New bike, Ibis HD5, fully over the top Bling build. XX1 AXS electronic wireless shifting, AXS Electronic wireless dropper post, Industry 9 Hydra Hubs in the center of Nobl 36 carbon hoops.
Maiden voyage BLUF (bottom line up front)
If I had to choose one bike, the 2018 Orbea Rallon, or this HD5, based solely on how they each felt the 1st time I rode them, I’d pick the Orbea without a second thought.
So….mixed feeelings. The Ibis “traction tune” leaves a lot to be desired. I’ll know more after the next fork revalve work. (I already revalved the fork but Fox design in the Grip2 damper doesn’t make it easy….) The carbon wheels make everything feel harsh.. but it’s far from plush and not poppy enough at the same time, which is a weird/sad trick…
The bike climbs great. Sprints really really well and is pretty rewarding when you pedal in a downhill.. which is what I was looking for. But it’s not quite as energetic as the Orbea and doesn’t get the traction in corners of that bike either. Partly is due to the stiff carbon wheels. They will have to be sold if I keep the bike.
Electric shifting is just whatever.. works fine. Not worth $1000 retail. ($650 premium)
Seatpost is still my favorite part of this bike.
The bike is really playful. Even with the long wheelbase. The 27.5 wheels have a lot to do with it. My Orbea is 90% as playful.. though they play in different ways… The Orbea feels more “poppy” if you can believe that.. the HD changes direction more quickly.
I didn’t ride it anywhere I could really open it up. The long wheelbase will probably let the bike shine in a way the shorter Orbea does not when speeds are up over 35-40mph. I will report on that in next review phase.
So.. overall I feel like since this was the 1st ride I should not be too fast to judge. I think with Alloy rims the experience will be greatly improved. I’ve honestly never had such a good ride on carbon rims so.. that’s worth something..
I will revalve the fork again tonight and dremel out the rebound ports for larger and smoother port exit…should make for faster rebound..