Ibis' New HD4 - Review

May 30, 2017
by Mike Levy  



Ibis' HD3 was an instant favorite of mine when I reviewed it back in 2014, and one of the main reasons for my positive take was due to its real-world geometry; it wasn't a too long, too slack enduro race bike that was a burden anywhere that didn't look like a World Cup DH track. But that was three years ago now, and Ibis thought it was time to revisit their all-mountain / enduro platform and, more specifically, its geometry.

The new, 27.5'' wheeled HD4 that's tested below has essentially the same amount of rear wheel travel, 153mm, but it's longer and slacker than its predecessor, a change that brings Ibis' heavy hitting mid-travel bike more in-line with the competition. Pricing ranges from $4,199 - $8,099 USD depending on the build, and bikes will be available by the middle of June.
HD4 Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Rear wheel travel: 153mm
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• dw link v5 suspension
• Longer, slacker geometry
• 64.9-degree head angle
• 455mm reach (large, +24mm over the HD3)
• Color options: Fireball Red, Añejo Silver & Lime
• Weight: 28lb 12oz
• Availability: June 15th
• MSRP: $4,199 - $8,099 USD
www.ibiscycles.com

But the question is: do the updated geometry numbers turn what was one of the best all around mid-travel bikes on the market into something that's less, er, all around? Let's find out.
Ibis HD4
The HD4 in Ibis' Fireball Red colors. There won't be any blending in with this one.
Ibis HD4
The Silver and; Lime paint isn't exactly subdued, either, is it?


Due to time constraints and parts availability, my black (which is not a production color) HD4 test bike is a bit of a bastard when it comes to its build kit; there's a Fox Performance 36 fork with a GRIP damper and Float X2 shock, an XX1 Eagle drivetrain, XT brakes, and a mix of other parts that aren't entirely representative of the build kits that Ibis will offer. If you did want to pick up a complete HD4, they start at $4,199 USD (NX drivetrain, 738 alloy wheelset) and go up to $9,399 USD (XX1 Eagle drivetrain, 742 carbon wheelset), with three models in between those two. If you pick an HD4 with alloy wheels, another $800 USD will get you a set of Ibis' own carbon hoops. Frame-only pricing starts at $2,999 USD (with a yet to be released shock), or $3,269 USD with a Float X2.


Ibis Mojo HD3 review test Photo by Paris Gore
The HD3 was a relatively short and quick handling 150mm-travel bike.
Ibis
While the lines look similar, the HD4 is both longer and slacker than the HD3.


HD3 vs. HD4

Ibis' new and old all-mountain bikes sure look similar, but like twins with opposite personalities, the HD3 and HD4 are actually quite different once you take the time to get to know them. ''On the Mojo HD4, we really wanted to enhance the bike's handling capabilities over rough and steep terrain,'' Andy Jacques-Maynes, Ibis' lead engineer on the HD4 project, said of the new bike. To do that, Ibis added length and subtracted head angle, making for a large-sized HD4 with a reach that's 24mm longer than a large HD3 (455mm vs. 431mm) and 1.7-degrees slacker (64.6 vs. 66.6-degrees). The wheelbase grew as a result, of course, with a large now sitting at 1,219mm vs. 1,168mm on the old, large-sized HD3. The rear-end remains the same at 430mm.

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Ibis
Internal cable routing with large ports keeps the HD4 looking sharp.
Ibis
No clearance concerns here, with room for 2.6'' wide tires and plenty of goopy mud.


Ibis has been known to be a touch conservative with their geometry, preferring numbers that, while longer and slacker than the norm of four or five years ago, are still not on that longer-is-always-better bandwagon. The new HD4, however, sports geo that is close to a few of the better mid-travel bikes out there right now: Transition's Patrol and the latest Trek Remedy. But it wasn't a matter of copying what's already been done.

Jacques-Maynes says, ''Instead of choosing a geometry by committee or based on other companies' bikes, we chose our geo based on what worked best when we rode the steepest and gnarliest trails we could find. In our testing, we were able to see what each geometry dimension actually did to help the rider. For example, by trying a number of head angles back to back to back, with all other geometry dimensions held constant, we were able to pinpoint that changing the head angle slacker will allow the bike to achieve higher lean angles before slipping out. Conversely, this change also makes the bike more stable as the trail transitions to off-camber (less likely to slip or get pushed down-camber by the trail). On the Mojo HD4, we set the head angle at 64.9 degrees to maximize the stability in off-camber sections and increase our maximum lean angle.''

After all the experimenting and tweaking, the production HD4 has bumped up a touch more than one whole frame size, which makes sense, given that Ibis was seeing customers who would normally be on a medium-sized HD3 choose a large instead.

The one place where this increase wasn't done is the seat tube length - that's actually been shortened by about one whole frame size and has been reamed deeper internally to allow for longer-stroke dropper posts. ''On the medium, large, and x-large sizes, almost everyone should be able to use 170mm dropper seat posts, while 150mm droppers should work for almost all small size owners,'' Jacques-Maynes explained.
Ibis New HD4

The HD4's suspension remains largely the same as its predecessor - you can read more about that below - but Ibis did re-work both the upper and lower links in a search for more lateral rigidity. Word is that the upper link is 30-percent stiffer and the lower is 40-percent stiffer, although those numbers surely don't translate directly to the same massive rigidity gains in the frame as a whole. That said, a new carbon layup was also put to use for the same reason, so while the HD4's lines look very similar to the HD3, the frame is said to be more torsionally rigid all around.


Ibis
The HD4's 153mm of travel is still controlled by a dw-link suspension layout, although there's more ramp-up compared to the HD3.


Suspension Design

The older HD3, released in 2014, saw Ibis give the bike's dw-link suspension a makeover, with the most notable change being that the shock was now driven by the clevis rather than the swingarm itself. That 2014 HD3 had some impressive suspension traits, including great pedaling performance and, thankfully, Ibis hasn't really changed too much when it comes to the HD4's rear end. ''From a suspension side, we absolutely love how the current Mojo HD3 pedals,'' Jacques-Maynes said. ''We didn't want to mess with such a nice suspension design, so we left the kinematics the same for the Mojo HD4.''

So, hopefully the same great on-power feel is present, but Jacques-Maynes did actually change a few things: the travel is bumped up ever so slightly, from 150mm to 153mm, and there's more progression built into the leverage curve to keep those clangs to a minimum.

My HD4 test bike came with the new X2 Float from Fox, and there's just enough room for a properly sized bottle to squeeze in under the shock's piggyback thanks to it being flipped relative to how a piggyback shock fit on the HD3. To do this, a small opening in the frame provides just enough clearance for the shock's blue low-speed compression lever. The new Ibis is an air-only bike, however, ''due to the clevis shock yoke extending the eye-to-eye too far to give a good bushing overlap ratio,'' Jacques-Maynes explained.
Ibis
Both the upper and lower links are said to be significantly stiffer than the links used on the HD3.






Climbing

This bike's predecessor, the HD3, is an impressive climber in all regards, with efficiency that would scare a bike with 30mm less suspension travel and much quicker handling. No, the HD3 wasn't a true EWS-ready machine, but its real strength was its versatility: it could scramble up all sort of technical pitches that would trouble a bike with more enduro-friendly geometry, but it was still capable enough on the descents to be more bike than the large majority of riders would ever require.

bigquotesThe bike does not need this crutch, with it having more enthusiasm when the rider is on the gas than Alex Jones on speed and Red Bull.

But the HD4 is longer and slacker - nearly two degrees slacker and a fair bit longer. Predictably, this means that it doesn't have the same poise as the HD3 on properly technical climbs. Some foresight is required to snake the black bike through tight switchbacks, and especially if said switchback is home to all sorts of roots and rocks. The HD4 will get up anything if the rider has the skills - isn't that always the case? - but no, it's not the technical climbing whiz that the HD3 was (relatively speaking, of course). Ibis' new mid-travel all-mountain bike is on par handling-wise with other machines in the same class, and while that's not a terrible thing, I'll admit that I miss the HD3's brilliant technical climbing prowess.


Ibis
The HD4 isn't the technical climbing whiz that its predecessor is, but it's an efficient climber that'd do fine as an all-day adventure bike.


One thing that the HD4 and its predecessor still have in common is efficiency. My test bike came with a Fox Float X2 shock that has a low-speed compression lever to pile on a bunch of pedal-assist. The bike does not need this crutch, with it having more enthusiasm when the rider is on the gas than Alex Jones on speed and Red Bull. Ibis' dw-link bikes have a great on-power feel, and the HD4 is, not surprisingly, no different. I did flip the blue switch a few times when faced with a long fire road grind, but even then I think it was more of a mental aid than anything.

The HD3 was one of the best climbing 150mm-travel bikes when it came to tricky, technical ascents and, with slacker and longer geometry, there's no way that the HD4 can match its predecessor on this front. Instead, it handles a lot like most other mid-travel all-mountain bikes in that type of setting - it'll get up the same stuff, but more thinking ahead and skill is required than the HD3 asks for.


Descending

I reviewed the HD3 back in 2014 and said that ''it's more fun to ride in roughly 95% of the places where you'd ride a mountain bike,'' when comparing it to longer, slacker enduro-inspired machines. When I rode that bike, I loved how agile and playful the HD3 was, but the HD4 is a longer, slacker enduro-inspired machine. Does that mean that it's less fun than its predecessor? Well, yes and no; it depends on how you get your giggles.


Ibis
  Sure, my face may say constipation, but the HD4 is all about celebration. This is a fun bike to ride.


The HD4 is a very different bike; it's more stable and easier to ride quickly when traction is low, be it too dry or too wet, and it feels like far more of a true enduro race rig than the HD3 could ever have been. That said, it hasn't lost all (just some) of the HD3's playful eagerness, a trait that Ibis bikes are well known for. Some of these new mid-travel bikes seem happy to trade away their liveliness for comfort at all-out speeds, which is fine and dandy if you're buying a bike for racing, but less so if you think like me and just want every ride to be a bike party. The HD4 is still a bit of a party bike, though, and it's easier to move around on the trail, to manual, and to put it in interesting places than something like a Trek Slash or Devinci Spartan.

In other words, while the HD4 is certainly less nimble than the HD3, it still has more beans than other bikes in its class.

Much of my time on the new HD4 was spent in Pemberton, B.C. - a small town in the Whistler corridor known for rocks that want to see what your insides look like and extremely dry and dusty conditions that openly mock your tire choice. If a bike is going to be sketchy at speed, it'll be sketchier than a Craiglist personals ad when ridden on Pemberton's rowdier trails, but the HD4 held its own. I have zero doubts that it's a much faster bike than the HD3 is such settings, and especially on fast, loose corners - the HD4's handling only asks for directions rather than corrections when it's on the edge, whereas the HD3 would feel nervous by comparison. And because there are fewer questions as to what's about to happen, a rider is surely less likely to hesitate on the HD4 than they might be on the HD3. Simply put, the HD4 is easier to ride faster.


Ibis
There's no doubt about it, the HD4 stomps on the HD3 when things get steeper and faster.


When the speeds drop and the corners tighten up, the HD4 feels like more bike than its forerunner, but you can still get around the tightest of switchbacks without too much fuss. It's at these times, however, that I'm reminded of the new bike's added length and slackened head angle. The black Ibis feels a lot like other new-school all-mountain rigs when the speeds drop, which is to say that it's a bit ho-hum if you're not actively trying to wring its neck. So it goes with today's modern "enduro" bikes, I guess.

bigquotesThe HD4's handling only asks for directions rather corrections when it's on the edge, whereas the HD3 would feel nervous by comparison.

Suspension-wise, the back of the HD4 and its Fox Float X2 shock were largely invisible, which is a good sign. At about 160lbs, Ibis recommended 175 psi to get the ideal sag number, which they say is 25-percent. That's a bit less than the 30-percent (or more) that a lot of bikes are best suited to these days, but the HD4 never felt harsh or like it was sitting up too high in its travel. I bumped the sag up to 30-percent and still never had a hard bottoming moment, so there's something to the progression that Ibis says they've added over the HD3. The 5-percent difference may not sound like much, but keeping it at the 25-percent number went a long way to preserving the remnants of the fun-loving, poppy personality that carried over from the HD3. Recommended damper settings are still relatively open, which is typical of Ibis' bikes, but the dw-link and Float X2 combo always felt controlled, but far from dead.


Ibis
The HD4 feels like a proper enduro race bike, something that the HD3 never was.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesI have very fond memories of the HD3, a bike that was well suited to a rider who was more into mucking around than setting a quick time during a race. The HD4 still has a bit (but not all) of the HD3's nimbleness, but it's also a bike that's more stable and inspires more confidence, all of which makes it easier to ride faster. So if faster is your thing, you'll likely be happy with the changes Ibis has made. Mike Levy









About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 36 • Height: 5'10” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 165lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None • Instagram: killed_by_death
Mike Levy spent most of the 90s and early 2000s racing downhill bikes and building ill-considered jumps in the woods of British Columbia before realizing that bikes could also be pedaled for hours on end to get to some pretty cool places. These days he spends most of his time doing exactly that, preferring to ride test bikes way out in the local hills rather than any bike park. Over ten years as a professional mechanic before making the move to Pinkbike means that his enthusiasm for two wheels extends beyond simply riding on them, and his appreciation for all things technical is an attribute that meshes nicely with his role of Technical Editor at Pinkbike.



238 Comments

  • + 181
 When I compare the mtb industry to the motorcycle industry it seems like the only mountain bikes being made right now are the equivalent of race bred supersports. The motorcycle industry eventually realized that most people don't want a race bike and now the top sellers are fun bikes like the FZ-09 and Street Triple. They may not win a race against a 600rr but they will definitely put a smile on your face. Maybe it's time for mtb to get back to fun bikes and stop with all this race-bred bullshit. Oh, and by the way, you can get a brand new FZ-09 for the price of one of the higher end IBIS builds.
  • + 76
 I think the bike industry will sell us anything we want to buy. It seams like right now all anyone wants to buy is what the pros are racing. There will be a correction in the next 5 years though. You saw it with surfboards as well. In the late 90's everyone was trying to paddle the potato chip that Kelly slater was winning titles on then people realized it was more fun to ride a fat fish that paddled well and went fast. Once the sport gets more mature people will care less about racing machines and more about fun.
  • + 7
 agreed, the new 2017 fz09 is in my wishlist, and yeah, most motorbike companies are focusing on making naked bikes. The ricerockets are a thing of the past (90's - early 2000's) since they are a pain in the ass to you in normal streets. Unless you do trackdays / racing, I don't see why a supersport bike is in need. (you CAN take a FZ09 to track and still have a grin in ur face)

I think that compares to DH vs enduro bikes. DH rigs are so specific and not so versatile. Enduro bikes can handle tough terrain and be very fast, yet can climb and be an all rounder.

If you go only into the enduro segment, I agree as well. Maybe some brands should offer a bit more hooliganish bikes since I bet 90% of end users don't really race. If that 90% end up racing, most of them wont really care if they place 5th or 47th.

Another comparo is Off Road bikes vs MX bikes. KTM and other european brands started launching in between bikes and everybody wants them it seems.
  • + 20
 seems like it because you are on PInkbike... XC/Trail bikes outsell enduro bikes by a large margin... because you are 100% right on your point...
  • + 64
 you know Ibis (and every other brand) make more than one bike, right?
  • + 46
 There is merit to to what you are saying for sure. I think the main difference is that you can actually ride a mountain bike at "race bike speeds" on your local trail system. I do this pretty much every time I'm out. You cannot ride a 600RR at race speeds without breaking several laws and possibly killing yourself due to traffic on the roads. I coincidentally owned a 600RR and loved it. They are actually pretty streetable. Just not for rides over about two hours. I see the point, but I think the low slack lightweight bikes are sweet, and what I yearned for for years. A DH fast bike that climbs. I know they aren't for everyone or every trail but they are highly effective in their element.
  • + 1
 @SK250: s1000r , even s1000xr

No upgrades needed , cost more but oh my :-)
  • + 32
 Are you kidding? What are bikes like the transition scout, devinci django, evil calling, and banshee dark side for? All out fun in their given disciplines.
  • + 15
 @eriksaun: I think you're right about that. I see lots of mid-travel bikes out on the trails. Yes, enduro bikes get a lot of press, but if you look at what people actually ride where they have to earn their vert (as opposed to places where people just shuttle), there are a lot of trailbikes, whether agile-yet-remarkably-capable short travel 650b (Hei Hei Trail, etc.), tons of mid-travel 650b (think Process 134, Transition Scout, SC 5010, etc.), short travel 29ers (Process 111, Smuggler, Following, Tallboy, etc.) and mid-travel 29ers (Hightower, Jeffsy, Stumpy, etc.). The one-bike quiver is not a revolutionary concept re-discovered by the MTB industry - it's what most riders have always done and will continue to do. And that one bike needs to pretty much do it all. Lucky for us, the current state of the art in that department is pretty damn amazing, and these bikes have a lot of range.
  • - 6
flag Jack-McLovin (May 30, 2017 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 Comparing mountain bike prices to motorbike prices isn't necessarily relevant. Yes, we are being ripped off heavily, but think how many more motorbikes are sold than mountain bikes. So the MTB industry has to make up for less sales by upping prices. Biznis.
  • + 25
 If people don't want a race bike you can go down to your local shop and pick up a Stumpjumper or Fuel. Lots of people do. An Ibis Mojo is like a boutique motorcycle and is designed (and priced) for people with a lot of money who want something extravagant. This is Pinkbike, and like motorcycle mags, they review racing stuff because racing stuff sells magazines. One thing I will say is that the enduro craze has caused manufacturers across the board to spec more capable parts on all their bikes. Even short travel trail bikes have Pikes/34s, wide bars, good tires and dropper posts now!
  • + 4
 @employee7: Agree.. I just got a Rocky mountain Maiden... I wished I didn't wait as long as I did. It's the most fun bike I have ridden in a while! It literally feels like an Enduro rig but wit a bigger set of balls!
  • + 3
 @ryanholio: I also have a Maiden and it is refreshing to see a DH bike that is built more for fun than racing. I feel the same way about the two Ibises I have owned as well. They are just fun in their element, and for the 95% of us that don't race, that is what matters.
  • + 4
 Is it just me or does the markup on bikes in general seem way too high? I'd like to see an actual analysis of bike material and production costs.
  • + 12
 @DARKSTAR63: This is exactly why my street motorcycles have been gathering dust since I re-discovered mountain bikes. It's too stressful and hazardous to push a motorcycle on the street, and I'm not interested in potato-potato-ing around on a Harley.
  • + 4
 @GSPChilliwack: Agree 100%. If I could afford to track ride motorcycles I probably would. But other than that, I became fairly disinterested in street bikes once I got good at riding them fast. Too dangerous.
  • + 4
 I think you're just looking in the wrong places because there are a ton of fun bikes on the market. Personally I just sold my Nomad3 to spend more time on my Tallboy3 and Honzo CR even though I ride some rough and steep trails. They're more fun to ride overall and rip the Nomad apart on all but the steepest and roughest downhills.

Just about every manufacturer has some fun bikes in their lineup but of course we get bombarded by EWS style bikes because they're obviously the latest and greatest (and most expensive) :-}
  • + 2
 @DARKSTAR63: Tracking your bike isn't that expensive. All you need is to invest in a set of leathers. Most supersports are good right out of the box. Only other upgrade is a pair of GP compound tires once you get faster.
  • + 1
 @SK250: Problem with tracking a bike like the FZ09 is you will be holding up the guys on SS bikes if you ride the advanced sessions. Most of the time I'm coming up on these guys at about 40-50mph faster than they are going in the corners.
  • + 2
 Agreed. I sold my long slack enduro fs and replaced it with a Ragley hardtail. Bit slower but much more fun as an all rounder.
  • + 4
 @ShreddieMercury: yes ! Or a canfield, cheaper and as good and bombproof..
  • + 2
 @DARKSTAR63: Supermoto dude. cheap to track and super fun at slow speeds on the street. I love mtb but there's just something about that throttle.
  • + 3
 you probably are the first person in history to point out that one could buy a low-end motorcycle for less than a top of the line bike.

you want to ride a wal-mart bike, be my guest. You want to ride a motorcycle, hey, up to you. You want to bitch about the existence of a product you don't want to buy? Are you under the impression that someone is forcing you to buy an Ibis?
  • + 5
 I don't see it this way, (bikes for racing vs bikes for "fun"). I think weight is the distinction. I think most people are buying bikes to suit the type of riding they do most often in terms of travel and geometry, and the "race" version of that same bike is the one with carbon cranks, carbon rims, and the lightweight cassette.

More generally, I think a lot of people would simply prefer to be over-gunned on a given trail than under-gunned if the penalty is only an extra pound or two.
  • + 1
 @ryanholio: Literally?
  • + 1
 @Weens:
So many options out there. Bitching about another high end bike being too costly when there are countless kick ass bikes available between $2500/3000 is pointless. Whatever happened to the old gag "buy a bike that cost more than your car"? Motorcycles aren't mountain bikes. Every bike you buy comes with the same motor. It's up to you spec it how you want it.
Some people just like to whine online I guess.
  • + 1
 I love my FZ-09
  • + 2
 I wanted a race rep from my earliest memory of Kevin Schwantz and Eddie Lawson up to the point when I actually rode one. CBR1000RR around Phuket with flip flops and boarded yeaw!

Shittest motorcycle I have ever had. Totally useless for 90% of people on 90% of roads. Horrible riding position, heavy as f*ck clutch.

Having said that, my Nomad is the best bike I have ever had. I would never swap it for a lesser machine. No way.
  • + 1
 @McNubbin: It very well could be my next endeavor when my body says no more DH racing.
  • + 2
 @tttyyler: exactly! If you want a playful bike, go buy a 4-5" travel bike! We are finally making OEM bikes that are what I have been asking for for the last decade!
  • + 1
 @mkul7r4: Me too, but I have a theory

The average high end bike is only 30 point or less. Low end bikes have huge margin. The bread and butter of our industry, however, is parts and accessories. They used to be 100% mark up at retail but now most vendors are enforcing MAP which lowered the mark up ratio stabilized the pricing to be fairly consistent in value globally.

Again, cant compare to moto, because 1 moto generally doesn't use carbon outside their top tier race bikes. (which we are one of the only sport industries that offer that sort of tech on intermediate bikes.) And they produce a heck of a lot more bikes to offset mfg cost. Most of the moto biz is in asia where the demographic is 2000K or less bikes. not many people in Western countries want a 250cc street bike. So they sell 10's of millions of unit in asia and They don't have to rely on a huge mark up for Western market places. Thus a perceived disparity when comparing these to similar but very different industries.
  • + 3
 @Jack-McLovin: I keep seeing this comment and can't not respond any longer...I guarantee you that Shimano, SRAM, Fox, RS, etc. sell far more transmissions, suspensions, wheels, etc. than Honda, Suzuki et al sell a given model of Moto. Components are at least 50% of the cost of a bicycle so other than the lower volume frame I don't think this argument holds water at the end of the day. The real difference is that the big moto manufacturers are parts of massive conglomerates that have diverse balance sheets, are comfortable at lower margins and control the retail/inventory/financing directly. The bicycle industry is dominated by smaller company's that demand higher margins and typically add a layer of Distribution and independent Retail that the multi-nationals do not, the cost of which is borne by the Retailer and ultimately the consumer. This model is being broken by the likes of Canyon, YT, etc. and you can see what effect that has on pricing, there is still a ways to go though.

Where we do get ripped off are the margins that the brands and distribution demand, the consumer pays for this which adds as much as 30% to the cost of the bike I would guess, there is more than enough volume in the component bits to negate any benefits derived from volume manufacturing, all the cost is in higher normalized margins and the cost of the brand, neither of which benefit the consumer...this can change and likely will with the rise of the direct to consumer model the price for which will be paid for by the LBS unfortunately.
  • + 5
 It's like cars: subcompacts grow every generation until they're as large as compacts once were, compacts become midsize, etc. If you want a small car, just go down a category.

Similarly, if enduro bikes have ventured too far toward the downhill end of the spectrum for your taste, get an all-mountain or trail (or whatever the next category down is called this season).

There was a time when every bike was too short and twitchy; at least we now have the option to buy a 150 mm gravity sled, if that's what a person wants. And this person does want, so I'm happy.
  • + 4
 From what I can read up on, motos that the pros race (top level dirt or track) can cost well in excess of $100k for all the mods/upgrades. You can spend $8k- $10k on a sick MTB and match spec with most pro level bikes these days in disciplines like Enduro or DH...but point taken...Race it Sunday, sell it Monday, whether you are moto or MTB...as someone famous once said "it gets the people going"!
  • + 1
 good point, check out the btr fabrications pinner its not for everyone but it sure as hell looks crazy fun, unfortunatly a frame 'll set you back 2 grand!!!!
  • + 1
 @axolotlx: is that all? I was expecting 3000 for a frame of that handmade beauty
  • + 27
 @mikelevy - thanks for the honest review. That HD4 is a gorgeous bike!

Curious about your opinion: if you had an HD3 and raced it occasionally, would you just slam an angleset it there to slack it out, and then take it out for "everyday trails"?
  • + 6
 With a STA around 72 on the HD3, slacking out the HA would make the front end awfully floppy.
  • + 1
 @tokarsky268: That's a good point!

Curious if anyone out there has some first-hand experience with an angleset in their HD3 and if they're happy, or would make they just make the leap to the HD4?
  • + 6
 @jaydubmah: I have a Boost HD3 with a -1.5 angleset. I really like the angleset, I can still climb techy sections well, and it brings the wheelbase to 1193. I am debating on an HD4 because of the extra wheelbase which would be good for the fast bike park park days, but likely worse for my local techy twisty trails so I am really on the fence. Also, more progressive suspension would be helpful, but adding spacers has helped me on park days with the HD3. I went to Highland Saturday and was really surprised how well the HD3 did compared to my old Blindside. The geometry is pretty similar with the -1.5 headset and although the HD3 wasn't a natural jumper, it handled the fast turns and rocky sections well.
  • + 3
 @tokarsky268: Turns out you're wrong. I've slacked out mine by a degree, and it still works brilliantly going uphill.
  • - 6
flag funkendrenchman (May 30, 2017 at 9:50) (Below Threshold)
 -1 deg headset for sale if anyone's looking. www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2162767
  • + 2
 @tokarsky268: might have to check your numbers there bud
  • + 8
 @ecibis: Thanks for the beta! I spent my first daughter's college fund on an HD3 and am contemplating spending my other daughter's college fund on an HD4. But if an angleset could be a good compromise, then maybe one of my kids can still have higher education.

Did you ever try a -1? (I'm assuming you're using a Cane Creek?)
  • + 3
 @jaydubmah: I've had good luck with a Works Components -1 degree headset. A bit cheaper than Cane Creak as well. Might work well with a -1.5 as well though.
  • + 2
 @jaydubmah: I had a -1 on there for a while, it's the cane creek angleset. I didn't notice a huge difference between the -1 and the -1.5. The bottom cup does raise the bike up a bit, but since the bike is slacker, I don't see a noticeable difference in BB height. With the rock gardens I ride, a little higher is better for me anyways. I ahve a Fox 36 at 160 on the front.
  • + 31
 Completely depends on your trails and how you ride. For me, I'd leave it completely stock geo-wise, even if I was racing. I'm not going to win a pro-level enduro race regardless of my bike's head angle, but I sure as hell enjoy riding a fun, nimble bike.
  • + 7
 @lubb1: I have a Works Components angle set and love it!
  • + 5
 @jaydubmah that's what all of their pro racer like kendal-weed and a few others did. You don't need a new whip...HD3 is a sick bike
  • + 3
 @tokarsky268: STA does not affect handling, it barely affects fit these days. It's really a throwback measurement to the days before we had a Reach measurement. If you have 2 bikes with the SAME reach and one has a 72 degree and one has a 74 degree STA, and you push the saddle forward a bit on the 72 and back a bit on the 74 they will handle and fit EXACTLY the same.
  • + 6
 This may be a really stupid suggestion and I'm sure I'll get shot down by someone intelligent about such things, but could you use an angleset in reverse on an Hd4 to make it steeper and bring back some of the playfulness?
Clearly this is just a question in principle since the Hd3 is still around at the moment, but like the standard Ripley I wouldn't be surprised if it quickly disappears now - everyone will go for the 4 as it is the newer, more capable bike...
  • + 3
 @lubb1: thanks! I'll take a look at the Works stuff
  • + 8
 @mikelevy: Thanks for your perspective on this - it's awesome to see a writer with different perspectives and who values the FUN factor!
  • + 3
 @tokarsky268: Slacking using an angle-set would actually steepen the seat angle and still keep the weight central.
  • + 3
 @slimboyjim: Yep. You can put an angleset or works components headset in backwards to steepen things up no problem.
  • + 7
 @slimboyjim: of course! i did this on my Patrol. 65° is simply too slack for me, on most my home trails. i much prefer the bike with a 1° Works Components to steepen the front end. and i know for a fact i'm not the only one to do this.
  • + 13
 @jamesbrant: Love to see people figuring out what works best for them and their trails, especially when it turns out to be the opposite of what a lot of people are looking for. Neat.
  • + 3
 @jamesbrant: Agreed with Mike Levy - good job on resisting market powers and working out what is best for you!

Out of interest was it much of a night and day difference or was the change quite subtle?
  • + 0
 @Hockerz: I'm no engineer, but I would think rocking the front end back(slackening the HA) would have the same effect on the STA, thus putting less weight on the front end going uphill.
  • + 1
 @Silliker269:
Published numbers of the HD3(not 4) with a 160 fork are STA of 72.6.
  • + 5
 @lubb1:
I'm married, so being wrong is something I have plenty of experience with. Glad it's working great for you. Cheers!
  • + 1
 @tokarsky268: Haha, dont worry, I'm not gonna give you the silent treatment.
  • + 3
 65° would also be too slack for me... But even if I set it at about 66°, I don't think it will be enough to really help for tight switchbacks!?

I really prefer the HD4, plus the kit I was looking at yesterday was nearly 900$ cheaper than the same thing on the HD3 !?!?!? :O Don't understand why...cheaper carbon? But yeah, I'm afraid it would be too much of a enduro bike for me! Frown Think it will be better with a Knolly even if they don't pedal as well...
  • + 1
 @msmtime: Same! Rode the bike stock for around 4 months. Not looked back since doing it.

Rides beautifully.
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: not quite night and day but close. a solid improvement all around. more controllable at the speeds i ride (not exactly slow, but i wouldn't join expert class enduro races) and better handling. it may not make sense on paper, but it's easier to control the front end and less vague all around. i much prefer it, including our steepest trails which are plenty steep and scary. (coastal BC)
  • + 16
 The HD3 is the funnest bike I've ever owned. Super curious about this one and how it would suit our OZ trails in NWA. Can't wait to throw a leg over one.
  • + 3
 +1 on the HD3 fun. Wish I could get the HD4 in the same green. No place to demo the HD4 around here.
  • + 1
 @sutter2k: Same here, buddy. No dealers nearby : (
  • + 13
 I appreciate the candor in this review, but honestly, I wish we could have a bit more. It seems that every bike you guys review has some variation of "more beans than other bikes in its class." I think it would be helpful to hear exactly which "beans" it does and doesn't have when compared to other (specific) bikes in its class. Just my two cents
  • + 9
 Because they're magic beans, they can all be above average Wink
  • + 16
 Plot twist, most bikes are awesome.
  • + 39
 I did compare it to three other bikes in the review - the HD3, the Patrol, and the Spartan Smile

Today's bikes are f*cking amazing, to be honest. Unlike ten or fifteen years ago when there were often genuine concerns, it's usually more a matter of explaining how a bike performs today than what's wrong with it... there's usually not much wrong with them! In my reviews, I want to tell you where it excels and where it doesn't, and more about the bike's personality and how it compares to others in the same class. If there's an issue, you'll hear about it, though.
  • - 1
 @mikelevy: Mike, can you draw a comparison to the Nomad3?
  • + 2
 @bogey: Ultimately you have to ride both. Just because someone prefers one, doesn't mean you will as well.
  • + 1
 @CaptainSnappy: Ultimately I don't have to ride both. I trust and value @mikelevy 's opinion so that's why I asked. He has a better feel for different bikes than I'll ever have.
  • + 2
 @bogey: You picked the one bike that I haven't ridden enough to make a fair comparison, sorry!
  • + 11
 Are Ibis looking to continue the Hd3 or kill it off? It kind of seems they are slightly different bikes now - the Hd3 for all round and the Hd4 for 'enduro'.

I bought my Hd3 on the basis that it is fun for 95% of the riding I do. I'm crap at climbing, and there is lots of mellow rolling singletrack around me, so it seemed ideal. I didn't want too small a bike as I do ride tech stuff whenever I can, including uplifts and easier downhill tracks... This seems a bit like it would be a backward step for me, although I appreciate that as a company Ibis would likely lose custom without being seen to modernise it's geometry. Kind of sad really - like others have said it seems to be more about to end speed than fun these days...
  • + 9
 I agree that they should continue to offer the HD3 alongside the 4. Very different target market.
  • + 2
 Hoping they keep it (and new colors) cause I don't want an HD4 and have no need for it.
  • + 4
 A bike like HD3 is not really meant as the all around though. Why have that much travel if the bike geo is not really set up to make use of it properly? You could have a lighter shorter travel bike like Ripley or Mojo 3. That extra travel is not helping on uphills (unless you ride in bizarro land). Although really I don't see any disadvantage to most of these HD4 geo changes except perhaps that head angle. The shorter seat tube and the linkage adjustments sound like pure bonus. The longer length is mostly just bringing the sizes in line with industry norms... I have a short torso and still would have had to go up a size on the HD3. It could have worked for me since my legs are comparatively longer so the long seat tube would work. But not ideal.
  • - 1
 I demo'd a HD3 and it felt so awkward. But then I realized the only biked Ive ever been on are Giants which are huge when it comes to numbers. My trance doesnt love tight and steep. Mainly tight. But when it comes to steep and speed or just anything speed, the slackness and long aspect of that bike makes it a demon. Its almost to the point where longer bikes are in my DNA. So I can see why Ibis did this. I feela s if they wont drop the whole HD3 model but maybe update it and leave it for a while. (Colors and small things.)
  • + 1
 Also forgot to note that the steep and toght trails that I find uncomfortable on the trance a little, felt actually very easy with the HD3. But me being someone who enjoys the aspect of blistering unstoppable speed, it wasnt my type of bike:/ I wished so hard that it was. But hey this HD4 looks snazzy haha
  • + 3
 @chillrider199: I went to Madeira a few weeks ago with my buddy who rides a Nomad. I loved almost every trail, whilst he enjoyed pretty much just the really high speed and/or high tech stuff. It reinforced to me why I bought my bike and how it is the best option for me - I'm not quite as quick as my buddy but my God I had fun EVERYWHERE. Both bikes are incredible machines and I would be happy with either, but the Hd3 suits more of the riding I do more of the time. It is a lively bike and just feels energetic and involving to ride everywhere, although that twitchiness does rob it off a bit of high speed stability. I don't live in Whistler (etc.) so that trait of being lively on mellow trails is massively important to me, but I still have that little extra travel for the really rough stuff that would rattle apart some lesser travel bikes. Horses for courses and all that... This bike is clearly very good, but the very reason I went for the Hd3 (mellow trail performance and lively handling) is reduced.
  • + 3
 They still have the mojo 3 and there had never been much difference between the two
  • + 13
 @jeff kendall-weed I need to see you nose manual this bike asap
  • + 11
 Developing mass bikes using competition geometry makes zero sense. No need for 64 angle on real trails.
  • + 17
 I completely agree in most cases, for most riders, and on a lot of terrain. But everyone wants long and slack...
  • + 9
 @Axxe true but marketing works
  • + 2
 @mikelevy:
So to borrow a skiing term the HD3 is more of a "quiver killer" than the HD4 which is evolved for specific terrain. Curious though if you would place the Mojo 3 as the new Ibis Quiver of 1. I have a HD3 your comments have reinforced my thoughts that this one is the one bike for me. But if I could have 2 bikes then perhaps...
  • + 11
 @sweaman2: Everyone needs/wants something different, so calling the HD3 a "quiver killer" is probably a stretch, even if it's one of the most versatile 150mm-travel bikes out there. I generally prefer a shorter travel bike, but if someone said that I could only have one bike and it had to have that much travel, the HD3 would probably be my top choice. The HD4 is less all around, for sure, but it still pedals so well that it wouldn't be a pain as an only bike if you love big days and climbing.
  • + 3
 Depends on "where" your "real trails" are. In 2006 our trail bikes was something like an SX Trail with a 2X. Most people called them Freeride bikes.
  • + 3
 Disagree. Trails in my area that are really fun but were previously the domain of only DH bikes are now rideable on bikes that can pedal you to the top, so you can rip them for your daily ride rather than waiting to shuttle with the bros on Saturday. Having such capable bikes has opened up way more trails for way more riders, and you can still get a steeper bike with shorter travel if you want to.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: I do not want long and slack. I climb and ride between rocks and switchbacks.
This is exactly why I am a fan of doing formula bikes for competition, strict restriction on geometry and wheel size etc. Like in downhill skiing for example. So that this marketing does not feel like exploiting it for mass market products.

I do not need EWS frame any more than I need a FIS giant slalom ski.
  • + 3
 For all you guys who love the HD3, check out the Turner RFX. Its just a much better version of the HD3. Little longer, little slacker, hits the sweet spot. Climbs like the HD3, descends much better.
  • + 3
 @Axxe: but I do. so buzz off. I want "competition" geometry. I like leaning my bike over. I take my "EWS" bike to bike parks. i do DH races with my trail bike.

i like long and slack and burly that pedals.

one bike to rule the mountain.
  • + 2
 @sam2222: you think you do, but first you don't and second you are a poseur minority.
  • + 9
 That piano black is just gorgeous, especially with the Performance stanchions. It should be a stock color; I doubt anyone would care how much it weighs.
  • + 8
 Or just give us raw carbon with a clearcoat. I'd like either option better than the two hideous stock colour schemes.
  • + 20
 Agreed. I'd choose black all day, every day.
  • + 37
 @mikelevy: keep buying black bikes and the wife will never be able to tell when you get a new one.
  • + 5
 I don't get you "boring black" folks. You spend $5k on a bike and get plain black? I'm glad most manufacturers seem to be offering plain color and fun color options these days.
  • + 3
 @vikb: Ohhh yeah, that would be an artful build. I wouldn't even mind being charged Kash pricing to get Fox PE hardware (Fox 36, Float X2, Transfer), because that bike would be stunning... And still a use for custom stickers and pops of anodized color for those who want a different look
  • + 6
 @dthomp325: Not everyone wants to show off though, and both options here are in the show off category! I kind of like them, but overall I'm in the black camp for carbon, raw for Alu and steel... Simplicity rules!
  • + 4
 That silver-black one on the other hand looks like a generic stolen bike can spray cover-up job.
  • - 1
 @Ride406orDie: Yep, thats why I think the HD4 should get green machine.....no way I could swap my green bike for something else not matching.
  • + 6
 Pinkbike, can we please encourage more honest, well-rounded, and objective reviews like Mr. Levy has exhibited here?

It seems like this is the first review I've read in a loooooooong time that doesn't claim the bike "climbs like a goat and descends like a DH bike".

Most bikes can be compared to their previous iterations, and it's at least a baseline for a more thorough, discernible critique.
  • + 8
 All of our reviews are honest and objective, but not all of them are full of comparisons - they'll be much more of exactly that, though. Bikes are so damn good these days that it's rare for one to actually perform poorly. You can read about issues when there are issues, but it's now more about explaining how a bike performs, who it's for, and what its character is like rather than pointing out major flaws... Unlike five or ten years ago, there aren't many major flaws these days.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy:

My apologies, as "honest" and "objective" were perhaps the wrong words to use. I was looking for words that describe your fresh, unabashed, and constructive critique of a widely revered bike.

Somehow it was more... decisive... than a typical PB review.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: I consider price to be a major flaw.
  • + 5
 When I saw this article, I was like damn, just like that and my HD3 has being relegated to yesterday's hot stuff. One consoling thought for me was the fact that even though the HD4 does descend better, it had to give up a tad on the HD3's nimbleness and climbing efficiency, can't have your cake and eat it too. Here in sunny AZ, we have some pretty killer switchback climbs- if I wanted a slacker rowdy bike, I would have went with the Nomad. For me, the HD3 brackets a much more practical performance envelope in which I do 99% of my local rides. I guess when my HD3 gives up its ghost, I'll have to go with the Mojo3. Until then, I repeat my silly reasonings in my internal voice to save my wallet from another bike industry rape- $8700 for an X01 build... good grief!
  • + 5
 Loved the HD3! It was very fun to ride, just like your review points out. I thought it was very similar to the Rocky Mountain Altitude, but it climbed a bit better. My guess is you could replace HD3 with "2016 Altitude", and replace HD4 with "2017 Altitude" and your review of the new Rocky Mountain will be complete! Overall, the "endurofication" of these fun long-legged trail bikes is nice in some ways, but not all ways....
  • + 6
 Bang on.

The HD3 and older Altitude are comparable (but the HD3 is a better climber), while the HD4 and newer Altitude are also comparable.
  • + 5
 I don't know why no one ever mentions it in reviews or comments but it looks like Ibis has improved their warranty coverage since the last time I looked at them:

www.ibiscycles.com/support/warranty

I swear it was only 3 years before. This is one of the reasons I chose another brand. As bike prices climb to the stratosphere, companies should be ready to stand behind a life time warranty.
  • + 8
 HD4 - hella hella hella hella dope. This bike must rip compared to my old G2 HD.
  • + 9
 Completely different bike than the HD3, and very, very different than the Gen-2 HD. Interesting to see the evolution.
  • + 4
 150mm droppers in size S, 170+ for everyone above that. Yep, that's the way to go. It's amazing how much more fun a bike can be when you can really get that seat out of the way and flick it around beneath you. I only wish that with the longer and longer droppers, the industry would agree on a larger seat tube size - not much weight gain, if any (as wall strength can be slightly less), but so much stiffer (and thus less likely to mess with the dropper internals).
  • + 4
 AS an owner of a 2018 bike (yes is from the future...hahahah) a Cannondale Jekyll, my new bike is far superior pointed downhill but not going uphill or just pedaling, but I really don´t care about it. Is a beast going downhill,now I can go full gas any problem,for me more speed more fun,more challenging...
  • + 4
 With the new Ripley and the Mojo 3 a more aggressive design was bound to evolve.

I have a HD3+ with a -1.5 slackset, it did lose some of its nimbleness and add height because of the external cups at the bottom of the headset. It didn't make it as confidence inspiring as a DH bike, so I'm not sure if it was a good trade off. I need to ride the HD4 and then compare, I'm sure they got it right and fits in with the new Ibis line up.
  • + 4
 (Insert Bike Name) Review:

The new bike is longer, lower and slacker than its predecessor. This may come as a surprise, but this helps its downhill capabilities while making it slightly less playful and navigable through tight turns.

Bottom line: This is a mid travel trail bike. It pedals well, climbs well enough, and rips descents.
  • + 7
 @mikelevy: Thank you for the review and the comparison. I think I'll keep my HD3!
  • + 3
 Companies will always move things on otherwise they would stagnate, for such a small company I think their brand is exceptional, on a personal note my 7 month old HD3 still brings a smile to my face each and every time I sling my leg over it, I can't see that changing anytime soon, and isn't that the point, the fun factor, as my old man used to say, buy the best you can afford and be happy with it.
  • + 7
 Damn, that piggyback reservoir is really close to the frame.
  • + 1
 Yeah, seems more concerning to me than this review leads on.
  • + 8
 There's a small cutout on the underside of the frame tube for the shock's blue LSC to clear. It looks close but there's zero chance of contact.
  • + 3
 Why is it that in nearly every review, people jump to complain about price, yet they neglect to acknowledge that there is a pretty vast price range for all complete bikes. Every time it's "Oh my God! Ibis or Santa Cruz or Yeti or ______ is ripping us off with this outrageous price. We're not all rich dentists, we can't all pay $8Gs for a new bike" Yet they conveniently leave out the part where there's a $3,900 dollar version of it. You can buy a base Corvette for $55,000 or you can get a decked out Z06 for around $120,000. Are you then being ripped off by Chevy? I personally think it's a great time we're living in where there are so many choices of manufacturers, who are making bikes to fit the many disciplines that exist AND offering multiple price points for their broad and diverse customer base to choose from.
  • + 5
 Woohoo! 393mm seat tube length on a size medium. Even with my short legs, I'll definitely be able to use a 125mm dropper post with this and maybe even 150mm!
  • + 6
 Am I the only one wishing for that murdered-out color scheme on the prototype? Sooo slick.
  • + 2
 Ticks all the marks for me...but the lack of ISCG tabs is a real let down. 1X is amazing but a chainguide is still a must to eliminate the random chain drop. Ibis's ISCG adapter is klugey at best, subject to rotation if hit wrong.

That said, I'm a big fan of not using cone/collet style pivot hardware so prevalent nowadays. Anybody that understands bearing design will understand how the cone/collet approach can overthrust bearings and anybody that rides one of those designs a lot will know of the !@#$ creaks that can arise with the design. Kudos to Ibis for maintaining the tried and true bearing axle design.
  • + 3
 Actually, the iscg 05 adapter is not subject to rotation, there's a splined interface that prevents any movement.
  • + 1
 @ibiscycles: So it's a new adapter different than this one? store.ibiscycles.com/iscg-05-mount-for-hdrhd3-p264.aspx
  • + 2
 @ibiscycles: Ahhh...I see the spline interface now in pics. Thanks for setting me straight, keep up the good work!
  • + 3
 One day the people at Ibis are going to meet an honest to God tall person and they are going to lose their shit. Not that I don't like XLs as option B for L riders. It's actually a great business plan.
  • + 1
 what's the issue with this new Ibis Alex? is it the seat tube length of head tube length?
  • + 1
 You have to admit though, at least for Levy, it finally doesn't look like he's humping the stem when climbing a Large. But yes, it isn't really that long. More average, which is good for average sized folks I guess. I always thought...why bikes that come out of California are so short, and the bikes that come out of our area are longer? California has balls fast trails, and epic chunder tests (Santa Barbara for example).
  • + 28
 Hello Alex, Tom from Ibis replying. We have met a tall person before, me for example. In fact, I've worked for Ibis since it's reincarnation 12 years ago, and I'm 6'6". On the new XL HD4 I'm running a 50mm stem and it feels plenty big. Maybe you could be more specific about where you think it comes up short?
  • + 1
 @jamesbrant: Like most of these new long, low, etc. bikes, the seattube and stack are too short so actual tall people have to have a ton of post and spacers just to get it to fit right. It works, but why not adjust all the #s for tall people?
  • - 1
 @talltom: stack and seattube length Tom. Also, have you ridden one of your Ripleys in XL? U rockin like a 120mm stem on that one?
  • + 5
 @LuvAZ: I have about 5,000 miles on an XL Ripley LS. It is my go to bike. I run a 90mm stem on the Ripley. So far, this hasn't really proved to be a handicap. That said, things are evolving, and I really like the HD4 geometry.

Honestly, having a lot of seatpost showing or a some headset spacers isn't a big deal to me. According to US Census data, people my height represent 0.1% of the population. So it would be pretty hard for me to justify to my colleagues the need for an even bigger frame. That coupled with dropper seatposts gaining ever more travel, means that longer seat tubes would be going against the trend. Also, we find that the effect of dropper seatposts has promoted a want for lower stack heights.
  • - 5
flag LuvAZ (May 30, 2017 at 12:38) (Below Threshold)
 @talltom: Uh you just made a bigger (longer) frame with the hd4. It would seem to make sense to do the same on your XL 29er. If your Ripley had reach and toptube measurements similar to this hd4, and kept the other numbers the same, it would top my list.
  • - 1
 @jamesbrant: The reach is still a tad too short and the stack not quite tall enough. I'm not quite as tall as alexsin and I'd need to run a 60mm stem for it to be rideable (and only barely rideable at that).

Santa Cruz is nailing it with their XXL offerings!
  • + 2
 @LuvAZ: It is very frustrating buying a bike for tall people these days. On all my bikes I have about 300mm of seatpost showing, which I think is a bit ridiculous.
The trend of longer, lower and slacker isn't helping.
  • + 1
 @Timmcg3: I agree. I like the longer, but it seems every XL has one piece missing. Too low stack, too short seattube, tiny headtube. For me a 21 inch seattube, 26 inch stack, 19 inch reach, and 26 inch toptube would be great.
  • + 6
 Dammit now my HD1 is even more outdated
  • + 4
 But still awesome!
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: Very true, very true
  • + 2
 I really like the new HD4. The geometry is great and its a good thing they didn't went crazy with the top tube length and the amount of travel. Its more downhill oriented than its predecessor but it still will pedal better than most other enduro bikes and of course it won't climb or move around as the HD3 but that's the point, you always have to sacrifice something to gain something when building a new frame. For more trail oriented riders they have the Mojo 3 same geometry and stiffness as the HD3 but less travel, lighter and more efficient. This is the bike i was expecting from ibis and the red color looks amazing.
  • + 2
 I love my hd3 but have always felt like a marge but settled on a medium for the more playful feel. It does get a bit sketchy at race pace steep stuff the rest of the time it hops and pops like nothing else I have been on. Ibis doesn't really recommend changing the ha on hd3 due to a floppy front. Sounds like this geo may fit me perfectly but wow huge jump in head angle. I'm probably the minority that would have rather seen a 65 ha. New red color is sweet!! Pivot firebird or hd4 very hard choice if i were in the market.
  • + 4
 Ibis uses BSA bottom brackets. That should ease your decision making!
  • + 2
 It seems i didn't screw up changing my L size HD3 for a XL size frame just weeks before the launch of the new HD4, i'm not in any kind a enduro racer, the only thing i need on my bike is to put a smile on my face at the end of the ride. My L sized HD3 was a mistake when i bought it last year, it was always as short as my HD was before, but buying a XL frame its always a risk for a future resell... But.. when 100% sure that's the bike brand and model you want you really most go for it as i did.
I knew the HD4 was coming out and it would have same geo changes but really Mike's review makes me happy and confirms my choice.

Ibis bikes but mostly ibis people are the best you can find so for you who relate to this and don't just follow the market trend this is your brand.


BTW if anyone want and L sized HD3 frame check it out here please : www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2188069

Cheers
  • + 1
 Sooo, if I have a Mk 1 HD with a -1.5° angle set and am looking for more stability, while still being a bike I can take on all day backcounty rides, am I looking for an HD3 before they disappear or and HD4? I know its not all about HTA, but not sure how an HD3 with steeper angles would compare to a 26" HD with slacker angles?
  • + 1
 A friend of mine has a HD, he's currently running it with offset bushings and at 140mm with 160mm forks. Its about the same head angle as my HD3 with a -1 headset, but much shorter (which suits him) - if that helps?
  • + 1
 If you are looking at putting an angleset into an HD3 just buy the HD4 unless you just like a really short reach. Wheelbase is not nearly the issue that most people make of it.
  • + 4
 @mikelevy sketchier than a Craiglist personals ad. Sounds like you may have some personal knowledge there.
  • + 4
 I don't get it. He is complaining it's not playfull but reviewing L size with just 5'10”. He should try size M ...
  • + 1
 The major changes for the HD4 from the HD3 seems to be the slacker head angle and longer reach so do you think with a head angle set installed on the HD4 with the head angle increased by 1 degree steeper, the HD4 would be a closer match to the HD3 in overal handling and technical climbing capability ?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy
I love my HD3 with a lyric 170 and the X2. But, I am moving to BC and am thinking of a more aggressive bike. I didn't like the nomad (couldn't really do anything other than go straight and was horrible and slow steep tech like the shore). Given that the numbers are similar I am concerned that this HD4 will also be too long to be a good sea to sky corridor bike. Thoughts on the longer bikes in the slow steep tech like squamish?
  • + 5
 Nice bike, too bad it's only a 26", er, 27.5" I mean.
  • + 2
 Somehow I believe we'll be seeing a HD4's bigger wheeled brother in the not so distant future. Utilizing the same front triangle, different rear one. Similarly as Ibis introduced HD3+.
  • + 1
 I'd be interested to know what Mike Levy thinks of the Mojo 3 www.ibiscycles.co.uk/bikes-and-frames-ibis-uk/Mojo-3 as this could be a replacement for the HD3 for the type of riding the HD3 was so good for. The HD4 obviously being more oriented towards Enduro style riding.
  • + 1
 Seems like a natural progression because now they have the 130 Mojo 3 on the lineup for more trail oriented duties. Glad I have my HD3 that in "trail mode" (150/120 Fork and 24 pounds weight) is an almost perfect bike for me!
  • + 7
 24 pound HD? What do you have no dropper and v-brakes?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy Nice to see a reviewer mention that playful and nimble bikes are more "fun" than fast bikes.

It brought up a great theory for recent trends in bike design. Did Strava kill 26" wheels? Is Strava still killing 27.5" wheels?
Would love to see when Strava went mainstream usagewise and how far possibly after that bike design began to move to larger wheels and "faster" times.

I can't help but think that if a bike designer set out to build a modern bike without the use of a stop watch...and only built and rode all the different wheel sizes for FUN and couldn't be timed, which one they'd choose to produce if that no other criteria.
  • + 2
 Not a bad looking bike, but they used to look sooo good IMO. Lost a little of those iconic looks I think. Still not ugly at all though
  • + 3
 Just keep wishing we had trails appropriate for this type of machine.... beautiful in black with the gold badge and eagle.
  • + 7
 Exactly. So many places don't call for a bike like the HD4, but they're still fun to ride. That's why the HD3 was so rad - it was capable, but also fun everywhere. Less so for the HD4.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: Any word on how the HD4 compares to a Transition Patrol? Seems like two very similar bikes.
  • + 9
 @lubb1: There are similar in a lot of ways on the trail, but the HD4 pedals better. This makes it feel more lively, which is a big thing that I look for in a bike. I'd say that both the Patrol and the HD4 are equally capable on any descent.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: This is a key statement. You sort of got there in the review, but your statement here is quite definitive.

I believe there still is a market for the HD3 and I hope Ibis takes due care in reading these comments and supports it a while longer. The HD3 is so unique because of its geometry AND travel. However, my suspicion is that it will be gone sooner than later because it overlaps the M3 and HD4 way too much. I don't think they have the resources to support the M3, HD3, and HD4 in the same line-up.

As you've expressed, the HD3 has a fun factor many bikes in this class don't have. Truly a classic in my humble opinion so get them while you can!!

Regards

EndUser
  • + 2
 This review seriously makes me want to buy a HD3!

And howcom HD3's are not on sale yet!? The Ripley V2 are on sale, why not the HD3?
  • + 0
 June 15th. Mark the calendar!!!
  • + 1
 @mikelevy
I have a HD3 with the x2 and lyrik at 170mm. Love it. One of the reasons I went with the HD3 was the nomad didn't fit me. Too stretched out. did the HD4 feel the same way at the 2014-16 Nomad
  • + 2
 "Sure, my face may say constipation, but the HD4 is all about celebration. This is a fun bike to ride."
Gold Smile
  • + 2
 I'm usually a fan of colorful bikes, but the all black prototype is the one I'm dreaming about in this case...
  • + 0
 Beautiful bike, I´d buy one eyes closed if I had the jimmies and the terrain to use 160mm, it seems that my future holds a 29" with max130mm, and even that might be too much for this terrain Frown
  • + 3
 Seems quite slack for a trail bike, but wouldn't mind giving it a try.
  • + 4
 Appreciate the honesty
  • + 1
 You can check the kinematics of the new Mojo in my blog. I hope you like it!

mrblackmorescorner.blogspot.com.es/2017/07/santa-cruz-nomad-4-vs-ibis-mojo-hd4-vs.html
  • + 3
 @mikelevy How does it climb compare to a Nomad 3?
  • + 2
 Batman's new vehicle for the next movie ?? Big Grin

sad for chain and cassette, they should have made them full black too
  • + 4
 "And yes Mr Wayne, it does come in black" award still goes to 2014 matte black Nomad Wink
  • + 1
 Is there a reason why the chain stay doesn't connect directly to the seat tube using only one main pivot instead of this lower linkage with two pivots?
  • + 6
 Yes. In short, it improves pedaling efficiency.
  • + 2
 It is to control the suspension curve, to give the rear suspension the characteristics that the designers want - rather than pivoting the rear axle on a fixed radius path around a single link, the rear axle is forced into a different path. Here it makes the suspension design progressive. I think the efficiency is to mainly do with the position of the rear axle relative to the chainring, so that the force of the chain pulling the cassette effectively pulls against the suspension to reduce 'bouncing'...
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: thank you!
  • + 2
 @slimboyjim: thanx!
  • + 1
 @camcoz69: thanx!
  • + 2
 can we use the new links on old hd3 to get more prrogrrssivitg and stiffness?
  • + 1
 According to the Ibis site you can retro fit the new top link but not the bottom.
  • + 2
 New geometry...Old Guys rejoice....or complain.
  • + 1
 Q: these are centrelock XT rotors, right?! Who makes centrelock hubs with an XD driver for sram eagle cassettes?
  • + 1
 i9 in this case. DT also. Many, really...
  • + 1
 Industry 9
  • + 1
 I9, specifically the ones spec'd on Ibis 942 wheels
  • + 1
 So how would the Hd4 compare to the yeti sb6c?
Especially on the north shore trails?
  • + 2
 Black and slack, sold Smile
  • + 7
 Except you can't buy it in black.
  • + 2
 @vikb: Yeah - they blew it!
  • + 1
 @vikb: plasti dip
  • + 2
 @arcpolo: I'm not paying $$$$ to plasti-dip a bike.
  • + 3
 Pinkbike jersey
  • + 1
 couldn't tell from the pictures, but is the FOX X2 adjuster almost hitting the bottom of the top tube?
  • + 3
 Nope, it's not. There's a small relief in the frame for the blue LSC dial to clear.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: But can you actualy turn with them?
  • + 1
 @m1na: Yes, easily.
  • + 1
 £4000 for an NX specked bike, you thieves!
  • + 1
 I wish Ibis didn't hate coil shocks.
  • + 1
 There aren't many trail bikes out there that come with a coil shock stock... haha
  • + 1
 most trail bikes are wrong.
  • + 0
 Ibis needs a new graphic design team. I love their bikes but just don't like the looks of any of the last HDs.
  • + 2
 Thats what I thought about the hd3... but damn I like the old color schemes more
  • + 1
 Silver / lime one is missing the front brake caliper.
  • + 2
 Looks like an Ibis....
  • + 1
 beda tipis, tapi boleh juga lah.
  • - 2
 Ii don't want to listen anything mike levy says after that "ban the berms" article
  • + 30
 Smile You waited until that op-ed to stop listening to me? I'm impressed.
  • - 1
 Alex Jones...barf
  • - 2
 Frame only for the price of a complete YT or Radon? No, but, no, thanx.
  • + 4
 I don't think you are the target market if you are comparing an alloy frame Spec/Trek/YT/ etc to a carbon Ibis. If you look at those other guys carbon bikes they start at $4k US, just like Ibis.
  • + 0
 Didn't you read how they ream you deeper internally in the seat tube now? May make you reconsider...
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