FIRST LOOK - MDE BIKES - DAMPER 29
The second in the line up from the Italian brand MDE. The Damper 29 is a long travel 29er enduro weapon. Having spotted this bike a good while back in Morzine, it had to be photographed. With the intention of getting some time on one of these in the future, here is a quick look at what the bike had to offer. The bike photographed was a team bike, so parts were changed from the current full build.
Suspension and Chassis
With options of a frame only or a full build bike. MDE have covered all the bases. At the rear the 160mm of travel is dealt with by an I-Link suspension system. This is compatible with both the 216mm or the metric 230mm damper. It is clear that the brand is future proofing its bikes. The frame setup comes complete with a RockShox Super Deluxe shock. Up front the RockShox theme carries on with a Lyrik fork.
MDE Damper 29
RockShox Super Deluxe
RockShox Lyrik RC
PMP XL27 boost hubs.
SRAM GX Eagle 12 speed.
SRAM GX alloy
SRAM Guide RS
Handlebar and stem
There are more bikes on the market than you can have the time to sit and sift through. This MDE Damper 29 is a bike that sits well in the current climate in relation to sizing. The 485mm reach for the XL bike matches the Orbea Rallon which is still one of the best bikes that I have ridden to date. When comparing to other bikes, the head angle is safe and sound at 65.5 degrees, but the bottom bracket may be a tad high. The 350mm BB figure could be adjusted with some offset bushes. This would lower the Bottom Bracket and make the head angle that bit slacker too. One important thing to consider when popping some bush’s in a bike though is the seat tube angle. Inevitably you will be making the seat angle slacker at the same time so this will effect the climbing position. If you are strong on the pedals then this will not affect you too much, but it is certainly a point to consider. When looking at the build kit that you get, there is a fair amount to shout about. The PMP wheelset looks great and matched up with the high end RockShox dampers, there is definite promise. The emails are being sent and with any luck there will be a Damper 29 in our hands in the near future.
The super price point matched up with a great build, there are some big boxes being ticked here. MDE Bikes seem to be doing things the right way. A solid look and build kit adds to the positives. If the bike rides as good as it looks then the Damper 29 will be a bike to shout about. Having the same option as the Lumberjack 695 to tailor make any bike is also a nice touch. This means you can adjust the frame to suit your needs, lower BB, slacker, longer reach….. what ever you feel needs doing. There is a 60 day wait for this model, but in my eyes it is well worth it!
Words and Photos - Ieuan Williams
Price - Frame STARTING FROM: €1599.00 Full build STARTING FROM: €3890.00