PINKBIKE FIELD TEST
Ibis Mojo HD5
Words by Mike Kazimer, photography by Trevor Lyden
For 2020, the Ibis Mojo HD5 maintains its 27.5” wheels and 153mm of dw-link travel, but it underwent the usual longer and slacker treatment, and now has a new fork and shock tune that are part of what Ibis refer to as their 'Traction Tune' suspension philosophy.
The HD5's shape stayed the same, but tube-in-tube internal cable routing has been added to help simplify housing swaps, and there's more room for running longer travel dropper posts. The dw-link suspension design is still there, but now bearings are used for the HD5's upper link, and bushing are used for the lower one, a similar configuration to what's used on the Ripmo.
Ibis Mojo HD5 Details
• Travel: 153mm rear / 170mm fork
• Carbon frame
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Head Angle: 64.2°
• Seat Tube Angle: 76°
• Chainstay Length: 430mm
• 12 x 148mm rear spacing
• Weight: 31.2 lb / 14.1 kg (size L)
• Price: $6,658 USD
The HD5 has a 64.2-degree head angle, a 76-degree seat tube angle, and a 470mm reach on the size large we tested. The chainstays measure a relatively short 430mm on all frame sizes.
Our test sled showed up with Ibis' XT build installed and an upgraded suspension package. There's 170mm Fox Factory 36 fork, a Factory X2 shock, Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain and brakes, and a BikeYoke dropper post. That all tallies up to a total price of $6,658 USD. Climbing
The HD5 had the shortest wheelbase our of all the bikes we had on hand in the enduro category, a trait that helped it wriggle around tight corners without stalling or hanging up. It earned top marks for the way that it balanced traction and efficiency on the way up, and there was never any need to firm up the rear end by flipping the Float X2's climb lever.
Compared to the other 4 bikes in this segment, the HD5 felt the most like an all-rounder, with less of a gravity-oriented focus. Head into mellower terrain on the Specializd Enduro or Yeti SB165 and it's possible you'll feel overbiked, but it's a different story on the HD5. It's a little more adaptable, with a wider range of usable terrain types, and it doesn't feel dull or cumbersome when the terrain mellows out a bit. Descending
The HD5's geometry is on the shorter side of the modern spectrum, and the chainstay length, 27.5” wheels, and reach number all add up create to a bike with quick and snappy handling. It's easy to get up to speed and change directions, and that nimbleness also helps when it comes time to pump through flatter sections of trail.
The flip side is that it doesn't feel quite as unflappable in high speed, rough terrain. It required more energy to keep on line than a bike like the Specialized Enduro, and the overall feel was closer to an all-mountain or aggressive trail bike rather than race machine.
What about the Traction Tune suspension philosophy? The basic idea is that it involves running minimal rebound and compression damping in order to improve the bike's level of traction and responsive. I started with the bike set up according to Ibis' recommended settings, which had the rebound almost all the way open on the fork and shock, but found it to be somewhat frightening on jump trails. It was rideable on chunkier trails, but it didn't seem to deliver a huge performance advantage, and I felt like I needed to pay extra attention to the bike.
Once I slowed things down to how I would normally set up a bike I felt much, much more at home, and the level of enjoyment greatly increased. But just because I didn't get along with the suggested settings doesn't mean they're not worth a try. That's the nice thing about the Traction Tune philosophy – it's optional, not mandatory.