I met up with the Ibis crew while on their whirlwind demo tour through Utah and they bestowed upon me a dirty and well-loved Ibis Mojo HD for my morning ride. With two demo events on consecutive nights, I was able to ride it without the worries of having to return the bike in 30 min. So, I took my time and had a blast on the HD.

Ibis Mojo HD Features

  • Completely new molds and design from the standard Mojo
  • Utilizes the same carbon layup as the Mojo SL
  • DW-Link suspension design yielding 160mm travel
  • 12×135 Maxle rear thru-axle for added stiffness
  • Tapered steerer for added control
  • Up to 2.5″ tire clearance (depends on tire)
  • Fox RP23 rear shock standard
  • Colors: White, Vitamin P (tested) and Matte Black
  • Linkages available in red, blue or black anodized
  • Weight: 6.31 lbs
  • MSRP: $2399

Ibis Mojo HD Review

While I typically like to ride the bike for awhile before reviewing, this review comes following a single 2-hour ride. I can say that in that time, I was able to ride a variety of trails and felt instantly comfortable aboard the HD. I’m confident that a long-term review would yield more of the same results.

Hopping aboard the HD for the first time, the bike felt BIG… really big. So much so that I was worried I should have elected to ride the Medium instead of the Large. Realizing that this bike was equipped with a longer-travel fork (2011 Fox Float 36) and slackened angles throughout, I was content sticking it out with the Large. In the end, the sizing was a non-issue, but if I were to purchase an HD, I’d want to ride the Medium just to be sure.

To yield 160mm of travel out of the HD, the entire frame design and molds were cast specifically for this big rig. There is a definite family resemblance (uncanny, right?), but everything is HD-specific. The carbon layup is the same as the Mojo SL and overall weight is a mere half-pound more than the regular carbon Mojo at 6.31 lbs.

The test bike was equipped with a slew of 2011 components including: Shimano XT Dyna-Sys (10 speed), Fox Float 36 RLC fork and Fox RP23 shock. The wheels were Crank Brothers Iodine’s and the treads were WTB’s new Mutano 2.4’s with TCS. So, a killer parts spec.

I was amazed when I hit the dirt that this bike (though offering much more travel), immediately felt like a Mojo. Well, it felt like a Mojo on steroids. (Now don’t go calling BALCO or anything because the HD was made from hard work and serious R&D, not cheater juice.) There’s a reason why I love the DW-Link suspension design so much and it is even more evident when hopping back aboard one. The overall feel is so supple, yet efficient.

Not one time on the climbs did I feel the need to reach for the Propedal switch — there’s no need for it. While the angles are slacker than the Mojo and the squish is notably increased, the complete package felt amazingly-balanced without extensive front-end wander in the steep stuff. You do, however, notice the extra squish and heft on the up. I didn’t feel quite as quick as I do on the Mojo, so keep that in mind. This bike will definitely not keep up with your XC-racing buddies, but that’s not what you’re buying the HD for, is it?

You buy the HD so you can fly downhill with pinpoint control and finesse. Once the trails opened up and speeds increased, the HD begins to show its true character as a descending superstar. Despite being a bigger, heftier bike, the HD feels comfortable, agile and of course, smooth on the downhill. Without question, this bike will deliver no matter how hard you push it. Jumps, berms, drops, tables, rock gardens… please, this bike will simply fly through it all.

Bringing this bike back down to reality, the HD is not for everyone. It is a high-flying vert-devouring machine that’s built to ride fast and hard. If you plan to do anything less than that all the time, I’d say the regular Mojo will be just fine. I had a great time on the HD and on the right trails with the right pilot, the HD will be the weapon of choice. You just need to decide for yourself which one will be your cup of tea.

Good Mojo HD

  • Despite the increased travel and slacker angles, it feels just as balanced as the regular Mojo
  • Responsive and fast
  • One of the most capable climbers in its class
  • It just feels comfortable… like an old friend
  • So light for what you’re getting
  • Carbon fiber adds to the smoothness
  • Lateral stiffness is unmatched
  • Tapered head tube provides added stiffness

Bad Mojo HD

  • Thru-axle rear adds stiffness, but limits wheel selection
  • Still difficult to find, but production is catching up
  • May be overkill for many riders who could be OK with the Mojo
  • Expensive, but there are more expensive models on the market from competitive brands

Bottom Line: Ibis Mojo HD

I had an amazing morning on the HD and was able to push it hard. In the end, the HD impresses with Mojo-like balance and agility in a longer-travel and more capable package. Downhill junkies and technical trail riders will appreciate the full 160mm of travel provided by this DW-Link-equipped steed. No matter the obstacles and terrain, the HD simply won’t flinch.

Buy Now: Shop for Ibis at Backcountry.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

18 Comments

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  3. What would it take to “de-fang” the HD just a little to make it a better climber? Do you think a 150mm fork like the Revelation DA with a tapered tube would improve performance measurably on the climbs?

    Or should I just wait for the 2011 SL and hope that Ibis incorporates the tapered head tube?

  4. Hey Mark

    I’m not so sure what Scot and crew have in store for 2011, but a tapered head tube would be a natural mod to the current Ibis/SL. The HD is quite the machine. If you’re looking for a burly trail slayer that still weighs less than and performs better than the competition, it’s a natural choice.

    To take some of the edge off, a TALAS up front and maybe lighter wheels (carbon if you’ve got the coin) and running tubeless might take the edge off a tad.

  5. Pingback: 2011 Ibis Mojo HD 140: Splitting Hairs Between the HD and SL - FeedTheHabit.com

  6. Interesting; I was going to go for the HD but maybe the regular Mojo will be just fine for me. I like the extra burly-ness but if it’s not too good on the climbing then it’s going to be an issue. Sizing is a bit tricky – I’m 6’3 and have 34″ inside leg, so I assume the L would be right, but if they are coming up super big then I’m not sure. My Nicolai Helius us a L, not an XL, since I found the XL too rangy, but I still feel a bit high on it at times. Finding dealers with 2 sizes of Mojo in stock to ride is night on impossible….

    I do wish Ibis would make more effort on the colours though – Some additional options would be cool. Some trans red, trans blue etc. with the Carbon Weave showing through would look amazing.

  7. Matthew

    I wouldn’t call the HD a bad climber by any means, but it is less sprightly than the SL, in my opinion. The Large did feel big to me, but it’s also quite a bit of a bigger bike than the SL is. Yeah, sizing is a pain with these types of bikes where local dealers don’t stock them regularly.

    I’ve come to trust the top-tube measurements as my preferred guide with standover the next. Just figure out what top tube length you prefer and order accordingly.

    As far as colors go, I agree with you. I’m digging on some of the cool color schemes other companies are laying down in carbon, like the new Felt Edict and Virtue with carbon black as the primary color and orange, green or white as complementary colors:

    http://www.feedthehabit.com/mountain-biking/felt-launches-the-edict-xc-race-bike/

    http://www.feedthehabit.com/mountain-biking/2011-felt-virtue-carbon/ (goes live 8.11.10.)

  8. Jason, what is your height/weight/inseam? I’m curious what size I should consider — I’m 6’1″/170lbs/33 inseam

  9. Hi Jason,

    Great and helpful review! I’m finding myself trying to sell my medium-sized Ibis Mojo SL (which I love so much!) because it’s killing my back when I installed a 70mm stem from 90mm for more aggressive riding. What happened was the distance from the saddle to the handlebar became too short for me. The handlebars almost hit my knees whenever I try to pedal. I’m 5″10″/200lbs/32 inseam. Just wanted to ask what was your frame size on the Mojo SL and what size would you recommend for me if I get to sell my bike and switch to the HD. It would really be great and helpful info. And yeah I’m planning to put the new 180mm Talas on the HD.. Do you think it woud be a good fit?

    Looking forward to your reply mate! More power

    John

  10. Hey John… yeah, a Medium SL would be too small for you (but you’re finding that out now). I rode a Large and it fit perfectly with a shorter stem length.

    You are just about my same size and I’m torn on the large HD. I can’t say definitively whether the Large or Medium would be more to my liking. Perhaps more saddle time on the Large would have me convinced it’s my size, but I’d still like to try the Medium. Looking at the TT length, the Large should be spot-on though, but it just feels like a big bike.

    Slapping the 180 on there would be quite the ride, but would definitely raise up the front end even more–thus reducing standover. Just be aware of that.

  11. Thanks for the prompt reply mate. Might be ordering my HD tomorrow so with a 180mm fork does to the standover do you think the M size would be a better choice?

    Also would you happen to know if there’s any big difference between getting the original HD from the HD 140? Everybody’s rooting for the 140 since it has flexibility. Lastly, is the HD an overkill for an everyday trailbike? It’s advertised as a do-it-all rig so that’s why I’m buying into it. Would love your thoughts on these so I would be prevented from buying wrongly the 2nd time around hehe.

    Thanks again for always being so accommodating

    John

    • Hey John… glad to help, but sizing is such a difficult thing to do virtually. With so many factors involved, it’s just hard. I will say to study out the geometry of the HD vs. SL and decide for yourself. Is the TT length and standover acceptable based on the fit issues you’ve had? If you’re going to go with the Fox 36 180mm, make sure you get the TALAS so you can drop it down to 140mm for climbs or XC assaults. That’s about all I can really say sitting thousands of miles away in my office chair. 🙂

  12. Hey Jason,

    Great read! I’m currently waiting for my Mojo HD as well. But one thing is really tearing me up – what fork should I get for it? A 160mm or 180mm Fox Talas? I would want it to be that one bike that can do it all – park rides, jumps, drops but at the same time would be able to do climbs as well as it is advertised.

    Is the 160 good enough for the downhill stuff? Looks like everybody’s happy with the 160 on the HD. Would the 180 limit its usability when it comes to climbing (even if you can drop it to 140) and long distance riding because it’s too long, the weight penalty and the geometry change it does to the bike? I know you’re using the 160 right now but would you want to go 180 if you had the chance? Would love to hear your thoughts on this since you have been using the HD and experience is the best way to know! This seems to be a question frequently asked by Ibis Mojo HD buyers with the advent of the 180mm forks from Fox.

    I also got a DHX air with it, thinking that it would be more heavy-duty but I have been getting advices and reading stuff that the DHX is not a perfect marriage for the dw-link and that I’m better off with the RP23 option. Any thoughts on this as well?

    Thanks in advance mate and more power!

  13. Badong… Unfortunately, my time on the HD came and went. I was only on it for a day, but what a beautiful day that was! Personally, I think 160mm is ample on the HD, but some will want a 180mm fork. If you are a big-hit junkie, the 180/140 TALAS might be just the trick.

    As far as the DHX Air and the DW-Link, I don’t have any experience there and would rely on others. I’ve been satisfied with every RP23 I’ve now ridden (nearing hundreds). Enjoy your new ride!

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