First Look: Rå Bikes' .12 Full Suspension Enduro Bike

Nov 8, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  
R -Bikes Introducing the .12 the latest addition to the R stable. A 165mm rear 180mm front 29er built to take the hits and call the shots with a 3.13 - 1.99 progressive leverage ratio. . Vital stats- 64 head angle 78.5 seat angle 30mm BB drop 435mm chainstays www.ra-bikes.com

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.

R -Bikes Introducing the .12 the latest addition to the R stable. A 165mm rear 180mm front 29er built to take the hits and call the shots with a 3.13 - 1.99 progressive leverage ratio. . Vital stats- 64 head angle 78.5 seat angle 30mm BB drop 435mm chainstays www.ra-bikes.com
Details:

Frame Material: T45 Steel
Travel: 165mm (180mm fork recommended)
Intended Use: Enduro
Wheelsize: 29" front and rear
Head tube angle: 64.5°
Price: tbc
More 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.

R -Bikes Introducing the .12 the latest addition to the R stable. A 165mm rear 180mm front 29er built to take the hits and call the shots with a 3.13 - 1.99 progressive leverage ratio. . Vital stats- 64 head angle 78.5 seat angle 30mm BB drop 435mm chainstays www.ra-bikes.com
The derailleur and dropper cables are internally routed but the rear brake hose runs externally.

R -Bikes Introducing the .12 the latest addition to the R stable. A 165mm rear 180mm front 29er built to take the hits and call the shots with a 3.13 - 1.99 progressive leverage ratio. . Vital stats- 64 head angle 78.5 seat angle 30mm BB drop 435mm chainstays www.ra-bikes.com
T45 steel is a rare strain among frame builders.

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.

R -Bikes Introducing the .12 the latest addition to the R stable. A 165mm rear 180mm front 29er built to take the hits and call the shots with a 3.13 - 1.99 progressive leverage ratio. . Vital stats- 64 head angle 78.5 seat angle 30mm BB drop 435mm chainstays www.ra-bikes.com

R -Bikes Introducing the .12 the latest addition to the R stable. A 165mm rear 180mm front 29er built to take the hits and call the shots with a 3.13 - 1.99 progressive leverage ratio. . Vital stats- 64 head angle 78.5 seat angle 30mm BB drop 435mm chainstays www.ra-bikes.com
R -Bikes Introducing the .12 the latest addition to the R stable. A 165mm rear 180mm front 29er built to take the hits and call the shots with a 3.13 - 1.99 progressive leverage ratio. . Vital stats- 64 head angle 78.5 seat angle 30mm BB drop 435mm chainstays www.ra-bikes.com

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.

R -Bikes Introducing the .12 the latest addition to the R stable. A 165mm rear 180mm front 29er built to take the hits and call the shots with a 3.13 - 1.99 progressive leverage ratio. . Vital stats- 64 head angle 78.5 seat angle 30mm BB drop 435mm chainstays www.ra-bikes.com

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.

The .20 is the little sibling of the .12 with 140mm travel and more adjustability.



229 Comments

  • 161 0
 It's steel and it's pretty. Sign me up
  • 133 2
 Error 404 money not found
  • 6 1
 @RedBurn: They haven't mentioned a price yet, so there's still hope.
  • 14 4
 @SimonJaeger: 3000 pounds a frame, ya already now buddy
  • 2 0
 slippery when wet? That's a sign
  • 5 1
 So… Nicolai .... not so crazy anymore
  • 4 0
 @SimonJaeger: If you have to ask, you know you can't afford it
  • 1 0
 They didn’t give us the weight though
  • 2 1
 @RedBurn: They could charge more! People spend more money on lesser works of art...
  • 1 0
 @scary1: I don't understand the Nicolai reference?
Different material, different suspension layout and completely different geometry, so....?
  • 1 0
 Completely different geometry ?? Nicolai has been running these head/seat tube angles for years when everyone said they’re crazy. Yeah, these are shorter but Nicolai plowed this path years ago
  • 1 0
 @scary1: equivelant size Nicolai is at least 2 degrees slacker, 40mm longer reach and 30mm longer chainstay.
They're really not alike, at all.

This steel bike is barely even contemporary, nevermind cutting edge
  • 78 1
 34.5 pounds is pretty respectable. My carbon Altitude is coming in right around there as well.
  • 17 0
 I would like to know more details, specifically that 475mm reach frame weight, but man why would anyone choose a generic Carbon frame from a big brand over this? No way it weighs more than the new Transition aluminum offerings (not that they are a "big brand")
  • 18 2
 @hamncheez: As a small brand steel frame owner myself I wouldn’t choose generic carbon myself but can see why many do - ease of purchase, perceived better warranty / support, likely better resale, brand whoring, performance may be better… bla bla.

I like this thing though, looks great.
  • 14 0
 @justanotherusername: "performance may be better bla bla" gave me a chuckle. nobody cares about performance anymore right?
  • 70 3
 @willie1202: To be fair, most bikes work far better than the rider has any real need for.
  • 4 0
 @justanotherusername: Yes, but what segment of the population thats willing to wade into pb comments fits that customer profile
  • 7 0
 @willie1202: many people buy bikes based on their perception of performance and theres where the problem lay.
  • 35 0
 I have a hard time believing that weight with full steel frame, doubledown tires, superdeluxe coil, Zeb and GX drivetrain... but I could definitely be wrong!
  • 13 2
 @noideamtber: Not just that, but people buy what's hip and identifiable. Seems like large segments of the market hate when people say "what kind of bike that? Oh. Never heard of them." I used to get that about my Guerrilla Gravity - people thought the name was lame, or they had never heard of them. Now that more people know they are the only Made in USA carbon full suspension, I get more interest. People immediately identify it and say "hey that's a GG, do you like it? Any problems?" and when you can hang with them on their Yeti, Pivot, or Specialized, they suddenly remember the brand much better.

The cycling world, and the MTB market in particular, drive consumerism based on HYPE for products. You can thank your local shop, Instagram Influencer, and well...pinkbike for that.
  • 14 2
 @hamncheez: I've had my share of boutique and custom-built bikes and I'm so done with them. You kinda start to enjoy the convenience of dealing with a big brand like say Trek or Giant if you've been through enough bullshit with these little brands - for example taking weeks to reply to emails, getting three different answers when you're asking three people at the company about a specific torque value, taking months to ship you a replacement for a faulty frame, straight up not acknowledging production defects, etc.

Not saying that this is the default experience that you're going to get with boutique brands. Maybe I've just been particularly unlucky. All I'm saying is you should be prepared for at least some inconvenience coming your way at one point or another.
  • 6 1
 @hamncheez: Carbon equivalent frame is probably close to 3lbs lighter than this steel frame. By quoting the entire bike weight, he is disguising the actual frame weight. My guess is close to 9lbs. A high end carbon frame is ~6lb.
  • 2 2
 Where is the weight listed? Am I blind?
  • 4 0
 @bishopsmike: i was really surprised by this as well. I wonder if it’s a typo or legit.
  • 5 4
 @PHeller: Sounds like the way Apple market their products to their customers.(and bike companys, hello pivot)
Theres several studies on this and is pure example: current 2021 smart phones are on market and in the middle of cycle, Brand x announces new 2022 Phones that are in theory faster and better overall, wait a month and take the current 2021 phone in a factory reset state and tell/show people that this 2021 phone is the new 2022, 99.9% of the consumer market will say "wow its so much better and faster than my 2021"

Theres several bike companys right now pulling this trick on the market just because of pure demand and Social influencers saying how good it is, Especially when it comes to Geo - However some brands such as commencal are pulling their geo figures back because they know they went too far.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: LOL, I always tell people that I COULD jump my bike off the roof of my house. In reality the craziest thing it will ever see is a couple foot drop but it COULD do it!!
  • 4 2
 @bishopsmike: That's because it's not 34.5lb! Smile

The weight quoted is for an "unknown build" other then having a lyrik and double downs. I'd guess it's carbon most everything else with an air shock??? But who knows since it's not shown...

Kind of lame actually, either list the weight of the bikes they are showing or show the bike they are listing the weight for.
  • 2 1
 @BenTheSwabian: did you happen to buy a SICK bike
  • 4 0
 @flattire: Without shock, the long travel steel Cotic frame is about 7.7 pounds. The starling Murmur is less travel and weighs slightly less. Both of these frames are lighter than the new Transition allow frames, the Hightower alloy frame, and the carbon Megatower frame(s). I wouldn't be surprised if this thing (in a medium) is under 8 pounds w/o shock
  • 4 3
 @BenTheSwabian: Custom _____, custom problems.
  • 1 0
 @noideamtber: Why is that a problem?
  • 5 5
 @justanotherusername: One of the dumbest ways to look at cycling... everyone benefits from an improved bike no matter their skill.
  • 2 1
 @noideamtber: Commencal hasn't pullled back geo. The size S clash is still 445 reach
  • 18 1
 @bishopsmike: Yeah that weight was on a .20 with a Pike, carbon wheels, X01 Grivetrain and EXO tyres but still with a coil though.
this build is 36.8lb as pictured
  • 1 0
 @rifrafi: was I right in my frame weight estimate
  • 2 0
 @NoahJ: they havnt updated the clash yet, only meta this year.
  • 3 0
 @Skooks: Selling things to people that they dont need, the exact reason why forced ad pushes exsist. (brands paying reviewers to say certain things)
  • 10 2
 @hamncheez: I love the look of this, it’s pretty spectacular.
I myself am waiting on a new Transition Spire, and currently ride a Sentinel (both aluminium)
Reasons to buy those over this
1. Cost the .20 frame (without rear shock) comes to $4500ish CAD
2. I prefer a Horst link bike to a true single pivot
3. Availability (pretty funny, cause I’m sure it’ll be summer before I see the new bike)
4. Product support, Transition has been great to me, better support than I have ever received prior
5. Potential warranty down the road (that’s more of a security blanket)
6. Happily support a company that has treated me well

I would love to try this bike, along with most of the boutique steel framed bikes that have been popping up recently. Local availability is likely the biggest issue.

Be good to each other out there!
  • 5 0
 @rifrafi: you’ve built a stunner of a bike, actually, several stunning looking bikes.
Well done!
  • 4 0
 @BenTheSwabian:
Agreed. Although one boutique brand I have delt with that is awesome, is Banshee. They go above and beyond. I do think this bike is badass though.
  • 2 0
 @rifrafi: still pretty damned good, nice work!
  • 3 0
 @bishopsmike: My full suss steel race bike is actually lighter than my aluminum it replaced. So, it happens!
  • 10 0
 @jason475: Banshee had issues a few years back as well. I'm not sure I'd considered Banshee "boutique" as they are made in Taiwan and sold at a relatively good value. Canfield, Banshee, Knolly, Evil, Revel, are all what I'd call merely "small" brands. They don't have a big racing presence, don't sell 5-digits of bikes of every year, they don't have a large number of employees. They aren't really "boutique" though. They just aren't "huge" brands. "Boutique" in my mind is "Made In House, IE not Asia."

That's a bit different from the more expensive, made by one guy, made in the same country, when you file a warranty you send it to owner/welder/engineer/sales/all-in-one guy. I can understand the challenge of that type of ownership. These would be frames from Swarf, WaltWorks, Reeb, GG, Pole, Last, Antidote, etc. Situations where the bikes are made in-house, and staffing levels may fluctuate...or be merely one person. Or where a known problem becomes a PR nightmare, and its all hands on deck/radio silence until the figure out how to deal with it.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Ok 8 lbs frame only Cotic is believable. Still a full 2lbs heavier than carbon.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: To defend Banshee (i think they straddle the line) the have 0 employees and 3 co-owners. And the rear triangle for Starling Cycles are all welded in Taiwan.
  • 1 0
 @flattire: Lighter than Santa Cruz carbon
  • 3 0
 @BenTheSwabian: sounds like you are a current or former SICK customer.
  • 5 0
 @onawalk: IMO the biggest upside to a steel frame versus carbon or aluminum is that once warranty expires, most any welder worth their salt can repair it. No need for heat treating to preserve strength as would be the case with aluminum
  • 3 1
 @mca896: fair,
However my understanding with most steel bicycle tube sets is that there is a certain amount of heat treating that is required. The steel used (Reynolds for instance requires heat treating, and a certain amount of knowledge to work it). The steel used in in this instance T-45, is I believe, a ProFormance product, similar to a Reynolds 531. Of note, does not work well with grinding/wire brushing after welding, etc.
Welders exist in many industries, and knowledge/experience in one, does not always translate to another industry.

I always thought the biggest benefit to a boutique steel frame manufacturer is the possibility of custom work, geo, sizing. I look at these bikes as a sort of resume for the builder, and hope that they’re interested in building me a custom frame to match my whims. It’s not something I’ve done yet, but am seriously considering in the near future.
  • 1 0
 @mca896: Anyone have any update as to what SICK! are doing now?
  • 1 0
 @filmdrew: please tell me about this steel full suspension race bike.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: Yeah, they do not sell complete bikes either, just frames. So I consider them boutique. I just think for the 3 co owners, they do a great job of responding to emails and really show they care about the people that buy and ride their frames.
  • 1 0
 @stiingya:
"Rafi built his frame up with a Lyrik and Double Down tires and it tipped the scales at 34.5lb"
  • 1 0
 @Abacall: Not sure I understand your comment. I read that too and pointed out the weight wasn't for the bike pictured.

See his reply above , the 34.5 weight isn't even for that frame. Seems he's saying it's for the shorter travel grey bike at the bottom.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: Not my experience with MDE e.g.
  • 1 2
 @flattire: take a shit and you'll loose that 2lbs
/s
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: T45 is an alloy, it's used alot in airplane engine cradles and race car chassis and roll cages. Popular steel choice in Europe.
A lot of steels are self heat treatable to a degree, it happens during the cool down cycle after welding. Throwing a leather or insulated fire blanket over it to retain the heat for a slower cool down. That's about the limit of my knowledge on that, sure there's someone with a better understanding on here that could clear that up further.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: for warranty and parts availability. brands like Trek or Specialized are more likely to be still alive in 5 years if you'll need a new chainstay or something. Yes, bikes are a bit less sexy, but in the real world i live in, i can't spend 5k on a bike and just cross my fingers for warranty....
  • 2 0
 @nico-freerider: The claim made by the steel-is-real crowd is that the frame will never break, and most independent welders have no choice but to use standard pivot hardware that you can buy from Home Depot.

Little comfort if you bought a frame from a company that no longer exists and you need help.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: true, and, the TITANIC was said to be unsinkable also, anyway it's not the point.
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: At least when the pivot hardware breaks you can get new stuff from Home Depot and the local welder to patch the frame up with some bird shit welds eh?

I love my steel frame, it is nowhere near as 'refined' as a big brand bike though, but then a bike is closer to farmyard equipment than a racecar so I dont really care.
  • 2 0
 @stiingya: you’re right. The text I quoted is quite directly saying the opposite. Too good to be true.
  • 56 1
 Rå-ther nice bike.
  • 44 2
 Honestly at that price, its a steel.
  • 17 1
 I agree. It looks råd!

I’m bad at this. I’ll see myself out.
  • 1 4
 Nice... agreed sweet looking bikes!!
  • 4 0
 Rå means "raw" in danish,and it is
  • 2 0
 @lenniDK: Same in Norwegian. Dunno what the article is on about.
  • 2 0
 @lenniDK: What do pastries have to do with anything...?
  • 4 0
 @jamessmurthwaite: As mentioned above: "Rå" means "raw" in most scandinavian countries (pronounounced almost the same). Also the Egyptian sun god referred to is called Ra (Rah), not Rå. Totally different pronounciation. Thor Heyerdal's famous boat is called Ra though, after the same god.

Other than that, the "Norwegian forest sprite" referred to is called "Hulder" in norwegian and "Rå" in swedish. Also not a sprite, but more like an elfish creature.

Consider yourself edumacated. ;P
  • 35 1
 Holy crap its the age of small, independent bike fabcricators/brands and I love it
  • 24 0
 I’m loving these modern steel bikes.
  • 13 0
 i want one! Love how they used shotgun shell gauges for the bike line-up. Must be trying to appeal to the praise the lord and pass the ammunition crowd here in the states. .12 / .20 / .410

cool bikes. Why does everybody complain about expensive pricing when EVERYTHING in this industry is hugely overpriced? Yet were all shocked every fuggin time. These frame kits actually seem reasonable in comparison.
  • 16 1
 User flag cheks out, ha yes I may or may not have a 10 and 16 in the works.

also I dont think my pricing is too bad considering an evil wrekoning is £3700 after bieng popped out of a far eastern mould for a few hundred $$$
  • 1 0
 @rifrafi: 10 gauge...now that's some wild west sh$t. Reserved for the DH sled perhaps? So when does the 12 gauge drop? I'm your huckleberry.
  • 2 0
 I hadn’t even realised that until you said it. Lol
  • 1 0
 @rifrafi: Are one of those a mullet? Is that something you'd be interested in doing? Sick looking bike, well done
  • 4 0
 @blackpudding: these are both 29, one of the .20s out there has been is rolling around as a mullet with good results im told, will be working on it myself soon
  • 3 0
 @rifrafi: Awesome looking bikes dude
  • 6 0
 Except they got the shotgun sizes wrong. .410 has decimal point in front because it's a caliber (like .45 ACP). 20 and 12 are gauges and are whole numbers, not decimals.
  • 17 5
 I swear metal is the new carbon..I feel carbon has become so mainstream that it no longer seems special or space age...you no longer think wow this stuff is cool, F1 cars are made out of this...you just think aha yeah there goes another plastic bike. Metal seems more special nowadays. Maybe if manufacturers actually put some effort into their layup and made beautiful frames like the Antidote Carbonjack carbon would still have the luxurious appeal... but with all these pot bellied plastic bikes with tack paint jobs coming out
  • 10 0
 I've gone from carbon back to aluminum and steel-framed bikes and couldn't be happier. I think Geometry and suspension design are far more important than frame material. I like not having to worry about scratching/damaging a carbon frame too.
  • 2 0
 Absolutely! Perfectly stated. She's a beaut.
  • 3 0
 @Skooks: yas. the cost / benefit ratio of carbon (over alu or steel) for most applications is questionable at best (unless we're talking pro level xc race rigs where gram counting actually matters).
  • 1 0
 I just like the look of welds
  • 1 0
 Death to all but metal!
  • 15 0
 It's quite cheap... Only 6-7 pairs of POC pants... Love the bike BTW!
  • 14 1
 This'll be confusing

"I bought a Rå."

"You bought a RAAW?"

"Yeah! I bought a Rå."

"A Madonna?"

"No! I bought a Rå."

"A Jibb?"

"Not a RAAW, a Rå!"

"Dude..."
  • 7 1
 He could have made it even better by naming the model something like Madoona

"Dude you bought a Madonna?"

'No I bought a Madoona'

"How come you're saying it wrong?"

'I'm not saying it wrong, you're saying it wrong'

"Dude...."
  • 15 4
 64.5° HTA and 475 mm reach in size large sounds very promising. Is anyone else kinda over having extremely long and slack bikes?
  • 12 0
 That’s a stunner
  • 4 0
 Right? There's a special place in my heart for steel frames with their slender, elegant tube profiles
  • 5 0
 Saw that 29er at the Fort William BDS and we all thought he was crazy. How wrong we were! It was slack and long with the idler. Pitting at the race with his Dad in a big old motor home, a little eccentric but that’s OK! Great to see more of his work here!
  • 10 1
 greg minaar was a bit less dismisive whilst chatting on the gondola
  • 9 4
 Awesome looking bike and nice finish! But is there really such a big market of dentists who ride bikes and buy bikes from these boutique bike companies? It seems like they are getting more and more daily
  • 5 1
 Doesn’t need to be a big market for a small company like this, a frame a week is probably enough.
  • 12 0
 I think you underestimate what us bike whores are willing to spend on a nice bike.
  • 8 0
 There can't be a big market for these bikes and I'm sure most of them hemorrhage money when viewed as a commercial venture. And it definitely does seem like there are more and more of these type of bespoke brands.

My guess is that most of these brands don't start out with the intention of being commercial vehicle for profit making, but rather as a way for people who love bikes to take that love to the next level. Then after years of toil these builders realize they're basically an entrepreneur and have already done 80% of work towards commercializing the production of a couple dozen bikes a year. At that point the investment to get it over the hump is relatively minimal compared to years they've already put in.

Would love to have some stats to back up my theories.... but for now I say the above with a disclaimer that I have zero real facts on my side, just conjecture.
  • 2 0
 There is a huge demand for steel bikes, so yea. Especially those that are produced domestically.

Even if a large brand tried to manufacture these, they'd probably still charge 80% of the same cost and not make them in the UK.
  • 2 0
 since ebikes many wealthy boomers came into the sport and are basically starting to collect expensive bicycles. In a big ebike-forum from my country there are loads of dudes who post photos of barely ridden, but constantly upgraded, 5k plus bikes.
  • 4 0
 @tabletop84: Not quite sure yet if the growing range of E-Bikes attracted the wealthy boomers or if the wealthy boomers are the reason for the growing range of E-Bikes.
  • 3 2
 @jonas-stadler: so for you, everybody should ride a Trek or a Giant, let's say something "common"? Then from your swiss point of view, confidential watches' brands are not legit compared to Rolex, and anyway: why does Rolex exists? For dentists?
  • 2 2
 @danstonQ: Okay, I daily ride a 7k+ Raaw Madonna V2.2. from, well a boutique bike company. But I was just thinking why I see weekly new bike companies from nowhere and I never hear of one of them getting insolvent
  • 2 0
 I could say the same about cars. People spend 20k€+ on new cars like it's nothing. I rather spend more on my bike a buy a used shit car and still have tons of money left.
  • 1 0
 @tonit91: People lease or finance new / more expensive cars though, that is why its felt like its nothing, the money isnt actually there to spend on a new bike, unless you put that on finance instead of the car of course.

I can imagine a high percentage of todays bikes are financed in some way - there cant be enough people with 8-14k in cash to blow on a hobby to support sales, 0% finance over 36 months is advertised on pretty much every bike.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: In germany also bike leasing subsidied and heavily advertised by the state make people buy bikes they wouldn't normaly buy and fuels the price-race. I mean nicolai even invented 30kg mtb SUVs some overbiked people probably ride to the office now.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Plenty of people do not want lease or financing, but today your are forced to take it so you can even buy the car.
  • 1 0
 @tonit91: How many people could afford a new modern car using cash without any form of finance? We are being asked / forced to move to electric so that means new cars need to be purchased.

Personally, I dont have 35k plus in cash lying around I want to spend on a generic family type car.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: More than you think, at least here in Europe, can't speak for others.
Besides, financing/lease was rare here not so long.
Now, you have to use it so the banks get their share.
  • 1 0
 @tonit91: I suppose we all know people with varying levels of wealth.

Personally, here in the UK I don’t know a single person other than a very wealthy guy who has ever purchased a new car above £15k in cash, every single person I know uses finance, PCP or has a company car.

Average wage here in the Uk is £30k and average new car price is £28-35k - not many people saving for something like that on average wages.
  • 4 0
 @jamessmurthwaite Hi, I spotted a small error in the beginning section of the article: T45 steel isn't stainless. Should still have decent corrosion prodtection, but it has little chroumium and no nickel content and wouldn't be considered a stainless steel.
  • 2 0
 Not very corrosion resistant at all! And it isn't even that rare...
  • 2 0
 Yeah, my first thought was "Ooooh, Stainless!" I like steel bikes, but it's wet where I ride so I'm not interested in something that will rust. But T45 doesn't seem to be truly stainless, though I do see that's offered with a "corrosion-resistant treatment."
  • 2 0
 @Marquis: corrosion inhibitor or no, it'll still rust faster than 7005/6061/carbon
  • 2 0
 Cool, finally an article on these bikes. There was an article in Cranked a good while ago, but there wasn't a website for more information. Glad it is here now. What I liked about these early prototypes actually was the rusty look. They still look cool obviously and glad to see he's come a long way since!
  • 2 0
 Lovely looking bike, and I'm loving the flattened TT. Not a sight you often see on a steel bike. T45 steel should make it pretty bomb proof too. A chunk of that 36lb weight could easily be dropped with choice components. Those RS springs aren't particularly light for a start.
  • 2 0
 its just a glorious bike. Some of the construction details in there (hollowed pivots, stainless cross braces, 30mm pivots, alloy bearing mounts in machined steel housings), it's just glorious. And it's made in steel, in Yorkshire. I've got to have one.
  • 2 0
 Came close to ordering one of these but was then put off when looking in to the company. Ra bikes files for bankruptcy owing quite an amount, then reopens and starts trading again as Rå. There might be something completely reasonable behind it but it just didn't sit right with me, beautiful looking frame though!
  • 3 0
 Lovely bikes. The .20 in that green is so good. Took a while to click but the MTB models are different gauge/bore of shotguns!
  • 1 0
 I first saw this frame in an issue of a boutique bike mag (Cranked maybe??) here in the U.K, that was prob about 2 or 3 years ago, there was a quirky feature that allowed you to stiffen up the rear triangle with some sort of brace dependent on the type of track/conditions you were riding - that seems to have disappeared?

I think it looks great, definitely on the list for a future frame purchase!
  • 5 0
 This frame displays the elegance of steel in a way that none have before
  • 2 0
 Beauty fer sure, but here's why I won't straight up buy this or other boutique offerings- no test ride. I've taken leaps of faith before and so far all have worked out, but if it didn't, those bikes would be easier to sell.
  • 1 0
 It sure as hell might be a fine bike, and its aesthetics seems to be getting some praise, but I like me some fat tubes and that's the end of it. Even the tubing of Nukeproof's aluminimum bikes is too small in diameter for me. I wouldn't be surprised if many of the riders who entered the mtb world around 1990 share the same preference.
  • 1 0
 C-Dale Super V fir the WIN!
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: Yes, and it was continued. The 2011 aluminium Jekyll had some nicely shaped tubes. Nothing better has come around so far.
  • 4 0
 Sweet bikes Rafi, I'd like to throw my leg over one and give her a rip!
  • 5 3
 Nice - but why does a UK made steel frame cost around 3000 pounds but you get a aluminum frame from MDE in Italia
with custom geometry for a bit over 2000 euros???
  • 4 1
 If I would buy an Italian bike, it would definitley be an Ancilotti Scarab Evo 29.
  • 2 0
 @SimonJaeger: those bikes are rad. expensive, with proprietary shocks, and a bit rough around the edges (to be kind), but i just love the aesthetic.
  • 1 0
 T-45 steel is not cheap
  • 2 0
 Beautiful frames from a top human being.
Also, for those of a suitably inclined mindset, his gravel bike is a work of art (and looks fast as #*€^).
  • 3 0
 Can anyone Tell us more about “T45” steel and why it’s not common. What are the benefits and disadvantages.
  • 6 0
 @SacAssassin: said it as well as I could have.

I believe that's a typo on Smiths website. As they say on their datasheet, it's a carbon manganese steel and doesn't have close to enough chromium to be considered as stainless.

It's kind of an equivalent to 4130 strength wise, is less prone to cracking and it doesn't require post weld heat treatment.

It forms quite easily, which makes sense with all the bends and reshaped tubing on this frame.
Also it was used in aircraft fuselage(spitfire, hawker hurricane etc) and still is.
  • 1 1
 Thats a reel steal for reel steel Smile
Kinda diggin the .20 guage
Although they’re both sharp lookin
must’ve missed the part about the warranty or US availability but still a nice clean lookin bike
My Status is pretty heavy and its still fun as hell to ride
Wonder what the benefits of steel over aluminum (if any) are in reference to overall handling
  • 1 1
 Awesome looking bike. I have a question about the material. Why do companies choose the material of frame that they do? My thought for companies that would make a steel frame would do it for the low cost and easy availability of material. It is not a cheap frame at ~$3500. Again, I like the look, just not sure I would fork out that kind of money for steel. Being from the Midwest, anything steel rusts like crazy here. Just a thought. Not being negative, I like having options from companies. Keep them coming.
  • 1 0
 steel isn't always chosen for cost savings. In this case probably ease of fabrication, steel is real factor, looks and ride quality
  • 5 2
 Cant help but FOCUS on the possibilities of lotsa JAM sessions
  • 1 2
 I wonder how many people will get this? ahaha
  • 3 0
 Wow - looks great! Get one in for test PB!
  • 1 0
 I do the same with my seatclamp. Bolt facing forward to keep it out the way of mud. Don't seem to see many other bikes with it that way.
  • 3 0
 Shut up and take my money.
  • 1 0
 When mass produced bikes become as expensive as bespoke…maybe I’ve been too hard on incremental price increases for the sake of marginal gains.
  • 1 0
 Linkage looks great; reminds me of the "Adapt link" of the Labyrinth Agile. Really well-designed leverage rate that's pretty similar to an Evil
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy when is there going to be a steel bike field test?
  • 2 0
 That red colour is beautiful and together with the frame's lines this bike is an absolute unit of a stunner!
  • 1 0
 Beautiful and original design. A lot of steel bikes can be quite similar in appearance, but this is doing it's own thing. Very cool.
  • 1 0
 I wonder how work hardening will effect the bike as it ages? Stainless probably wouldn’t be my choice of material.
  • 1 0
 Stainlesser w/ paint. I hope Waltworks comments
  • 3 0
 T45 isn't stainless. Typo in article.
  • 6 0
 @shirk-007: Yep T45 isnt stainless,I meantioned to james that I use stainless for a few of the contact points like pivot and shock hardware as well as the brake and ISCG tabs which may be where the confusion arose
  • 1 0
 Even if it was stainless, work hardening still wouldn't be an issue...clue is in the name; "work"
  • 2 0
 Those are beautiful, beautiful bikes.
  • 2 0
 Stainless, eh? Howzabout a polished RAW frame. Should be gorgeous!
  • 2 0
 "Rå" is Norwegian for "Raw", so it's in the cards so to say.
  • 3 0
 @lowgear, @raydolor T45 isnt stainless,I meantioned to james that I use stainless for a few of the contact points like pivot and shock hardware as well as the brake and ISCG tabs which may be where the confusion arose
  • 2 0
 Those are nice. Remind me of Balfas
  • 1 0
 @jamessmurthwaite correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe T45 is stainless.
  • 1 1
 Almost doubted my memory. I know of T45 due to its use for roll cages. It is stainless.

www.smithmetal.com/t45.htm
  • 2 0
 @SacAssassin: the manganese and chromium give it good corrosion resistance, but it has no nickel like true stainless steels.
  • 5 0
 @SacAssassin: I believe that's a typo on Smiths website. As they say on their datasheet, it's a carbon manganese steel and doesn't have close to enough chromium to be considered as stainless.

It's kind of an equivalent to 4130 strength wise, is less prone to cracking and it doesn't require post weld heat treatment.

It forms quite easily, which makes sense with all the bends and reshaped tubing on this frame.
Also it was used in aircraft fuselage(spitfire, hawker hurricane etc) and still is.
  • 8 0
 Yep T45 isnt stainless,I meantioned to james that I use stainless for a few of the contact points like pivot and shock hardware as well as the brake and ISCG tabs which may be where the confusion arose
  • 1 0
 @JasonALap: I will take you knowledge of metallurgy over hillbilly word of mouth. Thanks for the head up.
  • 1 0
 @rifrafi: what a beaut of a bike though. If I didn't already love my Guerrilla Gravity I'd have yours at the top of my list. Well done, sir!
  • 1 0
 It looks quite... Unsteelish. For a full suspension, that geels like a good thing. Love it, and the color too!
  • 3 0
 Beautiful bike.
  • 2 0
 If this works as well as it looks i'd buy it
  • 4 1
 Steel is real
  • 1 0
 Anther bike on the market again with external rear brake routing, sign me up!
  • 3 0
 I came
  • 2 0
 Amazing bike would love to try this one
  • 2 0
 THAT is absolutely gorgeous!
  • 1 0
 That’s a sexy beast! And a respectable weight for all that metal.
  • 2 3
 I wish there were more steel squishy bikes with 4 bar suspensions. If I'm getting a boutique bike it's definitely not going to be a single pivot. Looks great though.
  • 2 2
 Yeah, looks great, but single pivot not so much
  • 2 2
 @nurseben: it's a shame there's so many great craftsmen that seem to forgo kinematics entirely
  • 4 2
 @Bro-LanDog: So 4 bars are fundamentally better than single pivots? Do go on...
  • 4 0
 @Bro-LanDog: Being a craftsperson doesn't mean you're an engineer, so I suppose a single pivot makes it easier to build a good bike, but being a good bike isn't what I want .. I'm looking for a great when I buy an expensive tool that I will ride 100+ days a year. I've ridden a few single pivots and they ride fine, but I want more now. Still a very nice looking bike.
  • 3 0
 @Tambo: Yes, when designed well, of course they are, but it doesn't mean a single pivot is inherently bad any more than a hardtail is bad. Would you rather race/drive a new mini or an old mini?
  • 2 1
 @nurseben: Why is it that a 4 bar is better? You're making broad statements here.
Race; old mini. Daily; new mini. Nothing to do with their suspension; more to do with safety systems.
  • 2 1
 most of these companies produce almost exclusivley single pivot bikes, but some may only have one or two in there line up, there are some other notable single pivot brands that I have left out as they dont use a linkage to controll the kinematics, and probaly quite a few more that I have missed. not trying to be snarky as im sure you know the diference between a four bar and a faux bar, main thing I like about single pivots is the predictability.
orbea
trek
Devinci
evil
kona
commencal
deviate
acto5
forbiden
focus
norco
marin
polygon
merida
salsa
specialize (epic)
transition (spur)
  • 2 3
 @rifrafi: they must all be rubbish then... Lol
  • 2 1
 @Tambo: yes. The instant center and axle path is far more tunable than a linkage driven single pivot. Now, those are all arbitrary of course as the i.c. of suspension travel has comprises in any direction, but I've yet to find a single pivot that performs as well as say, a dw link ibis for my riding style.
  • 2 0
 Beautiful
  • 2 0
 Beauty
  • 2 0
 The one true God!
  • 2 0
 Wow. Just wow
  • 2 1
 This is the nicest bike I've seen this year and that's saying a lot!
  • 3 2
 If sex were a bike, this would be it.
  • 2 1
 I'm in lust.
  • 2 0
 Looks pretty sweet!
  • 2 0
 Stunning bike!
  • 1 1
 Looks a lot like the Focus FOLD system, which wasn't that good. Let's see the leverage curve.
  • 5 1
 yeah that was regressive progrressive so the midstroke was lacking. mine not so much www.pinkbike.com/photo/21613160
  • 2 1
 @rifrafi: I like the very progressive end stroke. Should be great with a coil shock.
  • 1 0
 @rifrafi: Looks really good! Thanks.
  • 2 0
 She is pretty
  • 1 0
 A thing of beauty! What's the flex like with these steel frames?
  • 2 1
 thats a bike I want right there great lord!
  • 1 0
 In danish "Rå" actually means "Raw", FYI :-)
  • 1 0
 Nice, same colour as my old team Mongoose bmx.
  • 2 1
 £3k for a steel single pivot frameset LoLoLoL
  • 5 2
 £3.7k for a far eastern carbon single pivot frame that is poped out of a mold for 250$ and then cracks 3 months later and warranty takes 6 months lolololol.
  • 1 4
 @rifrafi: Ok. LoL. You keep feeding that nonsense to your audience. That frame shouldn't cost more than $2.5k USD and even then it's a stretch. A BIIIIIIG stretch. But you know what they say about fools and their money...
  • 1 0
 Koekamakranka dis n mooi fiets.
  • 2 0
 Nice geo!
  • 1 0
 Is it me or are all the steel frames coming from the uk?
  • 1 0
 @DJ21111111 it's you. :-p
  • 6 6
 Front triangle: Looks like a GT
Rear triangle: Looks like a Santa cruz.
  • 13 1
 but looks better than both!
  • 4 0
 Frame overall: looks like a bike.
  • 1 0
 steel version of the old Black Market Roam with the linkage being very very similar was my instant thought
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Looks like a session
  • 2 3
 Woah! Looks great, I’d take this over generic warranty prone carbon any day.
  • 2 1
 Focus Jam?
  • 3 0
 focus us a regressive progressive leverage ratio and the rear triangle pulls down on the link more than forward but yeah ive had that comment a few times
  • 1 1
 Nice move Optimus Prime..
  • 1 1
 Looks like a steel version of Focus SAM
  • 1 0
 Oh damnnnnnn
  • 1 0
 That red color is lovely
  • 1 0
 Looks like a grim donut
  • 1 3
 focus f.o.l.d. suspension very cool
  • 4 0
 not really focus use a regresive progressive design this is all progressive so no midstroke issues
  • 1 0
 In theory it's the same sort of linkage, but this probably has a leverage rate more similar to an Evil (progressive-linear-progressive) or the Labyrinth Agile linkagedesign.blogspot.com/2011/05/labyrinth-agile-2011.html?m=0
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