Updated: 15th August 2018
The Dune is Mondraker’s dedicated enduro mountain bike and features 170mm of suspension travel front rear. Mondraker actually class this as a Super Enduro bike as it is at the long travel end of the enduro category when compared to its trail/enduro sibling, the Foxy.
While you can still pedal the Dune up-hill and down all-day long, it is the incredibly composed ride on challenging descents that helps to set this bike apart. In this Mondraker Dune review we look at all the models with carbon and alloy frames. MTBs that inspires confidence on high speed trails, especially when the going gets steep.
There are four models in the range, two with an alloy frame and two with carbon, and each bike is capable enough for taking on the most challenging trails. As well as differences in the frame, the performance of the components on each model get slicker as you move up through the range. The base Dune model gets capable no frills components, while the Carbon XR features a full pro level build.
The Dune is available with two different frame options; lightweight carbon fibre composite or more affordable Aluminium alloy. Both frames are tough and offer dialled enduro geometry with 170mm of rear wheel suspension travel.
Mondraker’s Forward Geometry, with its longer top tube and shorter stem, moves the rider back on the bike slightly to offer a more confident ride on steep descents. While this concept was considered radical when it was introduced five years ago, it is now a widely accepted approach that many other bike companies are moving towards. The frames have been updated for 2019 and now have Boost hub spacing as well as a new upper link and larger pivot bearings.
Both frame options have similar geometry with the same reach measurements. While the chainstay length (434mm) and head angle (65.5 degrees) are fixed on the alloy bikes, the Carbon Dune models have some added adjustability. With the help of a geometry kit (optional on the Carbon R, included on the Carbon XR) you can adjust the head angle between 67 and 65 degrees and the Chainstays from 430mm to 440mm.
The bike feels great all round but when you point it downhill it turns into a rocket ship. I felt at home instantly and to be frank, I was quicker on it than 95% of all bikes I’ve ever ridden, including DH bikes. It really took me by surprise.
Cruising along smooth trails, the Dune pedalled with the efficiency of a 120mm bike, but throw it down something properly steep and it became an entirely different beast.
The Zero suspension system is key to the Dune’s ability to take on tracks usually reserved for downhill bikes, while still being able to pedal around all-day-long. The dual link design features a floating shock that is compressed at both ends. This makes the rear suspension incredibly sensitive while still being capable of soaking up the big hits. It is called a Zero Suspension system because you get a very stable ride when pedalling with no power loss or pedal kickback. The suspension also keeps on working efficiently even under heavy braking.
The 170mm of rear suspension is controlled by Fox shocks on all models. The alloy bikes both get the capable performance of a Float DPX2 shock while the Carbon R gets the more DH oriented Float X2. At the top of the range, the Carbon XR get the coil sprung plushness of a DHX2 damper. Up front each model offers 170mm of capable suspension travel with the damping becoming more refined as you move through the range. While the base level Dune gets a RockShox Yari fork, all the rest of the bikes get a Fox 36.
You might think that this kind of surefooted stability makes it boring, but I found quite the opposite. It allowed me to ride faster and more confidently, yet the bike still felt agile, poppy and fun.
It is great to see that every Dune model gets a SRAM Eagle 1x12 speed drivetrain which gives you a massive 500% gear range. This means that even with a 34t front chainring, you have plenty of gear ratios for the climbs without spinning out on long fast descents. The 34t chainring also ensures that you get maximum suspension efficiency while pedalling. While the range of ratios stays the same on each model, the crispness of the shifts increases as you move up through the range from NX through GX and up to XO1.
As you would expect on such capable enduro machines, each model has big 200mm brake rotors for increased stopping power. The base Dune model get Shimano MT501 brakes while all the rest of the bikes are fitted with SRAM’s powerful Code four piston stoppers. As you would expect on an enduro bike, every model has a dropper post. The amount of drop is size specific with 150mm on the Large and XL bikes, 125mm on the Medium and 100mm on the Small sized bikes.
The Dune rolls exclusively on 27.5” wheels and the hoops on each model are tubeless ready. The base level Dune gets capable in-house wheels while the rest of the range get enduro specific DT Swiss hoops. The Dune R and Carbon R bikes both get DT E1900 wheels, while the top of the range Carbon XR get a tough but lightweight DT EX 1501 Spline One wheelset.
Mondraker aren’t a brand that skimp on rubber, so you get high quality Maxxis tubeless tyres on every Dune model. Maxxis Minion tyres are ideal for aggressive mountain bike riding in all but the very muddiest conditions.
It's composure and ability to make rough trails more manageable grants riders heaps of confidence.
The Mondraker Dune is an ideal bike for those who like to push their limits on the most challenging trails. While you can ride the Dune uphill and down all-day-long, this is a bike that comes to life when the going gets tough. If you like to ride trail centres as well as enduro tracks, then Mondraker’s lighter weight Foxy may be a better choice.
Each bike in the range will give you the capabilities to push your limits on more challenging trails. As you move up through the range the bikes get lighter thanks to the improved component spec as well as the carbon frame on the top two models. This means that the higher end bikes are easier to get up to speed and will sap less of your energy on the transitions. Suspension performance also improves, and you have the option to tweak the geometry on the Carbon bikes.
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