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Winner - We're very happy to inform you all that the 650B Mondraker Foxy R trail bike has been awarded the 2014 'Trail Bike of the Year' title award by What Mountain Bike Magazine. This highly prestigious award saw the Forward Geometry equipped Foxy beat competition from all major bicycle brands to take the top spot and prove its trail bike performance and ride quality. Read the full review here

What Mountain Bike Magazine - Issue 160, May 2014.

1st Place - Mondraker Foxy R

We confess the Mondraker wasn't even on our podium radar as we pulled bikes from the van in Finale. In fact, its late arrival saw it come very close to not even making it into the van…

With all the fuss over wheel size, frame material, gear-counts and fork girth in our 'must have' spec, things weren't looking good for the Spaniard. Look at it: spineless Fox 32 fork, merely 10-speed at the back, a tin frame and rims too skinny for proper 2.3in rubber. Like it didn't even want to tick boxes.

And yet, as more contenders fell foul of the deep-gouged turns, rocky drop-offs, sketchy spine lines and loose corners of the Liguarian mountains, the Foxy flex on - and asked for more. It barely noticed corners that left us bloody and bruised or flung into the bushes on other bikes. It descended like it was on rails yet cleaned the sketchiest climbs like it had an electric motor.

It rapidly become the bike everyone on the team wanted to ride as much as possible.

There are two big reasons for this freakishly good performance. The most significant is Mondraker's Forward Geometry, which extends the toptube by 35-50mm (compared to the norm) for any given size. That length is then taken off the stem, where you have the options of either a super-radical 10mm or the 30mm we have here. The head angle is sleack 66.5 degrees, so even though the bars are where they would be on a 'normal' bike, the front axle is way out ahead.

The result is ultra-responsive steering that lets you twist and lock into the last scraps of traction, slotting the bike into millimetre-prescise lines. It doesn't care if you are buzzing your butt on the back wheel from a drop or making a last-ditch lurch for the crux move on a climb. It just puts the front wheel where you want, with enough weight behind it to make it stick, but not so much it over-balances and you wobble.

Upgrade Potential

Despite the dreaded Evolution damper in the Fox Float shock, the Zero Suspension system works with remarkable efficiency to isolate pedal, brake and impact forces, always capitalising on the incredible things happening up front.

It's gagging for fatter wheels and a better fork, but the open-bellied frame keeps it light (if only by letting mud drop straight though), while the Formula brakes and X-Fusion dropper make the most of the available speed.

The Foxy R's superbly assured handling simply sucks up every sketchy trail section and component shortcoming and spat it straight back in the face of all other bikes, as well our own preconceptions of what speeds sections were even rideable.

The result? An undeniable, heart-over-head victory for the Foxy; one of the most addictively visceral, skill multiplying, don't-want-to-ride-anything-else bikes we've ever tested.

Conclusion

"The Foxy's radical shape works so well, both downhill and up, it almost spoils any other bikes…"

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Tester Says

"Having spent ages writing a list of 'must have' criteria to help our descion, the first morning on the Mondraker was infuriating. Whatever obstables Finale's trails - or my tick list - threw up were simply smashed to pieces. At speed, it's a game-changer, so long as you're prepared to ignore convention and embrace the incredible" Guy Kesteven

Silverfish UK Ltd. Units 3a-3c Woodacre Court, Saltash Parkway Industrial Estate, Burraton Road, Saltash, Cornwall, United Kingdom, PL12 6LY
Silverfish UK Ltd. (Registration No. 4075057).

Technical specifications are for guidance only and cannot be guaranteed accurate. All offers are subject to availability and while stocks last. Errors and omissions excepted. Silverfish UK Limited acts as a credit intermediary and only offers credit products for Close Brothers Retail Finance. Its registered office is: Close Brothers Group plc, 10 Crown Place, London EC2A 4FT. Credit is subject to application and status.

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