Mondraker Foxy XR - First ride £3999

Controversial Forward Geometry trail bike

BikeRadar score 4.5/5

The Foxy XR features Mondraker’s new and somewhat controversial Forward Geometry. Now it’s in full production, we put the Foxy XR through its paces.

Ride & handling: Forward Geometry influences capability in a good way

Initially, the stubby 10mm stem took a little getting used to, but once we were comfortable with it, we really could unleash the XR’s potential.

Thanks to the rangier cockpit, climbing is extremely comfortable, and when the trail gets technical and steep there’s no real front wheel lift or wander, and it’s easy to make small weight shifts to help optimise traction.

It’s when the speed increases and the terrain becomes more demanding you get to really experience just how capable the Foxy XR is. The more neutral riding position that the Forward Geometry creates means attacking the trail is easier than ever and totally confidence inspiring. 

Tackling the ugliest of trails at speed could be done with more finesse and less body-English when compared to similar 140/150mm (5.5/5.9in) travel bikes, meaning you can get away with more and ride even faster. The steeper the trail gets, the more fun the XR is to ride. Turns can be carved and speed is handled with plenty of stability.   

In rougher terrain or on big hits, the progressive nature of the rear suspension means there’s enough feedback on offer to keep you in tune with what the rear wheel is up to, but there’s still the composure and travel to keep you in control.

If you’re worried about tighter trails, don’t be. We snaked it down some of our tightest singletrack with ease and didn’t once even think about the lengthier wheelbase. We would suggest some Locktite for the shock bolts though, as they did loosen off a couple of times early on.

The 15mm quick-release axle keeps the Fox 34 fork stiff but light

Frame & equipment: Controversial 10mm stem and unusual geometry

The big news here is obviously the Forward Geometry. Where the standard Foxy comes with a 70mm stem, the XR comes clad with a 10mm stem. But that 60mm isn’t lost, it’s added to the frame’s front centre, creating a longer BB-to-front-axle measurement which Mondraker claim “offers more stability, more reactivity and more confidence” on the trail.

The Kashima coated Fox CTD rear shock plays an integral part in the Zero Suspension system, controlling the progressive 140mm (5.5in) of rear wheel travel. There are ISCG 05 mounts ready for a guide and a 135mm Maxle rear axle to help keep things nice and stiff out back. As you would expect for the price, the Foxy XR is clad with Fox’s CTD fork and shock, both of which are Kashima coated.

The XR has the chunkier Fox 34 fork with 160mm (6.3in) of travel, rather than the Fox 32 140mm (5.5in) travel fork the standard Foxy has. For the aggressive riding we had planned, Silverfish fitted an e*thirteen chainguide, but production bikes actually come with a twin-ring setup.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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