Outstanding trail trauma ignorance for those who want to take a bazooka to a knife fight
Buy if, You want a high-value plus-sized juggernaut that simply goes like the clappers when the going gets brutal
Pros: Forward geometry is ideal for keeping plus bike handling lively and involving; plus-sized tyres can properly take the piss when it comes to inline traction and rough trail speed sustain; sorted suspension controls hits bigger than the tyres can absorb
Cons: Vast mass kills acceleration and hyper-accurate tyre pressure is crucial; needs a grippier front tyre and dropper post to hit full potential
The Crafty is Mondraker’s plus-sized alternative option to the fantastic Foxy and its unique Forward Geometry handling lets you really push the high-volume, high-velocity advantages too.
Faster in the rough
Plus tyres are a whole new story of pros and cons, but the bottom line is that they go faster the rougher it gets and our final blast down the rocky, rooty trails of Peille saw the Crafty vanish off into the distance leaving regular 29ers in its wake. That syncs with our latest head to head testing on other bikes/tyre formats, and our opinion is certainly getting more positive the more we ride plus.
The over-15kg weight is a definite acceleration- and altitude-gain issue. Traction is outstanding though, so you can winch up crazy steep and/or rough slopes if you’re patient.
The super short stem makes for sharper handling than on many plus machines: the super short stem makes for sharper handling than on many plus machines
The super short stem makes for sharper handling than on many plus machines
The combination of super-quick reactions from the barely-there stem and massive baseline stability from the extra long wheelbase means the steering is more involving and alive than the sludgy feel of most plus bikes we’ve ridden and braking traction is amazing if you do overstep the mark.
Smooth suspension pairing
Despite the thin walls necessary to keep weight bearable the Maxxis tyres survived a ton of rock abuse throughout testing. The super-smooth Yari and Monarch Plus shock combo gives excellent control of hits bigger than the tyres absorb too, though compensating for their untamed bounce in the rebound settings isn’t easy.
The rougher the downhills get, the more your companions are likely to be eating your dust: the rougher the downhills get, the more your companions are likely to be eating your dust
The rougher the downhills get, the more your companions are likely to be eating your dust
You’ll definitely need a knobblier front tyre for off-piste riding if you’re reading this in the UK though, and that will dramatically reduce rolling speed. Literally a handful of psi can also make the difference between terrifying untamed bounce and hovercraft-smooth but totally numb trail-smothering.
A 157mm Boost back end restricts the current hub choice and you’re getting a 1×10 speed-crawler cog drivetrain not ‘proper’ 11-speed with no dropper post, but it’s keenly priced for a plus-bike.
S M L XL
Maxxis Chronicle 27´5x3.0 TLR EXO
Top Tube (in)
Seat Tube (in)
Bottom Bracket Height (in)
Onoff Stoic FG 30mm
Sram Trigger GX 10s
Onoff Notion 0-R 31.6mm 400mm
Mondraker Crafty R+ custom design
MDK-EP1 40 27´5+ TLR wheelset
RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Solo Air 200x57mm
Race Face X-Type 73mm
MDK Disc Pro 12x157mm
Sram GX Type2.1 Long cage 10s
FSA Nº57 ACB Bearings integrated
Mondraker custom design 0.5" 760mm
Onoff Diamond 1lock-on
Maxxis Chronicle 27´5x3.0 TLR EXO
MDK Disc Pro 15X110mm
Crafty 27´5+ Stealth Evo Zero Suspension System FG 140mm
RockShox Yari 27´5+ RC BOOST 15x110mm tapered 140mm
Riding since the age of 13, Technical Editor Tom has ridden hundreds of bikes over the past few years, from aero race bikes to EWS-ready enduro rigs, with a fair few others in between. Most likely found in the woods practicing his scandi-flicks.