Another Mojo demo experience
So I finally got a chance to demo a Mojo today. While the test course probably wasn't the most ideal (looking for more technical stuff), it's a trail I'm familiar with.
Some quick background info: I currently own an 04 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR with a Push'ed RP3 and a RS Reba. I also own an 04 Specialized Enduro. I weight somewhere in the 160s lbs and do mostly XC.
First, the Mojo is a nice looking bike. I got a few complements during the ride. The looks, along with what I heard about the DW link almost had be convinced that I would buy this bike even before a test ride.
Second. I'm pretty impressed with the 08 Shimano XT groupo. The brakes were OK, but shifting is nice and crisp, without seeming crunchy like the X.0s.
Now for the ride... As many of you probably know by now, the DW link works pretty well at reducing bobbing. The bike really does feel like it wants to leap forward when you pedal. I've described it to some as a "soft feeling hardtail" and my brother stated that he wouldn't mind riding on the road with. Throw on a pair of slicks and this would be a decent road bike. Not bad for 5.5" of travel.
I'm pretty impressing by the rear suspensions ability to absorb frontal impacts (square edge). Technical uphill climbing was very impressive. The rear just stays planted and grips. This might have something to do with the tires since this is the first time I've ridden on tubeless tires. However, dropping off of an edge was only OK, about on par with the FSR bikes.
The handling was also very good, but a little bit slower than my SJ. This isn't a bad thing since I realize that we are talking about two different kinds of bikes. I found myself going faster on downhills and using the front brake to lift the rear sideways when approaching a turn. This really is a fun bike.
Considering what the DW link has to offer, the bobbing from the front Float RLC was a little distracting. If I were to get this bike, I might consider a Rock Shox with the remote lockout switch (Pop-loc) similar to what I have on the Reba. I played around with the lockout on the Float a little, but I don't like the idea of reaching down to adjust things while riding.
And now for the bad... The flex. I know others have mentioned it, mostly in the rear. I found the lateral stiffness of the front triangle to be somewhat distracting too, especially when switching between the Mojo and the FSR. When seated, you can really notice the flex by wiggling the handlebar sideways. If I hop onto the Mojo right after riding the FSR, for the first few pedal strokes it almost feels like something is loose. Maybe loose isn't the right word, but something feels a little soft laterally. I few times I had to look down to see if the seat was flexing around. Maybe some don't notice the flex because of the lack of bobbing, but the flex is there. The bottom bracket area seems OK stiff, so I think it's along the top tube. I only put a few hours on the bike, so I didn't spend that much time trying to figure out what was flexing.
So I guess the big question for me is whether I should get a Mojo. It climbs and descends better than my FSRs. The technical uphill is excellent, which is something that is important to me. But the flex kinda bugs me. I realize that the extra amount of flex is better than bobbing, but I just keep thinking how much better this would be without the flex. I would definitely choose a Mojo over my FSR, but I'm not sure if I can justify dropping the cash on something that I feel can be better. Decisions decisions...
Thoughts, comments, flames?
I too am a fan of poploc on my reba's but I put the talas on the moj cause I got sick of u-turning, I wish there was a remote for lockout on talas.
Did you check tire pressure and headset (cause can be finicky with is/2 standard) cause moj is really a fairly stiff bike latterally at least for me at 158 pounds.
Actually, the only thought/question I have Dave is why are you bitter ?
Last edited by ghawk; 01-20-2008 at 05:34 AM.
I'm a heavier rider at 190 and I've never noticed any flex in the front. I did have to add a spacer under my stem after riding my bike for a few rides. The fork was not tight after several rides. After adding a spacer, everything was fine. No worries after that. Something settled in, either in the headset or fork(bottom race).
flex could be due to something else that made it appear as if the frame was flexy....i dont know, but hard to confirm without checking the whole of the bike to see if an issue could be isolated that may have nothing to do with frame
I would like to demo an Ibis this coming summer.....I am a ventana man 100% (just bought my third) but am curious
Fo' if you end up out in Colorado over the Summer and the size is right you are very welcome to test ride my Mojo. We have a few decent trails out here. Even if you were to just take it on a few Black/Blue runs (say the super-d tracks) at Keystone.
Originally Posted by FoShizzle
It is a large frame setup for a rider 185-195lbs (with gear). I think you would enjoy the riding on my setup.
I would love to hear the Fo' opinion on how a Mojo rides given that it is a strong but experienced opinion and wouldn't hold back anything.
loose and flexy are two totally different feels. if he felt the flex getting on the ibis each time after riding the spec, i'd say it's definitely a valid concern to be further investigated before making the purchase. i've only done a parking lot test ride so no idea. once an lbs in the mtns gets a size small demo (next month) i plan on putting a few hours on one on some great singletrack w/ long, rooty/rocky ascents/descents.
ride fast...take chances...
you r very kind. I do plan to visit my sister in CO (highlands ranch though) this summer. I have no business with a new bike as I finally think I have my dream stable (for me) but nonetheless, love all bike stuff and would love to try one (have never tried any DW design)
Originally Posted by zzsean
Well put. I don't know why we quickly resist an observation that sounds like a problem.
Originally Posted by iridetitus
Dave did say the handling was good, so let's not get too excited.
I enjoyed reading about his demo experience. The suggestion of wiggling the handlebars to experience the "flexy feel" between bikes seems like a good suggestion, as long as we don't let that trump our trail experience.
I didn't check the headset. Since this was a demo bike, I made the assumption (maybe not a good idea) that everything was checked out. I was running 35 psi in the tires, which I realize is a little high, but I wanted it to match what I was running on my FSR. I didn't notice any rattling, so I assume that the headset was ok.
Originally Posted by ghawk
When seated, I sometimes push the handlebars to the side to lean the bike over in a turn. Or when descending a technical section while standing, I'll pinch the saddle between the legs to help stabilize the bike. It's when I do this that I notice the flex. I really notice the flex when wiggling the handlebars side to side when seated, but that is more of a parking lot type of test.
As I've stated before, the lack of bobbing makes up for any flexing. I'm just being greedy and want to eliminate both factors. Overall I'm still very impressed with the bike, mostly when climbing. Downhills the bike handles well, but I feel the FSR/Horst link might be a better setup.
Am I going to get a Mojo? Not sure, but there is a good chance. The problem is then I would have 5 bikes in my apartment and one would have to go, probably the Enduro. Funny thing is, of all the bikes I have the last one I would give up would be the 89 Specialized Stumpjumper. The last year Stumpjumper came with thumb shifters!!!
As for the Bitter Dave name, it had something to do with an angry rant about an ex-girlfriend in the middle of a tutoring session for some of my friends, followed by the line "but I'm not bitter". That was about 11 years ago, but the name kinda stuck. Besides, the name is a great conversation starter.
Several months ago I was pretty happy with my FSR and 100mm of travel. Then I bought an Enduro with 130mm of travel and a less XC riding position. The Enduro was heavier and slower, but somehow more fun. This is what got me looking into a new bike, as I wanted something "funner", but still climbed well. I would say the Mojo is funner than my Enduro and climbs better than the Stumpjumper. So if I can put away my calculator and measuring tape, the Mojo should be the bike to get. But I'm still left with this feeling that the Mojo could be even better. Think of it like a supermodel with bad teeth. When everything else is so nice, the minor imperfections start to stand out.
Originally Posted by DirtRider
For those who don't notice the flex, I would suggest the handlebar wiggle test. For a given force and arbitrary measuring point, where my Enduro would flex .125" it felt like the Mojo would flex 0.4". I use the handlebar wiggle test instead of the grab the wheel and seat test because it takes tires/wheels/rear suspension flex out of the equation. Another parking lot test is to stand up and pinch the seat between your legs and wiggle the handlebar left/right quickly while going at a fast speed. If no one else notices the flex, then maybe there might be something wrong with the demo bike I got... I'll admit that the wiggle test adds seatpost and seat flex into the equation, but the demo bike had a Thomson post and a WTB saddle similar to what I have on the FSR. I'm curious as to what others experience with the "wiggle test".
I'm going to stop complaining for a while how and go ride a bike while the weather is still good around here.
I'll be going out for a spin shortly and will check the flex using those 2 tests. I have also noted flex, but only when the front mount for the shock was fractionally loose and I would almost bet that is what you were feeling Dave. I am no expert on frames, but mine certainly feels stiff and right there on trail. However, if the shock mount-bolt is loose even 1/4 turn it feels (to me) like the rear tire or swingarm is sloppy even on pavement. You sound like a rider with a more aggressive technique into corners than me; the Mojo likes you to sit on it through corners and requires little body action. It may be that 35lbs for your weight is also a bit much for tubeless although 32-35 is my choice at 185lbs. If you get to ride it again, the stem and seat position are really quite critical with only 5mm forward seat adjustment making the bike feel very different and a lot less stable.
Hummm, I guess there is a little flex in that fat tubed Mojo frame. I just checked mine by twisting the handlebars while pinching the seat and I think I could see the slightest frame movement beyond the greater flex in the handlbar, stem, and seat tube.
Whatever, it's by far the best trail bike I've ever ridden in all conditions of the dozens I've demoed and owned.
Fat tube aluminum is very stiff.
Maybe try the aluminum Iron Horse MKiii it is has a little more feedback from trail chatter with nearly exactly the same geometry and suspension rates as the Mojo, so it's probably mostly from the aluminum frame having a less flex than carbon fiber.
Perhaps there is a half percent loss in crank power delivery from the added flex compared to the MKiii or SJ, but combined with the Mojoís lighter weight and dw-Link's very noticeable 20 - 50% (?) reduction in acceleration efficiency losses from pedaling compared to any other, I can give up a half percent to flex.
I think the Mojo is so easy to ride fast is partly from having a little flex to aid compliance in rocks at higher speed and it smoothes handling transition rhythm.
Carbon fiber is measured to have much more damping effect compared to metals when flexing and rebounding too. Metal bikes may flex less but spring and bounce off line more sideways in rocks from the increased lateral chatter.