Madonna V2.2 "Virgin Builder" - RAAW of the Month August
High-quality components, color-coordinated and absolutely clean looking - one quickly suspects an experienced bike builder behind this Madonna V2.2. But far from it: Dominik, the man behind this RAAW of the Month has only been riding mountain bikes for a short time at all and this beautiful bike is actually his first creation.
Until recently, Dominik spent his free time cruising alpine passes in powerful cars, but ever since he got an e-mountain bike, the mountain bike virus has taken hold of him. The E-MTB was initially the perfect tool for him to explore new trails, be out in nature and spend time with friends. But it quickly became clear that his passion for full throttle and adrenaline also wanted to be satisfied when biking. Accordingly, the descents were the most fun for him. When he had the opportunity to try out a non-motorized, more downhill-oriented bike in Sölden, it quickly became clear: "I need a bike like that! 170mm or even 180mm of travel, suitable for bike parks, but still easy to pedal.”
The Madonna was soon on the shortlist: "Its 29er wheels and geometry made me curious - this could be the perfect bike for me. In the end, however, it was the customer service and the direct line to the team that convinced me: Simply calling and being able to speak directly with someone who really knows what they're talking about - amazing!"
However, there was still a problem. RAAW does not sell complete bikes and Dominik had never even configured a bike, let alone built one himself: "For some time I had doubts as to whether I was up to it. Mechanically I'm rather a dud and in terms of bike tools I'm very poorly equipped," he recounts his initial doubts. "But a friend of mine is a bicycle mechanic, and with this joker up my sleeve, I decided to give it a try." he continues.
So he put wood behind the arrow and ordered a black Madonna V2.2 frame kit (size medium) with Öhlins TTX22M. Then came 2 long days full of research, during which Dominik intensively studied every single component and worked out all the little aspects and equipment details. “Even though I often ride the Madonna on my home trails, I wanted to optimize it for use in the bike park and on rough, fast trails. I wanted a bike that feels great at high speeds and gives a lot of confidence. In addition, it should ride as quietly as possible, no matter how rough the trail is. In terms of color, I wanted to pick up on the yellow of the Öhlins suspension," he explains of his approach.
"Due to the challenging supply situation, I had to order the components from a variety of stores, but in the end everything was directly available and even arrived at my place on the same day. Rarely have I been so happy about the mailman, a feeling like Christmas and birthday together!”
"The assembly was easier than I thought. Everything worked out great and I had a lot of fun - building my own bike has been my dream for a long time" Dominik continues.
The great result can be seen here
The build in detail
As mentioned earlier, Dominik rides Öhlins on both the rear and front, specifically the TTX22M shock and RXF38 fork with 170mm. "I know the Öhlins brand from motorsport and they do a good job there. I like the perfectionist approach to their products" he explains his choice, which, by the way, we absolutely approve of - it's no coincidence that we've recently started offering our frames with complete Öhlins kits.
The brakes are the Magura MT7. Their look and performance convinced Dominik on his E-MTB already. Looking at the brake caliper, the two bolts in chic oil slick look immediately stand out - a color tone that can be found on various parts of the build. "I originally came up with the Oil Slick look because of the rails of the saddle, but then I liked it so much that I used it in other places as well," Dominik explains. Currently, the oil slick design can be found on the brake calipers, saddle rails and on the Ergon GE1 Evo Factory grips. I wonder if Dominik already knows about the limited Oil Slick hubs from DT Swiss, that fellow RAAW of the Month winner Tobias runs on his Madonna V2?
While we're on the subject of visual accents the copper-colored chain and cassette from SRAM should not go unmentioned, which give the build its own character. Dominik: "I think copper is mega cool, because it changes over time and does not hide its wear. I like it when you see if a thing has been used or not.”
In contrast to the touch of retro look that radiates from the copper-colored drivetrain is of course SRAM's high-tech AXS groupset, which not only ensures a super tidy cockpit but is also praised by Dominik for the ease of adjustment - especially as a less experienced mechanic obviously a benefit.
To keep the bike as quiet as possible, an e.thirteen LG1 PLUS chain guide is used. In addition, Dominik has picked a hub with a rather quiet freewheel noise when choosing his wheelset. He also runs the Maxxis Minion DHR with thick casings and has routed the few cables carefully.
Full Spec List
|Frame||Madonna V2.2, matte black, Size M|
|Fork||Öhlins RXF38 170mm|
|Rear shock||Öhlins TTX22M Coil|
|Wheelset||Mavic DEEMax 29|
|Tires||Front: Maxxis Minion DHR DH Casing / Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR 2 DD|
|Stem||Ethirteen Base 35|
|Grips||Ergon GE1 Evo Factory - Oil Slick|
|Brakes||Magura MT7 with HC3 Levers|
|Derailleur||SRAM GX AXS|
|Cassette||SRAM XG-1299 Eagle 12-fach copper 10-52T|
|Chain||SRAM Eagle Chain 12-speed copper|
|Chainguide||Ethirteen LG1 PLUS|
|Pedals||HT EVO AE03|
|Seatpost||Rock Shox Reverb AXS 170mm|
|Sattel||Ergon SM Enduro Comp Men Oil-Slick|
|Weight||17.6 kg incl. Pedale|
The RAAW of the Month in August not only looks really nice, but also proves that in the end it is no rocket science to assemble a bike frame. You don't have to be a pro mechanic to create a really great bike. A little research, some more experienced bike buddies and - of course - our direct support and you’ll be fine! Just go for it! (We recommend, however, to have the finished bike definitely checked by a skilled expert, in order to exclude any safety risks due to assembly errors!)
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.