The Weight Obsession
If low weight is the number one priority for your new bike, then there might be other brands out there that will make your dreams come true.
Lifting a bike up, knocking on the top tube and pulling the brake lever all with one hand in your pocket might be Eurobike's most seen procedure as an indicator for performance. However, at RAAW we put our focus on the dynamics of a bike, how it handles on the trail, what feedback the bike gives you and also how it will hold up and perform after many rides.
That said, we do care about weight, a lot. We just see it as one part of the big picture and set our priorities different to most brands. If you do have different priorities when choosing a bike then there are many options out there. And that is a really good thing. People, trails and riding styles vary so much that there simply isn’t one truth.
Weight as a result and an indication of what the bike is up to
A bike that is lighter will accelerate better in all directions. It will demand less input and is easier to lift over a fence. A bike that is heavier keeps its momentum better, rides more composed and gives calmer feedback.
Instead of the driver ‘as light as possible’, we prefer to see weight as a result and an indicator on a moving scale that is related to the riding characteristics of a bike. Lighter simply isn’t always better and by the same token, heavier also isn’t always better.
Weight can be a single focus or a result of other priorities. Or even something in between. The world isn’t black and white, thankfully. Instead it’s a constant search for the best compromise. Marketeers hate that word but compromise simply describes what every brand is doing in an effort to find the best solution.
At RAAW we want bikes that we love on the trails, bikes that are durable and up to today’s tasks. Our frames offer the baseline, but also need to be matched with components that create the harmony you like. That includes suspension setup, tyre choice, bar-setup and simply all the bits and pieces that bolt onto the frame.
A lighter bike climbs better
This is true. But looking into more detail, your seated position, the efficiency of your drivetrain and suspension and the drag of your tyres are more important. Way more.
Weight mainly plays a role in short climbs where you accelerate, sprint and work with the bike. That is why road bikes and cross country bikes put a much higher focus on a low weight. But as soon as you are comfortably climbing, for a few minutes or two hours, weight becomes a smaller part in the bigger picture next to the factors mentioned earlier.
Sure, the same bike with a lower weight will climb a little bit quicker. But a bike with a poor seated position, an inefficient drivetrain or draggy tyres will make that lightweight number climb a whole lot worse.
As a good specific example, a RAAW frame comes with around 700 grams of hardware that adds to the durability and solid feel of the bike. It would have been easy to reduce the hardware to 200 grams. It would have even been cheaper. But we preferred to go down the road we did and prioritise durability and reliability. They’re some of the core values at RAAW, and drive a lot of the decisions in the bikes.
Carbon fiber options from other brands will be lighter, as well as some aluminum options. But not all of them, and even carbon fiber options often go well over the three-kilogram mark. Some brands even forgoing publishing a frame weight altogether.
We don’t want to go down this comparison road, though, as it leads nowhere except for a long list that tells you something very theoretical. Bikes do differ in weight, but they differ so much more in their riding characteristics that it doesn’t do the bigger picture justice to just use this single metric as the be all and end all of comparisons.
Dedicated to making durable and sendable mountain bikes
If you want only a light bike, then unfortunately, we won’t be able to help you. But if you are willing to look beyond marketing taglines and single metric comparisons, we offer the bikes that we simply love riding ourselves, bikes that have grown from life-long passions for riding that made us decide to dedicate RAAW to making durable and sendable mountain bikes.
There are so many things that go into making a bike a bike and eventually putting a smile on your face. Let’s not just look at one little number to draw all our conclusions.