Well, the rain finally let up long enough for me to throw the Mojo in the back of the Pathfinder and head for my favorite trails (Hilton Falls for you locals). The weather was cold, about 8 celcius, but I didn't care.
I swung my leg over the bike and headed off. The first thing I noticed is how quiet the bike is. Shift noise and cable slap was nonexistent. It was like riding a ghost. The next thing that became apparent was how comfortable I was. I instantly felt "right", as though I had tweaked the bike for weeks to find the right fit, it felt perfect right from the start. I pedalled off like a kid on his first bike, popping wheelies, airing out over every little rock or rise on the trail. It was euphoric.
The ride: The trails I was riding are some of the gnarliest rocky single tracks we have in Ontario. Fairly flat overall, but wickedly technical. On my first ride, I rode these trails on the Mojo cleaner, smoother and with more success than ever before. The bike felt telepathic. I didn't feel like I was riding a stange bike, or trying to get used to something new... it just became part of me. The recent rain created a unique condition where the ground under the blanket of leaves was soft and greasy. This led to a few high speed two wheel drift situations. In the past, I would always panic in these situations, as I never felt in control. In a nutshell, I would soil my lycra if both wheels broke loose. On todays ride, I drifted several times, and there was no panic, no washout, no crashes. The Mojo just remained calm, stayed perfectly balanced and hooked up again. Confidence inspiring to say the least. I know the DW link is a great thing, but what impressed me the most about the Mojo was the geometry. This bike just feels like a Trailbike should. Somehow, Ibis managed to create a front end with razor sharp handling, yet it never felt twitchy or unpredictable at speed. The balance front to back is spot on as displayed by the drifting. Well done Ibis.
This bike is STIFF! Combined with my I9 wheelset, Truvativ Stylo Carbon crankset, and Revelation fork, the bike showed zero flex... I mean ZERO. I've never ridden such a laterally stiff chassis. I had set the rear suspension based on the sag specified in the owners manual, and I never touched the propedal. I didn't need it. Riding the technical stuff, the rear end felt butter smooth, while out of the saddle sprints up the gentle rises and rocky ledges felt peppy and efficient. I never felt the bike wallow or feel mushy under pedalling load. The DW simply works.
I had HUGE expectations from this bike, especially after the 10 month wait. Anything short of perfection would have been disappointing. Not only has Ibis met my expectaions, they exceeded them with a telepathic ride I never knew was possible. This bike is an example of what a true mountain bike should be. Light enough to race, comfortable enough to ride all day, confidence inspiring, stiff, quiet, and AFFORDABLE.
Thanks Ibis for making this 37 year old feel like a kid again. Thanks Scot for putting up with all my emails and answering all my questions. I'm proud to be a part of the new Ibis.
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