Compare-O First Look: Ibis Mojo HDR 650b

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 call it a “tweener,” others say “hack,” but whatever you call the Ibis Mojo HDR 650b, it’s a bike that comes with a revolutionary and proven rear suspension design, courtesy of boy wonder David Weagle and his dw-link. And if it also looks really familiar, there’s a reason for that.

As consumer preferences shifted over the last couple years, the crew at Ibis took notice of customers squeezing 27.5-inch wheels into their traditional 26-inch Mojo HDs which physically could accommodate the slightly larger hoops without adaptation.

The problem with this customer-sourced hack is it raises the bottom bracket by about three-quarters of an inch, adversely effecting cornering, while at the same time it reducing rear wheel clearance to an unacceptable margin. The rear wheel would indeed spin, but mud clearance was nil and tire/chainstay buzz common.

Not ones to stick their heads in the sand, Ibis set out to give the people what they wanted, tweaking the much-loved bike’s geometry, and building in more mud clearance. While they were at it, Ibis incorporated much asked-for ISCG-05 chain guide tabs, cable routing for a dropper post, a 12x142mm rear end, and a tapered head tube.

Uniquely, the Mojo HDR 650b can run as-intended with 27.5 hoops and 130mm of rear travel, but comes with mounting hardware that, along with a swap in shocks, allows the bike to run as a 160mm-travel 26er (and is sold that way as the straight-up Mojo HDR).

Despite some luddite tendencies amongst our test crew, we’ve elected to go new school and run it as a 27.5 bike.

Mojo ID—A Timeless Beauty

As one of the most iconic frame designs in history, the Ibis Mojo continually wows not only its customers but also the bike industry press. In today’s ever-changing world of technology and innovation, it’s rare to find a bike with essentially the same design since its launch 10 years ago still slaying it ion the sales floor as well as the trail. This enduring success is a testament to how great the Mojo and its dw-link suspension really is.

Though similar looking, the HDR does differs structurally from the original HD, boasting a completely different carbon construction method that maintains rigidity and strength while cutting a half-pound of weight. With the standard Fox Float CTD shock, the Mojo HDR 650b frame weighs in at 6 pounds—as-tested, our complete bike tipped the scales at 29.43 pounds.

Despite its iconic looks and enduring rear suspension design, depending on how you like to hydrate, there’s one potentially serious issue with the Mojo HDR—no provision for an easily-reachable water bottle. Yes, there’s a bottle mount on the bottom side of the downtube, but unless you’re some kind of freakish contortionist, you ain’t gonna reach it while riding.

The externally routed cabling might cause some to ask “why?” when other brands are going internal, but there’s no denying the clean cable guide execution and ease of access the Mojo HDR offers.

Spec Highlights

Our test bike was equipped with Stan’s ZTR EX 27.5-inch wheels, a Fox Float CTD Factory Kashima shock, and a Fox Float 34 CTD Kashima fork with 160mm of travel.

By going to the Ibis website, buyers can spec their Mojo HDR 650b with a variety of different build kits. Our test rig was equipped with the Shimano Deore XT build kit, featuring mostly XT shifting—it had an SLX front derailleur—XT brakes with 180mm/160mm rotors, E*13 TRS+ cranks with 34/24 rings, an XT 11-36 cassette, Maxxis Minion DHF 2.35 folding tires, Ibis 740mm carbon bars, and an Ibis aluminum stem. We upgraded the stock Ibis-branded alu seat post to the adjustable KS LEV with 125mm of drop.

With many Ibis fans among both our test crew and readership, we’re anxious to get this bad boy on the trail and see how it stacks up not only against other brands, but the 29-inch-wheeled Ibis Ripley that’s also in our test.

2014 Ibis Mojo HDR 650b Key Specs
  • Weight: 29.43 pounds (size large)
  • Wheel size: 27.5-inches (26-inch compatible)
  • Frame Material: Carbon fiber front and rear triangles
  • Travel/Suspension: 140mm front/130mm rear; Fox Float 34 CTD front, Fox Float rear
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT 2×10; 24t/34t chainring, 10-36 cassette
  • Brakes: Shimano XT; 180mm front, 160mm rear
  • Seatpost: KS LEV dropper, 125mm
  • Wheelset/Tires: Stan’s ZTR EX wheels with Speed Tuned XM hubs and Maxxis Minion DHF 2.35 tubeless folding
  • Bar/Stem: Ibis 740mm carbon bar; Ibis aluminum stem
  • Bottom Bracket Type: 68mm BSA English thread
  • Head Tube Angle: 67.1 degrees
  • Seat Tube Angle: 71.1 degrees
  • Chainstay Length: 435mm (17.1 inches)
  • Bottom Bracket Height: 13.5 inches
  • Bike MSRP: $5965
  • Frame MSRP: $2699

For more information visit http://www.ibiscycles.com/bikes/mojo_hdr650b.

Read our Bottom Line Evaluation of the Ibis Mojo HDR 650b here.

This story is part of Mtbr’s 2014 Enduro Compare-O. Check out our intro story here for all the ground rules and goings ons.

Compare-O First Look: Ibis Mojo HDR 650b Gallery
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Ibis Mojo HDR 650 First Look Cover

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Ibis Mojo HDR 650 Weigh In

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Ibis Mojo HDR 650 Side

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Ibis Mojo HDR 650 Rear Quarter

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Ibis Mojo HDR 650 Front Quarter

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Ibis Mojo HDR 650 Suspension

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Ibis Mojo HDR 650 Cockpit

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Ibis Mojo HDR 650 First Look Thumb

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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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  • isaidso says:

    The Spec Highlights copy says it’s a fox 160; the spec list says fox 140. (the photo looks like a 140) Which is it? Either way i’m surprised you didn’t go with the X01 build. Lighter, cleaner, better-er.

  • Lucas H says:

    I don’t know what press release you were reading from when you wrote this “While they were at it, Ibis incorporated much asked-for ISCG-05 chain guide tabs, cable routing for a dropper post, a 12x142mm rear end, and a tapered head tube.” My 2011 Mojo HD has dropper post routing & a tapered head-tube. Also I am running 150mm of 650B love. What’s nice about the HDR is it would be so easy to run the same 150mm of rear travel and have the greater clearance for this tire size. I think that Ibis just didn’t want to deal with having to custom shim the rear shocks for this much travel.

  • Jon says:

    Absolutely love, love, love this bike.
    I have the HDR in the 26/160 setting with the CCDBair CS option.
    A remarkable design. And incredible company.

  • Joe Millionare says:

    Boring. It’s an old bike, old design, and not purpose built for 27.5. Ibis needs to piss or get off the pot.

    • mwandrusz says:

      yeah, its a boring old bike with an old design that looks and rides better than 98% of the mountain bikes in its class 10 years later. Ibis should pay you for your market expertise because it seems no one is buying them ;)

  • derby says:

    Nice Bike! I was one of the early adapters of 650b wheels on my original Mojo Carbon #84 ever made in summer 2006. One big improvement I mad in late 2007 was bolting on 650b x 2.3 wheels and tires and limiting bottom travel very slightly, to raise the BB and pedal clearance from 13.1 to 13.6 inches measured, for cleaning the rough and rocky trail climbs I like to ride with deeper suspension sag. The all new design Mojo HD introduced almost 5 years ago raised the BB about 1/4 inch to 13.75 inches measured with 650b x 2.3 tires, slacked the head and seat angles, and increased travel and tire clearance, which in fact never “buzz chain stays” in either bike 2.3 tires with well built wheels. The HDR has room now for 2.4 tires, without any rub or buzz. Bottom travel with the HD and HDR must be limited to about 150mm with 650b x 2.3 tires to clear the seat tube. For mostly smoother trails, the shorter travel shock and very low BB height HDR 650b makes a snappy 130mm of travel with plenty of seat tube bottom clearance for 2.4 tires. Handling for the more stable 650b size wheels with the HD and HDR is ideal for advanced riders from tight twisty to high flyin’. The newest design Mojo HDR again stretches the lead for all around versatile use Trail/AM/Enduro bike performance : )

  • MB says:

    Maybe for a guy like his name suggests, Joe Millionare, his comment is striaght up and real. But for a guy like me, if I was given the chance I would gladly ride a bike that has good design and good engineering. My 2004 Giant NRS coupled with a hardy engine still leaves many a rider coughing dust. Come ride with us Joe.

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