, then the .20 trail bike is available now. It shares a similar profile to the .12 but includes a four position flip chip that can change the leverage ratio without affecting the geometry and a custom engraved utility strap plate under the top tube. For more info, click here