Well, I have had and been riding the Ibex Maroc 26 hardtail for a few months now. Here is the introductory article with info on the bike. If you listen carefully, you can hear my favorite part about this bike… wait for it. Yes, it is quiet. Sneak attack quiet. It feels quieter than my SS in fact. I would tend to think that it due in part from a number of factors. One of the major contributors besides that a carbon frame cannot resonate like metal can is the internal cable routing. I came across an article recently (somewhere which I don’t remember now) that recommended using internal routing as a way to quiet down your ride. So I would image this contributes to the lack of noise.
The Maroc was on the small side of things for me frame wise, but not uncomfortable so. In fact, it kind of felt like a BMX bike. It love to be thrown around, stand up and mash, and had acceleration for days. Standing up charging up the hills made to bike just beg for more. Usually however, my heart-rate was the first one to give. Another good thing about the Maroc and this goes hand in hand with its lack of noise is the smoothness. Even through moderately choppy terrain it stayed smooth, on course, and lacked a good amount of trail chatter. While on the bike I never noticed any unduly amount of flex.
The even though the Maroc is a hardtail, it performed like a great all-around bike. Even though it is fairly light on the scale, it isn’t a super XC race machine, I would think mainly due to the geometry. The sit and spin up a big hills is where I had only the real point of contention. The bike climbed just fine, but it was not a put your head down and charge up the hill while in the saddle. The key market for this bike to me would be those riders who want a hardtail, but still want to to be able to handle the fun stuff. It is a very good all-around bike, and would do well for those who only have one bike, and don’t do any major DH. I even took it down some of my favorite AM trails, and they where definitely all rideable, but I was not able to carry the amount of speed I normally would through the rough parts and drops. The 69.5 degree head angle I would credit with the stability here. Even with the slacker HA for a hardtail the steering was not sluggish in the corner, quick the opposite in fact. The Maroc is still a hardtail and has limitations as such, but it is a fun bike.
The SRAM X9 2×10 drive-train was a solid as expected (I’m swapping my drive-train out to this, so I unquestionable like it). The Rockshox Reba RLT was great. Sometimes it felt like more of a 120mm travel instead of 100mm. I had a little trouble with the lockout remote, minor, but mainly just an annoyance. The cable with controls the locking has to have a lot of tension while in the lock position or the fork does not completely lockout. I kept having to re-tighten it. Personally, I would like to see Rockshox have a hydraulic option here, but that’s just me. The one thing I have have to change if I owned this bike would be the front tire. The WTB Wolverine 2.1 was just not enough meat up front for me and cut loose a few times causing me to quickly say hello to the dirt. The Wolverine was a descent XC tire in the rear, in the front I had to be cautious and aware to to rely on it too much.
My normal hardtail is a steel 29er, and the carbon Maroc was unquestionably smoother than the steel. The quick handling made me aware of the limitations of the 29er in tight quarters. I was able to carry much more speed through tight switchbacks. I did have one significant issue with the bike was that the frame cracked on the seat tube just about the bottom bracket underneath the front derailleur. I contacted Ibex and their representative simply asked us to continue riding the bike. This did not affect the ride-ability of the bike, but because of it the front derailleur would come loose and slide up the seat-tube just enough to disable shifting. I would have to assume this issue was caused by the derailleur crushing the tube and would be a warrantied issue. I never took it easy on the bike after this and the frame continued to hold up without issue.
In summary, the Ibex Maroc is a quick, light, smooth, and quiet bike. It has a great build with SRAM X9 and a Reba RLT fork. For the price it is a tough to beat option for those looking to step up into carbon. It held up well among the California rock and dust and also got a rare rain ride in. This is one bike I wouldn’t mind having in my stable.