RAAW_Madonna_V2 (23).jpg
Interview & Video

The RAAW Madonna V2 Updates With Frame Engineer, Ruben Torenbeek

Words AJ Barlas
Photos RAAW Mountain Bikes
Date Jan 14, 2020

RAAW Mountain Bikes is a young German company that popped on the scene in 2017. The brainchild of Ruben Torenbeek, a former engineer at Ghost and Scott bikes, RAAW started as a way for Ruben to provide something he felt was missing. He wanted to create a bike that pushed geometry without going to what he considers extreme while also providing great value and durability.

When the original Madonna was released, RAAW was one of only a handful of brands offering the futuristic geometry we’re now seeing show up industry-wide. It included cleverly designed tool/part stashes and featured some of the biggest bearings seen on modern all-mountain bikes, particularly at the main pivot which boasts 52mm cartridges. After riding with Ruben in the summer of 2019, I realized why durable bikes are a priority; he and his team ride hard, and ride loads, punishing their equipment day after day. If it can last under them, things are looking good.

RAAW has just unveiled its new Madonna V2 for 2020 and on initial inspection, the changes aren't drastic. The frame has been streamlined and there have been a few minor geometry adjustments but overall, the bike looks similar to its older sibling. I reached out to Ruben for a quick interview to learn more about the changes.

Ruben, version one of the Madonna featured some unique tool storage solutions but there seems to be fewer on the V2.

It's less integrated now but there are more options for the rider. The storage mount under the top tube allows a strap or a bag and if the rider doesn't use it, it's a little cleaner.

Rear brake mounts on the Madonna frames are a bolt-on attachment. Why does RAAW go this route rather than welding a fixture like other brands?

It is to avoid extra adapters for larger disc sizes and as a solution for the different chainstay lengths on different frame sizes. The brake mount is specific for a certain spec (frame size and rotor size), which keeps the design clean and avoids compromises with sliders or flip-chips.

The move to a dedicated 203 rear brake mount is interesting. Why not offer a 180mm stock like others?

The little weight penalty of a larger rotor pays out on all descents longer than a minute, it simply helps saving energy and holding on the handlebar. But if someone prefers 180, we still offer them separately.

Madonna V2 frames are available with two different leverage ratios. Does each of the ratios offer the exact same curve?

Yes, the curves are very similar, both providing a little over 20% progression, we've got the curves on our website. The difference is the average ratio, the Rocker 65 offers a low leverage ratio (2.46:1) and the Rocker 60 offers a high leverage ratio (2.67:1).

Madonna_V2_Lev.JPG

Rocker 65 features a lower leverage ratio better suited to heavy or more aggressive riders. The two links provide a very similar curve but Rocker 60 appears more progressive, if only slightly so.

The geometry and aesthetic changes with the V2 are minimal. What’s the reason for them being so incremental?

I'd say don't change what's good! There are many small changes from the V1 to the V2 but I guess it's more about improving details and adapting to how riding and trails change, rather than reinventing for the sake of bringing something new.


To learn more about the Madonna V2 you can check out the press release, or head to the RAAW Mountain Bikes website.

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Comments

DemonMike
+5 Jonas Dodd Angu58 IslandLife AJ Barlas MTBrent
mike  - Jan. 14, 2020, 7:13 a.m.

#1 on my list for new frames.

Reply

MTBrent
+6 Allen Lloyd Angu58 Timer IslandLife AJ Barlas mike
MTBrent  - Jan. 14, 2020, 7:14 a.m.

Well done, RAAW.  This thing checks all the boxes and has planted itself firmly in the 1b* position on the potential next bike list.

*1a is reserved for whatever Canfield has coming...

Reply

Timer
+2 MTBrent mike
Timer  - Jan. 14, 2020, 1:46 p.m.

I feel like such a list should also contain the banshee titan. I would have a hard time choosing between those two.

Reply

DemonMike
+2 Timer Angu58
mike  - Jan. 14, 2020, 2:19 p.m.

Privateer 161 is on my list as well. I very curious to what CB and maybe Transition have in store as well. I,m in no real hurry be late summer/early fall before I,m ready to buy.

Reply

denomerdano
+5 ManInSteel Angu58 mike AJ Barlas goose8
Deniz Merdano  - Jan. 14, 2020, 11:43 a.m.

Well that video lit a fire under my ass!!

Reply

morgan-heater
0
Morgan Heater  - Jan. 15, 2020, 10:04 a.m.

That frame is gorgeous, I like everything about it except for the kinked seat-tube. In today's long-dropper world, all seat tubes should be straight and uninterrupted, all the way to the bottom bracket.

Reply

DemonMike
0
mike  - Jan. 15, 2020, 10:26 a.m.

Medium has 240mm of insertion and the large has 275mm , a Oneup 210mm  is 297mm from the collar to the bottom of the actuator. A 180mm is 267mm . I prefer some post stick out , I would hate to have the tire hit the back of the saddle in a full bottom out incident.

Reply

MTBrent
0
MTBrent  - Jan. 16, 2020, 6:57 a.m.

The seat tube is indeed straight and uninterrupted:

Reply

human_touch
0
human_touch  - Jan. 19, 2020, 4:24 p.m.

Bike looks amazing, shortlisted for my new bike along with Geometron G1. Tough decision yo make...

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