First look: Ibis Mojo HD carbon gravity rig

DW link, 160 - 180mm travel, 6.35lbs

California-based Ibis Cycles are introducing the Mojo HD, their first 160mm-travel carbon gravity bike, which was raced by team rider Brian Lopes in France last weekend.

Using the dw-link rear suspension design, Ibis are targeting the combined frame and shock weight at 6.2-6.5lb, once they've dialled in the carbon layup. According to Ibis founder Scot Nicol, Lopes was running a 170mm suspension fork in France, and the HD can handle up to 180mm.

The 26in wheeled Mojo HD has a 67-degree head angle (with a 160mm fork), with the same top tube as a standard Mojo. Other highlights include a 12 x 135mm Maxle rear axle; post mount magnesium left dropout; carbon right dropout; 1-1/8in hidden upper head tube with a 1.5in traditional lower, compatible with both Chris King InSet and Cane Creek Frustum headsets; and 2.35-2.5in rear tyre clearance, depending on brand and height of cornering knobs.

"The leverage ratio, like the Mojo and Mojo SL, is designed for air shocks," Nicol said. "The Mojo HD comes with a 8.5 x 2.5in Fox RP23. A DHX air will work on all but the small size. A coil shock is not offered because the linkage rates weren’t designed for it.

"We lowered the top tube to get slightly better standover than the regular Mojo, while having a higher bottom bracket because of the longer travel; we managed to retain the DHX air compatibility in three of the four sizes."

According to Ibis, dual-row angular contact bearings in the front of the lower link have less play than standard sealed bearings, and pre-load adjustment is not necessary. Ibis chose large 28mm x 15mm x 7mm radial bearings in the rear for stiffness and long wear.

Chainguide development is underway; Ibis will announce compatible brands soon. The frame will not have ISCG mounts so it will not be Hammerschmidt compatible.

Field tested, Lopes approved

Ibis-sponsored racer Lopes spent the last week in Vars, France getting ready for and then competing in the Enduro Trophy des Nations.

"This is an enduro style race, becoming quite popular in Europe these days, where riders compete in a number of stages over a two day period with 'beaucoup' downhill," Nicol said. "This particular event had 10 stages over two days and featured over 10,000m of descending. If you’re bad at math (or don’t like the metric system) that’s 32,808.4ft of descent. Or 6.21 miles straight down, measured vertically!

"This race also had a bonus stage at 10pm on Saturday night that didn’t count for the overall time, but the winner got an extra 500 euros of party money. Brian teamed up with WTB’s Mark Weir and Jason Moescheler to form Team USA 1. Brian notched the first win for his prototype Ibis Mojo HD on its first day of racing by winning one of the stages on Saturday, propelling the team to second overall on Saturday night."

According to Lopes, who's no stranger to racing fast downhill and is known as one of the fittest athletes on the circuit, the enduro race was a lot harder than he expected.

"The toll it took on everything – wheels, tyres, brakes, suspension, the body and of course the frame – were beyond what I imagined," Lopes said. "The new HD never missed a beat. For only getting the frame one week ago and with only one ride on it before packing it up for this race, it couldn’t have gone through any more of a test than the abusive one I gave it here in France.

"It’s hard to believe that this bike isn’t much heavier than the standard Mojo, as it was eating up courses that were worthy of full-on downhill rigs. The added travel, stiffness, clearance for larger tyres and an 8in rotor allowed me to take on the toughest terrain, but it’s still efficient and light enough to pedal up any hill. Another weapon is added to the Ibis line-up."

Final pricing and availability haven't been determined. For more information, visit www.ibiscycles.com.

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