The smart people at 3C have their hands in developing and manufacturing carbon for the high-end automotive, medical, and aerospace industries, all done in Germany and Switzerland. It's apparently the kinda outfit where security levels are higher than the average mountain biker from BC, and armed guards keep out the riff-raff who don't have security clearance.
Mondraker's goal was to take carbon to another level, and they're hoping that the technology at 3C, which Mondraker says is a decade ahead of what's being used in the bike world right now, will let them do that.
Mondraker F-Podium RR SL
Intended use: cross-country racing
Fork travel: 100mm
Wheel size: 29''
Frame construction: carbon fiber
Weight: 18.8lb (as pictured)
Head angle: TBA
Let's not kid ourselves here: There's nothing wrong with a traditional stem setup. But Mondraker's design, which is similar to what Look does, sure is stunning.
All that sounds pretty dang cool, right? Sure, but here's the catch: This thing might happen... Or it might not. 3C has its hands in some serious stuff, and as neat looking as Mondraker's German-made F-Podium RR SL frame is, it's probably also small beans for them. And then there's the price, which Mondraker obviously hasn't locked down as it's still in the prototype phase, but I'm pretty sure that no one is going to think that it's a good deal.
It's going to be a high-end race bike, so expect a high-end price if and when it ever hits the market.
That small plaque on the downtube is the clue that there's something else going on here.
Mondraker wasn't all that ready to share many details about how the frame is manufactured - it just arrived a few days ago - or even how much a bare frame weighs, but I do know that the bike pictured here comes in at just 18.8lb. So, not much.
Granted, they didn't exactly hold back with the spec - check out those wheels, tires, and cranks - but it's not easy to get a full-suspension bike that light unless you're starting with a very light frame.
A revised version of the Zero Suspension System controls 100mm of travel.
The 100mm of cross-country-focused travel is controlled by Mondraker's Zero Suspension System, a layout that has always impressed me with its efficiency - not once did I feel the need to firm up my 150mm-travel Foxy test bike
. So with just 100mm, it's probably safe to assume that the F-Podium RR SL is a rocket ship. Zero Suspension consists of two short links that rotate in the same direction, unlike a VPP system that uses counter-rotating links.
Another difference between the Spanish brand's design and VPP is how the shock is mounted to both the upper and lower links as opposed to just the upper link and to the front triangle.
See that tiny scoop of material missing from the pivot hardware? Yeah, they're serious about making this thing light.
Cross-country might not be your thing, and you might not give a single shit about how light it is, but who cares - the German-made F-Podium RR SL looks unreal. What do you think?