The Ibis Mojo 4 takes the fun cake. Actually, it takes the whole fun bakery.
Ibis Mojo 4 Review
We wrote a Mojo 4 First Look article when Ibis launched it in June. Since then, I’ve been dying to throw a leg over one. Well, the time has come — we’re diving in for a Mojo 4 review. Buckle Up! While it looks an awful a lot like the old one, the Mojo saw some critical updates for this latest version. They’ve completely redesigned the geometry, bringing the bike into the modern era. Gone is the traditional geometry of the old version. Now it has some cutting edge numbers. The travel numbers remain the same as does the target rider. Who is that rider? Let’s talk about that.
ibis mojo 4 geometry, sizing and build kits
Out with the old, in with the new. The Mojo 4 has some very contemporary geometry. It’s long and slack, especially for a 130mm travel bike. For comparison, the Mojo 3 had a 457mm reach in extra-large (size tested). That’s now shorter than the current medium. The new extra-large gets a 515mm reach. The front end is now slacker at 65.4 degrees. Subsequently, the wheelbase has grown to a whopping 1268 vs. the old 1180. So if you’re like me and felt like the old Mojo 3 was too small, problem solved. The Mojo 4 is big enough to fit just about anyone. The seat tube is radically steeper at 76.6 degrees across all sizes. A few things stay the same, though. The chainstays are still stubby at 425mm, and the bottom bracket is almost just as low as its predecessor at 340mm.
Again, for reference, I’m 6’2” and I rode an extra-large. On paper, the 515mm reach seemed that it would be huge. On the trail, it felt just right. The steep seat tube brings your hips closer to the bars, so the seated position doesn’t feel too stretched out. On the downhill, the long reach is part of what makes the bike so capable. I had zero issues with the saddle height using the 185mm stock Bike Yoke Revive dropper post. Tall folks rejoice.
I rode a Mojo 4 with the XT build kit and upgrade Ibis carbon wheels for this test. The S35 rims and Ibis hubs are excellent wheels. They do their job without complaint and come with a 7-year manufacturer warranty and a crash replacement program. The XT build kit is nearly flawless. The Shimano drivetrain outperforms the competition when it comes to shift quality — especially under load. The Fox Factory suspension offers impeccable performance and all the adjusters you could hope for. The 2021 Fox 34 is now available with the Grip 2 damper featuring high-speed and low-speed compression and rebound adjustments — finally. The Grip 2 feels better in the initial stroke than the older Fit 4 damper. It’s nice to see it in the 34 now. The Bike Yoke dropper is smooth and reliable. It’s also easy to “bleed out” any sag using the Revive port.
Frames are available for $2999, and builds start at $4499. Interestingly enough, build kits only come with Fox Factory level suspension – even on the lower end Deore build. If you want your shifters to be more like robots than mechanical parts, Ibis offers a Sram XX1 AXS kit for $10,699. It already comes with carbon rims and Industry 9 Hydra hubs.
I could make this really short and simply say the Mojo 4 climbs great. It would sum up pretty much everything you’re going to read in the next few paragraphs. I’ve got a word count goal to hit, so I guess I’ll throw in some extra sentences. Ibis must be using some sort of magic sauce to make all their bikes climb so well. The Mojo 4 is no exception. They use the DW link so well to create a bike that is not only efficient but smooth — seemingly two mutually exclusive traits. There’s minimal pedal bob to speak of, but somehow the Mojo 4 smooths out trail chatter better than most bikes in the category. The smooth ride helps in technical and bumpy terrain. It’ easy enough to go up and over obstacles rather than pick your way around them. When it comes time to navigate tight corners and big rocks, the reasonable wheelbase length doesn’t hinder the bike’s ability. It’s still able to weave in and out of technical sections and make its way around a tight switchback. It’s tough to beat the maneuverability of the smaller wheels.
The modern geometry makes the climbing position very comfortable. Due to the 76.6-degree seat tube angle, your weight stays nicely centered between the wheels, even when things get steep. The front end of the bike didn’t wander or lift on steep climbs. The body position isn’t so weight-forward that it feels stretched out like an XC bike, though. It still has a taller front end and somewhat upright seated position. It makes the bike very comfortable, and I wouldn’t mind spending long days in the saddle on the Mojo.
My test bike came equipped with Maxxis Assegai tires. While they’re extra grippy on the descents, they’re not particularly fast on the climbs. Aside from being heavy, they grip the ground like Velcro. Despite the slow-rolling tires, I still felt the Mojo 4 climbed very well. I didn’t feel that it was slowing me down. If you are looking for a real rocket uphill, swapping the tires to a Minion/Dissector combo would help. You could take it one step further and do Nobby Nics or Rekons. You’ll pay a penalty on the DH, though, as those tires probably won’t hold up to the bike’s downhill capability.
If you’re after a quick, snappy, and fun trail bike, the Mojo 4 should be near the top of your list. The small wheels, paired with the capable geometry, provide an incredible ride quality. It’s stable enough to ride hard terrain, while zippy enough to make the most of mellower trails. It’s the kind of bike that makes you see the trail differently. You’ll be looking for every side hit and bonus line while making your way down the trail.
Ibis clearly put some thought into how to design the suspension for the most engaging ride possible. It’s very soft in the initial stroke, smoothing out trail chatter and smaller bumps. It ramps up quickly, however, to provide an excellent platform for pumping and jumping. Most bikes in this mid-travel range tend to feel pretty good with mid-stroke support. There’s not a ton of mid-stroke to wallow in for one thing. The bottom-out support on the Mojo is pretty surprising considering how soft the initial stroke feels. Many bikes as progressive as the Mojo tend to feel a little harsh in the last third of the travel. That’s not the case here. The Mojo ramps up smoothly enough that you don’t notice it. I was able to use full travel on features that warranted it, without ever feeling the shock slam into the end of the stroke. It’s a nice, gentle bottom out.
The newest version of the Mojo is by far the hardest charger in the series. The Mojo 3 lacked the geometry and suspension kinematics to push it really hard. It was happier to take it easy for a Sunday afternoon ride. The fourth iteration erases all murmurings of the Mojo being a “Dad Bike.” Even though the travel remains the same, the Mojo 4 tackles tougher terrain at higher speeds — it’s all in the geometry. The slack front end, long reach, and wheelbase make it the most stable Mojo yet. It’s not designed for monster trucking the roughest lines at top speed, but it will handle tough trails without too much fuss.
The Mojo 4 shines brightest in the corners. Between the tires, suspension, and geometry, there’s so much traction it almost feels impossible to wash out. On my test track, there was a series of 180-degree berms that tightened up at every exit. Watch the video, and you’ll see the ones I’m talking about. I had a blast pumping through those loose berms trying to get the back wheel to break free. While the bike never quite lost traction, I got around those corners faster than on any other bike I’ve ridden this year. The Mojo performs great in flat corners too. The Assegai tires hook up very well. Also, there’s something pretty cool going on with Ibis’ Traction Tune. It’s a lighter damping tune that allows the wheels to move quicker during both compression and rebound. Ibis claims this gives better traction, steering, and control. I think they’re onto something as the traction is through the roof on the Mojo 4.
DW Link is a top-shelf suspension platform.
All builds come with Fox Factory suspension.
Corners, corners, corners.
Deore build starts at $4499.
Neither stock tire option is a perfect fit for the bike.
Only Shimano brakes. No Sram options.
comparison to the santa cruz 5010
Stay tuned for a full comparison between these two bikes. For now, this little teaser will have to suffice. Both bikes are in the same “quick, nimble and playful” category. They have similar geometry, identical travel numbers, and both roll on 27.5” wheels. That’s where the similarities stop. They feel wildly different on the trail. The Mojo 4 feels lighter, quicker, and more playful than the 5010. It certainly climbs better. I think it’s probably just a hair better in the corners too. It can’t hold a candle to the capability of the 5010, though. The 5010 rides like a much bigger, burlier bike than the travel and geometry would suggest. It handles rough terrain better than the Mojo 4. The frame feels stiffer, and the suspension feels deeper. You forget it only has 130mm of travel.
who is The Ibis Mojo 4 for?
Like the 5010, the Mojo is for the rider looking to have more fun than anyone else. They want to pump, manual, and jump their way down the trail. They don’t need the fastest or most capable bike out there. They just have a fever and the only prescription is more fun. I can see the Mojo 4 as an excellent bike for long days in the mountains. It doesn’t beat you up too much on the climbs and handles almost anything you can throw at it. It is comfortable and smooth. Your back won’t start to ache after a few hours on the bike. It’s great to see some outstanding 27.5” options from brands we love. Hopefully, the trend will continue.
- The XT build offers a lot of bang for your buck.
- If it fits the budget, spring for the Ibis carbon wheel upgrade.
- Both colors are amazing. Good luck trying to decide between them.