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Madonna V2.2 "Park Rat" - RAAW of the Month September

The time has finally come, you've graduated high school and now you have a year off ahead of you. The plan? First, work for a few months straight and save up, and then, in spring, start the trip of a lifetime. That's exactly what Tristan did. A four-month trip to Canada is an absolutely exceptional dream for every biker and having the right tool for the job is mandatory. Tristan’s bike for his trip to Canada had to be able to cope with everything; his solution is the Madonna with two different setups.

After Tristan had spent half a year working at an assembly line and as a postman, the trip to Canada could begin and the perfect bike for Canada had to be found. The requirements? " It was clear that I wanted to ride as much as possible, every single day, with the least amount of defects. There was really no other bike like the Madonna for me to choose from. A big enduro-big made of aluminium. The bike had to be a tank and survive everything I had in mind and more. You can see at the build as well. Thick 35mm aluminium rims, double down tyres and a sturdy coil shock were just the right decision. "

Many films shot in Canada such as 'Motive', 'From the Inside Out' and ' The Moment ' started Tristan’s dreams to do this trip. " Ever since I was riding bikes and since the first time the movie ‘Motive’ by the Coastal Crew was playing continuously on my iPod, I was just infected. Seeing the places I only knew from the internet was just a dream until recently. But with high school graduation and a few many jobs on assembly lines and as a mailman later, I was suddenly standing on Mount Seymour in Canada and for one brief, big moment I was probably the happiest little big kid in Canada. "

Tristan started his journey in April 2022 on his Madonna with a solid build; a dropper post, bottle cage and 12-speed drivetrain were fitted as most of us do. The enduro setup survived the first weeks in Canada well, many shuttle runs and also pedaled vertical in the Sea-to-Sky corridor in wet conditions were no problem for now. However, the bike park season was just around the corner and a lot of time was to be spent in Whistler. The stress and wear and tear of the bike park, and Whistler in particular, is just brutal and quickly Tristan realised that while his enduro setup on his Madonna was great for a few days in the park, it wasn't going to last the whole summer. " I had stripped my Madonna down to the bare minimum during my time in Whistler, with buddies who only had downhill bikes with single speed setups. I just realised that if parts last a week in Whistler, they probably last a month in Germany. Singlespeed is a must, the long 12-speed derailleurs just give up after one lap on Garbanzo. I had already broken two and managed to make one rear “derailleur”, that was at least single speed capable, out of the two broken ones. There were no screws left in the derailleur. Only the limiter screw for the highest gear and a zip-tie remained. For a while I even rode without a rear derailleur and chain, which was actually no problem. Another must-have is an inner tube and 3 bar pressure in the rear tyre and a firm spring for more pop and hucks. Not having any bells and whistles on the bike, not even a dropper post, just looks clean for one thing, but also makes sense if you ever throw away a flip, for example, not as much can break. "

In addition to the single speed drivetrain, more tyre pressure and a firmer suspension, the dropper post and saddle were also replaced. This meant that there were only two brake levers and two grips on the handlebars, which could not have been cleaner in terms of appearance. But the bike itself was never clean, really. It was ridden every day and then stowed away in the camper. And the bottle cage? It's practical, but Tristan explains why it had to come off with a little grin on his face: " Why no bottle cage on A-Line? You don't need one! The only thing that keeps you hydrated during the day are the water fountains in the lift line a tasteless Kokanee beer at Longhorn after the bikepark closes at 8. "

Did everything on Tristan’s bike survive over the four months in British Columbia with lots of rain, dust, loamers and jumps? Not quite, but on the whole the bike survived the intensive cure well. " What wore out quickly were the tyres and brake pads. Due to crashes and the odd huck, a few spokes also snapped, but I was just happy when the tyre didn't rub against the frame. Every component gave up sooner or later, but that’s how it goes. What has to be mentioned is that at the end of the trip I loaded the frame-shock combination back into the bike bag just like I did in Germany before my trip, shoutout RAAW! I couldn't have had a better bike for the trip than the Madonna! "

Enduro Setup

Frame Madonna V2.2, matte black, Size M
Fork Fox 38 170 mm
Rear shock EXT Storia - 475 lbs
Wheelset Non+ Components Aluminium
Tires Front: Maxxis Assegai DD / Rear: Maxxis DHR DD with Pepis Tire Noodle
Headset Acros
Stem Chromag BZA 35 mm
Handlebar Chromag OSX 35 mm Rise
Grips Sensus Disisdaboss
Brakes Avid Code
Discs Sram Centerline 203 / 203
Derailleur Sram GX Eagle
Shifter Sram GX Eagle
Cranks Truvativ Descendant
Cassette Sram X01
Chain Sram GX Eagle
Chainguide E13 TRS
Pedals Shimano XT
Seatpost One Up Dropper 150 mm
Saddle Chromag Trailmaster
Weight I never put it on a scale, I was happy to wake up in the morning with air in my tires

Bikepark Setup

Frame Madonna V2.2, matte black, Size M
Fork Fox 38 170 mm
Rear shock EXT Storia - 600 lbs
Wheelset Non+ Components Aluminium
Tires Front: Maxxis Assegai DD / Rear: Maxxis DHR DD with Pepis Tire Noodle
Headset Acros
Stem Chromag BZA 35 mm
Handlebar Chromag OSX 35 mm Rise
Grips Sensus Disisdaboss
Brakes Avid Code
Discs Sram Centerline 203 / 203
Derailleur Sram GX Eagle (single speed)
Shifter None
Cranks Truvativ Descendant
Cassette Sram X01
Chain Sram GX Eagle
Chainguide None
Pedals One Up Flat
Seatpost Thomson Elite
Saddle Chromag Overture
Weight I never put it on a scale, I was happy to wake up in the morning with air in my tires

Tristan's Madonna served him well on his dream trip to Canada and underwent a transformation from versatile enduro bike to highly specialised bike park weapon during his trip. We love seeing how Tristan optimised his bike to maximise his time on the trails. A true workhorse and one-off, and a well-deserved RAAW of the Month. Normally this article would end now, but we didn't want to miss the opportunity to find out more about Tristan's time in Canada - after all, we all dream of a trip like this - so we asked him three questions.

RAAW: You traveled by yourself and with friends in an old camper van, where did you go and what did you like most?
Tristan: I bought the RV from a friend in Pemberton, that's where my journey started from. The first months I was all alone, just me, my Madonna and the goal to tick off the list more and more every day. Almost no spot on the Sea-to-Sky was missed. Then I went to pick up my buddy who was studying in Portland, USA, to travel to Vancouver Island. The two of us were able to share the fuel costs of the not exactly economical 92' Chevy V8. After we had been in Bellingham, we went to the Sunshine Coast, Powell River, Coast Gravity Park and Roberts Creek. In the end there were even four of us in the RV and we checked out the interior, Lilloet, Kamloops, the Ranch and Sun Peaks. I saw most of the spots I wanted to see. But the problem really is that once you've been there, the list of places you want to go only grows. You can't imagine the scale of the riding-spots and the sport in Canada if you haven't been there yourself. A highlight for me was Kamloops, where we had 43 degrees during the day, but also jumping into the sea in Roberts Creek after riding the best loamers of my life. Actually, every day was a highlight.

RAAW: What is it that makes the bike culture in Canada so good?
Tristan: The bike culture in Canada is mainly open-minded. No matter who you meet, everyone is mega friendly, even during the time I was on my own there was hardly a day when I was riding all alone. No matter what age, everyone is stoked to be in the woods and outdoors, and everyone shreds! The riding level in Canada of the average rider is very high, which may also be due to their home trails. I was lucky enough to meet people who were as keen on digging as I was and we quickly got talking. The very next lap I was hanging sideways in a train with three locals on loamers like you can't even imagine in your dreams. Ah, right, the only currency for shuttles is beer ;)

RAAW: What's next for your Madonna in Germany? Are you going to change anything on your bike?
Tristan: I won't change anything, a service will be necessary for the fork and shock. But as already mentioned, I like to have a bike that would be Toonie-Drop* ready haha, also in Germany. Besides, my eyes have been opened again to what is possible to ride with the bike, the motivation to build crazy stunts is bigger than ever! I need a bike just like my Madonna!

*The Toonie Drop is hidden in the forest on the North Shore near Vancouver.

A little photo epic to finish off this RAAW of the Month, shot by Rob Perry.


Does your bike have what it takes to be "RAAW of the Month"?

Since we founded RAAW, one thing has given us a lot of pleasure: seeing where, how and by whom our bikes are ridden all over the world and how you use our frame kits to create different, individually optimized works of bike art. That's why from now on, every month we'll choose a particularly successful and exciting bike build from the community as "RAAW of the Month" and present the bike and its rider in detail on our website. In addition to glory and Insta-fame, a 100 € voucher for our online shop awaits the lucky winner. Does your bike have what it takes to be "RAAW of the Month"? Check out this page to find out how to apply.

Photos: Rob Perry and Colin Oettle

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