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Mondraker Dune Review

180 mm of travel and still under 20 kilos. The new Mondraker Dune is taking on the chairlift. Is this e-enduro replacing the need for a bike park?

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Mondraker has revolutionized the mountain biking world before. The first Dune model in 2013 (back then, without a motor) sparked a trend with its revolutionary Fast-Forward Geometry that every reputable manufacturer has followed to this day.

For the first time, the bikes were significantly lengthened. The wheelbase grew considerably compared to other bikes on the market. The mainframes were stretched. To ensure the bikes still handled directly and agilely, Mondraker installed what can only be described as stubby stems.

However, with the latest Dune, it’s noticeable that the word “Fast” has been dropped from the geometry description. Indeed, the Forward Geometry is still long, but it now aligns more closely with the industry average. In frame size L, the Dune XR has a reach of 480 millimeters. More or less a value that can be considered standard nowadays. Some competitors, like Specialized, are now even a bit longer here. Mondraker used to have values of around 500 mm. Although the short 30 mm stubby stem remains, the question arises: Is the Dune reversing the Spaniards’ geometry strategy?

Mondraker Dune Review
Aesthetically on point. The Spanish have always been impressive in terms of design, but how does the new Dune fare on the trail?

Travel, motor, weight
The specifics of the new Mondraker Dune are spot on

The Mondraker Dune XR, priced at €12,000, is certainly not a hidden gem for bargain hunters, but the performance stats on paper are quite impressive. Despite boasting a generous 180 mm of travel in the fork and a hefty coil shock, the bike tips the scales at only 19.7 kg. By the way, the extra 10 mm of fork travel comes standard only on the top model. The more affordable versions are equipped with a 170 mm fork.

Weight Mondraker Dune
With 19.7 kg, 180 mm of travel on the fork, and a truly robust setup, the Mondraker Dune does not need to hide.
Sram XO Transmission drivetrain
Sure thing! Here is the translated text: Sure, the top model for €12,000 must have the right equipment. Sram's XO Eagle Transmission drivetrain performed flawlessly during our test.

Range and Battery Strategy

Anyone competing against the world’s lift systems must naturally consider the question of range. And to be honest: With the integrated 400 Wh battery in the down tube, the Mondraker Dune is not a range monster. We managed about 1000 meters of elevation gain in full turbo mode on moderate tarmac and gravel climbs with a rider weight of 75 kilos.

If you want to gain more elevation, you have two options: You can switch down from turbo mode and save the battery in tour mode. Or you can invest in a Bosch Power More Range Extender with 250 Wh. The option to swap the battery, as with the Conway Ryvon, unfortunately doesn’t exist with the Dune. However, if you combine the range extender with a conservative riding style, you can still achieve 2000 meters of elevation gain.

The Mondraker might lose the battle against the lift system, but with its sleek weight of under 20 kilos, it still keeps the option open to hang the EMTB on a shuttle trailer or extend its range with lifts during tours in the Alps. Because the bike is still lighter than some downhill bikes and makes no compromises on the descent.

Mondraker Dune range
If you want to ride downhill for long and fast, you also have to get uphill somehow. With 400 Wh in the battery, depending on riding style and support mode, you're looking at between 1000 and 2000 vertical meters.
Range extender on the Mondraker Dune
The frame has enough space to mount two water bottles or one water bottle and Bosch's Power More Range Extender.
Battery Replacement Mondraker Dune
The battery is unfortunately permanently installed in the downtube. Power comes to the system only through the charging port in the downtube.

Smoothing out the trails like a pro - The Dune is a beast of a bike

You can put it briefly and succinctly: The faster you go downhill, the more stable the Mondraker Dune XR feels on the trail. In technical terrain, you almost get the feeling that the bike needs a certain minimum speed to unleash its potential. At slower speeds, the handling with the extremely short stem is almost too direct, nearly twitchy. If this bothers you, it can easily be fixed with a 40mm or 50mm stem.

It’s only at higher speeds that the ultra-slack head angle brings stability. With 63.5 degrees, you’re in the territory usually reserved for downhill bikes. This makes it clear where the Spaniards are positioning their latest offspring: in the aggressive segment. Long straights, rough rock gardens, where it really rattles, that’s where this bike feels at home. Mondraker categorizes this bike as a Superenduro. We would prefer the term mini-downhiller.

SIZE XXS XS S M L XL XXL
Sizing of Manufacturer
-
-
s
m
l
xl
-
Wheelsize
-
-
29 / 27,5 Mullet
29 / 27,5 Mullet
29 / 27,5 Mullet
29 / 27,5 Mullet
-
Stack
-
-
625
634
652
662
-
Reach
-
-
440
460
480
500
-
Top Tube Length
-
-
580
600
625
650
-
Seat Tube Length
-
-
380
420
450
490
-
Seat Tube Angle
-
-
77,1
77,1
77,1
77,1
-
Head Tube Length
-
-
100
110
130
140
-
Head Tube Angle
-
-
63,6
63,6
63,6
63,6
-
Bottom Bracket Drop
-
-
10,5
10,5
10,5
10,5
-
Bottom Bracket Height (absolut)
-
-
353
353
353
353
-
Chainstay Length
-
-
445
445
445
445
-
Wheelbase
-
-
1236
1260
1289
1313
-
Standover Height
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Because the bike is so responsive, you almost forget it’s equipped with a small 27-inch rear wheel. With many bikes featuring a mullet setup, you notice it in the first corner as you can shift your body weight backward and really push the bike through the corner over the rear axle. Not so with the Dune. With its long fork, you have to consciously put weight on the front wheel in corners. When you do that, the Dune tracks through corners like it’s on rails. However, the Dune doesn’t have the super nimble character of other mullet bikes.

Experience Mondraker Dune
Brain off, throttle open. The Dune feels right at home on high-speed trails, no matter how rough the terrain gets.

Sweden Gold
What can the Öhlins suspension do?

The suspension setup on the Mondraker needs to be divided into two parts. Firstly, the general kinematics of the rear triangle need to be mentioned. Mondraker’s Zero Suspension System operates like a VPP rear suspension with a closed rear triangle and actuates the shock from both sides. The shock is fully floating, which significantly impacts sensitivity and braking behavior.

Thanks to this setup, the rear suspension remains fully active even when braking. There is no hardening rear suspension to worry about, so you can confidently brake and rely on the Dune to respond with plenty of grip. This is where Mondraker’s Zero Suspension System truly shines. In rough terrain, it almost feels like you’re riding a magic carpet. The combination of the suspension kinematics and the coil shock delivers outstanding rear-end performance.

The installed Öhlins RFX38 fork, with a generous 180 mm of travel, has also proven to be very absorbent. However, finding the right setup for the dual air chambers requires some patience. The spring rate is adjusted via air pressure, and then a second air chamber, which is filled from the bottom, adjusts the fork’s progression.

At moderate speeds, when you’re not tearing down the trail, the fork can feel a bit lifeless. It’s only at higher speeds and after fine-tuning the compression and air pressure that the fork really starts to shine. You may need to set the fork noticeably stiffer in the parking lot to achieve the desired trail performance. Once you’ve figured out the trick, there’s no more criticism in this area.

Suspension Mondraker Dune
When it gets technical, the suspension is put to the test. Those who have overcome the intricacies of the setup can rely on the Swedish gold from Öhlins.
Öhlins RXF 38
The installed Öhlins RXF 38 fork provides a plush 180 mm of travel. This means you can confidently tackle any trail.
Öhlins steel coil shock
The shock in the rear is controlled by the Zero Suspension linkage. The potential of this design is demonstrated by Rónán Dunne's recent successes in the Downhill World Cup.

The Bosch SX Motor - Cranks please

The Bosch-SX motor is about one kilogram lighter than its full-power counterpart (the Bosch CX) and is also slightly more compact. Nevertheless, it delivers a comparable peak performance on paper with 600 watts. This makes the motor clearly superior to the motors from TQ and Fazua, but it also has a very clear limitation.

When climbing, the Bosch SX only provides strong support if the cadence is right. While the Bosch CX, the full-power model, delivers its full performance over a wide RPM range starting at around 50 revolutions per minute, the SX produces relatively little at low cadence.

Only above 90 revolutions per minute does the Bosch SX motor unleash its full power. If riders achieve this, the motor impresses with a sporty character and strong support. Simply sitting in the saddle and letting your legs fall on the pedals is not enough to get the Bosch SX motor into the desired working range.

Bosch SX motor
The Bosch SX motor hovers between worlds. The motors from Fazua and TQ are smaller, quieter, and weaker. The full power motors like the Bosch CX or Shimano's EP801, on the other hand, deliver more power.
Bosch Power Unit
The Bosch element for battery level indication is integrated into the top tube.

When it comes to noise level, the Bosch SX reminds us of its bigger brother with a noticeably audible whirring sound as soon as the motor is put under load. We had hoped that Bosch had addressed the gear clatter known from the Bosch CX, as well as the Shimano EP8 or EP801, with the SX, but we were disappointed. Both the TQ and the Fazua motors are a step ahead here.

The low front keeps the front wheel practically glued to the ground even under full motor power. This allows for very controlled climbing through tight uphill turns. With 165 mm cranks, they are not particularly long, but they do occasionally make contact in chunkier terrain.

Bosch gear rattle
When going downhill, the Bosch motor emits a distinctly audible rattling noise. This is a condition you also have to live with on other motors.
Bosch SX Fazua Ride 60 TQ HPR 50
Performance (Peak) up to 600 watts up to 450 watts up to 300 watts
Torque 65 Nm 60 Nm 50 Nm
Riding noise clearly audible silent barely audible
Drivetrain rattling The gearbox rattles less on the trail compared to the Bosch CX, but it is still noticeably audible. The motor's freewheel rattles less than the Bosch SX, but it still rattles quietly. The Ping-Ring technology is absolutely silent on the trail.
Battery systems is usually equipped with Bosch's CompactTube 400 (Wh) 430 Wh battery without the option for a range extender 360 Wh battery + option for range extender
Short description Powerful athlete who almost propels forward like a full-power motor at high cadence and with appropriate personal effort. Pushes powerfully even at low cadence and caters to sporty users with its boost function. Stronger than TQ, subtler than Bosch. Visually, acoustically, and in terms of support characteristics, it is the most discreet EMTB motor on the market. Very natural riding feel.
Links to the bikes All bikes with Bosch SX All bikes with Fazua Ride 60 All Bikes with TQ-HPR 50

from full throttle to too much
Mondraker Dune Specs

Despite the steel coil shock, the hefty 38mm fork, and the solid build, the bike weighs a trim 19.7 kilograms. Especially with the Maxxis Minion DHR2 tire in the puncture-resistant Double Down casing, this is an outstanding value. Up front, the Assegai tire comes in 2.5 width with an Exo Plus casing.

One component contributing to the weight reduction, besides the frame, are the lightweight wheels. The tires are mounted on E-13’s new Grappler Carbon wheels, which help lower the weight and add some extra agility. The cranks also come from E-13. Mondraker focuses on ergonomics here. Cranks are 165 mm long up to size M frames, and 170 mm long for sizes L and up. Riders who tackle trails in an uphill flow style might need to live with a few occasional scrapes.

Mondraker has slightly overreached with the display. Honestly, while the display can be handy for showcasing performance data and cadence, you can easily do without it. Especially on a bike of this class, no one minds if it’s kept minimalist.

Sram’s Code Ultimate brakes feel great in hand but lack a bit of punch. The modulation is excellent, but Sram’s Maven brakes show that more braking power simply means better safety.

Bosch Kiox Display
The Bosch Kiox display is a bit too large and conspicuous for our taste. In hardcore usage, we would rather do without it.
Sram Code Ultimate
Sram's Code brake performs as expected, but could pack a bit more punch.
Maxxis DoubleDown tires
With the Double Down casing, you have ample puncture protection on board for tough rides.

All Mondraker Dude Bikes at a Glance

With €11,999, our test bike comes at a hefty price. For €4,000 less, the R version is likely much closer to the reality for most bikers. Especially since the bike only weighs marginally more. If you don’t need 180 mm of travel and can get by just fine with 170 mm, you should keep an eye on this. With the arrow symbol Compare bikes directly, you can also compare individual models with any other bike from our extensive market overview. A particularly exciting comparison is with Mondraker’s Neat and Crusher, which we have also featured.

Conclusion for the Mondraker Dune

The Mondraker Dune XR clearly targets mountain bikers who are stoked about shredding downhill without being restricted to bike parks. However, thanks to its killer handling and lightweight design, it keeps the option open to throw the bike on a shuttle, but ideally, you’ll want to pedal it yourself to the top. That said, you’ll still appreciate the motor assist and be okay with not having the maximum range, understanding you might need to recharge it occasionally. If this resonates with you, the Mondraker Dune XR offers an incredibly sleek and particularly fast bike, though it does come with a hefty price tag of 12,000 Euro.

About the author

Maxi Dickerhoff

...liebt es, mit der Hangabtriebskraft zu spielen und bewegt Mountainbikes bergab meist in Schräglage. Sein Fahrstil verlangt den Bikes alles ab, seine Liebe zum Detail macht seine Tests zu einer wahren Hilfe für alle Biker.

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