With its slim silhouette, elegant look and flashy paint finish, the Mondraker Raze RR SL stands out from the rest of the test field in our 2022 trail bike group test. But is 130 mm rear travel enough to outperform the competition and claim victory?
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike of 2022 – 14 models in review
If there were a competition for the fastest-looking trail bike of the season, the Mondraker Raze RR SL would be among the hottest candidates. Despite the flashy paint finish, the frame is incredibly elegant and discreet, making the Raze RR look fast even when stationary – it’s not surprising that it’s the lightest bike in the entire group test at 12.9 kg! And that’s despite Mondraker’s proprietary MIND telemetry system, which is connected to the 150/130 mm suspension of the Raze, allowing you to record your ride and even measure the travel of your suspension you actually used. However, cool looks and nerdy gimmicks come at a price, € 9,999 to be exact!
The spec of the Mondraker Raze RR SL 2022
All cables are neatly routed into the frame through the headset, allowing Mondraker to dispose of additional cable ports on the frame. This underlines the elegant character of the bike and ensures a tidy look. The minimalist seat stay and chainstay protector is neatly integrated into the frame, emphasising the elegant silhouette of the bike. A recess in the down tube allows you to attach a FIDLOCK baseplate and is also compatible with conventional bottle cages, provided you use the matching adapter. A small fender protects the shock from dirt while a small TPU plate shields the downtube from stray rocks and impacts.
Mondraker Raze RR SL
Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 150 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DPS Factory 130 mm
Seatpost RockShox Reverb AXS 170 mm
Brakes SRAM G2 RSC 180/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01/GX Eagle AXS 1x12
Stem ONOFF KRYPTON FG 40 mm
Handlebar ONOFF Krypton Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss XMC 1200 29"
Tires MAXXIS DISSECTOR, 3C, MaxxTerra, EXO+/MAXXIS Aggressor, DualCompound, EXO 2.4/2.3
Size S M L XL
Weight 12.9 kg
Tuning Tip: bigger brake rotors (max. 200 mm rear) | tires with more robust casing and soft rubber compound
The FOX 36 Factory suspension fork employs the superior GRIP2 damper, which offers countless adjustment options, allowing you to fine-tune the fork to your needs and preferences. A Fox Float DPS Factory shock with three-stage platform damping controls 130 mm travel at the rear. Unlike the FOX Float X, which can be found on many other bikes in this test, the Float DPS doesn’t employ a piggyback for extra oil volume. While this makes it slightly lighter, it also limits the adjustment options. Moreover, the lower oil volume causes the shock to overheat faster, leading to inconsistent damping performance on long descents.
RockShox supply the wireless Reverb AXS dropper post. However, 170 mm travel in size L is a little too short for a modern trail bike like the Raze RR SL, which could use a long-travel dropper post like most of its competitors. Mondraker also went wireless with the drivetrain, combining a high-end SRAM X01 AXS rear derailleur with matching 12-speed cassette and cheaper SRAM GX AXS rocker paddle and chain. However, the latter are only marginally heavier than their high-end counterparts and still deliver an excellent performance on the trail. For the cockpit, the Spaniards rely on their in-house component brand ONOFF, combining a Krypton stem and matching 800 mm Krypton carbon handlebars. The wireless rocker pads, which are connected to the brake levers via Matchmakers, and the neat internal cable routing through the headset make the Mondraker the cleanest-looking bike in the entire test field. SRAM G2 RSC brakes with 180 mm rotors front and rear do stopping duties. The high-end RSC model features tool-free reach and bite point adjustments and SRAM’s SwingLink lever, which was developed to minimise deadband and thus improve modulation. Unfortunately, in combination with the undersized rotors, the G2 proved the worst brake in the entire test field, failing to provide sufficient braking power for sporty or heavier riders above 70 kg. We strongly recommend upgrading the brakes, or at least using bigger rotors.
The DT Swiss XMC 1200 carbon wheelset was designed for trail riding and is the lightest in the test field. For the tires, Mondraker combine a MAXXIS Dissector with EXO+ casing MaxxTerra rubber compound at the front and MAXXIS Aggressor with Exo casing and lightweight but less grippy DualCompound rubber compound. Unfortunately, the tires don’t do justice to the character of the bike and don’t suit its range of applications, calling for yet another upgrade. We recommend running a softer rubber compound like MAXXIS’ MaxxGrip at the front and more robust casing like MAXXIS DoubleDown at the rear, which will protect the expensive carbon rims from nasty impacts while improving traction.
The geometry of the Mondraker Raze RR SL 2022
The Mondraker Raze RR SL is available in four sizes, S to XL. At 495 mm in size L, it has the longest reach in the entire test field, which is paired with a pleasantly short 445 mm seat tube. Moreover, the dropper post can be fully inserted into the frame, ensuring excellent freedom of movement together with the short seat tube. Chainstays are 435 mm across all sizes.
|Seat tube||375 mm||415 mm||445 mm||500 mm|
|Top tube||595 mm||620 mm||645 mm||670 mm|
|Head tube||90 mm||100 mm||115 mm||130 mm|
|Chainstays||435 mm||435 mm||435 mm||435 mm|
|BB Drop||30 mm||30 mm||30 mm||30 mm|
|Wheelbase||1.193 mm||1.217 mm||1.243 mm||1.269 mm|
|Reach||455 mm||475 mm||495 mm||515 mm|
|Stack||608 mm||617 mm||631 mm||645 mm|
The Mondraker Raze RR SL 2022 on the trail
On level ground, the Mondraker Raze RR SL puts you in a comfortable upright pedalling position, while the light system weight and low rolling resistance of the tires ensure excellent propulsion. As soon as you start climbing, you’re positioned centrally on the bike with your upper body stretched far over the front, which ensures sufficient traction on the front wheel, even in steeper climbing sections. At the same time, the rear suspension doesn’t wallow in its travel or bob up and down when you’re pedalling but still works sensitively, eating up potholes and imperfections on the ground while offering sufficient comfort. All of this makes the Raze the best climber in the entire test field.
The low system weight together with the pedal-neutral yet sensitive rear suspension make the Mondraker Raze RR SL the best climber in the entire test field.
As soon as you drop into a trail, the Mondraker impresses with super-direct handling and follows steering input with clinical precision. The lively character enables an active and sporty riding style but demands vigilance and an experienced hand. If you get too excited and plough through a rock garden at Mach 10, the Mondraker feels twitchy, passing on hits and skids directly and thus requiring good skills and fast reactions to hold your line. The direct handling makes it a little more demanding than the Canyon Spectral 125. While the suspension of both bikes offers lots of pop and support, the Mondraker generates more traction. Provided your fingers are strong enough to deal with the undersized brakes, the Raze inspires more confidence in high-speed sections, allowing you to slam on the brakes a little later than with the Canyon.
The Mondraker Raze RR SL passes on feedback directly to the rider, requiring a vigilant riding style and good skills
With its clean and elegant silhouette, the Mondraker Raze RR SL is the lightest bike in this test. Together with the pedal-neutral suspension, this ensures excellent propulsion and also makes it the best climber in the entire test field. The only downer: the brakes and tires aren’t suitable for the intended use. Downhill, the Raze is super-direct but also requires an active riding style. However, with experienced riders who know how to tame the direct handling, it’s just as fast as it looks.
- very light with excellent propulsion uphill
- clean look and elegant design language
- suspension offers bags of pop and good support
- experienced riders benefit from super-direct handling
- brakes and tires don’t do justice to the potential of the bike and don’t suit its intended use
- requires good riding skills
You can find out more about at mondraker.com
The test field
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike of 2022 – 14 models in review
All bikes in test: Atherton AM.150 (Click for review) | Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral 125 CF 9 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral CFR (Click for review) | FOCUS JAM 8.9 (Click for review) | Mondraker Raze RR SL (Click for review) | Propain Hugene (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Instinct C70 (Click for review) | ROSE BONERO 3 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01 AXS (Click for review) | SCOR 4060 ST GX (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy (Click for review) | YT JEFFSY UNCAGED 6 (Click for review)
This scale indicates how efficiently the bike climbs. It refers to both simple and technical climbs. Along with the suspension, the riding position and the weight of the bike all play a crucial role.↩
How does the bike ride and descend? How spritely is the bike, how agile is it through corners, how much fun is it in tight sections and how quickly can it change direction?↩
Is the bike stable at high speeds? Is it easy to stay in control in demanding terrain? How composed is it on rough trails? Stability is a combination of balanced geometry, good suspension and the right spec.↩
This is all about how balanced the bike is and particularly about how well it corners. Balanced bikes require little physical effort from the rider and are very predictable. If a bike is unbalanced, the rider has to work hard to weight the front wheel to generate enough grip. However, experienced riders can have a lot of fun even with unbalanced bikes.↩
How sensitive is the suspension over small bumps? Can it absorb hard impacts and does it soak up repeated hits? Plush suspension not only provides comfort and makes a bike more capable, but it also generates traction. The rating includes the fork and the rear suspension.↩
This aspect mainly comes down to the suspension. How much pop does it have, does it suck up the rider’s input or is it supportive, and how agile and direct is the bike?↩
We don’t calculate value for money in an excel spreadsheet or based on how high-end a bike is specced. We are more concerned with how a bike performs on the trail and how the bike benefits the rider. What good are the best components if the bike doesn’t perform well on the trail? Expensive bikes with a lower-end spec can offer very good value for money – provided they excel where it matters. Just as supposedly cheap bikes with good components can get a bad rating if they don’t deliver on the trail.↩
No, it’s not about racing, it’s about efficiency. Fast, fleet-footed and efficient – those who want to speed along flowy singletrack and gravel roads need a defined and spritely bike that accelerates with ease and efficiency. Nevertheless, reliable components are important too. We interpret XC more like the Americans do: big back-country rides instead of a marathon or XC World Cup with the ultimate in lightweight construction! Uphill-downhill ratio: 80:30 (not everything has to be 100%!)↩
...also known as mountain biking. Classic singletrack with roots, rocks and ledges – sometimes flowy, sometimes rough. For this, you need a bike with good all-round qualities, whether climbing or descending. Uphill-downhill ratio: 50:50↩
Even more extreme and challenging compared to Trail riding, riddled with every kind of obstacle: jumps, gaps, nasty rock gardens, ruts and roots. For this, you need (race)proven equipment that forgives mistakes and wouldn’t look out of place on a stage of the Enduro World Series. Climbing is just a means to an end. Uphill-downhill ratio: 30:70↩
Strictly speaking, a 200 mm travel downhill bike is the best choice for merciless tracks with big jumps, drops and the roughest terrain. Those would be the black or double-black-diamond tracks in a bike park. But as some of the EWS pros (including Sam Hill) have proven, it’s the riding skills and not the bike that define what you can ride with it. Climbing? On foot or with a shuttle, please! Uphill-downhill ratio: 10:90↩
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker, Mike Hunger