Jul 19, 2023
The New Mondraker DH Bike is Incredibly Adjustable, and Uniquely So
The MS Mondraker team are at the 2023 UCI World Champs in Fort William this weekend, riding an all-new frame design that we first spotted in Lenzerheide earlier this year. Now, the sock is off,
The MS Mondraker team are at the 2023 UCI World Champs in Fort William this weekend, riding an all-new frame design that we first spotted in Lenzerheide earlier this year. Now, the sock is off, revealing a new VPP suspension linkage wherein the shock is driven by the swingarm itself – not hugely dissimilar to the layout utilized by the recently released Mondraker Neat eMTB.
Getting a closer look at Brook MacDonald‘s ride, we can see that this is one of the most uniquely adjustable downhill bikes on the World Cup circuit. In addition to chainstay length adjustment, shock mounting position adjustment, and a wide range reach adjust headset, the new frame is able to run a maximum of three cnc-machined braces on the swingarm for a multitude of different stiffness profiles, and it has a modular bottom bracket that allows for multiple BB positions.
This latter feature gives the team the ability to adjust effective rear-center length without impacting leverage, while simultaneously altering reach, BB height, and of course the bike’s anti-squat. No other bike, at least on the world cup circuit, has this level of adjustability.
Brook’s team mate, Tuhoto Ariki is also running the new setup – his bike is sporting an OChain. The OChain serves to reduce pedal kickback by dissociating rearward chainring rotation from the crankset. Brook’s bike is lacking an OChain, but his mechanic, Jake Ireland, tells us that the team is “experimenting with other methods that mean they don’t need to use an OChain”.
A closer look at the rear hub reveals a prototype from e*Thirteen. The LG1 DH carbon rim is laced to a hub shell that is over-sized on the drive side. This is not unusual in itself, but the larger diameter section looks to be even larger than that seen on e*Thirteen’s production hubs, and it looks to extend further inboard. This leads us to speculate that the new hub shell could be housing some new technology, such as a decoupler mechanism, that could prevent the rear hub from engaging during potential pedal kickback events.
That said, we are told there are no electronics on the bike, so it’s difficult to see how exactly such a mechanism could be timed appropriately.
That’s enough speculation for now. We’ll be back to update this later with more specifics on Brook MacDonald’s setup for Fort William. Right now, we have a World Championships to watch!