Mondraker Dusty - the mountain biker's gravel bike
Mondraker has broken its usual mould and stepped into the world of gravel biking with the new Dusty e-gravel bike. The new creation is every bit as Mondraker as its mountain bike counterparts and the brand has built it to be versatile enough to excel on technical terrain.
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The Dusty marks yet another milestone in the Spanish mountain bike brand Mondraker's long history: this is the first time the brand has released something that's not a mountain bike. With the Dusty, Mondraker is recognising that the popularity of e-bikes is still growing very quickly, and has added in a motor to increase the versatility of the bike.
The Dusty has been designed to excel in three areas that Mondraker believes are the most sought-after by gravel riders: adventure, long-distance, and technical riding.
To tick those boxes, the new bike comes kitted with mounting points and on some models, up to six which ups Dusty's ability to carry luggage, and makes it ready for some bike packing epics. Then, as for long distances, it's claimed that the 350Wh battery can get riders travelling up to 180km but if that's not enough, that range can be extended thanks to a 171Wh range extender.
To help the bike remain comfortable on technical terrain, Mondraker has built in a load of compliance around the rear end. This includes dropped seat stays and very careful attention to the carbon layup in this area. Then to really push the compliance theme, the range-topping Dusty XR comes with a suspension fork and a dropper post.
While the Dusty is a noticeable departure from the Mondraker we know, the brand's manufacturing character remains present. The Dusty has a lightweight frame using the most sophisticated Stealth Air Carbon and it gets a forward-thinking geometry, featuring a 70-degree head angle and a 74-degree seat tube angle. There's then a 425mm chainstay and a size medium frame gets a 405mm reach.
As for frame features, this bike benefits from an integrated seat post clamp and an integrated chainstay protector. Even though the full builds come with a 1x drivetrain setup, the frame can accommodate a 2x drivetrain as well. Intergration goes on as there's integrated bar and stem cable routing. And if you opt for one of the rigid builds, it gets Mondraker's own Dusty carbon fork, which is internally routed and boosts mounting options.
Then onto the motor. Mondraker has chosen to spec the Dusty with Mahle's X20 system with a 350Wh battery. This offers 55Nm of torque without friction or drag. The drive system is paired with the brand's Pulsar One wireless display that shows all of the ride information you'll need, such as range, distance travelled, speed and battery power on your top tube. However, the whole system can be run without it as the top tube-mounted main unit shows the battery and assistance level via LED lights. The motor also comes with an app, offering complete customisation.
As of now, we've only seen the X20 on road bikes but for the Dusty, it's been tuned specifically for gravel riding. Here, it's designed to mirror the rider's input in each mode, so the more power you put in, the more the motor puts out.
The Dusty range is made up of three bikes, the Dusty XR, kitted with a dropper post and suspension fork, the RR and the R, the latter being the lightest at 12.6kg (claimed).
Starting off the range is the Dusty R which is kitted with Mondraker's carbon gravel-specific fork, and SRAM rival shifting. It then gets MDK-XG1 wheels with 700x40 Maxxis Rambler tyres. The middle of the range RR benefits with the same fork but sees a drivetrain upgrade to SRAM Rival Etap and with Mavic Allroad Disc wheels. Finally, the range topping Dusty XR comes with RockShox's Rudy Ultimate fork with 40mm of travel, SRAM Force Etap shifting, a RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post and Mavic Allroad Pro Carbon SL wheels.
There are four sizes available from S to XL.
Prices for the Dusty start at £4,500 and go up to £8,800.
We were invited out to Alicante to ride the brand new Dusty XR so for some ride impressions, head over to Mondraker Dusty XR - First ride review.