Compare-O Bottom Line: The Ibis Mojo HDR 27.5 is a razor-sharp performer

27.5 Enduro Enduro Compare-O 2014

This article is part of the Mtbr’s Enduro Compare-O. See all the stories in this special section here–http://reviews.mtbr.com/category/enduro-compare-o-2014

Some might call it a “hack” bike due to fact that the Ibis Mojo HDR was originally designed for 26-inch wheels, but based on rider feedback, the slightly modified geometry and slightly larger 27.5-inch wheels didn’t hurt its performance. In fact, the Mojo HDR 27.5 takes all the positive attributes of the original and adds better cornering grip, rollability and versatility thanks to its ability to run both 26-inch and 27.5-inch wheels with a couple minor linkage tweaks and two different length shocks (You can check out our First Look at the HDR for a more in-depth explanation of the bike’s changeable nature).

At first glance, the test riders’ opinions of the HDR’s looks varied.

“The HDR looks stout and heavy duty as the name suggests. Tires looked substantial and it had a ready for anything vibe. I like seeing ISCG tabs and a threaded bottom bracket. Cable routing looked good, though some might complain the dropper post cable wasn’t internal,” said one test rider. “Tire clearance seemed quite good. Even though I’ve never loved the Mojo’s form factor (industrial design) I really liked the tasteful graphics—in the case of our bike, mostly raw carbon with neon accent.”

Another rider found there to be a significant issue with the Mojo HDR.

“Timeless and iconic design. Love the looks—razor sharp, precise, clean. Neon yellow on the nude carbon pops. I like the external cable routing, easy to access and service. Done cleanly with bolt on cable guides,” mused another rider. “My main gripe about the Mojo is that there’s no provision for an easily reachable water bottle.”

Genius dw-link Gets it Done

David Weagle is truly a boy genius. It seems every bike we ride that sports his suspension design performs with the utmost efficiency both up and downhill. The dw-link on the Mojo HDR is no exception. Boasting either 160mm of rear wheel travel with 26-inch wheels or 130mm of rear travel with 27.5-inch wheels (as tested), the Mojo HDR can go both ways without changing geometry spec of the original Mojo HDR. Our test bike featured a standard Fox Float CTD shock out back and a 140mm Fox Float 34 CTD up front.

Pedaling up the 1,500-foot vertical Sulphur Springs Road climb, riders were impressed overall with the HDR’s climbing prowess, especially considering its somewhat portly 30-pound weight.

“The bike climbs with almost zero pedal induced bob thanks to the dw-link system, even with the CTD system in ‘descend’ mode,” one rider said. “I was astonished to find this bike weighs almost 30 pounds.”

Another rider praised the HDR’s climbing ability as well.

“The HDR holds a line pretty well and the suspension helped the rear tire dig in on loose, steep climbs, even when pedaling erratically. I was actually amazed the rear didn’t break loose a couple times when I picked deliberately poor lines,” he said. “All around I found both Ibis’—I rode the Ripley too—climbed nimbly and efficiently.”

In technical uphill sections, the dw-link showed off its superior anti-squat reputation.

“Very little traction loss even when out of the saddle. The dw-link is so efficient you can climb in ‘trail’ or even ‘descend’ mode through tech sections and maintain traction without bobbing all over the place. This is a true ‘set and forget’ bike,” said yet another rider.

Continue to Page 2 for more on the Ibis Mojo HDR 27.5 and full photo gallery »
About the author: Kurt Gensheimer

Kurt Gensheimer thinks the bicycle is man’s most perfect invention. He firmly believes ‘singlespeed’ is a compound word. He sometimes wears a disco ball helmet. He is also known as Genshammer. He is a Gemini and sleeps outside in a hammock.


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  • DaveG says:

    These Compare-o “reviews” are a garbled mess of thoughts that are difficult to draw any clear conclusion from.

    • RenoCarolina says:

      What’s garbled? Specifically? It is a lot of information to put together and the project is coming together piece by piece. Just seems awfully early in the process (3rd review?) to label the reviews a “mess” without giving the benefit of a specific criticism. As a “saver” looking to make the right purchase later this summer I am loving this.

  • AD says:

    I have one with XX1, Reverb Dropper, XT Brakes and the rest Ritchey and it comes in at just a tick over 26lbs. It SHREDS!

  • fabriciofracchia@gmail.com says:

    No bike pics in the main review?

  • Woodwhistler says:

    I personally find this (compare-o) is a nice project. Really gives a wide perspective to the mtb market. This review was much better than the Trance review, or at least I think so. I hope you continue with the “Who is it made for”-section in further reviews. Keep up the good work!

  • Benja says:

    I’m enjoying these reviews. I’m not completely into the whole “first look” THEN the review, but overall it’s a good look into a wide cross section of bikes. As an HD and now HDR 650b rider, I thought this was an accurate portrayal of the bike. If you’re a skilled rider, this bike rewards in spades. It’s a weapon. As for the plushness, I’ve found it to be good out of the box, but great with tuning (PUSH in my case) and I definitely recommend bumping the Float 140 to 150. My HDR with XX1/XTR and LB carbon wheels is under 26lbs by a hair I think. Depends on the pedals and tires that day. I never ride with a waterbottle, so that “showstopper” comment made me laugh. It’s got a spot for a cage, but it’s down there a bit. Anyway, it’s an amazing bike, but mos def not one for a novice (are any of these?!)

  • isaidso says:

    So you saddled the HDR with heavy flexy wheels, and a heavy old school dual chainring XT group and complain that–surprise–the bike is heavy and noisy. Next you’ll test a XX1 bronson with Carbon Enves and gush about how quiet and light the bike is.
    If you guys wanted to make this a meaningful comparo, you should have equipped the bikes equally–or at least all with the same X01 style group and similar wheels (all carbon or none).
    At the very least, you should list the frame weight fro each bike, since that is far more meaningful than the as built weight.

    • Matt B says:

      Reviewers and review sites review the bikes the bike companies want reviewed. Whew! It is not rigorous/scientific, and the saving grace is that it is obviously not. It would be worse for everyone if a shootout of this sort were portrayed as fair, while not really meeting that standard. And no shootout is going to meet that standard–it would be fantastically expensive, and no one involved (bike companies, reviewers with industry hook-ups) has any incentive to try to do anything else but what you see here or in other cycling media. So accept that for all it’s flaws it still provides some good info, and is not full of misleading info.

      • Mike says:

        I disagree with the statement that all reviews simply take the bikes as they come from the manufacturers. I can think of two sites off the top of my head — Pinkbike and Blister — that regularly swap cockpits, wheels, other components on the bikes they test.

        On another note, I can’t believe the whole bottle-cage deal in this review. It’s the “enduro comparo”…who is racing an enduro event with one water bottle? Makes no sense

  • Benja says:

    Gotta agree with isaidso there. The mix of parts from bike to bike is all over the place. A little bit of standardization (wheels maybe?) would have helped. I will say that the stock Ibis wheels, while not terrible, are not going to win awards anywhere.

  • Jon says:

    Hardly a glowing review. I’m really surprised.
    I’m biased – I love my 26/160 HDR – but I think it’s one incredible bike.
    It goes up amazing (the review definitely highlighted that) and I think comes down just as well. In that regard I don’t think it got its fair shake in this review. The reviewers almost make it seem harsh riding, which the HDR (at least the 160mm version) is anything but.

  • Ian says:

    Love Ibis as a 26″ bike but for 27 application it does not have enough travel or rear tire clearance. In this category I do not want to be limited to 2.2 tires and be concerned about a 5′ drop bottoming 130 rear. Pivot M 6 all the way

  • Lucas says:

    Part of the suspension problem is the stock Fox shock. This bike shines with a reservoir shock ie RS Monarch plus, Fox Float X., CCDBA. My 150mm travel XL 650b Mojo HD weighs 28.2lbs with a double crank, clutch derailleur, KS lev post. Runs quiet, gobbles descents.

  • Jon says:

    One other quibble with this review: Stan\s Flows are described as flexy?

  • SC says:

    I’m able to reach the bottle on my HD, while I ride. Crazy I know!

    Funny how the bottle cage seemed to be the biggest issue on THIS bike, but not too much of a mention about it on the Bronson, the Orbea, etc…

    But if that is really all that’s a problem, that’s not a bad thing really. It’s a very capable bike with a Float X. It’s even more incredible with sticky 26″ tires in 650b mode, but people don’t need to know that;-)

  • Black Comp says:

    No bottle cage is a deal breaker!!!!

    Notice that the MOJO neither has a vaseline distributor.

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