The Mondraker Foxy RR Slays, After a Brief Adjustment Period [Review]

A generous share of modern trail and enduro bikes are designed to hop on and ride without adjusting our riding style much from any other bike. While geometry and suspension nuances do create unique ride characteristics, the bikes don’t ask riders to adjust. The enduro-race-bred Foxy RR from Mondraker is no such bike. The brand’s Forward Geometry begs a more forward riding posture, and the benefits are clear once you adjust to its long front-center approach.

The size medium Foxy RR I tested has the longest reach I’ve experienced to date, at 470mm, while the shorter 435mm chainstays push the Foxy in a more playful direction than I would expect from such a stretched sled. Mondraker went with a touch steeper 66° head tube angle to pull the wheels back together slightly, and an average 75.5° seat tube angle. The bike’s heavily reinforced 100mm head tube keeps the stack height to a manageable 614mm, allowing owners a good amount of space to set up their cockpit height as they wish.

The 29″ wheels are damped by a 160mm fork and 150mm of rear axle travel, culminating in a bike that can match nearly anyone’s speed and send desires.

The frame

Foxy frames are full carbon fiber front and rear, with an aluminum rocker link. Internal hoses and cables are anchored by a set of plastic windows that bolt into the frame to cover larger holes, clearly intended to speed up cable swaps. There appears to be enough space to run the rear brake hose on either side, so folks who prefer a moto-style lever mount don’t have to listen to the hose constantly slapping against the frame. The cables do make a light chatter inside the large carbon down tube, but it’s far quieter than the “is there gravel in my bike” discord I’ve heard in other frames.

The Spanish brand’s Zero Link Suspension design is a dual-link system that places the lower shock mount between two links, compressing the damper from both ends simultaneously, albeit at different rates. Mondraker claims that the platform provides “zero power loss, a completely stable ride when pedaling, zero pedal kickback, minimum chain growth throughout the suspension travel, zero brake jack, isolated braking and suspension forces, and what we call Zero bumps, its great ability to soak up any type of bump keeping the rear wheel efficiently planted on the ground.” I can confirm that the Zero Link technology feels fantastic out on the trail. More on that topic below.

Rear suspension on the Foxy RR is notably linear, playing well with the included Float DPX2 Factory damper. Folks who prefer the feel of a coil shock will want to check out the longer travel Super Foxy.

The rear brake hose is tucked safely away from the spokes, unlike some other long travel bikes we’ve recently tested.

While the drive side chainstay is well protected by a silencing rubber sleeve, the Foxy RR doesn’t include any other frame protection. With the wide downtube susceptible to stone strikes, owners may want to install an after market protection layer. The paint and gloss coating held up well throughout my test, and it seems a little more durable than some other bikes on the market.

I have a three friends who own this bike, and they primarily share accolades of its abilities, though each of them has complained about the large rock and mud collecting chamber around the shock. The frame comes with a plastic fender to protect the shock from rear wheel debris, but on muddy rides, the opening at the front side gathers forest detritus like flies on flesh. Packing the hole with a hunk of moto-foam solves this issue.

The build

As the second tier build in the Foxy model lineup, the Foxy RR is set up for the long haul. There are no overweight, robust bits, and no race-only components. It’s simply a solid build with performance and longevity in mind from axle to axle.

The whole drivetrain consists of of Shimano’s 12-speed 8100 kit that has performed flawlessly on every bike I’ve tested–including this one. Shimano’s XT M8120 4-piston brakes are a perfect fit for race-ready bikes like the Foxy RR. They’re plenty powerful during spooky emergency braking incidents, and the bleed process is dead easy when the time comes.

To simplify setup a little, the bike has a Fox 36 Float FIT4 EVOL Factory Kashima fork at the helm, with a single rebound adjuster to fiddle with. The Fox Float DPX2 LV EVOL Factory Kashima shock is a lighter option than what we often see on a bike this capable, and it performed admirably throughout the test. Though I didn’t have a chance to ride the FoxyRR on any descents longer than about ten minutes, the shock’s performance was consistent from the peak to the river every time.

For some reason, Mondraker sells its size small Foxy frames with a 100mm dropper, and the medium I tested comes with a 125mm post. I could have used at least another 25mm of travel, and the seat tube left enough space for a 170mm post. While shorter dropper travel will better suit riders with shorter legs, I can’t imagine anyone shorter than me fitting on this bike. One of the few upgrades I would make to the Foxy RR is a 170mm dropper. I eventually became accustomed to the taller seat post, but it was somewhat frustrating through the first couple of rides.

Now for the truly necessary upgrade. All Foxy RR bikes come shod in a Minion DHR II up front and an Aggressor out back, both with the EXO casing. This bike’s top-speed capabilities, and the off-camber grip intention of these tires make the EXO casing an inferior choice. Folks who only ride groomed flow trails will likely disagree, but these lightweight casings don’t match any part of the bike’s character and capability. I managed to flat the rear beyond repair on the first ride and later had to repair the front. I swapped them out for more appropriate rubber before the following descent.

I understand that bike companies want to keep weights down on the showroom floor, but this bike deserves proper downhill casings to be ridden anywhere near its full potential.

The ride

I received the Foxy RR a few weeks prior to Italy’s nationwide lockdown and was able to crack the throttle open before that became a bad idea. My first impression was that the front end felt washy, and I would need to relocate my center of gravity further forward to balance the traction on this bike. I crashed twice by washing the front wheel whilst sorting that repositioning out. When I was switching between bikes the Foxy continued to feel odd, so I decided to dedicate several weeks to only riding this bike. After all, that’s what I would do if I owned it. Once I found where to center my mass the Foxy’s character came alive, and I was able to genuinely appreciate its prowess.

Pedaling uphill aboard this bike feels a touch bouncier than similar whips. The über-supple, grip-giving rear suspension that promises ample traction in the turns comes at a small price. With roughly 25% sag and a compression tune dialed for downhill, the rear suspension bobbed and moved more than I would like. The shock’s low-speed compression switch took care of this sensation entirely, and I clicked it into the middle or closed settings depending on how rocky and technical the climb. With both the shock and fork compression circuits partially closed the Foxy shoots uphill nicely, offering ample support for longer enduro race transitions.

When it’s time to stand up and sprint your lungs out of a corner or over a rise those buttery first centimeters of travel give way to a supportive mid stroke. This is a race bike after all. With 100% power to the cranks, the Zero Link Suspension continues to smooth out the trail without zapping your preciously-pedaled watts. While it’s common to say that a suspension platform feels efficient under maximum pedal forces, this one does so without sacrificing grip or bump sensitivity.

Our local park maintenance crew in the background is hard at work keeping the grass trimmed.

“On rails” is the first overworked expression that came to mind while enjoying gravity sessions on this bike. With the Fox squishers appropriately tuned, the 150/160mm of movement feels solidly supportive, yet forgettable. The bike’s weight is as well balanced as its geometry, and after my brief break-in period, I enjoyed every second of fast and composed descending. A long front-center measurement allows it to track well with subtle, forward hip movements, while the shorter rear end keeps it capable of getting off the ground and into a different line. I expected a 29er with a 470mm reach to feel like a limousine on tighter terrain, and I’m sure in the wrong places it could, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how maneuverable the bike is overall.

While the rider’s mass does have to move forward on the Foxy it is a shift anyone can grow into. It’s not asking for a position so far forward that your hands hurt or you feel like you’ll go over the bars on steep slopes. It’s more of a gentle coaxing toward the fork that will likely improve front wheel traction on any bike thereafter. The change in body position did require a little faster rebound setting on the fork, paired with an additional click or two of compression to better support the stance. It also requires a tougher front tire casing than the aforementioned Maxxis EXO that’s provided to hold up the additional lateral force.

The Foxy RR is a bike that digs its proverbial heels in on rough natural singletrack. It takes a massive hole to hang up the rear wheel, and in most cases, it wants to pump through them and gain speed. I felt comfortable making natural gaps over some of the stone fields that I would typically plow through on my local trails, and I would happily turn up to the gnarliest enduro race on this bike.

Pressing this lanky frame deep into a turn is a treat, no matter the terrain or camber, as its rear tire traction is hard to beat. With a slightly steeper headtube than most any bike in its genre, Mondraker has struck a fine balance between slack descending and agile steering. With the 30mm stem, 66° head tube, and 44mm fork offset, the Foxy is a long bike that will still go where it’s told.

Conclusion

So, who is it designed for? First off, the Foxy RR is a bike built for anyone who races enduro or rides similar tracks. It plays well in the rough stuff and is equipped to handle multiple days of intense trophy chasing. Apart from the tire casings, the build is unmistakably solid throughout, and the shorter travel seat post worked flawlessly despite its stature. The build and capabilities are in line with several similarly priced race bikes out there, and while it won’t fit a tight budget, this package is worth its price tag.

Retail pricing for the Foxy RR will vary depending on location, but Mondraker’s stated international pricing is €6,599 and $7,599USD.

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