At a glance
With guys like Fabien Barel and Cesar Rojo involved in the design and refinement of the Mondraker Foxy XR it promises to be a very capable bike. The XR part of the name stands for Xtreme Racing, all well and good in the hands of such talented riders as Cesar, but will the innovative design suit such mere mortals as myself?
There was only one way to find out…
Mondraker utilise their Zero suspension design on the Foxy, this gives 140mm of progressive travel. It is a virtual pivot system that drives the floating shock from both ends.
The tubing is Mondraker’s top end Stealth tubing that is heavily worked to obtain the exact shape and butting needed.
Features include a tapered head tube, direct mount front derailleur, ISCG 05 mounts and a 12x135 Maxle.
The big talking point is the geometry; this is the XR version, which has the 10mm stem mounted directly on top of the steerer tube.
To make this work Mondraker have extended the top tube length, this gives a similar saddle to handle bar distance as running an equivalent size frame and a 50 - 60mm stem.
What is the point you may ask, well the idea is to increase the front centre length while keeping the cockpit length the same, this in turn adds stability to the ride and plants the front end.
I took some measurements to give myself an idea of the effect this would have on the reach and stack numbers.
Stack height came in at 590mm without the 40mm of spacers or the rise of the stem and the reach came out at 480mm. To give this some sort of yardstick, a ball park figure for bikes with similar travel would be a stack of approximately 600mm and a reach of approximately 400mm.
Spec wise everything is top notch gear.
At the rear a Fox CTD BV Kashima Float gives 140mm of progressive travel, this is matched to a Fox 34 Talas CTD FIT Kashima fork that has 160mm/120mm of travel.
The drivetrain is a mixture, Sram X9 shifters run a XO rear derailleur and Shimano XT front derailleur and the chainset is a Raceface Turbine sporting 24/38 chainrings.
Brakes are Formula The One S and the 180mm rotors are bolted to a set of Crankbrothers Iodine 3 wheels, these are shod with a set of Hans Dampf 2.35 tyres.
The seatpost is a Crankbrothers Kronolog topped with a Fizik Gobi XM saddle.
The handle bars are Mondraker and come in at 740mm wide with a moderately high rise.
Mondraker Foxy XR Medium
Seat tube 420mm
Effective top tube 645mm
Head tube 115mm
Chain stay 430mm
Front triangle 770mm
Wheel base 1200mm
BB height 343mm
Head angle 67°
Seat angle 74°
Weight w/o pedals 29.1lbs
On the trail
The very first thing I noticed once on board the Foxy XR was not the Forward Geometry, but the speed that the Hans Dampf tyres rolled - a very pleasant surprise.
Once riding the geometry soon made itself felt, the front end feels pinned to the floor and I felt that I was being positioned slightly front biased making me drive the front into turns, this also ensured that the front end stayed nicely controlled on climbs, I rarely even considered using the Talas feature and after a while I forgot about it. There are a few clichés that get bantered around in the mountain bike industry, one being ‘it climbs like a hardtail’, well guess what… No it does not climb like a hardtail, the Foxy XR climbs, in my opinion, better than a hardtail. Pedalling induces an imperceptible amount of movement in the rear suspension and the Foxy climbs like a mountain goat, hit a lip or ledge and the suspension becomes active and takes it in its stride to give good traction.
Through flowing singletrack the front biased position gave excellent grip and the long front centre added a secure, stable feeling that encouraged speed. Be warned though, if you put the Foxy XR into a turn and back off the front end then the front is likely to wash out, master pushing the front end though and the rewards are there for the taking.
Add a little gravity to the mix and the speeds ramp up and the added stability of that long front centre really shines through, the risk of front end tucks or over the bars moments are all but negated.
Stability is the buzz word for the Foxy XR, that and efficiency.
The long front centre and forward biased position make loading the front wheel a breeze, this in turn gives huge amounts of grip and security which in the hands of a skilled rider equals very fast exit speeds out of turns. For the intermediate rider it gives confidence and this in turn encourages greater speeds and a desire to push that little bit harder.
The suspension design is very efficient, very little energy is wasted, push the pedals and the Mondraker leaps forward to do your bidding.
The stability that will be so welcomed by some will not suit others, the front biased position made the front end hard to lift and hold there, the Foxy XR is very much a wheels on the ground bike rather than a pop off every root or rock ride.
The overall package is fantastic, good kit, an efficient suspension design and cutting edge geometry all come together in one very confidence-inspiring ride that is versatile enough to be ridden anywhere from your local woods to a week in the Alps.Buy Enduro Bikes on
This review was in Issue 24 of IMB.For more information visit Mondraker
By Nigel GarroodNigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!