The Mondraker Factor is no newbie to the trail bike gang, the singletrack slayer has been doing the rounds on slithers of dirt in various guises for a while now. This bike has been a 26er, a 29er, it's seen a foray with plus wheels and is now settling back at 27.5" for 2018, is this the magic formula for a 120mm trail bike?
We've got the Factor RR in for test, it's the most expensive of the three model range, coming in at £2,899. For your dosh you'll get all the benefits of Mondraker's Forward Geometry, a longer top tube and longer reach paired with a stubby 30mm stem, leading to a lengthier and more stable bike on the descents. Once the rider has adjusted to a slightly different riding position and weighted the front the longer front centre should make the bike feel pretty confidence inspiring to point and shoot down steep terrain.
The reach figure on our medium sized bike is 471mm, a great deal longer than other bikes of the same size. The top tube comes in at 635mm but, surprisingly for Mondraker, this is coupled with a relatively slack seat angle of 74 degrees (2 degrees slacker than the 2017 bike) which we think could leave the rider feeling a little stretched out, something we'll wait until the full review to discuss properly.
The Factor has a 67 degree head angle, a conservative figure but, after all, this is a 120mm trail bike and that seems to be the number the industry favours for this length of travel, it is still half a degree slacker than last year though. These numbers all add up to a wheelbase of 1196mm, a tad shorter than the 1215mm of last year, partly due to 10mm shorter chainstays (440mm) and the smaller wheels, last year's bike used plus wheels. For 2018 the bottom bracket is also higher at 342mm, compared to 335 of last year.
Our Factor uses Mondy's Zero suspension system which consists of a dual link design where the shock floats between two suspension links and is compressed from both ends. Mondraker says this makes the rear suspension extremely sensitive on small bumps and is capable of the big hits too. We've been fans of this progressive suspension setup on longer travel Mondrakers and are looking forward to seeing how it fares on a shorter travel bike.
The RR version of the Factor gets you a 'stealth' alloy frame, stealth being Mondraker's term for the clever design of tubes to optimise shape for weight and function. The RR features Fox 34 Rhythm Sweep forks, a Fox Float DPS Performance shock, SRAM NX cranks with 30T chainring and a SunRace 11-46T 11speed cassette. Braking occurs via SRAM Level T brakes and 180mm rotors. The wheels are an interesting one, they are Mondraker's own rims, 27mm wide and of an asymmetrical design, meaning some real thought has gone into the choice of these wheels, balancing drive and non-drove side spoke tension to evenly distribute tension.
The rims are shod with a Maxxis Highroller 2.3 at the front and a 2.4 Ardent at the rear. Disappointingly the tyres on our test bike aren't the 3C variety making it a less than tacky affair. All other components, bars, stem etc are Mondraker own kit and lastly worth a mention is the Onoff Pija Dropper, a cable actuated 125mm dropper with under bar remote.
We'll be taking the Factor out for a good razz over the next month or so and will report back soon. Remeber to check out the full gallery of images at the top of the page before you go!
For more info, take a look at www.mondraker.com or www.silverfish-uk.com