Mondraker’s top 2020 Crafty Carbon is under 20kg, but will cost you a five-figure sum

A 19.3kg claimed weight is impressive for a 150mm travel enduro-electric mountain bike with a Bosch motor, but so is the £10,799 price tag.

The Mondraker Crafty Carbon RR SL

The Mondraker Crafty Carbon is all-new for 2020 with a no-compromise frame designed to get the weight sub-20kg.

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Mondraker claims that it’s the lightest full-power, full-feature, enduro-ready e-mountain bike on the market, and it may well be right.

The carbon-framed bike, with a fourth-generation Bosch Performance CX motor, has three different models, with the top RR SL getting a spec that’s designed to perform but get weight as low as possible.

The two other models, the RR and R, are still highly weight-competitive but arguably have a more trail-competitive spec.

Mondraker Crafty Carbon
Bosch’s Kiox display is easy to read and understand… once it’s been changed from Spanish to English!
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

Mondraker says that it’s built the bike very much with performance in mind, wanting it to become the benchmark bike out there. This means great on-trail performance with that low weight.

The Mondraker Crafty Carbon frame

The bikes come with a familiar Mondraker silhouette, but there are some subtle differences to the previous Crafty because Mondraker has re-worked the Zero Suspension linkage to better work for e-MTBs.

This has resulted in the shock sitting a touch further forward in the frame instead of splitting the seat tube.

There’s also beefy 17mm thru-axle bolts for the main pivot, as well as a re-worked lower rotating link that’s much bigger than before and a carbon upper link to shed more weight.

The suspension has been given a more stable feel, with more support and a slightly firmer feel. It also has less chain-growth through its stroke.

The idea is to give it a more controlled feeling, both up and down hill. An increased leverage ratio on the shock is also said to give a more progressive stroke while still being more supple earlier on, for smaller hits.

Mondraker Crafty Carbon
Mondraker’s Zero Suspension lay out.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

As expected, Mondraker keeps its Forward Geometry concept, which has been around since 2012, for long reaches, short stems and slack head angles.

While it used to stand out, other brands have caught on to the long, low, slack theme, and I’d say that the Crafty is no longer an outlier in its geometry.

The large does have a roomy 490mm reach and well-proportioned 455mm chainstays, but the 65.5-degree head angle couldn’t be regarded as ‘super’-slack these days, and the bottom bracket (BB) has been raised to 350mm for better crank clearance on technical climbs.

It is, however, still a very up-to-date bike in terms of its shape, and I don’t feel it’s going to hold you back, nor feel dated in a few years time.

Key Mondraker Crafty Carbon geometry specs (size large)

  • Reach: 490mm
  • Stack: 640mm
  • Seat tube length: 450mm
  • BB height: 350mm
  • BB drop: 25mm
  • Chainstay length: 455mm
  • Wheelbase: 1,270mm
  • Head angle: 65.5 degrees
  • Effective seat angle: 76 degrees
  • Fork offset: 44mm
  • Head tube length: 130mm

Mondraker has used its Stealth Air Carbon for the frame, the first time on an e-MTB. It’s incorporated a number of interesting features into it too.

Mondraker Crafty Carbon
The down tube holds the battery, but it’s not removable.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

Though we’ve seen Merida also do this, Mondraker is one of only a few to take steps to avoid the battery overheating, with cooling ‘gills’ at the top of the down tube and an exhaust port to let warm air escape above the motor.

It’s also worked with Acros to produce a 1.5in head tube and headset arrangement into which the brake, and (on non-SRAM AXS-equipped bikes) gear and dropper cables enter under the stem for an incredibly tidy looking cockpit.

One of the challenges with reducing weight is the required bulk of the down tube, so Mondraker has eschewed a removable battery for the Crafty Carbon and the battery has to be charged while located in the bike with no option to carry a supplementary battery on longer rides.

The underside of the top tube gives host to the bottle cage bosses, meaning the down tube can be as slimline as possible – you don’t want your bottle boss bolts piercing the battery!

All the bikes come with a 625Wh battery, and the RR SL has an optional 500Wh battery if you really want the bike to hit the claimed 19.3kg, but the 625Wh RR SL is still a claimed 19.9kg, which is also very impressive.

Mondraker Crafty Carbon
‘Gills’ at the top of the down tube help keep the battery from overheating.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

Finally, there’s a full-carbon upper rocker link, a speed sensor by the rear pivot and a chainstay protector built from soft rubber to deaden sound.

Mondraker Crafty Carbon suspension

One of the first things I noticed on the bike was the lack of a piggyback shock, as would be expected on an enduro-focussed bike.

Piggybacks give extra oil volume, which in turn helps keep the shock cooler on long descents. This means a more consistent feel during a long descent.

The 150mm bikes are fitted with a Fox DPS shock, rather than either a DPX2 or Float X2, as might be expected, though Mondraker says larger-bodied shocks, including coil, can be fitted.

Mondraker Crafty Carbon
Fox’s DPS shock impressed Mondraker in testing.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

Mondraker claims that the DPS shock has a better feel than the DPX2. The shock, it believes, has less of a platform feel and thus is more supple – the design of the Zero Suspension System is less reliant on a shock’s pedal platform than some other designs.

It also says that the DPS has a larger range of rebound adjustment. A faster rebound is ideal for its suspension because, it claims, there’s more control over the compression circuit, with three main compression positions (from open to locked), as well as a further three in its Open Mode Adjust dial.

Finally, the DPS is lighter than the DPX2, but the decision to run the smaller shock was performance-driven.

Mondraker Crafty Carbon
The Zero Suspension linkage has been optimised for e-MTBs on this bike.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

It’s a similar story with the forks, and the Fit4 damped 36 is fitted on the top two models, rather than a GRIP2 fork, which many would see as the premium option.

This, again, was apparently performance-driven, with the Fit4 fork being better suited to the majority of riders who don’t necessarily need the firmer-damped, but more adjustable, GRIP2 damped 36.

Mondraker Crafty Carbon models

Mondraker Crafty Carbon
E13 carbon cranks help keep weight in check.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

Mondraker Crafty Carbon RR SL price and details

  • £10,799 / €11,999 (available December 2019)
  • Stealth Air Carbon frame
  • 4th Generation Bosch Performance CX motor, 625Wh or 500Wh battery
  • Fox Factory Float 36 Fit4 fork, 160mm
  • Fox Factory Float DPS shock
  • SRAM AXS X01 drivetrain
  • Shimano XTR Trail brakes, 203mm rotor front and rear
  • DT Swiss HXC1200 Carbon Spline wheelset
  • Maxxis Rekon 29 x 2.6in EXO Plus 3c tyres
  • RockShox AXS Reverb
  • Mondraker Onoff carbon cockpit
  • Fizik Antares R1 saddle
  • Claimed 19.3kg (500Wh) or 19.9kg (625Wh)

Mondraker Crafty Carbon RR price and details

Mondraker Crafty Carbon
The Mondraker Crafty Carbon RR.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
  • £8,999 / €8,999 (available December 2019)
  • Stealth Air Carbon frame
  • 4th Generation Bosch Performance CX motor, 625Wh battery
  • Fox Factory Float 36 Fit4 fork, 160mm
  • Fox Factory Float DPS shock
  • Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain
  • Shimano XT Trail brakes, 203mm rotor front and rear
  • DT Swiss HX1501 Spline wheelset
  • Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II 29 x 2.6in EXO Plus 3c tyres
  • Onoff Pija dropper post
  • Mondraker Onoff carbon cockpit
  • Fizik Antares R7 saddle
  • Claimed 21.3kg (625Wh)

Mondraker Crafty Carbon R price and details

Mondraker Crafty Carbon
Bosch’s latest motor is excellent.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
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  • £7,199 / €7,499 (available March 2020)
  • Stealth Air Carbon frame
  • 4th Generation Bosch Performance CX motor, 625Wh battery
  • Fox Float 36 Performance GRIP fork, 160mm
  • Fox Float DPS Performance shock
  • SRAM GX/NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain
  • SRAM G2 RSC brakes, 200mm rotor front and rear
  • DT Swiss HX1900 Spline wheelset
  • Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II 29 x 2.6in EXO Plus 3c tyres
  • Onoff Pija dropper post
  • Mondraker Onoff Krypton alloy cockpit
  • Fizik Antares R7 saddle
  • Claimed 21.8kg (625Wh)