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At A Glance

You can't really glance at the Foxy RR, an invisible force draws your eyes to it, and there they will stay locked onto its beauty while dribble oozes from the corner of your mouth. It's a ridiculously good-looking bike, which caused a stir just about everywhere we went with it.

Mondraker have been making the Foxy for some time now, last year it got a major overhaul with the Forward Geometry technology, this hump-inducing tech caused a bit of a Marmite response. Riders who rode it sung its praises, but on face value alone it was a bit of a strange one. The new bike has had its hump smoothed out and features an all-new carbon frame for 2015.

By utilising what they call "Carbon Stealth Technology" they have made the front triangle even stiffer and been able to play with the lines to produce a more aesthetically pleasing machine. Why does it need to be stiff? Forward Geometry makes the top tube longer, but the stem shorter. The idea being that you get the benefits of a longer stem on the climbs, with the advantages of direct handling from a shorter stem. The wheelbase is longer too to give a more stable feel on descents and the riders weight is distributed differently to offer more control.

Of course a flexible front end would make the bike feel terrible, so special care and attention has gone into making the front triangle on this machine one of the stiffest on the market.

Another area where they have paid a lot of attention is the bottom bracket. The Zero Suspension system that Mondraker use puts the shock very low in the frame and a lot of force is applied in that area of the bike. With all the angles and shapes going on down there it is obvious that this is an area that has taken an awful lot of work to get right.

Zero Suspension is a take on a Virtual Pivot Point system with the shock being actuated from the top and the bottom within the linkages. This allows a much more reactive set-up to the forces that are affecting the bike as it moves over various terrain and also minimises the influence of pedal strokes.

Fox have improved their suspension for 2015, with modifications to both the rear shock and the fork up front. All the changes are aimed at delivering less stiction with updated damping and tuning to improve the responsiveness of the range. The RR model comes with a Fox Float CTD Remote LV Boost Valve Factory Kashima rear shock and a set of Fox Float 34 27.5 CTD Remote FIT Factory Kashima forks up the front.

It's worth noting on the suspension front that both the shock and the fork are controlled with a switch on the handlebars. This makes for some extra cabling, but with the rear shock set so far down in the frame it is realistically the only way you can make the most of the CTD functions. Initially, my OCD for clean, cable-free front ends manifested itself, however, after riding the system I found it not only worked really well, but added another dimension to the bike and the way it handled.

The drivetrain is handled with a mix of SRAM XXI and X01 and, as ever, it works beautifully. If you haven't ridden a lx system yet and are worried about whether it will live up to the hype, trust us, it does. I was clearing steep climbs without sparing a thought for a granny ring. Crank Brothers wheels in the form of the Iodine 3 27.5's add to the good looks and offer a stiff and light rotating mass. Maxxis Ardent tyres help to keep you connected to the trail and braking duties are catered for with the new Formula CR3's, which are light and powerful.

The ever-reliable Reverb Stealth holds up Fizik Nissene Mg saddle whilst the front end is looked after with OnOff Stoic 740mm carbon bars and an OnOff Stoic stem. There are three versions of the Carbon Foxy, the RR that we have on test is the middle of the range version and at £4,999/E5,999 it is expensive without being stupid. Pop it on the scales and you can see where the money goes, weighing in at just 26.3lbs this is one seriously light trail bike.

On The Trail

After we managed to get out of the car park and away from the hoard of drooling zombies ogling up this striking machine it was exciting to be putting the first 2015 bike through its paces. Our ride started out uphill, and this is one area where the Foxy RR continues to blow me away. The Forward Geometry is something that you really have to try to understand. This year the "zero" stem has been swapped for a 30mm stem, so it isn't quite as radical as last year, but the XR version comes with a shorter 10mm stem and you can swap to this as an aftermarket choice if you wish.

Traction is something that Forward geometry gives you in spades. There are a couple of nasty climbs that in my 5 or so years of riding a particular route I usually fail to get close to. Steep, technical and littered with rocks just big enough to ping the front wheel up and into the air when you don't want it to, long and laborious ascents that, if I'm honest, I'm usually grateful to get bucked off early and partake in a stroll.

No such luck with the Foxy RR, I'll admit to not being at my fighting fit stage right now, yet I took a whopping 50 seconds off my best ever time on this particular climb, more importantly I cleared it for the first time this year. The wheels have so much grip at both the front and the rear it is staggering, the 75° seat angle and Forward Geometry rider position putting as much weight into the tyres as possible. Even when you are up and out of the saddle it is actually really hard to get the back wheel to spin.

After nearly passing out at the top (did I mention what a mega climb it is?!), we continues to the first trail with a little more preferred gradient! At 67.5° the head angle is fairly slack, but it is well matched with the amount of travel and the real secret to this bike is the long wheelbase created by the Forward Geometry. 1193mm is long by anyone's standards and this creates an air of stability on the descents that has you leaving off the brakes and riding faster and faster.

The chainstays are exceedingly short, just 430mm which keeps things reasonably playful in the corners. When you lay the bike over it goes round the bends well, there is plenty of grip and the suspension responds well especially when ridden at speed.

Oddly, as I was riding the bike I was trying to put my finger on an "it" feature, something that really blew me away when taking it downhill. It's steady for sure, responsive and quick to handle with good acceleration and certainly easy to ride. Nothing was really standing out though, and I came home almost a little despondent expecting perhaps a little more of the Foxy RR.

After uploading my GPS tracks however, (something we always do when testing bikes) I was left a little confused. I had blown away most of my times and by some margin. The Foxy RR was a rocketship, make no mistake, yet when I was riding it the bike was so smooth and controlled that I had struggled to notice the speed.

There is a trail near us, which everybody loves, and I mean everybody. Personally it's never been my favourite; it's a roller coaster of pumps and pedal strokes with berms and bomb holes galore. One of those trails you have to get absolutely everything right on to get a decent time. I'd managed to knock 10 seconds off my best time on the Foxy RR, and hadn't even noticed. I had put it down to a GPS anomaly, but the bike was consistently faster on every trail I rode it down even though it never felt like I was on the ragged edge, which is what it normally takes to shave off some time here and there from my personal bests.

Out of the box there isn't much I would change, wider bars being perhaps the only thing. The brakes took a while to bed in, but once they were set they did their job well. Everything else on the bike is in gold star territory, the new Fox suspension feels plush and I really enjoyed the dual remote control on the fork and the shock, despite my initial reservations.

To sum up then, the Foxy RR is hotter than Kate Upton in a stolen sauna and it's faster up a hill than my heart rate is at the prospect of being in said sauna! On the downhills it's so planted and controlled that you won't notice Kate Upton waving out of the sauna window and asking you to join her as you fly past. Bugger, but at least you'll be riding around on this!

Geometry Mondraker Foxy RR

 

  • Effective top tube: 635mm
  • Chain stay: 430mm
  • Wheelbase: 1193mm
  • BB Height: -7mm
  • Head angle: 67.5°
  • Seat Angle: 75°
  • Reach: 478mm
  • Weight w/o pedals: 26.2lbs

 

If you have enjoyed this article, check out more great reviews at International Mountain Bike Mag

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