Rossignol Mandate

2022 Rossignol Mandate

Wheel Size: 27.5’’ (Sizes XS and Small); 29’’ (Sizes Medium through XL)

Travel: 140 mm rear / 140 mm front

Material: Aluminum

Price: Complete bikes $2,400 to $4,400

Blister’s Measured Weight (size Large, XT build): 33.37 lbs / 15.14 kg

Luke Koppa and Dylan Wood review the Rossignol Mandate for Blister
Rossignol Mandate XT
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Intro

Rossignol (yep, that Rossignol) launched a completely new line of mountain bikes for 2022, which they are selling consumer-direct with US-based customer support for that market. The bike line consists of the Mandate Trail bike and Heretic Enduro bike; a pair of e-bikes; and a couple of kids models round out the range. Here we’re looking at the Mandate, their 140mm-travel all-rounder, and it seems like a compelling no-nonsense option with really good parts for the money. We’ve got one in for long-term testing, but in the meantime, let’s dive into the details of the bike:

The Frame

The Mandate is only offered with an aluminum frame and uses a Horst-link layout with a vertically-oriented shock to get its 140 mm of rear-wheel travel. That’s paired with a matching 140mm-travel fork, and there aren’t any flip chips, geometry adjustments, or wheel size options (for a given frame size — more on that in a minute). Cable routing is internal through the front triangle, and the Mandate pairs that with a threaded bottom bracket shell, plus a Boost 148×12 mm rear end with a SRAM UDH derailleur hanger. There’s also room inside the front triangle for a water bottle cage on all sizes, plus a second set of accessory mounts underneath the top tube — i.e., pretty much all the details you’d come to expect from a modern Trail bike.

Fit & Geometry

Rossignol offers the Mandate in five sizes, XS through XL, which they say cover riders from 4’1’’ to 6’7’’ (150 to 200 cm). The smallest two sizes get 27.5’’ wheels, while the Medium and up are 29ers. We’ve seen a few other brands taking a similar approach with certain models — perhaps most notably Rocky Mountain — and the idea is to give shorter riders a bike that’s a little easier to muscle around, affords more tire-to-butt clearance, and has a more manageable bar height due to the smaller wheels (and shorter fork needed to clear the front one).

All sizes of the Mandate get a 66° headtube angle and 77.5° effective seat tube angle; reach ranges from 430 mm on the XS to 500 on the XL. The XS and Small frames have 425 mm chainstays, whereas the 29er sizes bump up to 430 mm. Those numbers aren’t wildly aggressive — there are certainly longer, slacker ~140 mm travel bikes out there — but they’re plenty modern (note the longish reach and steep seat tube) and seem like they should make for a fairly nimble, quick-handling bike.

Rossignol Mandate, BLISTER
Rossignol Mandate Geo

The Builds

Rossignol offers the Mandate in three builds, all with Shimano drivetrains and RockShox suspension, and they’re really good values for money. If anything, the $3,400 SLX build might be the most impressive — you get a full Shimano SLX groupset including 4-piston brakes, good RockShox suspension, and serviceable wheels for less than a lot of carbon frames run these days.

Luke Koppa and Dylan Wood review the Rossignol Mandate for Blister
Rossignol Mandate SLX
  • Fork: RockShox 35 Silver
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore 11 speed
  • Brakes: Shimano M4100 2-piston w/ 203 mm front / 180 mm rear rotors
  • Wheels: WTB ST i30 rims w/ Shimano M400 hubs
  • Dropper Post: KS Edge I
  • Fork: RockShox Pike Select+
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select+
  • Drivetrain: Shimano SLX
  • Brakes: Shimano SLX 4-piston w/ 203 mm front / 180 mm rear rotors
  • Wheels: e*thirteen TRS Base Trail rims w/ Shimano SLX hubs
  • Dropper Post: KS Edge I
  • Fork: RockShox Pike Ultimate
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select+
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT
  • Brakes: Shimano XT 4-piston w/ 203 mm front / 180 mm rear rotors
  • Wheels: e*thirteen TRS Plus Trail rims w/ Shimano XT hubs
  • Dropper Post: KS LEV Integra
All three builds get a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5’’ front / Dissector 2.4’’ rear tire combo, but the Mandate XT upgrades both to Exo+ casings and 3C MaxxTerrra rubber, whereas the other two builds get Exo casings and Dual rubber formulations.

Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About

(1) The Mandate is a seriously impressive value for money in terms of parts spec, but is the frame up to snuff?

(2) And how does the Mandate stack up against a lot of the other mid-travel Trail bikes out there? Its geometry looks a little more conservative and biased towards quicker handling over stability than most, but is that borne out on trail?

Flash Review

Blister Members can read our Flash Review of the Rossignol Mandate for our initial on-trail impressions. Become a Blister Member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on gear, and personalized gear recommendations from us. 

Bottom Line (For Now)

The new Rossignol Mandate looks like a fairly quick-handling mid-travel Trail bike on paper, and it comes with an especially nice parts spec for the money. But has Rossignol, a brand far better known for making skis than bikes, put together a quality frame to hang those parts on? We’ve got a Mandate XT in for testing, so stay tuned for a full review soon.

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4 comments on “Rossignol Mandate”

  1. I work at a bike rental shop and we have a little over 30 brand new Rossi bikes this year, with about 20 being mandates and 10 heretics(with varying builds). They’re not very good. We’ve been building them out over the past 2 weeks, and already have 8 down for maintenance issues. Half are due to broken dropper posts, which shipped in a defective/broken state. The other half are, 2 broken/sheared off lever clamps, broken wheel(shipped broken), and a couple wheels very untrue after just a few days use. They also ship them with plastic pedals which aren’t worth riding. While it’s expected to buy your own when you get a bike, I’d rather they ship with no pedals so I don’t have to dispose of 30 sets from an environmental standpoint. On that topic they packed the bikes using a lot of styrofoam, while other manufactures such as Trek and Scott use only cardboard. I did a ride with a co-worker where he took out a new Rossi and I took out a new Scott Genius, and we swapped back and forth a few times throughout the ride. We both agreed that the Scott rode better. The Rossi, while functional, felt like it was built by a ski manufacturer rather than a bike one. This is also evidenced by the attention to detail when building the bikes out of the box. When building the Rossi bikes we have to re-do a lot of the cable management. This is from the housing lengths, limits, and even how the cable’s are guided into the derailleurs. There are also a ton of other little things we’re finding out that are just a little bit off. One example is that with the Heretic’s stem bolts. They’re spec’d for a 6nm torque value, but if you only do them to 6, you can easily turn the handlebars while holding the front wheel in place. This is for their enduro bike which should be able to take a lot of big hits on the front wheel. It’s basically this lack of attention to detail with every aspect of the build where I wouldn’t recommend their bikes.

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