MONDRAKER FOXY CARBON XR TEST
MONDRAKER FOXY CARBON XR
A Unique Spanish Geometry
Forward Geometry: Mondraker built the Foxy with their unique Forward Geometry design that lengthens the front center and shortens the stem. Our test riders found that their hands rested in a natural and comfortable position; however, their confidence at high speeds was greatly increased.
Mondraker, a Spanish company that started manufacturing bikes in 2001, is the leading innovator of Forward Geometry and sponsors one of the fastest downhill racers in the world, Danny Hart. Forward Geometry was introduced to the world in 2013 when Mondraker’s design team decided to push the “front center” (the front triangle) of its existing trailbike out by 60 millimeters and drastically reduce its stem length to 10 millimeters to closely mimic a modern downhill bike. This concept has since been refined, and now all of Mondraker’s Forward Geometry bikes have a 30-millimeter stem and a top tube long enough to land a Boeing 747. This design has real-world proof backing it. Danny Hart, the 2011 Downhill World Champion, rode his Mondraker into first place at four World Cup races in 2016 and then went on to win the 2016 Downhill World Championship, with fellow Mondraker rider Laurie Greenland nipping at his heels for a second-place finish. Mondraker sells a wide variety of bikes—from cross- country to downhill—in over 40 countries, but, unfortunately, the U.S. is not one of them. Don’t get upset just yet, though, as we have been told that Mondraker is working hard to get its brand stateside. We decided to snag Mondraker’s Foxy Carbon XR, an all-mountain machine, to see if this Spanish bike could be our secret weapon for our next big group ride.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
Many modern bikes claim to have long, slack and low geom- etries that seem to get more aggressive every year. Mondraker’s approach to bike geometry is a little different. Mondraker started off with a bike that took it to the extreme, and then dialed it back and fine-tuned the design to a place where many companies appear to be heading now. The Foxy Carbon XR is just one of the Mondraker bikes to utilize this design. The Foxy is made for aggressive riders looking for a bike that is an all-out speed demon on the descents while still being light and efficient enough to make it to the top of any climb. Mondraker categorizes the Foxy as an all-mountain machine, and we couldn’t agree more.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
The Foxy is built with a carbon frame featuring Mondraker’s Zero Suspension System with 140 millimeters of travel and an adjustable 140–160-millimeter Fox TALAS fork. The frame also features Mondraker’s unique Forward Geometry, one-piece Monoblock aluminum upper links and a 12×142 rear axle. The Foxy has a Press-Fit bottom bracket, internal cable routing, a mud guard protecting the rear shock, a carbon downtube guard and a custom chainstay protector. The head tube is fairly slack at 66.5 degrees, and the top tube is a massive 25 inches on our medium-size frame. The chainstays have a short length of 16.9 inches, bringing the Foxy’s wheelbase to a fairly long 47 inches.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
Spread your wings: This all-mountain machine comes ready to rip with a SRAM Eagle X01 drivetrain. Our test riders appreciated this wide-range gearing on every part of the trail.
Our Foxy came spec’d with a high-end drivetrain and factory-edition Fox suspension. The SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain, featuring a wide-range 10-50-tooth cassette, provides a low-enough range to climb up a wall while retaining the ability to hammer the pedals during the commute to the trails. This drivetrain has a type- three clutch, along with an aggressive tooth profile that eliminates the need for any type of chainguide. The Fox suspension on the Mondraker is top-notch and gives riders the ability to tune their suspension for their location and riding style. The Foxy is built with standout features from head to toe that all add up to a well-oiled, high-performance machine.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
It didn’t take too long to get the suspension on our Foxy set up just right, but we did find it more challenging than on other bikes. First off, the rear shock is tucked deep into the frame, which helps keep the bike’s center of gravity low but makes it harder to access the shock when dialing in the sag. The Fox TALAS fork requires a higher psi than Fox’s Float fork, so we recommend following the tuning guide found on the website to find the correct air pressure for your weight. We set up the TALAS with 25-percent sag, adjusted the rebound accordingly and gave the fork five clicks of low-speed compression. We matched the rear end, grabbed our gear and headed out to the trails.
Zero Suspension System: Mondraker’s Zero Suspension System uses a dual-link design that floats its shocks between two links. This design allows the shock to be compressed from both ends, making it more sensitive to small bumps as well as big hits.
Mondraker’s Forward Geometry is designed to place a rider’s hands in a natural riding position by increasing the front center and decreasing the stem. Sitting on the Mondraker, our test riders were pleasantly surprised with its natural fit. Although the bike’s top tube looks like a 1/4-mile drag strip, our testers found they could easily reach out to grab the grips with bent elbows.
Mondraker’s fairly unique design isn’t just for descending prowess; there are some climbing benefits to Forward Geometry as well. The Foxy’s long wheelbase and short stem gave riders a firmly planted front wheel while climbing. Combining this geometry with SRAM’s 50-tooth cassette and an adjustable travel fork allowed us to climb all of our favorite climbs relatively easily.
Pin it: The Foxy craves speed and begs for a rider who is willing to stay off the brakes during the descents.
The Foxy’s worst enemy is tight switchback turns. Our test riders tried a few different techniques to navigate switch-backs and often ended up fast-planting a foot to maintain their balance. Wide-open, full-throttle turns, however, can be taken at Mach speed. The Fox suspension supported our riders well, and the Maxxis tires dug into the dirt, providing great traction on many surfaces.
Tackle steep trails with ease: The Mondraker’s Forward Geometry design inspired confidence in our test riders when it came to blasting down steep trails.
All we can say is, hang on tight. The Foxy’s long wheelbase, short stem and 780-millimeter bars provide high-speed stability similar to that of a dual-crown downhill bike. This Mondraker is a drag racer down any high-speed descent and continued to beg us to let off the brakes and let it do its thing. Slower descents or rolling hills seemed to just irritate the Foxy, as it’s a bike that truly loves all- out speed.
The Foxy is capable of hitting speeds that require serious stopping power. Mondraker equipped the Foxy with SRAM Guide RS brakes that use the power of a four-piston caliper to slow a rider down. The brakes feature tool-free reach adjustments and can be operated with just one finger. Our test riders felt confident in the Foxy’s ability to scrub enough speed to make optimal line choices instead of just barreling down the mountain.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
Mondraker’s product manger did a great job assembling a build kit that offers all the bells and whistles without going completely over the top. The suspension, drivetrain, cockpit and other components matched the bike well and aided its overall performance. Our Foxy made a slight buzzing sound when we bottomed out the suspension, which we isolated down to either the shock’s fender or the rear brake line that is wrapped in a rubber guard and floats closely to the rear wheel. We added a small zip-tie to the non- drive-side chainstay to help hold the brake line in place, which remedied the problem.
Mondraker is not yet selling its bikes in the U.S., so unless you plan on flying overseas to pick yours up, you are probably out of luck. However, according to Mondraker employees, the brand is working hard to bring its high-performance bikes stateside, and we sure hope they do. The Foxy is a wicked-fast bike suited for aggressive riders who truly have a need for speed.
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