Setup: Fox factory, 34 fork, xo1 eagle, Guide RSC brakes, i9 Backcountry 360 wheels, Maxxis Rekon 2.8 tires.
I'm going to preface this review by saying that I have always been an Ibis fan, and loved the snappy, nimble feel their bikes provide. When I heard that they were making a shorter travel version of their HD3 with plus tire compatibility and shorter chainstays, I got myself on the wait list and picked up a frame.
This is the first plus tired bike I have owned, but I have ridden quite a few and this bike in particular stood out to me for one simple reason: It doesn't feel like a plus bike. Let me clarify, you get the velcro like grip that the plus tires provide, without the somewhat sluggish feel that some of the longer travel plus bikes tend to have, especially leaning the bike over when connecting switchbacks on a windy descent.
I will say that this bike is not a "lean back and hold on" trail slayer. It is incredibly light and nimble feeling, and requires you to be a bit more precise about your line selection. Should you do that though, you will be rewarded with an incredibly lively and nimble feeling trail bike with grip for days. This thing wants to be airborne, and is absolutely the most playful trail bike I have ever ridden, even with the wider 2.8 tires.
Still very nimble on the climbs though! With the DW suspension, I never found myself using the climb mode on the shock, opting most times to leave it in trail mode, and opening it up fully for the downhills. Pedal bob stayed at a minimum, and I never felt gassed because of the bike at the end of a long climb.
I would happily recommend this bike to anyone, and would be happy to talk about the details and pick out a killer component setup to make this bike sing. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you might have!