It was a beautiful day up in Santa Cruz last Wednesday and we were eager to see what Ibis had to show us. We had a good idea of what to expect, given the photos of their pro riders, but we had no idea just how impressed we would be by the end of the day.
To start off the day Ibis founder, Scot Nicol sat us down in front of their iconic Airstream trailer and got right down to business introducing us to the new Mojo HD, aka HD3 (version 3). In case you haven’t read the news yet it is a 150mm Mojo HD3 optimized for 27.5 wheels. But why stick with the same name? Simple answer, they wanted everyone to know exactly what this bike was about, Heavy Duty riding. Plus the original HD was such a smash hit and this bike shared so many of the same lines that it just makes sense.
The looks are about the only thing that carried over from the prior Mojo HD and HDR. Ibis made it clear to us that this was a complete new bike, featuring Dave Weagle’s latest version of his famous DW-Link. The geometry is fully modern with a longer top tube across all sizes, lower bottom bracket and slacker head tube angle. Plus the frame is almost a ¼ pound lighter than the current Mojo HDR which brings it down to 5.9 pounds.
Here are some of the highlights:
- 6” of rear wheel travel
- 67 degree head angle with a 150mm fork (66.6º with 160 fork)
- Shock specs: Fox Float CTD Adjust Factory Series with Kashima Coat, 7.875″ x 2.25″, 175lb boost, med velocity, med rebound, LV can, .92in 3 volume spacer
- Optional shock: Cane Creek DBinline
- Threaded bottom bracket, ISCG 05 compatible with removable adapter
- Chain stay length: 16.9″
- 160mm post mount left dropout, carbon fiber
- Tapered Head Tube and Steerer
- Up to 2.4″ rear tire depending on brand and height of cornering knobs
- Dual row angular contact bearings on the drive side of the lower link that have less play than standard sealed bearings. Preload adjustment is not necessary. Large 28mm x 15mm x 7mm radial bearings on the non drive side for stiffness and long wear
- Bottom bracket height 13.4″
The demo bikes were decked out and ready to party. All demos included the new Werx spec which features Fox 36 Float 160mm forks, Cane Creek DBinLine shocks, Carbon 741 wheels and LEV dropper posts. This is an optional upgrade from the standard Pike, Float CTD, Flox EX and Ibis alloy post. The Ibis 741 wheels also received a new welcomed addition of the DT-Swiss 350 hubs with incredibly rare 52t ratchet rings. To get the Mojo HD3 Werx chassis rolling was the brand new Shimano XTR 9000 1×11 drivetrain. The only omissions were XTR brakes and crank sets as they were not going to be ready in time for the launch.
Direct from the loading dock we all rolled out and within 5 minutes were surrounded by huge trees and lush forest. In the excitement of these new surroundings something very strange happened. I forgot I was riding a long travel 27.5 bike. Coming from the 29” Ripley, how could I have not have noticed the excess suspension movement and slower rolling 27.5” wheels? Because this bike rode with the efficiency of most XC bikes!
Nicol was quick to point out that the new DW-Link was optimized to provide better small bump sensitivity, improved pedaling and a more linear feel. The head tube angle also seemed to play some tricks on me while climbing as I would have guessed it was something much steeper than 66.6°. The result was an efficient bike that held its momentum and rolled up and over obstacles without the need to have to “lift up” the front end on technical sections. In a nut shell the new HD3 climbs with the tenacity and agility of a mountain goat. There was no wandering of the front end as I normally experience on other trail/am bikes with similar head angles.
After enjoying the bikes amazing climbing characteristics it was time to really see where this bike shined. Dropping into our first downhill the HD3 put a smile on our face that stretched from ear to ear. When compared to other long travel bikes like the Santa Cruz Nomad the HD3 is noticeably more compact which makes for a much more flick-able and playful ride. The steering is also light and precise which makes it very easy to hit your desired line. Thanks to the plethora of downed logs that have been converted into kickers we got to spend of lot of time in the air with this bike. The HD3 seems to float through the air with a well balance feel that keeps the front end down and provides for a perfect 2 wheeled landing. The suspension does a very nice job of absorbing the impacts with a bottomless feel without feeling over dampened.
After riding both a Pike and Fox 36 equipped HD3, it is safe to say that frame is equally at home with both forks. The Pike lightens up the front end slightly while providing a bit more of a supple feel whereas the Fox stiffens up the front end and tends to track better at high speeds. Our opinion is to pick the fork that best suits your riding style with more aggressive riders opting to go with the Fox 36. Plus the Fox allows you to run 10mm longer travel without raising the front end as it has a 10mm lower axle to crown than the equivalent Pike. You really can’t go wrong with either.
When it comes to the fit and finish of this bike Ibis really took their time and paid attention to the details.
Note the internal routing through the seat-stay and ample zip tie mount around the bottom bracket to keep cables out of harm’s way.
The optional front derailleur mount and cable ports is neatly hidden when not in use.
Provisions for internal dropper posts with removable cable stops for easier routing and smoother bends. And last but not least… room for a water bottle inside the front triangle even with a piggy back shock! Also note the prototype shock that Ibis Pro rider Jeff Kendal Weed was running! We hope to be seeing that sometime soon in the future!
After a great day of riding we were treated to delicious meal in the Ibis Museum. We wanted to thank everyone at Ibis for one of the best products launches we have ever attended. Great food, great company and great bikes… what more could you ask for? A Mojo HD3 of your very own which will be coming to Pro Bike Supply the first week of December. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your frame or complete bike.