Mondraker Foxy RR 29
Tested by Nic Hall & Drew Rohde
Photos by Samson Hatae & Drew Rohde
Mondraker has been on the leading edge of mountain bike design, and the Foxy RR 29 is no exception. They have been writing the book on long and low bikes, a philosophy they call Forward Geometry. We got the Foxy RR 29 for a long-term review this summer, and our test period culminated at the Trans-Cascadia race in Washington.
Like other Mondraker bikes, Foxy 29 RR is masterpiece of engineering and aesthetic design. The continuous top tube to chain stay line is one of the best things I have seen this year. The carbon tube profiles are unique, the geometry is ultra-modern, and the colors are dialed. Even on the stand, this bike oozes speed and refinement. Mondraker’s Foxy 29 RR is the Lamborghini Aventador of the bike world. I wanted to love this bike before I even rode it, but that doesn’t mean it rides as well as it looks. Let’s dig past the good looks.
Mondraker’s Forward Geometry is aimed at moving the rider to a more balanced attack position over the front of the bike. The Spanish bikes have very long front ends with slack head tube angles and reduced offset forks. We couldn’t take this bike out without being stopped and people asking to throw a leg over it. Every rider we met was in disbelief that our test bike wasn’t an XL after commenting how long the bike felt and looked.
Our size large Foxy 29 has a monstrous 654mm top tube, 490mm reach, 66-degree head tube angle, 48.66-inch wheelbase and 44mm fork offset. The numbers bolster the bike’s intended purpose, going fast and feeling stable. It will either make you love it or, not. While many brands have started adopting this long front end philosophy, we believe that it does offer a specific experience that will not suit all riders or regions; think SUV and sports cars.
The suspension is a refined version of Mondraker’s Zero Suspension system, which is a type of virtual pivot where the shock is attached to both the top and bottom of the rear triangle via links. The top link has a carbon bridge, that Mondraker claims adds damping. In our experiences virtual pivot point bikes have inherent pros and cons; some people love the pedaling efficiency and stiff feeling rear end while others, like Drew, constantly critique the hang-up and harsh feeling when hitting square-edge hits like rocks and roots. But, every rider has their own riding style, suspension preferences and local riding terrain that will make their ideal bike much different than another rider’s in a different region.
Mondraker specs the Foxy RR 29 with SRAM Code R brakes, a Fox 36 Fit4 EVOL fork and Fox DPX2 shock. DT Swiss E1700 Spline rims on DT 350 hubs are a bombproof choice for the wheelset and SRAM’s Eagle 1×12 drivetrain handles the torque.
When it comes to climbing, the DH-biased geometry bit back. The seat tube is relatively steep at 75.5 degrees, but I never felt centered over the pedals. Those same geometry numbers that help the bike feel stable and confident on vertical descents manifest themselves as a wandering front end when the trail points up.
My new mistress wasn’t out of tricks yet though, the subtle touches bring you back to her. An integrated and removeable rear fender is masterfully placed to keep dirt and rocks from gunking up your rear shock. Overmolded downtube and chainstay protectors are cleanly designed and work well. Big ‘ol Enduro bearings in the main pivots keep things stiff and smooth. The rear brake has a unique post mount design on the inside of the chainstay that reminds us of a custom motorcycle design. And, did I mention the lines on this bike?