Why We Like The Hakka MX Disc 650b Rival Complete Gravel Bike
We think adventures should only be limited by your imagination, and while we can't read minds, we'd wager that the engineers at Ibis feel the same. It's pretty easy to see when we take a glance at the brand's lineup of rowdy mountain bikes, and while a life of singletrack certainly will bring you quite the adrenaline rush, we think adventure pushes well beyond rock gardens, and into the wild beyond, roads less traveled, and up winding mountain passes that would be tedious to pedal on a full-suspension rig. As such, we thoroughly appreciate Ibis' resurgence of its Hakkalugi last year, bringing it into the future and pulling it out of its 'cross roots and into the do-it-all, all-road adventure spectrum with the Hakka MX Disc 650b Rival Complete Gravel Bike. This lofty adventure-mobile comes ready for anything with 650b hoops, but can be swapped to 700c for snappy responsiveness making it as capable between the tape as it is lumbering up singletrack or poorly graded fire roads. The only real limit to what this bike can do is your imagination and whether or not you have a different set of wheels handy.
The previous generations of Hakkalugis did a pretty good job of crossing over into gravel and road rides, but both the geometry and tire clearance hinted at its 'cross roots. The Hakka MX (or Monster Cross) does indeed take cues from the OG Hakkalugi, but it extends its range, making it more of a complete all-rounder outside of the course tape. The term monster cross has dropped out of use with the advent of industry terms like "road plus" and "gravel grinders" but Ibis is bringing it back into vernacular with tire clearance on a gravel grinder that we'd expect from an XC bike. With the exception of high-level road racing, this bike is poised to kill a quiver of cyclocross, gravel, and road bikes, because it lets you replace those other machines with a discipline-specific wheelset, instead.
Ibis mountain bikes have been built exclusively from carbon fiber for several years now, and its expertise with the material means they know how to build a stiff, light, durable, and responsive frame. A tapered headtube provides the perfect foundation of unyielding stiffness needed for excellent tracking, hard braking, and out of the saddle climbing. The included ENVE fork contributes to the stiffness while working in tandem with the frame to absorb the jolts from washboard descents and all the rocks and roots found off the beaten path.
We tend to geek out on bottom brackets, and Ibis has given us plenty of fodder here. Ibis made the conscious decision to uses a threaded T47, which provides an oversized, threaded shell and cup that is easier to install and maintain and less likely to develop an irritating press-fit creaking, popping, and squeaking. A wider range of crank diameter spindles can be used without sacrificing bearing diameter and larger spindles forced in a standard diameter threaded shell. The bigger shell also yields larger contact areas between the tubes, offering greater drivetrain rigidity.
Internal cable routing works with mechanical and electronic groups and it keeps cables and housing from contamination, snags, and preserves the bike's clean line while having dropper post routing. Rear, removable, fender mounts at the bottom of the seatstays and the rear of the bottom bracket shell will come in handy during a muddy gravel race, winter training, or commuting. This model runs one-by, but if you feel the need for a front derailleur, a standard 34.9mm clamp does the trick.
- A do anything gravel-grinder that keeps its CX roots nearby
- Longer and lower geometry for stability on gravel and dirt
- High-modulus carbon fiber frame is light and responsive
- ENVE fork tames terrain and provides stiffness for bar-torqueing
- Disc brakes offer excellent all-weather braking on all terrain
- 2.1in tires add traction and cushion on trails and fire roads
- SRAM Rival one-by drivetrain for racing and adventuring
- Clears 700c x 40mm or 650b x 2.1in tires