After recording a successful platinum album their first time in the studio, a lot of bands struggle to maintain momentum through their sophomore release. Raaw frame engineer Ruben Torenbeek’s lauded first production model is now on its second iteration, and today he’s ready to follow up the Raaw Madonna V2 with a shorter travel ripper called the Jibb.
Keeping with the original Raaw program to design fast bikes that require scant maintenance and are easily serviced by any home mechanic, the Jibb frame and rocker-link are both aluminum, with external cable routing apart from the seat tube, and external BB cups. There’s ample space for a water bottle on all four sizes of the 29er frame, and a set of bolts under the top tube to mount whatever accessories you like. The practical speed machine leans into 135mm of rear suspension travel with a 150 or 160mm fork, and up to 2.6″ tires finish off the bump-damping game.
The Jibb takes mechanical simplicity a step further, with every bolt in the bike using a 5mm Allen key. Along with that clarity, the frame pivots use ten 28mm bearings and two 52mm bearings, making those annual maintenance tasks as easy as possible.
Ruben and the other minds behind Raaw wanted to keep much of the Madonna V2 frame’s character in this shorter travel twin, with the idea that it can be ridden on the same trails with a little more playful style. This ethos is exemplified in the stock 203mm rear brake mount, though there are 180mm mounts available for folks who live in flatter areas.
Reach across the size run is 1cm shorter than the 160mm Madonna, and chain stay lengths stretch back to better balance the large and XL frames. The virtual seat tube angle is a touch slacker at 77.5° to give the bike a similar riding feel to the longer Madonna, and all those seat tubes are appropriately short, with the size small sporting a 395mm dropper-holster. The decidedly manageable 65.5° head tube angle (with a 150mm fork) brings the total wheelbase to 1172, 120, 1240, and 1276mm across the run.
The bike’s chosen chain stay length and head tube angle aim to provide optimal traction from a natural riding position, and riders can also purchase inserts to test and adjust the chain stay length to their preferences.
The simple four-bar suspension linkage serves up 15% progression, readying the bike for either air or coil-sprung shocks. Ruben says that “the high starting leverage ratio combined with ball bearings on the shock pivot makes the suspension supple in all situations.” Additionally, the influence of braking forces on the suspension are designed to increase as the bike dips deeper into its travel, providing a more supportive platform on the rough trails that it’s intended for.
The team at Raaw has grown from one to three since they launched in 2017, with three freelancers helping out in various parts of the company. This new bike doubles their offering to two, sticking with fun, low maintenance, models that their customers love to cover in custom parts as much as they do mud. Ruben said that the lack of shocks in the market has been a stressful ordeal, and those complications have cut much of their ability to sell complete bikes for the moment. He doesn’t have any desire to turn Raaw into another large mainstream bike company, and the brand’s smaller size can make component sourcing difficult.
Raaw engineers work closely with Formula and Fox suspension to create custom tunes, and the frame can be ordered with any of their shocks. The Jibb is available worldwide for €1,924.37 outside the EU, or in Europe for €2,290. There will be a limited run of complete bikes available to EU customers this spring, starting at €5,490. All four sizes can be purchased in black or the brushed alloy with a clear coat.
Click over to Raaw MTB for additional details.