TLDR; Over time, I will be able to fully capture what this bike is all about, but here is a decent start.
Along with Arizona Cyclist, I’ve set out on an adventure to build my fantasy super D, all-mountain crushing, enduro smashing, cliff-sending, mail-hauling, gnar-shredding, do-it-all machine…
I ended up choosing the Ibis Mojo HD as my platform. The suspension performance, strength, reviews, weight, bling-bling factor, and color were all deciding factors. For the fork, I decided go big or go home and went for the Fox Float 36 x 160mm travel (I said all-mountain, right). Propelling and stopping the bike is controlled by a 3×10 XT drivetrain (24/32/bash), SLX shadow+ clutch rear derailleur (so quiet), and XT brakes (so powerful). For pointing the bike, I put my carbon easton havoc bars on a thomson 0deg 70mm stem and set up the cockpit with ODI ruffian grips. For seating, I am using my freshly rebuilt Kind Shock i900-R, “never before has five inches been so impressive” and a WTB rocket V saddle. I’ve had the seatpost for over two years now and it has been a very reliable post. The Kind Shock’s remote lever replaces the inner clamp on ODI ruffian grips which makes for a super-clean setup. All of this rolls on my Bontrager duster hoops laced to Chris King hubs with DT Swiss comp spokes. For rubber, I’m rolling on a Bontrager XR4 so-called 2.35″ in the front and a Specialized 2.4″ purgatory with grid casing in the rear. As my pedal of choice I am rolling some Shimano XT SPDs. For alerting fellow trail users, I am ding-dinging with an incredibell brass duet. For bragging about my 4.5 miles in 1.5 hours, tracking times on sections, guidance on adventures, and following that-trusty-line-I-drew-on-google-earth or making my way along some nonsense monster route I linked together in topofusion, my trusty garmin edge 750 is mounted cleanly to my thomson stem.
Ultimately who cares about a component list? What really matters is how the bike rides! Of course it descends insanely, but how does it climb? More importantly, how does it climb in extremely technical conditions? This bike has the best traction of any bike I have ever ridden, the rear is always hooked up and ready to go. I had some difficulty adapting to a bit harder granny gear ratio ( 0.667 vs 0.647 ), but then again I haven’t been doing much high-intensity technical climbing for a few weeks so that may just be a lack of fitness. The thing I did notice is that even when I have almost come to a standstill during climbing, the bike seems to continue taking a bite. In some very loose conditions, I had the wheel slip about an 1/8th turn and then hook back up, I’ve never had that happen on any other bike. The front end and rear end are well-balanced and I’m confident I can pedal this bike up anything.
I find in all-mountain type riding a shorter stem (70mm in my case) actually helps with technical climbing since A) You allow the front wheel to float up and over obstacles B) The front end is easier to lift up to get the bike up large steps C) You end up with more weight in the rear of the bike putting more weight on the rear during pedaling and therefore more traction. Long-stem-is-better-for-climbing myth debunked (insofar as the AM realm is concerned).
I’ve taken the bike out to jump off cliffs around my hood, a night ride on some local flowy XC trails, a technical climbing and DH ripping fest, and a few shuttle runs of a great local enduro-esque trail. The bike has pushed me to go bigger, faster, and harder. I’ve cleaned some uphill lines that used to give me problems with a bit more ease (this bike has insane traction), sent it off some bigger hits with more confidence, and have been loving every moment on it. Enough words, enjoy the pictures: