First Look | The brand new Mondraker Dune Carbon
The day of all days, race day is D-Day. The day when milliseconds are sought after, risks are taken and it’s a question of winning or losing. For Mondraker, the 26th June 2015 is D-Day. Today they’re presenting their brand new, ultimate race-orientated enduro bike: the Dune Carbon.
The frame of the Mondraker Dune Carbon
The new Mondraker Dune Carbon heralds the sixth generation of the very successful model and slots perfectly into the Spaniards’ line-up. Highly reminiscent of its big brother, the Summum, it has the same technological highlights of their recently presented bikes. Zero Suspension System, Forward Geometry and Stealth Carbon are terms that we’re all familiar with from Mondraker, and they’re also listed on the spec of the Dune Carbon frame, which weighs 2,450g minus the rear shock. But there’s more at play with this new bike as it comes with customizable geometry with the head angle and chainstay length, Mondraker’s own chain guide and frame protector.
With the Zero Suspension System with 160 mm travel, the floating rear shock is compressed on both sides, which should result in more sensitivity.
The models of the new Dune Carbon
Mondraker has three models of the new Dune Carbon, costing between 5,999 and 8,999 €. While the Dune Carbon R and RR have 160mm-travel forks, the race-focused top model, the XR has 170mm of travel and the top quality new FLOAT X2 shock. The models are united by the 1×11 drivetrain – the Dune Carbon namely doesn’t have a front changer. The Dune Carbon will also be sold as a frame set with shock for 3,999 €.
Here’s an overview of the various specs:
The geometry of the Dune Carbon
Typical for Mondraker, the new Dune Carbon is kitted out with the so-called Forward Geometry, which consists of an extremely long top tube, short rear and short stem. By using the headset shells that come with the bike, the head angle can be altered by 2° between 65° and 67°. Moreover, the flip chip in the upper rocker link allows you to change the chainstay length from 430mm to 440mm to suit your tastes.
Our first ride
Admittedly, the conditions for our first ride were everything but ideal. Heavy rain turned the route in Leogang into a veritable waterslide and therefore made it a little tricky to pass judgment on the suspension and handling. So we’re not claiming to give you a riding report, instead we just want to share our first impressions of the Dune Carbon RR.
At 180cm tall, the guys at Mondraker offered me a size large frame with a monstrous reach of 493mm. The extremely long top tube is now pretty much a trademark of the Spaniards and impacts on how their bikes ride. Right from the get-go, one thing was clear to me: If I wanted to keep in control in these rainy conditions then I needed to keep my upper body over the front wheel – even more so than I usually have to on my own bike, the super long Giant Reign.
With this thought in the front of my mind, I started the downhill. On the incredibly slippery roots, there was only one option and that involved gaining grip rather than trying to brake! And this is where the Dune felt completely comfortable. The long top tube and gigantic wheelbase (1,238mm size large) instilled a huge amount of confidence in me and meant that (almost) any line choice, no matter how steep or technical, was in its capacity. On certain occasions I’d have preferred a slightly higher front, like the XR model has anyway due to the longer forks. This is where a bar with some extra rise could be a viable solution.
Despite trying to get as much weight as possible over the front from the start, I struggled initially with a lack of weight on the corners, which was most evident on the burms in the middle part of the course. It took a while until I found the best position on the bike. Eventually the 12.6kg Dune Carbon showed its skills on corners and there were no issues on tight bends despite its long wheelbase, which is certainly due to the short chainstay (just 430mm).
Towards the end of the track, it was time to rev the engine and hit the high speeds. On the now slightly wider track with a quick succession of burms, tables and a host of braking bumps, the Dune Carbon felt totally at ease! The rear responds generously to repetitive bumps, remains stable in its travel and delivers great feedback. At the same time, tightening the chain out of corners results in rapid acceleration. On the way back to the lift I had the opportunity to check the position and how it responds to some serious pedaling. In conclusion: More than convincing – in every possible way so far.
The new Mondraker Dune Carbon looks damn quick on the stand and this test ride proved this to be true! The suspension, geometry and spec have won us over. Besides demanding a fairly full wallet and a stable core to ride it, the bike is certainly in a state to deliver its full potential. With the entry model at almost 6,000€ and the 9,000 € for the top model, it isn’t exactly what we’d call cheap.
More information on the new Mondraker Dune Carbon can be found at: mondraker.com
Pictures: Nathan Huges/Christoph Bayer | Words: Christoph Bayer