Your new definition of "fun."
There's a broad definition of the word "fun" in mountain biking. Some riders view the ultimate fun times to come from bombing down the chunkiest rock faces, and getting wild in the bike park — we think of those as the HD3 and HD4 riders. Then there are the XC chargers, who live for the climbs, and smooth rolling singletrack to tackle as many miles as possible, they're the Ripley riders. But then, there's this special place in between, for riders who seek adventures all over the mountain, getting rowdy and exploring the backcountry trails, and can find just as much fun sessioning the local XC network after a long work day. These are the riders who reach for the 2018 Ibis Mojo 3 Carbon GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike.
The Mojo 3's spirited kick starts with the shock tune and DW-Link suspension. Ibis claims it tuned the shock so its initial stroke rides on the "plush" side, but our firsthand experience with the bike tells us that generous small bump compliance doesn't keep it from feeling firm off the top. It's responsive and changes direction quickly while navigating switchbacks at climbing speeds, and the anti-squat pedaling platform maintains past the sag point.
It wasn't specifically built as a park bike, but spending a few minutes on it makes it obvious that the Mojo 3 is fully capable of getting rowdy. Ibis describes the shock's tuned ramp-up characteristics as "robust." We describe it as the kind of big-hit confidence that can often be the key element in determining which side of the ragged edge you find yourself on. By outfitting this Mojo 3 with moderate 2.5in tires, you'll enjoy confident traction and a deeper travel feel than you might expect from other 130mm suspensions. Regardless of the tires you choose to run, the shock tune and suspension keep the bottom bracket height at the sag point the same.
The shock's tune doesn't require a high damper handicap, a fact that Ibis credits to the shock rate and DW-Link's steady pedaling platform. Since it naturally reduces bob without needing a damper handicap from the shock, DW-Link's ramp-up stays smooth throughout its suspension arc. It also suffers less heat build-up than heavily dampened models, so its ramp feel isn't significantly affected during hard, fast descents where the shock is working overtime.
The frame itself is what you'd expect from Ibis: a full carbon monocoque affair that incorporates the construction pedigree of the HD3 but at a drastic weight savings, shedding a claimed 0.4lbs compared to the enduro brute. The final product is actually the seventh carbon lay-up schedule that Ibis tested —yet another indication that the Mojo 3 was carefully and meticulously developed rather than being rushed to market in order to capitalize on the 27.5+ hype.
In Ibis' own words, the stubby chainstays and low claimed frame weight make the bike feel "taut," and we think that's a wonderfully succinct way to describe the responsive aggression the Mojo 3 exhibits on the kind of climbs that would send the lumbering gravity crowd in search of a chairlift. When run with a 140mm fork, the Mojo 3's 66.8-degree head tube is on par with standard slack enduro standards and situates it squarely at the foremost tip of the advancing sea of all-mountain machines that drop in as well as they climb out.
One unfortunate side effect of this kind of trending super-trail geometry is that most slack, low bikes running five inches of rear travel and 27.5+ tires are also ditching the double drivetrain. But not the Mojo 3. Ibis insists that there's still a place for an extra chainring while navigating this brave new world of ever-overlapping boundaries, and while this bike is kitted out one-by, the Mojo 3's removable front derailleur mount means you have options when it comes time to change out componentry.
The tapered head tube further increases stiffness up front, which makes for yet better tracking across terrain, and the inclusion of Boost rear spacing let Ibis slam the rear wheel up for the above-mentioned stubby stays—which are approaching XC standards—while still leaving room for tubby tires and a front derailleur. That clearance also means that the frame is compatible with tires ranging from beefy 2.8in plus-sized down to 2.3in speed demons. As an added touch, the stock wheelset's 34mm internal width will run the range of those tire widths so you can swap between standard and plus-sized tires without shelling out for a whole new set of wheels.
- Boosted for more fun, Ibis' trail machine is ready to charge
- Big rear spacing allows you to run 27.5in and 27.5+ on one wheelset
- Responsive DW-Link suspension with 5in of travel
- Long, slack geometry tackles bigger lines
- Carbon construction reduces weight and increases stiffness
- Boost hubs anchor wide, plus-sized rims
- SRAM's Eagle drivetrain provides the ultimate bail-out gear