Ibex Ignition 3: First Ride, first impressions…

The Ibex Ignition 3, Emerald Sand color, had been previously reviewed by two other staff members (Lance & Jeremy). As we are all individual riders and have different riding style, I’ll share my first impressions of the Ignition 3. I’ll try not to be redundant and rehash any of the previous reports on this bike.

Off the bat when I picked up the bike from Jeremy, the first thing I noticed was the weight. As I mounted the bike onto my hitch rack, the bike felt to be on the heavier side. Also what immediately got my attention was the 2? hi-rise handlebar. In my thoughts, it looked a little high for me. When I arrived home, I rode the bike on the streets to see if I needed to make any immediate changes. I wanted to be comfortable on the Ignition without changing any of the parts for the review.

I noticed two things – definitely with the 2? rise, the bars were too high and the rear shock was set-up was too stiff (since it was last set-up for Jeremy’s weight). Back in the garage, I lowered the stack height of the stem, binging it down by 10mm.

I also adjusted rear shock to the appropriate pressure and the sag to my weight. Last, I swapped out the stock pedals to the Crank Bros Candy SL. I had an extra set of pedals and my shoes are already equipped w/cleats (for Crank Bros pedals). Changing this part of the bike should not compromise the review.

First Ride: I took the Ignition to my local training ground, Coal Canyon. This trail is a ride in – ride out, which consists of fireroad climbs all the way up to the summit. I started a little later in the morning therefore the sun was already beating down. There are no shades going up Coal Canyon so it can get hot…ugh. Shortly after the entrance, when the flats transitioned into an incline the Ignition climbed very well. The bike’s front suspension, Marzocchi MX is equipped with a lockout however I didn’t need to use it. I cruised up the first two miles effortless. Despite the Ignition’s climbing efficiency, I can definitely feel the weight which eventually will take a toll on your legs.

  Coal Canyon trail, 241fwy and Anaheim Hills in the background.

As the trail became steeper, with the hi-rise bar and the lack of height adjustment on the fork, the Ignition steered all over the place. It was manageable but the efficiency was no longer there. At certain areas of the trail, when I stood up to mash on the pedals, the high position of hi-rise bars felt awkward. I reached the four mile mark and decided to head back down.

Bombing down the fireroad on the Ignition was a blast. I only wished I would have climbed all the way to the top as the four miles ended too quickly. The Avid brakes worked really well, both front and back. There were certain sections where I was approaching a turn and merely feathered the lever to slow down. I felt confident on the descents. The rear suspension wasn’t quite as responsive as I wanted it to be. Perhaps I needed to adjust the rebound… There aren’t too many technical areas on this trail so as I was climbing, I spotted a few hill-side rock sections that would be pretty fun. Sure enough I was able to hit some of these sections on my way back down. All though not too technical, the Ignition stay true to the line I picked.

First impressions:  The Ignition is a bit heavy.  I believe we had weighed this close to 35 lbs.  It can certainly use a diet.  However, with the first ride, the bike lived up to its label as an All-Mountain bike.  Despite the small issue of handling on steeper sections, it did very well on both ascents and descents.  Sure adjustments will have to be made, but we do that on most of our bikes anyways.

Back at home I lowered the stem by another 10mm. Hopefully this will feel a little bit more comfortable on the next ride. I’ll be riding the Ignition 3 quite a bit more so stay tuned for a full review in the next few months.  Below is a short video of the bike in action.

Price: $849.00
Specs:

Frame:  6061 Aluminum w/ 5″ Travel
Fork:  Marzocchi MX Lockout – 120mm
Rear Shock:  Rock Shox BAR 2.1 Air*
Shifters:  Shimano Deore Rapidfire (SL-M530)
Front Derailleur:  Shimano Deore (FD-M530)
Rear Derailleur:  Shimano LX (RD-M581-SGS)
Crankset:  FSA Gamma Drive (44/32/22T)
Bottom-Bracket:  FSA MegaExo
Cassette:  Shimano HG 50 9-spd (11-34T)
Chain:  KMC Z9200
Brakes:  Avid BB-5 Mechanical Discs
Rotors:  Avid 7″ Roundagon (185mm)
Levers:  Avid FR-5
Rims:  WTB SpeedDisc All-Mountain
Hubs:  Formula Disc
Tires:  WTB VelociRaptor (26″ x 2.10)
Headset:  Aheadset STS-2K
Handlebar:  UNO Alloy OS (50mm Rise x 670mm)
Stem:  UNO OS Alloy – 3D Forged
Seatpost:  UNO Microadjust Alloy ( 31.6mm dia.)
Saddle:  WTB Speed V Comp
Pedals:  Shimano M505 Clipless w. Cleats

2 Replies to “Ibex Ignition 3: First Ride, first impressions…”

  1. Joe,

    Would a stumpy dh stem be better suited for the bike? How did the rear suspension work for you? I remember Jer had some issues bottoming out on a few occasions.

  2. A shorter stem would definitely be better. I have a spare that I can mount however it’s for a 25.4 bar. The one that came w/teh bike is a 31.8.

    The suspension is ok, I’ll have to play around with the rebound. I did notice that the marker/washer was alot lower as if it bottomed out. We’ll see…

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