Mountain bike geometry has evolved over the past few years based on the philosophy that long top tubes, low bottom brackets, a low center of gravity and
slack steering angles work best. You can thank Mondraker
for that thinking, which has permeated every category from
downhill bikes to cross-country hardtails. This Spanish-based
company pioneered modern progressive geometry. Many
other bike-makers have followed Mondraker’s lead, but it’s
almost always better to stick with the original than to go with
a copycat version. In the past, the Mondraker has only been
available in Europe, but for 2018, Mondraker bikes have
made the journey over the Atlantic and will finally be offered
in North America. We tested Mondraker’s Foxy trail machine
and were impressed with the geometry and performance. With
cross-country hardtails making a bit of a comeback, our test
riders were eager to get their hands on Mondraker’s Podium
R. The Podium R is the company’s dedicated cross-country
race bike with a modern geometry aimed at going fast and
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
Hardtails have become more versatile with longer-travel
forks and dropper posts, but the Podium is the purist’s dream
with 100 millimeters of travel and an incredibly aggressive
geometry. With its minimal travel, lightweight frame and sleek
lines, it is clear that the Podium was designed for racers who
want a bike that is all business.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
Mondraker offers three levels of the Podium, each using
the same carbon fiber frame but with different build kits.
The Podium R that we tested uses Mondraker’s Stealth Air
Carbon with fully internal cable routing and Integrated Stem
Technology (IST). The IST design essentially integrates the
stem as an extension of the top tube, saving riders the weight
of headset spacers, and the upper cup for a very clean and
aerodynamic finish. Mondraker offers four different stem
lengths aftermarket so riders can dial in the fit.
The Podium is one of the most unique and striking-look-ing frames we have had in the test fleet. The top tube has a
swooping arch, allowing for a lower standover height without
compromising the overall reach. Mondraker uses a slimmed-down seat tube and lean 27.2-millimeter seatpost for added
vertical compliance. The rear triangle uses Boost spacing
BIKE TEST / MONDRAKER PODIUM
Spanish speed and design