Bike: 2012 Ibis Mojo HD
Intended Use: All-Mountain, Freeride
Size Tested: Large
Bike / Frame Weight: 28.75 lbs. / 6.5 lbs. with shock
Geometry: Check here
- ENVE All Mountain / Chris King Wheels
- 2011 XTR Trail brakes
- 2012 XTR Trail pedals
- 2012 XTR Shadow Plus Rear Derailleur
- 2011 XT Front Derailleur
- Fox Float CTD Shock
- RockShox Lyrik Solo Air Fork
- Rockshox Reverb Seatpost
- Answer ProTaper DH Bars
- Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 2.5/Maxxis Ardent EXO 2.25
- 2011 Shimano XT Crankset
Reviewer Info: 5’11″, 165 lbs., 32” inseam. Charge hard on the uphill and downhill. Prefer steep, techy climbs that test line choice and bike handling ability and similar downhills, with some buff, drifty corners in the mix.
Test Locations: Crested Butte, Taylor Park, Grand Junction, CO
Days Ridden: ~60
The Ibis Mojo HD has been around for a few years now, and while it may be one of the best selling All-Mountain frames ever, it seems as though the spotlight has turned toward the newest models, both from Ibis and other brands.
So does the HD still crush with the best of them, or has its day come and gone? I’m going to vouch for the HD—in my mind, there’s not a more versatile riding rig on the market.
I took many of the parts for the HD from a Santa Cruz Nomad I reviewed previously for Blister, with a few changes as I broke or upgraded components. For a complete build list, check out the stats above.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Ibis might be the forerunner in the movement to utilize carbon to make bikes both stronger and lighter. (With a frame weight of 6.5 lbs, I can easily build the HD to weigh less than 30 pounds and I probably won’t break it—something that very much suits my taste for aggressive riding.)
In 2013, a sub-30 pound pedalable, huckable bike is no longer a pipe dream. Buyers have shown bike companies that we’ll spend a lot of money on these light, bomber rides.
Ibis was one of first companies to broach this niche with the original Mojo and then later with the HD. Ibis offered a sub-30 pound bike that riders could pedal all day Saturday, then send in the bike park on Sunday. It was expensive, but the bike dorks (like me), still bought it.
The HD’s dw linkage combines small-bump compliance and pedaling efficiency that results in (almost) effortless climbing and downhill prowess. (More on this below when I talk about the shock.)
The Mojo HD’s carbon construction makes the bike stiff enough for amazing power transfer, and as I mentioned above, the bike is relatively lightweight.
Sure, I could climb faster on my wife’s hardtail 29er XC race rig, but I never find myself wishing for a lighter bike when I’m spinning up a big climb. I even pedaled 70 miles of the White Rim in a day on my HD—it was awful because the White Rim is awful, but the HD crushed it.
Fox Float CTD Shock
The Fox Float CTD shock, which I wasn’t originally stoked on (I really wanted a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air), worked very well with the HD frame and the dw linkage.
Masterful suspension tuning, along with a slightly rearward travel path, made for really good climbing traction. And when I switched to the Climb setting, I didn’t notice any pedal bob. I was pushing much bigger gears uphill than I would have on any previous full-suspension bike I’ve owned.
In the Trail setting, I noticed a small amount of pedal bob. But you also get very supple trail compliance and traction along with a responsive, sporty ride.
Noah Bodman wasn’t a huge fan of the Trail mode, something he outlines in his review of the Specialized Enduro Expert. While I agree it’s not as supple as Descend nor as efficient as Climb, for me, it struck a good middle ground on rolling, buff terrain where you want some feedback, but you aren’t ready for the couch.
In Descend, the bike goes into couch-mode, and suddenly feels to me like I just snuck a DH bike to the top of the climb. It still rides high in its travel, and it uses all of its travel efficiently.
Sure, a new full-blown DH bike is going to smoke the HD on a World Cup Course. But since I’m not concerned about racing against the clock, I flat out prefer the HD.
Pointed downhill, the ride is playful, balance in the air is very good, and the same bike that flew up climbs now feels stout, capable, and flat-out unbreakable.
The stiff carbon frame allows for great power transmission and makes for a cornering experience that’s tough to beat. I’d suggest throwing the widest bars you can find over a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5″ to really test this bike’s capabilities…
When I first started riding it, I found the bike to corner almost too responsively due to this stiffness. I have heard this “complaint” before from riders first getting on a carbon All-Mountain or DH frame—they have a tendency to oversteer until they’ve learned to handle the increased responsiveness.
NEXT PAGE: Fit / Geometry