Mondraker might not be the first brand that comes to mind when you are looking at what bike to buy next. And to be honest, a year ago we wouldn't have either. In the past, Mondraker did not have the greatest distribution in North America which made seeing this bike in person a rare thing. Mondraker is based in Spain, and have a full line of mountain bikes from XC race bikes, E-Bikes, world cup winning DH sleds, and amazing trail bikes like the Foxy 29. The Foxy 29 is their first longer travel 29-inch bike and it couldn't look any better. Mondraker is known for their longer bikes and created the Forward Geometry which features longer reach, shorter stems, and took the industry by storm when it was released a few years back.
At first glance, the lines on this bike are something to behold. This is an extremely clean looking machine and my initial thoughts since seeing the bike for the first time have always been, if it just rides half as well as it looks, this bike is going to be a keeper. The frame is full carbon, including the rear triangle, although the small exception to that is the two linkage plates which are in alloy joined by a carbon piece. Personally, I find this frame to be spectacular looking. The top tube is very thin and creates a perfect line from the very front of the bike all the way down to the rear wheel. The cable routing is internal and the holes in the frame are generous in size making things easy to work with. The front triangle boasts a huge amount of space for a water bottle. The Mondraker suspension design allows for a nice low mounting of the shock which keeps the weight nice and low and centered on the frame which I really like.
The Foxy 29 uses almost all of the newer specs you find on newer bikes. A 44mm offset fork, long reach, steeper seat tube angle, and a moderately slack headtube angle. Our test bike has a 470mm reach for size medium, with a 75.5 seat tube angle, and a 66 head tube angle. All of those numbers are very modern with the exception of the headtube angle, however, the bike does come with different headset cups to adjust the head tube angle a bit. The size medium we rode also had a 1213mm wheelbase. Long, but not so long your bike is in two different zip codes.
Comparing this bike to others in its class. First, is the Yeti SB150 with a 460mm reach and 64.5 headtube angle. While it does have a slightly shorter reach, the Foxy 29 is 10mm longer. Next, looking at the Santa Cruz Hightower LT which has a 423mm reach and a head tube angle of 66.4, making it both much shorter and steeper than the Foxy 29. As you can see, the Medium test bike is quite long but stays in a moderate range with its head tube. Don't be too shocked by the numbers, with little exception, you should be riding this bike in the size recommended for you. I'm on the cusp of being 5’10 and the medium fits without issue and would make a better all arounder, but the large I would imagine would be the race day pick. I feel safe saying the Medium would be the size I'd pick.
The Foxy uses Mondraker's Zero Suspension System which is their take on a dual-link design, mixed with a full floating shock. The shock is mounted to the center of the lower link, meaning that it is being compressed from the top and the bottom when an obstacle is encountered. According to the Mondraker designers, this allows them to balance small bump sensitivity with the ability to handle bigger hits. Apparently, there's also enough progression to the shock curve that it's possible to run the Foxy with a coil shock with great results although I did not get to try this due to the fact that the Fox DHX2 Coil is only an option on the highest end frame and that shock is not yet available aftermarket.
I do wish there was a little bit of downtube protection and I also wish they had a better solution to having the rear brake and rear derailleur cables run directly under the bottom bracket. In order to use the full 150mm of travel, one needs to leave a fair bit of cable hanging out so to allow enough clearance which makes matters worse in my opinion. They do include a little removable plastic fender to protect the rear shock from dirt and grime but in all honesty, it doesn't work that well. That being said, it will at least protect the shock shaft from any bigger stones being flung up by the rear wheel which could potentially damage the stanchion.
I hardly ever found myself reaching for the lockout lever on the shock. The Foxy is a fairly efficient climber but still remains active enough to keep the rear wheel tracking through bumpier sections of trail. The bike has a very nice lightweight feel, combined with great acceleration. When you do lock it out, the platform properly locks out and there is little to no bob. Smoother switchbacks weren't really an issue as setting up a little earlier was all it took to navigate through them, and while it might not have been quite as quick as a shorter bike, the actual amount of effort it took didn't seem much different.
As I expected with its 150mm rear travel, 160 fork, and 29” wheels, descending is when the bike truly comes alive and begins to shine. Point this beauty down the hill and it just wants to get going. Quickly you will find that it holds its speed really well. I also noticed it is pretty effortless to get it back up to rolling speed after a switchback or tight corner when descending.
Speaking of switchbacks, even with its long wheelbase, the bike feels surprisingly nimble and easy to get around tight switchbacks. The Foxy is incredibly stable at high speed, it loves long open flat corners and I managed to get it to hold a line a fair bit easier than on some other bikes I’ve ridden in the past. The bike accelerates out of corners like the best bikes out there and has great support when pumping and pushing through corners as well. I recently rode it on a trail I know really well and there were a few sections I was able to hold significantly more speed than on other bikes. This actually caught me off guard once as I came into a section noticeably faster than usual and almost grabbed a wicked dirt sample due to that fact. You do almost need to be a bit more blatant when turning the bike. However, once you get the feel for it you can really lean it over and somehow it just holds on.
My only small complaint about how the bike descends is how linear the rear suspension feels, using all the travel on bigger hits or g-outs. The mid stroke support is amazing, any high-speed chatter, the Mondraker really soaks it up, creating a ton of confidence.
Overall, the Mondraker Foxy 29 really impressed us as a long travel bike. It did everything well, from climbing and navigate tight corners, to flying down high-speed descents. The Mondraker was able to hold speed better than other bikes we have ridden and with the positive acceleration traits, makes the Foxy 29 a bike to rip all trails. We found the 66 head tube made this bike much more of an all arounder than some other long and slack 29 inch bikes. While still slack enough to handle the steep local trails we have, but also doesn't feel like too much bike when the trails get a bit more mellow. As we mentioned, the suspension system is a bit linear with the shock only having a small .4 volume spacer, we found the bottom a bit too easy. Nothing a larger volume spacer couldn't fix and make this bike ride like a dream.
The bike is a bit expensive for the part spec, but that comes with the rarity of the Mondraker, and the frame is easily worth it from looks to construction, the Mondraker hits the top of its class. So if you are looking for the best value this might not be the bike, but if you want a bike that is different, rides amazing and will make you look like a pro, the Mondraker Foxy 29 is a top choice!