One of the perks of working in the bike trade is, that from time to time, you’ll get the opportunity to test ride some of the latest, greatest bikes available from the best brands in the bike industry. Andrew Barlow who works at our Lake District store recently got the chance to spend a few weeks getting to know the Mondraker Crafty RR e-MTB better. Having the Crafty RR over spring gave Andrew the opportunity to undertake a long term test for Wheelbase. Here’s his thoughts…
Andrew’s been putting the Mondraker Crafty RR through its paces in the Lake District National Park.
We all know that e-MTB’s are the future, whether you like it or not! The 2022 Mondraker Crafty RR has given me endless hours of fun over the past month or so while I have been riding this exceedingly capable steed.
The Crafty RR has been liberating for Andrew, encouraging him to explore ever-more remote areas of the Lake District.
Now, Mondraker for me has always been a brand that I gravitate towards, niche-y yet inclusive, independent yet affordable and I do feel like the Elche-based brand from the south of Spain strikes that balance particularly well. Here’s my quick overview of this super-fun eMTB from Mondraker. Starting with the battery and motor – the Gen 4 Bosch Performance Line CX Cruise motor with Bosch Smart System is absolutely flawless; I’m impressed by how this latest iteration is 48% smaller, making the e-MTB’s chassis more compact and agile; with the Bosch Powertube 750Wh internal battery hidden in the downtube for a stable, low centre of gravity while making for a particularly clean aesthetic.
The Mondraker Crafty RR coped brilliantly with the extra demands that come with a full Bikepacking load.
The all-new Kiox display positioned on the handlebar stem is vibrant and user friendly much like its predecessors but with more functions such as being able to see your cadence and heart rate, as well as having Bluetooth connectivity. One thing’s for sure, with that 750Wh in-tube battery there’s none of the classic ‘range anxiety’ you may experience on some e-MTB’s spec’d with less powerful batteries. Riding in excess of 50km ridden and with elevation profiles of over 1200 meters I would still be riding home with over 30% charge remaining. This latest large-capacity battery is a considerable breakthrough in the e-MTB world enabling you to just head out, have fun and ride wherever the wheels may take you.
A budding landscape photographer, Andrew used the Crafty RR to quickly gain elevation in a race against fading light.
So let’s consider the Mondraker Crafty RR’s suspension. Up front there’s a Fox 38 29” Float GRIP2 Factory fork with Kashima coating providing 160mm of plush travel; these forks combined with a nice slack 65.5 degree head angle really makes for a stable, confidence-inspiring ride; likewise the rear Fox Float-X LV Factory Kashima shock gives 150mm of rear travel to encourage you to blast through the roughest terrain. With this setup rolling on large 29” wheels the ride is as forgiving as you’d hope it to be and during my time on the Crafty RR I rode way beyond my usual capabilities.
Andrew will be the first to admit that the Crafty RR gave him a whole new level of ability on the challenging descents of the Lake District.
It’s not too bold of me to say that Mondraker really did revolutionise mountain bike handling when it introduced its super-short stem and longer-reach top tube ‘Forward Geometry’. Pretty much every other mountain bike brand has now followed the lead with this sort of progressive geometry; slack headtube angles combined with steeper seat tube angles are now not as niche as they used to be. It might be old news but it’s still worth highlighting how Mondraker’s innovative geometry still makes for a such a stable, nimble, confidence-inspiring riding experience.
With a compact Bosch Performance Line CX Cruise motor and internal 750Wh battery it’s a case of blink and you might miss the fact it’s an e-MTB.
All other components including the Crafty RR’s drivetrain and brakes performed flawlessly regardless of the riding conditions I was faced with and, to be honest, I’ve been up against some challenging weather here in the Lake District this spring! The Mondraker e-MTB handled it all with no issues; with a good mix of 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle groupset components I had all of the gears I needed at my fingertips with each selection being crisp and precise via a light-touch SRAM trigger shifter. A big-travel e-MTB is quickly going to pick up speed and will get you into trouble just as quickly if you can’t scrub off speed quickly and effectively. Thankfully Mondraker have spec’d the Crafty RR with a pair of powerful SRAM Code with 4-piston callipers designed to hack off huge chunks of speed in an instant; combined with large-diameter 200mm Centerline disc rotors you can be sure that when things get a little out of control you’ll be able to wrestle the bike back into control. They certainly saved my bacon more than once!
Super-fast trail shredder or reliable pack-horse the Mondraker Crafty RR will excel at whatever you challenge it with.
Overall I would describe the Mondraker Crafty RR as capable and adaptable; as you’ll see from my recent photos, I’ve put the Crafty up to the challenge of some late-winter Bikepacking duties and it passed with flying colours by morphing into a faithful pack-horse for the duration of my adventures. For me the Mondraker Crafty RR signifies exactly where the very pinnacle of e-MTB technology is right now; increased power and more range combined with an improved compact configuration and super-agile handling. If you’re thinking of heading to what some call the “dark side” for the first time and are looking for an e-MTB that can do it all the Crafty will boost your confidence and put a smile back on your face. You’ll be able to blast up the climbs you’ve always loathed and with that 750Wh battery you won’t have to worry about your battery draining in front of your eyes!
- Frame: Crafty 6061 Alloy Stealth Evo, e-Bike Optimized Zero Suspension System, 150mm travel, Forward Geometry, internal removable battery with integrated alloy cover, Boost 12x148mm rear axle, tapered head tube, one-piece Monoblock upper link, HHG internal cable
- Rear Shock: Fox Float-X LV Factory Kashima, 205x65mm. Settings: compression 2 positions lever, low-speed compression, low-speed rebound, air preload. Trunnion top mount, 25x10mm bottom bushings
- Fork: Fox 38 29 Float GRIP2 Factory Kashima, 160mm, e-bike tuned, tapered steerer tube, Boost 15x110mm axle, offset 44mm. Settings: high and low-speed compression, high and low-speed rebound, air preloa
- Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX Cruise (25Km/h) Bosch Smart System
- Battery: Bosch Powertube 750Wh
- Display: Bosch Kiox 300
- Chainset: Race Face Aeffect ebike, 165mm
- Cassette: SRAM XG-1275, 10-52T, 12s
- Chain: Sram NX Eagle, 12s, Powerlock
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle, Type 3 roller bearing clutch, cage lock, 1x12s, X-Actuation 1:1
- Shifters: SRAM Trigger GX Eagle, 12s, X-Actuation 1:1, single click
- Handlebar: Onoff Sulfur 1.0 double butted 6061 alloy, rise: 20mm, width: 800mm, 9º backsweep, 5º upsweep, 31.8mm barbore
- Grips: Onoff Diamond, 1lock-on, 135mm
- Stem: Onoff Sulfur FG 30mm 0º, 6061 forged alloy, 31.8mm barbore
- Headset: Onoff Saturn tapered for 1-1/8” to 1-1/2” head tube, ACB sealed bearings, top 41×30.2x7x45ºx45º, bottom 51.9x40x8x45ºx45º
- Brake Levers: Sram Code R, tool-free reach adjust
- Brakes: Sram Code R, oversized 4-piston caliper, Centerline 200mm IS 6 bolts one-piece rotor, steel-backed metal sintered pads
- Hubs: Front – Mavic, Boost 15x110mm, IS 6 bolts, Rear – Mavic, Boost 12x148mm, ID360 Ratched system, IS 6 bolts
- Rims: Mavic E-Deemax 29, 30mm internal width, welded, PFP, tubeless ready, 28 spokes
- Spokes: Mavic J-bend duble butted, contactless lacing
- Front Tyre: Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.6, tubeless ready, 3C MAXX TERRA, EXO+ Protection, 120TPI, folding bead
- Rear Tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR II 29×2.6, tubeless ready, 3C MAXX TERRA, EXO+ Protection, 120TPI, folding bead
- Saddle: FIZIK Terra Aidon X5 145mm
- Seat Post: ONOFF Pija dropper internal, diameter 31.6mm, S size: 387x125mm, M size: 425x150mm, L/XL size: 465x170mm
Written by Andrew Barlow
Photos by Andrew Barlow
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