Previously i have reviewed the Mojo at loftus. Kinda pointless review i admit but i wanted to highlight the fact that the bike can do what it isn’t really meant to do. Now for a review of how it handles terrain that it is actually targeted at.
Menai is pretty chunky. Technically i think it is up there with Kentlyn if not a little more. It is pretty similar to bargo depending on which route you take but definitely along the more technical side of tracks. If loftus is smooth xc and manly dam and appin is trail then menai and kentlyn would be a little bit more all mountain. The only thing this trail seems to be lacking is sweeping turns that tests how a bike handles in the corners. Making up for that is plenty of slow technical sections and fast technical sections.
First of all the Mojo’s angle is just right for terrain like this so you never feel like you have the wrong tool for the job. Given enough skill you could get up and down everything menai throws at you and potentially a little more. There was never a moment where i felt like i was going to go over the bars. The bike allows me to always move my body around to negotiate the variety of different terrain. Usually a bike that is fast on the smooth stuff would limit your body positioning as it is designed to stretch you out so i thought i would have some difficulties moving backwards and left and right on a medium mojo no less *17′, usually i ride 16′ if possible* but i was surprised at the amount of freedom i had over the bike. Especially noticeable as i got more and more comfy on the bike i was moving pretty freely over the bike which is always a great sign. As i said on the ride if you want maximum versatility chuck a riser post in there and it will become even more fun in certain places but for the time being i am happy to just ride and not think too much about rising and lowering seat posts *this might change when the new rockshox reverb comes out*. The BB was also higher than most bikes i have ridden *this might just be a 160mm bike thing though* and i was able to pedal through a lot of the loose rocky terrain without any pedal strikes.
What i noticed greatly about the amount of travel a bike has is its absorption of repeated hits. For eg you can have a 100mm travel bike with the same geo as say a 160mm travel bike but the real difference happens when you run into repeated hits. Stuff that would normally overwhelm lower travel bikes tends to get handled better with a higher amount of travel and this is especially noticeable at menai. There are many sections on firetrails and singletrack where you have a decent run up before ramming into some rocks/steps/roots and the mojo just feels awesome in those situations. Always controlled right up to the last obstacle and never ever faltering its lines.This type of terrain also happens on some parts of other trails i ride and the mojo is the same there. For eg manly dam used to see me overwhelming 120mm of suspension towards the dh part near the end as i went faster and faster and what that results into is the feeling of losing control or maybe more appropriately, forks getting packed down. Its kinda like when you enter the chunder it feels pretty decent and then mid way through you are going through more and more travel and towards the 3/4 to end your suspension is struggling to keep up with the hits and you get that “i am a little out of control feeling”. No such feeling here on the mojo. You do have to hit those sections with enough speed to generate that kinda feel though but it is something that is quite obvious to me when i ride. The rear still feels a little bit firm so i need to play with the air pressure but i am pleased to say the front is very agreeable in terms of feel.
The last point i would like to make is in regards to the overall stiffness of the bike. In the same situations of repeated hits on bikes that is slightly softer i notice a slight veering off line choice but with the mojo it is super stiff. I could not notice any flex from the frame at all. Coupled with the fox 36’s with tapered headtube and it runs into square edged stuff without any flinching. What that translates to is literally you can hit things straight up without the bike bouncing off line. With a little body language you could plow through some pretty technical terrain without it veering even a little which obviously inspires confidence. I think the flexiest part of the bike is the rear tyre being that it really isn’t the right kinda tyre for the terrain and that thin sidewall really does flex under load. Overall though that kinda flex is a good kinda comfy flex rather than your frame flexing which would be in the camp of the not so good flex.
So now, combine everything together. You go into a slow technical switch back descent and you lay on the brakes. You move your body position ever so slightly to the right to assist in keeping traction to the tyres as you negotiate the slick rock. Once you actually make the turn the front end isn’t too slow steering as to not make the turn but still rolls over a few small stones in the middle of that corner. As you come out of that corner you notice a short pinch technical climb and you lay down the power and grab speed instantly. The frame doens’t flex as you shoot straight up that section. Once you get to the top of the pinch technical climb you notice a flat downhill leading to a variety of rocks/steps/roots. You roll forwards and as you roll you pickup significant momentum. As you hit the chunder you pick the best line and the bike sticks by your lines. The suspension never becomes overwhelmed over rocks the size of soccer balls and you make it safely and happily down one of the many technical sections on the trail of your choosing.
This is really what i believe the mojo was designed for. This is what i believe the mojo is especially good at. I do have to however keep coming back to the fact that no trail is ever the same and if you do ride a variety of trails you will eventually find fire trail smooth climbs out and it is important to note that you will not be suffering on the mojo even with terrain like that. I understand the mojo a little bit more now and for sure will be visiting Kentlyn soon!
PS :: already scratched the mojo in my crash earlier and to be honest i don’t really care. It is a great looking bike and i admit i do like the aesthetics of things but i do understand that it is a mtb first and foremost. I am not going to let carbon worry me too much as i am sure it will be fine.
PPS :: The brakes are one of the biggest weakness on the bike. It is ok but it isn’t 100% as good as the cheaper elixir’s *yes yes funny*. The rear tyre is also the wrong tyre for the terrain but that is a double edged sword.