Review: Ibis Mojo 3

In: BIKES, REVIEWS By: Mike Cushionbury On: October 29, 2016

You can almost hear the Mojo asking to be pedaled to the top of the mountain and earn that ripper ride back down.

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Tester: Mike Cushionbury
Age: 46 Height: 5’10” Weight: 157 lbs. Inseam: 32”
Price: $6,199 (as tested), $2,999 (frame and shock only)
Sizes: S, M, (tested) L, XL
More: Ibis Cycles

It’s been just over 10 years since the legendary Ibis Mojo 2 was released. At that time it was one of the most definitive trail bikes on the market. In fact, its reign as a top contender has lasted pretty much for the decade. Until now, that is.

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The all-new Mojo 3 is continuing a cutting edge tradition, this time as a 27plus/27.5 trail bike with 130 mm of rear travel matched to a 140 mm fork. What sets it apart from many other plus-wheeled bikes is that it’s designed around accepting standard 27.5 tire and 27plus tires on the same wheels. This means you can switch back and forth without changing anything other than tires. Go ahead and use Ibis’ wide 741 rims that have a 35 mm inner width with 2.8 inch plus tires as well as 2.25 inch (and up) standard tires.

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According to Ibis, when tire sag is taken into account the bottom bracket height and frame angles remain the same with either tire size choice. The key to making the wheel size options work lies with Boost rear hub spacing—the chainstays measure a short 16.7 inches yet can still fit a fat tire. Front center length and a 73.6 degree seat tube angle is middle of the road, not “longer and super-slack” that’s becoming the trend when the chainstays get really short. This puts the rider in a centered, if slightly more upright, pedaling position that works well in flatter rough sections as well as steep descents. The head angle with a 140 mm fork measures in at a not-too-extreme yet very effective 66.8 degrees.

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Other niceties include dw-link suspension, a threaded bottom bracket shell that accepts an ISCG 05 chain guide, a bolt-on down tube frame guard that also covers the rear brake hose, room for a large water bottle in the frame and a removable direct mount front derailleur mount for single or double chainring compatibility.

What makes the Mojo 3 an awesome 27plus trail bike is that while it performs like one with all that additional traction and such, it doesn’t feel like one. Thanks to those short stays, fairly neutral geometry and a light 27.1 pound weight it performs more like a standard trail bike. It’s quick to navigate serpentine singletrack and lively on technical terrain where “Top Gun” Maverick finesse riding is rewarded with more speed, opposed to just going all G.I. Joe, “I will tank over everything in sight and plow and pedal over you.”

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Climbing, the dw-link remains firmly planted without excessive pedal bob. Add in all that traction from the large volume Schwalbe Nobby Nics and you’ll find yourself churning up the loosest, slipperiest ascents with newfound confidence and panache.

This is not a shuttle or downhill bike by any means (but that doesn’t mean it can’t handle the gnar); it’s a fast, fun trail/all-mountain bike that wants to be ridden hard everywhere with no free rides uphill—you can almost hear the Mojo asking to be pedaled to the top of the mountain and earn that ripper ride back down.

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Ultimately, the Mojo 3 is an awesome everything bike that solves the 27plus or 27.5 tire buying dilemma. The frame and fork will fit “real” 2.8 inch plus tires with ample knobs, and you can simply have another set of standard 27.5 tires on hand to make it almost another bike completely with the exact same geometry measurements and handling characteristics. Since there aren’t many other bikes that can make that claim right now, I suspect this will continue the Mojo legend for another decade as well.

Details

  • Reach: 16.6” Stack: 23.3”
  • Top Tube: 23.6”
  • Head Tube: 66.8°
  • Seat Tube: 73.6°
  • BB Height: 13.2”
  • Chainstays: 16.7”
  • Weight: 27.1 lbs. w/o pedals
  • Specs based on size tested

 

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