2015 Ibis Mojo HD Ridden
The original Ibis Mojo was launched in 2005 and it was a bit of a ground breaker. At that time 140mm full carbon fibre frames built for trail riders were as rare as bar ends at Rampage. When you consider that in 2005 Specialized was only selling the 150mm S-Works Enduro and the 120mm Stumpjumper FSR models with full aluminum frames it should remind you that carbon was once considered an XC-specific luxury. Ibis staff ignored convention and built a beautifully sculpted carbon frame that met their needs as riders, without a single focus group. The finished product made a bold statement for a brand returning after a 5-year break.
While the original Mojo caught the attention or riders who like to get after it, the introduction of the HD version in 2010 seduced an even rowdier audience and the Mojo began to appear on the North Shore and other places where the trails are challenging. With 160mm of travel and up to a 180mm travel fork the HD preserved the artful curves of its shorter travel sibling while adding some serious attitude.
Roxy at Ibis is their industrial designer and a lady that has an eye for flowing lines. You can thank her personally for the attention to aesthetics at Ibis. The Mojo looks as good today as it did when it was released 9 years ago. If I were to liken it to a car it would be an Aston Martin Vantage, a design that still looks really crisp and modern today even though it was first shown in concept form in 2003.
The Mojo has seen various iterations over its 9 years, morphing subtly to meet the changing needs of the market. The most recent iteration was the HDR and Cam rode that model recently and his thoughts can be found here. He discovered it isn’t just a prom queen; it backs up its looks with a stellar ride. So when photos of a prototype Ibis frame popped up at one of the EWS rounds this summer heads were turned. Would Ibis really be replacing this classic?
The 2015 Mojo HD is a totally new frame designed around 27.5” wheels and a full 6” of travel. Now that a couple of seasons of racing have passed in the EWS. the needs of the enduro racer are becoming more clearly defined, and with Anne-Caroline Chausson on the team it’s no surprise her feedback had an influence. You don’t accumulate hardware the way ACC has without being able to figure out how to make a fast bike.
There is a lot going on with this new frame and some of the details can only be appreciated in the flesh. Here are some of the highlights;
- Longer top tubes, with about 20mm added across the size range, this translates to the large frames top tube measuring in at 24.4”
- Head angle is 67 or 66.6 degrees depending on whether you run a 150 or 160mm fork
- The traditional threaded bottom bracket (hooray) has been lowered, now sitting at about 13.4”
- A new iteration of the DW Link design suspension platform designed to work with smaller chainrings (not many people are running much more than a 34 tooth rings now) and provide better mid-stroke pedalling characteristics
- 16.9” chain stay length which was achieved with shorter rear suspension links
- The headset now uses an internal lower cup to lower the head tube
- Front derailleur compatible
- Accepts a bottle cage on the top of the down tube
- New internal routing ports for running everything but the rear brake line internally
- Increased tire clearance to allow a 2.4” rear tire when fitted to the Ibis 741 rim
- ISCG tabs and a down tube polycarbonate protector that is foam backed and removeable
- Frame weight for the large frame is 5.9lbs with shock
The bike will be offered with various build specs but for the top spec Ibis are offering has a Shimano 1×11 XTR set up, using a Raceface Turbine crankset over the currently next-to-impossible to secure XTR. The stock build has a Pike up front with a Fox Float CTD rear shock. An upgraded “Werx” package is available with a Fox 36 up front, a Cane Creek DB Inline rear shock and Ibis’s new wide 741 carbon wheel package, which now come with DT Swiss 350 hubs standard.
Some of the finer details can’t be appreciated until you get up close. The suspension yoke might look similar to that found on the Ripley but it is all new and sculpted out of solid carbon fibre. Roxy has gone to town on the surface finishing creating another frame with flowing lines from the head tube down to the rear drop out. The Mojo HD looks so good it seemed a shame to get it dirty.
Bring on the shame. The trails close to Santa Cruz in the Soquel Demo Forest have plenty enough burl to give the Mojo HD a workout, so a crew of shredders headed out to get first impressions on the bike. Our ride wasn’t a quick spin either – we did a good 17 miles with 3,330ft of climbing, so plenty of up and down to test the bike out on. The conditions were amazing too with some rain the previous day making the dirt almost perfect.
Initial riding impressions are very promising. The new geometry gives the bike a better fit for starters, even with a 50mm stem, the extra length in the top tube makes for a roomy cockpit, which was appreciated on the long climbs. It also feels like you sit in the bike rather than being on it. With low stand over height and short seat tube, when the trail points down and gets steep, the bike feels very maneuverable under you and fun to throw around.
As promised the new DW link tweaks means that when faced with a punchy climb the Mojo HD doesn’t wallow as you stamp on the pedals. The bike’s light weight (the bike I was on was roughly 28lbs with pedals) helps on the climbs and on the descents too, willing to get airborne off of the smallest lips. The geometry overall feels nicely balanced front to rear. With more time I’m sure I could become more aggressive on the bike, particularly as the example I rode had the wide Ibis rims fitted. Those take some getting used to with the wider profile tire profile they provide, but we still had some rowdy trains going on the downhills that even had ACC grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
Pricing for the frame only is $2,900 USD with the Fox Float CTD shock, the Cane Creek being a $60 upgrade. Full bikes start at $3,950 USD for the special blend build and rise up to $9,200 for the full 2x XTR bike with carbon rims, Fox 36 fork and the Cane Creek shock. If I had to pick one for myself, the standard XO1 bike with a SRAM XO1 drivetrain, XT brakes, Pike up front and the Fox Float CTD out back riding on Stans Flow rims at $6200 USD looks like good value.
The first batch of frames will be available in early December and there is a fleet of demo bikes heading out for folks to throw a leg over before they lay down their hard-earned coin. All the details on the various builds available and the bike went live on the Ibis website this morning so head there for all the nitty gritty details.
Ibis has a serious new contender in the 6″ travel 650b market. Tell us what you think of the new frame and the passing of the old Mojo below.