2021 Mondraker Podium - The World's Lightest Production XC Hardtail?

Aug 19, 2020
by Dan Roberts  

A longer and more fiercely fought battle than the number of teeth on your cassette is the weight of your frame. Cross-country hardtails are at the forefront of the battle and over the past few years with the launch of the Unno Aora, Specialized Epic, and now the new Mondraker Podium, that weight number has gotten steadily smaller.

It was only a year ago that the new Specialized Epic claimed to be the lightest production frame. Coming in at 790g for a size M with paint, the Epic matched the Unno Aora's weight, which until then was claimed to be the lightest production hardtail. The Barcelona-based brand openly showed their manufacturing ups and downs with attempting and succeeding at molding an entire composite frame in one shot, along with its more aggressive geometry compared to the rest of the XC hardtails out there.

But now the 2021 Mondraker Podium comes in at a claimed 775g for a size M, undercutting those bikes by roughly half a packet of your favorite Walkers crisps.

2021 Mondraker Podium
2021 Mondraker Podium
2021 Mondraker Podium

That weight is for a painted frame but without any hardware, cable routing, protection and with the threaded BB interface. According to Mondraker they could have gone quite a bit lighter with tha press fit BB but chose to go down the threaded route.

Information is currently a bit thin on the ground about how Mondraker actually achieved the crazy low weight. Lots of the secrets to light hardtails is contained on the inside, woven into the layup, fibers and resin used. New options are always being developed, refined and found in the bike industry, so it's likely that the Podium is using some of the latest available fibers and resins, along with a meticulous attention to detail in the layup schedule to achieve the low weight.

But the Podium does carry on the theme from their ridiculously light F-Podium full suspension XC bike that we saw early last year. That bike used German company 3C to aid in the composite engineering of the frame and ultimately bring the Stealth Air Technology badge to the F-Podium and now the Podium hardtail.

Mondraker also saved some weight by making the tubes more slender and a tiny bit smaller on the diameter. They did this while apparently stiffening the bike in the areas they saw that it needed to be and adding some built in flex where they could to bring some comfort.

It seems that the 775g weight tag isn't just reserved for the top end RR SL variant, with all models receiving the same lightweight frame.

2021 Mondraker Podium Geometry

Fork travel is 100mm and there are four sizes from S to XL on offer. The Podium is available in four models ranging from the Podium Carbon RR SL to the Podium Carbon.

Only the Podium Carbon R uses Fox suspension and Shimano drivetrain and brakes, while the other three bikes all use RockShox SIDs and SRAM drivetrains and brakes. The top end Podium Carbon RR SL has a SID Ultimate RL fork, Level Ultimate brakes, XX1 AXS and a Mavic Crossmax XL wheelset.

2021 Mondraker Podium
Podium Carbon RR SL
2021 Mondraker Podium
Podium Carbon RR
2021 Mondraker Podium
Podium Carbon R
2021 Mondraker Podium
Podium Carbon

Claimed weights for the full bikes are as crazy light as the frame, with the Podium Carbon RR SL coming in at 7.8kg (17.2 lb), the Podium Carbon RR at 8.4kg (18.5 lb), the Podium Carbon R at 8.9kg (19.6 lb), and the Podium Carbon at 9.3kg (20.5 lb).

Pricing starts at an estimated €4,199 with more information on the higher models to come soon, and also available at mondraker.com.


125 Comments

  • 166 7
 Can we call them Agressive Gravel Bikes ?
  • 385 2
 DownGravel is the proper vernacular.
  • 4 1
 My thoughts exactly.
  • 49 0
 Grountain Bike. Thanks @angryasian
  • 2 0
 Love it!!! You win today!
  • 2 4
 under rated comment is under rated
  • 6 0
 time for a downgravel field test
  • 3 0
 Downgravel? Isn't that just the Kamikaze DH race?
  • 2 11
flag PauRexs (Aug 19, 2020 at 16:26) (Below Threshold)
 @eric32-20: I have -100 or so on Sam hill post... Turns out some conspiracionists dudes are not that bad at thinking...
  • 2 0
 700 plus
  • 1 0
 lmfao love it
  • 1 1
 @sarahallen: And upgravel at that weight.
  • 1 0
 Dropbars are heavier than flat bars though ;-)
  • 70 1
 The Canyon unicorn will be pretty upset about this
  • 77 13
 I don't care about any of this. All I want is the Grim Donut.
  • 18 4
 @scott-townes: why you're just gonna get an article about how they went to far with the geo and the bike feels slow and shit to get around corner. I think that will pretty much sum it up.
  • 3 0
 @mhoshal: but there may be things it is good at, will be a very interesting read/video.

I think i heard Yoann rode it?
  • 2 0
 @scott-townes: Don't we all?
  • 3 0
 @fabwizard: insta vid floating around with yoann + grim donut. Looks quick......in a straight line
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: I saw clips on FB. I NEED IT.
  • 9 0
 @scott-townes: they might be working on a sub700g frame for the GrimDonut hence the delay
  • 2 0
 @dj100procentenduro: just spat out my coffee hahahaha
  • 5 0
 @scott-townes: What if it was actually good, so the PB guys got together to start their own Grim Donut bike company... That would explain the months of silence...
  • 2 0
 @iamsx: I agree 100%. For the last two years pinkbike told their story about designing the bike, about the factories and bike production. Its obvious that PB is going to sell the bike. Patience grasshopper.
  • 1 0
 @Thirty3: obviously they will all be Pink.
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: probably
  • 3 0
 @yeti-monster: "insta vid floating around with yoann + grim donut. Looks quick......in a straight line"

And sounded like a barrel full of hammers....
  • 1 0
 If the canyon is made from unicorn hair, the mondrakers tubes must be filled with lighter than air unicorn farts.????
  • 2 0
 @scott-townes: me too!

But does anyone else think that the grim doughnut merch looks a bit “suggestive”? I’m sure I would get some odd looks if I wore a grim doughnut t shirt to church you might say...
  • 1 0
 Canyon frame still wins with their 740gr (no paint), but do not beleive this theoretically weight of the mondraker.
  • 1 0
 @Cshearmon: Not a bit, a lot.
  • 44 3
 That is insane and doesn't feel safe, but I'm sure it is. My "light" carbon road bike is just over 16 lbs and somehow they got a xc bike with a suspension fork within a rounding error of it. Pretty impressive.
  • 3 0
 I had the same thought. My S-Works Crux is 16.18 lbs with 1150g wheels and as many ti bolts as I can fit, and it's rigid on 35c tires.
  • 12 0
 I think there are minimum weight limit rules imposed by the UCI regarding road bikes.
  • 7 0
 @nskerb: There is. They could go MUCH lighter with road bikes if they wanted to. They've been making road bikes light enough that you had to make sure your pedals weigh enough to make it legal for years already.
  • 5 0
 @lyfcycles: totally. in fact, pro roadies sometimes have to add weights to their bikes just to meet UCI regulations
  • 5 0
 @CapedBaldy: That said, thanks to how light they can make them, they can add disc rotors/brakes, more compliant frames, and suspension tech into them. I wouldn't be surpised to see the UCI lower the legal limit soon.
  • 4 3
 I just weighed my aluminum road bike. This bike was a total of $2k, back in 2009, has no carbon anywhere on it, a steel seat tube and a TOOL BAG, and it was 15.8 lbs. True superlight road bikes can go below 10 lbs fully built, but they don't because of minimum weight requirements, so they build them heavier and put that weight into things like aero tubes, deep rim wheels, compliant/comfortable designs etc. I'll also add I weight 205lbs and this was a large frame, and it's more than strong enough for me lol.
  • 1 0
 UCI limits the weight for road bikes. There're sub 7 lbs road bikes that are safe to ride Wink
  • 5 0
 @Hydrophobic: I find that weight hard to believe...my carbon bike (Hi-Mod Carbon) with carbon hoops and SRAM Force1x is 15.8 lbs without pedals, no bag. I think you need to check your scale...
  • 4 0
 @CapedBaldy: Pro road bikes are so light they have to add electric motors hidden inside the frame to make them weigh enough to meet UCI requirements Wink
  • 1 0
 @nskerb: UCI weight requirement is 15 lbs.
  • 2 0
 @Hydrophobic: 15.8Lbs large alloy frame? Pretty hard to believe...
  • 1 0
 @WheelNut: exactly what I said. I call major bs or broken scale
  • 1 0
 @WheelNut: Aluminum frames are not that much heavier, the advantages of carbon are mostly in the stiffness that can be added only where desired. The Trek Crockett (AL bike) claims 1325g for the frameset, and their Madone carbon is only 1115 g. Aluminum bikes just tend to be built up with cheaper, heavier components these days as the overall bikes are budget options due to the prevalence of carbon. Mine has a Bontrager Race XXX Lite stem/handlbar, but those are aluminum - they switched to carbon a year later.
  • 1 0
 @Hydrophobic: That's all well and true. I still don't buy your bike is that light. As I said my Carbon frame which is 1150g with carbon seatpost, bars, wheels, 1x force 1 setup is over 16 lbs with pedals.

My buddy has a Trek ALR (disc which does add a little weight) with SRAM Red 10 speed, carbon hoops, XXX carbon seatpost and bars is still over 17 lbs.

I'm not saying you can't get an aluminum one under 16 lbs, but it would require a lot of work and stupid spending.
  • 2 0
 Impressive they did it with real Ikon tires too. Not some paper thin race tire.
  • 36 3
 Can I borrow that top tube to floss with?
  • 33 0
 Lightest today*
  • 26 0
 Huck to flat
  • 12 0
 Hopefully they did not design the rear triangle in collaboration with Pole Bikes. LOL
  • 6 0
 I think a lot of folks here would love to get some real Roberts style nitty gritty on how this type of thing is done. A lot of folks just dont understand how much work goes into a high end carbon frame.

@ Anyone at Pinkbike....why doesnt the @ function work here with all your names?
  • 4 0
 Enough with this year's XC hardtails, where is the new batch of XC full bouncers? Surely the Tokyo course would have been raced on full suspension and I only recall seeing the Epic and the Scalpel get an update this year...
  • 1 0
 I suppose Tokyo would've been a great opportunity to release the new 2022 XC FS bikes.
  • 1 0
 Well if I remember the IOC rules the product only has to be available to the public within 6 months of it being used at the games. So maybe some other companies are keeping things closer to their chest. But with how long development on frames takes there really isn't that much of an advantage.
  • 1 0
 There are plenty of completely new bikes out there as well as some updates. Transition Spur, Revel Ranger, YT Izzo to name a few
  • 1 0
 @aharms: I highly doubt they will be in the Olympics...
  • 5 0
 I remember when I got my XC bike below 21pounds in 2003 and thought that was a feat!
  • 6 0
 What kinda unicorn hair is this made out of?
  • 47 0
 unicorn pubes.
  • 1 0
 It's actually made of unicorn farts.
  • 2 0
 7.8kg is great for a production weight weenie bike and does well in the normal weight weenies categories too.


www.starbike.com/galleries/?id=158
6.34kg 13.98lb

or 4.5kg!!! I would be scared of breaking this for sure.
www.mbr.co.uk/news/bike_news/lightest-mountain-bike-373960
  • 1 0
 Great read, thanks!
  • 8 0
 To the second one;

No gears, no suspension, pedals that are frankly dangerous to ride on, spindle that looks like it was made by an angle grinder. Sorry, that's a bike shaped object, not an MTB. If it doesn't function, it doesn't matter what it weighs. A 30lb ridable bike is better than any 10lb bike that is just there for bragging rights.

That first Scale is pretty fly though.
  • 4 0
 @sherbet: That POS ain't no mountain bike.
And I'm a weightweenie.
  • 6 0
 Dangerholm punches his scotts rn
  • 7 1
 Blue frame decals don’t match SID, OCD arggh!
  • 1 0
 Actually the accent decals do match the color. Looks pretty good, maybe better than if all the logos were the same color.
  • 2 0
 So what was old is new again. The weigh wars were in all the rage 20 years ago and after exhausting the DH/enduro/all mountain/trail/downcountry segments, it's time for the brands to remember their XC gamma and begin battling for the lightest bike title. I guess once that's done we'll see weight battles on the DH segment again. Maybe in 2022.
  • 3 0
 With the increasingly rugged courses for XC, I guess the weight savings allow for more consideration for stronger casing tires, droppers, and possibly tire inserts?
  • 4 0
 I don't ever want to find myself concerned with the weight of the paint on my bike.
  • 4 0
 I can't afford one and don't have much use for one, but I'd absolutely love to pick it up and feel the weight for myself.
  • 1 0
 Thats super light for being geared and front suspension. I'm at 17.2 lbs on my rigid singlespeed. Crazy to think making this rigid w/ one gear would get it down near 16.0. Never thought I'd see the day mountain bikes are closing in on the UCI weight limit.... for a road bike
  • 1 0
 Looks like while they were hunting grams they lost the integrated stem that was the visual characteristic of this bike. Good to see that modern XC race bikes don't want to kill the rider with their geometry though. That said, I do hope one can use a dropper on it, as esp. on a ht it is a great thing to have despite the extra weight.
  • 1 0
 And my steel retro 700c downgravelcrossmonstercityskidder is like 27 lbs but my consolation prize is I can run over plastic bikes with aplomb and I get bonus old man grouchy street cred. All that's a euphemism for I'm slower than you guys.
  • 3 0
 Crazy that a few years ago, I would have read that HTA and said.... woah - so slack.
  • 3 0
 I remember Giant pushing 71.5 - 72 degrees on their hardtails
  • 4 0
 I must break them(Ala Dolph Lundgren)
  • 5 0
 Needs a coil.
  • 3 0
 XC bikes are getting lighter, and more capable, yet trail bikes are getting heavier.
  • 1 1
 Just built a full custom hardtail. Started with a Transition Throttle frame, size large weighed 1600 grams. Full build with a Marzocci Z1 is around 26.5. That is 10 pounds lighter than my Patrol and I can feel it, but I don't think it would be worth giving up how capable this bike is to shed a few more pounds.
  • 7 5
 To coin a famous TV commercial here in the UK........SNAP CRACKLE & POP
  • 3 0
 Wow, that is incredibly light Think i'll go ride my 41 pound DH bike
  • 2 0
 If you have a 35lb enduro bike you'd be pedalling one of those for each leg! LOL!
  • 1 0
 The real reason why this frame is lighter is because Spanish Unicorn Hair weigh less than German Unicorn Hair. It's gotta do with the diet, I am told.
  • 1 0
 Tapas instead of sausage
  • 1 0
 It looks like they minimized material along the top tube and chainstays to save those 15 grams.
  • 1 0
 Didn’t we just have the bonkers light Canyon yesterday? Man if only I had deep pockets.
  • 3 1
 Knolly's lawyers are gonna come knockin'...
  • 1 0
 The last Podiums were built sometime in 2015 I think so doubt they would care at this point.
  • 5 4
 How does Mavic keep hoodwinking manufacturers into speccing their garbage mtb wheels as OEM
  • 7 0
 Its called price pressure. Mavic is on life support, Canyon comes to them with a promise of volume sales the likes of which are pretty rare for Mavic these days, but the hook is the price that Canyon is willing to pay. Mavic can take it or leave it, and Canyon gets a wheel that most folks will percieve as at least OK if not good for a price they could not get anywhere else. Obviously DT wouldnt play, otherwise we would be seeing their new stuff here.
  • 5 0
 Has anyone ever figured out who owns Mavic?
  • 1 0
 @thedirtyburritto: I mean, yea, I get that. it just brings the whole build down, which seems like it would be a drawback for someone who wants to spend beaucoup bucks on a bling-bling new hardtail rig
  • 2 1
 The new Deemaxs are legit good.
  • 3 1
 Hey everyone it’s Dawson, we have Dawson here - look, nobody cares
  • 1 0
 Am I the only one who noticed the thinning of the seat post near the top? Is that for flex? Weight savings?
  • 1 0
 Flex, compliance. It's a rigid post...
  • 2 0
 17.2 lbs? Pfft call me when they're down to 16 lbs.
  • 1 1
 Lack of routing for a dropper and the Mavic wheels with UST make me look past this. Otherwise, I do really like the geometry. I'd love to get rowdy on this bike.
  • 2 0
 I get the downside on the post, what is the downside on the UST wheels?
  • 3 2
 Got some Snappy handling!
  • 1 0
 Calling all weight weenies @bicyclerider, here's looking at you...
  • 1 0
 17.2 pounds!!! That is incredible.
  • 1 1
 my 1996 sworks m2 is sitting here at 9.4kg with flat pedals and tubes. that's a long wait for 1.6kg.
  • 3 0
 I think most weight savings have been in the wheels. It is easier to make 26 inch wheels lighter than 27.5 and 29.
  • 2 0
 Pegasus Hair Carbon
  • 3 3
 And the dentists are still going to be slow on it, watching as someone on a full squish blasts past.
  • 2 0
 Would you look at that, two angry dentists.
  • 1 0
 Looks like the handling would be, snappy?
  • 1 0
 Bulemicokesniffinghardtailpartybike
  • 1 0
 I’m waiting for that Grim Gravel
  • 1 0
 Looks fun
  • 1 0
 Can it fly?
  • 1 0
 Go Home dangerholm
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