Following on from its phenomenal Forward Geometry range of aluminium bikes, Mondraker has just released one of the most exciting trail bikes we’ve ever seen – the Foxy Carbon.
The Spanish bike manufacturer’s radical Forward Geometry concept extends the top tube of the bike by up to 60mm and uses either a 10mm or 30mm stem. This keeps the cockpit the same as equivalent-sized bikes, but puts the front wheel further out in front by lengthening the top tube.
Video: Mondraker CEO Miguel Pina on the new Foxy Carbon
The effect of this is increased grip and stability in almost all situations; the wheel doesn’t lift on steep climbs, the direct steering response keeps things accurate through tight switchbacks and you’ll never be pitched over the bars on descents. It also distributes the rider’s weight evenly between the front and rear wheels, offering the optimum riding stance.
2015 Mondraker Foxy RR Carbon
Mondraker released this technology on select models in 2013, but committed to it across their range in 2014. To do this when the rest of the industry had been taking things 10mm at a time takes balls, but it’s paid off for Mondraker and now other brands are starting to realise the potential.
2015 Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR
Frame: commitment to beauty
The geometry of the new Foxy Carbon is based around that of the 2014 Foxy frame. Its shape follows the same lines as the alloy version, but is more refined and classier looking. The domed area of the top tube – where it meets the head tube – is more streamlined, accentuating the length of the front triangle.
But looks aren’t the only things the carbon Foxy has going for it. By using a careful layup procedure and the highest grade of carbon available, Mondraker has produced an incredibly stiff front end. This is key to the Forward Geometry concept; unwanted flex in such a long front triangle would give terrible handling. Three years of development work have paid off though, and the frame is precise and reliable, yet comfortable and resilient.
2015 Mondraker Foxy R Carbon
High-end carbon fibre production is dealt with best in the Far East, and the Foxy Carbon emerges from the same factory as other well known high-end frames, though is the most advanced and intricately produced frame to date. The bottom bracket boom shows this off perfectly. It protrudes unsupported from the curved join of the down tube and seat tube. But you’d never know – it’s rock solid under power and suffers no apparent torsional flex.
The Foxy Carbon is also based around Mondraker’s proven Zero suspension platform, which uses a floating shock design to offer 140mm of travel, and is totally isolated to braking and pedaling forces. Where some other designs rely on pedaling forces to offer a compression-resistant platform, the Zero system works so well you simply don’t notice.
It’s very progressive too, so when you’re riding hard there are no nasty surprises or strange characteristics. It’s certainly one of the best platforms available, and offers no-nonsense performance.
The detail: a host of neat features
Keeping the Foxy Carbon looking clean is an internal cable route, using the large down tube to hold the cables. The Foxy is compatible with Stealth type seatposts, and has cable entry points on top and underneath the down tube for optimal routing.
Internal cable routing
This impressive looking bottom bracket area of the frame is key in making the frame perform well. Mondraker spent a long time, and developed many prototype frames to perfect this – it’s certainly one of the most visually pleasing parts of the frame.
The Foxy Carbon's bottom bracket area
While the aluminium Foxy looked robust and stocky up front, the head tube area of the Foxy Carbon looks sleek and almost organic. It’s not just about aesthetics though; the long and stiff front triangle is key to the arrow-straight steering precision.
Smooth head tube
Though optimised around a single-ring setup, the Foxy accepts a bolt-on machined aluminium front mech mount, using the same mounting bolts as the neat shock mudguard.
Removable front mech mount
Despite the security of modern single-ring chain retention, you don’t want to foul your carbon frame if the chain jumps off. Mondraker specs a guard that mounts on to the ISCG mounts, specifically to catch the chain if this happens.
ISCG mounted protector plate
The FG30 stem comes as stock on the 140mm travel Foxy Carbon, although the extreme racing model – the Foxy XR – also comes with the aggressive FG10 stem for direct control, as well as a 160mm travel fork.
The shock is actuated from both ends, floating between the lower linkage and the upper rocker. It gives no pedal feedback, no brake jack and has a naturally rising rate which, combined with the damping on the rear shock, offers a very progressive feel with a supple beginning stroke.
Mondraker's Zero suspension platform
Ride and handling: light, lively and agile
We recently test-rode the Foxy Carbon RR in Alicante, Spain. Anyone familiar with Forward Geometry will feel at home the Foxy Carbon RR – it offers the same confidence for a noticeably lower weight (some 2kg lighter than the aluminium model).
The light feel doesn’t just come from the low weight though. The frame feel is incredibly lively. It’s responsive, light and skippy, which made us wonder how it would feel when thrown in at the deep end.
Luckily Mondraker is a company made of riders, and those riders had one hell of a test ride planned for us, led by the company’s bike-shredding CEO, Miguel Pina. Following a clutch-melting uplift we arrived high in the mountains at a notorious trail – apparently the last big ride here resulted in a broken ankle, a broken arm and several pinch punctures!
Andrew Dodd test-riding the Mondraker Foxy RR Carbon in Alicante
We flew straight in to a gully filled with babyhead-sized rocks that would normally have alarm bells ringing, but the Foxy felt planted and dampened, never out of shape or out of its depth. The carbon construction is to thank for this, as well as the oddly silent ride – at times we wondered if we’d dropped the chain or even had one at all! The Foxy Carbon is a seriously quiet bike.
It’s also very agile – changing direction, even at speed, was a relaxed affair and we never worried about approaching rocks or turns. The front-end stiffness really does offer incredible precision – we were able to point the front wheel into minute gaps with confidence, even when running scared from Mondraker’s test riders, who were always hot on our heels!
The Foxy’s climbing prowess is impressive too. Even in loose, dry Spanish conditions we easily ascended steep and technical climbs.
Where the previous aluminium Foxy frame was stiff and offered a great ride, the Foxy Carbon offers a new, updated feel. It has all the ride attributes of a lightweight all-mountain bike and the downhill ferocity of a long-travel, slack-angled bike. Which is exactly what it aims for.
The Foxy RR Carbon was light, lively and agile
Having spent a lot of time on the aluminium models, we can certainly see where Mondraker are headed with the Foxy Carbon. And it’s going to upset a lot of major bike manufacturers that have committed to (shorter) expensive carbon fibre mouldings.
That alone makes us smile – Mondraker made the decision to produce this beast of a bike when many manufacturers were still scratching their heads over 27.5in wheels, let alone long wheelbase geometry.
As far as we’re concerned, the future for trail bikes is definitely longer, slacker and lower, and right now, Mondraker are the forefront of this movement. Unless you plan on buying a Foxy Carbon, we wouldn’t advise test riding one – it’s so good, a purchase would be inevitable!
UK pricing for the 2015 Mondraker Foxy Carbon range is as follows:
- Foxy R Carbon £4,399
- Foxy RR Carbon £4,999
- Foxy XR Carbon £5,999
- Foxy XR frame £2,699