Enter the Ibis DV9, a 29” carbon hardtail inspired by high school XC racer Lili Heim (daughter of Ibis CEO Hans Heim). Ibis set out to build a bike that could do it all, and still be paid for with earnings from seasonal employment. With a starting price at $2119 with the NX kit, this bike serves up some serious specs with not-so-serious spending. With the DV9, Ibis has created a multi-faceted and functional carbon rig that can podium one day and roost berms the next.
If you’re used to a full-suspension platform, the DV9 will feel relatively rigid at first, but the trade-off is a bike that accelerates quickly, and handles precisely. It feels connected to the trail, which can be a good and a bad thing. You feel every bump, which forces you to pick lines wisely. Ultimately, riding a hardtail will hone your skills, which will inevitably translate when you hop back on your full suspension rig, should you have one in your quiver. With a feather-light 1350 gram frame weight, the DV9 can be built up around 18 - 23 pounds depending on budget and part spec. Naturally, it climbs with little effort, but you do give up a bit of traction compared to a full-suspension bike. The ability to run 2.6” tires helps with the traction, while smoothing out the overall ride feel.
Adding to the do-anything, go-anywhere narrative, the head tube angle can be changed by running a different fork: 67.4° with a 120mm fork, and 68.5° with a 100mm fork. Those numbers are on the on-point for hardtail "down-country" geometry, lending confidence on more technical descents, while remaining quick and agile on the climbs. With either of those forks, make sure your tires match the arena. Those interested in counting grams for XC racing would do well to pair the 100mm fork with 2.1" - 2.25” tires. If you're seeking more relaxed fun, go for a 120mm fork and bold 2.6” rubber.
This bike also has a low bottom bracket height, no matter which fork you’re running. Using a 100mm fork gives you a 300mm bottom bracket height, while the 120mm will afford you 320mm. Both will provide a more stable ride, especially when you’re out of the saddle on a grinding climb. That low stability will pay dividends when cornering, and you’ll feel more balanced on tight switchbacks.
The seat tube angle also changes between fork setups. Before you scoff at a seemingly slack seat tube angle, keep in mind that this is a hardtail, so the bike does not sag into any rear suspension, which means seat angles don't need to be as steep as what you may be seeing on the latest all-mountain/enduro bikes. At 72° with a 120mm fork, and 73° with 100mm, these angles will get your body in a proper vertical position to get leverage on your pedals, putting the power where you need it.
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