Mondraker’s current cross-country lineup is limited to hardtails with a couple of different lay-up varieties of the sleek Podium Carbon 29er that we saw them introduce last summer, but that looks like it is about to change. Over the weekend at the first XCO World Cup of the season, we spotted the elite women & men of the Primaflor Mondraker team racing camouflaged prototypes of a new lightweight carbon full-suspension race bike that takes a lot of design cues from the hardtail. Looking to be based on a 4-bar suspension design most closely related to their Factor trail bikes, this new carbon bike gets the sleek lines of the Podium Carbon. Mondraker is keeping details close to the chest for now, but we got a lot of close shots of the bike that reveal plenty of details, all after the jump…
The first thing you see (besides the geometric camo pattern) with the rider’s leg obscuring the shock and linkages is a striking similarity to the new Podium Carbon hardtail. Like that bike this new full-suspension variant uses a toptube design that starts out relatively horizontal then gets a kink about 20cm/8″ behind the headtube and then goes straight down to line-up with the seatstays all the way to the dropouts.
Seeing the new full-suspension bike next to the Podium Carbon, even without the Brazilian XC champ’s legs in the way, there is some clear family resemblance. Interestingly some of the team were racing bikes without any logos on the fork, but from our understanding they are the just the new light, step cast Fox 32 SC Factory forks that we just saw introduced a few weeks back.
Back to the frame, the bikes have the same raised toptube design just behind the headtube that makes for the smooth transition Mondraker is known for. Like on the Podium, Mondraker continues frame branding over to the ‘Stealth Carbon Integrated’ stems, which suggests to us that there is most likely a production stem with the final graphics hidden under that Escher step camo sticker wrap job on this bike. That suggests that an official release of the bike is coming very soon. This race bike highlights the integrated top cap design on the Stealth stem, but the bike does not have the small chunk of foam than fills the gap on Mondraker production bikes (and keeps parts of your body from getting pinched) between stem & frame.
Back to the suspension, we can see a short link 4-bar design using Mondraker’s Zero suspension tech with a rocker arm mounted to the seattube driving a Fox shock with a remote lockout. Zero connects the shock between the rocker arms (instead of anchoring one end to the frame) which allows them to tune in both small and large bump performance.
The one-piece rear end is asymmetric with no forward connection between the seat and chainstays on the driveside.
That makes sense when we look at the shaping on the other side where we can see the smooth overall shaping (and another peek inside at the shock mount bolt.) Even with that camo wrap job we can see that without any bolts holding two sides together, it is most likely a one-piece carbon rocker. It’s also important to note here the eccentric upper rocker arm mount to the rear end. With a flip-chip style aluminum insert it is possible to slightly change the length of travel of the rear end. That’s something we’ve seen subtly employed on their alloy Foxy & Crafty enduro/trail bikes, but not in carbon as far as we know.
On the non-driveside we can also see the bent strut that connects the rear stays together, just behind the seattube. We also get a good look here at the punctured seattube design that takes a direct design inspiration from the Factor trail bikes, closely wrapped around the Fox Float shock around albeit in carbon here.
Hiding on the inside of the rocker arm, without a sticker wrap we can see clearly that the rocker is made of carbon fiber. Even the tips of the seatstays are exposed here in bare carbon. We also see the thin seatstay bridge connecting the rear end together with plenty of clearance above the spinning 2.1″ Maxxis Ikon tire. Down below the lower link is made of machined aluminum and gets left with a clear ano finish. It’s also clear that the bike sticks with a standard threaded bottom bracket shell, as opposed to the PressFit of the race hardtail.
Looking at the rear end there is a bit of exposed carbon at the thru-axle dropout. The wide small diameter seatstays connect to a shorter extension up from the dropout like on the Podium Carbon. Cable routing though is completely internal unlike on the hardtail, with modular locking ports on the front end and more simple versions in the back. Interestingly the full-suspension XC bikes use a chainstay mounted, direct-mount rear brake with a 160mm Galfer rotor. That does of course signal 140mm rotor compatibility.) There are no logos on it, but that looks a lot like a SRAM Red road hydraulic disc brake caliper (although to be fair the new Level Ultimates share a very similar look if a direct-mount were available.) Brake levers were Level Ultimates.
Overall the bikes looked very finished apart from some electrical tape keeping the rear shock remote lockout cable routing in check. We anticipate getting an official announcement from Mondraker on their new short travel carbon XC full-suspension bike in the very near future.