Technology and fashion in the bike industry cycle nearly as quickly as moore’s law. Ten years ago, 70mm stems where commonplace on trail bikes, 680mm bars were considered wide, and 29″ wheels belonged on road bikes. Now, Mondraker is attempting to pioneer a new trend, with the shortest AM stem you’ve seen this decade.
According the the company:
The geometry defines the spirit and performance of any bike, it´s the main responsible of our feelings and marks the character of the bike. Mondraker’s goal has been to move forward with a better overall geometry. This new concept is inspired on motorbikes geometry, also closer to other extreme applications as BMX or DH, and for sure not accepting the road heritage established a long time ago. Mondraker have taken the current trend that beats for longer top tubes and shorter stems, and carried it till the last consequences; really long top tube and almost not stem length.
In order to understand the difference in geometry, its best to compare it directly against today’s “classic” geometry.
On the new Foxy XR, ridden by Fabien Barrel in the informational video, and the flagship of the new Forward Geometry concept, the front triangle is extended by 60mm. The company argues that the additional 60mm in reach and stub stem are equivalent in length to the classic Foxy with the stock 70mm stem. As a result, the geometry does not change. The 68º head angle, 75º seat tube angle, 430mm chain stay length, and 0 mm of BB drop remain unchanged.
The difference? The front wheel axle is situated further forward.
Mondraker claims that pushing the axle further forward has several advantages. The longer wheelbase will improve stability, the front wheel will stay planted during climbs, and it will be more stable on downhills and decrease the chances of flying over the bars (OTB).
Furthermore, despite the increase in wheelbase, the bike will supposedly have livelier steering than its “classic” 70 mm counterpart, because the 10 mm stem will require less handlebar movement to get the same front wheel angle.
Do you think Mondrakers moto inspired design is a step forward, or all hype? Let us know in the comments.