Up, down, mid level mountains, high Alps, home trails? You want to ride it all – with one bike? Maybe the Drössiger XRA29 1 can help out. A FOX Factory suspension platform, XTR groupset, DT-Swiss Spline wheels – here you’ll get a top spec at 13.6 kg weight for € 3,699. We tested the 150 mm 29er from Drössiger to see how versatile it really is.

Drössiger Review ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

If you just look at the spec then the 150 mm XRA29 full-sus machine should be pretty universal: the FOX 34 TALAS CTD can be dropped to 120 mm, to notch 2 x 11 XTR drivetrain and XTR Trail brakes, Reverb Stealth dropper post with 125 mm stroke and lightweight DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline One 29 wheels shod with 2.35″ Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres. The top-tube parallel position of the FOX FLOAT CTD shock even leaves enough room for a bottle in the front triangle. The cockpit is based on Ritchey WCS components and with a 70 mm stem and 740 mm bars more geared towards all-round riding. Our test bike was also fitted with a Bionicon C.Guide chainguide which isn’t listed on the Drössiger website for the XRA range but actually makes complete sense for a 2 x 11 transmission.

Die XTR-Gruppe bietet tadellose Performance. Der Kettenspanner ist nur in der XEA-Reihe serienmäßig, war an unserem Testrad aber dennoch verbaut.
The XTR groupset delivers faultless performance. The chainguide is only standard spec on the XEA range but was fitted to our test bike nonetheless.
Der Umwerfer mit Side-Swing Technologie schaltet sich extrem leicht.
The Side-Swing Technology front mech shifts with incredible ease.

If you want to descend you need to climb first and that’s one thing the Drössiger does pretty well. The riding position feels relaxed and ascending aboard the 13.6 kg bike is comfortable. Thanks to the neutral rear suspension it’s done without any annoying bob. The 2 x 11 drivetrain shifts smoothly and with 36/26, 11–40 ratios you’ll always have enough spare gears for the steepest climbs and longest rides. On technical ascents the XRA29 is slightly disappointing due to the lack of good tracking: although the 29″ wheels provide plenty of traction and great rollover characteristics the high centre of gravity on the bike (one doesn’t feel integrated ‘in the bike’) leads to a slightly wobbly handling.

Aufgeräumtes Cockpit – Brems- und Schalthebel sind per I-Spec verbunden.
Clean cockpit – the brake and shift levers are combined with the I-Spec clamps.
Drössiger Review ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

Downhill the bike performs very well, especially when speeds are higher. Here the big wheels come into their own and combined with 150 mm travel allow you to fly over rocks and roots. The XRA29 is still maneuverable in tight corners – just on well built berms the rider struggles to get enough weight onto the front wheel due to the high cockpit.

Die FOX 34 TALAS eignet sich dank Federwegverstellung perfekt für ausgedehnte Touren.
With the adjustable travel the FOX 34 TALAS is perfect for epic rides.
Dank nicht vorhandenem Ausgleichsbehälter am Dämpfer ist Platz für einen Flaschenhalter.
Not speccing a piggy-back shock leaves room for a bottle and cage.

The FLOAT CTD shock exhibits a similar spring curve to the fork and this creates a harmonious, plush suspension platform which always offers the right amount of travel and provides the rider with plenty of comfort.

Stay high: Riserbar, Spacer und ein 120mm langes Steuerrohr sorgen für ein hohes Cockpit. So bekommt man in Kurven recht wenig Druck auf das Vorderrad.
Stay high: riser bar, spacer and a 120 mm head tube create a high front end. This makes it difficult to weight the front wheel in corners.

Drössiger Review ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

In order to better understand the XRA29 we rode its big brother at the same time. The RockShox suspended, Shimano XT equipped XEA29 2 has slacker angles, a more compact geometry, a longer wheelbase and 160 mm travel. Together this makes a more downhill-specific machine but also adds a whole kilogram of weight. Even though we prefered the performance of the RockShox suspension parts we didn’t miss the extra 10 mm of travel when riding the XRA29.

Vielseitig und traktionsstark: Die neuen 2015er Schwalbe Nobby Nic überzeugen mit erstklassiger Fahrperformance.
Versatile and grippy: the new 2015 Schwalbe Nobby Nic impressed us with first class trail performance.

We really liked the new Schwalbe Nobby Nic, especially in comparison to the Hans Dampf tyres fitted to the XEA29. The grip threshold is much easier to judge, they offer more grip on the side knobs and braking traction is also improved.

Drössiger Review ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

We think that with the XRA29 1 Drössiger have indeed created a great trail bike: one that is best suited to all-round riders instead of aggressive trail pilots. It can play its strengths on epic rides with plenty of climbing: comfortable and – considering the aluminium frame, 29” wheels and 150 mm travel – an acceptable weight. A bike which really likes long climbs. On the descents it is always controllable and confident and has plenty of travel to deal with technical Alpine trails. Overall it offers almost the same performance as the XEA29 2 but is noticeably lighter and more versatile.

Words: Daniel Schlicke, Andreas Maschke

Photos: Christoph Bayer

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