Ibis has jumped on the longer, slacker program, and for 2018, the new Mojo HD4 features an aggressive 64.9-degree headtube angle and increased reach over its HD3 predecessor. Our size-medium HD4 grew 19 millimeters in reach from the previous HD3 to 435 millimeters, yet strangely still felt somewhat cramped compared to similar bikes in this category. The updated angles make for a remarkably stable ride at speed without significantly sacrificing the agility for which the Mojo name is known. One tester even commented on how eager this bike is to get in the air. Couple the revised geometry with 160/153-millimeter front-rear travel combination with the stiffer linkage hardware and this bike is asking to be ridden in the chunder.
With the Mojo HD4's robust tires, slightly increased travel and slacker geometry, one might expect a sacrifice in climbing, but the HD4 maintains Ibis' reputation for climbing well on any terrain, even with the suspension open. Grumble all you want about wider tires, but there is no doubt they make monster-trucking uphill over rocks and roots easier. The elephant in the room is the term 'Plus.' Does that term even matter, or is it a tomato/tomahto issue? What does matter is the quality of the ride, and the quality of the ride on the HD4 is excellent. While our build came with 2.6-inch Maxxis Minions front and rear, the bike will accept anything from 2.3 to 2.8, so if you're fickle about tire size, don't let the chubby rubber be a deal breaker.
Complaints on the HD4 were minimal. Some felt the 780-millimeter bars were a tad wide for a size Medium, but that's an easy fix. The KS Lev SI's actuator was odd ergonomically, however that model helps keep the price under $6,000.
At $5,600 our build was pricey, but riders are treated to a nice parts kit including GX Eagle drivetrain, carbon wheels, Fox DPX2 shock and 36 fork. Not to be forgotten is the 'Pork Chop,' Ibis's answer to onboard storage in their front triangle, which is big enough to fit a tube and some snacks. If $5,000 is your barrier, consider dropping the carbon wheels which brings the price down to $4,800. Overall, the Ibis Mojo HD4 is a confidence-inspiring ride packed with great features.
Ibis Mojo HD4 Q&A with Scot Nicol, Ibis Cycles founder
Ibis has embraced the 'plus' size tire, for not only the HD4 but other bikes in the line as well. Can you explain the motivation for this move and have you received much pushback from your consumers?
The Mojo 3 and Mojo HD4 both accept tires up to 2.8 inches. We’ve found that the vast majority of riders of these bikes are settling on tires in the 2.5-inch to 2.6-inch range, though they’ll accept tires down to 2.3 inches with no detrimental handling effects.
The motivation for the move was to be able to offer our riders more choice, as long as it came without a performance price. We tested a lot of tires before deciding to limit the tire size to 2.8 inches on these bikes. Larger than that and in our opinion, they get heavy with too much undamped rebound.
One of the discoveries when measuring in the real world was that the bottom bracket height changed imperceptibly between tire sizes at actual riding pressures. You run the 2.8 tires at a much lower pressure than the 2.3’s for example, and as a result, there is a bit of tire sag, lowering the bottom bracket. This is how you can get away with such widely divergent tire sizes with no performance degradation.
I’m not aware of any pushback at all from the consumer side, as we offer the bikes with several different tire choices.
This one is for the smaller people out there. In years past you’ve had the “Roxy” tune for lighter weight riders as an option. I don’t see that listed on the HD4. Is this still an option?
There isn't a Roxy tune on the HD4 for a couple reasons. The Float X2 shock option on the HD4 can be tuned to suit a wider range of rider weights. It’s highly adaptable, as it has low- and high-speed compression and rebound adjustments. Also, Fox gave us the option for extra-light compression valving on this shock for this year, which is how we have them tuned. This plays well with both lighter riders and the dw-link kinematics. As a result, the Roxy tune is not needed on that bike.
You offer a ton of different builds for this bike, which is great for consumers. Which option has been the best-selling and why do you think that is?
The runaway winner is the GX Eagle group. It’s very well priced at $4,700 for the complete bike and it represents nearly half (46 percent) of the HD4 sales. Eagle in general is doing really well.