North Yorkshire-based Ra Bikes only had a small hop to Harrogate to show its latest creations, including this longer travel, .12 bike
Every fabricator at Bespoked absolutely lives and breathes their handiwork. Ask away and you’re hit with a multitude of intimate details and rapid-fire enthusiasm way beyond what a more mainstream manufacturer could muster. There’s little chat about marketing schedules or ideas about monetising their designs in the future. Heck, many frames haven’t even been ridden yet; the thrill apparently just wanting to show latest and greatest in freshest form at the show.
Here is part two of our daily showcase series of the best mountain bikes on show at Bespoked…
Ra Bikes .12 enduro machine
Ra main man, Rafi Richardson, is a local ripper known for pushing his bikes to the limits testing who’s evolved his full sussers from primitive single pivots into complex machines sporting alloy linkages and formed steel tubes; all entirely hand crafted in a workshop on the family farm.
This totally new enduro rig shares the same suspension/shock wrap-around design as the Ra .20 trail model available already, but ups rear travel to 165mm. There are 435mm chainstays and (with a 180mm Zeb fork) a tad under 64-degree head and 78.5-degree seat angle; numbers settled on after swinging back and forth in terms of slacker and longer on prototypes.
Rafi tunes and designs all the suspension himself and the .12 has ‘a more progressive leverage ratio than any enduro bike you can currently buy’, with a 3.2/1 to 2/1 ratio through the travel. This delivers the desired ride feel of, ‘really, really supple off the top and then supportive all the way through the travel’.
To deal with any extra forces generated, the frame is made from stiff T45 aerospace tubing; chosen as it can be formed for required packaging and stiffness. The .12 model also uses a 30mm main pivot axle and oversized 46mm Enduro Max bearings (that’s essentially a PF BB), together with a steel cage support to tie the CNC-d in-house upper links and shock together, which means the rear end can drive the coil shock cleanly with no twisting.
In cherry red, the .12 looked fantastic and it’s clear Ra bikes has really ramped up the build quality and finish on successive generations top the point the .12 looks totally ready to rip.