PRESS RELEASE: RAAW Mountain Bikes
Product development can be attacked from a few different angles. For some, the direction comes from focus groups. For others it comes from developing the best product that aligns with the trends at that time. But for us, we’ve always just gone about developing a bike that we’d want to ride, that we’re stoked about and will prop against the TV stand to savour it just that little longer before it gets covered in mud.
Developing a DH bike has been a seed in the minds of us at RAAW since almost day one. We grew up absorbing the bikes and culture of DH racing. Many years later, we still see it as the most exciting expression of mountain biking. And even in the small world of DH, there are so many different expressions of what a DH should be.
But for us, performance and adjustability, all wrapped up in a durable package, is how we see a downhill bike. So we set to it, developing our own DH bike with those drivers in mind. And after over a year of riding, racing and tinkering, we're over the moon to finally release the culmination of our DH Project - the RAAW Yalla!
The RAAW Yalla! is a bike built for sending it down the Champéry World Cup track, a place that we hold very close to our hearts. There’s no messing around there, no fuzziness in the intended use. Every decision in the bike followed that crystal clear idea and results in a bike fit for tackling one of the most demanding courses to be raced on, again and again.
And while not World Cup racers ourselves, we knew that developing a bike fit for tackling the wild World Cup track in Champéry could have what it takes to compete at the highest level of downhill racing. And that a lot of the philosophies that we live by at RAAW, like durability and being easy to work on, would also lend themselves well to a racing environment.
2022 was a year full of learning as we embarked on our first year of World Cup racing. But in just our second race at Fort William the Yalla! not only qualified for the finals but came away with 23rd place under Luke Williamson. His wild run was the stamp of approval that the Yalla! is instilled with the speed to be right up there with the best.
And throughout a whole season of relentlessly challenging tracks it continued to solidly perform where many others fell apart. Durability is a huge part of RAAW, and to have frames that can take a beating like that all season long and come back asking for more takes away a lot of the worries that a racer, or just rider, might have in their equipment.
Race and ride the Yalla! hard, put it away dirty and do the same thing next weekend. It’s not made of sugar.Adjustability - A Toolbox for the Rider
The RAAW Yalla! is designed around our toolbox concept. While a DH bike is a very focussed tool for a specific job, sometimes that job can change. Different riders and racers jump on board, the tracks vary from race to race and conditions can change at the flick of a switch. So, having a toolbox to delve into to meet all those demands is useful to have when you’re up at the ragged edge and still pushing for fractions of a second or for the maximum thrill.
That said, if you’re not into tinkering, then no worries at all. The middle settings of each adjustment option, which the frame comes delivered in, are something that we thought long and hard about. You can leave it there and never worry about it, instead just focussing on the riding. And the simplicity and solidness of the adjustment parts mean that they will just go about their job silently.
But, we have endeavoured to make sure that the Yalla’s adjustability is simple to use, so that anyone can do it. After all, if an adjustment is easy to change then it encourages more people to use it and play around.
We encourage you to experiment with the adjustments and learn what works best for you in your terrain. None of the extremes of the adjustments will make the bike unrideable, and if you learn along the way how different adjustments change the bike feel then you’ll be better equipped in the future to turn a bike into your bike.Geometry & Suspension
The Yalla! comes in three different sizes from M to XL, all with 29” wheels front and rear. The three sizes cover riders from 167 to 199 cm and are equipped with a great number of adjustments to find perfect setups for different tracks, conditions and riding styles.
The riding position on the Yalla! is roomy and very similar to that of the Madonna, with an identical reach for the same sizes. This firstly results in a very familiar position between the same sized Yalla! and Madonna and makes you feel at home on the bike as soon as you jump aboard.
We’re big fans of low bottom brackets and our bikes attribute a bunch of their characters to this. This love is carried through to the Yalla, with the BB dropping 26.5mm, giving a BB height of around 345mm. This came from extensive real world tyre measuring as well as tying it into our supportive suspension design, meaning that you have a dynamic position in the bike, rather than perched atop it, and bringing stability and confidence when cornering hard.
We didn’t just choose the same suspension design as the Madonna and Jibb to look the same, but it did come from all the same reasons as why we chose it for them too.
The four bar layout gives us the freedom to manipulate the suspension characteristics, the long link lengths give naturally favourable curves, production tolerances have less of an effect when going from 3D models to the real world, and the layout is efficient on material while being naturally stiff. This layout does exactly the job in hand in the simplest and most efficient way possible.
The Yalla! has 198 mm of predictable travel, avoiding really high leverage ratios and progression amounts to strike a wonderful balance between suppleness and support. It also avoids pushing anyone into a corner with their setup, instead creating a usable range of shock adjustments and plays well with both air and coil shocks.
A nice dollop of anti-squat means a direct and driven feel when you push on the pedals and accelerate, and it’s delivered in the travel zone that you’re most likely to be pedalling a DH bike in. The suspension offers the same direct feel in all gears and is designed around today's common 34T chainring.
The influence of braking is designed to be very constant giving a predictable balance between combating the effects of load transfer when braking and remaining active in the suspension feel. This characteristic remains the same no matter the lower shock mount you choose, keeping the number of things to think about to a minimum when adapting your bike to the track and conditions.Frame Details
Durability is at the core of RAAW. We want bikes that can be ridden hard and put away dirty and that will last year after year or owner after owner. We choose aluminium not just for its recyclability, but that it’s a wonderful material that can be formed, forged and machined into shapes that fit the purpose of a DH bike so well.
While the Yalla! is as durable as we can make it, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll need to give it some TLC. For that reason, we wanted the Yalla! to be as easy to work on as possible for the home mechanics out there as well as the World Cup mechanics. Cable routing is external, you only need a few common tools to completely strip the bike and you don’t need four pairs of hands and a degree to put it back together.
The areas of the frame that will see an onslaught of mud have been designed in a way to leave few anchors. The back of the seat tube and chainstay bridge is as close to one vertical surface as possible. Forgings are hollowed out from the inside, leaving no hidden pockets. And the seatstay bridge is knife-like to cut through the spray from the rear wheel.
To protect the frame, we've got stick-on soft rubber protection pieces on the underside of the downtube, covering the edges of the tube, chainstay protector, which is also ribbed to silence chain slap, and on the inside of the seatstay. We also offer a stick on guard for the upper end of the down tube, protecting when shuttling with the Yalla! or if your local lift hooks under the frame.
With the addition of nine tenths of naff all weight, why not have some added storage for some spares or a banana on your DH bike? If you don’t want it, no worries, it’s nicely hidden away out of sight. All gear straps fit and maybe even the odd data acquisition system too with a nice 3D printed bracket.
All external routing makes working on the bike a doddle, especially in a rush at a race, while keeping the cables secure, tidy and not looking like a bird’s nest. The upper cable guides on the main frame double up as the fork bumpers and are designed to provide protection for all the range of different fork offsets available today.
And as much as possible, hardware is shared with the Madonna and Jibb. This makes it easier for you to keep spares between bikes and get hold of replaceable parts when the time comes for some maintenance.Options, Pricing & Availability
The Yalla! is in stock and available to purchase as a framekit right away. The framekit without shock, including rear wheel axle, headset and all hardware is available for €2,990 in the EU and for $2,690 US / $3,611 CAD / 2,495 CHF / £2,244 outside of the EU. Shock options from Öhlins are in stock and Fox options will ship at the end of March.
Pricing in the EU will depend on the VAT rate in your country, and pricing outside of the EU will depend on exchange rates.
For more information about the Yalla! and our other bikes, the Madonna and Jibb, visit raawmtb.com.
The first two seem to come from third world countries with low wage production.....
the raaw is great, i prefer the madonna to any nicolai
I get brands need to get their product out there but some of these videos are bordering on silly and/or wasteful.
Specialized doesn't do launch videos for every make model they produce. They do it when they do something big. So instead of spreading the money around to a million places so they can check 65 small boxes, they check a few big ones every year>
Then you have to go like this....
Pinkbike views x X
VitalMTB views x X
All other sites x X
Specialized social media impact x X
Specialized website ticks x X
So each one of those impressions gets divided by the spend and you get an impact per dollar and then look at conversion rates. Which for specialized are higher than most.
Just for an example of dollars spent vs. impact....
Raaw has an instagram following of 24,000
Specialized has nearly 2.4 million just between it's corporate channel and MTB channel.
So JUST on Instagram you have an x10 reach impact on their efforts.
But long and the short of it.... I bet those YT and specialized videos were WELL into the 6 figures.
As for what it adds to the cost of the bike.... nothing. Marketing budgets for companies like Specialized are determined on a percentage of profits basis. So those marketing dollars are getting spent either way, it's just how you choose to spend it and they generally speaking do a pretty good job. YT does too.
Big bike jumps are nice
I don't hate the 29/27.5 its awesome for tech but don't really like the wagon wheel on jumps
I will say their bikes are awesome. I have a new madonna and absolutely love it.
Maybe it was he fascination with German War memorabilia and the Iron cross I guess that made me think that
Bitching around the launchvideo nor the price of the frame. (Watch the tuto) The concept of this bike will suit any privateer racer who wants to have a bike where longlivity, adjustabiity and easy to maintain is key. No need of huge fancy trucks, pits, mechanics and prototype spare parts to make you going. Best bikebrand hands down! Go Yalla or Go Home. Ps: Raaw Madonna owner LOL
Watch this video, its super interesting, Dan goes way into the details of the bike and its awesome. Absolutely love the level of information he goes into in talking about the intention of the design. This is a purpose built bike designed by engineers. Super cool, I love hearing Dan talk through bike designs.
Then it was over... and I went... well that was freaking stupid.
But sometimes things are so stupid that it pisses people off and they start talking about it and posting about it... so in the end... was it really stupid?
Frame looks good though
Outside of that category:
Yeti SB160 frame is 5000 US dollars (~€4650)!!!
The easy retort would have been the Commencal Supreme Al bike which is 3100USD with no shock!!!!
Banshee Legend 29 is 3000USD with a DHX2 which is a little better value but not by much.
Summary: frame prices are going insane.... I just built a pretty stellar DH bike about 4200CAD using some 1year old parts, I cant imagine spending that or more on just the frame.
"next bike frame will be fully custom geometry steel high pivot frame which will cost €2000."
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