by Ben Haworth
October 12, 2009
Ed stole Chipps' Ibis Mojo and never gave it back. Here's what he made of it.
Ibis Mojo Carbon
From: 2Pure www.2pure.co.uk
Price: £1949 (frame & shock)
Tested: 11 months
My love affair with the Mojo just started as a dirty weekend. I needed a bike for a trip to Swaledale and nearly a year later I’m still regularly riding the Ibis, albeit in a very different build. The Mojo came to me as Chipps’ long termer in a light trail build, with xc wheels, triple chainset and 100-140mm fork. I was more interested in building it up for riding “Tech” stuff and fast “All Mountain” riding.
To slacken the head angle and give mountain-eating performance I put a Fox 36 Float fork on. I built a pair of strong but not too heavy wheels, with Hope Pro 2 hubs and Syncros AM28 rims, to make good use of 2.35-2.5 tyres. The addition of wide bars and a short stem finished it off nicely. I have ended up with a Sunline V1 Flat Bar which has the right angles of sweep and keeps the front nice and low. This both keeps the weight over the front tyre for more cornering grip and helps keep the front end lower for climbing. The Mojo works just fine with a 160mm fork and the Ibis handbook even sanctions using ‘the daddy’ of them all, namely the 36. The Float is not travel adjustable and I’ve been happy with running the bike in ‘full travel, full throttle’ mode all the time. With a frame and shock weight of only around five and a half pounds, the total bike weight can be kept low even when using more burly components. In it’s current build the Mojo weighs 31lbs.
I am a fan of the Mojo’s organic curves and prefer the look of paint on a carbon frame rather than the brash look of naked carbon. The finish on the Mojo however has been less than perfect. I discovered what appeared to be cracks in the swingarm and Ibis demonstrated their legendary custommer care by sending a new swingarm quickly out to me. They said that the hairline cracks were in the paint rather than the frame and that this is a result of the natural flexing of carbon fibre (the rubberised paint of the newer SL Model has been developed to stop this problem). Similar cracks appeared in the main frame, much to my alarm, but I have been assured by Ibis that this is the same problem and despite continued hard riding they have not developed into anything nasty. Suffice to say it doesn’t look nice.
A new Ibis Mojo SL has just arrived at STW Towers to replace the one currently on test, so when that’s seen some proper riding we’ll see if the paint issues have been fixed. The SL is the same frame as the standard Mojo, but uses more carbon and titanium parts to make the frame nearly half a pound lighter.
The DW Link Mojo is very cushy. It soaks up bumps, digs in on climbs and holds a great line in corners. It is a bike that will take on all of the mountain. The Mojo is a great ‘Pass Storming’ bike with its ability to find grip on tricky climbs as well as having the geometry and poise to really work on very technical descents. The rear wheel hugs the ground with great traction on loose or tricky stepped climbs and in the tradition of those who went before us, it is also light enough to carry on your back and get on with hiking up to the top.
On slow, steep and nasty descents the Mojo simply rules. There is none of that ugly ‘trap dooring’ that you get with some big trail bikes, where they blow through their travel and make you feel like the bike is taking you for a ride. The rear suspension just gets on with it’s job and gives the bike an engaging feel without vagueness. I run the Fox RP23 shock in it’s fully open setting most of the time for both climbs and descents, unless I’m riding hardpacked smooth trails, where I use the Pro Pedal setting. Bob is not a problem with this frame and neither is his evil mate Jack.
With sticky dual-ply tyres I have taken the Mojo to the downhill tracks at Wharncliffe as well as racing it at the Kidland round of the Northern Downhill series. I upgraded the upper linkage to the one piece ‘Lopes Link’ and this has stiffened the rear end noticeably. I also changed all the other frame bearings at this time. Only on bigger drops and faster, flat out downhill course terrain does the bike start to feel out of it’s depth, but it is a trail bike after all and cannot be expected to ride like a full on downhill bike.
The Mojo has been a great bike over the length of this test. It has ridden alongside Orange Patriots, Cannondale Prophets and Intense Tracers and not been out of its depth. It has been a good bike to progress my riding with and after nearly a year it is still fun to ride.
Overall: One of the best trail bikes. Deserves to be ridden like you stole it.