Mondraker’s carbon 29er Foxy is one of the later additions to the big-wheeled trail bike market, but it’s stacked with clever details.
The Spanish brand was among the first to start making bikes longer and slacker, and the fact that the Forward Geometry it pioneered is no longer so radical is only because the rest of the industry has cottoned on to its benefits.
Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR frame
The flat-top-tubed Foxy is one of the most distinctive and eye-catching frames around. It’s not just for looks either, because the carbon has been tuned to optimise flex and adjust ride character.
Mondraker uses a special ‘Stealth Air’ construction on its high-end frames, claiming better carbon compaction and alignment. Everything from tube shapes to the bridge on the rocker link have been consciously tweaked to increase compliance, grip and comfort. The exposed weave on the rocker link saves weight and looks cool too.
Mondraker’s Zero Suspension design uses short twin links to drive the shock from both ends. Oversized 15mm axles improve reliability over the brand’s older frames, which had a habit of eating small bearings. The long chassis relies on a super-short stem for perfect rider position.
Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR kit
While the Foxy XR costs a stack of cash, it delivers a virtually flawless spec sheet. Fox takes care of the travel at both ends, with its top-performing, GRIP2-damped 36 fork up front, sporting 160mm of travel and the latest 44mm offset.
At the back, a supple coil-sprung DHX2 shock with a DH race heritage gulps down bumps for breakfast. I love the wide-rimmed DT Swiss EX 1501 wheels too, which magically ride stiff, light and fast all at once, and are tough against dings in serious terrain.
The long chassis relies on a super-short stem for perfect rider position. Mick Kirkman
The Maxxis Minion tyres are a benchmark combo, with the DHF on the front being the grippy, triple-compound, 2.5in Wide Trail version.
SRAM provides the stop-and-go parts – powerful and modulated four-pot Code brakes and a top-end Eagle drivetrain with a smoother chain and lighter X-Dome machined cassette.
My one gripe is the cockpit kit from in-house brand Onoff, which rides a little sub-par, with a too-soft feel and generic grips. Swapping the 35mm carbon bar and alloy stem for a rival set-up vastly improved steering precision and front-end solidity.
Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR ride impressions
Despite plenty of chat about longer bikes being cumbersome, slow-to-turn and boring, the Foxy XR puts those ideas to bed immediately. It’s extremely lively, natural-feeling and easy to ride.
Even with my first day being on some of the steepest, gnarliest tracks in Innerleithen, the Foxy took it all in its stride and felt extremely reassuring and safe.
The shorter 44mm fork offset increases steering stability and works brilliantly with Mondraker’s Forward Geometry. Mick Kirkman
Climbing traction is outstanding, so the Mondraker grips and surges uphill over extremely slippery, lumpy surfaces with good drive.
The seated position is good, with rider weight far enough forward to keep the front tyre loaded. Power transfer and sprinting response when really mashing the cranks is excellent, especially considering how active the rear shock is off the top.
The coil-sprung DHX2 has superb hold and traction when cornering – and especially when braking – so control is excellent down the steepest chutes and roughest berm entries.
It does smash through its travel too easily if you get excited and land really deep from big jumps or slam the bike into compressions though. I’d prefer considerably more support (exactly what Mondraker has added to the latest model, so the 2020 bike should be more dialled in this regard).
Another major highlight is the superbly damped feel of the frame, with the solid calmness and controlled flex of the chassis amplifying the overall ‘planted’ sensation of the Foxy.
One niggle is that the bottom bracket feels slightly high, so the Mondraker doesn’t rail berms quite as well as some of its rivals, but this is a marginal complaint when it’s so easy to ride fast everywhere else.
Fox’s GRIP2-damped Float 36 fork has superb control. Mick Kirkman
Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR geometry
Seat angle: 70.5 degrees
Head angle: 66 degrees
Chainstay: 17.13in / 43.5cm
Seat tube: 16.54in / 42cm
Top tube: 25.75in / 65.4cm
Bottom bracket height: 13.86in / 35.2cm
Wheelbase: 47.64in / 1,210mm