DV9 NX Complete Mountain Bike
We know, lofty full-suspension bikes are all the rage these days, but we're here to say: there's still a place for the hardtail. Ibis drives this point home with the new DV9 NX Complete Mountain Bike. This new ultra-versatile hardtail offers durable, light, and stiff carbon for its framework, and tosses in a dose of stretched out geometry to make this steed as comfortable cross-country racing as it is on backwoods rides exploring deer trails that take you beyond the beaten path. While Ibis may have taken a bit of a hiatus from the hardtail world after the Tranny, we're happy to see them return with this snappy steed built for soaring up climbs, and paired up with SRAM's value-packed NX drivetrain, firing off precise shifts throughout its wide range and a FOX Float Rhythm fork soaking up the trail chatter up front.
The impetus for the DV9 came from Ibis' CEO Hans Heim wanting to create a versatile bike that his high school daughter Lili could race and train on yet be affordable enough that she could actually buy it. Lili has done the DV, short for development, proud by winning three varsity races, stood on five varsity XC podiums, and took first place overall in the competitive 2018 Northern California NICA league on a prototype frame. Carbon fiber construction was a given as we haven't seen a non-carbon frame from Ibis in almost a decade. This yields a frame weight that comes in at a remarkable 1,204g while somehow hitting a price point just a tick above aluminum. The other elements that give this bike more mileage over the average hardtail are its massive tire clearance, easily handling 29 x 2.6-inch rubber, slacker than usual XC geometry, especially with the 120mm length FOX fork that's spec'd here, and the ability to run an internally routed dropper post.
Compared to its previous hardtail, the Tranny, the reach on the DV9 grows by 20-24mm depending on the size. The headtube angle also slackens from 71-degrees to a trail-worthy 67.4-degrees with the included 120mm fork or a nice mix of agility and stability of a 68.5-degree angle with a 100mm fork. You can expect it to feel planted when railing turns, while the short chainstays enhance its responsiveness and given its lack of rear suspension, you'll appreciate its vibration damping with the rocket ship acceleration that can only come from a rigid rear end. The front triangle bears some obvious similarities to its full suspension rigs, both in terms of aesthetics, and features with its versatile cable ports and stiffness-enhancing tapered headtube.
Other frame spec niceties on the DV9 include the now standard Boost spaced rear end that improves frame and wheel stiffness, as well as strength, smart internal cable routing except for the rear disc brake housing, an in-house favorite creak-free, threaded bottom bracket, and a rear brake caliper, mount with massive 203mm rotor clearance. What we really dig about this ride is that you can pedal the DV9 in its stock form here and give your full suspension riding buddies a fit on technical trails and if you lower the fork to 100mm and slap on some 2.25-inch meat, you're knocking on the door of some World Cup XC builds.
- Ibis' snappy hardtail for snappy power on XC trails
- Progressive geometry balances efficiency and fun
- Tire clearance clears bump eating, traction savvy 2.6in rubber
- Designed to work with 100-120mm forks
- Boost 148mm rear axle spacing stiffens the frame and wheel
- Carbon fiber construction keeps weight low and stiffness high
- SRAM's NX drivetrain offers gear range and value