I love my Ibis HD3. It’s a great trail bike that goes up and down amazingly well. It eats up tech and rock on the downs and pedals better than any 160mm travel bike should have a right to. The DW Link suspension is shockingly good. All of that said, some parts of my initial build were not aligning with what I want wanted in a trail bike.
Imagine cresting a mountain peak or climb and the trail points down with lots of rocks staring back at you. No problem, just drop the dropper seat post, switch the front derailleur to the big chainring, and possibly change a setting on the shock. That’s too much for me. It took away from enjoying the moment one too many times. The two by drivetrain had to go in favor of a one by drivetrain. I wanted to keep the gear ratio spread of my two by drivetrain to not limit the bike meaning I needed a 10-42 cassette and a 28 tooth chainring according to the magical gear chart. Problem is I didn’t want to do a full XX1 build because I love the reliability and feel of Shimano shifting. Enter my dive into what others have termed XXTR. A mix of Sram XX1 parts and Shimano XTR parts to accomplish a Shimano shifting 10-42 spread in the cassette. The hybrid of the best of two companies.
The Sram X01 10-42 cassette paired with an 11 speed XTR derailleur is made supposedly better by a Wolf Tooth Goat Link. A XD Driver was added to my DT Swiss 240s hub to allow the Sram cassette. Time will tell but so far it shifts like a dream anywhere in the cassette. Multi shifts, no problem. Big cog, small cog, no complaining.
The front end of the mix is a Race Face Next SL crankset paired with a Wolf Tooth 28 tooth chainring. A Sram XX1 chain makes the front end talk to the backend.
A Shimano XTR 11 speed shifter on the new S-Works DH carbon handlebar (trimmed to 750mm) rounds out the drivetrain.
While I had my favorite bike shop working on the drivetrain, I also had them change some other things like moving the XTR 180mm rotor from the back to the front and installing a new XTR 160mm rotor on the back. The brakes felt a little overkill last year and I needed to replace the 203mm rotor anyways.
I also swapped out the Specialized Purgatory Grid tire on the rear for a Specialized Slaughter Grid rear tire to hopefully get a better roll out of the tire. It’s made up of really tight small knobs in the center and bigger knobs on the outside of the profile. Time will tell, but friends like the tire.
I’m really happy with bike. My local bike shop Bloomington Cycle & Fitness killed it. The owners Scott and Caryn, along with everyone else that proudly puts on a staff shirt make the difference between just another store in town to get what you need and a place that radiates good feelings. They are super knowledgable, easy to talk to, and love making your experience special every time you’re in there. Good people, seriously.
I’m heading down to Alabama for a four-day tech and flow adventure with some good friends about the time you’ll be reading this. I can’t wait to ride the bike and spend time with good people on vacation.