When Sports Basement reviewed the Mojo HD3 shortly after its release and concluded that it “It blew our minds! Chunks of brains are still on the trail.” I thought Hell yeah Ibis! I’ve gotta get me some of that fresh out of the oven third generation Mojo ASAP!
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve had an ongoing love affair with the Mojo for a few years now. First the HD (26″,160mm) in 2010, followed by the HDR (26″/650b, 130mm) in 2013. It’s been a dream ride. The last couple of years however have seen the MTB landscape change dramatically, most notably due the rise of enduro and 650b. I began to wonder if it might be the end of the line for the venerable Mojo. What would Ibis replace it with? a new 650b Ripley-esque machine? or would it be more like a contemporary Mojo HD 160? Was Hippie’s Mojo party finally over?
As info trickled out about the new Ibis enduro prototype mid 2014, level of stoke amongst Ibis loving folk began to rise. The bike looked the goods, big time. It then only became a matter of when we’d all get our hands on the new machine. For my part, I was completely stoked when my HD3 frame and 741 wheels arrived late last year, signalling that 2015 would indeed be the Year of Third Generation Awesome… 🙂
Number Crunchers Guide to the HD3
Don’t be fooled by the Mojo name and unmistakable Ibis aesthetic (albeit with a fresh industrial edge). The Mojo HD3 has been completely redesigned from the ground up as a contemporary 150mm travel All Mountain/Enduro MTB. Longer, lower, slacker. For those into numbers here’s some key bits of info for ya:
- dw-link suspension (dw5)
- Slacker Head tube angle (66.6° with 160mm fork)
- Longer Top tube (+20mm)
- Steeper Seat tube (72.6° with 160mm fork)
- Shorter chainstays (430mm)
- Internal cable routing
- Lighter frame (5.9lb)
How a bike feels on the trail though comes down to much more than just numbers. As Gestalt dude Kurt Koffka once said:
‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’
Sit on it and Spin
Sitting on the HD3 for the first time, the changes to the cockpit are immediately obvious especially the steeper seat tube. Rather than sitting in the HD’s “I’m kicking back in a lounge chair, relaxed and ready for the next descent” position the rider is more forward over the pedals on the HD3 – better for climbing and attack. The longer top tube is much less of a difference than you’d expect, especially when offset by a shorter stem. Ibis ships the HD3 with a contemporary length 50mm stem. I’m currently experimenting with a 30mm stem on my HD3. It’s sharp, that’s for sure!
Leave the energy gel home. You’ll be too wired shredding trail on the HD3 to need that shit.
With its latest and greatest dw-link rear suspension (version 5) the Mojo HD3 climbs more like the uber efficient Ripley 29er than it does a HD/HDR. Not only that, gas the bike up out of a corner or accelerate up a climb and it just smacks you in the face. Yeah the overall pedaling performance of the 6″ travel HD3 is impressive, genuinely impressive. During the first hour on the HD3 I found myself glancing down at the DBInline shock during climbs just to check it wasn’t somehow locked out. But there it was, fully open, no bobbing, ready to respond to whatever terrain the trail threw at it next.
The combination of the dw-link rear suspension and the DBInline shock feels like a match made in heaven. High Performance is the phrase that comes to mind. That’s how the HD3 feels through the saddle – fast and purposeful.
The HD3’s rear suspension would be for nought if the front of the bike wasn’t speaking the same lingo. The longer top tube, shorter stem and slacker head tube coupled with the Rock Shox Pike 160mm fork complement the dw-link perfectly. Add in a lower BB and longer wheelbase and it’s a stable yet also agile 6″ travel MTB that encourages and rewards the rider. It all goes to prove you can have your cake and eat it too. Man, I do like eating cake.
Whether climbing and descending, dropping into turns or bombing down gnar, the HD3 is a beautifully balanced bike on the trail. It’s not an enduro sled. It’s a sports car that compels you to ride trails more aggressively, breathing new life into all-to-familiar local trail networks in the process. Pretty sweet really.
Stiff. Fast. Wide. Did I say WIDE?
The ultra wide carbon 741 wheelset is an integral part of my Mojo HD3 build. I’ll be taking a look at the 741’s in detail in the near future but this first look at the HD3 wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the outstanding performance of these whoop ass wheels. You can read the official lowdown on the 741 wheelset here but here’s the bottom line:
- Lighter, stiffer, stronger wheels.
- More grip, traction, precision. Shit loads more.
Result? Faster cornering. Increased joy. And there’s no shortage of loose, flat corners around these parts to prove it.
So there you go peeps.
The Ibis Mojo HD3. Call it All Mountain. Call it Enduro. I just call it Kick Ass.
I’ll be keeping an ongoing diary of the Ibis Mojo HD3 over the coming months. All Mojo HD3 posts will be found at https://digitalhippie.net/ibis-mojo-hd3