Stateside, the Ibis Mojo HD has gained a reputation as the custom gravity enduro bike of choice. With 160mm of travel from a 2.95kg (6.5lb) full carbon chassis, it’s easy to see why it is so popular with the gravity race set. So, on a recent trip to California, we jumped at the opportunity to ride the Ibis in its hometown of Santa Cruz.
The HD frame is made from the same hi-modulus carbon as the 140mm travel Mojo SL, but uses different moulds and layups to make it stiffer and stronger. Even with that, it’s only 250g heavier than the shorter travel SL version. A dedicated lower suspension link improves frame stiffness further, while double-row angular contact bearings in the main pivot minimise bearing play and eliminate the need for preload adjustment.
There’s no geometry adjustment on the HD frame but it is still adaptable as you can fit forks with up to 180mm of travel to slacken out the head angle without voiding your warranty. Headset-wise, the frame uses a zero stack upper cup and a traditional 1.5in external lower cup, making it fully compatible with tapered fork steerers. You can also fit an angle adjust headset if you want to slacken out the stock 67° head angle for more downhill stability. And, if you decide that 160mm of travel is too much, swapping the Limbo Chips (forward shock mounts) and fitting a shorter stroke shock transforms the Mojo HD into a 140mm travel frame with the appropriate geometry and correct suspension rate.
The finish on the frame is impressive and we love how the pivots of the upper suspension link are hidden inside the carbon swingarm. The links are available in three colour options to add a hint of customisation at no extra cost. The cable routing, however, isn’t so neat and we’d prefer to see internal routing for the dropper post remote and guides under the top tube for the front mech cable. A removable polycarbonate guard on the underside of the down tube protects the rear brake hose from rock strikes and further frame protection comes in the form of an integrated chain-suck plate on the chainstay. There are no ISCG tabs for fitting a chain device but this isn’t an oversight: constrained by the suspension design, there simply wasn’t enough space between the lower suspension link and the BB for the tabs. Instead, Ibis teamed up with MRP to produce a dedicated BB mounted chain guide that anchors to the forward suspension pivot for extra security. It’s an elegant solution and very much in keeping with the styling of the bike.
Available in four frame sizes, three colourways and with four different build kit options, Ibis has all the bases covered with Mojo HD.
On the singletrack climb that meanders through the lush Redwood forest above Highway 9 in Santa Cruz we were instantly blown away by how efficiently the Mojo HD turned every pedal stroke into forward motion; the DW-Link suspension didn’t bob, even with the superbly sensitive X-Fusion rear shock, and the carbon frame was steadfast under load. Stiff and direct summed-up our initial impression of the HD, but in the back of our minds we had a niggling doubt: any 160mm bike that climbs this well isn’t going to perform on descents. How wrong we were. The slightly slacker head angle provided by the 170mm X-Fusion fork combined with the rangy front end and good standover clearance on the size Large instilled plenty of confidence, urging us to let the Mojo run. Balanced weight distribution made it easy to load up the tyres evenly for cornering and there’s also something reassuring about having such a solid frame which is still light enough to pick up and plant wherever you like.
Dive into a berm, preload the suspension and the Ibis frame feels rock solid. It’s not super plush, though, and the frame stiffness that makes it so efficient and direct seems to increase rear end deflection and feedback when you drop into rougher trails. In that respect the Ibis Mojo HD isn’t a gobble-it-up 160mm bike where you simply sit back and hold on. It’s definitely a race bike, and a damn good one at that.
Head angle: 67°
Seat angle: 71°
Bottom bracket: 352mm
Front centre: 699mm
Frame: Mojo HD hi mod carbon
Fork: X-Fusion Vengeance HLR Coil
Rear shock: X-Fusion Vector HLR
Wheels: Stands ZTR rims, Ibis hubs
Brakes: Formula RX 180mm
Shifters: SRAM X0 2×10
Front mech: SRAM X0 DM high
Rear mech: SRAM X0
Chainset: SRAM X0
Bottom bracket: Truvativ GXP
Saddle: WYB Rocket V
Seat post: X-Fusion HiLo
Frame colours: White, black, green
Link colours: Red, blue, black
Sizes: S, M, L, XL