Ibis Bikes Review: Enduro Bike

Ibis Bikes Review: Enduro Bike

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The Ibis Bikes Mojo HD4 is a beautiful bicycle made by Ibis. It is a fantastic trail-riding and enduro bike. Let us take a look at the masterminds behind this incredible machine.


Ibis Bikes was started in 1981 by Scot Nicol in Santa Cruz, California. He built his first bicycle up in Mendocino County in what he calls “a funky little workshop.” He built his first bike just for himself, but someone who saw it asked if he would build them one too. Scot said yes, one thing led to another, and pretty soon Scot Nichol was in the bicycle manufacturing business.

What started out as a one-man show, after 30 years, wound up to be an internationally respected company.Scot decided to name his company after the ibis bird. Ibises are long-billed, long-legged wading birds that inhabit wetlands, forests and plains, and build their nests in mangroves, trees, and thickets. Scot found the name thumbing through an Audubon bird encyclopedia looking for names to call his newly-hatched company.

He liked that the Ibis are light and that they fly. The name ibis represents the lightweight frames that Ibis Bikes builds, and the flying feeling that you get when riding an Ibis Bike. Ibis birds are beautiful in flight and very graceful, and the Ibis head badge design reflects that idea.


In 2000, Nicol sold Ibis to an investment firm, which went bankrupt 18 months later and Ibis Bikes lost everything. But in 2002, Scot Nicol got a phone call from Hans Heim.

Scot had known Hans from the earlier days when Hans was working at Specialized. Hans pressed Scot to bring Ibis Bikes back to life again.Hans Heim had an impressive résumé. After he left Specialized, Hans was at Bontrager Cycles, and after that he was part owner in Santa Cruz Bicycles. In 2002, Hans and his partner in Santa Cruz, Rob Roskopp, parted ways, and Hans left Santa Cruz Bicycles.

But Hans was not done making his mark on the industry. Hans called Scot to inquire about restarting Ibis, and that was the start of a new era of bicycle-making at Ibis Bikes.


As the new CEO of Ibis Bikes, Hans brought on Tom Morgan and Roxy Lo and, together with Scot, they bought the company back in 2005, with a new vision based around carbon fiber construction. Tom Morgan is president and general manager at Ibis Bikes and keeps things on track with his organizational skills.

Tom has a background with Giant, and Answer before that, and Titec. Roxy Lo is an artist with a background in industrial design. She is a top industrial designer and loves all kinds of aesthetic work, from ceramics to cabinets and computer related stuff, but the common thread in every piece she does is that it “looks cool.”

Together, the Ibis Bikes team build some of the finest, most innovative bicycles on the planet. Scot Nicol and the Ibis Bikes team would like you to know this about how the company got to where it is today:“The one thing we always did was to build bikes we wanted to ride.”


The Ibis Mojo HD4 is an enduro bike. Like all Ibis Bikes, it’s built on a carbon fiber monocoque frame and swingarm. The rear triangle is carbon. For 2018, Ibis has updated the HD to version 4 with their all new DW-link swingarm suspension kinematics.

The Mojo HD4 is also longer and more slack than its predecessor, the Mojo HD3.


The basic Ibis Mojo HD4 is available online from about $3000 going up to $9600 for the Ibis Mojo HD4 SRAM XX1 Eagle Bike. The bike is available from many online dealers, such as Jenson, Wrench Science, Cambria Bicycle Outfitter, Backcountry.com and Competitive Cyclist.


We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare. All 4 of the comparison bikes are full-suspension mountain bikes and are designed to balance between uphill, downhill, and enduro, as the rider prefers.

  • Santa Cruz Nomad
  • Commencal Meta AM
  • Yeti SB5.5


PRICEAbout $3000 going up to $9600 depending on options selected.
featuresThe carbon fiber frame comes in 4 different sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large. The bike comes with 27.5 wheels, and disk brakes. Included is a polycarbonate guard that bolts on under the down tube to help prevent the frame from getting scuffed. There’s also a threaded bottom bracket that lets you mount a chain guide if you want to make sure you’re not dropping a chain on rough descents.
DESIGN QUALITYRoxy Lo has done an amazing job on this bike. You will notice that most bike frames consist of two triangles – a front and a rear – joined together. It works out this way because the triangle is the most rigid structure from an engineering standpoint. But while most bicycle frames are composed of two triangles, Roxy has designed 3 triangles into the Mojo frame. Besides making the frame look elegant and beautiful, the third triangle a provides extra rigidity and support. This is a 5 plus bike.
ComponentsThe Mojo HD4 is available in 5 different models and depending upon how much you want to pay, you can get standard SRAM, SRAM NX, SRAM GX, or Shimano components.


  • The geometry finds that delicate middle ground between maneuverability and stability
  • The bike climbs as well as it descends
  • Quick


  • A little less stable feeling on flats
  • Not fast in a straight line


The Nomad is built upon a carbon frame with Virtual Pivot Point swingarm rear suspension, and a RockShox fork. The rear shock is mounted to the bike’s lower link, which is the same configuration used in the venerable V10 downhill bike. Santa Cruz says the Nomad is a combination daily-driver/downhill bike.

This bike has a “Flip Chip” on the lower link at the rear of the shock that lets you change the frame geometry. With a flip of the chip, the head tube angle slackens from 65° to 64.6° and the bottom bracket drops another 5mm or more.

This change in frame geometry gives your bike tighter or looser steering, allowing you to adjust your bike for different terrain and riding styles.

PRICEThe Santa Cruz Nomad is available in aluminum, carbon “C”, and carbon “CC” frames, with prices starting at around $3,600 and going up to $9,400.The bike is available from many online dealers, such as Cambria Bicycle Outfitter, Backcountry.com, Competitive Cyclist and Mike’s Bikes.
featuresThe bike also has a “shuttle pad” which is a plastic bumper on the bottom of the downtube. This allows you to hang the bike over a truck tailgate without scratching up the paint.
DESIGN QUALITYThe design quality of this bike is second to none. The Flip Chip design feature that lets you change the frame geometry gives this bike a plus that other bikes do not have.
ComponentsThis bike is available in multiple builds. You can get SRAM NX or SRAM GX shifters and derailleurs, RockShox, and Maxxis Minion tires.


  • Comfortable, quick, and efficient uphill


  • Not as many builds and options as Ibis Bikes’ Mojo HD4
  • Does not offer Shimano components


Max Commencal is from France and used to own Sunn Bicycles, which he started. Commencal Bikes are manufactured in China and warehoused and shipped out of Taiwan. To market his bikes Max Commencal has established large online distribution centers in many countries around the world. In the U.S., the distribution center is in Golden, Colorado.

The Commencal Meta AM is considered an enduro bike.

Like all bikes in the Commencal line, the Meta AM 4.2 is only offered with an aluminum frame. In 2012 Max Commencal visited his factory in China. When has saw the risks the workers were taking, both to their health and to their lives as they were exposed to the carbon fibers, he realized that carbon fiber is too dangerous to implement safely at a reasonable cost.

Owing to this realization, he made a decision that Commencal would not make carbon fiber bikes. Max will not endanger his workers to make a profit.

PRICEMeta AM prices range from $3400 – $4500 depending on options selected. In the U.S., the bikes are sold online direct from the CommencalUSA office in Golden, Colorado. You can also visit the showroom there
featuresThe 2018 Commencal Meta AM v4s come in 5 different models. Sizes range from small, medium, large, and extra large. They come in brushed aluminum, black anodized, green, gold, or orange. For 2019, Commencal is cutting back to only one 27.5 inch wheel bike, but adding a 29 inch wheel Mets AM to their lineup. If you are looking to save money, they still have the closeout 2017 Meta AM v3 listed on their website for only $1800 (that price could change at any time).
DESIGN QUALITYThis is a high quality bike on a strong aluminum frame.
ComponentsCommencal offers this bike in 5 different builds. With the mix and match, you can get SRAM GX or GPX shifters (matching derailleurs), either SRAM brakes, or Shimano brakes, RockShox or Fox shocks, and your choice of Maxxis Minion tires, or Schwalbe tires. You cannot get a Shimano shift set on any of the builds. Many, many riders prefer Shimano components – this lowers the rating.


  • Improved stability at high speeds
  • Most affordable all-mountain/enduro bike
  • Socially conscious company mentality


  • Only offered with an aluminum frame
  • You cannot get a Shimano shift set


The Yeti factory is in Golden, Colorado (the same city as Commencal Bicycles). Yeti has a long history in bicycle racing and their engineering and design is structured around the needs of the racing team. The Yeti SB5.5 is considered a trail bike.

The SB5 comes in both men’s and women’s models. The women’s bike is based on the same frame and component configuration, but the shock absorbers are softer to carry a lighter weight. The crank is 5mm shorter to accommodate shorter legs, and it comes with a softer WTB seat.

The Yeti SB5 uses a suspension system they call Switch Infinity, which is said to improve pedaling performance while remaining responsive further into the stroke. Switch Infinity works by shifting the forces around at the pivot point of the suspension. This allows the bike to adjust its suspension pressure to different sizes of bumps mid-ride.

This keeps the rear wheel planted firmly on the ground. Mountain bike riders report that they can feel the difference in control.

PRICEBuyers can choose from standard carbon or the lighter, more expensive Turq carbon. Pricing starts at $3,500 for a Turq carbon frame and goes up to $8,200 for an Eagle XX1 complete build.
featuresThe extra frame width accommodates oversized plus size tires – up to 2.8. On the SB5 the frame protectors for the down tube and chainstay are custom molded to match the frame. This guarantees a proper fit and adhesion to the frame for years of protection without replacement or additional adhesives. It has internal cable routing that gives it a clean look.
DESIGN QUALITYThe unique design of the switch infinity system puts it a cut above. This bike gets a 5 plus.
ComponentsThe Yeti SB5 comes in 7 component configurations, so you can take your pick. Most of the shifting components are SRAM GX Eagle, but there is one configuration available with Shimano. Count on Maxxis Minion 27.5 inch tires.


  • Switch Infinity system improves tire grip on bumps
  • Nimble on climbs
  • Dominates on descents


  • Not available in an aluminum frame
  • Requires constant maintenance
  • Some riders have reported early failure of their infinity switch


In the comparison lineup we have 2 enduros, 1 downhill daily driver, and a trail bike. The bikes are almost identical in their quality – all the companies are run by professional bike enthusiasts who have tenure in bike design. Which bike is best for you depends on your individual preferences.If you need a women’s bike, your only choice is the Yeti SB5.

If you are planning to ride the bike out to the trails, the Santa Cruz Nomad is made to do that. But if you are planning to carry the bike out to the trails in your truck, consider the Yeti SB5. The Santa Cruz Nomad is a better bike for downhill racing. If you want a carbon fiber frame or Shimano components, skip the Commencal bike – it does not have it.

If you are an Enduro rider, select the Ibis Mojo HD4 or the Commencal. The Switch Infinity system on the Yeti bike keeps the rear wheel plastered to the ground, but has to be greased every 40 hours. If routine maintenance is a problem for you, you do not want that bike.

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