Field Test: 2020 Mondraker F-Podium DC - It Says Downcountry on the Frame

Dec 2, 2019
by Sarah Moore  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

2020 Mondraker F-Podium DC

So much potential, but the details hold it back on the descents.



Words by Sarah Moore, Photography by Trevor Lyden



When Mondraker printed "downcountry" on the 'DC' model of their F-Podium XC machine, we knew that it had caught on as a subcategory. Or maybe that means it's jumped the shark? Regardless, the DC version of Mondraker's World Cup-level F-Podium gets a longer travel fork, wider tires, and a dropper post.

Prices for the two DC models are $6,000 (F-Podium DC R) and $8,400 USD (as tested). The regular F-Podium XC race model ranges from $5,500 USD to $14,000 USD, but doesn't have that sweet 'downcountry' sticker. Our test rig came with a 120mm Fox 34 Float FIT4 Step-Cast Factory fork, Fox Float Factory rear shock, Shimano XTR brakes, a Shimano XTR drivetrain, and DT-Swiss XR1501 Spline One 29 aluminum wheels.
F-Podium DC Details

Intended use: Downcountry
Travel: 100mm
Wheel size: 29''
Frame construction: Carbon fiber
Head angle: 66.8°
Chainstay length: 432 mm
Reach: 450 mm (size Medium)
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Weight: 26.4lbs / 11.97 kg (as pictured)
Price: $8,400 USD
More info: www.mondraker.com

Mondraker helped popularize the long, slack and low geometry with its bigger travel models, and the striking F-Podium DC incorporates the latest iteration of their Forward Geometry. That means a 450mm reach on a size medium, a 50mm stem, and a 44mm offset fork.

The F-Podium uses the Spanish brand's Zero Suspension system, a dual-link design with a carbon fibre rocker driving the shock through a tunnel in the seat tube, and an aluminum lower link rotating just behind the bottom bracket.

Frame details include full internal cable routing, a rubber frame protector on the chainstay and down tube, space for a bottle cage on the down tube with a choice of two positions, a threaded bottom bracket, and Boost spacing. As with most new bikes these days, it doesn't accept a front derailleur.



Mondraker Podium DC 2020 Pinkbike Field Test Photo by Trevor Lyden
Mondraker Podium DC 2020 Pinkbike Field Test Photo by Trevor Lyden


Climbing

The climbing position on the Mondraker F-Podium DC is dialed. The combination of the 75.1° seat tube angle and the 450mm reach keep you centered over the bike, and the front wheel stays nicely planted on the ground. It’s also really light, and it feels like it on the trail. The F-Podium DC was just 26.4lb, without pedals, which was 300g heavier than the Trek Top Fuel, but two pounds lighter than the Juliana, and three pounds lighter than the Guerilla Gravity.

While we relished the low weight on the climbs, we found the suspension to be somewhat harsh, even for just 100mm. Mondraker's Zero design is extremely efficient, but the shock's stock compression tune is heavy-handed, which negatively impacts the traction on rougher climbs. It also ramps up too quickly, which led to James and I running the pressures much lower than what Mondraker recommends.

One minor gripe was that the stem has a -5° drop. Combined with a trimmed down steerer tube, we found the bar/stem position to be too low even for our XC-ish intentions. It was in a better position for climbing after we flipped it, but visually the stem clearly isn’t meant to be run that way.


Mondraker Podium DC 2020 Pinkbike Field Test Photo by Trevor Lyden

Mondraker Podium DC 2020 Pinkbike Field Test Photo by Trevor Lyden
Mondraker Podium DC 2020 Pinkbike Field Test Photo by Trevor Lyden


Descending

A roomy 450mm reach (size M) combined with a neutral 66.8-degree head tube angle on the F-Podium suggested that it should be a relatively good descender, and for the most part, that’s how the handling felt on the trail. It's easy to navigate through corners and it's stable at speed.

But while the geometry is dialed, the suspension felt unbalanced. There was nothing wrong with the 120mm travel Fox 34, but paired with the rear suspension that ramped up early and aggressively, it sometimes felt like the bike was steeper than it needed to be, pitching us forward. Speaking of that ramp-up, even though we were already running the rear shock with a lot less air and more sag than we were supposed to, neither of us used more than about 80-percent of the available travel, either on the test loop or on any of the longer rides we did. The suspension kinematic has too much rise, and the compression tune on the rear shock is too heavy. Most riders would benefit from yanking out some volume spacers to help make the suspension a little more linear.
Timed Testing

Our timed lap for the downcountry bikes was around 8:30 long and started with a 0.5km singletrack climb up Wild Potato, before heading up the Smell the Glove Connector, a loose double track road that got steeper and steeper towards the top. Then, we dipped into Econo Dave, a spicy black diamond trail with lots of steep rock rolls, before looping back on the loose higher-speed Dark Forest. The climb accounted for half the distance but about two-thirds of the time. More info here.

Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.


Sarah: "I actually set my fastest lap on the Mondraker by a pretty massive 5%."
James: "I set my third-quickest lap, so not the fastest overall, but definitely still one of my faster ones."

Given how efficiently their Zero system suspension works already, in our opinion it doesn't make sense to have a dual remote lockout on this bike. On top of that, the default position on their lockout is locked, and we both locked out the suspension accidentally more than once while descending. Not good. And don't get me started on the dropper post... It returns slowly and with so much friction that it struggles to fully extend.

This platform is clearly an impressive one, but with some key component missteps, it’s not quite there. It's an incredibly efficient bike with progressive geometry and would be right at home on a one-day marathon race or an aggressive XC track, but some spec changes are in order before it's truly worthy of the “downcountry” sticker on the frame.

Mondraker Podium DC 2020 Pinkbike Field Test Photo by Trevor Lyden


Pros

+ Nailed the geometry
+ Pedaling performance is excellent
+ Lightweight
+ Looks fantastic
Cons

- Spec choices hold it back
- Suspension might be too progressive, & the rear shock's stock compression tune is too firm
- No carbon wheels at $8,999





The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible by support from
Race Face apparel & pads, Giro helmets, & Sierra Nevada beer.


Regions in Article
Pemberton


411 Comments

  • 214 14
 $14,000. For a mountain bike. Hahahahahahahahaha
  • 135 28
 I laughed too...until I realized I've put over $5000 of upgrades into my $8000 bike. Now I'm contemplating therapy.
  • 117 2
 @chriskneeland: What needed an upgrade on a $8000.00 bike?
  • 53 3
 Damn Yetis.....
  • 75 0
 @chriskneeland: So, you need to pay for a therapy because you overspent on your last therapy?
  • 180 6
 @High-Life: New ElevenSix and of course a new fork to match, but it has 10mm more travel so it's justified. Custom carbon wheel set that made me .002 seconds faster. $450 on 25mm more dropper post travel. Cockpit upgrades, because who needs an 8 degree bar sweep when you can have 9. I may need help.
  • 24 0
 @chriskneeland: Well on the positive side, you can always tell your significant other that you upped the resale value Wink
  • 9 0
 @High-Life: He bought a F-Podium DC aparently.
  • 26 2
 Probably makes a lot of sense to somebody making f*ck you money. I buy the best bike I can afford (usually in the 3-4K range when I’m done building it,) not sure why it’s a surprise other people do the same.
  • 2 1
 + you need to upgrade it to coil suspension so that it is less harsh and more DC...
  • 12 0
 @chriskneeland: Sounds like you have your priorities straight to me
  • 8 0
 If I were paying that sum of money for an over-forked XC bike I would want it to either weigh 2kg less, or come with 130mm travel
  • 1 0
 @matttauszik: Love em and hate em at the same time
  • 33 12
 I sure hope anybody who can spend the kind of money being discussed here is supporting the hell out of every MTB alliance and advocacy group they can find.
  • 4 3
 @number44: For real
  • 5 1
 @chriskneeland: i like the honesty Smile
  • 11 0
 That's $18,600 Canadian pesos
  • 20 0
 @Hayek: The Downcountry model we tested was $8,400 USD. The top-of-the-line XC race model, the F-Podium RR SL, is the one that will set you back $14,000 USD: www.pinkbike.com/news/first-look-mondraker-f-podium-xc-racing-bike.html
  • 16 7
 Or buy all 3 YT models (excluding DJ and dEcoy)
  • 15 0
 Whats a Bace Face?
  • 4 0
 @chriskneeland: ElevenSix. Understandable.
  • 8 0
 @sarahmoore: I'mma buy 2 Yetis for $14 k
  • 47 0
 @scary1: Backcountry.com patented the word "Race" so RaceFace had to change their name.
  • 14 11
 it's getting ridiculous... But the thing is people will still buy them. Supply and demand. How bout we all boycott expensive bikes and only buy entry level or ride our current bikes longer before we replace. If they can't sell high end bikes they'll have to lower the prices right? right?! right???!!!
  • 25 0
 @chriskneeland: Eff 'em and feed 'em beans, is what I say. If you want to spend your money on your bike, and it makes you happy, and you have it, I say go for it, man. Good for you!
  • 1 0
 @matttauszik:

now that's working the system!
  • 181 0
 @stumphumper92: lol I've been boycotting supercars and yachts my entire life but somehow they keep making them.
  • 2 0
 @High-Life: nobody makes bikes that can withstand the kneeland abuse.
  • 8 3
 8k and weighs the same as my 150/130 travel trail bike. Haha they are out of their minds.
  • 9 0
 For that price, it has to at least be a Downmountain frame
  • 6 0
 @jollyXroger: but my therapist advised to get outside and buy a mountain bike #confused
  • 5 0
 @High-Life: Rider skills ? )
  • 1 1
 @Svinyard: love it
  • 4 0
 @sarahmoore: Thanks for the link. I was actually referring to the $8.5k model in my comment (as I still can’t wrap my mind around $14k for an MTB).

At $8.5k I’d just expect every 100mm-travel bike to weigh under 12kg. Maybe I just don’t understand Downcountry.
  • 2 0
  • 7 1
 @chriskneeland: I have a cavity I need you to look at. Can you fit me in?
  • 8 0
 $14,000USD or $589,418,305.79 Iranian Rial
  • 3 2
 @mybaben: No dentist money for me my man, just a whole lot of sacrifices.
  • 4 0
 @chriskneeland: You spent $14k on a 26er?
  • 3 2
 @SoDiezl350: Nah, the 26 is my park bike. I built that up cheap. The enduro rig is 27.5.
  • 2 0
 @ssteve: or lessened the resale loss.
Depends...if its an Evil ,your just screwed.
  • 1 0
 @sarahmoore: wow a 20lbs full suspension bike would be something else
  • 2 0
 @thebradjohns: you misspelt New Zealand Dollar
  • 14 0
 @stumphumper92: No. They have to keep the expensive models even if nobody buys them. Their main purpose is to make a 3000$ bike look cheap and a $5000 one "best compromise"
  • 4 0
 @ak-77: this is very true that they provide perspective on the other models. but people will buy them though, the nature of human behaviour is that there will always be someone who wants the 'best one' (be it a house, car, job, bike or wife).
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: this is very true and a tactic commonly used in marketing
  • 4 0
 @tobiusmaximum: Who doesn't want a "best" wife?
  • 1 1
 @Svinyard: you win the internet today, sir.
  • 3 0
 @friendlyfoe: the other thing to consider is that websites generally review the top of the line model.

If a brand can get their top end bike reviewed and it has better specs than everyone else's it has a better chance of riding better than everyone else's.

Then when everyone reads the glowing review they buy a more reasonably priced version (you can't review every model in the lineup). So having a halo bike = better reviews = more sales even if no one buys the top end version.
  • 2 0
 @mtnrush666: my thoughts also. "Too progressive" just begs for a coil shock upgrade!
  • 2 0
 @woofer2609: why only wife? And do we need to make the distinction between ‘want’ and ‘can have’? (With regards to all)
  • 1 0
 @chriskneeland: A man of culture.
  • 1 0
 @JDFF: lol. This bike has no purpose.
  • 2 1
 @BenPea: i agree. Needs 65ish degree HTA and then it would be a contender. Short travel bikes with modern geo are pretty nice for 30+ km rides with climbing/descending. But this one doesnt have HTA to get excited about.
  • 1 0
 @Rucker10: I'm exactly like you in that regard, BUT I do have a friend who can genuinely afford any bike on the market and he scoffs at the idea of spending that much on a bike. Maybe if he were into biking, he'd change his mind but, with the prices he sees on good builds, it means he likely won't ever invest in even an entry-level build.
  • 3 0
 If this is what a Downcountry bike looks like, does it make my 170/180 enduro bike an Upcountry bike?
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: And mansions! I ain’t buying non of them suckers neither!
  • 3 0
 @Ian713: Well there's something to be said about that honestly. Dude probably didn't get to be where he's at by spending all his money on bullshit like $14,000 bikes. If I had all the money in the world there's a good chance my bikes wouldn't look too much different than they do at the $3-4k level. Only difference would be that I'd pay for hand made frames from local builders (gotta get me that REEB Sqweeb son.)
  • 1 0
 Double Like!
  • 1 0
 @JDFF: add a 150mm fork and you'd have a decent old-man hardtail
  • 4 4
 @number44: let people do with THEIR OWN money what THEY wish. stop this bs shaming. get over yourself and get the F*** out of everyone elses business.
  • 3 2
 @conoat: Wow, well I will say I actually appreciate someone replying with their view rather than just blind downvotes. I would point out that shaming would be something like "you are a bad person if you don't contribute" or some such, as opposed to what I said which was "I sure hope" that MTBers that can contribute, do.

The ad hominen "get over yourself and get the F*** out of everyone elses business" is kinda bullshit though. Not that keeping it civil is an internet thing, or much of a thing for us Americans anymore - everybody's triggered into their caps lock.

Yes, you may do what you like with your money, obviously; but I'll continue to hope - and encourage - part of that is giving to MTB advocacy. I'm not sorry if that fires you up as much as it seems to.
  • 1 0
 @Hayek: honestly its just "if people keep buying the price will keep going up"
so people buy them. how i dont know, but they buy them
  • 1 0
 @number44: you surely see that "I sure hope" is really condescending and infantilizing, yes?
  • 2 0
 @conoat: no it isn't, it's just a manner of speaking ya f*cking goof.
  • 147 5
 Looks beautiful, promising design, but ramps up too quickly and is hard to live with for more than a day. . . They should rename this model to "Ex Wife"
  • 52 29
 it's almost 2020 - "ex partner"
  • 19 12
 Haha, the Mondraker Ex Girlfriend. Perfect. I can't call her an ex wife because I'm too clever to ever marry.
  • 65 4
 As a XC racer I feel this is the first time the Field Test has dived into bikes I would actually buy/race. Appreciate it.
  • 36 5
 Really enjoyed this. Can't wait for next month's field test video!
  • 31 1
 Trever Lyden, your photos are incredible.
  • 9 0
 I agree. Thanks @trevorlyden!
  • 11 0
 He somehow managed to even make me look (sort of) good. That in and of itself is the mark of true talent.
  • 2 0
 @angryasian: Just a quick tip for all of you doing these reviews. If you're going to continue to read data etc on camera, get a teleprompter. You can get some really inexpensive ones that you can connect to a tablet/ipad. It's weird watching you talk "to" us while you're looking past us over our shoulders. Smile
DM me if you want some help finding one.
  • 2 0
 @rrolly: We actually weren't reading off of anything! There were two cameras running the whole time, and a lot of the footage was apparently us looking at the other camera.
  • 1 0
 @angryasian: lol! That's weird...
  • 1 0
 @angryasian: Hey - are you the same Angry Asian from like, 2001? If so, I still have a couple of those yellow die-cut stickers on my toolboxes somewhere.
  • 1 0
 @endlessblockades: Yep, one in the same!
  • 30 0
 but it didnt snap so...
  • 21 0
 Head of Marketing Mondraker:

“Jésus, what did you want Levy?! You said this new DownCountry thing would pay off. That doesn’t work if we have to pay designers...honestly if you wanted more than an XC frame with a long travel fork and downcountry written on it you should have told us...we’d have been out from day 1!”
  • 1 0
 So good , spot on bro
  • 3 0
 Which brings us to: why isnt Levy reviewing these?
  • 27 3
 way too heavy for a XC bike at 12kg without pedals and a 9000€ price tag
  • 2 1
 Agreed.
  • 20 18
 I would be more concerned about using Minions on a DC bike... rolling resistance off the charts for the purpose.
100mm XC marathon: Maxxis Aspen/ Pace > 100mm XCO: Ikon/ Ardent Race > 120mm Down Country: Minion DHF > DH bike 200mm of travel: Minion DHF - makes perfect sense. NOT

oh I shred downs so hard on my DC bike that I need DH knobs.
  • 6 1
 @WAKIdesigns:
My DC bike is rocking Forekaster/Rekon. It’d be nice to see brands start using this combo rather than the DHF because you’re right, that is way too draggy of a tire if you’re actually using the bike for “down country”/trail and not just trying to turn an XC bike into an enduro racer
  • 6 8
 @BamaBiscuits: Rekon looks really good. Basically Bonty XR2 with better center knobs. I want to try it. I'd probably run Rekon back and Aggressor front. Or my favoirte combo XR2/ SE4
  • 9 1
 The model we tested was 26.4lbs / 11.97 kg with the control tires, correct, but it was the downcountry model with a $8,400 USD price tag. The claimed weight on the top-of-the-line 9000€ F-Podium RR is 9.520kg (20.98lbs).
  • 10 0
 @WAKIdesigns: We only ran Minions to keep things consistent for testing. For sure, it's likely not the tire that most people would run on a bike like this. If this were my bike, I'd at least run a faster-rolling rear.
  • 5 8
 @angryasian: hah I like your faith in humanity. I am quite sure there’s at least as many DC bikes with Minions out there as there are Enduro rigs with Hans Dampfs Big Grin
  • 21 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I have the rather unique theory that a rider's desired tire choice should in large part determine how much travel and how extreme your chosen bike should be.
For instance, I think it's silly that the SB100/ SB130/ & SB150 all arrive with the exact same factory tire selection when one bike is XC/ light trail and the other extreme is a full on Enduro race bike. The tires should match the application. Is it any wonder that rider reviews often say things like "The SB150 doesn't pedal any worse than the SB130, so might as well get the 150..." No shit they don't pedal any differently, they have the exact same tires even though 1 is a trail bike and the other is a race bike. Put trail tires on the trail bike and get back with me on that.
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: LOL. I run a dhf/rekon both 27.5x2.6 on a Vitus sentier hardtail.
  • 7 0
 @SunsPSD: Hey now, slow down with the common sense approach on here, mmmmmkay. Smile
  • 9 6
 @SunsPSD: I was preaching that since a long time. All based on own experience with going Down Country in 2012 that is long before it got cool.

What’s the point of going down in travel from Enduro bike when you keep the tires and the fork... and everything fricking else just as they were?! The only one single factor that separates Norco Optic from Norco Range or SB130 from SB150 is rear suspension travel. What’s the point then?!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Placebos work. That's why I run Minions on my 120 mm bike whenever I go somewhere less flat than home. And because I shred downs so hard that I need all the DH knobs I can get to complement my limited steering abilities of course.
  • 2 0
 I'm not sure their testing would have been any less valid if they had used a different more relevant control tire for the DC bikes.
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I have a ti hardtail thats roughly the same geo as the kona honzo, so a 67 deg HTA; nothing too crazy. It climbs significantly better than my enduro rig(s) even if I have the same tires on them, and is more fun on flowy trails that aren't too rough.

I'm sick of pinching through sidewalls, washing out the rear end, having no braking traction, etc so I put a DHF and an aggressor on it. Its not that I think short travel bikes should have the same tires as enduro/DH bikes, its that I don't see the point for any tire lighter than an agressor/highroller unless you race XC. Otherwise its like CX- the worst of mountain biking mixed with the worst of road biking.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I just finished wearing out a set of high rollers on my 2018 anthem advanced 1. New tires are magic mary ultra soft. Huge difference in weight and rolling resistance. The Mary's are beasts. But have been sticking like glue on the wet trails.

Next week mounting up some studded tires as fromme is now covered in snow.
  • 3 0
 @SunsPSD: I mean, yeah, your logic holds up, but a well sorted shorter travel bikes with meaty tires and big brakes is a hell of a lot of fun. I ride a Trail Pistol, running 2.3" DHF/Agressor with Cura 4's, and it's perfect. There is no such thing as out-riding brakes or tires, you can corner at mach-chicken, cary as much speed as you want anywhere you want knowing it'll stop in a second if you get in over your head and it still climbs extremely well. If our trails got rain more than once every couple months I might be back on a lighter/faster rolling tire, but every time I try lighter/faster I end up back on some version on Minions rather quickly, and have for like 15 years now.

I'd rather see bikes come with tire options, it sucks getting a new bike and then having to drop another $125 on a set of tires because it either came with some cheapo thin wall wire bead OEM only version of a tire, or something that works well everywhere except where and how you ride.
  • 2 3
 @hamncheez: CX doesn´t have anything to do with mountain biking.
  • 2 1
 @fabwizard: Try Rock Razor at some point. It's the best semi click with big side knobs that I tried, compared to XR3, Minion SS and Spesh Grid, XR and SS being the worst. Rock Razor has more grip for braking than it looks like (unless it's big urfaces of greasy mud) and climbing grip is almost on par with knobby tires. It's not an anchor like DHR2 or HR before it wears out but it can more than what one would think. Then it allows for good sideways action and steering as High Roller. Magic Marys in soft alsow don't suffer from being caught by the diagonal roots which can't be said about Shorties which you really want to point well at roots.
  • 1 2
 @angryasian: imagine if people who test sports shoes (running, hiking, trail, etc) somehow managed to change every grip of every pair of shoes to a "control grip" -how sensible would that be?
  • 17 0
 Thanks for starting to roll the good content out again.
Makes you wonder what would have happened if:

1) the shock tune was better - 200 bucks if you want to do yourself
2) the remote was reversed or they just removed the dam thing - not cheap
3) the stem was changed - cheap....

I am intrigued about this frame as I would like an XC bike with a slacker head tube angle.
  • 10 0
 I don't think poor shock performance is only due to an error in shock tune; most of mondraker's bike reviews report some harshness in the rear suspension, probably due to the ton of antisquat they put into it to make the bike perform so well on smooth climbs.
Probably this tune was intended to suit the needs of the xc race crowd, more than the DC trail riders, and pairing it with a longer fork only exacerbate the racey nature of the shock.
  • 21 0
 James Huang is going to be working on a little project to explore exactly this. Stay tuned.
  • 4 0
 Check out the Intense Sniper Trail. 120/120 travel, 66.5 HTA, light, pedals great, is really capable. It's my I'm-trying-to-figure-out-what-"retired from amateur XC racing"-means bike and I'm loving it. I thought there would be more trade-offs for the heat tube angle and little bit extra travel but it turns out that modern bikes are just really good (I'm coming from a Scapel 29er from a few years ago). Anyway, I'm stoked on this whole downcountry thing. I don't live somewhere with terrain that would make it worth it to me to pedal around a 30 lb 6" travel bike.
  • 2 0
 @Becciu: Mondraker's seem to have a lot of rotation in the lower shock mount. There is a Spanish company (name escapes me) that makes a roller bearing for the lower shock mount on the Mondraker's and it really helps with the initial shock response without giving up any of that lovely Mondraker efficiency.
And the idea of a Suspension lock out on a Mondraker is just silly to me anyways, more weight and complexity for no good reason at all. If anything in this price range the bike should have had that electronic suspension.
  • 1 0
 Norco Revolver 120
  • 1 0
 @SunsPSD: oh ya having a needle bearing or other type on the moving end of a shock makes a huge difference I initial break away.
  • 1 0
 @mh731: Banshee Phantom.3
  • 2 0
 @Becciu: The more XC bikes I ride, the more I appreciate the old formula of not so high anti squat with a bar mounted lockout. Around 90% is where I like it.
  • 1 0
 Look at the Spot Ryve. Comes in 100 and 115 rear travel. Fast enough to race; fun enough not to.
  • 2 0
 @SunsPSD: The company is www.amachete.com
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: no pun intended ...
  • 20 2
 Downcountry sticker on frame and only 14 grand?!

Take my money!!
  • 7 1
 The two DC models are actually $6,000 (F-Podium DC R) and $8,400 USD (as tested). The top-end XC race model (F-Podium RR SL) is the one that's $14,000 and won't come with a DC sticker.
  • 14 14
 @sarahmoore: who in their fing right mind would pay 8400 US Dollars for a bicycle, let alone 14000USD? You see, i love bikes for sure and non-bike-people laugh at me when I tell them my used fork was more expensive than their whole bike (250 Euros), but seriously? It's a bicycle after all?
  • 9 0
 @Muckal: Same person that buys a $700k earthroamer.
  • 6 0
 @Muckal: I would, tho 14K is a bit nuts. People pay $80k for their cars and i get way more enjoyment, and spend more time, biking.
  • 5 1
 @Howieday91: Had to look that up. WTF.
  • 2 1
 @LuvAZ: seems just as crazy to me.
  • 4 0
 @Muckal: I think you are underestimating the percentage of people that are in not "in their fing right mind". They are a decent share of the market.
  • 3 0
 I work at a print should I’ll print a shit load of stickers and we can all be Downcountry for free
  • 15 1
 As an owner of 2 Mondrakers, I find this review pretty stereotypical of Mondraker. Pretty much the best designed frames out there, with a poor value specification.
If you don't mind spending just a couple $100 more on a frame set over other boutique bike makers, you can really build the ultimate bike starting with a Mondraker frameset.
  • 2 1
 As an owner of Mondraker, I wholeheartedly disagree with your opinion. Never seen a frame with so much technical mistakes...
  • 2 0
 @embi: Please expound on this topic. I'm curious! Thanks.
  • 13 0
 I am just here for the advent calendar....Field test you are dead to me.... Dont buy the 10k bike....befriend your dentist and buy his 10k bike for 5k every time you convince him he needs a new 10k bike. Win-win-win-win shop-dentist-you-bike marketing guys
  • 13 0
 A bit of a survey question here... is there anyone else out there that dislikes the constant "generic youtube background downtempo" that's in the background of every. single. video. these days?
  • 7 1
 Agreed. I'm getting tired of music in general.
  • 9 0
 Wow that's bleak
  • 1 0
 @nordland071285: indeed
  • 2 1
 Bring back the original field test music.
@mikelevy
@brianpark
@sarahmoore
  • 1 0
 @JLastra: that partybanger song would not leave my brain after last year. Ughhh
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I loved it haha!
  • 14 5
 The term 'downcountry' makes me cringe a bit, as did 'enduro' when that was the new buzzword a few years ago. I appreciate the need to categorise things for the purposes of marketing, but it's all just mountain biking at the end of the day... I do think that these 'downcountry' (gip) bikes are pretty spot on for UK trail riders though. I see too many people slugging away on enduro race bikes with far more travel than they will ever use.
  • 4 0
 I cringe every time someone tries to define enduro, or make a comparison; it's more enduro than xc or more xc than enduro. It's stupid and specially cause there was already another 2 wheel sport with the same name. I really miss the simpler times where everything was mountain biking. This to say that I was reading some MB action (I think) from around 97 or 98 I there were some velo-schusser naming for bikes made to ride on ski resorts and the downcountry/backcountry was also around somewhere.
  • 20 10
 That may be because you thought that All Mountain was ok. It wasn't. It was as cool as wearing "The Call of Cthulhu" T-shirt which didn't exactly mean you were out each weekend on Death metal concerts drinking, taking drugs and shagging girls - it often meant you play RPG games with nerds at night: Meet Dave, he rides All mountain by day and is a high level Elf assasin by night
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: i am top 800 europe at warcraft 3 (lvl 26 is pretty high lvl too) hate the elfs though -FOR THE HORDE

did you know that mintberry-crunch defeated cthullu ?
  • 2 8
flag WAKIdesigns (3 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 @optimumnotmaximum: oh you hate the elves, is it like boycotting Black Friday? Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Are they not just trail bikes??? I don't get it either.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: actually not, in game (wc 3) they always want to "protect the land and kill all defilers" and when it counts their walking trees eat other trees to gain health -i just could not stand their bigotry.

their "for the goddess" also triggered me -not sure it should.
  • 3 10
flag WAKIdesigns (3 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 @optimumnotmaximum: "protect the land and kill all defilers" I swear I hear it everytime Americans talk trail access
  • 4 5
 @WAKIdesigns: The Call of Cthulhu? Doesn't sound particularly death metal to me, it being an early instrumental Metallica tune. You may be mixing up death metal with something else. Maybe if you're a heavy bloke you may be able to get away with taking alcohol and drugs in the pit but otherwise I think staying alert is the best way to enjoy the experience. Shagging girls at a death metal concert? To each their own but good to keep in mind that not everyone with long hair is a lady. Depending on how much alcohol and drugs you took you may recall otherwise but ehrm, ok let me not burst that bubble for you right now.

Bummer to hear All Mountain lost its cool. It was basically the "shut up and ride" category when everything segregated. It seems they call it trail nowadays. But now that full suspension bikes with with less than 5" travel in the rear and more in the front suddenly fall in this downcountry category, we've got so much overlap that it makes you head spin. I get that but don't go silly on the alcohol and drugs. Then if you do, death metal concerts may not be the safe place to attend.
  • 3 0
 It's already hard enough trying explain to joe-public that I have a bike specifically designed for going down hills and I also have a bike that is meant for going up AND down. Feck knows how I'd explain that there's a sliding scale of bikes that have varying amounts up and down capabilities depending on 20 or so nuanced characteristics.
  • 1 0
 @haroman666: And here you are on Pinkbike, defending that you ride a Haro Wink . Both among Joe in public as well as here on the internet, both are hash places. Best is to keep this thing low key.
  • 8 10
 @vinay: that is your problem, you analyze it too deeply. No Call of Cthulhu - no joke created by bridging Metal and RPG. You're like that sketch with Mark Zuccherberg arguing with Elon Musk about who is cooler: Musk says he is super cool, Tesla, Space Rockets - Zuccherberg: More money, virtually everyone using his site, he says he's infinitely cool - Musk: I am cooler, like infinity +1. Zuccherberg: you can't add one to inifinity, that makes no sense - Musk. that's exactly what a boring uncool nerd would say.
  • 3 1
 I liked the term 'all mountain'..it went some way to describing it's purpose as a kind of do-it-all bike. The term enduro conjours up images of the 80s, and i don't need that in my life
  • 1 0
 @vinay: While Call of Cthulhu may not be Death Metal per se, anything H.P. Lovecraft is metal AF. As far as shagging girls at death metal concerts go, there is a distinct lack of ladies at death metal shows. Unless you're actually in the band, then you may, MAY, have a shot at something. You want a shot a ladies, go see John Mayer or Maroon 5, way more selection there.

The only place where categories matter are on Pinkbike. Out in the real world, no one really gives AF and just rides. Out in the real world, no one actually uses "Down Country". This place has become a microcosm of idiocy. Entertaining though.
  • 5 10
flag WAKIdesigns (3 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 @nordland071285: all mountain was synonymous with send-deficiency, rotorburn and possibly erectile dysfunction. If you rode AM you were almost certainly a dork who cannot pedal and cannot ride DH so he found himself a niche where nobody can judge him while he can pretend he is good at both. “After all I rode for fun” he hinted
  • 1 0
 You are v right there! in the UK this summer I put some beefy tires on my 100mm XC bike and it was more than enough for Lake District riding, but there are plenty riding full enduro on these trails
  • 4 0
 @t-stoff: fun fact, I think it was @RichardCunningham who was advocating for 'velo-schussing' back in the day.

For the record, I think Enduro is pretty easy and reasonable to define as a race format. I do cringe when people describe their regular trail as an "enduro" trail or whatever. Like, nah, enduro is what happens if actually do timed racing on that trail. Otherwise it's just a rad trail.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: cannot pedal and cannot ride DH, 90% of riders then?
  • 3 4
 @brianpark: Indeed riding Enduro trails or "how about we ride Enduro today* is just awful - like in the old days "hi mate wanna join? We'll do some little freeride today" - that on another hand meant: let's push bikes uphill, ride down in horrific manner and just do mega drops. Then some folks who had "DH bikes" that by then wouldn't pedal even on flat, they were pioneers of enduro... they came up with a concept of "exploring freeride", whihc in most cases meant doing lots of fireroad to ride down where there was almost no trail ending up in some awful bushes, making you cary that piece of sht of a bike for hours along the valley bottom. None of them would even attempt to pedal up the hill! Freeriders didn't pedal - That's what made them different from Lycra boys - who are obviously pussies, that's what makes Freeriders different, that's what made them special!

Special indeed...
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Moore Huang. For the Pivot review, they swap hair configurations
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Sorry I care too little about Musk and Zuccherberg to understand what you just said there. I wasn't analyzing deeply on purpose, I just didn't find anything sensible on the surface.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: HAHAHA. I ride all mountain on an overspec'd bike but never played a video game after Tetris (on a 286).

Lovecraft's inspiration in DM is very prevalent, for sure.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: RC was also behind the ill fated “Black Diamond” category name.
  • 3 0
 @jmc361: To his credit I think that wasn't his idea so much as another editor he's tried hard not to throw under the bus. Smile

Not that we can throw stones here, with Levy kicking off the whole downcountry thing...
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Do people actually talk like that? Usually the only questions asked are what are we going to ride today and are you bringing your full face lol. Enduro never bothered me as a bike category as it stands for bikes suitable for enduro racing. Trail is anything less then that until you get to XC which again were typically race focused geometry at the other end of the spectrum. Now bike companies have gone hey maybe people want a little bit slacker XC bikes that you wouldn't race on but are still pedaling efficiency focused. It's kind of trail light but I'm coming around to DC...slowly.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: It's just a rebrand.. If there havd been a race category called 'all mountain' at the time.. Then it would be identical
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I'm pretty sure every bike I've seen someone apply the DC label to is an XC race bike with a longer fork, shorter stem and wider bars. That's it. They are most certainly bikes you could race on with a simple air shaft swap.
  • 1 0
 @LeDuke: there seem to be a handful of them where the head angle is also slacker but still only 100mm travel? Unless that's what people are racing.
  • 1 0
 You can install a slackerizer type headset to reduce the head angle so that may help. A longer fork has benefits too as long as you stay within what's recommended by the manufacturer. After all running a longer fork subjects the head tube area to bigger stresses so you actually need to ride more gentle than you would have to with a shorter fork. Now that wheels have grown so big whereas (especially in XC) they try to keep the stack low, head tubes have become particularly short. Which isn't going to help either. And I doubt the "downcountry crowd" would even benefit from a low stack. So don't get me wrong. What's being labeled now as "downcountry" makes perfect sense I think. Heck, I'd even say more people benefit from a more relaxed and comfortable XC type bike than the all out "race" spec'd bike. It isn't even new. People have always been modding their XC bikes to suit them (riser bars, shorter stems, stronger brakes longer forks etc). I'd just say that if these XC bikes are optimized for racing, then it would be nice if companies would cater to this DC market with bikes with at least a bit stronger headtube areas and probably also longer head tubes (to reduce the loads and increase stack). These 90 or even 80mm head tubes seem unnecessarily sketchy to me when paired with longer forks.
  • 10 1
 I actually prefer reliable strong aluminium DT Swiss wheels to carbon, but find there are many options preferable to a Float DPS shock (CC IL, Manitou McLeod, DVO Topaz, etc.). Some are even much cheaper (like the McLeod), even though they don't have any Ka$hima bling of course...
.
  • 1 0
 I recently put a fox dps on my 130mm flexstay bike.

The interesting part being it's a digressive tune intended for a 2019 Evil Following.
I am a lighter rider @140lb the digressive tune gives it platform but the evol combined with a progressive leverage rate means it has awesome small bump as well.
I am able to run 25% sag and use 95% travel without harsh bottom outs.

Previously I hated the float dps I had on this bike and it had a light compression tune.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: glad the shock works for you. I have an X-Fusion O2 PVA on a 2010 Ghost AMR Plus and had a DPS Evol Performance on a 2017 Cube Stereo 160. The DPS managed to both be non-supple on small bumps, spike on square edge bumps and rush through its travel to bottom out on large hits (jumps/drops/etc.). I changed the stock (smallest, 0.2) spacer for the second largest one (0.8 and the largest that will fit), which prevented bottom out. Lowering air pressure slightly improved smallish bumps, but real small bump compliance still sucked, it lacked support and still hung up on square edge bumps. The only thing it did pretty well was not moving during pedalling (or during any small movement or hit for that matter). I tried all combinations of air pressure, rebound and compression damping and spacer size. I assumed the frame was to blame, but gave it a final try with a new shock (Manitou McLeod). And what do you know? Small bump compliance, support and not spiking on square edge hits were really possible after all!
Out of my three shocks, I would rate the McLeod first (ridiculously good, even on long descents, and especially but not only considering the price), the X-Fusion second (good compliance but overheats on extended descents) and the DPS a distant third. The DPS also happens to be the most expensive one...
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: ya I've had a McLeod on my last bike but shame they don't make TRUNNION mount to my knowledge.

I have a ribbon on my bike and have had a diamond also I tend to like the smaller companies.

But unfortunately dvo cancelled the inline opal shock they where working on so I don't have a choice ATM. But mrp have the dual chamber Jackson air shock on the way that will have 165x45 TRUNNION available. I was planning on getting it but this fox is better then anything I've ran including the Cane Creek db inline coil.

Every shock I've ever ran had too much compression for me until I found this digressive fox shock.

Also a note the Dvo topaz uses digressive damping also.
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: again, glad the DPS works for you. But the fact remains that the damping circuit is mediocre at best. I understand that a wrong tune for your frame can really mess up even a great shock. But I wonder how a proper shock with a digressive tune would work on your bike. Hopefully, Manitou will make trunnion mount shocks as well some day. Does your frame not have room for a small piggyback?
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: Felt Edict?

The Mcleod is my go-to on short travel bikes. So far it hasn't disappointed me since it's so tuneable.
  • 12 1
 I actually love the term "downcountry". A reviewer has created a new genre of bikes and manufacturers are responding. Hats off @mikelevy.
  • 2 0
 I bet people like you and want to spend time with you. Your positivity has no place in the comments Wink
  • 16 8
 Can we talk about the absurdity of a $14k bike? The joke used to be that the bike on the rack was worth more than the car because we were cheap, and the bike was on a rust bucket. Now the car can be damn near new and the statement is still true. What happened to the blue collar riders? Where's Shaun Palmer racing in Jeans? And while I'm on this soap box... get off my lawn!!!
  • 8 0
 Old man time... I remember driving my '92 Geo Metro to Whistler with 6K worth of bike on the back back in ~05. I traded the car in for 50 bucks and sold the bike for 3k. Value is just a question of demand.
  • 18 0
 I mean literally this year Johannes Von Klebelsberg was racing in jeans. And the amount of bike you get for $3K is literally 10x better than what you got for the same money 20 years ago (the year Shaun won the DH & dual).
  • 2 0
 Damn you, now I have to google that sweet, sweet ride. Oh the stupidity that ensued before I wrecked the CV's.
  • 14 1
 What happened to the blue collar riders?

you know cheap and used bikes still exist right?

You know what else is absurd? $300k cars, that doesn't mean everyone driving a car has one....
  • 3 0
 I agree, I have never been one to complain about the cost of our sport until recently. I understand this is like buying an f1 car or a factory moto blah blah blah. This is getting mental now though...
  • 7 2
 How about the absurdity of a $60k truck that doesn't keep you in good shape, healthy, or having fun? A $14k bike isn't even high compared to what other, inferior hobbies cost.
  • 4 0
 I think because good bikes are getting better, while crap bikes still remain crap. Brian makes the point that a $3k bike now is 10x better than a $3k bike 20 years ago, but the same cannot be said for a $100 bike, they are still as bad as they always have been. The technology has not seemed to have trickled down over the years. Suspension and brakes have seen the biggest improvements, but otherwise they just suck. Giant, Trek and Specialized obviously know how to make a bike with good geometry and are easy to ride, I don't understand why they cannot apply this to their entry-level models, the only brand I can think of doing this are calibre. Whenever I try to introduce my friends to riding, and they take one of the cheap rental bikes, I always let them have a go on my bike just to show them how much easier it is on a proper bike.
They are closer to road bikes (steep head angles, long stem, narrow bars) with mountain bike tires, than real mountain bikes. If this does not get addressed, our end of the sport is just going to get more expensive.
  • 5 0
 @electricsquirrel: Yes, there is a reasonable barrier to entry. A useable mountain bike will never cost as little as a skate deck because it's a more complicated thing.
  • 1 1
 Relax. Don't take anything I say here too seriously. I'm just periodically logging in to see it the kids still think dirt jumping hardtails is cool enough to someday warrant a review. The end of the day, I'm just a dinosaur that still rides urban, and freerides park without posting my Strava times on social media. In a world of e-bikes, down country, and bikes that require one to liquidate equity and the kids' college fund, I've found myself turning into Cranky Kong. Just shaking my cane at you damn kids....
  • 6 0
 @brianpark: yes but he still has a point on the Geo thing. It doesnt cost more to weld the pipes into a more mtb specific geo.
  • 7 0
 @reverend27: Fair. There aren't nearly enough ~$1K bikes with modern geometry out there. We'll be doing a $1500 and $3000 version of the Field Test in the new year, and hopefully as an industry we can put more effort into more accessible bikes.
  • 2 0
 @focofox37: you're 37....
  • 1 0
 @arrowheadrush: but Bruh.... 26 was a lifetime ago, I remember when all the cool kids ran 24.... LOL
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I know it's a dead horse at this point, but why, using this "more complexity" logic, is a bicycle now more expensive than a new dirtbike?
  • 7 2
 @teagues: it isn't if you compare apples to apples. Weight matters so much more on even an entry level bike compared to a motorcycle.

The $2K I spent on my TW200 is the equivalent of a $300 Wal-Mart bike. I can buy the equivalent of Aaron Gwin's DH bike and it'll be $12K, but if you want to buy Eli Tomac's Kawasaki you can add a zero to that figure...
  • 1 0
 @manhattanprjkt83: buy a hard tail with a rigid fork if you don't like it.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: I spend more time in my car on a weekly basis than I do on my bicycle.
  • 1 1
 @arrowheadrush: Those cars are mind numbingly complicated. Loaded with aluminum, carbon fiber, magnesium, and other expensive materials. They are also 100% hand assembled with individually machined pieces. Unlike a bike with a made in China/ Taiwan frame being built for less than a few hundred dollars per unit.

Cars to bikes is a bad comparison.
  • 1 0
 I agree. The only time I am able to even somewhat afford a new bike is with a second job and an end of the year clearance where things are at least 30% off.
  • 1 0
 @jmhills: I'm in the "get both" camp. I think they're both well worth it.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: You're not being entirely forthright with that comparison. Yes, your TW200 (or Trail 90) is inexpensive and has minimal complexity, hence the low price. And we're not talking about "factory" rides like Gwin's or Tomac's. We're discussing "too much" for a run-of-the-mill, manufacturer-spec, bike that comes out of a box from China just like any other bike. You know, $12,000 Yetis and $14,000 Mondrakers vs. YZ450Fs ($8100) and 450SX-Fs ($10,500). It's disingenuous to claim there's more technology in any way in the two former compared to the two latter...
  • 1 0
 @teagues: I can't speak for Brian.. but what I think he's alluding to is that even on the 'low end' or mid-range of MTBs weight has to be close to that of a 'factory ride'. Also, because of weight and size, MTBs have to have parts which much higher tolerances AND coupled with low weight is more expensive. If bikes and all their suspension/brake parts were made out of stamped or low cost cast chromoly steel with low end moto tolerances, yes, they'd likely be 1/4 their current retail pricing. However, they've be MUCH 'larger' and weigh 50lbs, or more. Which, in both cases is a no go for bicycle consumers.

-I'll add, look at all the issues the bicycle world has with suspension, brakes, etc. That's all related to tiny oil volumes and trying to cram moto technology into tiny brake levers and calipers and use magnesium and other more exotic alloys to try to keep weight down. Even on the lower to midrange bikes.
  • 1 0
 @teagues: the manufacturers would claim that you're paying for r and d for the top tier components.

There is also something to be said for the fact that the technology on mid range bikes is only possible because of the last round of top tier tech. So a small number of people paying a larger portion of the development cost is actually good for the rest of us.
  • 10 0
 A lot of people hating on a bike designed for a pretty specific rider.. Am I going to buy one? No, but the thing is sick.
  • 9 3
 "Our timed lap for the downcountry bikes was around 8:30 long"

"The F-Podium DC was just 26.4lb, without pedals, which was 300g heavier than the Trek Top Fuel, but two pounds lighter than the Juliana, and three pounds lighter than the Guerilla Gravity."

Can we get some consistent measurements please?
  • 6 0
 Let me help you out, Clive: 1 pound = 454g.
  • 5 0
 Nope, this is the bike industry and we refuse to do things consistently. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go and measure both BB drop and BB height on my bike...
  • 1 0
 Which Juliana and GG models are you referencing, Sarah?
  • 1 0
 Can we also get a grams/cm of wheelbase metric, since old school short XC bikes will obviously be lighter all less being equal?
  • 1 1
 @brianpark: Don't forget to measure bb height with control tires or it will all be off. And bb drop with a control rider on the saddle of course
  • 2 0
 @Staktup: The Juliana Joplin and the Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol. You can see all the bikes that we tested in each category here: www.pinkbike.com/news/video-welcome-to-the-2020-pinkbike-field-test.html
  • 7 0
 “In metric, one milliliter of water occupies one cubic centimeter, weighs one gram, and requires one calorie of energy to heat up by one degree centigrade—which is 1 percent of the difference between its freezing point and its boiling point. Whereas in the American system, the answer to ‘How much energy does it take to boil a room-temperature gallon of water?’ is ‘Go f*ck yourself,’ because you can’t directly relate any of those quantities.” from wild thing by Josh Bazell
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: Imperial is designed to discourage stupid people from trying math. It's a feature.
  • 9 0
 I sold one of those $14000 mountain bikes. Ha.
  • 6 0
 to who.... a Saudi prince?
  • 5 0
 Wisom-tooth extractors can handle the price.
  • 1 0
 Did you sell it for the full 14k?
  • 5 0
 I've been on this frame since it was available in the USA, but built it from the frame up with more of a trail spec. XC+. I found the rear shock to be out of the box how I would set it up for aggressive riding (for 100mm). I didn't have to add any volume spacers and with about 120-123psi at 150lbs I find it both efficient and able to handle some serious abuse. I also just made the rear shock fully open with a cable tighten in and ditched the remote as it clearly doesn't need it. Their con for suspension ramp up is my positive as it's like a normal are shock filled with tokens. This bike is so much fun, I choose it over my big Foxy 29 almost everyday
  • 9 0
 Excuse me for a second...
Did you say "XC+"???
I think you might have discovered a new market segment.
  • 1 1
 @nozes: The French have everybody beat with their label for the TransVesubienne race a few years back: "Premium XC"...

As opposed to the mediocre XC on my local dumbed-down flow trails, obviously.
  • 9 1
 Not the first or last bike ruined by a DPS.
  • 5 1
 I hated my dps. Even my dpx isnt what I want.
  • 3 0
 Totally agree. Why do these shocks still exist?
  • 1 0
 Throw one of these on your bike and it will change your mind..https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F401768985488

I found it perfect for my flexstay bike.

It has a digressive tune.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: that only works for very progressive linkage designs (it would be a complete disaster on linear designs like my Cube Stereo 160) and still doesn't fix the mediocre damping circuit.
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: It's the damping circuit that is the Achilles heel of the shock, not the tune.
  • 2 0
 Why do they keep speccing these shocks? Does Fox give crazy discounts or force manufacturers to use them? Do people still think that having 'Fox' on the can means it's somehow supreme to any other brand? Is it the reviews that somehow all rave about anything Fox in the individual component reviews, right until they review an actual bike with it bolted on, or until the next iteration, that somehow fixes all kinds of stuff on the nearly perfect shock (year after year...)?

/rant
  • 2 0
 @mtbgeartech: that's what I wrote in the last sentence. Even a digressive tune (tailored to your bike) doesn't fix the mediocre damping circuit. Something like an adjustable preload shimstack like on the McLeod is far preferable.
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: ok I'm not trying to argue just not understanding.
I was going to send it to Avalanche for tuning but they're tuning sounds like what I have .
A pedal platform that gets out of the way when it needs to and let's my suspension work on tech climbs.

So if it is tuned perfectly for me why is it still mediocre?
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: What is the 4 digit code on this Evol SV?
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: There's not much Avalanche can really do with it. If you get them on the phone they will probably tell you that you're better off seeking out another shock that has a proper midvalve and shimstack so that it can actually be tuned.
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: it's like giving a one cilinder diesel the perfect gear ratios and ECU tuning for a race track. It will be better than before, but if you really want good performance on the track, you have to swap the entire engine. There is more to a shock than being digressive/linear/progressive. And there is only so much Avalanche can change on the shock without completely swapping the internals.
'Luckily', the default tuning isn't something to write home about, so there is some room for improvement. Unfortunately, the end result will still be worse than a McLeod or Topaz and be just as expensive as buying a new McLeod.

If you want to know more about damping, Vorsprung has a nice video: m.pinkbike.com/news/tuesday-tune-ep-2-how-damper-oil-flow-is-controlled-2016.html
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: dkn9
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: Are you sure? DKN9 gives "2019 Performance Elite Series DHX2
2019, DHX2, P-Se, TiN, 2pos-Adj, Trunnion, Devinci, AC, 205, 65, 550 lbs/in, CM, Standard Logo"
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: sorry dnk9
  • 7 0
 Downcountry encompasses true mountain biking. Mondraker scores points with me for embracing it.
  • 16 13
 I still don't see a reason in buying a "Downcountry" bike
Most 150mm trail bikes at this price point are not that much heavier and will still climb very good, but are more fun to ride down.
My 150mm XL carbon bike is at 12,8kg with pedals, 900g tires, bottle holder, frame protection, saddle bag and other stuff on the handle bar.

I can't help but think that this whole "Downcountry" marketing is meant for people who sell their trail bikes, because they don't have that kind of terrain, so they buy the exact same bike with less travel lol.
  • 20 1
 Because KOM's brah....
  • 13 1
 @JTepic:
Not everyone is a KOMmunist Wink
  • 9 0
 It's not just the weight. 120/100 often gives a more direct ride with more feedback making your ride more involved. The suspension is usually a lot more progressive due to the short travel which makes the bike more poppy and more efficient. Usually slightly steeper angles and quicker handling too. Even in Whistler there's trails I'd rather have a 120/100 bike on because the enduro or trail bike that rocks on everything else just isn't as much fun on pedally trails, even something like Lord of the Squirrels it's more fun on a shorter travel bike.
  • 3 0
 @kingtut87: I think this where something like the Optic really shines. Not Enduro, definitely not xc, but super fun on any trail
  • 19 2
 Avg flatland PB reader: OMG, look at that shiny new Bronson/Altitude/SB150/whatever on the PB homepage! I need one, now. Rushes out to do parking lot test ride, or just clicks Confirm Purchase online, and drops $8000+tax on new Slack AF rig of choice. Rides it a few times on wide and smooth local trails, notices his/her buddies on their twitchy old bikes are now faster than him/her. "What the huck, I got played!" Lists still-shiny trail shredder on PB Buy&Sell for $5500. Buys new downcountry bike for $8500+tax. It rips, up and down. Rider enjoys bike appropriate for their region, still watches riding videos from PNW/BC/etc.

Wise PB reader in PNW/BC/etc: Alrighty now, which one of these nearly new bikes on Buy&Sell am I going to be riding this summer? Offers $4500 to seller from Kansas/Saskatchewan/etc who, feeling the credit card pinch, grudgingly accepts. BAM, score one sweet rig at half of retail pricing. Puts smaller chainring on it, grinds up the 2000' switchbacky climb, blasts steep/techy DH. Rider enjoys bike appropriate for their region, stares at campfire and stars while on weekend road trips.
  • 8 0
 Have you ever tried racing a 150mm bike in an XC race?

I love my Rocky Mountain Element, the original downcountry bike, because it can toe the line of any XC race and climbs like a rocket, but is still up for trail bike duty once I throw some knobby tires on it. I've even taken it downhilling, although you can't push as hard, they are still plenty fun and extremely capable!

Try one, you might get hooked.
  • 3 0
 Kansas City is a short drive from Northwest Arkansas...
  • 2 8
flag SlodownU (3 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 @kingtut87: Parroting marketing BS. Find me one person who traded in their 150mm bike because it just wasn't "fun" enough for them.
  • 5 0
 @hardcore-hardtail: Same here, I have a 2014 Element 29er set up with 95mm/120mm (~69*HA), 1x11, dropper post. It's been fine for BCBR and as my daily driver, faster up and down than the 27.5" 130r/140f SC5010 it replaced. It only keeps me off typical BC double black's and therefore, by my reasoning, out of the hospital.
  • 5 0
 @dlford: East Coast/Mid-Atlantic bro: A 140 mm rig that's not 5 meters long sure would be nice. Realizes it doesn't exist anymore. Cries into his hazy IPA. Buys a two year old Stumpy.
  • 2 0
 You were going so well,until...saddle bag.
  • 2 0
 @SlodownU: I've ridden enough different bikes on the same trails to know what works and how they compare. I also know plenty of folk with trail bikes who've also got xc or *shudders* "downcountry" bikes for certain events or trails where the trail or enduro bike isn't just less fun, it's also slower.
  • 1 0
 @roma258: How about the Occam, tested in the last category?
  • 4 0
 @MarcusBrody: You mean Spanish Stumpy?
  • 2 0
 You might want a bike capable enough for amateur XC or XC marathon racing that also doesn't suck for descending or perhaps you want a bike that's fun and playful on easier terrain. I have a Honzo, which I'd classify as a "downcountry" hardtail and I ride it a lot on tamer green and blue trails where my trail/enduro bike is too squishy and long to be much fun, plus I use it for the local weekly shorttrack series and it does great other than being a bit porkier than a dedicated XC machine.
  • 2 0
 @roma258: I mean Improved Spanish Stumpy. :-)
  • 1 0
 It's for people who could easily be on a hard tail but want full squish.
  • 1 0
 @dlford: Shhhh! Wink
  • 8 1
 How did Levy get robbed of writing this review????
  • 6 0
 Pinkbike really made Downcountry a thing WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE Oh yeah good looking bike
  • 5 0
 Watch the top tube flex! Watch the bars flex! And of course the fork. Bike porn money shot.
  • 1 0
 that bike needs some Viagra!!!
  • 3 0
 I feel like this kind of bike, even though it says downcountry right on the seatstay, really is geared towards those transalp Europeans who think XC bike + heavier = better for my discipline.
  • 4 1
 Hmmm, maybe to some degree. In my experience those riders are also the "I need to use all my travel every ride because I read it in a magazine in 1998" folks, and fairly conservative in their geometry preferences.
  • 2 1
 @brianpark: you essentially just described 99% of transalpers. (Sarcasm! maybe?)
  • 2 2
 @ssteve: no, I'm saying transalpers won't like the suspension ramp-up and will be scared off by the long and slack geometry numbers. Smile
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: yeah, gotcha.
  • 1 0
 All the transalp Europeans I know either ride 10 year old Cubes or last year‘s lowest-priced carbon stumpjumper with an XT rear derailleur so they can tell everyone that their bike has XT groupset.
  • 5 3
 My stable value has ebbed and flowed over the years; I'm currently riding a few Surlys that are all heavy, versatile and super fun; as well as a seriously expensive Urban Arrow cargo bike for kid and crap hauling. I've had all sorts of fancy full squishers, Enduros and Intenses and Evils and Canfields... At 33, best shape of my life, riding more than ever, with disposable income... I'm really happy with my steel rigids/hardtails/fatbikes. They're great. One of them is 1X10, the others are still running 1X11, like some kind of grandpa bike.

I'm always, always shopping around, in my head, for the next bike. Definitely looking to go back to rear suspension. I'd like to go carbon, I'd like to build for ~30 pounds in a fun trailbike format with big tires. I'll pay for it... I'm a smarter shopper, I do all my own work as an ex shop rat, and 18 years now as a mountain biker and Pinkbike lurker I know enough to be able to build something that punches above it's weight. I've done it before.

But then I read a meh review on a 14K(!!) bike... and it really makes me want to go back to the cave, squirt some frame saver in my steel Krampus, polish it's Yari, and ride it for another couple seasons. I do one race a year, and I beat all the carbon wonder bikes in my class on it except for one... At the very least, it reinforces the idea that when I do build the next bike, it'll be aluminum, SLX, Fox Factory type decisions. It'll still cost more money than non cyclists understand, but at least I'll have my dignity.
  • 5 0
 To be fair you read a meh review on a $8500 bike. Still very expensive but worth noting.
  • 1 0
 After writing a pinkbike comment as long as you did it's hard to imagine you could still have your dignity.
  • 2 0
 My first thought was: hmmm, sounds like this bike is just a bit harsh and maybe the model up (aka trail model) would be ideal for someone like me who wants a fun Ontario trail bike. So I checked their website. Their only trail bikes are e-bikes. So their rear suspension pedal bikes go from 100mm to 150mm with nothing in between. That seem odd to anyone else?
  • 1 0
 What do you consider a fun Ontario trail bike? Would something like DeVinci Troy fit the bill? Seems like we ride similar terrain...
  • 2 0
 @roma258: My current Felt Decree (27.5, 150 front 140 rear) is just a tad over-biked for Ontario I think. Something like a Giant Trance 29er would make sense: fun but still snappy for casual trail/xc riding, but won't let you down if you find some bigger stuff or take trips to Quebec or BC. I guess the Norco Optic would fit the bill nicely based on PB's review. Just wondered what Mondraker's equivalent looked like...and the answer is "electrified." Just seems odd to me to not have a bike in that 115-135mm rear travel class.

As for the Troy, it's very similar to my Decree, so hovering at the very upper limit between fun and overkill for my needs.
  • 1 0
 @big-red: The answer seems to be two bikes. One snappy trail whip (the new Trance looks great) and one big travel bruiser for when you want to go smash or race enduro. And then a hardtail for the xc terrain. And might as well through a gravel bike, when the trails aren't rideable...
  • 2 0
 My wife and I are really interested in this category of bike, after I built up a Fugitive ST and finding it so capable. So seeing reviews from Sarah as well are great. However, there is POV footage of her riding, but no pan or external riding video of Sarah. My wife commented how meaningful it would be to see Sarah riding and how her body is positioned on the bike both climbing and descending. Hopefully this will show up in future reviews as the Mondraker is probably not the right bike for her given cost and harshness.
  • 5 0
 Due to the number of bikes + time we had to shoot on them, we just shot one rider on each bike. You'll see my riding in tomorrow's video!
  • 1 0
 To be fair, they're only 1" different in height...and they weigh the same.
  • 1 2
 Don't tell me you are using that kind of "reviews" to choose a bike.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: Yes and no. These kinds of reviews show the capability of a bike and give good background on their performance characteristics. But, sure, you need to know your geo and hopefully test ride. That said, to narrow down choices in a huge market, these are one part of the puzzle. And yes, they are only 1" different in height, but women often have different proportions to men and bike fit can be different... especially with the growing top-tube lengths and changes to offset. Sometimes seeing someone "on" the bike can tell a lot of information.
  • 1 0
 @whitehonky: men have different proportions to men too you know. Yes, females are shorter on average then men and have relatively shorter arms. But unless your wife and Sarah have the same ape factor and inseam length it won't mean much how she rides.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: why not? What would make these more useful to you?
  • 3 0
 @whitehonky: the "women have different proportions" thing is largely marketing. You can read a bit more on that topic here: www.pinkbike.com/news/where-have-all-the-womens-bikes-gone-a-look-inside-an-ever-changing-market.html

Hopefully Sarah and James' thoughts help your wife make some decisions in this category.
  • 3 0
 I like watching @angryasian ride because Azns ride differently. For example on downhills I'm always thinking of dim sum at the end of the ride.

In all seriousness at first I thought it was Levy on the bike; oh no not again. Then realized it was one of my people! Glad you're enjoying Pemberton
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: I agree completely and so does my wife. She's never had a female branded bike. That said, she does agree that women have different riding characteristics and biases (generally) and Sarah is a class A quality female rider. So video of her riding and moving the bike is informative. My wife is not a beginner but looking at details and nuance. She's a top 5 finisher in CNES races and rides 5 days per week. So she knows what she's looking at. She has concerns about bike sizing given that few brands are offering an xs and the smalls get longer and longer, despite reach and offset adjustments. So sometimes a visual of a female riding is informative. Nothing more. People read too much into this sometimes.
  • 1 0
 @leelau: God, how I wish there was a good place to get dim sum where I live. Then again, maybe not. I'd be HUGE.
  • 5 0
 But does it huck to flat at a price tag close to 19 grand Canadian pesos?
  • 4 0
 100mm but had to compensate by making it too stiff? And $14,000? I have a property at skid row I want to sell you.
  • 9 8
 Compression tune off on a short travel trail bike: it's not the first time I hear this and is something I experienced myself on Blur TR/Solo and Process 111. These bikes are designed with very little margin for SAG setting, within 2-3%. What would be a bit off on Enduro bike, is far off on a DC bikes. These bikes have so little travel and so "progressive" geos it is extremely hard to make suspension cater to riding styles that can be experienced within one ride. The less travel you have, the more compromises you need to make when setting it up.
  • 5 1
 Sarah and I went back and forth a bunch on this bike in terms of suspension settings for that exact reason. Unfortunately, neither of us found one that we really liked.
  • 1 0
 The funny thing (more than stratospheric prices) is to compare this with my (former) Foxy of 2014 and realize that they are practically the same geometries. In Italy in 2014 a Foxy cost € 1700, today a Podium costs € 4500.
They're f*cking us! all not just Mondraker!
  • 1 0
 Maybe an unpopular opinion, but I like my 100mm xc bikes to have a flex-stay design. Since the rear triangle has vertical compliance built in, bottom outs don't feel too harsh. I can run the shock with lighter compression and more confidently use all the travel. The stiffness of the rear triangle may be why this bike has so much progression, both for comfort and safety.
  • 1 0
 Yep I had a 100mm flexstay bike and loved it. Now I'm on a 130mm flexstay and it's the shit. Stiff rear light great small bump carries speed thru roots and other trail chatter very well.
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: Felt Edict? I'm on a Hongfu FM06.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: lcfs958 from light carbon.
  • 3 0
 It's a shame. Mondraker make some of the best looking bikes in my opinion. But they are usually a bit overpriced if you compare them with the competition.
  • 3 0
 @sarahmoore you rode the new Ibis Ripley in the BC Bike Race right? Any thoughts/comparison? Seems like the Ripley is the better bike.
  • 2 1
 Very different bikes for very different purposes.
  • 2 0
 I did ride the Ibis Ripley for BC Bike Race! For all-out climbing speed, I would choose the Mondraker but I'd say that the Ripley is better suited to the BCBR since it's more comfortable over that distance with the extra travel (120/130 vs. 100/120).
  • 2 0
 I hope you’re happy, Levy!

It was you who originally coined the term “down country”, no?

Bet you never thought someone would actually put those words on a bike, did you?!
  • 1 0
 @sarahmoore How did this bike pedal compared to the Ripley? I know it's not a Field Test bike, but it's on a lot of our short lists and seems to be right on the edge of DC and Trail categories. Would be interesting to hear your perspective.
  • 1 0
 It's funny you mention this since the Santa Cruz Joplin/Tallboy was thrown into this category. It's heavy comparatively, 120r/130f travel, slack, low. Fits more into the Trail category IMO. The others are beefed up XC race bikes while the Joplin is a slightly shortened aggressive trail bike. The Ripley and the Joplin/Tallboy seem like a much better comparison. I know the idea of the test was use new designs but the Blur TR would have been a better fit for this category.
  • 2 0
 The Ripley fits right into the downcountry category for sure. For all out climbing speed the Mondraker is faster, but I think that the Ripley is definitely a more fun bike on the descents with the extra travel and a better all-rounder.
  • 2 0
 @mtbgeartech: We talk about this in our roundtable video, coming soon! Some manufacturers in the test approached downcountry from the trail side, others approach it by beefing up an already existing XC bike, and a few have created purpose-built downcountry bikes.
  • 1 0
 @sarahmoore: Thanks Sarah. Can't wait for the roundtable. Really can't wait for the Joplin review since everyone around here thinks it's the best bike ever made. I know it has few shortcomings but I'd like to hear more about it's limitations. I'm just lugging this chubby Hightower 2 around like, "hey, this is a great bike too!" LOL.
  • 4 0
 120, 100 travel... sounds like an XC bike to me...
  • 5 1
 Yep. Keep xc xc please
  • 4 0
 Angry Asian laptop sticker FTW! I still have some from way back.
  • 5 1
 Cool to see new faces on Pinkbike, great value content as usual !
  • 2 0
 Both the F-Podium and F-Podium DC have been added to the Bikedigger.com database for comparison along with several other "downcountry" bikes.
  • 3 2
 Next year control tires that make sense for the bike being tested and how it would be used by the majority of the buying public? Minions are a bit ridiculous on this bike, testing locale or not.
  • 9 0
 In my opinion Minions are excellent for almost any mountain bike during a rainy September in Pemberton. But maybe we should do the next one in Sedona or something to get perspectives from different terrain.
  • 1 1
 Disagree. The tire doesn't matter much.
  • 4 0
 @JohanG: you couldn’t be more wrong. Too fat, skinny, light or heavy. Any of those can kill a ride. Same as too much grip (rolling resistance) or too little.
  • 1 0
 I am not sure about the control tires. But testing the bikes in an environment or terrain that they are built for, would definitely give more meaningful results (for all the folks not living near Whistler).
  • 2 0
 $8400 and NO carbon wheelset is 100% unacceptable! Personally I'm not into carbon wheels, but again, for that price, it should have some!
  • 3 0
 that huck to flat was the craziest one I've seen yet. That handlebar and steer tube flex was INSANE!
  • 1 0
 That's what happens when you bottom out a fork that fast. Also, I think you can see the imbalance in the suspension Sarah was talking about.
  • 1 0
 Jason usually rides a large bike and all the downcountry bikes are medium so I feel like that (+ the short travel!) makes these huck to flats extra awesome.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: It was flexing a ton way before bottom-out. That was crazy.
  • 1 0
 ”It was in a better position for climbing after we flipped it, but visually the stem clearly isn’t meant to be run that way.” Dude! It looks THE SAME! Can't even tell the difference... It's a flippin' (sic) 50 mm stem!
  • 1 0
 The video footage is all of the stem after we flipped it. It was much more a aesthetically pleasing before we flipped it, believe me, but the -5° drop combined with a trimmed down steerer tube made the front end of the bike too low for us to ride comfortably.
  • 2 2
 Both these editors are way better spoken then the mikes.... yet neither of them strike me as the XC (downcountry) type. I mean come on tuning rear shock so they can get full travel, you clearly are not trying to go as fast a possible EVERYWHERE which is the only defining feature of this category. Fast as possible up, fast as possible down. Let's get Kabush or someone qualified to test these rigs.
  • 3 0
 @sarahmoore finished a very respectable 13th at this year's BC Bike Race.

Kabush would be great to have on board, but at the moment he'd probably prefer the Yeti every time. Smile
  • 1 1
 @brianpark: No disrespect to either of you- you both are clearly great riders! Just would love to see some all out XC madness on these bikes. I have a feeling Mondraker designed the bike with a 'harsh' suspension tune for big hits. Genre blending bikes such as this aim for hardtail like climbing capabilities and trail bike descending capabilities. When you get into real trouble which is easy to do on these downcountry rigs, you'll be stoked not to find the end of travel so easily! Anyways, appreciate all your hard work, much easier to be a hater then an editor! Haha.
  • 2 0
 Why run 35% sag to "get more travel?" I would think less sag would give you more travel to play with and wouldn't ramp up as fast. Would make climbing better too.
  • 1 0
 That bike is ugly AF! Orange, green and black??? Nope, put it in the ugly pig thread. And why is an XC bike called Downcountry? Dumb AF too and too expensive on top of it. I can get an ebike for less!
  • 1 0
 I love it when a $10000 Gucci bike gets a thumbs down in a Pinkbike review. It’s totally silly, but it warms my heart to know how much less I spent for a used capable aluminum bike with quality spec.
  • 2 0
 Love my F-Podium DC. I haven't had as much of an issue with the shock tune as the reviewers.
  • 3 0
 I'm getting Nimby50 PTSD watching all these Pemby POVs
  • 2 0
 Every ride in Pemberton feels easy after suffering through the Nimby 50! No cramps, you can stop when you want, you're pretty much alone on the trails...
  • 3 0
 A 26lb, $8k XC bike with Minions is embarrassing.
  • 4 1
 They made sense as control tires for the trails we were riding in Pemberton, but they obviously won't be for everyone / every trail center.
  • 3 0
 Give us an aggressive hardtails field-test to change a bit please!!!
  • 5 0
 We'll have some hardtails in the lineup the next time we do the Field Test.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: COOL!!! looking forwards Smile
  • 3 3
 Some of the article writing and editing in the article is a bit, well, amateur. Sorry folks but spend a bit more time reading the text for readability please! The last paragraph is a good example of that.
  • 1 0
 Not sure why you're getting down votes. There's quite a few mistakes in that last paragraph, let alone the rest of the article. Great content otherwise, but just running the words through Grammarly would have caught those.
  • 1 0
 @Klainmeister: it's fine, more just trying to have PB keep up the good work and on top of their editing.
  • 2 0
 I am really struggling to see $8K here. Mid-range alloy wheels AND they cheaped out on the cassette. FAIL.
  • 2 1
 Sitting in front of a couple of Apple computers, drinking monster - yeah I don't think I want to hear reviews from people who make these decisions...
  • 1 0
 So James... what’s ‘the bike in a new spec’ ? Are Mondraker adding a new model or are you just going to play with the shock tune...?
  • 1 0
 That bike is coming back to me here in CO, and then I'm going to strip it down and rebuild it how I think it ought to be done, including a rear shock with a different tune.
  • 1 0
 So, PB hired "Angry Asian" aka James Huang. His "This fork sucks" articles in 2000s on earlier crappy versions of forks were legendary.
  • 2 0
 Sort of. I'm still primarily with CyclingTips, which PB bought earlier this year. I'll make guest appearances here and there, but unless someone comes in to backfill some of my responsibilities on the CT side, that'll likely be the extent of it.
  • 1 0
 This is a light weight XC bike with tougher parts to make it "down country". It survived the dorp to falter test without breaking. Please take note Pole.
  • 2 0
 What is the stock tune on the shock?
  • 2 0
 Firm compression, light rebound, air volume spacer 0.2
  • 1 0
 @wang-chung: Basically a metal rod that springs back really fast LOL.
  • 2 0
 @mtbgeartech: I haven't had any issue with the tune on my F-Podium. I really wouldn't want it to be any softer.
  • 1 0
 @wang-chung: What are your thoughts on the review? Did they not catch the right settings on the shock?
  • 2 0
 @wang-chung: Thank you. I had my DPS shock revalved to firm compression (from medium) to better suit my riding weight (245#). A huge positive difference for me. I think the reviewers average/light rider weights contribute to the firm tune being a bad fit for them.
  • 1 0
 @here who is responsible for a bad shock tune? The bike maker or the suspension partner?
  • 9 0
 bike maker. The PM needs to have that shit on lock down
  • 3 0
 Wheres the huck slo-mos
  • 1 0
 In the video. Check out the flex at 1:11!
  • 3 2
 So did Mondraker (Unno) come up with the rear suspension design first, or did Astro?
  • 1 0
 Just cannot not think about 007 Movies when I see the word "Mondraker"..........
  • 2 0
 Moonraker? I think of Dr. Strangelove's Mandrake. I don't hate women, Mandrake, but I do deny them my essence.
  • 2 0
 Can we just get to the god damn enduro bikes..
  • 3 2
 If your spending upward of $14,000 on a bike. Your missing the point of riding bikes.
  • 1 0
 To be health and happy is sure priceless, but buying this bike to get health and happiness, wait..wait.. No
  • 1 0
 What the f*ck is downcountry? Marketing horseshit, no doubt comes with some new “standards”.
  • 2 2
 SO no one is going to say anything about those i25mm rims?

30mm por vida!>
  • 6 1
 No, because it's not a problem Wink
  • 1 0
 wait, 100mm and downcountry? Did I miss a trend?
  • 1 0
 that's not a 75.1 deg seat tube angle.
  • 1 0
 I’m a dentist Yeti still can’t afford a $14k bike=\
  • 3 2
 At only 100mm travel you might as well save money and just get a hardtail
  • 1 0
 Mondrakers are amazeballs.
  • 1 0
 Weight as pictured.. (with no pedals but a PB water bottle and cage)
  • 1 0
 The huck-to-flat footage looked super harsh…
  • 1 0
 26.4lbs is quite heavy. I'm sure they can get a much slimmer lighter spec.
  • 1 0
 I use bikes to pull chicks. This is definitely a chick magnet.
  • 1 0
 look the XC bike's rear triangle survived the huck to flat test!
  • 1 0
 At 14,000 I dont want to see any cons/negative in the review
  • 1 0
 My gf's nickname is "downcountry" Smile
  • 1 0
 That’s a sick Bace Eace jersey.
  • 1 2
 Does anyone need a 25 mm internal rims, when everyone will profit from much wider?
  • 1 3
 i25 is a huge mistake on this bike
  • 5 1
 It's fine for maxxis tires. I'd put some custom carbon, 23-25mm rear, 30mm on the front.
  • 3 0
 I run 23 mm internal rims on my gravel bike but I think 25 mm would be even better for my 40c tires. Top XC racers are on 30 mm internal rims is my understanding, running 2.25 and 2.35 tires.
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: I couldn't justify 30mm on the rear. My current set has 23mm on the rear and the tire profile is perfect, Vittoria Mezcal 2.35s.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG:
For my winter marathon set up I actually run a mezcal 2.35 on a 29 mm internal rim. I also think it's profile looks perfect, though I run a 27 mm front room with a barzo 2.35.
  • 1 2
 Simple solution, put a coil on the rear and then it truly earns the DC moniker!
  • 14 0
 That test bike is eventually making its way down to me here in Colorado, where I'm going to strip it down and re-build it the way I think it should've been done (including more appropriate suspension bits). We'll know soon enough...
  • 2 1
 @angryasian: Please don't put a coil on an XC bike.
  • 9 0
 @LeDuke: Ha, I most definitely wasn't planning on doing that. I was just going to go with a different compression tune and ditch the remote lockout. Might do a larger-volume air can on it, too.
  • 1 0
 @angryasian: Hopefully, if your findings are positive, Mondraker will change their spec. I had a Foxy Carbon 29 and tried 3 different shocks on it, one of them a custom tune and I couldn't get the back end how I would have liked. Always a bit too harsh. Very fast but just too harsh. Could it be a characteristic of their design? Hopefully you'll find out...
  • 3 1
 @angryasian: I wanna see it with a coil. Just because. Smile
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: If only just to piss of the #lycraboiz LOL.
  • 1 0
 @angryasian: I've been interested in this bike for a while, but the stock build sucks so I was thinking about doing a frame up build. I am 6'3" 210 lbs, how do you think the stock tune would work for a bigger guy? If I go with the Mondraker, I'm planning on getting rid of the remote lockout anyway. I'll be very interested to get your thought on the custom build. I live in CO as well, maybe I'll see you on the trail.
  • 1 1
 @angryasian: You'll want that lockout if you're sprinting for a podium.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: I suppose you'd want the actual XC race version of the F-Podium if that was your focus.
  • 1 0
 @mtbgeartech: If you aren't racing, this bike is a pointless purchase.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: Why is that?
  • 1 0
 @Davemk: I think the rear end ramps up too quickly, period, regardless of rider weight. I'm really eager to see how this thing rides with a more linear rear shock. Where are you in CO? Chances are good that if you see an asian guy on the trail, it'll be me (seeing as how there are about four of us here).
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: The only podium place I'm sprinting for is the last muffin at the bakery.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: I disagree. There are a ton of super fun trails around here that are steep and techy - both up and down - but don't have a lot of *big* features. In that case, I'd want something with the geometry of a longer-travel bike, but the pedaling efficiency and overall responsiveness of a shorter-travel one. It's actually for that exact reason I just switched my personal bike from a Pivot Switchblade to a Pivot Trail 429.
  • 1 0
 @angryasian: l live is Highlands Ranch and ride in JeffCO most often. But I ride all over the Front Range. I’m looking for a short travel (DC) bike to complement my main enduro bike and possibly race a few times a year. I rode the Hundito on a Nomad last year, it wasn’t the ideal fit.
What shock are you thinking about using on your build?
  • 1 0
 @angryasian: I think a slacker, XC-ish (120/120mm) bike is the perfect bike for the Front Range. I haven't ridden everywhere on the FR, but I can't think of many places outside of a bike park where I'd want more travel. And, unlike many people, I build bikes for the 99% of trail conditions I'm likely to encounter, not the 1%. I'll rent when I go to Trestle and spare my own bike that abuse.
  • 1 0
 @LeDuke: That’s why my personal bike is now a Pivot Trail 429 with wide and burly carbon wheels, big tires, and a Trust fork instead of the Switchblade and Enduro I owned before it. I have a base-model Canyon Torque AL for when I go to Trestle, Granby, or Keystone.
  • 1 0
 @Davemk: Almost hate to admit this, but I genuinely enjoyed the Epic Evo I reviewed for CT a while back. I also like a lot of things about the Yeti SB100, but I personally think that frame is a bit too soft for my liking.

I’m *really* eager to check out the Mondraker with a different build and suspension tune, though. I think it’d be absolutely killer around here. Fantastic geometry.
  • 1 1
 "This fork sucks". Angry Asian.
  • 2 0
 HAHAHA! I completely forgot about that. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
  • 1 0
 you're not ron
  • 1 0
 Yes I am
  • 1 0
 Looks like a FAMILIAR.
  • 2 3
 “The suspension kinematic has too much rise,”

Anti rise?
  • 3 0
 Some people call it "progression".
  • 3 2
 @brianpark: Ah right. They meant ‘fall’ then. However, I bet this bike has too much anti-squat and anti-rise. Spaniards love FS bikes that feel like HT’s.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: no sweeping generalisations or anything Wink
  • 1 0
 @carlitouk: Well both Orbea and Mondraker run very high AS.
  • 2 2
 #Clickbait
  • 1 3
 First?
Damn it. I watched the video first...
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