While we do our best to focus on the more affordable end of the mountain bike spectrum, it's always good to sample something a little more rarified. This is the new Mondraker Foxy Carbon RR SL and it's the range-topping, do-it-all trail full susser in the Spanish brand's line up - all £7699 of it.
If you've recovered from that particular four-digit shock, there are a few reasons why we've been rather keen to see this bike grace our garage. The first is that when it comes to geometry and handling, Mondraker's secret weapon is the Forward Geometry concept, which pairs an extra long frame reach with a shorter stem for extra stability without lazy steering.
The second is that while the original Foxy Carbon was an excellent lightweight trail bike - editor Jon ran one for a long time - the new machine has had a number of changes that are said to improve upon it, especially when it comes to rear-end stiffness and durability plus tweaked suspension kinematics to improve the descending capability.
The bike is now single chainring only, which allows for a much broader and stiffer lower pivot in the multi-link Zero Suspension, plus clevis style connections at the top where the rear swingarm connects to the broader, semi-carbon shock rocker. Larger diameter 15mm pivots and bigger bearings should help increase durability too. Travel is bumped up to 150mm at the rear from 140mm, using with a Trunnion mounted, metric sized shock which the bike's kinematic has been tweaked heavily to match.
While the all the new Foxy Carbon range now have a thinner walled carbon frame to reduce weight, this RR SL goes one step further, by using a higher quality Stealth Air blend of fibres to reduce weight further - at the expense of your wallet, obviously. Is it light? Yes, very. This medium bike tips the scales at a smidge over 12kg/26.5lbs, which is mighty impressive even by the standard of similar superbikes.
The frame geometry has also seen some light tweakage, though Mondraker hasn't followed the 'longer' trend as they're still very much at the leading edge of that one. The head angle is now a bit more kicked out at 66º with a 150mm fork, though Mondraker can supply a 1º angle adjusting headset should you wish to move either side of that. The seat angle is tightened up at 75º and it's possible to adjust the chainstay length from 425mm to 435mm with a switchable chip first seen on their Dune Carbon enduro bike. Even better, it's got a proper threaded BB - none of that Press Fit nonsense.
As you'd hope, the RR SL gets some top-shelf parts, with a Fox Factory Series 34 fork and Float DPX2 shock, both getting a shiny and slippery Kashima coating on the sliding parts. SRAM's 12spd X01 Eagle groupset does the gearing, stopping is provided by Shimano XTR Trail brakes and there's a Fox Transfer dropper post.
You don't get any carbon wheels for the money but the DT Swiss M1501 Spline One wheelset is arguably a better choice for many in terms of comfort and compliance in our experience. It's shod in rather fast-rolling Maxxis High Roller II front and Ardent rear rubber in a 2.4" width. To be honest, that's a bit too fast rolling for our tastes in UK conditions right now.
Anyway, as you might notice from the pictures, this bike isn't exactly box fresh as editor Jon returned from a bike show near midnight and headed straight to the office in order to claim it and take it for a ride. Eager is an understatement. Will that enthusiasm be rewarded or will the new Foxy Carbon fail to live up to expectations. We're going to be riding it an awful lot to find out.
For more details in the meantime, head to Mondraker's website or that of UK distributor Silverfish.
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