Mondraker Foxy £1699

Spanish trail tamer

BikeRadar score 2.5/5

The new-for-2010 Mondraker Foxy features the Spanish company's Zero short-link suspension system delivering 140mm of travel. This is the base bike – higher-specced (and more expensive) Foxy R and RR models round out the range.

The Foxy feels like a pocket downhill bike, with a low-slung top tube, relaxed front end and suspension with rather more recommended sag than most. However, the RockShox Ario shock is no match for the Fox units on most other bikes at this price.

Ride and handling: Low-slung and chuckable but needs plenty of rocks and roots to really shine

Mondraker's shallow-fronted geometry and low-slung frame encourages the kind of attacking style that pretty much ensures you're hitting things hard and fast. That's a good thing, because the RockShox Ario shock is something of liability, lending the back end a rather wooden and stunted feeling. It put one of our testers in mind of one of Proflex's uninspired lumps of urethane from days of yore.

The RockShox Recon fork isn't too bad – it lacks fluidity, but a more supple fork wouldn't do the back end any favours. The regular quick-release axle looks out of place compared to the bolt-through options on most other bikes at this price, though.

It's a shame, because the frame and suspension design are fundamentally sound – with a more capable shock in there we suspect that the Foxy would be very good indeed, making the most of the “pocket downhill bike” feel. There's an upside to the slightly unyielding shock, though – the bike is impressively stable under power.

Build the steepness, speed and scale of rocks and the Foxy starts to come alive. The consensus was that there's a lot of potential in the Mondraker, but that you'd do best to look further up the range to realise it.

Frame: Effective steep rear/slack front geometry makes for a fun ride

There's a strong family resemblance between the different models in the Mondraker line, with the Foxy sharing the humpbacked top tube and angular back end of the Summum downhill race bike. Although the tubes are a little smaller, there's still an air of robustness thanks to the big flared 1.125/1.5in headtube and girthsome square-section down tube.

At the bottom bracket the tube gives way to a four-legged forged section that accommodates Mondraker's short-link rear end. The floating shock sits inside and is attached to both links, while a direct-mount front mech is bolted to the trailing edge of one of the legs.

Sizing is slightly curious, with the Foxy available in M, L and XL. That makes it appear that shorter riders are out of luck, but given that the M test bike measured under 17in centre-to-top with a 22.8in top tube, it’s probably worth trying one even if your usual ride is described as “small”.

Equipment: Budget suspension parts hinder performance

With the entry-level Foxy sharing a frame with the spendier R and RR models, Mondraker have had to make a few compromises to hit the attractive £1,750 price point. The most obvious is the Recon fork and Ario shock. Elsewhere you'll find a SRAM X-5/X-7 transmission and Truvativ Firex cranks.

The compact yet effective Formula K18 brakes are a highlight. There's plenty of Mondraker's own-brand Onoff kit, including the wheels, but it's all dependable enough. Kenda Blue Groove tyres are a popular choice, but the 2.1 size is a little undernourished.

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