Before going any further, we'd like to apologise. That's because, despite Mondraker's Vantage being introduced last year, it's a bike that hasn't appeared on BikeRadar. In fact, scrolling through the web it appears the all-mountain hardtail has very much slipped under the radar in general. We think it's a bike you should be taking notice of, and here's why.
In common with many of Mondraker's offerings, it can't match the kit of some of its competitors. That's okay though, because once you look harder into the equation it doesn't really have any competitors – what we mean by that is you won't find this geometry elsewhere, not yet anyway. Many of our testers adore the ride delivered by Mondraker's Forward Geometry bikes, but to get somewhere close to it from another brand you'd have to go for a custom built frame.
What are we talking about exactly? Well, here are some numbers…
An XL Vantage has a 670mm top tube, a 1210mm wheelbase and a head angle of 67 degrees. Compare that with an Orange Crush in its largest XL size – a similar alloy hardtail optimised around a 140mm fork – and what are the figures? A 613mm top tube, a wheelbase of just 1194mm and, despite having a fork that's 10mm longer, the same head angle. The Vantage is every bit as radical as its bouncy brothers.
At £1,699 the 650b wheeled Vantage RR is the better of two Vantage builds Mondraker are providing (in the UK) for 2015. There's a tapered 140mm Fox 32 CTD Evolution fork up front, it rolls on a DT Swiss E1900 wheelset and the transmission is 2x10 SRAM X9. Stopping is handled by Avid's budget DB3 anchors and you even get a remote dropper post from X-Fusion. Mondraker claims a total weight for this build at 12.9kg (28.44lbs).
Perhaps the most exciting thing about this bike, though, is the fact that you don't have to just buy it as a bike – and the frame only price might just surprise you, at £399 including Mondraker's own 30mm Forward Geometry stem.
Our sister publication What Mountain Bike will be putting the Vantage through its paces – so stay tuned for a full review.