Weight: 165 pounds
Age: C’mon dude, the gray hair is a dead giveaway
Current Bike: Kona Process 111
Ibis Mojo 3
Front Travel: 140 mm
Rear Travel: 130 mm
Wheelsize: 27.5 (with 2.6” Maxxis Minion tires)
GX Build Kit with Ibis 742 Carbon Wheels and Ibis 800 mm Carbon Bars
I’ve long been a fan of the Ibis brand, partially because their bikes just look rad, partially because watching Jeff Kendall Weed ride a bike makes me giddy, and mostly due to the super cool art on their website and in their print materials. As a guy that’s paid the mortgage for a while with his own artwork, that kind of attention to detail resonates. The Santa Cruz, CA based company has built something of a mystique with their boutique line of carbon bikes so I was stoked to give this thing a proper flogging on my local trails.
Anyway, first impressions. Out of the box this bike is just genuinely pleasant to behold: clean lines, nothing garish or gaudy, and an affordable, durable parts spec. We live in a magical time where bikes come spec’ed with 2.6” Minions, stubby stems, and sensibly wide handlebars. ‘Merica!
I’ve been antsy to try both this bike and the Evil Calling for a while. Personally, I’m a big proponent of bikes that fall on the shorter travel end of the spectrum – here in the northeast where we rarely reach the same terminal flat-out velocities they do out in the western regions, the new crop of mid-travel, short chainstay, short stem bikes has been my jam. In a nutshell: playful but capable and well suited for our technical terrain.
For my shakedown test ride I mapped out a route that included a few stout climbs, some low-speed somewhat consequential descending, and then a high speed, roosty descent. Little bit of everything you might say.
My first on-the-bike impressions were thus: holy shit the Mojo 3 climbs better than any bike I’ve ever ridden, wheel size be damned. I reached the top of the first climb and realized that I had unceremoniously greased two sections that are usually a low-speed, pseudo-trials wrestling match. Your stock is rising, Mojo 3.
That said, my next thought was that there’s no way a bike that climbs this well descends worth a damn. How very wrong I was. Insane grip, and nary a bobble in the hairy rock strewn terrain I had thrown it down. Two for two.
My second lap was a bit less point and shoot, a bit more “hold on for dear life.” I opened ‘er up and gave it full throttle on a trail I know quite well, fully expecting to find the bottom of the suspension in short order. However, the combination of perfectly-adequate travel and not-gratuitously-voluminous tires resulted in a ride that was both smoother and livelier than I’d have anticipated given the numbers. The carbon wheels, an accoutrement with which I have admittedly limited experience, were predictably rad – stiff, not jarring, and like any good set of wheels, bring out the best in the bike.
This Mojo 3 strikes an interesting balance of nimble, stable, and efficient. Honestly with some lighter duty tires I wouldn’t be afraid to enter an XC race or a race like the Vermont 50 on this bike. But with the 2.6 meats on there I’d say it’s more than capable of “enduro’ing” if one were so inclined.
This Mojo 3’s attitude and smooth looks belie a saucy and even slightly aggro personality. I wouldn’t hesitate to push this bike hard on some Perry Hill-esque gnar, but it’s also perfectly suited to all day epics. Bike park laps? Maybe. If it’s true bike-park-machine-built, I’d say hell yeah. If you’re talking full on DH rowdiness, might be best to reach for another steed.
So who’s Mojo 3 for? Pretty much anyone that just needs a bike that’s fun without being pigeonholed into a specific category. Is it a trail bike? A light enduro bike? A long-legged XC bike? In a word, yes. For most of us that just ride bikes for the pure fun of it, shoehorning rides in before and after work, the Mojo 3 is quite literally everything you need and nothing you don’t. Kudos to Ibis for building a bike that’s more aptly just a “mountain bike” than anything else.
Wanna test ride a Mojo 3 for yourself? Ranch Camp, located at 311 Mountain Road in Stowe, has a run of Mojo 3’s available for demo starting June 29. If you want to swing a leg over this bad mofo, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.