With 165mm of travel, a Bosch SX motor, and sub-20kg weight, the Mondraker Dune is a new breed of enduro e-bike promising maximum agility and enhanced purity.

Product Overview

Mondraker Dune XR


  • • Great sizing and handling
  • • Excellent balance of weight, power, and range from the SX motor
  • • Capable suspension
  • • Blends the power of an e-bike with the agility of an analogue enduro bike
  • • Ability to run a range extender and a water bottle


  • • Battery is not removable
  • • Difficult to set-up coil shock and fork
  • • SX motor thrives on fast cadence
  • • Low front end on medium and low-rise bars across the whole size range
  • • Cranks could be shorter
  • • Slight motor rattle


The Mondraker Dune XR forced me to work harder on the climbs, but paid back with interest on the descents with more agility and wider grins!


Price as reviewed:


Mondraker has already thrown its hat in the best lightweight e-bike ring with the talented Neat. Now the Spanish brand is bringing in the big guns, with the 165mm travel Dune. Fitted with Bosch’s powerful SX motor, Mondraker reckons this represents the future of enduro bikes.

Mondraker Dune XR

The colour-changing ‘Mars’ paint on the Mondraker Dune XR is a feast for the eyes.

Mondraker Dune XR need to know

  • Enduro e-bike with Bosch SX motor
  • 165mm travel with 170mm fork (180mm on the XR model)
  • Mullet wheels only (29in front, 27.5in rear)
  • Carbon frame on all models
  • Motor kicks out 600w peak power and 55Nm peak torque
  • 400Wh internal battery is not removable, but optional 250Wh range extender takes capacity into full-fat e-bike territory
  • Three models sharing the same frame, starting at £6,799

The 2014 Mondraker Dune XR that I had as a longtermer

Mondraker Dune: The evolution of an enduro bike

Since 2009, the shifting sands of time have seen the Mondraker Dune morph from upright all-mountain bike to slacked-out enduro rig via a pioneering approach to sizing and geometry that revolutionised handling across the entire sphere of mountain biking. After a four year hiatus, the Dune is back as an enduro e-bike with a sub-20kg weight, 165mm of travel, and Bosch’s lightweight SX motor. Which puts it in direct competition with the likes of the Specialized Kenevo SL for a place among the best lightweight e-bikes on the market. For an overview of the new Dune and its three-bike range, check out our news story.

Mondraker Dune XR

Mondraker has kept the top tube impressively skinny on the Dune XR.

Before drilling down into the details, let’s take a look at how the new Dune sits in relation to Mondraker’s existing offerings, and explore who it’s aimed at. With 165mm of travel, the Dune shares a similar intended use to the full-bore Level – a 170mm 29er with Bosch’s powerful Performance CX drive unit. But with a lighter motor, less power, and a smaller battery, the Dune prioritises agility and a natural ride experience over brute force and unflinching stability. In that respect it has more in common with Mondraker’s recently-released Neat, where a TQ motor delivers light assistance and retains much of the purity we know and love from riding analogue bikes.

The target customer then, is clearly someone who loves riding their enduro bike, and doesn’t want to give up the subtlety and playfulness of an analogue bike, but wants to squeeze more laps into a finite ride window. And finite is the key word here, because the Dune’s weight savings – like any mid-power e-bike – come at the expense of both power and range compared to a full-fat model. To get the most out of bikes like the Dune you have to put the effort in.  To stay with your mates on full-fat bikes you’re going to have to work harder, and you’ll have to take an economical approach to power consumption on long rides.

Mondraker Dune XR

That battery is not removable (unless you unbolt the motor) but the additional range extender opens up possibilities for Mondraker Dune owners.

Frame and geometry

The Dune’s all-carbon frame is shared across the entire three-model range and adopts Mondraker’s revised Zero suspension linkage. This twin-link design inclines the shock at an acute angle compared to older models, like the Level, driven by a rocker link at the top and the swingarm at the bottom. Doing so frees up some space in the front triangle, and lets Mondraker drop the top tube for better standover clearance. Significant moves when trying to make a bike feel as manoeuvrable as possible, particularly in steep terrain and when throwing shapes on bike park jump tracks. As a bonus, there’s also enough room inside the front triangle for either two water bottles, or a water bottle and a range extender.

On the scales, I independently weighed a size large Dune XR at 19.93kg, so it just limbos under the unofficial 20kg barrier needed to be able to use the ‘lightweight e-bike’ label. Its main rival is the Specialized Kenevo SL, which weighed in at 19.24kg for the Expert SL 2 and 18.47kg for the S-Works (both in size S4) when we tested them. Considering the Mondraker has a bigger/heavier battery, more powerful motor, and a coil shock, I’d say the Dune is very competitive on the scales.

Mondraker has taken advantage of the latest Stealth Air carbon tech, helped along by a carbon rocker link, to keep the frame weight down to a claimed 2,650g without motor and shock. But Mondraker hasn’t skimped on frame protection, with moulded rubber chainstay padding, a motor bash guard, and mudguard to limit spray reaching the shock all included. The chainstay protector uses exceptionally soft rubber, which does an effective job of silencing any chainslap, but doesn’t seem like it will be particularly durable.

Mondraker Dune XR

Sintra, in Portugal, made for a great test bed for the Mondraker Dune XR, with spicy rock sections and incredible dirt.

Given the larger physical dimensions of the Bosch SX motor, it’s no surprise that the Dune has more of a presence than the stealthy Neat with its compact TQ HPR50 unit. The top tube is still impossibly thin, but the Dune’s down tube has more girth and the edges are crisp and angular rather than soft and rounded like they are on the Neat. It’s a good looking bike, but to my eyes it doesn’t have the subtle sophistication of its shorter travel stablemate.

Renowned for its game-changing Forward Geometry, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Dune is a boundary-pushing, raked-out sled. It’s not. As other brands have caught up, Mondraker’s geometry and sizing has become completely mainstream, so you don’t have to be an outlier to feel comfortable and confident on the Dune. The reach on the four frame sizes ranges from 440mm to 500mm in 20mm jumps, which actually gives a narrower size range than the Kenevo SL 2. However, relatively short seat tubes give some overlap for riders to swing between sizes according to preference – something that is limited on the Kenevo by the lack of dropper post insertion. While it’s a similar story on the Dune given the pierced seat tube, I found it to be less of a problem. And switching from the stock Reverb AXS post will also free up room to fit a longer dropper.

I had the opportunity at the launch to ride a medium and a large Dune, and got on pretty well with both. My biggest complaint is that the 20mm gap in head tube length from M to L put the bars too low for me on the smaller frame. Taller riders that I spoke with on the launch also reported similar issues, and expressed the opinion that 40mm rise bars would have been a better option on the XL frame size.

Fixed angles mean there’s less to fiddle with on the Dune than, say, the Specialized Kenevo SL which has six different geometry options. That does mean that you’re stuck with the 445mm chainstays across all four sizes, whereas the Kenevo lets you play with the weight balance slightly thanks to flip chips in the Horst link, and headset cups that also have an effect on the reach. With a 63.6º head angle on the XR model (64º on the RR and R) and 77.1º effective seat angle, it’s fair to say that the Dune is on safe, familiar ground when it comes to geometry.

Mondraker Dune XR

The Bosch SX motor has power in spades, but you have to work for it.

Motor and battery

Rather than stick with the minimal-assist TQ HPR 50 from the Neat, Mondraker has switched tack for the Dune’s motor. Adding meaningful power and range to go with the burlier, heavier chassis feels like a good move, and the Bosch sticker will no doubt be a big selling point for anyone considering making the move to a mid-power e-bike.

The headline figures from the SX motor are 55Nm of torque, a whopping 600W of peak power, a generous 400Wh battery, and the option of a useful 250Wh range extender. But beware; if you’re expecting the grunt of a full fat e-bike you’re going to be disappointed. Yes, there’s loads of power, but you need to turn the cranks like a washing machine spin-cycle to access it, and the mediocre torque means you don’t have the same crawling ability on steep climbs. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a damn fine motor, and it takes off like a scalded cat when you get the legs going on a moderate gradient, but if you come from a moto background, it’s akin to a two-stroke with a narrow power band, where a full-fat CX motor is equivalent to a lazy four-stroke with ample low-down punch. The SX demands a cadence above 70rpm to do anything, but depending on how you’ve tuned the system, only really gives back full power at around 110rpm.

While not exactly loud, it’s noisier than the TQ, and my bike’s motor did have a very slight rattle on the descents when coasting. However, to put that into context, on asphalt climbs, the purr from the motor is still drowned out by the buzz of the tyres.

Mondraker Dune XR

The Kiox 500 display offers loads of info, but I’d prefer a cleaner cockpit as the top tube controller gives the basics.

Aside from the basic, integrated top tube controller, Mondraker has also specced the Kiox 500 head unit, offering comprehensive data feeds on all sorts of parameters. Personally I’d get rid of it and enjoy a cleaner cockpit, but it’s there if you want to geek out on stats. In fact, during testing, I actually experienced the front brake hose getting hooked over the display under full compression of the fork, which almost ripped the hose out. Another reason why I would get rid of the display.

With more bulk to accommodate compared to the TQ, one of the compromises Mondraker has had to make on the Dune is a non-removable battery. Housed in a fully-enclosed down tube for maximum strength and weight saving means that you can’t take the battery out easily to be charged.

To give some idea of range from the internal battery, I clocked 1,000m of climbing, mostly in Tour +, and finished the ride with 24% left at the end of the ride. Good for a couple of hours riding then (I’m 77kg), but most riders will still want the option of Bosch’s £450 PowerMore 250Wh range extender for full days in the saddle, or rides with mixed motor groups where you’ll be in Turbo the whole time.

Mondraker Dune XR

The carbon rocker link on the Mondraker Dune XR.


Like the Neat, the Dune gets the reconfigured Zero twin-link suspension system. The key takeaways from this move, besides the visual change and repackaging improvements, are a more supple beginning stroke than previous Zero designs. There’s 25% progressivity to cover both air and coil-sprung shock options, which is handy, since the XR comes with Ohlins’ TTX22 M.2 coil unit as standard (the R and RR use air shocks).

Each frame comes with different spring rates, selected according to average rider heights and weights. Of course, average means they won’t suit everyone, so it’s possible you may need to obtain alternative springs to get in the right sag zone. At 77kg the stock 411lb spring gave me 19mm of sag at the shock with minimum preload – spot on at 29%. When I jumped on the large frame, I swapped the shock as well. So the 457lb spring that comes stock on the Large would likely be a bit too firm for me (Ohlins also offers a 434lb in between the two). Another issue with the XR model, that’s common with most coil-equipped bikes, is that setting sag is much more difficult than with an air shock, and you don’t know how much travel you’re getting. Mondraker is working on a more sophisticated version of its MIND data logging system that could solve this issue, but it’s not something that will be available in the short term.

Mondraker Dune XR

Sun, sea, surf, and singletrack: Sintra is not a bad spot for a weekend away.

Up front, the Dune XR gets Ohlins’ RXF 38 M.2.29 air-sprung fork boasting 180mm of travel. With 38mm stanchions, it’s not shy of muscle, but it’s a fiddly thing to set-up, with two air chambers to balance, as well as high and low-speed compression damping. Depending on how much of a fettler you are, this level of adjustability will be either a blessing or a curse.

Mondraker Dune XR

The head tube length on the medium is pretty short, even with the 180mm forks.


Mondraker has turned to E*Thirteen to provide the carbon TRS Race cranks and Grappler Race Carbon wheels. These are shod with our benchmark Maxxis Assegai MaxxGrip in EXO+ casing up front, and the Minion DHR II in faster rolling Maxx Terra compound and stronger Double Down casing out back. SRAM gets the nod to supply braking and gearing, with the X0 Eagle AXS T-type mech and shifter alongside Code Ultimate Stealth brakes with 200mm HS2 rotors. There’s also a RockShox Reverb AXS wireless post and Mondraker’s own OnOff 30mm stem and Krypton Carbon handlebars. It’s a decent parts kit, but the grips are extremely harsh, the bars could be more compliant and rise-specific according to frame size. I would also like to see shorter cranks across the board, to help tap into the high revving nature of the Bosch SX motor.

Mondraker Dune XR

The Mondraker Dune XR was a joy to ride, even if the suspension was tricky to set up and the fork displayed some weird traits.


I had the opportunity to ride both the medium and large Mondraker Dune XR at the launch in Sintra, Portugal, across two days. The trails there are mostly mellow in gradient, but fast, with rich, dark earth, well-built features, and great flow, but there’s also a long, loose, rocky descent with awkward janky rock formations that can catch your front wheel and chip away at momentum.

Mondraker Dune XR

As long as you can keep the cadence high, the climbing ability is decent. Shorter cranks might help in that regard.


On smooth ascents the Dune held a static pose with minimal bobbing and a centred riding position that puts localised pressure on both hands and bum. It’s not a riding position geared towards long, flat traversing trails, but works well within its up/down, rinse-and-repeat remit. There’s sufficient anti-squat that I was able to run the shock in either the open or mid compression settings and still feel like I was making efficient progress.

Compared to a full-fat e-bike, steep, technical climbs are much more of a challenge, simply because the motor doesn’t have the torque to let you drop the saddle and keep the front end weighted. It’s much more important to keep in the optimal (low) gear, while it’s also significantly harder to get going again from a dabbed foot or a stall. Bosch lets you turn up the responsiveness of the motor – so that it needs less pressure at the pedals to kick into life – and I would recommend ramping this up in the Flow app if you’re a confident rider, as it really improves the technical climbing performance.

Mondraker Dune XR

The Mondraker Dune XR was adept at both long, sweeping bends and quick changes of direction.


Comparing the two frame sizes on the descents I preferred the agility of the medium, but the extra stack height of the large, as I started to get neck ache from craning my head up on the smaller frame while descending. Having ridden the large again since, I’ve become completely comfortable on that bike, and the extra length doesn’t feel like a hindrance. Having said that, at 178cm I could easily size down to a medium frame with a higher rise bar and raised stem.

Mondraker Dune XR

Unlike some full-fat e-bikes, the Mondraker Dune XR was easy to chuck around.

The Dune is not the most reactive and playful mid-power I’ve ridden, although it still runs rings around just about every full-fat model on the market. Keeping it on the planted side of the agile-ometer are the fact that it’s got lots of travel, along with the shock tune on the Ohlins TTX22. While it’s true I’m at the lighter end of the rider spectrum, I found I was almost fully open on rebound, and yet the Dune still didn’t get off the ground as quickly or eagerly as I’d like when hopping between lines or over rough sections. I’m not sure whether this is the damping tune, or the lack of a bearing at the lower shock eyelet, or both, but it just didn’t exhibit that 5% extra buoyancy that helps a bike really come alive. And at no point did I experience that addictive fluidity around the inflection point between compression and rebound that makes a coil shock so satisfying to ride.

Mondraker Dune XR

Sunset Sintra scrubs on the Mondraker Dune XR.

When the tracks got rough, the fork and shock did flutter effectively around the mid-stroke, with a pan-flat composure and initial softness backed up by ample support. In these situations the Dune just barrelled forward, seeming to conserve momentum and deliver high-definition feedback while filtering out harshness. But up front, the Ohlins fork had issues in the first 10-20% of travel. Unweight the front wheel and the fork would top out, sometimes with a clunk, and then spike harshly on the first compression once the tyre had loaded up again. I felt it a few times on different sections of track, and reading Mick Kirkman’s review of the Ohlins 38 RXF 38 M.2, this is something he also encountered.

Mondraker Dune XR

The lower spring rates had less pop than the higher ones (I ran both wide open), suggesting the shock tunes are better suited to heavier riders than my 76kg.

Given the extra cost and time-consuming set-up involved in the Ohlins suspension, I would be inclined to save a load of cash, go for the basic Fox-equipped R model and use the savings to upgrade the fork damper and buy a range extender.


Having ridden both recently, given the choice between the Specialized Kenevo SL 2 and new Mondraker Dune, I can say with certainty that I would take the Dune every day of the week. For my height, at 5ft 10in, it has better sizing; it has more power; a longer range; and can be ridden more dynamically. The suspension on the top XR model isn’t perfect, but the Ohlins badge helps justify the price and will appeal to a lot of riders looking for something high-end with a custom slant. Meanwhile, at the other end of the range, the basic R skimps on consumables, such as the drivetrain, but probably pays back in interest when it comes to simpler suspension set-up and more consistent performance. Adding 10mm to the fork travel is neither here nor there, which leaves the uninspiring paint job as the primary disappointment on the entry-level Dune R. If you’re not fussed about a flashy finish, I reckon this is the pick of the range.


Frame:Stealth Air full carbon, 165mm travel
Shock:Ohlins TTX22 M.2 (205x65mm)
Fork:Ohlins RXF 38 M.2, 180mm travel (44mm offset)
Motor:Bosch SX, 600W/55Nm
Battery:Bosch Compact Powertube 400Wh
Display:Bosch System Controller and Kiox 500
Wheels:E*Thirteen Grappler Race Carbon wheels
Tyres:Maxxis Assegai MG Exo+ 29x2.5in/Minion DHR II MT DD 27.5x2.4in tyres
Drivetrain:E*Thirteen TRS Race Carbon crank, 34t, 170mm (L), SRAM X0 AXS 12-speed shifter and r-mech
Brakes:SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth, four-piston, 200/200mm
Components:Onoff Krypton FG Stem 30mm, Onoff Krypton Carbon 1.0 bars 800mm, RockShox Reverb Stealth AXS dropper post 170mm, Fizik Terra Aidon Slim X5 saddle
Actual weight:19.93kg
Weight balance:47.3% front/52.7% rear
Max system weight:
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Size ridden:L
Rider height:178cm
Actual geometry:
Head angle: 63.7º
Seat angle:73.6º
Effective seat angle:77.2º (@740mm)
BB height:353mm
Front centre:840mm
Down tube:765mm
Seat tube:456mm
Top tube:625mm
Reach:483mm (475mm including integral spacer/top cap)