RAAW to Offer Privateer Support for 2023 Downhill World Cup Riders

Sep 28, 2022
by RAAW Mountain Bikes  


Since we started RAAW we’ve dreamed of making a downhill bike and going racing at the highest level. After many hours of chin scratching, tinkering and getting our ideas into production, we received the first samples of our DH bike in late 2021.

In 2022 we entered world cup racing with KJ, Douglas, Luke and Ryan at 555 RAAW Gravity Racing, starting the journey of a lifetime. From the first test camp in Portugal, through all the World Cup races and even World Championships, there has been so much to learn and experience. It's been one hell of a ride!

Luke Williamson on his way to finish 23rd in Fort William, what a day!

Everything we’ve learned has helped us tweak and confirm what we’ve been working on. The experiences we’ve gathered with the four World Cup riders have given us a solid understanding of the different setups we can achieve with the adjustments that our frame offers to accommodate for differences in tracks, conditions and riding styles. The result is that our DH bike will see its official release this coming winter, and frame-kits are scheduled to be available to purchase shortly after the launch.


Being at the World Cup races this year has also made us aware of just how many athletes give it their absolute all week in and week out to race as privateers. Families and small teams traveling all over the world to chase their dreams are often a bit in the background, but fundamental for the future of the sport. These privateers are the ones working their way up the racing ladder and maybe someday in the future competing for wins. That made us decide that we’d love to support those riders as well as we can with frames we believe are a durable tool for the job with all the adjustments to have a fast bike, no matter what track.

The clean lines of the Raaw DH proto.

Riders with the UCI points to race World Cups, and the intention to do so in 2023, interested in riding our DH frame can reach out to us for all the technical details on the bike. We will offer a 45% discount and to assure ample quality time on the new bike before next season, we will ship the privateer support frames with air freight instead of sea freight from Taiwan to our HQ in Germany, meaning they will be available before the end of this year.

Racers interested can reach out to us with their resume and plans for 2023 at hello@raawmtb.com.

For more information visit raawmtb.com.

Photos: Ross Bell

Author Info:
RAAWMountainBikes avatar

Member since Mar 27, 2018
25 articles

  • 118 0
 Does Fantasy World Cup count? I intend to race that again in 2023.
  • 59 1
 Yea, you can have a fantasy bike
  • 52 0
 Grabbed one of their frames earlier this year and with every press release I see from them I am more and more happy to be supporting such rad company. Keep on keeping on!
  • 7 0
 Beautiful lookin bikes, I love when the rear triangle lines up with the top tube. I'll never not talk shit about a kona stinky for this reason. Commencal supreme v3, canyon stitched 720 slope, some of my fav lookin bikes over the decade.
  • 2 0
 @anchoricex: agree. The first limited edition UT Izzo was so good looking
  • 4 1
 Rad Company... get it?

Because it's a german bike company.
  • 5 0
 @anchoricex: YES! Front triangle +rear triangle = one big triangle. World is good and correct
  • 24 0
 I love the idea of Raaws bikes.

Haven't ridden, or even seen one, as they're a bit hard to come by here in the US... but man, I love their aesthetic, and design choices.

Simple design, beautiful frame, big bearings with good shields, moderate-ish reach, high stack, long chainstays. All stuff I'm looking for.

If they made it a bit easier to buy in the US (like how Privateer has done, with a US distributor), I might be tempted to swap from my Banshee to try one.
  • 9 0
 For what its worth it was easy for me to buy my jibb frame in the US, just purchased from their site. It took a couple weeks to get here but was no different from buying anything else.
  • 5 0
 I'm going to jump in here too. I live in California and bought a Madonna V2.2. The process was super easy, Raaw was very responsive. It's my understanding that Reuben has moved to Vancouver, with at least the partial goal to support North American growth. I expect they'll be even more responsive now. I bought a frame/shock/headset bundle from them and built the bike up from parts I either purchased or had around the garage. Overall, the bike built up without any issues and has been solid. After 400 miles, I'm going to pull the bearings and clean them up, as it's been pretty dusty in CA lately.
  • 7 0
 Super easy US buying process for me as well. Got on website, saw they were in stock, drank beer… yadda yadda yadda, two weeks later, new bike!
Ruben answered my silly questions quickly. Have absolutely beat the hell out of my Madonna v2.2 this summer, and it is still impressing me every ride.
  • 3 0
 Also going to chime in - For anyone that is on the fence about overseas shipping or lack of US support, just go for. RAAW is super transparent and communicated every detail with me when I ordered from them. My Madonna V2 took a lot of abuse and crashes this summer but still looks and rides like the day I built it.
  • 2 0
 Definitely buy one! My madonna v2 is 2 years old now and still running sweet. Handles everything I can throw at it. Definitely prefer it with a coil but was still good with air. Ext storia v3 is a win on most bikes though.
  • 1 0
 @raawbikerider: @initforthedonuts @EricLanglais:
What sort of rides are you guys putting on your Madonnas? The Madonna was my dream bike, but I worry that I'd want a smaller bike to complement it for less gnarly rides (vs. something like a Ripmo).
  • 2 0
 I live in California and just bought a Madonna V2.2 frame. Shipping took a couple weeks to get here but the process was super easy and the communication from RAAW was exceptional. I'm building the frame up now so haven't ridden it yet but so far I am stoked! Really impressed by the frame fit/finish and their customer support.
  • 1 0
 I picked up a Jibb earlier this year. Ignoring that main pivots on every other bike on the market now look inadequate, the design details on the RAAWs are fantastic. Even the smallest details, like little recesses for the heads of zip ties at the chain stays really impressed me. And it cuts a mean silhouette.
  • 4 0
 @EricLanglais: I've got at least 1500 miles on my V2.2 and the bearings are still spinning smooth. I have had to replace the Acros headset (Wolftooth) and the Canfield GXP BB (Wheels MFG). Clean/grease the main pivot a few times as well as the seatpost. If you have "clicking" while pedaling, likely fix. This was riding Santa Cruz last winter/spring, Flagstaff this summer, and several CO bikepark days. It has seen mud, dust, and been on the back of a Golf for several thousand miles. Love this bike.

Also, I ride this bike everywhere, not just gnar. With 27% sag it rides like a big trailbike. Does like to go fast though...
  • 1 0

Oh, awesome to hear it went well for you and others. That’s encouraging.

Turns out I’m not all that familiar with buying stuff from out of country.

How did the customs/duties etc work out? That’s the big part I was worried about, as it seemed like a potential hidden cost. Maybe I was worrying about nothing though.
  • 2 0
Replaced an Evil Offering V2 with a Madonna V2.2. I’m a bit of a clumsy smasher style of rider. Not good at sticking to the line I choose, not good at avoiding hitting stuff. Also lots of big loose rocks here. The Madonna is obviously heavier than the Evil was. I tend to ride a 13 mile loop on the daily that involves about 2k’ of climbing followed by fast loose rocky descents. Have had the Madonna on multiple days at Trestle, did the Monarch Crest epic on it, and a couple of Pikes Peak plummets (6500’ descending with 1k of climb in the middle). I am definitely over-biked. (Are we still using that term?) But I don’t need help climbing, so I built my bike to assist my weaker areas. So stoked on the fit, finish, pedal efficiency, and silence.
  • 1 0
 Also adding that getting one in the US was simple, nothing more complex than ordering anything else online. It was €100 shipping and took about 10 days. We actually get it a bit cheaper since none of the local taxes apply. I’ve since ordered parts and other little bits easily. When you buy the frame I would suggest grabbing at least the spare bits kit from their parts shop, maybe a few extra hangers if you’re prone to break them. Shipping single parts from Germany can get a little pricey.
  • 1 0
 @MarcusBrody: I ride it pretty much everywhere and everything on it. Longer spins 30km+ with 1000meters vertical, uplift days at DH tracks and bike park. Its definitely a bit overbiked for mellow trails but it's still fun to ride.

I find the climbing position is really comfortable. Its definitely not as lightweight as some bikes, so you sacrifice a bit of extra energy going up but it doesn't ride as heavy as it is on paper. Then when you point it down a hill... Big fun. I got rid of my full DH rig as I can go 95% of the speed and I'm getting old so I'm happy to crash slower.

If I could only have one bike I'd go for my madonna. I'll put a pic of mine on my profile so you can see the set up.
  • 1 0
 @raawbikerider: how tall are you and what size do you ride? Raaw put me on a medium, but my current (norco optic) bike's figures are closer to a Large...
  • 2 0
 @v7fmp: I’m not who you asked but I’m 177cm and on a medium. All recent bikes have been 170+ reach but I wanted to try something new and felt the geo on the large might be just a bit too much for me. I am so happy. This thing is really stable but also the right size to be nimble at the same time. Probably has to do a bit with the weight combined with shorter geo for me. It is the fastest thing I’ve ever been on when pointed downhill.

I see myself owning this bike for years, just changing out components to keep things interesting.
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: I appreciate the reply. It’s something for me to ponder on
  • 1 0
 @v7fmp: I'm just under 5'11 and run a large with the rocker 60 link. It's on the bigger bike side for me but I'm a fan of something that flatters my skill on the straight rough stuff. I can still jump it and move it around fine.
  • 1 0
 @v7fmp: 179cm tall to be exact and 35mm stem probably also useful to know.
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan: I’m not sure how customs/duties is supposed to work, but here’s how it worked for me.

I paid zero duties/US taxes. I think in theory they can send you a bill while it is going through customs but I never had that happen.

It did sit in customs for about a week in Chicago, which was annoying but not unexpected
  • 16 0
 This is amazing, good on you RAAW.
  • 16 1
 I love RAAW bikes and their oversized pivots because I can finally have sex with my bike.
  • 7 0
 i love that for you
  • 2 0
 That's a tight Fifi
  • 9 0
 I gotta admit those RAAW DH bikes are pretty impressive for how simple and effective they are! I'd buy one!
  • 6 0
 This is so sick. Good on RAAW!
  • 4 0
 It really is sick, It’s super gnar, Insane, intense, amazeballs, pro gnar core and bro brah Oomgawa!
  • 6 0
 So Privateer sponsored athletes will ride raaw's bikes?
  • 2 0
 I was looking hard at a Madonna, but when Transition released the raw Spire I went for that instead. Still kinda wish I had a Madonna though. I saw one built up single speed with a dual crown at Northstar and it was probably my favorite bike I've seen.
  • 5 2
 Noone scoring enough UCI points (nowadays) to race a Worldcup should have to buy a bike. Even I got at least 50% discount from my local shop in my racing days- and I qualied for only one Worldcup (ever).
  • 4 0
 45%. well... ok.... not bad !!
  • 13 0
 I would assume that that is pretty close to wholesale pricing. If a DH frame costs 3-4 thousand, then 1500-2000 is a bargain.

Even if they do make a bit of a profit. they basically get some free advertising and the chance to say "this nobody kid shocked the cycling world this year on one of our bikes."

Its a smart way to get your name out there for little cost, and give privateers a shot at the big show.

I like it.
  • 2 0
 Good on RAAW for doing this, it certainly means a lot to riders trying to make it happen
  • 3 0
 Great way to support the sport! Why aren't more brands doing this?
  • 1 0
 I guess I need to become a racer right now! Love the initiative and their bikes.
  • 3 2
 In which world is «air freighted frame» a selling-point for frames these days..?
  • 5 1
 In a world of delays.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 Great to see! More companies should be like raaw!
  • 1 0
 RAAW is such a sick company
  • 1 0
 Well done!
  • 1 0
 clean looking frame
  • 1 1
 looks like a session.
  • 1 2
  • 3 6
 Privateer-washing! The new greenwashing!
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