The new lightweight, full-carbon Dune is pushing the mtb boundaries again with its huge wheelbase and adaptable geometry
Need to know
- Full carbon version of the 160mm-travel Dune
- Three-model range starts at £4,599
- Adjustable chainstay length and head angle
Mondraker’s first Forward Geometry Dune XR sent ripples of change through the bike industry when it first appeared in 2013.
Since then, there has been a gradual shift towards longer, slacker, more gravity-orientated enduro bikes, to the point where Forward Geometry no longer seems quite so radical. But with the new carbon version of the Dune, Mondraker is once again sticking its head above the parapet with a bike that pushes the boundaries.
With a 1,240mm wheelbase, the new Mondraker Dune Carbon XR (in size large) is the longest bike I’ve ever ridden. And while many brands top out at this size (to reduce manufacturing costs) Mondraker also offers an XL model, featuring a whopping 1,265mm wheelbase and 508mm reach.
Weighing just 2,450g for a medium frame without shock, the new Dune Carbon is not only a very competitive weight, it’s an exceptional piece of engineering.
It actually saves an impressive 580g over its aluminium counterpart, and gets Mondraker’s now signature features, such as the toned-down hunchbacked top tube, cantilevered bottom bracket, front ‘window’ behind the head tube, and split mast linking the seat and chainstays. Even the upper suspension link is one-piece carbon.
Watch our review of the Canyon Strive that also features adjustable geometry
Sleek and sculptural, the carbon manufacturing is first rate; a cutaway frame on display at the launch revealed the extent of precision engineering involved and the sophistication of the solid EPS internal moulding process.
But it wasn’t all about CAD drawings and stress simulations; during the bike’s development, multiple lay-ups were blind tested, incrementally eliminating harshness, while retaining stiffness in critical areas.
Last year, I had the aluminium version of this bike as a longtermer, and the new Dune Carbon shares that bike’s superb stability at speed and confidence in alpine terrain. It also exhibits much improved responsiveness and agility, mainly thanks to the considerable weight saving.
It’s unflinchingly composed in fast turns, yet still lively, poppy and keen to change direction. We had issues with the bars being too low during the launch, but that’s nothing that can’t be solved easily with spacers and/or a higher rise bar.
Limited time, poor weather and multiple trail closures hampered our chance to get fully acquainted with the Mondraker Dune Carbon XR, but there were enough moments of brilliance to make us impatient for the next opportunity to ride one.