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Tackling the Tradeoff: Ibis Mojo HD

As noted earlier this week, the Singletrack.com crew soaked up enough info from Interbike to last several weeks. Now that we’re back in the office we’ll continue to wring out our notebooks and cameras for all the extra bits we haven’t taken a look at so far…

Ibis Mojo HD

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With the broadening span of what mountain biking can mean to varying sects of riders, and the accompanying bikes designed for each niche, it’s good to see a potential trend toward melding things while taking them down a notch.

This spring we brought you a glimpse of the Ibis Mojo HD, which was released at Sea Otter. The relatively lightweight(6.2lbs.), pedal-efficient, big-hit-worthy frame was a drastic change in target market from Ibis’ other suspension choice, the Mojo SL.

This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but left some customers wondering if they really needed a full 160-mm of travel, along with all the geometry and weight that accompanies it.

What Ibis didn’t mention at Sea Otter, but had apparently planned from day-one of the HD’s inception, was that a short(er)-travel kit for the frame was already in the works for those riders who felt a stock HD may be a bit much most of the time, but that a Mojo SL wasn’t quite enough.

By swapping out the HD’s 8.5-inch x 2.5-inch stock shock with a 7 7/8-inch x 2-inch Mojo shock, and replacing the removable shock mounts, or “Limbo Chips,” the frame evenly drops down to 140-mm of travel, keeping the same seat and head angles. The bottom bracket height does drop from 13.8-inch to 13.3-inch as well, assuming a 150mm fork is used.

Obviously, varying fork travel will affect these geometries, which brings us back to what may be trending on trail bikes.

More and more riders are finding themselves at a crossroads of tradeoffs between a fun trail bike that can be pedaled efficiently uphill, or a bike that can handle some solid hits and hucks at the local mountain. The frames themselves for this area of the market aren’t usually the issue in either being too heavy for uphill ease or too flimsy for downhill abuse, which leaves a bulk of the difference in suspension.

So, though it’s still not cheap, an option we’re starting to see more and more of is getting a bike like the HD, and having two sets of suspension, as well as a second wheelset. It won’t be for everyone, as there are definitely many riders out there who cringe at the idea of simply swapping out tires let alone forks, wheels, and shocks. And, not every frame design will be an option to do this with. But, for those who are comfortable with a set of hex wrenches and aren’t in that big of a hurry, this could be a great solution to an ever-growing dilemma of which bike is right for you.

As an added bonus, this 2-in-1 setup could come in handy with air travel to places where otherwise deciding which bike to bring is an issue.

As for the options from Ibis, you can order the HD with either shock and Limbo Chip setup, and if you find yourself wanting to swap things out, the Chips will cost $25.

An HD with a Fox RP23 will run $2,399, and if you want a Fox RC4, add $213.99. Rear shock price after initial purchase is a bit more complicated, as while Ibis offers an array of rising-rate shocks to compliment the falling-rate suspension design, they are not allowed to sell shocks individually. So you’ll have to go through a shop or other source.

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