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New Ibis Mojo 3 - Review

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Ibis likes to think of the Mojo 3 as the baby brother to the HD3 or as the successor to the Mojo SLR. We see this as the result of a successful marriage between the Ripley and the HD3. In either case you get the point.

The new Mojo 3 is light and stiff with the climbing DNA of its big wheeled brother and natural descending ability of the HD3. With this next generation Ibis we also see the introduction of Boost spacing which has the nice side effect of allowing enough clearance for 27.5+ tires.We know what you are thinking and no, you can’t run 29” wheels on the Mojo 3.

Based on the early adopters, the industry has led us to believe that 27+ tires have the same diameter as a 29er but Ibis tested this theory and found otherwise. 27.5+ tires actually tend to have a wider and flatter profile than expected which would result in a lower bottom bracket height if this wheel standard is applied to a 29” chassis.By designing the Mojo 3 around 27.5” wheels Ibis was able to build two distinct personalities into one bike and you don’t have to purchase a second set of wheels.

Plus Compatible

This split personality on one wheel size is only made possible because of Ibis’s already wide enough 741 rims. When you order your Mojo 3 you just have to let us know if you want the included Nobby Nics to be 27.5x2.8 or 27.5x2.35.For riders opting not to go with carbon wheels Ibis will be spec’ing the Easton Arc 30 rims on a completely redesigned Ibis Speed hub.One important thing to note is that in order to run 27.5x2.8 wheels you will have to opt for the Rock Shox Pike fork, which has 15x110mm Boost spacing. The lighter weight Fox Float 34 is not available with Boost spacing as of now and therefore is not recommend to be run with anything wider than 27.5x2.5 tires.

Specifications

From a distance the Mojo 3 closely resembles the HD3 with the same iconic curves we have come to expect from a Mojo. The evolved carbon layup has taken the frame weight down to 5.45 pounds for a medium frame with the included Fox Float DPS shock.Rear wheel travel is measured vertically at 130mm and the recommended fork setup is 140mm, which interestingly enough has never been measured vertically like the rear wheel travel. The result is a very well balanced bike as the vertical travel on the front and rear are nearly identical.

Notable measurements include a head tube angle of 66.8 degrees and chainstay length of 425mm which is shorter than the HD3. See below for the full geometry chart.

Bike Setup

We were invited to test the new Mojo 3 in Santa Cruz this past week and we were not disappointed.

The setup of our brilliant red and blue test bike was the Sram X01 Werx build with a Rock Shox Pike and Nobby Nic 27.5x2.8” tires.At 5’9” I opted to go with a size large so I could make a direct comparison to the large HD3 I am used to riding but a medium with a slightly longer stem could have fit me just as well.

On first inspection the frame shares a lot of design DNA with the HD3 including the same frame port covers, bottle placement and similar looking, but not identical, DW links, clevis and carbon triangles.What did stand out to us was a much improved redesign of the clevis and rear triangle interface.The clevis now extends over the rear triangle providing some shelter for the pivots which should help keep dirt from building up at the interface. New bolts and threaded inserts appear to be much beefier and easier to service.

Out the gates of Ibis headquarters the bike felt lighter than the oversized tires would have suggested. On the pavement the 2.8 Nobby Nics provided a cushioned ride at 13-16 psi without the pedal bob that you can feel on later 3.0 and fat bike tires. Rolling resistance was noticeably higher than 2.35 tires but this was to be expected.

Ride Report

The bar was already set very high given the excellent climbing that the HD3 and Ripley are known for and the Mojo 3 somehow still managed to exceed my expectations. On the long climb up to the trailhead the bike climbed with the same integrity as the HD3 but with a little less suspension movement and a little more forward propulsion with each turn of the pedals.

When you stick a bunch of bike nuts on a new bike the pace is obviously going to be brisk so within 30 minutes fatigue started to set in. At that point something very interesting happened; I found my rhythm and started to move up the ranks without any thought to the larger and heavier 2.8” tires.Getting a comparison with some 2.35” tires is going to be a very interesting comparison but at this point in the ride I was finally opened minded to the possibilities that 27.5+ had to offer.

After much anticipation the trail started to narrow as in the single track that Santa Cruz is known for and the first descent was coming into view.A few quick pedals and we were off.At first, cornering required a slightly heavier hand but after a few turns the grip of the larger tires gave me the confidence to use up every last inch of the berms and lean the bike over more than I ever had before.I could picture my grips hovering inches above the dirt like Matt Hunter’s icon banked turn and with a quick pump of the suspension the bike jumped out of each turn with maximum speed.

Through rough and choppy sections the small bump compliance seems every bit as plush as the HD3. I had to remind myself that this was not the same 6” trail bike that I was used to and that I should brace myself for a harder landing off the kickers. Boy was I wrong.

In the air the bike takes flight and carries you with confidence in to the landing. The added stiffness of the evolved carbon layup helps keep you firmly planted on even the roughest of landings and the oversized tires eliminate the need to pick your landing.The suspension felt controlled and well balance with just the right amount of ramp up that you would expect from a light and snappy trail bike.

Up front the 140mm Pike did an excellent job keeping the bike firmly planted and in control. Brake dive was noticeably less than the HD3 and at no point was I wishing there was more travel.

Overall I would say that this is the perfect bike for 95% of my riding. Everyone on the ride seemed to agree that the Mojo 3 redefined the need for a 6” trail bike on all the most technical of rides. The lighter weight and improved climbing was well worth the trade-off for slightly less travel and the insane amount of stiffness will keep this bike firmly planted in the trail and all mountain categories.

Come in and test ride our brand new large Mojo 3 demo bike (as pictured above).Demos are $65 per day and all fees go towards the purchase of your new bike.Email mark@probikesupply.com to schedule your demo.

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