28th June 2022
A Mason RAW Collaboration with Hope Technology
What better way to celebrate a UK-made trail bike than a collaboration with our friends and manufacturers of impeccable bicycle components, Hope Technology?
Hope has been designing, testing, and manufacturing components in Barnoldswick, UK since 1989 and their beautifully machined, high-performance, and durable parts have garnered a worldwide following. With the last few years placing unprecedented strain on the industry supply chain, focussing on more localised production can bring great benefits, not least in terms of more reliable production schedules but also from environmental and economical sustainability perspectives.
Our RAW mountain bike frame is fabricated and painted in Scotland by Fiveland Bikes from a mix of Dedacciai steel tubing custom formed for us in Italy (top tube, down tube, and stays) with a UK-made and custom-shaped Reynolds seat tube. The head tube is machined in the UK by Bear frame supplies, and the dropouts and brake mount are proprietary and sourced from Italy. This culminates in a frame that balances responsive and engaging handling with long-distance comfort and pedalling efficiency. The geometry is designed to compliment these traits and add stability and practicality for long rides.
The first long-term review by Jim Clarkson for Offroad.cc can be seen here. Jim sums the bike up well in the final paragraph:
It’s a bike that feels classic - in that it benchmarks how good a hardtail should be. It also is absolutely clear about its purpose and use. I can’t fault anything on the RAW - it’s really fun to ride, it thrives on the energy you put in making you keen to feed it for more. As a high-end steel hardtail, it is class-leading with bespoke levels of fabrication producing a sublime ride...
The RAW's bike packing and ultra racing credentials have been proven by Josh Ibbett's 4th place at the Highland Trail 550 last year and Angus Young's recent Dales Divide win and Fastest Known Time, so we wanted to build a bike that highlighted the other side of its personality - the fast, fun UK trail bike. This bike wants to be thrashed through the local woods on your favourite ribbons of singletrack or taken for full days out smashing trail centre laps in the mountains.
At the heart of the bike is Hope's forged and intricately machined Evo crankset which is turning a wireless Sram AXS Eagle transmission. Hope has also taken care of the wheelset with their indomitable Fortus 30 rims on Pro4 hubs and the braking with time-proven Tech 3 levers and 4 pot callipers. Handling steering duties are Hope's AM stem, carbon handlebar, and 44mm headset. Suspension is provided by the Rockshox SID Ultimate 35, which has a blend of suppleness, support, stiffness, and light weight that is ideally suited to the RAW frame. Dropping the Fizik Terra saddle is the X-Fusion Manic in 170mm length with this frame being able to take even longer travel posts due to the optional external bottle bosses on the seat tube. For this bike, some outright rolling speed has been sacrificed for cornering grip and protection by way of the Maxxis DHF/Aggressor in 29x2.5".
Of course, there are some parts here that aren't of the UK or European manufacture, the fork, drivetrain, tyres, and dropper post included, so we could have gone further if time and money had allowed: German one-man-band Intend is making boutique and beautiful suspension, Ingrid are making some eye-catching drivetrain parts in Italy, and we have to mention Pembree making exquisite pedals here in the UK - This is just to name a few European manufacturers doing exciting things.
With the world slowly coming to the realisation that having so much of our goods produced en-mass on the other side of the planet is highly damaging to the environment and local economies, the locale of manufacture is more pertinent than ever.
It's really good to see so many up-and-coming European makers in the industry today, and although we have much further to go we're certainly making a step in the right direction.
All of our complete bikes can be customised during the ordering process; use the simple configure tool on the product page to spec the bicycle as you wish. If you want components that aren't available on our webshop, please contact us for details.