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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In the fall of 2010 I decided to sell my Mojo SL and upgrade to a Mojo HD 140 with plans to eventually upgrade again to a Mojo HD 160. At the time I wrote a review documenting some of the impressions and feelings I had on the bike and how it compared to the Mojo SL. If you have not read it there is some good info in there and gives you a bit of background on me and the previous bike setup

https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=658445&highlight=initial+thoughts+review

While I was truly happy with the Mojo HD set at 140mm of travel, a 68 Degree Head, and sitting at 28.5 Ilbs. I just couldn't resist the urge to try it out at 160mm of travel. This would give me a 36mm stanchion fork with 160mm of travel and a 20mm axle up front over the previous 32mm stanchion, 150mm/15TA. As well as a new longer travel rear shock , slacker head and seat tube angle, a slightly longer wheel base and lastly a taller 13.8" bottom bracket over the old 13.5" height. All of which would hopefully increase my Downhill confidence, without much of a penalty in the weight and climbing efficiency departments. So in December, 2010 only a few months later, I pulled the trigger and have been riding my Mojo HD in its 160mm Travel Mode.



Weighing in at 30.14 pounds, with the new 2011 Easton Havoc wheels, Push tuned Monarch RT3 rear shock, and a 2011 Fox 160mm/36 Fork. It without a doubt feels like a big step in the right direction. Even despite my previous thoughts that the extra travel was not needed on most trails, this thing flat out rips giving all the feedback you could ever want, in a responsive, controlled and ultra efficient package, all without much of a weight penalty nor a big decrease in pedaling output.

2011 Fox Talas 36, 160mm of travel with a 20mm Front Axle
• Much stiffer than the Fox 150/32mm fork it replaced due to the bigger stanchions, axle size and clamping system.
• Travel feels very plush and very linear up until the end of the stroke where it rightfully ramps up to decrease bottom out. Even though it's a Talas, it actually feels plusher and more bump compliant than the previous 32 Float
• 160/120 travel settings are a big improvement over the previous 3 stage setup. Since the bike does not pedal well in the lesser travel modes you only use the travel adjust for steep climbs to avoid wheeling and conserve strength. Keeps things simple.

2011 Easton Havoc Rims, 12mm TA rear, 20mm TA front, 1750 Grams
• only 100 grams heavier than the Havens and much stronger due to the beefed up rim thickness, beefier spokes, and robust 20mm Hub up front
• Super wide Trail rims at 28mm external width and a 23mm internal, which is 3mm wider than the Havens. Creates the ultimate tire profile and is stronger to boot
• UST handbuilt rims that convert to tubeless so easily, it would be a sin to ever put a tube in there. Rim is stronger all the way around, Impact resistance is off the chart, and the rim is noticeably stiffer than the Haven.
• Seriously the perfect match to this bike, look for a separate review in the future on these wheels. Highly recommended.

Push Tuned Rockshox Monarch RT3
• 160mm of travel, with 2 propedal settings, a complete open setting, and rebound adjustment with a high volume air can
• "Aggressive trail control tune" by Push Industries makes for an air shock that gives excellent control, plenty of compression to keep it from wallowing, still supple, and super high confidence at fast speeds
• higher oil volume than a comparable fox shock, which makes it run much, much cooler and consistent, instead of overheating and valving spikes. (my old fox rp23 would be burning hot to the touch, I haven't been able to get this Monarch that hot)

The bike now weighs 30.14 pounds compared to the Mojo HD140 weight of 28.5ilbs. Also take into consideration that I changed to a heavier rear tire which added another 120 grams or so. The bike does feel a bit heavier, but it's still light as a feather for how capable it is.



Overall the difference is noticeable and improved. It's just another step in a better direction. The bike just gives you more and more confidence as you ride it faster and faster. All of the components work in harmony and it all feels very polished and fine tuned. I think my favorite feature of the bike, is how it does not feel like an ultra plush plow bike, it feels like a super aggressive trail bike. It still feels very lively pedaling down the trail, pedals uphill with spirit and just flat rips on the downhill. Instead of plowing through roots,rocks, and chunk, it floats over the top of it. When you hit bumps, it doesn't make them go away, it soaks them up and gives you the feedback needed to know its there without upsetting you or the bike. This is a fast bike that rewards active riders. With different suspension setups I'm sure it could be made to ride more "plush" but for me that sacrifices control at speed, which is why I had the shock tuned with more compression. While there is still good small bump compliancy, the rear suspension really starts to open up and shine the faster I go. For a more All Mountain Point and Shoot type bigger bike feel I'd recommend going with a coil setup. With the air fork and shock, the bike feels super fast, but it still feels like a air bike. For me the weight penalty is not worth the extra plushness but if I was doing more shuttling and chunky trails, a coil setup would be logical.



The Geometry once again takes another step towards a more aggressive downhill stance. 1 degree slacker, longer, and a bit higher. While these things do make the bike more stable pointed downhill, they also tend to make bikes feel a bit more sluggish and less nimble. This is not necessarily so with the HD160. It definitely feels more stable in every aspect, however with the more relaxed angles you are able to give the bike more body inputs when turning, pumping, jumping, or popping which again gives you more confidence, which more than makes up for the loss in agility. Which in turn makes the bike feel faster, just as maneuverable, and more aggressive. The only trade-off is that if you do not ride the bike more aggressively weighting/pushing the front in turns, digging in, and pumping, it could have the tendency to not carve as easily. In some ways it makes a bike like this a bit harder to ride for an average rider coming from a more xc oriented bike but if you spend the time to adapt, the rewards are huge. Confidence and Feedback would be the words I would use to describe how it feels.

The added bottom bracket height of .3 of an inch is actually nice. While at first I was worried higher would not be good for cornering and a low center of gravity, the bike still feels very low and centered. In addition it seems to just give you that tiny bit of clearance to nearly cease the really bad pedal strikes I was getting with the lower bottom bracket of the HD140. Win-win situation.



Some of this I'm sure has to do with component selection, using the more trail tuned Fox Fork, and the more aggressive/high compression tuned rear shock but the HD160 also has a different leverage curve than the 140. After a lengthy talk with Darren from Push Industries, he told me that they carefully measured each Mojo with their equipment. They found that the HD140 shares a similar linear leverage curve to the Mojo SL, not being very active in the beginning of the stroke and then staying somewhat linear through out the curve. While this isn't exactly what I felt when going from the SL to the HD140, I'll take their word for it. What they found with the HD160 is that it is different than all other Mojo's. It starts with a very active initial travel, staying somewhat linear through the middle of the travel and then ramping up increasingly at the end of the travel. Meaning that this 160 should have better small bump compliance, no wallow, and good bottom out resistance. He also mentioned that this is one of their personal favorite leverage curves next to only a few other bikes and is the perfect setup to run a coil shock.



While the bike pops lips, rails turns, slides sideways, lands drops, and floats over terrain better than any of the previous Mojo's I've ridden, I'm sure many are wondering if it still pedals as well, with the slacker angles and added travel and weight? The answer is both yes and no. While pedaling along the trail whether it be slightly up or down the bike almost feels as if it pedals better, with more pop from each pedal stroke and forward momentum. The downside is when the terrain starts to point up more than just a little. As it gets steeper you can start to feel the frontend want to wander a bit more and the added weight from the bike starts to make it feel a bit more sluggish. I have found there is a slight but noticeable feel of less efficiency and in turn more output on my part to get up the hill. However, the added fun factor going downhill, more than makes up for the tiny bit of extra effort needed for the climbs. I can say without a doubt, I have not ridden any other 30 pound bike that goes as fast downhill and pedals this well.

So at the end of the day there are still variables on whether to get the 140 or the 160. For some people it might come down to wanting to use pre-existing parts like wheels and forks, or if you're truly worried about the small weight penalty due to the type of riding you're doing. Maybe a 36 fork seems too overkill but either way you really can't go wrong with such a dynamic frame that allows us to easily change between both setups. However if you truly like to play like I do, just get the 160 with the extra travel and stiffer fork and never look back. It's really that good and the drawbacks are really minimal thanks to all of the new light weight trail tuned parts that are available now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good question. To be honest I ordered the rt/am but I received the rt/3 so I wasn't going to complain on the upgrade. It turns out even though I've been a no-propedal type of rider, Ill admit on rocky climbs the platform is a nice feature (propedal is a fox term). With it flicked to the middle position, I find the bike does not waddle in the midstroke when climbing over rocks giving better performance as it rolls over the rocks with no delay. I don't like flipping levers back and forth but I have been surprised at how the platform actually seems to work well. Saying that I still primarily ride with the shock in the open position, which unlike a fox means its completely open.
 

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Yody said:
Saying that I still primarily ride with the shock in the open position, which unlike a fox means its completely open.
Ahhh, I wasn't aware of that distinction... one of the guys at Push told me, if I recall correctly, that the RT3 has a preloaded shim stack, and the AM is not preloaded, so it has the capacity to flow more oil, but no platform.... I assumed that meant the RT3 is similar to the RP23.... other than the higher oil volume, larger piston, etc. I'd been trying to decide on one or the other for my Mojo, that I could swap over to an HD140 after I'd saved up enough coin... but that's been postponed by a broken Mojo, followed by raiding the HD fund to take Ibis up on a SL crash replacement upgrade:)thumbsup: Shout out to Jeff & Scot. Thanks dudes! you're the best in the biz).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
doismellbacon said:
Ahhh, I wasn't aware of that distinction... one of the guys at Push told me, if I recall correctly, that the RT3 has a preloaded shim stack, and the AM is not preloaded, so it has the capacity to flow more oil, but no platform.... I assumed that meant the RT3 is similar to the RP23.... other than the higher oil volume, larger piston, etc. I'd been trying to decide on one or the other for my Mojo, that I could swap over to an HD140 after I'd saved up enough coin... but that's been postponed by a broken Mojo, followed by raiding the HD fund to take Ibis up on a SL crash replacement upgrade:)thumbsup: Shout out to Jeff & Scot. Thanks dudes! you're the best in the biz).
Ya know, I should probably re-affirm this. It's quite possible Darren was talking about the RT/AM at the time since that was what I thought I was ordering.
 

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Speaking of the Monarch and the HD, everybody seems to be talking about either the RT3 or the AM, but what about the standard RT? The standard RT was what Push recommended to me for the HD 160 when I ordered my shock for the everything but the kitchen sink kind of riding I do. Anybody have any experiences/suggestions.
Drawbacks of the RT vs the RT-AM?
 

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The way Push described it to me:
The RT has a knob to adjust the threshold in fine increments, like the adjustable floodgate you have on a RS fork.... so you can dial it in how you like, but it's difficult to tweak while riding. The RT-3 is basically the same shock but with an easy-to-flip lever for 3 choices: Open - light threshold - high threshold (I'm not sure if the open is truly open or just extra light)
The AM has no threshold at all (aka, no preload on the shim stack), rather an adjustment for compression damping and the highest flow piston of the bunch.
I'm a full-on E-rider on this subject, I admit, so I can't give you any seat of the pants assessment.
 

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doismellbacon said:
The way Push described it to me:
The RT has a knob to adjust the threshold in fine increments, like the adjustable floodgate you have on a RS fork.... so you can dial it in how you like, but it's difficult to tweak while riding. The RT-3 is basically the same shock but with an easy-to-flip lever for 3 choices: Open - light threshold - high threshold
The AM has no threshold at all (aka, no preload on the shim stack), rather an adjustment for compression damping and the highest flow piston of the bunch.
I'm a full-on E-rider on this subject, I admit, so I can't give you any seat of the pants assessment.
Thank you. E-rider or no your description cleared things up for me.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
redmr2_man said:
god damn yody, your bike is looking fantastic.

Good solid feedback.

I want your bike. lol
Thanks, hasn't been easy managing to piece it together but its worked out well. Hope to see you out there on a HD in the near future. What size bike do your ride?
 

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I don't need an hd. I'd like for them to come out with a non weight weenie SUPER LOPES link that made it deflect less in corners. The flex + deflection really kills it for me.

I'm on a large.

I need non weight weenie wheels and I'm golden. Currently talas 140 + rp23 for trails, and vanilla rc coil for messing around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
redmr2_man said:
I don't need an hd. I'd like for them to come out with a non weight weenie SUPER LOPES link that made it deflect less in corners. The flex + deflection really kills it for me.

I'm on a large.

I need non weight weenie wheels and I'm golden. Currently talas 140 + rp23 for trails, and vanilla rc coil for messing around.
Yes you do ;)

I doubt just a beefier link would fix the flex, its just a light versatile xc based long travel frame. I hear ya though, a new frame is $$$, sometimes you just have to compromise a little, its not like the classic Mojo isn't a really good bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Huck Pitueee said:
Nice review.How long before the 180 mm front coil & rear coil review to complete the series? You could do the parts swap in a half hour.:)
Funny, I was just thinking the same thing today while climbing along the trail :D Its not in the plans, but ya never know.

On another note, I should mention that before I got my HD frame, I was really trying to push the limits on the SL and I found myself feeling like I was riding much more sketch and I had a couple accidents with some injuries which is not a typical thing for me, well at least not all the time. It seems like every step I've made going to the HD140 and then 160, has not only increased my speed and comfort but has also increased the safety margin and reduced accidents (knock on wood)
 

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I've been wondering why guys are building 140 HDs and the review confirms my thoughts.Nice pics of the HD by the way. I've been trying to get a good shot of mine but the brilliant white frame throws off the exposure.
 

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Nice review. I just ordered an RT-3 (asked for plush ride) and converted my fork from a U-turn coil to a 170 DH. So it might end up being somewhere between your bike and a full coil beast.

The fork feels so much better now. Feels like I gained an inch of travel over the U-turn.
 
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