that does not require tape or rim strips to convert to tubeless. They
are simple, stylish, effective and lightweight. They also cost much
less per pair than some comparably performing carbon wheels.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Suspension setup: Mondraker makes the setup procedure
relatively painless with an air-sprung shock and fork, although the
suspension design tucks the shock so that it is somewhat difficult
to get a shock pump on the valve. Once set up, though, the rest is
very standard. We settled on a setup with roughly 35-percent sag
in the shock and slightly less in the fork. This gave us a plush and
aggressive feel. Those who want more efficiency or bottom-out
resistance should run less sag.
Moving out: The unique geometry Mondraker pioneered can
be felt as soon as you throw a leg over the Dune. The stem is
remarkably short, yet the bike fits true to the large size we tested
thanks to the long top tube and wide bars.
Pedaling: Mondraker’s suspension design has a relatively efficient feel that pedals quite well. The dual-link design makes for a
snappy-feeling bike that doesn’t need the assistance of a pedaling
platform, and that is a good thing, because the switch on the Fox
X2 shock is very hard to reach from the saddle. Additionally, we
felt no pedaling feedback, even when pushing this bike over very
rocky terrain in low gears.
Climbing: The Dune is happiest on the descents but will climb
well enough to satisfy most riders. On long and smooth climbs,
it’s worth it to find the low-speed compression switch to firm the
suspension. On quick, technical and punchy ascents, it’s best to
charge and let the suspension help you to the top. The Dune’s
Zero suspension is efficient enough that you don’t feel penalized
for not adjusting the shock for the climbs.
Cornering: This is where Mondraker forced other brands to
follow its lead. The longer front-center design handles better than
older geometry, and this is especially true on longer-travel bikes.
The Dune boasts a roomy cockpit and low center of gravity that
allow the rider to carve corners, dice up
switchbacks and pick his way through technical sections. The short stem keeps the front
end feeling lively, and the long feel keeps it stable.
Our only complaint was that when pedaling through
some corners, the pedals snagged easily. This is the
price you pay for a very low-slung bike, but we think
it is worth it.
Descending: The Zero suspension design
has a very plush and damped
feel that is great at keeping
the rider glued to the
ground. The Dune will
come off the ground easily if you want it to, but
it seems to be happiest
keeping the wheels
connected to terra
firma for speed and
control. The suspension
is remarkably active
and makes it easy to
make use of the full 160
millimeters of travel. The
Forward Geometry makes it
to drop the Dune down a steep
Forward Geometry makes it
Zero suspension: The Mondraker has more than zero suspension, but they dub it the “Zero Suspension design” because it’s
built to have zero influence from the brake or pedaling forces.
It’s a dual-link design with a floating shock.