Posted by: Ddean
Great write up! Thanks so much for that!
I love so many things about the RAAW. Aluminum. Geo is right. Its not a bike you will see others on. It checks a lot of boxes for me.
Where are you located Znarf? Are you on the Shore? Actually getting one of these frames is one of the hurdles - if you're here and got one, Id be interested in hearing how you did that.
I think that you addressed one of my riding concerns that the bike might be less than ideal on janky (slower) gnarly stuff versus fast flow. Ive seen multiple references to the Madonna being great at cornering - which implies fast flow to me. I have wondered how it does navigating through slower janky stuff on gnarly terrain. My guess is not great? It does seem that it would be a good choice for steep moves.
And pedal strikes. My current previous gen Slayer has a tough time with this on the second steepest setting (which is also the second highest bottom bracket setting).
Logistically the RAAW might be tough to get versus something local like a Chilcotin but it does look like a sweet bike. Ive seen comparisons to Banshee Titan that suggest that the bikes are similar, and thats a local bike but I dont think that I could ride a non-DH Banshee, or I have some metal blocks about doing that anyways. I hate Specialized for sooo many reasons but that Enduro is probably the bike that checks off the riding characteristics Im after; unfortunately it doesnt check off any other box! Thats a rat race bike!
I think the Titan is a really interesting bike and riding something from a local smaller brand can have benefits. So RAAW is relatively local (3hours by car) for me, but a long way from Canada. Ruben (founder) is very good to work with, but a Banshee might be a safer bet with taxes, duties etc.
I do think that Raaw is now shipping to Canada, though.
Slow speed handling:
I feel that it handles well both in high speed and in slower janky stuff, because the suspension is active and it is not all that cumbersome. It is definitely NOT only at home on high speed, flowy stuff. We have a lot of gnarly, awkward rocky and rooty stuff in Heidelberg and the great, centered balance helps. Weighing the front or rear is easy. You need 170mm cranks, slim pedals and time your pedaling right. But that seems true for all modern bikes. I specced alloy cranks and they have some scratches, crank boots for carbon would be advised...
Everything on Mt Fromme would feel great, maybe Bookwus might be a bit funky, when encountering some of these tall steps which have to be almost wheelie-dropped. But in general, it will work. And if your 6ft or taller, it will probably work better than a shorter bike.
But on the North Shore, in Squamish or Whistler you will love it. And probably a Titan as well.
The situations where a traditional RM7 or old school Bullit can be found, but they are really niche :)