MONDRAKER FOXY CARBON RR 29
£5,899 Can the big-wheeled Foxy justify its big price tag?
Save for the short-lived Crafty (which ended up with plus tyres), Mondraker have been without a 29in-wheeled trail bike in their range, until now. The Spanish brand have plugged large wheels into a familiar package that mates their long and low ‘Forward Geometry’ with their ‘Zero’ suspension system.
The full-carbon frame helps keep overall weight fairly reasonable (13.7kg/30.2lb), while the straight line from the seatstays through to the head tube makes the Foxy 29 a crowd-pleaser on the looks front. Neat details include a threaded BB, easy-to-service internal cable routing and a shock mudguard. The damper itself floats between the short upper and lower links that join the front and rear triangles, giving 150mm of travel. As we’ve come to expect from Mondraker, the geometry is long – the medium size has a reach of 470mm, paired with a 30mm stem. The e ective seat angle is 75.5 degrees, the head angle a not superslack 66 degrees (though an angled headset allows you to adjust this by a degree) and the BB sits at a fairly average 350mm o the ground.
While the Fox fork and shock are top-end ‘Factory’ units, the oldergeneration ‘FIT4’ damper is used up front, not the latest ‘GRIP2’ cartridge. ‘Hidden’ lower-spec parts are found elsewhere too – the E 1700 wheels sit towards the bottom of DT Swiss’s range, as do the Code R brakes in SRAM’s line-up. The in-house Ono kit is fine, but at this price it would be good to get a name-brand seatpost and each model could do with an extra 25mm of drop (this would also make it easier to size down if you’re not a fan of super-long bikes).
The Foxy 29 doesn’t score highly for value, but it makes up for that on the trail. There’s enough anti-squat built into the suspension to keep the bike surging forwards under pedal strokes and feeling lively on climbs. While the feedback through the pedals on bigger hits isn’t distracting, the ride can’t be described as plush. As such, it’s not a bike you can just point to the bottom of the hill and hang onto. But if you put a little more thought into line choice, it comes alive.
Its longer, well-balanced geometry and aggressive-feeling suspension give you the confidence to weight the bar and haul it around, and it’s not so weighty that it can’t be picked up and placed where you want it. The bigger wheels complement the flatout nature of the bike too, resisting hanging up over rocks and roots, and carving corners confidently, backed up by the long reach, short fork o set (44mm) and stubby stem.
High-speed stability comes from the bike’s length, not a slack head angle – 66 degrees almost seems conservative these days, although it works here. It’s at these top speeds, though, that the incessant chain slap starts to grate. The thin chainstay protector looks after the carbon rear end, but dampen noise it does not.
The spec compromises may be a little disappointing for the price, but they don’t have an immediate e ect on the ride, with the FIT4 fork still performing decently, the rims being fairly wide and the own-brand kit working well enough. The rear tyre would definitely benefit from being a ‘Wide Trail’, triple-compound model like the front though.
A fast, capable long-travel trail bike for those who are con ident at picking their lines
The 36 Float fork uses Fox’s older ‘FIT4’ damper, but still provides ample control
Forget the old stereotype of ungainly 29ers – the Foxy 29 is a great shape