XCL vs Mojo: Throw out those old bike categories- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    XCL vs Mojo: Throw out those old bike categories

    Yesterday our shop (yes, I am a dealer) had XCLs to demo side by side on extended comparison trail rides. So I compared them to the Ibis Carbon Mojo that I have been riding for the last month. The XCL is 5", the Mojo is 5.5". On paper, they have similar geometry, wheelbases, etc. They should match up pretty close, with the Ibis getting the edge due to more travel and lighter weight, right?

    Forget that. You can't classify based on travel and geometry any more. I mean you cannot even make general classifications. You probably shouldn't even try to compare them, but here goes.

    Even though the XCL has less travel, it is the beefier trail bike, while the Mojo feels like a cross country racer when you ride them side by side.

    The XCL has a much less flexy structure than the Mojo, and that makes a huge difference in the personalities of these bikes. Don't get me wrong, I suspect the Mojo was designed specifically for the kind of flex it has. The carbon has a nice flowing feel to it. It handles sweeping curves and moderate trails with a very nice compliance. The Mojo represents is a new generation of cross country and even XC race bikes with 140 mm travel.

    But going back and forth between the Mojo and the XCL is like night and day. The lesser travel XCL handles rocks, off camber lines, technical descents, etc. without deflection. It goes where you point it. The rockier and more technical the trail gets, the bigger its advantage. The XCL is the next generation trail bike, defined not by travel, but by its structure and ride.

    Suspension? I felt the subtleties of the differences in suspension paled in comparison to structure differences in this case. The DW link is a great suspension, on a par with the Horst link. To do a good DW link vs Horst link shoot out, you need to pick more similar bikes, so I will leave it at that in this case.

    Climbing? If you built the XCL up with a lightweight kit like the Mojo, it would be as good a climber, but a different kind of climber. The stiffer platform of the XCL makes it better for big riders or for riders with less than perfect spins, hammerheads take note.

    But I would not recommend a total weight weenie build for the XCL. Get a beefy fork (preferably 20 mm thru axle) to match the personality of the frame, and parts to match the abuse it begs for you to dish out, and enjoy it for what it is. The best real world trail bike out there.
    Disclaimer: ComCycle USA

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad
    You can't classify based on travel and geometry any more.
    finally someone agrees!

    I try to ignore mtbr comments but the one thing that drives me nuts is peoples obsession with weight as the only parameter that matters. This phenomena has made it so confusing since the average buyer does not know any better.

    if travel was all that mattered than the ghey specialized 27 lb or whatever Gheyduro 6" bike would be the gold standard.

    The mojo, along with many other bikes with focus CLEARLY on weight, are nothing but glorified road bikes that are made due to marketeers doing their job well and pushing carbon and lightweight in general as the main driver people should concern themselves with. There are PLENTY of example of companies focus on ligthweight making things worse.

    People need to learn to STEP AWAY FROM THE SCALE and understand (honestly, self included) what their needs are. If i were a betting man I would venture to say the 90% plus of people buy a bike with more travel than they will EVER need simply cuz they focus on weight and identify a rather lightweight long travel XC bike and figure what the heck. And then there are the people who actually will use the travel but are misguided and also focus on weight and end up with a bike with travel that just is crap for what the given travel SHOULD be used for.

    People who "want" light should just get a shorter travel bike (ie, 3, maybe 4 inches) since that is what they actually need. People who actually ride worth a 5 or 6" travel shoudl look at the implementation of the bike, period.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad
    But going back and forth between the Mojo and the XCL is like night and day. The lesser travel XCL handles rocks, off camber lines, technical descents, etc. without deflection. It goes where you point it. The rockier and more technical the trail gets, the bigger its advantage. The XCL is the next generation trail bike, defined not by travel, but by its structure and ride.
    Interesting ... I was strongly considering a dw-link before I got the XCL.
    I did some research here and also talking to people at various bike shops here and in Phx that sold either the Mojo or the Iron Horse dw-link bikes.
    One of the things I looked at was whether there was any noticeable pedal feedback with these bikes. The info I got ranged from 'there is a little pedaling
    torque at times, but its not that bad' to 'yes, theres some noticeable pedal
    kick on rocky climbs'. Im sure theres folks on the dw forums that will
    vigorously dispute this, but the consensus seemed to be that there would be
    some level of pedal feedback. (This was even indicated by a demo version
    of Linkage Software that I downloaded)

    Anyway, w/o going too far off on a tangeant, the most impt. things for me when choosing a bike were I wanted the suspension to behave the same
    regardless of how/where I was pedaling, and have good traction always
    available. Here in AZ we have a lot of very rocky trails and those kind of things
    are more important probably than elsewhere in the country where the terrain
    is smoother. If I were into XC racing I would definitely go for a dw-link, its
    a great design and can hammer up long climbs like a hardtail and still have
    good bump absorbtion.
    In my case, I dont mind giving up a little on that kind of efficiency(XCL is still
    pretty efficient, esp. considering the weight of my current build) for what
    DIrtDad stated above. That's what makes the XCL far and away the most fun
    bike I've ever ridde.

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