Tips for someone new to Ibis
I'm looking to get a new bike next spring, and Ibis is at the top of that list. I've only ridden a HD in someone's back yard once, but that was enough to get me interested in the brand. That and everything I read here.
I live near Chicago, which means finding nice high end mountain bikes is probably about as easy as going snow ski shopping in Mexico. There are a few stores in the area that do have some bikes besides Specialized/Trek, but they never have demo bikes. (I was able to ride a SC Tallboy in a parking lot, which also seemed like a nice bike, but again, a couple of loops on asphalt is not a good indicator of how it will feel on the trail).
So I'm just looking for some tips, or basically, how did YOU choose and purchase your Ibis. Did you try 10 bikes and pick the Ibis? Did you make a blind purchase over the internet and hope for the best? Did you buy used/new? Would you purchase the same bike again or do/buy something different?
I'd love to plan a trip next year to a "demo location" but the ibis demo tour does not seem to ever have dates more then a month out. Are there well known stores/areas that I could travel to and try these bikes out?
Thanks for you help.
Ibis had a demo in my town (which happens to be the hometown of Ibis), so it was easy.
You just missed Outerbike where they have tons of bikes to demo, including Ibis.
Maybe the best thing is to check the regional boards of mtbr and ask if someone has an Ibis. Go for a ride with him and swap bikes every other trail.
I just ordered an HD from my bike shop this weekend. I didn't decide to get a new bike until recently so I missed all of the demos in my area. The first thing I did was try riding some different bikes up a steep hill outside the shop. Besides sitting on the bike to test comfort, it's always hard to get a feel for it in a parking lot.
The main bikes I compared the Ibis to were the Cannondale Carbon Jekyll 1 and the Transition Covert Carbon 1. I think you get more for your money with the Jekyll, but I eliminated it because of the rear shock design. The Ibis pedals just as well and you'll always be able to swap out the rear shock if you want.
The Covert seemed like a nice bike to me when looking at the specs sheet, but since it's not out yet I couldn't see one in person. The other negative to me was that this is also Transition's first carbon frame. The HD isn't Ibis' first carbon frame and it's proven to work.
Out of everyone I talked to, no one really had anything bad to say about the HD other than the cable routing. With the other bikes I found some negatives. I probably could have went with a Carbon Nomad and been just as happy, but something just clicked with the HD.
I researched a lot and pretty much decided that the geometry of my C'dale Rize was just fine for me, so it boiled down to the rear suspension:
single pivot (Rize has this)
vpp (Santa Cruz)
So, I test rode each of the last three, the Santa Cruz in the same few minutes as an Ibis in a parking lot with curbs to use as square-edged obstacles. The dw-link beat vpp on that score.
I test rode a Specialized something or other 29er and was not as impressed as I was the Ibis 26" SLR and HD. I test rode the Ibis SLR and HD at their demo here at Duthie Hill Park here in Sammamish, WA this summer and ended up ordering an SLR not too long after that. To be fair, I was not really considering a Specialized bike anyway, since they were going heavy 29er and we all know that the Ripley is going to be out soon!
The only thing I would change is to put a Lefty on the front for its stiffness, lightness, and precision advantage over a 32mm dual stanchion fork. Then I would have the the two best ends of bikes in the business as far as I am concerned.
I chose to put Ibis on the top of the dw-link list because of its style and carbon. I bought it because it was likely the best dw-link example of its ilk and stiff and light too. That and a Pivot dealer was not as close by as the Ibis shop. :) A 5.7C would be good to try out.
Here's my experience:
- Yes, try to ride beyond the parking lot. I clearly realized that riding a decent twice with the same bike makes a huge difference. I completely miss the skill to learn a track by heart. But somehow I realize that I get used to a bike on the second decent.
- Ride other bikes as often as you can. It doesn't matter if you are interested in a purchase or not. Each ride adds to your personal matrix of how a bike can feel and so you will be able to make more precise judgement when it comes to actual purchase candidates.
- HD rules
Thanks guys. I'll probably be planning a trip somewhere out west to test as much as I can.
Zeppman, I see by your profile you ride at Palos. There are several of us who have Mojo SL's and a couple of HD's out there. Mine has been 650b'd for over two years to even give you a different perspective. Check out the CAMBr.org website for a group ride or hit me up. Also there is a workday Saturday (11-10) and I'll be there.
My advice for picking a bike is demo,demo and demo. It's the only way to know. Also find a good LBS. I demo'd the SL and the Pivot Mach 5 in Utah in 2009, two very different versions of DW link.
Here is my two cents:
I demo'ed the blur and the nomad and the HD.
I bought the HD.
I thought about the Ellsworth moment, I know a guy who had to replace rear triangle on a brand new bike.
Here is my tale on the HD
Great "one bike". However, there are some necessary trade offs with this bike.
So lots of travel and lightweight ( fast cheap good, pick two ) the bike is expensive .
The bike is an excellent jumper , and almost never stops gaining speed .
However , the wheel base is a little short ( makes the bike easy to Jump) and can get a little nervous on steep descent s.
There is a solution for this: mandatory seat post dropper . This bike likes it rider to drop behind AND under the saddle on the steep stuff.
Also if you're going to take the bike to parks, a lot of people here have said to upgrade the rear shock.
Again , it's a great bike. It just needs to be ridden like a race car: do everything fundamentally correct and the bike will haul ass . If you don't pay attention to th bike though you will end up in the wall... The bike is that fast.
Thanks again guys.
lml427, I'll definetly let you know if I can make it out on saturday. You reading my profile reminded me that I haven't updated that in a long time.... (I don't ride a '97 fisher marlin anymore :) )
As far as SL-R vs HD, the HD is more of an all mountain bike while the SL-R is more XC? Is there any reason why you would get an SL over an SL-R?
Cost is pretty much the only reason. All the molds and tooling for the SL are paid off, so the frame is about $500 cheaper new at retail. They have the exact same geometry and suspension. The SL-R is supposed to be stiffer and lighter than the SL, though I don't know what the actual weight difference is with production frames. The SL-R has a tapered headtube and rear through axle, which could be a reason for or against it if you plan to transfer parts over.
Originally Posted by zeppman
Addendum : there is also the matter of resale. Expect an SL frame to hold its value worse now that the SL-R is out. On the flip side, if you're on a tight budget, a used SL is an excellent buy right now, with people upgrading and shops selling off demos.
I knew a DW link bike was for me and had a chance to briefly pedal a mojo on very steep pavement.
After reading all the comments from people waiting for their HD's to ship and seeing the Lopes Whistler footage I stumbled on an HD frame and grabbed it! Best purchase of my life aside from my dog.
My story is totally different from the others. In 06 I was reading a MBAction mag and they were talking about the Ibis and the people involved with the new generation of Ibis. I really liked what they had to say about the people and the company. I had not heard of Ibis previously to this article. Later on in the mag they featured the Ibis mojo and it was love at first sight. I knew right then I had found my new bike.
At that time there were only 2 dealers in Canada, the nearest one being 400 miles from me. At the time they did not have a bike for me to look at but later I got a call saying that they had one in for a customer that they were putting together. I jumped in my car that weekend and took off to see it while they still had it. I was not able to ride it but loved what I saw and shortly afterwards I ordered mine.
Fast forward to 2 weeks ago when I was in Moab and had the chance to rent the SL-R and the HD. I rode the SL-R on Slickrock and it was an exellent bike. I told my wife that I think I had found my new Ibis. The next day I rented the HD and rode the Whole Enchilada and the HD just rocked, much more stable feeling than the SL-R. I rode Amasa Back the next day on the HD and I knew that this was going to be my next bike.
So why do I stick with Ibis and not bother to look at other bikes? It's simple, their bikes are beautiful, they are a joy to ride and their customer service is incredible. Hopes this helps with your decision and welcome to Ibis bikes.
ps. My wife bought a Mojo C and then a SL and now she wants a HD. It just keeps getting better and better.
Hi, I was in the exact same position about couple months ago. I wanted to upgrade from my Specialized Epic Comp and it was between the Ellsworth or the Ibis. Problem is no one in Midwest has any demo Ibis bikes at all. A friend has the Ellsworth Epiphany and I loved the way it rides but Ibis got me intrigued. I ride the Palos trails (Southwest of Chicago) and just happened to spot a guy unloading the bike at the staging area. It was Ibis HD with 160 fork. I talked to him and he was nice to offer me a quick demo around the parking lot and parts of the trail. I absolutely loved it and with basically no test ride decided to get one. I wanted the HD140 but was not able to locate a good demo / used one in medium size. After a search of couple months I ended up getting SL demo for a killer price. Its SLX build but I will slowly upgrade the parts to what I want. Already got a 650b fork in the mail as well as new pedals, carbon handlebar and new seat. After I get the 650 wheels I'm going to start the drivetrain upgrade to XT/XTR parts.
I can tell you that even in the existing configuration the bike is just awesome. I only had it on the trail last Sunday for about 3 hours and love it. Hopefully the weather will be good this weekend. Feel free to come by to Palos if you want to check it out. I will be around 8am in Palos staging area (Pulaski woods south lot by Bullfrog lake) on Saturday.
I used to race in the northeast for a number of years (1996-2001) and worked at a shop, so I had tons of experience on the latest/greatest during that time. Unfortunately, I ended up getting out of the sport during college.
Fast forward to 2009 and I was itching to get back into the sport. The wife asked me to get a "safe" bike (ie: not crazy $$$) to ensure I was really going to get 100% back into the sport. A rough year later on a Trek hardtail and I ended up buying a Mojo SL through Uranium Bikes in Moab without ever having ridden one.
I'd drooled over them in mags, seen them in person, and read the glowing reviews online...
Best. Decision. Ever.
I was in the same shoe. I rented the HD for a day and took it on some climbs and gnarly drops. Strava recorded 2 PRs climbing and 9 PRs on drops. That sold it for me. :)
Lucky for you that a demo was available. It boggles my mind why Ibis as a company would not jump threw hoops too make sure there is at least one dealer in Midwest that has a demo in each size. Thats the only reason you do not see these bikes in the area. Very few people are exposed to it and are willing to make such a large purchase simply based on what they hear and read.
There is a reason why you see all the Specialized and Track bikes on the trails here. They not only have dealers with demo bikes in the are but also come out to the local bike club (CAMBR) events. Specialized had a dozen bikes displayed and available for demo at the annual race couple months ago.
To be fair, if you are a dealer, Ibis does seem to jump through hoops to help you keep a demo fleet refreshed even year.
Originally Posted by dariusf
But you did hit on one of the disadvantages of being a little guy. Spesh and Trek are big enough to be everywhere. Ibis has about 12 warm bodies to run the whole show.
Yep. I live next town over from Santa Cruz (Ibis HQ) and the one shop in town used to have Ibis demos, along with other brands, but recently switched to a Specialized only shop (which they must have invested in as it's now 3x bigger and every parts down to bolt are Specialized brands :(
Originally Posted by lazarus2405
For me I owned the original DW link bikes (IronHorse MKIII) so when it was time to replace it (before the infamous rear triangle break) I wanted to stay with DW link from my personal experience and all the glowy reviews here and got a used Mojo C without trying it (or really seeing it - love the way they look, the DW link pedigree, reputation here). Amazing bike, until I got an HD a year ago to be my one bike does it all (sold the Mojo and 2 DH bikes).
All the guys I ride with are on Specialized, but I've been converting some to the Mojo SL Special blend (at $2750 retail it competes very well with Spec bikes, and only $600 more than frame only!) - 3 people converted who have seen the light! :)
Great info, thanks. What is required to make a HD "650b", just a new fork? You've all tempted me just to buy one, without trying it...haha. To the guys offering to let me try their bikes, I'll send you a PM.
Thanks all. Not only do the bikes and customer service seem great, but so do the owners.
Official support for 650b is only HD140 model. On SL your fork needs to fit the wheel. Many 26" forks will work fine like most Fox. There is lots of info in the 650b forum here, just research and measure. For the rear in SL its a bit harder. Need to run a 2.1 tire and shim the shock in case you button out. Yes, you will loose some travel in the rear but for me its not a big deal with the trails we have here (max 2 foot drops) and I'm ~165lb. I might try to run 650b on the front to start and see how that feels. Many do it.
Originally Posted by zeppman
Just buy an HD160 and build it 650b, it will take you to levels you never thought possible. Descent is some serious Felix Baumgartner Sh!t. Going down hill literally feels like when you are on a speed slide at a water park as you hit the curve towards the bottom and the g forces suck you into the slide. The bike just begs to go faster but stays in control. I have literally had to learn my local course over because my braking points have all changed which is unlike any change I've had between mounts.... even when I went from h/t to f/s.
Here is how I did mine
A friend of mine just recently gave me a full x0 drive train (2 years old but lightly used) and elixer brakes. He's trying to tell me just to buy a frame and build it from there... I'm not sure if this is the right move though. I don't think building it is an issue for me, as I've torn a bike down and rebuilt it before. I just don't want to run into compatibility issues. I'm good with taking things apart and putting things together, but my knowledge lacks in the "will this work with this" in the bike world... what do you all think?
Also, do these bikes ever go on sale? I see a few other bike co. offering sales on 2012 frames, but not Ibis.
Ibis does not have year models. Frames are by model and design not year.
Originally Posted by zeppman
Only way to get one on real sale is to find a dealer demo. Thats how I got my at significant discount.
As for getting a frame and building it up, I think thats a great way to save and get the part you want. I already changed a bunch of parts (pedals, handlebar, seat, fork) and plan on changing the derailleurs and crank / bracket. Also getting 650b wheels build. At the end of the day I will end up replacing most of the parts anyway.
you might be better off getting a used Ibis frame as frame only cost 2100+ so you might as well get the Mojo SL special blend at $2750 (or less when shop have 10% off) and replace with your parts and sell the lesser one as new - if trail to AM is what you do. Ibis stands behind their products (even used) like no other company I've seen... you won't regret it.
I bought my Ibis Mojo SL about 2 years ago and was in the same situation of not being able to demo one. I was looking to replace my broken Ellsworth Truth and wanted a little more suspension. I was initially looking at 120mm bikes.
I rode a variety of bikes that I could get my hands on, but none of my top 3 choices were available to test ride locally. I talked to a friend who had a Mojo (XL and I took a M); however, I had to be careful because he's extremely accomplished having raced for over 10 years. I was able to try a Turner 5 Spot (but without the DW link), but that made me more comfortable with 140mm suspension. I talked to local suspension geeks about the DW link. I tried various sizes of bikes as I was concerned that the effective top tube in the med was shorter than the ETT's on all my other bikes. Then, I finally got to try a friend of a friend's large Mojo, but it was adjusted for someone much heavier than me. That confirmed that the medium was my size. My top 3 choices were the Yeti ASR 5, Turner Flux with 120mm fork, and Ibis Mojo SL. I eliminated the Turner 5 Spot because of the weight. I eliminated the Yeti ASR 5 because I wanted something a little more forgiving. I decided on the Mojo SL over the Flux because I really wanted more than 100mm of travel. I'm extremely happy with the Mojo SL. My husband (a die-hard 4-bar fan) tried my Mojo and liked the DW link so much, he got the Flux with a 120mm fork and he loves that bike.
So if I'm 6-3 and more of a cross country rider than a free ride/am/down hiller, would you suggest an sl over the hd and a xl over the large?
Yes on the SL though if you can swing it the SL-R has a number of advantages.
Originally Posted by Rojo Grande'
On the size, you are right on the cusp - My boss is 6'3" and likes the fit of a large - he has the mojo SL. I am 6' and like the top tube length of the XL but bought the L (SLR) - running more stem than I want but it works.
Just a quick note: with carbon fibre, make sure you get a torque wrench and set of specs.
Also installing the headset and the fork may require special tools.