Ibis has responded to Bike Intelligencer’s query about why the new Mojo HD won’t come with a coil shock option. With any bike of nearly six and a half inches in rear travel, a lot of riders lean toward a coil for increased consistency, reliability, durability and tuneability. But Hans over at Ibis says coil’s advantages are waning with vastly improved air shock technology — e.g. the Fox RP23, stock on the HD. Here’s what Hans had to say when we pointed out that Brian Lopes, America’s winningest male mountain bike competitor ever, runs coil shocks on his Mojos:
“Brian has his own custom tuner and has shocks for different purposes so he runs shocks that are super firm, soft or lower his bike or whatever he feels is the hot set up for the course.
Most of the shortcomings of air shocks have been overcome in the last few years and if you want to make a lightweight frame or bike, they save a lot of weight. The spring curve is different than a coil, so the suspension on the HD is designed with that air spring curve in mind.”
Even as recent as a year ago I would’ve begged to differ with Hans. Virtually all the long travel trail bikes I’ve owned and ridden — Ventana, Turner, Intense, Santa Cruz, Specialized — have benefitted hugely from coil. So it’s something to think about when buying a bike, because replacing an OEM air shock with a coil after purchase can be a pricey proposition.
But here’s the deal. For the past year I’ve been riding a 6.5-inch Pivot Firebird all over the place, from Galbraith Mountain to Whistler to Leavenworth to Ashland to NorCal, including UC Santa Cruz and the Soquel Demo Forest. And I’ve been waiting for the slightest excuse to go coil, especially since the Cane Creek Double Barrel comes with a gold shaft that would match nicely the Firebird’s gold pivot and the Chris King gold bottom bracket. Bling! But drat it all, the stock shock, the same Fox RP23 that goes on the Mojo, has been just too rock solid to think about replacing. In fact, it’s been a set-it-and-forget-it thing with the RP23. (Now if Fox only made one with a gold shaft.)
Granted, Dave Weagle (the DW-Link inventor) was in on the Firebird’s design, along with the Man himself of course, Chris Cocalis. So you have to figure hand-in-glove relationship between the technology and the design. The Cane Creek has gotten raves on MTBR.com and elsewhere, but my experience is never change a winning game — or bike setup, for that matter.
Plus that same relationship with Weagle applies to Ibis and the Man himself, Scot Nicol. So no quarrel from me this time. I’ll look forward to not worrying about a shock upgrade with the new HD. (That white is the bomb btw!)