RAAW is driven by the desire to make better mountain bikes that we love riding ourselves. Durability and, what we call, sendability are what we prioritize in our product design and we strive towards being a sustainable company that contributes to doing as little harm to the planet as possible. Our team is composed of six bike-loving people and we work closely with our wonderful production partner Genio, based in Taiwan.
Selling direct to the consumer allows us to keep communication lines short, stay in touch and offer the best support. We are eternally grateful for the growing community of RAAW riders and the shared stoked all around the world. As a company, we don’t have investors or shareholders dictating the ship’s direction; we’re owner-managed. And we’ve always taken one step after the other, to appreciate the process and to aim for sustainable and enjoyable growth.
Dedicated to Making Durable & Sendable Mountain Bikes
Bikes are amazing devices in their sophisticated simplicity. They are truly unique products in our digitized modern world.
RAAW is driven by engineering and we aim to create timeless products that aren’t just fashionable. Durability is key for us, as trails and riders have become ever more demanding over the years. Dozens of wild bike park days, shuttle rides with mates and endless kilometers of home trails are a common recipe for riders nowadays. And often all on the same bike, that should be capable of long climbs as well as handling the roughest descents. Mountain biking has evolved so heavily over the past ten years that we believe it’s crucial to adapt and shift priorities in bike design towards versatility, durability and sendability.
We believe that mountain bikes should be timeless products that fit like a glove and let you focus on riding. Discovering new places, riding with friends, improving your skills, big days out in the mountains and racing the clock are what mountain biking is all about. The bike is a tool and should have your back when you need it while plastering a long-lasting grin on your face.
Aluminium is the material of choice for our frames, as we believe it’s the best material for mountain bikes. Especially for bikes prioritizing the descents. It’s strong, light, impact resistant and allows for a very durable design. But there certainly isn’t one truth. And if someone enjoys a bike with a different concept, that’s totally cool with us.
We avoid using bullet point USPs and single metric comparisons such as weight. And on the subject of weight, it might well be the number one metric used in the bike sales business. Lighter is always better, right? We don’t think so. Here is a bit more on that.
No matter how durable, bikes are still mechanical devices that need a bit of love every now and then, from regular cleaning and chain lubrication, to suspension services and bearing replacements. But proper sized bearings and additional seals are a few of the details that help increase the amount of time riding before you need to head into the workshop.
And when the day comes to take your bike apart and give it some well-deserved love, it’s important to have a bike that is easy to work on. We only use a small amount of unique hardware parts and avoid stacks of spacers and washers that make tool-time a pain. Working on bikes should be reduced to a minimum, but also be a treat when you come to do it.
All of our actions come with a responsibility to our planet and the people involved. We produce and sell physical products that do use resources and require logistics. Our office is heated and we gather more miles with our cars than we would like. But, here at RAAW we do work towards a more sustainable future and are always keen to learn and adjust where needed.
For our frames, we only use aluminium. It not only offers the best set of characteristics for our bikes’ purpose, but compared to carbon fibre, being the most commonly used alternative, aluminium uses less resources during production and can be recycled at the end of its lifetime.
And talking about lifetime, the single best way to reduce the impact of a product is by increasing its lifetime. The longer a bike gets used, with one or more owners, the smaller the need for the production of a new one. Our firm focus on durability and having timeless products helps us work towards a less impactful footprint on the planet. We also emphasize this approach with our extended five-year warranty that also covers second owners of our frames.
The topic of sustainability is complex, but we believe it’s good to start where we can, learn and adjust and offset the activities we can’t avoid. If you want to learn more about our actions towards a more sustainable future, you can read more here.
Direct Sales and Direct Communication
The onset of the internet made it easier for bike brands, small and large, to sell directly to consumers. Selling direct comes with a financial benefit of saving a dealer’s and distributor's cut. But it also comes with a lot of other opportunities and challenges.
Being a relatively small company, we see that our biggest benefit in selling direct is the personal communication with our customers. Being able to talk about our products, right from the source, is hugely valuable. No matter if it’s about frame sizing, component choice, or geeky details in suspension design, we can communicate from the same team that developed the products straight to you, our customer.
And if something goes wrong, you need our help or any spare parts to get your bike back on the trails, that short communication line from us to you simply makes everything much more efficient. And on top of all that German efficiency, it’s also great to be in touch with our customers. It helps us better understand what’s happening out on the trails and eventually make our products and support better.
Seeing our bikes being ridden all over the world is such a positive feeling that can’t really be put into words. Germany is currently our biggest market, with Switzerland, the UK and the US also representing some of our most popular countries. But also seeing our bikes in places like Singapore, Mexico and Japan is simply amazing. The growing community of RAAW Riders and the shared stoke all around the world is something we will never take for granted. We try to give back to you guys with our RAAW Riders Community and love seeing how it’s developing.
Back in 2016, we started RAAW with the dream of making bikes we love riding and creating a living from that. Growing the business has been a steady process and we’ve always taken one step at a time, never rushing things. Being owner-managed and not having investors or shareholders allows us to shape the company in the most enjoyable way. This also means that we can focus on making our vision of the best products possible and prioritize our long-term strategy instead of satisfying investors with short-term financial goals. The financial success of our company is important to us, but no more than our products, working environment, community and simply, our love for riding bikes.