Raaw Madonna - Press Release and Interview

Oct 11, 2017
by Paul Aston  
It's not often that a completely new bike brand comes to market, especially one that on paper, looks to have hit all of your preferred nails on the head: sizing, geometry, attention to detail, materials, and pricing. But, that's exactly what it looks like Ruben Torenbeek, an ex-Scott Sports engineer has done. 160mm x 29er? Yes, I've been asking for one of those since I first rode Specialized's 29" wheeled Enduro in 2014, but few responses to that machine have been seen until recently. The Madonna also features chainstay lengths suited to each frame size, storage bags for tools and spares designed alongside the frame, sealed pivot hardware and measurements that meet all the latest standards. We're looking forward to getting our hands on one, but for now, you can read the press release below:




RAAW Mountain Bikes

RAAW Mountain Bikes


Raaw Madonna

Built to deliver the highest performance, in a durable design with great functionality in all its details. The Raaw Madonna will make you go faster on the roughest trails and convince as an efficient climber.

The balanced geometry is made for stability and suits the character of the suspension perfectly. Years of experience went into the design of suspension-layout and are completed by a specifically tuned Fox DPX2 or DHX2 shock.

Performance, durability, and functionality meet in all the bike’s details. From fully sealed pivot-bearings to the integration of gear-essentials, we integrated a long list of technical solutions that will quietly perform ride after ride.



RAAW Mountain Bikes



Madonna Details

• Wheel travel: 160mm / 160mm
• Wheel size: 29"
• Size specific chainstay length
• 205mm x 60mm Metric shock
• 12 x 148mm Boost hub spacing
• Four bar linkage suspension
• Shipping worldwide, except Canada and USA
• Delivery: March 2018
• Price: 2.690 EUR incl tax.
www.raawmtb.com
RAAW Mountain Bikes



Availability and Pricing

The Madonna will be offered as a frame kit only in 2018. The frame kit will come with: Fox DPX2 Factory shock, Acros headset, DT Swiss axle, top tube tool bag and tube strap. The frames will be available in M, L or XL in matt black, shiny red or raw with matt clear coat. Delivery is estimated for March 2018 and will be shipped worldwide excluding USA and Canada. The price for the frame kit will be €2,690 EUR / $3178 USD (approx.)



Frame Details


We don’t like stating the obvious, but apparently, we are one of a very few that care. Instead of making a roman-like story, here’s a list of details on the MADONNA

• 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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So that’s it, a list of what we think should be obvious, but somehow isn’t.


RAAW Mountain Bikes
RAAW Mountain Bikes


Durability and performance meet on the suspension’s pivot design. 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 and guarantees a simple and easy working environment for maintenance. You won’t need three hands and a degree in science to take care of your bike.


RAAW Mountain Bikes
RAAW Mountain Bikes


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.

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.

No pockets, mud doesn't stand a chance. 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 Mountain Bikes
The recess on the downtube will work with a tool bag to carry spares like tubes and CO2 cartridges.


External cable routing and a threaded BB. Functionality and aesthetics. The focus is on ergonomics and functionality continuously throughout the frame, with external cable routing and a threaded BB. This close attention to details raises the bar of durability and performance.

Brake mount, clean design in every configuration – the removable brake mount enables a design for different chainstay-lengths and different disc-sizes, without using more parts. The brake mount is bolted to the same forging part that also engaged the rear wheel hub, to guarantee a very accurate position of the brake-caliper. The brake mount is specific for a disc and frame-size, allowing a clean design no matter what you prefer to run. Brake mounts for 160 mm up to 203 mm discs will be available for all sizes.


RAAW Mountain Bikes
The Madonna will be manufactured in Taiwan.


Geek Stats


RAAW Mountain Bikes

RAAW Mountain Bikes
RAAW Mountain Bikes

RAAW Mountain Bikes

The ‘four bar linkage’ suspension layout features a large rocker link, delivering a consistently growing leverage ratio that ends at just over 20% of progression. This progression leads to great support and uses the 160 mm of travel efficiently. The high main pivot is designed around a one-by drivetrain, delivering superb pedalling efficiency, even when sprinting.

A high starting leverage ratio combined with ball bearings on the shock pivots makes the suspension supple in all situations, tracking the ground better than anything you've ever ridden before. The influence of braking on the suspension is designed to be very active at the beginning of the travel, allowing impacts to be absorbed while braking. Deeper in the travel the influence of braking ramps up and gives the rider more support when things get rowdy. 



Geometry


RAAW Mountain Bikes

Designed for the roughest tracks in the world, the Raw Madonna is made to be fast and predictable. The complete package of all angles and lengths makes the bike stable at high speeds and extremely controllable in corners. The bike’s predictable behavior is achieved by using a very balanced design from front to back, and will make you feel at home straight away. Three different frame-sizes give riders between 165 cm and 200 cm a perfect fit, with room for riding-style preferences.

The steep seat tube angle and the moderately long reach are responsible for an excellent climbing position. We use different chainstay-lengths on all frame sizes to give every rider the same balanced feel. The balanced design with the low BB shines in corners and technical terrain. We don’t believe in extremes, we believe in just right.



bigquotesThere are a few things we’re really good at; daydreaming about last year’s summer spend in Canada, sneaking out for a ride and getting excited like a kid at Christmas organizing a bike trip. The struggle certainly is real. But we always get the work done and strive to create a company with a bad work-life balance. Just as much as we love riding, we love working on bikes, making them faster, more durable and refined in all the small details. In a growing industry with big money behind the wheel, we just want to keep things real. We create better bikes and show what’s possible without corporate decisions.Raaw Bikes



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The man with a plan - Ruben Torenbeek




bigquotesAt Raaw we look at every single aspect from the very start of development. Suspension design, geometry, integration of technical features, design and feasibility are all part of the process and only go hand in hand. We work with PTC Creo parametric software to create our 3D CAD models. PTC Creo allows very complex surfacing and gives us all the tools to create every single component of the frame as an organic part of the complete package.

To us, aluminium frame design is not about connecting tubes, but about achieving the maximum and showing what’s possible with hydroforming, forging and machining. Funky design-lines and S-shaped downtubes are one thing hydroforming can do, but we use it to achieve a technical design, with straight lines and smooth transitions.
Raaw Bikes





Background

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 Mountain Bikes





Interview with Ruben Torenbeek


Paul Aston: What projects did you work on at Scott during your years as a designer there, and which other brands have you worked with in the past?

After finishing my bachelor degree in mechanical engineering and product development I've now gathered 7 years of experience in the bike industry, mainly as a bike engineer. I've worked at Acros Sport, Ghost Bikes, and Scott Sports, before being self-employed. At Scott, I've been involved in projects such as the 2017 Spark and I initiated and developed the stem-handlebar combo that is now used on the new Genius.


PA: What was the main catalyst that prompted you to leave the big players and build your own brand?

It started with being self-employed, I worked as a freelancer doing small projects for bike-brands. I simply needed more space, I'm not very good at sitting in an office. Raaw then started with a list of ideas that kept growing and eventually I decided to focus on that full-time, that was one year ago.


PA: How much work really goes into building your own brand. You had a good head-start on most people after working inside the industry for seven years, but still, it must not be an easy task?

I guess Vernon's story a few weeks ago summed it up pretty well! The development of the frame was the easy part, I knew exactly how I would do things, being able to decide everything myself. But, a lot of things after that were new to me, the whole business side, financial plans and everything involved in the communication of the brand. To me, the constant pressure of having to work on everything and realizing how much all the details need to line-up in order to have it all work – that was the hard part.


RAAW Mountain Bikes
Ruben Torenbeek riding his own creation


PA: What is the main reason somebody should buy a Raaw bike over the abundance of other good bikes on the market?

Greater durability, higher performance and a lot of love in all the details. The traction is unreal, it's glued to the ground and it's so precise at high speeds.



PA: Details like making all of the bearings are the same size?

Yes, the main pivot uses two 52mm bearings (also used in lower headset cups). The other pivots count a total of ten 28mm bearings, that includes the shock mounts. The hardware of the frame uses only a small number of different parts. There are two different bolts and three different axles. All of the hardware has been designed to make maintenance very easy, there is no "positioning spacers with your little finger, while pushing the axle through".


PA: What does the future hold for Raaw, are you going to be a 'one bike to rule them all' brand or are you looking at expanding the range to other types of bikes?

There are definitely plans, but I want to take one step after the other.


277 Comments

  • + 183
 Wait... about that pricing. Over $3K for an aluminum frame isn’t what I call “hittting the nail on the head”
  • + 59
 I guess making over-priced bikes is the cool thing to do now.
  • + 12
 I would also liked to see a complete raw clear coat version of the bike that is referenced as an option above. again, drawing me in with that title and then missing the nail...
  • + 19
 @NapoleonDynamite: The equivalent to craft beer: bike crafting.
  • + 65
 Yes, aluminium is THE thing now. I guess you must have missed Pole's Clean Ocean and Robotization Manifesto.

On a serious note, these companies should get a grip. You cannot price your frames on par with Nicolai and manufacture them in Taiwan, furthermore without all that CNC machining and anodizing bling. As much as I like this bike's geometry and engineering solutions, product-wise, it is still more a Radon than a Nicolai. (The same is true of Pole as well)
  • + 47
 @Zellofant: Can easily spend that much on a steel fixie frame brazed by some dude with a topknot and mustache who learned to weld last week, but spent $300 on a custom leather apron. Now that's the equivalent.
  • + 7
 Why are you guys complaining. It has bottle cage and it doesn't fill the ocean. Go ride your non bottle cage compatible ocean filled plastic then.
  • + 42
 3k $???, made in Taiwan ???,, Not available is US. Hahaha good luck stunad!
  • + 14
 Yeah that price seems more suited for titanium
  • + 10
 @jollyXroger: Silly rabbits, aluminum has always been the thing.

Pricing is a big high, but understandable for a small batch builder. Not available in North America will be tough.
  • + 15
 Congratulations on designing another Horst-Link bike, like the other 5000 out there.
  • + 7
 Thought exactly the same! Think someone will have a black nail in the morning............ 'Reference to missing said nail and hitting ones thumb!'
  • + 7
 @fecalmaster: You do know that loads of European brands did just fine selling horst link based designs well before they could enter the North American market without paying Specialized, don't you? YT, Canyon, Cube... Of course you have the potential to sell more if you cater for a larger market, but if you don't have the experience and capacity to provide proper after market service it is actually a wise move to not bother with that (yet). Especially with that silly obsession with carbon the customers seem to have over there.
  • + 10
 @McNubbin: It's probably the best all-round design so why design something inferior? Oh and good luck finding bikes with comparable geo. This bike is far more unique than the average Yeti or Santa Cruz with there marketing department designed suspension.
  • + 6
 But, the R&D!
  • + 2
 He should have gone the chromoly route and sourced locally. Other than being exclusive, he would have spared himself from ordering a container load.
  • + 3
 @chyu: will do so gladly!
  • + 3
 @fecalmaster: yep, and like o'leary on Dragons den... I'm OUT!
  • + 3
 Yeah its fucked up!! It should be the price for the whole bike
  • + 10
 @Zellofant: not at all bike crafting, they are taking a CAD design and sending it overseas. $3K for an Asian-made aluminum frame is INSANE!!
  • + 7
 That thing will never be in Vogue. Im kindof on the Borderline on this thing It looks like its made out of a Material for a Girl --yes i am that old.
  • + 2
 @maxlombardy "Wait... about that pricing. Over $3K for an aluminum frame isn’t what I call “hittting the nail on the head” " The man's got bills to pay. Is making a profit wrong?
  • - 3
 @NapoleonDynamite: So you've ridden the bike and know it's overpriced compared to its alleged performance?! Impressive. How does it ride? What features and traits did you like best?
  • + 4
 @jclnv: Best all around suspension design? Try the cheapest, since you don't have to pay a royalty or use any fancy linkages. You could argue that single pivot is cheaper, but then I doubt these guys would have the audacity to charge over $3k for a a single pivot over-seas aluminum frame. That distinction belongs to Trek anyway.
  • + 11
 @McNubbin: Look at the graphs. You can pretty much change every kinematic parameter with a Horst linked design without majorly effecting brake/suspension stiffening issues. Try doing that with almost anything else.

The cost doesn't really bother me. I would rather have a bike with these numbers and size specific rear centres than some carbon marketing design with fundamentally flawed sizing that only changes forward of the BB.
  • + 2
 @vinay:
Ya I've done seen them all come and go. We have soo many brands here already, they can hold those frames.
  • + 6
 @jclnv: Are you kidding me? Look at the graphs? There are other designs that give you even more flexibility. Like those graphs and geo? Get a Slayer and save yourself $1G.
  • + 2
 @jclnv: don't hate so much before you've tested ... horst-links are really good but also santacruz and all those others (yeti, banshee,...) with virtual pivot points are really good as well, just a bit different feeling.
  • + 2
 @McNubbin: Size specific rear centre. Most bikes, especially from US companies are way to short in the rear centre. That alone sells this bike for me.

Yes it's close to a Slayer and some YT's in kinematics but I still don't see where you would gain by using an alternative design? This bike already has too much anti-squat IMO so DW Link etc doesn't offer any gains IMO.
  • + 3
 @XIVXV: Yep the feeling of your suspension stiffening when you apply the rear brake...
  • + 2
 @jollyXroger: +1 but they're ALL over priced
  • + 2
 @vinay: not to mention the insurance costs.
  • + 18
 @jollyXroger: "You cannot price your frames on par with Nicolai and manufacture them in Taiwan"

Yes we can. But soon we will have production in Finland and I promise we will have more CNC bling than any other brand out there ever before Wink
  • + 0
 @Zellofant: except there is no crafting here they just went the easy route and copied almost every other bike maker out there with their frame a lame four bar linkage yay way too craft the bike...
  • + 6
 @mhoshal: should they have made it look different just for the sake of it? Just cus it’s a 4 bar doesn’t mean it’s a Specialized. It works and that’s why they’re using it. Ffs looks aren’t everything. I can’t believe all the negative comments going off here when those robot guys just plugged some straight carbon tubes together and everyone started licking their arses.
To me this frame represents well thought out design and some good old fashioned common sense. I concede the price is too high but I’m just happy somebody is bringing something to market that is less than 50% bullshit. The geometry is well measured, not just extreme and there are no gimmicks, just stuff that genuinely should be a feature on a lot more bikes.
  • + 1
 @fecalmaster: You gotta be from the Philly area.
  • + 1
 perfect bike for somebody... Like a virgin
@scary1
  • + 1
 @NapoleonDynamite: Commencal front with FSR link + Trek looking like suspension (session) All that come in price ! LOL
  • + 1
 @jclnv: I rode Horst-Link bikes for 12 years before I tried DW-Link, and have not looked back. Better in every way than Horst-Link. Go ride an Ibis, Turner, or Pivot.
  • + 0
 @SlodownU: Yep great design but after years on bikes with low anti-rise I can't live with the high brake squat that's typical of DW's.
  • + 2
 @fecalmaster: Just out of interestet? What Bike are you riding?

Where do you you think for example these completely overpriced Specialized S-works frames come from?
And FYI: US is not the only relevant market.... you might remember: YTs and Canyons weren't available in the US for quite a while...and it didn't hurt them a bit...
  • + 1
 @polebicycles: IMO you'll need to halve the prices of those Taiwan made frames to keep the sales. Especially since geometry alone is no longer unique and it will be less so in the time to come.

Good luck with that Made in Finland (vintage) Oakleyesque frame though! Wink (But, judging by the pricing trends, we should not expect it to become "people's MTB", despite the Manifesto)
  • + 1
 @jclnv: I think that you're confused, DW-Link bikes are known for their tuneable braking, one of the reasons the design is superior. You don't want a bike with anti-rise that is too high, otherwise suspension packs out in the rear, bouncing you around. Since you like your anti-rise so low, I assume you enjoy endoing down the trails?
  • + 1
 @SlodownU: That's exactly what I'm saying.

"The Brake-squat (86%) is also at a fairly high level, but this fact also isn't a surprise ... it is very common in most variants of the DW-Link system."

- Linkage Design on the 2017 Pivot Switchblade.
  • + 4
 @sprecks57: I am with you on this. Crazy people, they are bitchin about the "made in Taiwan" sticker, like Taiwan is not the #1 in bike manufacturing tech country around the world. And yes a new company cannot afford to market its products into US market, Before the newer brands, even Scott when the brandname was still ScottUSA (remember this?) had not enter the US market (and this guy comes from this company). Our fellow US riders should not take this personally, it's just a matter of budget. If it is expensive? Yes it is, but it's a brand new set up, costs are increased and at the end of the day who is Nicolai to compare with?? where are they today? they shined for a while as a boutique brand 20 years ago or so and that's it (and their marketing was as good as the bullshits of the big brand names today) If you like them go buy their bikes.
But any way, what do I know; I will let all the rocket scientist in here to comment instead of me.
  • + 2
 @maxlombardy more like hitting the head with the hammer
  • + 1
 @jclnv: Take a "horst-link" bike, slide the pivot near the rear axle forward a bit. You now have a "DW-link" bike. If you want to change the anti-rise, move any of the pivot locations up or down relative to one another. I can't believe people buy into these bs patents for four bar linkages. There is no innovation here or in any other bicycle suspension system, they are all incredibly simple.
  • + 1
 @Dhminipinner: Agreed in that they're all simple. However, watch how much more the caliper rotates around the rotor on most designs relative to a good Horst link design. That's where the brake interference originates.
  • + 69
 "looks to have hit all of your preferred nails on the head: sizing, geometry, attention to detail, materials, and pricing"

Pricing? $3178 USD for an aluminum frameset? I think they could have left that last point off.
  • + 5
 Also, actual seat tube angle on the Medium is listed as 70.7. Is that a typo or is it really that slack on that one size??
  • + 8
 Pricing in the EU contains 20% tax. So USA pricing is closer to $2500 which is still high considering you can get a Carbon Evil Wreckoning frame and shock for $2900
  • + 5
 @mikeyin19: Is that a sales Tax? Cause we have plenty of those. Also, factor in shipping and any import taxes, it will undoubtedly make its way north of 3 grand by the time it gets here.
  • + 9
 @mikeyin19: Plus: They ship Worldwine except Canada and USA...
  • - 9
flag gnralized (Oct 11, 2017 at 6:52) (Below Threshold)
 "looks to have hit all of your preferred nails on the head: sizing, geometry, attention to detail, materials, and pricing"

Yep, another expensive bike with stupid AS and PK value for a 160mm bike.
Funny how they show AS curves but not PK...
This bike will be an absolute horror on small bumps, square edges, slow rocky/root section, etc...
Please press, marketing agent, etc... stop selling us the good at pedaling/good on downhill BS since from suspension kinematic this is not possible to get on a single pivot or FSR bike.
  • + 2
 @mikeyin19: even though it says “shipping worldwide, except Canada and USA”. So all in all, the price including VAT vs. price without is a moot point since they dont ship here anyway.
  • + 2
 @gnralized: what are you on about?
  • + 6
 Oh they hit the "nail on the head" alright...but the hammer was slightly tilted and now all the nails are bent over.
  • + 4
 @mikeyin19: I bet it's lighter than a Wreckoning.
  • + 2
 @kramerica5000: most sta are virtual in today's geo charts, as the seat tube rarely goes straight upwards from the bb. I give them kudos for giving both angles. It is very steep compared with others.
  • + 4
 'No pockets so mud doesn't stand a chance' - comes with a 'recess for carrying tools in'.
'Chainstays designed to be as far away from the chain as possible' - looks exactly like the standard chainstay location from every other rear 'triangle'.
'Close attention to detail' = external cable routing!? Which has been done for a thousand years!?
'Loads of room for your feet to move' - on inspection of the chainstay shot, it looks to have a far less pronounce S curve than many other chainstays...
Yeah I've had a crap few days at work but this piece of marketing BS makes it too easy to be a curmudgeon.
  • + 2
 @bluechair84: bad world, hard life? ride your bike ! maybe you just have to look closer. have you asked yourself where does mud usually fly? are in these places any "pockets" in the frame ? what is a standard chainstay location? external cablerouting is best ! not ? there is apicture somewhere which shows the bike from the top -chainstays look slim. andthe best thing last -you do not have to buy one. (i will not either but i respect the passion that obviously went into this)
  • + 39
 A trip to Canada inspires a bike build, but not a market to sell it in? Looks good though
  • + 11
 Was just going to write that. Good enough to use for marketing, not good enough to ship to.
  • + 31
 "Shipping worldwide, except Canada and USA"

I stopped reading right there.
  • + 42
 Cut 'em some slack, they've started a year ago. Ask Canyon how long it took to get to the US market.
  • + 18
 I kept reading.
  • + 23
 There is a significant portion of the rest of the world left you know. Like about 7.2 billion people. North America is a tiny percentage of the world. Like just under 8%.
  • + 7
 No, you didn´t...
  • + 7
 @ilovedust: and i bet it purchases close to half the high end bicycles every year.
  • + 12
 @ilovedust: I agree and I try to visit as much of it as I can. However, if you also lived in North America you would have likely stopped reading the article as soon as you realized you couldn’t buy it. It’s not a matter of discounting the rest of the world, it’s a matter of “we can’t buy this”.
  • + 8
 @ilovedust: Pedantically true, and irrelevant. How many of those 7.2 billion can or would spend $3.2k on a bike frame? An even tinier percentage, around 0% accounting for roundoff error. And of that potential market, how many live in North America? Likely a majority.

In this context "worldwide" means "Europe", where import laws are easy
  • + 1
 @SeaJay: you must be reading pinkbike site visitor statistic.
  • + 4
 @SeaJay: No, your confusing it with Surrey
@ilovedust
  • - 9
flag Poulsbojohnny (Oct 11, 2017 at 8:18) (Below Threshold)
 @ilovedust: There is a significant portion of the rest of the world left you know. Like about 7.2 billion people. North America is a tiny percentage of the world. Like just under 8%.

True. But the United States alone accounts for 25% of the economies of the world.
  • + 8
 @SeaJay: Have you travelled outside of North America,lots of people riding high end bikes all around the world.
  • + 14
 @Weens: In this context it means "shipped worldwide excluding USA and Canada". It is nothing to do with not being interested in North America as a market but the stupid "it must be everyone else's fault except mine" litigation culture that means it costs silly amounts of money to have insurance for a product. Most of the launch 'delays' for the European brands are because of this issue.

Obviously companies weigh up the additional cost of insurance, the potential losses from a frivolous law suit and decide that the potential sales profit in this market does not add up to a risk worth taking.

And there are just as many high earning recreational mountain bikers in Europe to which $3500 represents about 1-2% of their annual bonus who will happily buy this kind of bike because it is different and potentially the best designed in its class.

You only have to look at all the tricked out Santacruzs (blinged with head to axle Hope parts) that turn up in Whistler under Brit riders each summer to see that there is a strong European market for high end bikes with bespoke builds.
  • + 1
 @rideonjon: Yanks are f*cking clueless. Where do they think all the worlds best sports cars are made and sold? L.A. LOL!
  • + 11
 @rideonjon: yes i agree. but the amount of shit US folk buy every year to only use once and have sit in the garage or basement for the rest of its life is astonishing.
  • - 6
flag seraph (Oct 11, 2017 at 9:08) (Below Threshold)
 @ilovedust: NA might be a small percentage of the world population-wise, but I guarantee that we make up a very large portion of the cycling population.
  • + 1
 USA and Canada IS the world! Where else to people even sell things?
  • + 11
 You US guys realise that so much of the stuff on Pinkbike and in the MTB world is North America-centric and not avalible or totally usless information to us Europeans and the rest of the world. I mean, if I had a pound for every time Whistler was mentioned! So manking about one bike is not avalible is a pretty daft. You literally have everything else. Oh and its generally a sh!t load cheaper Smile
  • + 8
 @seraph: Wrong. China alone dwarfs the US.

And if you actually look at the stats of bicycles used for transportation the US is almost nonexistent compared to EVERY European country.
  • + 3
 @Weens: ever heard of Asia, Oceania and Africa? Last time I checked they were part of the world too
  • - 2
 @mollow: exactly my point; there is basically zero market for high end bikes in Africa and most of Asia (also South America, which you apparently didn't learn about in school).
  • - 2
 @jclnv: only an estimated 13% of the world's bikes hit the US, but 49% of the money spent on bikes is in the US, meaning that the higher end bike market (25% of which is MTBs) is prevalent in the US.
And who on this site gives a flying shit about bikes for transportation?
  • + 1
 Get one shipped to Mexico before the dotard builds the wall and bring it on in!
  • + 0
 @jclnv: twat with no reading comprehension skills.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: I feel like this is the correct answer. I'm going to guess that the US has waaay less cycling-friendly cities than Europe does. Combine that with the fact that a considerable percent of the US population is obese, AND there seems to be an irrational hate towards cyclist in all of North America. There doesn't appear to be a lot of motivation for Americans to go out an purchase a bike. Also doesn't it cost a lot of money to drive cars in some European countries (someone help me out on this), giving them more reason to ride a bike?

As for the bike, I would totally buy one. The devil is in the detail on this rig it seems. Very large bearing on all the pivots (the main ones are MASSIVE), and on both ends of the shock (!). They also look very well sealed (only time will tell tho).

I'm not really sure what kind of image of the bike he was going for by naming it Madonna. With how modern the bike is I personally think it's better off with a name like Kylie or Taylor Wink .
  • + 1
 I read as they would be announcing a USA/Canada distributor?
  • + 2
 @amrskipro: "And there are just as many high earning recreational mountain bikers in Europe to which $3500 represents about 1-2% of their annual bonus"

you are overreacting here!!
  • + 1
 @Weens: spoken like a true downtrodden American....if you have money you must be american or euro....USA has tough trade laws....whine whine whine.....wake up dude there are plenty of folks around the world who can ride and can afford such bikes.
  • + 1
 @Weens: Ha, ha, ha, just read this!! Apparently a lot of things have changed since you were toughout in school. If Asians can buy Waldorf Astoria & GE from you, a bike like this won't be a problem!!
  • + 27
 Why should I buy this bike? "Greater durability and better performance" HAHA! Tell me more..I've had so many issues with aluminum frames falling apart and bad performance. (Give me a break)

Summary: a bunch of engineer bros designed a decent, working frame that has no value add in the marketplace. Welcome to the club. That space is getting pretty crowded.
  • + 5
 All the bike companies say they hardly make any profit, but then why do all these little manufacturers keep popping up that offer nothing new?
  • + 9
 Pinkbike needs to start asking manufacturers what makes their bike different from all the others. Curious to see how they respond.
  • + 7
 @skelldify: It'll have some letters to describe the "innovative" changes that make it different than the next guy (ABP, ASM, PPF, et al)...

*makes jerk-off motion*
  • + 4
 @teagues: This whole press release could have been written using "jerk off motion" font.
  • + 20
 Well I like the look of it. The guy has just launched a new brand with a frame which includes some nice features, and you lot are moaning like a moaning thing on a moan streak. I'll be looking forward to a review or two.
  • + 17
 Bottom line it's 3k. You can get a transition frame with all the same features for a whole grand less. If it was 2k I would be impressed.
  • + 1
 It does look like a very well thought out frame but the price is still high for an unknown brand.
  • + 1
 @ibishreddin: Tell me witch frame exactly from transition because they do not make any 29"
Did you read the Datasheet? Also NO external routing what is for some of us a Dealbreaker if bikes dont have it. Talking about the bearings, how big are bearings? Small dude small and what is about the Geo from the Petrol? Sorry man you dont read nothing and all who up-vote your comment did also read nothing. There is one feature who almost no one got , the chainstay grow with frame size on the Madonna.
Did the Petrol from Transition come with pockets o fit the stuff you need for Enduro racing? Na it don't come with that so how did you get that, transition Enduro frame got the same features like this bike?

The hell I don't even know any bike who got that all in one package else then this Madonna.
I don't give a damn about that high price because this one looks like it is durable and I can throw even the small bag away for riding.
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: i do not agreed with all the rant here -i think the madonna is good adition to the market.but with transitionnot doing 29ers you are wrong. their 2018 sentinel is geometry wise very well thought out and with 160/140 a similar bike to the madonna.
  • + 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: there is no rant (maybe the german strikes again, to strait forward, haha?) just the simple question how he get that both bikes are the almost the same. yeah, I admit that I forget about the sentinel. If we talk about features what do both in common now? 160 upfront and 29" and it can mount a bottle cage , wow that is not really close to the Madonna.

Sure geometry wise they are similar but that is not all what you want from one bike. Do you buy a bike only because of the price and the geometry? I sure do not, there must be something else I want other then cosmetics, the best package of all things I want.
  • + 14
 "No pockets, mud doesn't stand a chance."

Except that big bowl at the lower end of the down tube.
  • + 7
 that's a bath tub
  • + 9
 This is Awesome!

Seriously! Just think about it - how serviceable having sealed pivots and one size bearings makes it!
This alone will save you cash in the long run.

Fine, it doesn't have the best linkage, is there such thing anyway? It's 4-bar with some improvements, it's not trash.
Okay, it's a bit expensive, it can't be otherwise, it's a boutique product at the moment, think about it as Tesla's Speedster.

Can't wait for the 'but it's got pedal kickback', 'but my mates won't think it's cool', 'but it's not the best thing to ride my local trail on' ...to which I'd say - shut your mouth, you're missing the point! Big Grin

As for the name...once they sign your favorite rider and they win a few races...no one is going to care.
  • + 12
 I agree, this looks like an incredible bike. Very surprised to see so many negative comments. I want one but I don’t live in the alps. If they make a shorter wheelbase frame that I can skid about in the UK on I’m gonna be scraping up my pennies/ selling kidneys and maybe even my beloved Scout.
  • + 3
 @ThomDawson: Agree on above points. Travel is a bit high for the average rider, but if they are successful maybe they will come out with something more suitable for trail riding. I'm thrilled about the idea of near single tool and standard bearing sizes. The right design philosophy in play.
  • + 2
 @Poulsbojohnny: this bike is a bit frustrating for me actually, so many simple, great features for the UK and things I would personally try and achieve if I were the designer but it’s too much bike here imo unless you live next to a bike park and absolutely must only have one bike. I do see a lot of potential though.
  • + 2
 Good to hear I'm not the only one! It's not for me either, I'm short for 29ers. The concept however is great and I hope they succeed and get to develop other models.
  • + 1
 Graet idea on the common brg's EXCEPT why are bike mfgs using these tiny thin xsection brgs? Show me a bike with nothing but 620X & 600X brgs. Yes they are bigger, but they are way more common, inexpensive and have higher radial load capacities vs similar bore bearings with a smaller OD (6180X & 6190X).

Very good design on the sealed pivots. Finally someone addressing that brg 2RS seals themselves are rubbish at best. After all brg's usually fail due to contamination rather than over loading.
  • + 3
 @Milko3D nope - you´re not alone.
I like it and your post summed up what I wanted to write. Looking forward to testride one.
  • + 1
 @respect-my-authorita: If we talk about bearings for the pivots I would say the new era of plastic bushings could do a better job then any ball bearings or any other type of bearing. I saw some locals who had really large sized bearings they convert to exactly this and this worked even better because there is no chance that the bushings get contaminated by anything if they have no play. Nicola again do exactly that from the start and if you want a bearing you need a needle bearing because of the large size of the bushings instead.
  • + 1
 @Serpentras:
I agree 100%. Either the igus or ggb plastic or metal-polymer style (like those found in the eye of most shocks). Brgs are better suited for continuous rotation. Didnt realize nicola was doing this. . . Then again i dont see too many of their products in w. Canada. My old flatline had these on one of the susp links but bearings on the higher loaded members. Not sure why they didnt just go w/ bushings.
  • + 1
 @respect-my-authorita: well bushings are more expensive if we talk about good quality bushings. The tolerance is much smalle vs brgs. The sockets for the bearings need also less time to make and most importantly are we. The customers who have no actually clue about engineering who are ripped off by the PR who tell everyone industrial brgs are the shit. Same thing about pressfit BB some years ago. I don't buy pf BB frameset because how bad they are...

Oh , I had a typo. Nicolai is really expensive if we look at it first but if you know them better you will understand why. Handmade in Germany, frame and anything else. Like the gearbox options from them and that you actually can build your own bike. You can change the size of the reach etc if you talk with them they weld you a total custom frame.
  • + 7
 I like his design philosophy and the bike seems well engineered. I get that a new design from a small brand costs. But I am just not in a position where I can justify that when the same money gets a Capra delivered to my door, pays for a lift ticket to Whistler, and puts gas in my car to get there
  • + 7
 Sorry guys. But you will not sell any bikes. No one will spend over 3k on an aluminum frame when you can get a transition frame with the same attributes for 1k less. Huge mistake
  • - 1
 I love my transition, but this is cooler.
  • + 1
 i agree you can get a entry level tracer as a complete bike for 3500 right soooooo
  • + 6
 Decent looking bike and they certainly paid attention to detail (at a cost apparently) but do you really have to use the "we're the only ones who know how to make bikes" BS? We're in a golden age of awesome bikes built by companies run by 20 and 30 year hardcore MTB veterans and they all have their own special sauce. No need to get catty...
  • + 6
 With a name like RAAW and the picture shown, I thought it was put-it-together-yourself-frame. Press in a few bearings, spin a few bolts, buy a can of Krylon and... POOF! Instant, inexpensive bike frame. I guess not, especially with the price of over 3 grand.
  • + 3
 At least they spent good money on spell check.
  • + 8
 probably sanctioned by the UCI which is why we can't get it in Canada and considered a threat to American lifestyle by home land security so that takes out the Marican's
  • + 5
 Guerrilla Gravity in Denver, CO makes frames in house that weigh in less and cost less, yet still have an owner who’s a suspension guru that has some serious credentials.

So, North America don’t fret. Look up GG at ridegg.com

Great human beings too. (Not to say this guy isn’t by any means)
  • + 7
 Finally another brand with decent geometry! 160mm 622mm bike in aluminium full of wonderful details. I wish them all the best!
  • + 7
 Why would you buy a Taiwan-made, alloy frame for $3k when you can buy a 'Merican made Guerrilla Gravity Smash for $2k? Complete bikes are about $5k for a legit build.
  • + 2
 or even a GG complete build for the same price...
  • + 4
 They're probably not shipping to the USA & Canada because of the greater cost of business insurance if you're selling products to that market (which is caused by the greater probability of expensive litigation if a product fails and hurts someone).
  • + 4
 Not a bad looking frame, and the feature set looks to be pretty nice and well thought out, however, my hard earned money would go towards the Guerrilla Gravity Smash (29", 140R/160F) if I was in the market for a long'ish travel aluminum 29er.

In doing so I would save myself $1,100, 600 grams of frame weight, and I would be getting a frame designed and produced in Colorado by an awesome group of people; not to say that these folks aren't great, its just that the GG crew are certified bad-asses. Hell, it seems like you could equip the GG Smash with a Push 11-6 while still be both cheaper and lighter (I did no maths here, correct me if I'm wrong)

I understand that the capital investment for forged parts would tend to drive up the cost of production (especially for the first model produced from an new manufacturer), but I would expect to see benefits in the weight department as a result of this costly investment.
  • + 9
 So en vogue right now
  • + 8
 It got right into the groove
  • + 7
 @fartymarty: The material girls will appreciate the benefits of aluminum. I'll let my self out...
  • + 8
 Feels like a virgin.
  • + 9
 @IamZOSO: if we took a holiday... maybe to Whistler to celebrate
  • + 8
 @fartymarty: when I saw the raw frame, it was like a prayer
  • + 9
 2.690 EUR, Justify My Love.
  • - 8
flag graeme187 (Oct 11, 2017 at 6:50) (Below Threshold)
 I'm going to Trek over to their website to find out more information
  • + 6
 3k !!!! Just goes to show, we are living in a material world.
  • + 3
 Did anyone rode it and live to tell?
  • + 2
 I guess it's that expensive as they're putting them together in the secret garden...
  • + 2
 It's like a ray of light; this bike is pushing the borderline. If you disagree, feel free to express yourself.
  • + 3
 It would be nice to give the reason why they don't sell to US and Canada. At least a hint or vague explanations would be appreciated...

There doesn't seem to be any patent issues. I guess it could be an exclusion required by the frame manufacturer similar to the Specialized/Merida deal... It would certainly be nice to know.
  • + 6
 I can't believe the number of bike companies out there and the obscene prices we are still seeing.
  • + 3
 "We are able to ship world-wide with the exception of Canada and the US (sorry guys, we are working on it, let us know if you're interested!)."

That's what they say about Shipment on their website.
  • + 2
 I think it's a problem of import taxes
  • + 6
 $3000 frame, 8lbs in size medium w/o a shock?

Typos????
  • + 2
 That weight is ridiculous. This is a DH bike with dwarfism.
  • + 2
 Ok let's say I like the frame, and I would love to buy one! I will even have my friend in Europe get one for me and ship it over to the states. It's 6 months out?! Might want to take a page from Santa Cruz and save your marketing pitch until there is actually something to sell.
  • + 3
 Kinda funny...all that bashing on the frame and price, but you slap some RM stickers on and a maple leaf and all this haters suddenly drool over that thing. Most of you guys need their heads checked...seriously!
  • + 3
 There is a lot to like about this bike especially for their first model (on paper; the proof is in the eating) Still too many bearings for my particular taste. At least it's not made of plastic.
  • + 1
 No exchangeable drop outs possible? Bad decision. You are worse than Specialized... It should be possible to choose between boost or non boost rear axle standard, between the 26" rear or 27,5" rear wheels, and to be possible to correct the hight of the rear drop out...
Think about guys. Some of your competitors have these things solved very well.
  • + 2
 Having a 26" option on a brand new 29er is important for you ? Okay. www.persoenlich.com/media/cache/top/sites/default/files/eine-eierlegende-wollmilchsau-fur-vw-9224.jpg
  • + 1
 Boost an no boost is not something that should be solved with interchangeable dropouts, since boost is a wider system (it includes the front chainring position).

At this point, with a new bike, you go boost and metric, that's it.
  • + 4
 Another FSR suspension bike...meh. It's only $3K+ for the frame too? Yeah and nope.
  • + 2
 wait, threaded bottom brackets and external cable routing are now pause for attention to detail?? you've been force feeding me internal cable routing and press fit bottom brackets are the future. now we're going backwards??
  • + 6
 You must be new to mountain biking. Just wait until they start pushing the agility and playfulness of short reaches, steep headtube angles, and narrow handlebars.
  • + 2
 Didn't you hear? backwards is the new forward.
  • + 1
 Did you ever stop to think what is better for you rather than accepting what is popular on PB? It’s not backward, it’s what has always been the best way to do things. Internal cable routing was a gimmick that has been played out. I’m told that press fit BBs saved money at the factory but we all know threaded is better so that one fell by they wayside too.
Next up is super long bikes, they’re shit (unless you’re a giant who genuinely had no options before now). Better suspension and tyres give you just as much confidence and speed and guess what, now in 2018 you can go fast and go round corners! Just a heads up. Now when everyone starts downsizing again you can’t complain.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: did you ever stop to think about sarcasm?
  • + 5
 @novajustin: It did cross my mind but I went ahead on my mission regardless Razz
  • + 4
 How do all these bike builders stay in business? At least it has external routing going for it
  • + 2
 what are you talking about? they only need a dentist to buy one frame and they can live 3 months
  • + 2
 @JoseBravo: This dentist will not be buying one. However, if they need a stateside tester that's already familiar with long travel 29ers I'm available. Wink
  • + 5
 Fully sealed pivot bearings?! WOW, revolutionary!
  • + 5
 You're laughing, but I wish some German brands who are at the pinnacle of industrial engineering got the hint already... Stop it with the tiny bearings and gaps I can see the bearings through! There are also some bikes out there that need different hex key for each linkage joint!
  • + 2
 @Milko3D: Fair point. I was just adressing the "fully sealed pivot bearings" which is to be fair, pretty standard. I agree that they mostly are ridiculously small(take the hint Specialized), and tend to wear out after a relatively short time. What really should be looked into, where applicable, is angular contact bearings, and generally bigger bearings overall. It shouldn't be impossible to get bigger bearings into tidy looking pivots. As for the "different hex key" argument, that's a fairly small problem, to me it's a complete non-issue.
  • + 1
 @mickeg1: I got you, was just adding to the point in a way.

Only thing, the bearing are sealed, but the actual pivots aren't in most cases.
I can see the bearing seals on my Fritzz if I look from the right angle, I don't want to be able to do that!
It means that they are directly exposed to water, sand, and the rest.

At the current rate I'm replacing them every year (100€), and I'm actually careful with blasting them with the washers...
  • + 1
 Straight pieces of tubes, ugly welds, external cable routings, mono color, reduced hardware inventory, made in Taiwan.
On sale frame only to avoid outsource of other components to make a complete bike.
And finally breaking news 29", 160 mm and dent in tube to hold "emergency kit".
Probably that dent in tube cost so much engineering.
Not to mention above advertisement which is excellent.
Other then that RAAW looks pretty cheap, looks RAW.
In competition basement enthusiast project I would say is promising.
  • + 1
 Never will I understand "thin top tube, thick down tube". The top tube is under compressive force where thick material works better, the down tube is under tensile force where you only need material that doesn't stretch. Pretty much every bike I've ever seen since a child has had a thin top tube, with a thick down tube.
  • + 2
 "down tube is under tensile force where you only need material that doesn't stretch"
That's only true if you ride in a straight line
  • + 1
 Looks like a nice ride. Wonder what a full build will run if they end up offering them? Wreckoning looks amazing for the price(if that’s a thing I’m allowed to say at $6k) but so does the Transition Sentinel. I like that we’re finally getting ‘long travel’ 29” options. But the Transition is definitely the most tempting if anything due to the price. Very competitive at $4k build kit 2. Probably going to be what I go with.
We will see!
  • + 1
 No thanks. I'll take one Commencal Meta V4.2...a ummmmm...Fox X2 coil shock...and a...let's see...a 170mm Fox 36 Float...

All for $2700. A proven, race winning platform with top shelf suspension and you still come in for less than this frame. This is just absurd and totally counter to what a good number of us are after.
  • + 1
 Really nice details,mud clearance,flex rear wheels,and so on ,can’t afford’it yet but good luck I think it will be a winner if it rides well,cause I phew mutch euros if it is backed up if something occurs it has all the things to be a great bike indeed
  • + 3
 I like ... the fact it's made out of aluminium and not the carbon fibre. That's it.
  • + 2
 Shipping worldwide, except Canada and USA

ROFL.. suckers !!

edit. no pcs of gear bag fitting nicely into the recess made for it?
  • + 3
 Taiwan made frame with unknown warranty conditions for the price of a Nicolai? Lol.
  • + 2
 They built that main pivot so you can pleasure yourself with the frame. The only way spending 3k on an alloy frame would make you feel good.
  • + 3
 like a riderrr stoked for the very first timeeee like a rider when your bars spin next toooo miiineee XD
  • + 0
 i thought a growing leverage ratio is a regressive suspension. so it starts of with a low leverage ratio and then gets a greater ratio as the travel increases. So lots of platform crappy small bump sensitivity and bottoms out easy. awesome!
  • + 2
 its the other way around, the graph represents the leverage multiple that the rear axle has over the shock, so a high starting point is good like having a 3ft bar for your car wheel nut and a low finishing point is good for bottom out eg trying to undo car wheel nuts by hand. LEVERAGE BRO
  • + 1
 @rifrafi: Yeah it says growing leverage ratio.
bad writing.
  • + 4
 I'd rather buy a NICOLAI !!!
  • + 3
 It's basically a 29" aluminum RM Slayer with more chain growth... Wonder if that's why they can't distribute in USA/Canada.
  • + 0
 I've always wondered what a Scott Genius would look like with a Horst link rear suspension. Now I know haha

Ex Scott bike engineer really shows. I wonder why Scott chose their trunion mounted single pivot suspension than the Horst? Weight? Less expensive?
  • + 1
 The new genius is not single pivot
  • + 1
 @the-gringo: Correct it's a Horst linkage my bad!
  • + 1
 Where the top tube is welded, they should have left the bottom end open and made it to accept one of those new crank axle or steer tube tools.
  • + 1
 "There are a few things we’re really good at; daydreaming about last year’s summer spend in Canada" but wait... they don't ship to Canada only ride here! I'm RAAW alright
  • + 2
 What a joke you can get a complete giant reign for that price. Doubt this company will last very long...
  • + 1
 3M Scotch tape chain stay protector? No expense spared! Seriously though that tape is good stuff and I'm looking forward to a ride review.
  • + 2
 If I could be paid in bitcoin all bikes would get significantly cheaper each month .
  • + 2
 wow, it costs a whole one grand more than a Guerrilla Gravity made with love in Colorado.
  • + 1
 great looking bike, i'd totally love to ride something almost exactly like that, but maybe a bit lighter and a bit cheaper. oh wait... i already have a Mega 290....
  • - 1
 If an amazing brand like Turner got forced into the carbon industry to stay relevant what makes this guy think he could produce an aluminum frame and do it better? The only way he can stay in business is turning a profit of over 2,000 per frame. Sounds like the greedy taking from the stupid if you ask me!
  • + 3
 That new Diamondback eclipses this, with ease. and price. And looks.
  • + 2
 Oh God, he didn't design the Ghost Riot did he? I always wanted to find that guy.....
  • + 3
 That looks absolutely bangin. ????????????
  • + 1
 Axle path going forward = Momentum killer and harshness.

I would be in if it was a "ultra high pivot with idler" like Commencal and Norco.
  • + 1
 Does Paul have equity in the company? Either that or lots of free stuff is required to get him to say something good about something that isn't a Pole or an eBike.
  • + 1
 I wouldn't be suprised if we will hear that Aluminium bike is better than Carbon
  • + 2
 Looks fragile for the kind of riding I do.
  • + 1
 The Alu Nomad cost only 1.5k€, w/ a Lifetime Guarantie.Your making a Joke, RAAW.
  • + 1
 How come trek couldn't make a straight downtube without a BS proprietary headset?
  • + 2
 Raaw should produce a 'Britney' frame then they could both kiss!
  • + 0
 Meh, don't care if they don't ship to Canada. Don't want it. Saving my loonies for a Santa Cruz Hightower LT, thank you very much.
  • + 2
 3.6kg and 2700€ ... c'mon...
  • + 2
 3,6kg without the shock? Oh, madonna!
  • + 1
 More like "Oh Mylanta!", or at least I'm going to need some after I digest how ridiculously off putting this is.
  • + 2
 So whos patent do they infringe on since they cant ship here..
  • + 0
 DW - Split Pivot?
  • + 2
 I ride 26 inch wheels & I love it
  • + 1
 You need more than a 5 hex key to tighten that main pivot. And which tool do you need?
  • + 1
 Needs more graphs... Specifically, the pedal kickback and force characteristics!
  • - 1
 force caracteristic is useless. It comes from the shock, not the frame!
  • + 1
 @faul: Frame force characteristic + shock force characteristic are both useful. Frame FC let's us see how well it would work with a coil or air shock.

For instance, a frame with a sharp increase of FC at initial travel will feel bad with an air shock and its stiction.
  • + 1
 you can't have a "force caracteristic" of the frame alone. To see how the frame will perform with a given shock, you need to know the frame leverage ratio curve and the shock force caracteristics.
Kickback and geometry (axle path included) can weight the result.
and they already gave everything (except kickback, it should be a little high with that pivot location).
  • - 2
 @faul:

Imagine this:
A machine completely bottoms a Fox DHX2 shock with force meter.
Then, a machine completely bottoms a Frame with the same shock.

If you subtract the two (Frame + Shock force characteristics) - (shock force characteristics)
you will get frame FC.

The frame FC will tell you how much bottom out support you can expect because leverage curve does not give an accurate representation of how it performs/feels/reacts in practice (real life).
  • + 2
 @theminsta: what you're describing can be derived explicitly from the leverage ratio, no? What does that tell you that LR doesn't?

LR is the relationship between shock travel and axle travel, which makes it the inverse of the relationship between shock force and and force at the axle.
  • + 3
 @theminsta:

The leverage curve and the force curve are basically the same thing. You need the leverage curve to create a force curve. I would actually argue that it's more accurate than a force curve because you need to make a few assumptions to create a force curve. The leverage curve gives a perfectly accurate depiction of how a frame handles in real life, it just slightly counter-intuitive because a falling leverage ratio = progression and requires a little more thought about what's going on.

Shock force characteristics are extremely dependent on shock tune and compression rate, I would say they're generally not worth talking about when considering a frame unless you're trying to evaluate it for coil vs air shocks.
  • + 1
 I might be mistaken but from what I've observed, two frames with very similar LR curves occasionally had very different FC graphs. The delta LR didn't seem to consistently provide a higher endstroke force value either (probably because different "shocks" were used between frame reports by Linkage Design. I might have either read it/assumed incorrectly and/or the data/graphs provided by Linkage Design blog was incorrect.

And I would argue that force characteristic curves/graphs are much more useful than leverage ratio curves/graphs (given that a perfectly linear base shock is used and normalized for travel, etc.) because it shows how the frame's initial stroke will behave (rough or plush; how much midstroke support; how much bottom out support). Specifically, I'm concerned with how frames will work with high stiction air shocks that already have a high initiation force requirement.
  • + 1
 @theminsta: "given that a perfectly linear base shock is used and normalized for travel"

This would make the graph/study kinda misleading, as frames are designed with specific shock characteristics in mind (or vice versa).... the resulting data could be grossly different from how the bikes actually perform. In any case, it's pretty trivial to generate these curves if you want to - simply divide the (assumed) shock force function by the LR function.

If LR seems de-correlated from the force graphs, it may be either (a) due to different assumptions about shock properties, sag point, volume spacers, etc, all of which will change the force curves, or (b) looking at absolute leverage ratios can be visually deceptive. For example, a LR that goes from 2.5-2.2 (12% ramp-up) is much more progressive than one that goes from 2.7-2.5 (7% ramp-up), but they'll appear similar on the graph. Tough to compare without normalizing somehow.

"The delta LR didn't seem to consistently provide a higher endstroke force value either "

Not sure I'd place much significance on endstroke forces (absolute values) compared to one another - unless you know exactly the right shock setup and sag point it's a bit arbitrary. Personally I've liked some bikes at 25% and others at 35%, which obviously changes your endstroke forces quite a bit vs a fixed sag assumption.
  • + 1
 @bkm303:

From what I have seen, the vast majority of frames are either badly designed or the graphs on Linkage Design blog is incorrect. There are only a few shapes/types of FC that would be considered useful/well-designed and many of the frames on that blog have terrible graphs/curves. The terrible FC graph I am talking about is when the FC curve sharply increases from 0 and becomes flat in the midstroke and slightly linear towards the endstroke.

And I assumed that the blog generated his/her own FC graphs and had some sort of consistency in what variables were used. That being said, I mainly looked at the gradient/shape of the FC with not much for the actual values as people generally have access to various springs or a shock pump.

Thanks for the knowledge so far.
  • + 2
 @theminsta:
The majority of mountain bikes ar ok or great,
The basic air shock design is shit and as i already wrote, the shock is the main input in this curve.
To obtain a FC curve with linkage you have to master the shock, and you don't know if the authors of the blog are doing things properly.
AS curves are shit too, as they require a precise COG and you don't know where they put it.
  • + 1
 @faul: completely agree. The graphs are interesting, but there are so many other design/setup variations possible in addition to linkage geometry that it's not something I'd put great faith in. I haven't ridden loads of different bikes, but I've yet to ride a modern one that sucks if you spend a half hour or so to dial it in. I would happily ride just about anything that's come out in the last few years.

Just as an example, the blog says my bike has "very low" pedaling efficiency.... and yet I *really* enjoy climbing on it, and it got enthusiastic reviews from pretty much every mtb site that reviewed it. The numbers don't lie per se, but they never tell the whole story (unless maybe you have access to all the data the designer has). Fun bikes are good bikes, and I don't think you can draw a straight line from suspension curves to fun/performance.
  • + 1
 As a rider that was/is extremely dissatisfied by every full suspension bike I've tried, with all the top-end shocks, both coil and air (carbon Nomad Gen2, carbon Scott Spark, Yeti SB6c) I have decided that researching graphs would lead me closer to a bike that I can accept.

I understand that the graphs are usually inaccurate but for my purpose, I believe it is close enough.
  • + 1
 All new bikes appear to have the same suspension design. Make them lighter and more durable.
  • + 1
 This really looks like a Trek session 2017. The price is way too high. won't buy.
  • + 2
 Nicolai seems cheaper and cheaper
  • + 2
 ...It does look stunning though!
  • + 1
 Looks a lot like the new genius that he helped develop. There gunna be trouble on this one I'm betting.
  • + 1
 Traction is unreal! What about the price?
  • + 1
 I'll pass.
Yes; I want a long travel 29r
Just not this one
  • + 1
 why are all the cool bike brands not available in the usa
  • + 0
 Yeah, that pricing is totally nailed to appeal to everyone. The holy grail has arrived.
  • + 0
 Oh yea! A bike avaiable worldwide except not shippedbto USA or Canada!?? WTF
  • + 1
 No north American shipping.......
  • + 1
 Lost me at Madonna. Hideous looking frame, too
  • + 1
 « Shipping worldwide, except Canada and USA » cool...
  • + 1
 Yeah! Wth?! Haha
Oh well, guess this won’t be my next bike. It’s not very tantalizing anyhow.
  • + 1
 You'll see somehow, some way..
  • + 0
 Wait, a German non-moped. Didn't think they made pedal bikes in Germany anymore.
  • + 1
 Non pedal bikes are great. Look at this one:
ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb13853505/p5pb13853505.jpg
  • + 1
 Did I missed it or is there no information about the head angle?
  • + 2
 you missed it.
65°
in the middle of the geometry chart.
  • + 0
 I never liked Madonna. She was an expensive whore. VOGUE Madonna would be a better name!
  • + 1
 Eye roll here: "we are one of a very few that care." puh-leeze.
  • + 1
 Gotta love those "Latest Standards"
  • + 1
 looks like they thought of everything...too bad I'm 5'5"
  • + 1
 still waiting for that 26" frame to come out
  • + 1
 Nice idea but it makes an Orange look like good value!!!
  • + 1
 Looks flexy.
  • - 1
 I may be wrong but that upper-tube remind me the sound of SNAP ! (not the band)
  • - 1
 A pile of money for a unknown frame without even hydroforming technology????
Seriously?!
  • + 1
 FAIL.
  • - 3
 There is a long list of brands/bikes that I would consider before I would take a chance on an unproven platform, from a brand with limited resources (relative to the competition).
  • - 2
 Size-specific chainstay length means they get shorter with larger frames, since a larger frame already has a longer wheelbase anyway, right? Wink
  • + 3
 wrong. The longer the front center, the longer the rear center.where is the center of gravity is more important than how long is your bike.
  • + 3
 @faul: A larger frame will ride differently compared to a smaller one, no matter what you do. Personally I think 450mm chainstays are not a good idea on any bike, besides maybe a purebred downhill sled.
  • + 1
 @FuzzyL: or an E bike. I agree, they're too long
  • - 1
 What a bargain
  • + 1
 Hahaha.
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