We tested the new Mondraker F-Podium 2024: better in everything

Mountain bike 16/02/24 20:22 Migue A.

A few months ago, the Mondraker F-Podium 2024 was released. The XCO reference in the brand's catalog and a model that clearly stands out from the competition with its sophisticated Updated Zero suspension system and Forward Geometry. Now more capable and efficient than ever. We've had some time to thoroughly test it. Here we tell you all about it.

Mondraker F-Podium 2024: renewed to be even more competitive

At first glance, it doesn't seem to have major changes compared to the previous version, but the truth is that there are relevant changes. To start with, there are no longer two versions with different travel depending on whether you choose the more "Down Country" version or the more conservative one.

The suspension system has been evolved to make it more efficient and have a more responsive response to accelerations, and all versions now have 110mm of rear travel and 120mm in the fork.

Solutions that the market demands have also been adopted, such as cable routing through the head tube and the possibility of carrying two water bottles.

Also, its geometry is slightly updated, and we say slightly because the F-Podium was already a reference in terms of the most aggressive and capable trend in XCO bikes.

Updated Zero Suspension System

In times where XCO bikes are increasingly resorting to simpler systems to save every possible gram, Mondraker remains faithful to its own system, which has been successful at the highest level for years and gives their Cross Country bikes that all-capable bike profile, with a rear end that allows tackling the most technical and challenging circuits with a guarantee of success.

But despite being a benchmark for good performance, Mondraker's Zero system continues to evolve, so much so that its name changes to Updated Zero Suspension System.

With this evolution, they have sought greater acceleration and response to the first pedal stroke, while maintaining its performance and absorption capacity.

The first thing we notice in the new F-Podium is that the swingarm is more compact. Now the seatstays meet the upper link several centimeters below the junction between the top tube and the seat tube.

The shock absorber is now more compact, with 165cm between mounting points (the upper one being Trunnion type) and 45mm of stroke. This shock absorber is positioned more obliquely and passes through an opening in the seat tube, as in the previous version, but it reaches further back and is anchored at its lower part in the swingarm itself and not in the upper link.

As we can see, the shock absorber compresses on both sides during its operation, but in a slightly different way.

The main characteristics of the system remain unchanged. We have a swingarm formed by a one-piece triangle that is anchored to the frame by two links, pivoting in this way through a virtual pivot.

The new, more compact rear end aims to be stiffer and lighter, but also changes in its kinematics, now more progressive with the aim of increasing its initial sensitivity and absorption capacity.

The Mondraker F-Podium refines its design to increase performance

Aside from the changes in the kinematics, we can observe some quite interesting novelties.

In general, we see straighter lines and some very marked angles. It stands out, of course, the change in its top tube that dispenses with that slight hump near the head tube, which was already a hallmark. Normally, a better weight-stiffness ratio is achieved using straight lines, and, in addition, even if slightly, it contributes to reducing the standover height, which always favors freedom of movement during handling.

Also noteworthy is the extremely flattened shape of this top tube, optimizing lateral stiffness.

The down tube is not round either, being also flattened, although not as much, and has some edges running along its entire length, thus contributing to its stiffness.

One of the novelties that this front triangle presents is the possibility of mounting two water bottle cages, in a somewhat peculiar arrangement, as the second one would be anchored below the top tube.

If we look at the rear end, we see that in this new, more compact swingarm, there are generously sized seatstays that widen as they approach the upper link. This upper link is another highlight of the F-Podium frame, being made of a carbon block.

The fact that the upper link is in a lower position allows the seat tube not to be interrupted for much of its length, which allows for longer dropper posts that will be in line with the character of the Mondraker F-Podium.

In this evolution of the F-Podium, they have not forgotten to adopt cable routing through the steerer tube, in a design that, without excessive complications, achieves its goal, which is to conceal the wiring and eliminate holes in the frame. Additionally, it has a lock to prevent it from turning too much in case of a fall.

With all these innovations, and a construction with Mondraker's best carbon in the four models of the range, the Stealth Air Full Carbon, Mondraker announces that the frame of the new F-Podium weighs less than 2 kilograms.

Forward Geometry: slight tweaks to continue setting trends

Mondraker was one of the first brands to modernize geometry and has been designing bikes with lengths that are now considered normal and angles that have become established due to their advantages.

The F-Podium is one of the bikes that embodies the "Down Country" concept, that is, XC bikes with capabilities close to Trail bikes, capable of tackling increasingly demanding circuits seen not only in the World Cup, but also in other races, both professional and amateur, where, given the evolution of MTB and bikes themselves, routes with a good dose of adrenaline are becoming more common.

Thus, the F-Podium receives slight modifications to make it even more capable. Its head angle goes to 66.5°. The reach increases to 455mm in size M and its total length becomes 1177mm, also in size M. The chainstays grow by 3mm to reach 435mm.

The seat tube also follows the trend and is more vertical with 76.2°, placing us in an optimal position for climbs.

Mondraker F-Podium RR, a build with reliability guarantee

The bike we tested thoroughly is the second in the range, with a fairly top-notch build. It leaves the electronics for its big sister but mounts a series of quality components with proven reliability.

For the suspension, we have the best of Fox. Fox 34 Step Cast Factory Kashima fork with Fit4 cartridge and remote control with 3 positions.

In the rear, it mounts a Fox Float SL Factory Kashima SV EVOL shock absorber with 3 compression positions controlled by the same Fox remote.

We find a Sram Eagle transmission in its cable-actuated version.

Sram XO1 rear derailleur, GX shifter, and Sram X1 carbon cranks with a 34-tooth chainring to combine with a Sram XG-1275 cassette with a 10-52 tooth range.

For brakes, it mounts the new generation Stealth Sram Level Bronze brakes, with the hose exit parallel to the handlebar, with 180mm and 160mm discs front and rear respectively.

For wheels, they have chosen the spectacular Mavic Crossmax Carbon XL R. Wheels closer to trail use but light enough, thanks to their carbon rim, to use on an XC bike like this, and thus raise the level of demand for which the Podium is prepared.

Its rims have an internal width of 30mm, perfect for accommodating the Maxxis Rekon Race 2.4" tyres it mounts.

Among the other components, its OnOff Helium Carbon 0.2 handlebar and OnOff Pija adjustable seatpost stand out. In our size M, it has a 150mm travel that can be reduced by up to 30mm if necessary.

Our experience with the F-Podium RR

As soon as we took it out of the box, our eyes were drawn to its design. It is very beautiful, with a combination of matte black, gray, and a chameleon paint that depending on the angle from which you look at it, appears greenish, purple, or a mix of both.

Aside from the colors, it is impossible not to appreciate its attractive shapes, with its profiled tubes, sharp angles, and that sophisticated suspension system that is becoming less common in this type of bikes. In fact, this is one of the test bikes that has attracted the most looks and curiosity during our days with it, and we handle quite a few bikes throughout the year.

We made the typical position and control adjustments and realized that with this cable routing, a very good aesthetic can be achieved, making them almost imperceptible under the handlebar. However, it takes some time to size each cable and housing correctly. But of course, being a test bike, they come a bit longer to adapt to different users, and the aesthetic effect is somewhat lost.

When adjusting the suspension, we found that measuring the shock absorber sag with some accuracy is a bit complicated, as due to its arrangement, the shock shaft is hidden between the sides of the frame that enclose it. If we want more space to access it, we have to remove part of the dust seal protector it has.

However, we have the help of a detailed suspension adjustment guide for each specific model available on the website. We followed it as an initial adjustment and hit the recommended 25% sag.

Before putting the pedals on, we had to put it on the scales, where it came in at 11.69kg. This means that it will not compete in lightness with its direct rivals, but the F-Podium has other attributes.

Riding the new Mondraker F-Podium 2024

The first thing that strikes you when pedaling on the F-Podium is the feeling of being more comfortable than expected. On the one hand, despite that geometry that a priori is very long, we see that it is combined with a really short stem, 50mm in size M, which makes the position is not at all forced. We also had spacers under the stem on the first ride which, together with the 120mm of front travel, which gives more height to the fork, made us go rather upright. We ended up inverting these spacers the rest of the days, as the length of the bike required us to have good support in the front end.

Also surprising on an XC bike like the F-Podium is the tremendous sensitivity of its suspension, which filters out absolutely all small irregularities when open.

It is a system that benefits from the three-position adjustment of its remote control. After the first kilometers of testing we ended up using the intermediate position in most of the terrains, especially on trails, where it minimizes oscillations but maintains a very large capacity to filter out irregularities.

As for the interaction with the pedaling, we are facing one of the systems that best refines the anti squat, and in fact we could see how in vertical ascents and areas where more power is developed there is no oscillation due to pedaling, but at the same time we are facing a system with great sensitivity, and that means that if our pedaling is not very round or in moments of high cadence, there is some movement, which is almost completely reduced with the intermediate position of the remote control.

On climbs, the F-Podium boasts traction that few XC bikes can boast. The more broken a climb is, the more remarkable is this feeling of ability, and even the worst trials don't make us put our foot down.

In terms of acceleration, it is quite reactive, although we must not forget that it is not an ultralight, at least with this setup, and that makes it lose some spark.

But if there is a terrain in which the Mondraker F-Podium stands out above the rest, it is undoubtedly in descents. Whether they are technical or not, because that geometry with plenty of length and steering throws us to draw curves at high speed with remarkable security. And when the terrain is rougher we have the amazing ability of its suspensions that swallow everything and make us go down the worst sections with confidence.

At first, a seatpost with 150mm of travel seemed too much for an XC bike, but the F-Podium is not an ordinary Cross Country bike. With it we dared to ride down trails that we normally only ride enduro bikes. What has cost us a little, is to adapt to the seatpost control, as it is difficult to fit it on the handlebars without getting in the way with the Fox remote control of the suspensions. It is a common problem on bikes with remote control and requires some time to automate gestures.

With the Mondraker F-Podium we have done all kinds of routes, including some long mileage routes where we needed to use two bottle cages, and the truth is that it has gone very well, yes, with side exit bottle cages. There's plenty of room in the down tube for a large bottle, and at the top we were able to fit a 600ml bottle which, although it touched the other one a bit, didn't present any inconvenience.

As for the performance of the components of this F-Podium RR version, we can only praise the good performance of a drivetrain that, before electronics completely invaded MTB, was one of the most sophisticated, and its precision is still top notch.

Braking is also guaranteed with this new version of the Sram Level, brakes that have been improving their feel and reliability to a very high standard.

And with regard to the wheelset, these Mavic Crossmax Carbon XL R have given us a feeling of rigidity and very high reliability and its internal width of 30mm seems ideal for modern XC. Also the Maxxis Rekon Race tyres, with their large 2.4" balloon give us comfort and their tread pattern make them good rollers, although the downhill licenses offered by the F-Podium have made us see the limit in some complicated situations.


After spending some time riding the Mondraker F-Podium RR we can only praise the Updated Zero Suspension system, as it makes the F-Podium one of the most versatile Cross Country bikes available today, bringing maximum performance closer to Trail capability than ever before.

In competition it is a bike that has long demonstrated its qualities and, with this update, they are further enhanced.

But for those riders who are looking for an XC bike with which not only compete, but also for touring use, they will find in this Mondraker a bike without limitations, with which they can face any route, from the most marathon to the most technical and complicated.

Mondraker F-Podium RR: specifications, weight and price

  • Frame: F-Podium 29 Stealth Air Full Carbon, 110mm
  • Fork: Fox 34 Step Cast Factory Kashima Fit4, 120mm
  • Shock: Fox Float SL Factory Kashima SV EVOL, 165x45mm
  • Handlebar: OnOff Helium Carbon 0.2, 760mm
  • Stem: Mondraker 31,8mm, S/M 50mm, L 60mm, XL 70mm
  • Saddle: Fizik Vento Argo X5
  • Seatpost: OnOff Pija, 31,6mm. S 95-125mm, M 120-150mm, L/XL 140-170mm
  • Brakes: Sram Level Bronze Stealth, 180/160mm
  • Wheels: Mavic CrossMax Carbon XL R
  • Tyres: Maxxis Rekon Race 29x2,4”, EXO
  • Crankset: Sram X1 Carbon Eagle, 34T
  • Rear Derailleur: Sram XO1 Eagle
  • Shifter: Sram GX Eagle
  • Chain: Sram GX Eagle
  • Cassette: Sram XG-1275 10-52
  • Weight: 11.69kg
  • Price: 7.999€  



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