The RAAW of the Month in May might seem almost unimpressive at first glance. You won't find any self-milled tools or similar quirks on this Madonna V2. But after only a few minutes of talking with its rider and creator Tobias, it becomes clear just how much research, experimentation and attention to detail went into this build.
40-year-old Tobias can look back on a proud 22 years of mountain biking. No wonder, after all, his home in beautiful central Switzerland offers the best conditions for the sport. " Where I grew up we have endless possibilities to ride trails on the local mountains. From technical to fast, everything is available ”, he describes his home spot on the Rossberg, around which a small community has formed that takes care of trail maintenance as well as fostering the communication with local hunters and foresters.
But Tobias can also look back on plenty of experiences on two wheels outside his home zone, including numerou races throughout Europe. " I got around a lot in Europe as an active participant in the IXS European Downhill Cup. I was never really that good, but it was enough for a lot of fun, great experiences and a co-sponsorship. These memories are priceless to me! " he recounts his racing days. " Through racing, I also got intensively involved with the equipment, made my own experiences and got to know my wishes and preferences really well. During this time, I not only followed all the technical developments of the last few years, but experienced them firsthand, so to speak. "
But then came love, a wonderful wife, two great daughters and everything changed. Goodbye downhill, hello enduro! " With the little ones at home you obviously can't drive across Europe every weekend or spend evenings in the workshop getting the race bike back into shape. Instead, it's about making the most of the time you have and enjoying every minute on the trail ", Tobias describes his reasons for switching to Enduro.
" When I then wanted to replace my previous enduro bike at the end of 2020, I was looking for a bike that is easy to ride, offers comfort and is a lot of fun. It also had to be as low-maintenance and durable as possible. " Not a surprise, as Tobi likes to describe his riding style as "direct" and "with a lot of power", and his job at a large manufacturer of (high-pressure) cleaning equipment may also come with a few extra requirements for bearings and seals...
" With this list of requirements, I then quickly came across RAAW. I immediately found the ideas and philosophy behind the brand appealing and they also reflected the experiences from my racing days. The riding behavior described was exactly what I was looking for. The build project could start! "
" I tried to put all my experience into the equipment choice and do everything correct, right down to the last detail. The motto was: carbon only where necessary and where it actually offers a benefit. With the OneUp handlebar that was the case and the carbon wheels were kind of a guilty pleasure decision. "
Even if Tobias does not call himself a suspension guru, his downhill past clearly shines through in this area of the bike. His Fox 36 Grip2 fork with 170 mm travel was converted to coil spring with a Push ACS3 KIT cartridge. A matching EXT Storia V3 Lock coil shock finds its place at the rear. " The comfort, speed and grip that the coil suspension develops in combination with the Madonna frame is just awesome. Air suspension just can't compete in my opinion ", Tobias is pleased with his tuning results.
Plenty of thought has also gone into the wheelset: " Wheels have always been a problem point for me on a bike. I'm not lightweight and have a rather powerful, direct and rough riding style. That has already cost me several wheels and rims. Accordingly, I had the opportunity to experiment diligently with various systems and know what suits me and what does not, " Tobias elaborates. " Recently I ran a DT Swiss XM 1700 SPLINE 29 front wheel and a DT Swiss FR 1950 Classic 29 rear wheel, which worked really well. However, the special touch was missing, so I soon found myself wishing for carbon wheels. " After some research, the list of criteria was quickly determined - rims with a 30mm inner width, 32 holes and, if possible, with DT Swiss 350 hubs. Unfortunately, this combination proved not so easy to find, at least in the European market. " Too few spokes, too stiff, bad warranty conditions or wrong hubs. So I started looking overseas. After a few detours, I came across We Are One. They have their own manufacturing facilities, a super warranty and good company values. Plus 32 hole rims and a fair price. " After availability problems with the DT350 hubs, my wheel builder of trust found a pair of the very limited DT 240 hubs in the beautiful Oil Slick colourMy dream wheelset was complete. WE ARE ONE Union rims, SAPIM D-Light spokes and SAPIM nipples, DT SWISS 240 EXP hubs in Oil Slick finish, DT SWISS rim tape and RESERVE Fillmore valves. For tires, Tobias went with Maxxis Minion DHF WT 29x2.5 EXO TR 3C MaxxTerra on the front wheel and Maxxis Minion DHF WT 29x2.5 EXO TR Dual with CushCore XC inserts on the rear. When racing, he uses the same tires but in the more robust Double Down variant.
The drivetrain consists of Shimano XT components in combination with an oval chainring from AbsoluteBlack. Plenty of stopping power is provided by Shimano XT M8120 brakes, which Tobias has upgraded with Galfer discs and pads. To achieve a cleaner look, his build doesn't feature any tool carrying systems and he uses the minimalist Fidlock bottle cage.
Here's the full spec list':
|Frame||Madonna V2 Size. L Alu Raw, Rocker 65 with Intend Corona seat clamp schwarz|
|Fork||FOX FLOAT FS 36 Grip2 MY2021 170mm Cabolt X orange, incl. PUSH ACS3 KIT and PUSH fork seals|
|Rear Shock||EXT Storia V3 Lock|
|Wheels||WE ARE ONE Union rims, with SAPIM D-Light spokes and SAPIM Nippel, w. DT 240 EXP hubs in Oil Slick design w. RESERVE Fillmore valves|
|Tires||Front: MAXXIS Minion DHF WT 29x2.5 EXO TR 3C MaxxTerra / Rear: MAXXIS Minion DHF WT 29x2.5 EXO TR Dual / CushCore XC.|
|Headset||RESET RACING Flatstack ZS44/28.6 and ZS56/40|
|Stem||ACROS Gothic Stem 35 Stem 50mm|
|Handlebar||OneUp Riser Carbon 780mm/35mm/20mm|
|Grips||ERGON GD1 Evo Factory Slim orange|
|Brakes||SHIMANO XT M8120 4-Piston w. Galfer E-Bike pads violet G1652|
|Discs||Front: GALFER DB004W FIXED DISC 223mm WAVE / Rear: GALFER DB004W FIXED DISC 203mm WAVE|
|Derailleur||SHIMANO XT RD-M8100 long 12speed|
|Shifter||SHIMANO XT SL-M8100 12speed|
|Cranks||SHIMANO XT FC-M8100-1 170mm|
|Chainring||AbsolutBlack Oval 32t|
|Cassette||SHIMANO XT CS-M8100 12speed|
|Chain||SHIMANO XT CN-M8100 12speed|
|Chainguide||OneUp BASH GUIDE - ISCG05 - V2|
|Seatpost||OneUp Dropper Post 31.6x210mm|
|Fender||RAAW Roostpartikelfilter (not always mounted)|
|Saddle||ERGON SM Enduro Comp Men M/L|
|Pedals||SHIMANO XT PD-M8120 Trail|
|Other||SHIMANO sleeves and cables, Tubeless with Stans Tire Sealent .|
|Weight||about 17 kg, but Tobi doesn't care.|
And the result? " Handling, geometry and durability of my Madonna V2 are simply superb. After a total of about 3000 km, derailleur hangers were the only thing that have suffered so far. My uphill times are like never before, despite the higher total weight. The same applies to my times downhill. The feeling of stability and confidence the Madonna provides is simply indescribable. I didn't regret the purchase for one minute and I'm very happy! " Tobi enthuses. " Nevertheless, I'm tempted to use the 100 Euro bike-components.de voucher for the RAAW of the Month award directly as a down payment for a Madonna V2.2 frame! "
This Madonna V2 by Tobias reminds us a little bit of the sleeper cars, popular in the car tuning scene, which appear completely inconspicuous on the outside but have been tuned to maximum performance under the hood. Instead of a high-horsepower engine under the hood of this build, you'll find detailed considerations and well thought-out solutions in literally every detail, all of which are based on years of mountain bike experience. A well-deserved RAAW of the Month for May.
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.