Subjectively this is hands down the best climbing bike in this category of mountain bikes. In fact this bike climbs almost as well as the Ripley (which is mind blowing). It climbs very efficiently (even with the rear shock in descend mode). I keep the lever in descend mode and never have to touch it even on hour long climbs. There is no hint of any loss of forward motion when pedaling. The DW Link works like magic allowing this bike to scoot up hills with less effort. My last bike was a Yeti SB-66c and it took significantly more effort to climb up steep hills and tight switchbacks. This bike climbs so well I find myself reaching for this bike more than my hardtail.
The HD3 is well balanced at high speed and also in tight technical situations. Point the bike and it goes there without complaining. The HD3 is so well mannered it does not overwhelm but rather encourages the rider to improve and progress. If you are looking for a bike closer to a DH sled you may consider other options.
Favorite things about this bike: How well it climbs and descends. In fact this bike is fantastic everywhere. Another bonus is the ability to ride the bike without flipping any lockout levers, switches, and so forth?its nice to just go out and ride and only think about riding.
If you are looking for a bike that is a complete joy to ride anywhere on any type of terrain don?t look anywhere else. The mixture or the HD3?s climbing prowess and descending capabilities are downright impressive. Back in the early 90?s, when full suspension was starting to evolve, we wished for a bike like this. I remember at Norba Nationals we all rode Amps (with different stickers) which looking back were more like pogo sticks with cantilevers. I?m glad a bike like this was created during my lifetime. Well done Ibis.
Who would like this bike:
Anyone who loves to mountain bike, road racers, and even equestrians. If the last two groups rode it they would convert to mountain biking.