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Innovation in the cycling industry tends to create segmentation, with specific designs limited to very specialized terrain and pursuits. The Hakkalugi MX Disc Rival Complete Bike is Ibis' way of pushing back on that trend. The Hakkalugi is bred from a 'cross racing pedigree but accommodates 700c wheels or the 650b hoops it's built with here, so the bike is equally happy showing off it's stiff, snappy responsiveness between the tape as it is lumbering up singletrack or poorly graded fire roads. The only real limit to what this bike can do is your imagination and whether or not you have a different set of wheels handy.
The previous generations of Hakkalugis did a pretty good job of crossing over into gravel and road rides, but both the geometry and tire clearance hinted at its 'cross roots. The Hakka MX (or Monster Cross) does indeed take queues from the OG Hakkalugi, but it extends its range, making it more of a complete all-rounder outside of the course tape. The term monster cross has dropped out of use with the advent of industry terms like "road plus" and "gravel grinders" but Ibis is bringing it back into vernacular with tire clearance on a gravel grinder that we'd expect from an XC bike. With the exception of high-level road racing, this bike is poised to kill a quiver of cyclocross, gravel, and road bikes, because it lets you replace those other machines with a discipline-specific wheelset, instead.
Ibis mountain bikes have been built exclusively from carbon fiber for several years now, and its expertise with the material means they know how to build a stiff, light, durable, and responsive frame. A tapered headtube provides the perfect foundation of unyielding stiffness needed for excellent tracking, hard braking, and out of the saddle climbing. The included ENVE fork contributes to the stiffness while working in tandem with the frame to absorb the jolts from washboard descents and all the rocks and roots found off the beaten path.
We tend to geek out on bottom brackets, and Ibis has given us plenty of fodder here. Ibis made the conscious decision to uses a threaded T47, which provides an oversized, threaded shell and cup that is easier to install and maintain and less likely to develop an irritating press-fit creaking, popping, and squeaking. A wider range of crank diameter spindles can be used without sacrificing bearing diameter and larger spindles forced in a standard diameter threaded shell. The bigger shell also yields larger contact areas between the tubes, offering greater drivetrain rigidity.
Internal cable routing works with mechanical and electronic groups and it keeps cables and housing from contamination, snags, and preserves the bike's clean line while having dropper post routing. Rear, removable, fender mounts at the bottom of the seatstays and the rear of the bottom bracket shell will come in handy during a muddy gravel race, winter training, or commuting. This model runs one-by, but if you feel the need for a front derailleur, a standard 34.9mm clamp does the trick.
- A gravel grinder with the best of CX and XC in its blood
- Longer and lower geometry for stability on gravel and dirt
- High-modulus carbon fiber frame is light and responsive
- ENVE fork tames terrain and provides stiffness for bar-torqueing
- Disc brakes offer excellent all-weather braking on all terrain
- 2.1in tires add traction and cushion on trails and fire roads
- SRAM Rival one-by drivetrain for racing and adventuring
- Clears 700c x 40mm or 650b x 2.1in tires
- Item #IBS004G
- Q & A
Better than advertised
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
It took a while for bike to be in stock, but the wait was worth it. Bike arrived perfectly packaged with every part secured and appropriately protected to prevent damage during shipping. Assembly was easy. Now on to the bike itself.
I went with the 55cm size and 90mm stem. 650b set up and Rival 1 build. Iâm 5â11â with a proportionally longer torso than legs. Fits me perfectly (caveat: I donât like a stretched out riding position).
Fit and finish is good. The paint does have a slight orange tint to the red that may not be apparent in photos. Now on to the ride.
On gravel. The bike is stiff and responsive, while being pretty compliant. Handling is stable (no twitchiness whatsoever) and agile (more on this later). The Thunder Burt tires roll reasonably fast on gravel and are sufficiently grippy. Unless you plan on riding a lot pavement, I think the 650b set up is the way to go.
On flowy, single track (not too technical). The bike handles like a dream. You can really lean the bike in the corners. Tight switchbacks are a breeze. Itâs a lot of fun. The bike just rockets up climbs. Overall, I was actually faster on this bike than my Santa Cruz Tallboy riding the same trail. But you do feel every bump, and after a while, it does take a bit of toll on your body. At least relative to the Tallboy. The other thing. You do have to use more technique and concentration when riding the Hakka (the Tallboy is so capable that you can get away with a lot more sloppiness). Also, Thunder Burts donât work well in spots that are even slightly soft. The trick is to ride through those spots with minimal to no turning.
I also had the Easton AX70 handlebars but on the bike to get a bit more flare in the drops. Position-wise, they are comfortable but doesnât do much to dampen vibrations. Iâd recommend stepping up to the carbon version if you are going to do a lot longer rides on gravel or mountain bike trails.
Lastly, a big shout out to Kyle Brown. His advice was very helpful, and heâs very responsive to emails.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This bike is perfect for my area. I live in cape cod and there is tons of short singletrack and dirt roads separated by pavement. The 650b wheels are perfect for this terrain as we have lots of sand. This bike climbs like a billy goat on steep singletrack and is extremely composed on rooted, rocky descents (within reason). The big tires soak up all the bumps well and the frame is stiff but compliant. This bike is absolutely silent with the rival 1 drivetrain and internally-routed cables. Couldn’t be happier with the experience and I know this bike will get lots of miles this season.
The 1x set-up is great. Plenty of low range and I haven’t come close to spinning out on the flats or mild downhills. The steps between gears aren’t that noticeable.
Now for the bad. As others have stated the post-mount/flat-mount thing is stupid. It seems like the fork was an afterthought or some other supplier fell through. Not a huge deal, just seems silly on a bike in this price range. The bar is garbage and the seat isn’t great. With a ritchey venturemax, carbon seat post, and fizik saddle this thing will be perfect.
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
The bike is as expected and I expected it to be great. No issues.
Stiff and compliant in the way you expect. 58 feels a tiny bit lower than usual, but for a more dirt capable gravel bike, that’s not a bad thing. SRAM build on mine.
The finish isn’t bad by any means, but there are gaps in the paint (dropouts, seattube etc) viable on close inspection. The handlebar has no business on this bike. It would be nice if Ibis threw a couple of port covers in the box for those making mods. The red is on the bright orangish side of the scale. Some nits to pick.
It’s comfortable for a stiff bike, probably a function of big tires. It’s will absolutely fill the needs I bought it to fill.
I find the SRAM bike reasonably priced and the minor niggles I mention will be on most bikes in this price range. Like most of us excited by this bike, I was wanting a bike like this before Ibis made this bike. Despite limited time on this rig, I doubt anything but more love is in the future.
Great Bike But A Few Misses
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I got the 27.5" version of this bike, which is definitely the way to go. It is a lot easier to find 700c wheels with a 12mm through axle than it is for a 27.5". Out of the box the bike is very clean looking and most of the parts are well though out.
On the dirt the 27.5" tires did a great job soaking up the bumps compared to a 700c tires due to the increase in volume. They really shine on brake bumps to reduce the jarring feeling you usually get. Being able to switch between the two wheel sizes adds a great amount of versatility. Can handle dirt roads to single track.
The few misses are minor but should not be overlooked. First one is the water bottle cage mount placement. This is for the 61cm frame so I can't attest to it being like this on the other sizes. The seat tube cage sits low, which I can understand to make room for a frame bag but it sits so low that the bottle actually hits the down tube when placed in the cage. The down tube cage sits low enough on the down tube that the bottle rests on the down tube water bottle. Probably could be fixed with different water bottles that offer an adjustment but a few millimeters can make a world of difference.
The other small issue is that the Enve fork, which is great, comes only in post mount but the frame is the newer flat mount. Not a big issue with a complete bike but if you were ever to upgrade it can make things a little difficult.
If you have any questions about the bike or the fit please feel free to reach out to me and I will be more than happy to help you out.
Super versatile; lots of fun.
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I got the 27.5” wheel version, and have taken it for a couple of quick spins, and initial impressions are that it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve got my position set very similarly to that on my Santa Cruz Stigmata, with the same saddle, handlebars, and pedals, so all of my touchpoints are the same.
As built, my 52cm Hakka is 19.4 lbs; whereas my Stigmata is right around 18 lbs, but the Stigmata has 700c carbon wheels currently set-up with road tires, and the Hakka has the 27.5” alloy wheels with 2.1” wide Schwalbe Thunder Burt MTB tires.
With the stock wheels and 700x40 tires, the Stigmata came in at 18.7 lbs with the same pedals. I still have the stock wheels from the Stigmata, but need to get some 160mm rotors and endcaps to convert the front wheel from 15x100 to 12x100 to try them out on the Hakka, and see how the weight compares in 700c mode instead of 650b/27.5” mode.
This Hakka also came spec’ed with a SRAM 1x drivetrain. I’ve ridden SRAM 10-speed before on the road, and I liked it so I don’t expect there to be any problems there, but it will be interesting to see if there’s any real compromise with the bigger jumps between gears and if I spin out on the descents; the crank is spec’ed with a 40T chainring up front, and an 11-42 cassette in the rear, so my biggest gear will be slightly taller than a 53/15 or 50/14.
I could swap out the HG freehub body for a SRAM XD driver, which would allow me to use a 10-42 or 10-46 cassette. A 40/10 combination would be the equivalent of a 52x13 and just slightly smaller than a 50/12 … but these days, I’m more concerned with getting up the hills than spinning out coming back down them.
I have no doubt that the 27.5 wheels and fat tires will be able to absorb any really crap roads I might encounter, and even some of the more well-used mountain bike trails in the area, as long as the descents aren’t too technical, but its performance as a road bike as well will be a question until I get the wheel & rotor situation fully resolved.
I do have one small niggle about the Hakka MX, but it's really minor. The Hakka comes built with thru-bolts requiring a hex wrench to remove, rather than a QR-style lever (like the DT Swiss RWS thru-axles) which you can use to remove them without having to break out tools. The thru-bolt for the ENVE CX fork supplied with the frame uses a 6mm hex key, but the rear wheel thru-bolt supplied with the frame requires a 5mm hex key. If you’re carrying a multi-tool, that’s really kind of a moot point, but if not, it is an extra hex key you do have to carry with you.
All in all, I think the Hakka MX will be a more versatile bike than the Stigmata for the adventure/bikepacking and gravel crowd, as well as a fantastic cyclocross race bike, but at this point I'm not yet convinced it will be quite as good on the road as the Stigmata. That said, it will be a heck of a lot of fun to ride, no matter what the road conditions are.
Do we have an all up weight for this bike?
Right around 19 pounds for the build.
My 52cm build is 19.4 lbs including pedals, which are about 11 ounces or .7 lbs bringing it in at 18.7 lbs without pedals. So depending on size, I'd say between 18.5 and 19.5 lbs without pedals.