Introduced a decade ago, the Foxy is Mondraker’s fun and versatile All Mountain bike. A popular bike as was, in 2013 Mondraker introduced ‘Forward Geometry’ to its Foxy and Dune ranges. Significantly increasing cockpit length whilst virtually doing away with a traditional stem – their bold redesign changed rider weight placement, offering a new style of tackling the rough stuff.
And now, introducing (drum roll please!) Mondraker’s stunning 2015 Foxy Carbon range – with three busy years in the making…
The most advanced bike they have ever produced, the Foxy Carbon is ram-packed with a whole host of exclusive Mondraker developed tech. ‘Stealth Carbon Technology’ strengthens the elongated front triangle, their ‘Forward Geometry’ and ‘Zero Suspension’ systems have further evolved and their carbon tech is supposedly much honed – to offer feather lightness but super strength and stiffness. Indeed a medium frame comes in at a mere 2.1 kg (no shock).
Four models are available, the high end Foxy Carbon XR, the Carbon RR, the Carbon R – with the basic Carbon at the lowest end of the range utilising an alloy rear triangle (this model won’t be available in the UK).
All models feature the new plush 2015 Fox CTD fork and shock, 27.5 wheels, compact tapered headset, monoblock aluminum upper link, 142x12mm rear thru axle and a 160mm post-mounted rear caliper. 1×11 drivetrains come as standard on Foxy Carbon XR and RR models, whilst a direct mount front derailleur hanger is present on the Foxy Carbon R and Carbon models, it’s fully removable should their 2x chainsets ever be upgraded.
There’s no denying, the Carbon Foxy is one stunner of bike. The ‘Forward Geometry’ changes of previous Foxys did mean a divergence from traditional aesthetics – such that the 2013/2014 bikes sadly suffered from negative criticism with regards to their looks. But for 2015, the much derided hump in the top tube is smoothed, with the sleek, refined design still affording the lengthened front triangle the extra strength and stiffness it requires. Standard stems are now 30mm, as opposed to the previous years’ 10mm. More palatable for the aesthetics driven market maybe – but 10mm stems will still be available, which having ridden with one for the last few months, is something I’d be inclined to swap straight back on. Head angles remain reasonably slack at 67.5 degrees.
Reinforcement is also concentrated around the bottom bracket area, ensuring the core of Mondraker’s ‘Zero Suspension’ system is strengthened to the max. Optimising this area was the biggest headache the development team faced apparently, with prototypes flying backwards and forwards between Mondraker and their production facility before they finalised the ultimate design.
The ‘Zero Suspension’ system is Mondraker’s take on a virtual pivot set-up, whereby the shock is attached to upper and lower links. These compress both from top AND bottom, to perfectly control the tuned Fox CTD shock. Mondraker claims this creates a floating sensation for ultimate hit absorbtion, whilst still maximising pedalling efficiency. An all new kinematic configuration of the ‘Zero Suspension’ for the Foxy Carbon allows for better integration with 1x chainset options.
For impact absorption, all Foxy Carbon models feature forks and shocks from Fox’s new and improved 2015 range, with modifications instigated by their RAD (Racing Applications Development) program. Fox have redesigned shaft seals, made improvements to upper tube surfaces and developed a new 20W Gold Oil, fortified with Molybdenum (a key component of Kashima coatings) – which are all claimed to kick friction forces into touch. Updated dampening and tunings, further compliment ride performance. The Foxy Carbon XR, having a more racing focus, comes with a 160mm Fox Talas fork, whilst the other models are equipped with 140mm Fox Floats. XR and RR models utilise Fox’s updated handlebar remote, with climb, trail and descend functions.
Other notable features include the internal cable routing and their ‘Hidden Housing Guide’ (HHG), which keeps the frame clean and sleek looking. Reverb Stealth seat posts with internal cabling come as standard on the higher-end models. A Mondraker exclusive ISCG 05 inner bash protector prevents possible chain suck and any associated damage to the carbon frame. Protectors are also found on the lower section of the down tube and chain stays, to fend off rock strikings – and a simple integrated guard protects the rear shock. Bottom brackets are press fit BB92 for weight saving and reliability.
StuBut as ever, the proof of all this tech development is in the ride.
Armed with a Foxy Carbon RR, I get to sample some trails in the mountains behind Alicante and Mondraker’s HQ. Tech and loose in sections, flowy and fast in others – and occasionally pedally up…the test ride covers a wide variety of terrains. From the off, we fire straight down a loose, rocky trail – and I’m more than happy to let the brakes go and let the bike do it’s business. The ‘Forward Geometry’ comes into it’s own on this stuff. The longer wheel base firmly plants the bike, keeping things super stable on the steep. You’re inspired to go that bit faster as you’re positioned neutrally on the bike with your weight directed straight down through the head tube. You can confidently push through and load the front wheel to pop yourself around all manner of trail features, whilst the short stem means steering is immediately responsive and precise. Cornering is superb – thanks to the honed carbon stiffness and single-piece manufactured monoblock. What is instantly noticeable is the deft agility of this bike, compared to its alloy predecessor. Nimble, light and fun – it then turns aggressive when needed.
Suspension performance is excellent and progressive – with the ‘Zero Suspension’ feeling to pack a much bigger absorbtion punch than its 140mm of travel. The kashima coated supple rear shock smooths out the roughest terrain impressively. Then a quick flick of the handlebar remote – and the suspension is locked out for climb mode. The bike’s stability is noticeable in the climbs too…and whilst it can never be said I fly up hills, traction is solid and it did feel like I could comfortably use this bike for all day up and down epics. Even with the suspension in descend mode – pedal bob is noticeably minimised, thanks to the ‘Zero Suspension’ system.
Formula CR3 brakes are the stopping power for the Foxy Carbon RR/R models (T1s for the XR Carbon and C1s for the Carbon) – and after a first ride, are the one thing I might quibble with. Maybe mine just needed to bed in more, but the CR3s just didn’t seem to have quite enough modulation for a bike that can take you to warp speed. The SRAM X01 drivetrain is a dream as always, and the Crank Brothers Cobalt wheel set offer super lightness and certainly look the part with their twin pair spokes (Crank Brothers Cobalt on the Carbon XR and DT and Easton for Carbon R and Carbon respectively).
The extensive development and not settling for anything less than their own perfection standards is certainly apparent in the Foxy Carbon. The bikes are beautifully constructed and the fine craftsmanship and attention to detail is apparent the entire range through. But most importantly, the Foxy Carbon is an insanely fun bike to ride. Super responsive, agile, lightening fast, nimble – yet stable and ready to take you to the edge of your comfort zone…if that’s where you like to go! Admittedly the price tag is hefty, but maybe this is that one bike. The all rounder bike you could trade all your others in for.
Premier subscribers can have a behind the scenes peek at the Mondraker factory here.