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  1. #1
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    Me and my HD, 2 months later

    Hi,

    I bought a Mojo HD frame about a couple of months ago and I thought I'd give an update on how I feel about the bike and what I see are its strengths and weaknesses. Over the last 2 months, I have ridden everything from smooth XC singletracks to gnarly, full of roots and rock strewn all mountain trails. As a disclaimer, I should mention that I don't really do jumps. I might launch off of roots and natural features, but I don't do any gap jumps.

    Being about 165lbs with all of my gear, not doing jumps, I built my Mojo HD fairly lightweight. Instead of going with a 160mm fork with 36mm stanchions, I chose instead a 150mm fork with 32mm stanchions. Last time I weigh it, my HD was about 26.5lbs and the only missing piece was a dropper seat post. Once I get, it'll be a reasonable 27.5lbs.

    After 2 months of hard riding, I have to say that I just love this bike. It climbs as well as my previous bike, albeit with a more active suspension. Unlike my previous bike, going up, one can really feel the suspension working underneath the seat. It does a really good job at smoothing out the trail and doesn't really hang on large roots or rocks. The one thing that surprised me was the fact that I can potentially use most of the travel while going uphill, but more on that later. Steep technical climbs do require some body english and moving forward a fair bit to keep the front end planted. Nothing out of the ordinary though, as all of my bikes required this to some extend. The power delivery, while going up, feels very natural and despite the suspension working, it doesn't feel like it hinders the power delivery or robs the rider of some of its power. It feels very efficient and smooth. I have used the pro-pedal a bit on long fireroad climbs, but I could have done without. I used it, 'cause it was there, more than because I needed it. Tight switchbacks are easily negotiated as long as one is properly positioned on the bike. All of my rides typically involve at least 1,500ft of climbing, and, all in all, I have found the Mojo HD to be as good a climber as any other bikes I have tried.

    Going down, this bike is a absolute rocket. One of the things I have found out about the HD is that it likes to be ridden fast. Surprisingly enough, the faster one goes, the more stable the bike feels. In 2 months of riding, I have never yet been in a situation where I felt the bike was the limiting factor or was out of his element. I have taken it down some pretty gnarly trails, where there are roots every couple of inches and steps, and down some rock gardens and it always feels composed. The bike never felt harsh or like it is hanging on for dear life. I am typically the limiting factor as I can see my broken bones down the trail should something go bad...
    One thing I am still getting used to is how fast the HD accelerate when one lets go of the brakes. I have had a few "Holy crap" moments as I got to some turns a bit faster than I feel comfortable with. I have to admit that it is an awesome feeling, but one needs some really good brakes to scrub speed properly.
    As I have mentioned, I do launch off of roots and natural terrain features every now and then and the HD makes it really easy to do this. Just push the bike forward and one will find himself in the air. Landing the HD is easy and really forgiving.
    Friends that I ride with regularly have commented on how much faster I am going and I told them that the HD makes it almost too easy. It is such a forgiving bike, that one can get sloppy and still be fine.

    Now onto the weaknesses of the HD. In 2 months, I have really only found one and it is not with the frame, but with the rear shock. My frame is a couple of years old and came with a Fox RP23. I have read on here that folks weren't super happy with that shock and now I understand why. Here is what I have found, which hopefully mirrors other's experience: if the shock is set so that the ride is plush, then one tends to blow through the travel really quickly. On the other hand if the shock is set to keep some travel in reserve for bigger hits, then the ride will be somewhat stiff. It seems that one can't have one without the other. When I say that in the plush setting, one will blow through the travel, I mean that I will use all the travel even going uphill. If there are roots or dips in the trail, it is not uncommon to have the O-ring at the bottom of the shaft. Now the good news is that I have never felt the shock bottom out harshly, but I'd like to get my cake and eat it too. In my mind, a bike with 160mm of travel should feel buttery plush and still be able to handle larger hits or crappy landing. With the RP23, if I set it up so that it is plush, when I see how much travel I am using on what I would consider pretty mild trails, I am concerned about larger hits or crappy landings. Maybe falsely so, but I am concerned. Because of the lack of harsh bottoming out, I have settled on a plush setting and see what happens to the shock.

    I know it is a bit of a long-winded post, but I thought I'd give detailed thoughts after 2 months of riding the bike.

    In a nutshell, I think it is an awesome bike, that is somewhat let down by the choice of shock. It is definitely not a showstopper and one can enjoy the HD without swapping out the shock, but I can see why folks are looking at alternatives. At 165lbs, I think I am a pretty light rider, so I can only imagine the problem being compounded for heavier riders.

    Here are my 2 cents... let me know if your impressions are the same as mine.
    Cheers,
    dbblackdiamond.
    A climb is really just a flat piece of road that points up. A headwind is a climb that you can't see. So it's all flat road, really.

  2. #2
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    good review, I feel the same way and agree completely with your thoughts on the Rp23 rear shock. FWIW I added a shim spacer to it and it made a big difference; no harsh bottoming and better feel overall. Eventually I will switch it out but for now its fine.

    Super Unknown

  3. #3
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    Good job! Same here...

    Can't say enough good things about the HD.

    And like you, I'm not thrilled with the RP23. Just got a shim kit from Fox and will be putting it in this week.

    I came off my old SL, which had a PUSH'ed older RP23 which I *loved*. This one on the HD I don't hate but I sure don't love it.

    Also not thrilled with the Float 36 on the HD. Love the stiffness, not loving the fact that I can't get full travel.

    Will be PUSH'ing the Float 36.
    - -benja- -

  4. #4
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    Great write-up.

    As for the RP23.. my xfusion Vector coil needs some love, so I took it off to send in to get repaired. In the meantime I put the RP23 back on for a ride.
    Initially I thought it wasn't too bad, then I started going downhill fast and was amazed at how the shock could not keep up with the terrain. The Vector just eats it up, the RP23 felt like an out of shape guy trying to keep up with the group. I'd have to slow down to not feel like I was outrunning it. Can't wait to get the Vector back.
    Those who know, ride a Mojo AND a Mojo HD.
    Quadzilla
    Quote Originally Posted by benja55
    Ok, whatever, cold water on my bike boner right there.

  5. #5
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    My Hd is also two months old. I agree with you about the suspension feel. I have been letting 5 pounds out of the suspension every time i ride and It still feels stiff , even though I can see that I am using more travel.

    The MBA review also commented on this( its posted this forum, btw): they said that you can run 20-40% sag but the forty feels much better than the twenty.

    Good review and I am glad that I am not the only one struggling with setting the bike up correctly.
    Last edited by saidrick; 10-08-2012 at 06:20 PM.

  6. #6
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    I too bought an older HD frame recently and can relate to most things mentioned in the review with the exception of the RP23 experience since mine came with an Avalanche DHX 5 coiler that I absolutely LOVE. I paired it with a Lyrik U-Turn. Two coilers == plush and active suspension w/o wallowing. Btw. I am running mine with 650B wheels that IMHO make it an even better ride.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by saidrick View Post
    My Hd is also two months old. I agree with you about the suspension feel. I have been letting 5 pounds out of the suspension every time i ride and It still feels stiff , even though I can see that I am using more travel.

    The MBA review also commented on this( its posted this forum, btw): they said that you can run 20-40% sag but the forty feels much better than the twenty.

    Good review and I am glad that I am not the only one struggling with setting the bike up correctly.
    I agree with you saidrick that the bike feels awesome with 40% sag, but the downside of that is that you'll go through the travel like there is no tomorrow. For me, at 40% sag, the shock will go through much of the travel on small roots and dips. But at 40%, the bike feels awesome.
    A climb is really just a flat piece of road that points up. A headwind is a climb that you can't see. So it's all flat road, really.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman69 View Post
    good review, I feel the same way and agree completely with your thoughts on the Rp23 rear shock. FWIW I added a shim spacer to it and it made a big difference; no harsh bottoming and better feel overall. Eventually I will switch it out but for now its fine.
    Quick question iceman: where does one get the shim kit from? and how easy is it to install it?

    I might look at that option, depending on price and see if it makes a big difference.
    A climb is really just a flat piece of road that points up. A headwind is a climb that you can't see. So it's all flat road, really.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by d-bug View Post
    Great write-up.

    As for the RP23.. my xfusion Vector coil needs some love, so I took it off to send in to get repaired. In the meantime I put the RP23 back on for a ride.
    Initially I thought it wasn't too bad, then I started going downhill fast and was amazed at how the shock could not keep up with the terrain. The Vector just eats it up, the RP23 felt like an out of shape guy trying to keep up with the group. I'd have to slow down to not feel like I was outrunning it. Can't wait to get the Vector back.
    I agree d-bug... I think that the best shock for the HD would be a shock that allows one to run 40% sag and still use about 4/5 of the travel under normal riding conditions, leaving 1/5 of the travel for things like jumps and screwed up landings. The shock will also need to be able to keep up with trail chatter, so rebound will need to be pretty fast.

    I am not sure if such a shock is available, but I think that's what the various aftermarket options, such as the CC DBAir or the Rockshox Monarch Plus, do.
    A climb is really just a flat piece of road that points up. A headwind is a climb that you can't see. So it's all flat road, really.

  10. #10
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    Why does it feel awesome with a 40% sag? If you like the lower BB and shorter travel, convert it to 140. If it is about the shock feeling, get a better shock, perhaps a coiler with a speed sensitive damper. Aiming for 40% sag seems like a waste of resources to me.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    Why does it feel awesome with a 40% sag? If you like the lower BB and shorter travel, convert it to 140. If it is about the shock feeling, get a better shock, perhaps a coiler with a speed sensitive damper. Aiming for 40% sag seems like a waste of resources to me.
    40% might be a bit extreme, but basically, at 40% sag, the trail just seems to disappear. The suspension just eats everything up and the bike feels really stable. I have never run a coil shock, so I couldn't compare.

    Your comment around getting a better shock is exactly what my point was about. The RP23 is outmatched by the capabilities of the HD and one has to choose between either having the bike feel awesome and blowing through the travel _or_ keeping some travel in reserve and have the bike feels a bit stiff.
    A climb is really just a flat piece of road that points up. A headwind is a climb that you can't see. So it's all flat road, really.

  12. #12
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    Hey guys

    check out the marzocchi Roco TST air from Bikeco in California. They prepped mine and sent it to New Zealand of all places. A custom tuned AM shock shipped to NZ for about 440USD (inc shipping of course!)
    When I slapped it onto my bike I was amazed at how smooth it was. I think it is a great compromise between air and coil and the TST compression lever really works in the real world. Seems like it is continuously variable between plush and locked. I put it in the middle for swoopy pedally single track and full open (of course for the gnar).
    It was the shock that they recommended over all others in X Fusion/CCDBA/RS Monarch/Fox and they do the wrenching for Brian Lopes so I guess they know a thing or two.
    I love it. Its better than the stock Vivid Coil I had on before and to say that it blows the RP23 away is an understatement

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nzl62 View Post
    Hey guys

    check out the marzocchi Roco TST air from Bikeco in California. They prepped mine and sent it to New Zealand of all places. A custom tuned AM shock shipped to NZ for about 440USD (inc shipping of course!)
    When I slapped it onto my bike I was amazed at how smooth it was. I think it is a great compromise between air and coil and the TST compression lever really works in the real world. Seems like it is continuously variable between plush and locked. I put it in the middle for swoopy pedally single track and full open (of course for the gnar).
    It was the shock that they recommended over all others in X Fusion/CCDBA/RS Monarch/Fox and they do the wrenching for Brian Lopes so I guess they know a thing or two.
    I love it. Its better than the stock Vivid Coil I had on before and to say that it blows the RP23 away is an understatement
    ??? $549 on their website

  14. #14
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    Quick note on the 40% sag question. I sent an email to ibis asking how to set up
    The bike. They( Scot) wrote back that the bike is designed for 25-35% sag. Use what ever feels good. As for replacing the shock, I would rather waste my resources on buying a dropper seat post than worry about sagging the bike more than the standard 25-30% rule.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by saidrick View Post
    Quick note on the 40% sag question. I sent an email to ibis asking how to set up
    The bike. They( Scot) wrote back that the bike is designed for 25-35% sag. Use what ever feels good. As for replacing the shock, I would rather waste my resources on buying a dropper seat post than worry about sagging the bike more than the standard 25-30% rule.
    I am not telling you how to spend your money. I was merely responding to this:

    I think that the best shock for the HD would be a shock that allows one to run 40% sag ... I am not sure if such a shock is available

  16. #16
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    Hey dbblackdiamond
    I was in the same boat as you and switched out to a Monarch Plus earlier this season. World of difference around here ( you are from Calgary too, I believe?)

    It made all the climbs around Bragg and Kananaskis so much better, the descents were silky smooth and the Monarch Plus is significantly quieter than the RP23.

    Get the Monarch and either keep the rp23 as a backup or just sell it outright.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar-man View Post
    Hey dbblackdiamond
    I was in the same boat as you and switched out to a Monarch Plus earlier this season. World of difference around here ( you are from Calgary too, I believe?)

    It made all the climbs around Bragg and Kananaskis so much better, the descents were silky smooth and the Monarch Plus is significantly quieter than the RP23.

    Get the Monarch and either keep the rp23 as a backup or just sell it outright.
    I totally agree with the above. After 2 years of learning what's possible on the bike it always handles the situation. Wrecklessness is rewarded.

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