[Tested] Mondraker’s New Foxy Carbon 29 XR
[Tested] Mondraker’s New Foxy Carbon 29 XR
Today, Mondraker is unveiling their new Foxy Carbon with 29-inch wheels – a trail bike with 150mm of rear travel and a very attractive design. We got to ride it on our home trails before the official launch. Below you will find a video that summarizes the characteristics of the bike and presents the test summary, available in writing in this article below.
- Frame material: Carbon Fiber Stealth Air technology
- Wheel size: 29″
- Suspension layout: Zero
- Adjustable geometry: yes, stock on the XR with eccentric headset cups
- Front /rear travel: 160/150 mm
- Boost spacing: yes, front and rear
- Metric shock spacing: yes (205 × 62.5mm Trunnion)
- Tubeless wheels and tires: yes
- Drivetrain: Eagle 1 × 12 with 32T chainring
- Front derailleur mount: no
- ISCG mount: yes
- Bottle holder: yes
- Frame only availability: yes
- Weight M: 13.4 kg (verified)
- Warranty: Lifetime
XR: 9.399 US$ (tested)
RR: 7.199 US$
R: 5.399 US$
Frame: 4.150 US$ with Fox DHX2, 4.000 US$ EUR with DPX2
The model under test is their top of the range bike. Before going into specifics, I’d like to point out that the rear tire is a Maxxis Aggressor 2.3 “, while in the shop you will find a Minion DHR II 2.4”. Also, you’ll see standard chain-stay protector in black, instead of the transparent one pictured.
The frame is completely made of carbon, including the rear triangle. The small exception is for the two linkage plates, in aluminum, but joined by a carbon part. I won’t beat around the bush, personally I find this frame to be gorgeous. In particular, the horizontal tube, very thin, and the upper part of the seat tube have an attractive aesthetic and clean design. The cable routing is internal, the holes in the frame are generous in size and, importantly, the hardware is easy to handle and holds the cables firmly. Cables that are easy to pass from one side to the other thanks to integrated internal guides.
There is also space for a bottle holder, positioned rather high and therefore easy to reach when you are in the saddle.
The suspension scheme is the Zero of Mondraker, slightly different from that of the Foxy 27.5 for the pivots positioned differently, but still a virtual pivot: a quadrilateral linkage with a full floater. In the XR model we find a coil spring shock that manages the 150mm of travel, the Fox DHX2. Given its position exposed to the dirt raised by the rear wheel, Mondraker has equipped the Foxy with a removable plastic rear fender.
The bottom bracket is threaded, while the is no mount for the front derailleur. The drivetrain is a 1 × 12 SRAM Eagle with a 32-tooth front chainring
SRAM also handles the brakes – Code RSCs with 200 / 180mm front / rear discs, while Fox has been chosen for the 125mm Transfer dropper seatpost and for their robust 36 Factory fork. The wheels are DT Swiss SX1501 29 Spline One with 30mm inner diameter rims encased with Maxxis tires: Minion DHF 2.5 “and Aggressor 2.3”.
The cockpit is from Mondraker’s house brand, an Onoff Stoic Carbon with 35mm length stem and 780mm wide handlebar. The rise is quite high for a 29, but I’ll talk about this more, later.
Mondraker “invented” the “Forward geometry”, then a slightly less extreme version became almost a standard on modern mountain bikes, and they apply it on the new Foxy 29. You can immediately see the 470mm reach on the M test size, paired with a stem that’s only 35mm long. The chainstays are not excessively short, a good choice to keep the front on the ground even when climbing up the steeps, while the choice of a fork with an offset of only 44mm is interesting, bringing the wheelbase back a bit to give to bike agility. Modern also is the saddle angle of 75.5°, a given that now I look with great interest because on bikes with so much front travel helps to keep the weight forward on the ramps.
On the trail
The 29-inch bikes with rear travel of 140 / 150mm are my favorites for their versatility, for this reason when I read the specifications of Foxy Carbon 29 it immediateley caught my attention. They are not the lightest bikes in circulation, since they weigh at least 13kg, but the efficiency of pedaling uphill given by the big wheels and their downhill qualities make it allrounders that overshadow both the so-called enduro and the more classic trail bikes with less travel, and the weight becomes only a secondary factor.
To test the Foxy well I took it, as the first lap, on the crossing of San Lucio, a path where I know practically every single stone, full of uphill technical climbs and long descents on singletrack. If I can stay in the saddle there, on the most difficult passages, I know the bike is good. Once I checked the DHX2 sag, around 27%, and set the 36 to 25%, I began the long initial climb. I had never before tried a Mondraker and I have to say that I liked it a lot for its neutral response to pedaling impulses. Initially I kept the lever of the shock on “Firm”, for fear of sinking too deep in the travel and therefore not making it up the climbs, then I saw how the suspension remained high in travel even when open and with my weight on the saddle and I left all open for the rest of the trail ride.
I also had some fear that the front would pop up off of the ground too easily, especially because of the rise of the handlebars, but I was wrong. It is easy to keep it attached to the ground and consequently keep the Foxy under control. In any case, if I had to buy it, I would change the handlebars for one a bit lower, especially knowing the bike is a 29er with 160mm fork of travel, therefore already pretty high on front.
In short, uphill the Foxy behaves exactly like the all mountain or trail bike 29er that you’d want it to, thanks to the geometry, which is not extreme. Mondraker has also succeeded to make it climb like a bike with less travel due to brilliant kinematics. Above all, not going too far, with too slack of a steering angle (66 °), the Spaniards have made it easy to make directional changes to the bike regardless of whether the terrain is flat or steep. Also provided with the XR is an eccentric headset cup to increase the angle up to 65 °, but it was not supplied to our test bike, so I only rode it with the stock configuration.
Coil spring rear shock, 36 Factory fork, 2.5″ front tire, 30mm rims, a wide handlebar and Code RSC brakes indicate that this bike is meant to handle anything. Mondraker even put a 200mm disc up front. In a nutshell: the Codes handled the braking very well as they are rated for much gnarlier riding than this bike is even designed for.
The rear suspension is fairly linear, which helps keep the Foxy stable on the fast, battered terrain, as it filters away any roughness and feedback. On the other hand I often came close to bottoming out, but without really “feeling” it, thanks to the generous bottom out bumper that Fox put in DHX2. I would really like to try the bike with an X2 or the DPX2, to have some more progressivity. This attribute reminded me very much of the rear travel of the Yeti SB 5.5, very similar in its linearity. It is precisely this linearity, however, that gives security to the so-called “weekend warrior” who does not do competitions: he can use all of the travel fairly easily, and has a setup that works well without eating precious centimeters of travel. Being an all mountain / trail bike, it makes sense.
Raising the front end and pumping it over obstacles is a breeze, while the rear is less lively due to the coil spring, but I’m sure that with an air shock out back, the behavior would change. The Foxy is a blast on sections that feature turn after turn, provided that you give it the proper input, given the long reach. The 44mm rake of the 36, combined with a very short handlebar stem help reel the front end in.
The whole frame is very stiff and when you bear down on the bike in turns, it goes where you want without feeling nervous. This is also thanks to the excellent suspension and the grip of the Minion DHF, one of my favorite tires ever. The DT Swiss wheels, with their rather silent freewheel, fly under the radar in terms of graphics, but in terms of sturdiness and durability of the hubs they have done a fine job despite not being carbon fiber.
Some considerations on the details of the frame.
The fender placed to protect the shock does its job, but no miracles. From the top some dirt does make its way to the suspension. Nothing dramatic, but consider having to clean that part of the bike quite often. Always staying in the central movement area, the brake and gear cables pass underneath, a detail that in most cases does not bring problems, but that it would be better to have been solved in another way.
The Mondraker Foxy Carbon 29 is a very versatile bike with which you can climb everywhere and get off on fun trails of all kinds. I’d recommended especially for those who want a single mountain bike to do a bit of everything. The design is very successful or, if you want, you can more aptly define it as spectacular.