Ibis Mojo HDR 650b - first ride review
Ibis currently has three models of mountain bike, all of which are beautifully sculpted from carbon fibre.
The HDR is the third incarnation of the popular Mojo, with an updated frame designed to accept both 26in and 650b wheels without compromising the all-important geometry.
Frame: lighter than previous versions, and will now take two wheel sizes
The basic layout of the frame is the same as on previous Mojos, with monocoque front and rear triangles joined via twin DW-link suspension linkages. Up to 180g of weight has been shed, and the back end has been updated to make room for 650b wheels and 11-speed cassettes.
The HDR has 160mm (6.3in) of travel when used with 26in wheels and 130mm (5.1in) with 650b, when the bottom bracket height is also lowered by 5mm. Switching sizes requires a different length and stroke shock, and swapping out the Limbo Chips at the upper shock mount.
Dual row angular contact bearings are used in the front of the lower link, with bigger radial bearings at the rear for extra stiffness and durability. The 142x12mm rear axle helps bolster stiffness further. A removable ISCG-05 mount attaches neatly to the bottom bracket shell.
Equipment: self-built test bike
We built our test bike up with Easton Haven wheels and 2.2in Continental Trail King tyres. Clearance is limited at the rear and you’d struggle to fit a bigger tyre. A SRAM XX1 transmission offered flawless shifting, while Avid Elixir X0 Trail brakes did the stopping.
We used a 150mm (5.9in) travel RockShox Revelation fork up front, with a 35mm diameter RaceFace Atlas stem and Easton Havoc bar. Finishing kit included a RockShox Reverb dropper post, Charge Scoop saddle and ODI/Troy Lee Designs lock-on grips.
Ride and handling: rock solid frame with a capable, responsive ride
The frame feels as rock solid as ever and we really noticed the improved rollover capabilities of the 650b wheels. The ride isn’t as aggressive as with 26in wheels but the Mojo is still responsive and agile on the trail, and the supple, progressive suspension helps the rear wheel hug the ground.
The 650b bike definitely feels like it climbs better and covers ground faster. Taller riders might prefer a steeper seat angle for seated climbing though – or a longer frame for better weight distribution.
We decided to have a bit of a play with the angles and fitted a Cane Creek Angleset with a -1.5-degree cup. This increased the wheelbase from 1,161mm to 1,181mm – aiding both descending and climbing – and slackened off the head angle from 66.9 degrees to a more aggressive 65.4 degrees. The result was a more capable feel when we pushed the bike hard, and we grew to love the light and responsive ride.
With 650b wheels, the Mojo HDR definitely feels like more of a trail bike than a hard-hitting enduro machine, and encourages long days in the saddle. But it can easily be specced as a 26in wheeled, 160mm travel frame that wants to be shuttled, jumped and taken to the limit.