Reviews You Can Rely On

Ibis Hakka MX Rival Review

The Ibis Hakka MX is a very lightweight, uncompromisingly stiff, fast, and efficient gravel bike
ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $4,599 List
Pros:  Very lightweight, fast, nice build
Cons:  Can feel harsh over the rough stuff, narrow non-flared handlebar
Manufacturer:   Ibis
By Jeremy Benson, Dillon Osleger  ⋅  Jan 27, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
83
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 7
  • Downhill - 30% 8.0
  • Climbing - 30% 9.0
  • Versatility - 20% 7.0
  • Weight - 10% 10.0
  • Build - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Ibis Hakka MX is a one of the best gravel bikes we've ridden and earned our Top Pick for Racing for its uncompromising efficiency. This carbon rocketship is the lightest model we tested with a very stiff frame that flies both uphill and back down. This bike is snappy, quick, and responsive with surgically precise handling. The modern gravel geometry feels dialed and comfortable for any length of ride or race. The Rival build we tested is solid and lightweight and offered at a respectable price point considering the performance of this bike, plus you can choose the wheel size that best suits your needs. Our biggest gripe with the Hakka is that the frame is so stiff that it can feel a little harsh compared to some of the competition, a trade-off for its race-inspired feel. However, this is one of the best bikes we've tested so far, and it ranks near the top of the pack.

Editor's Note: The Ibis Hakka MX Rival review was updated on January 25th, 2022 with added sections on what we would buy and more info to better compare products.

Compare to Similar Products

 
ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $4,599 List$4,599 List
$4,599 at Backcountry
$2,699 List$2,499 List$1,899 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
83
87
84
82
72
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Very lightweight, fast, nice buildLightweight, nice build, excellent blend of frame stiffness and complianceReasonably priced, lightweight, outstanding price to build ratio, easy assemblyReasonable price, suspension fork, great on the descents and rough surfaces, nice component spec, comes in both carbon and aluminum frames and multiple buildsAffordable, reasonably lightweight, fairly versatile
Cons Can feel harsh over the rough stuff, narrow non-flared handlebarMore expensiveProprietary handlebar, limited handlebar adjustability and accessory compatibilityFairly heavy, longer reach, fewer accessory mounts than rigid fork versionSomewhat harsh ride, stock tires aren't great in loose conditions, tubeless conversion required re-taping on both wheels
Bottom Line The Ibis Hakka MX is a very lightweight, uncompromisingly stiff, fast, and efficient gravel bikeThis lightweight, high-performance gravel bike boasts a well-rounded performance and quality build that's ready for anythingAn affordable, capable, and versatile carbon-framed gravel bike with a great build and solid all-around performanceA reasonably priced gravel bike with front suspension and great build perfect for rough gravel and adventure riding, but with a slight weight penaltyAn entry-level gravel bike that is relatively lightweight, fairly well-rounded, and reasonably priced
Rating Categories Ibis Hakka MX Rival Santa Cruz Stigmata... Canyon Grail CF SL 7 Canyon Grizl 7 Susp... Fezzari Shafer AL
Downhill (30%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
10.0
7.0
Climbing (30%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Versatility (20%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
10.0
10.0
9.0
4.0
6.0
Build (10%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Specs Ibis Hakka MX Rival Santa Cruz Stigmata... Canyon Grail CF SL 7 Canyon Grizl 7 Susp... Fezzari Shafer AL
Measured Weight (w/o pedals) 18 lbs 13 oz 19 lbs 2 oz 19 lbs 14 oz 24 lbs 12 oz 21 lbs 11 oz
Frame Material Carbon Fiber Carbon CC Carbon Fiber Aluminum Aluminum
Wheelsize 700c or 650b (tested) 700c (tested) or 650b 700c (Sizes S-2XL). 650B (Sizes 2XS-XS) 700c 700c
Frame Size Tested 58cm 58cm Large Large Large
Available Sizes 49, 53, 55, 58, 61cm 52, 54, 56, 58, 60cm 2XS-2XL S-2XL XS-XL
Wheelset Ibis Alloy 733 27.5" rims with Ibis hubs WTB Asym i23p 700c rims with DT 370 hubs DT Swiss C 1850 Spline Wheelset DT Swiss Gravel LN Alex GD24, Tubeless Ready
Front Tire Schwalbe Thunder Burt 27.5 x 2.1" Maxxis Ravager EXO 700 x 40c Schwalbe G-One Bite 700 x 40c Schwalbe G-One Bite 700 x 45c Maxxis Receptor EXO, 700 x 40c
Rear Tire Schwalbe Thunder Burt 27.5 x 2.1" Maxxis Ravager EXO 700x40c Schwalbe G-One Bite 700 x 40c Schwalbe G-One Bite 700 x 45c Maxxis Receptor EXO, 700 x 40c
Shifters SRAM Rival 1 SRAM Rival 1 Shimano GRX RX600 Shimano GRX RX600 SRAM Apex
Rear Derailleur SRAM Rival 11-speed SRAM Rival 22 Long Cage 11-speed Shimano GRX RX810 GS 11-speed Shimano GRX RX810 GS 11-speed SRAM Apex 1x11
Front Derailleur N/A N/A Shimano GRX RX810 Shimano GRX RX810 N/A
Cassette SRAM PG 1130 11-42T 11-speed SRAM PG-1150 11-42T 11-speed Shimano HG700 11-speed, 11-34T Shimano HG700 11-speed, 11-34T SRAM PG1130, 11-speed, 11-42T
Crankset Praxis Zayante Alloy 40T 175mm Easton EA90 175mm Shimano GRX RX600, 172.5mm, 46/30T FSA Gossamer, 46/30T SRAM Apex 1, GXP
Bottom Bracket T47 Threaded Easton BSA Shimano Pressfit BB72 Token Ninja Lite BB4124 PF86.5 SRAM GXP English BSA
Fork ENVE G-Series Carbon Santa Cruz Carbon Canyon FK0070 CF Disc Carbon RockShox Rudy XPLR Base, 30mm Fezzari Gravel Carbon
Seatpost Ibis Aluminum 31.6mm Easton EA50 27.2mm Canyon SP0043 VCLS CF Carbon, 20mm setback Canyon SP0057 VCLS Carbon, 20mm setback Fezzari XrT Carbon
Saddle WTB Silverado Pro 142mm WTB Silverado Pro Fizik Argo Tempo R5 Selle Italia Model X Selle Italia Model X Superflow
Handlebar Ibis Flat Top Alloy Easton EA50 AX flare Canyon CP07 Gravelcockpit CF Carbon Canyon HB0050 Ergobar AL Fezzari GR Alloy, 18-degree flare
Stem Ibis 31.8 Easton EA50 Integrated with handlebar Canyon V13 Fezzari Alloy
Brakes SRAM Rival 1 flat mount SRAM Rival 1 flat mount Shimano GRX 600 hydraulic disc Shimano GRX RX600 hydraulic disc SRAM Apex Hydraulic Disc
Measured Effective Top Tube (mm) 573 573 576 588 550
Measured Reach (mm) 392 390 402 409 386
Measured Head Tube Angle (degrees) 72 72 72.5 72 71
Measured Seat Tube Angle (degrees) 73.5 73.5 73.5 73.5 74
Measured Bottom Bracket Height (mm) 276 285 278 292
Measured Wheelbase (mm) 1040 1038 1040 1055 1045
Measured Chain Stay Length (mm) 430 425 425 435 435
Warranty 7-Years Lifetime 6-Years 6-Years Lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the lightweight and stiff carbon fiber hakka mx frame.
The lightweight and stiff carbon fiber Hakka MX frame.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Frame Design


The Hakka MX features a full carbon fiber frame with an ENVE G-series gravel-specific carbon fiber fork. This frame is impressively lightweight and ultra-stiff. It has an oversized bottom bracket and sculpted chainstays to accommodate tires up to 700 x 40c or 27.5" x 2.1". The fork has clearance for up to 700 x 50c or 27.5" x 2.25" tires. It features 12mm thru-axles, flat-mount disc brake mounts, and fender mounts front and rear. It also has internal cable routing with the ability to work with any drivetrain configuration and internally routed dropper seat posts. The Hakka MX comes in 5 sizes, 49, 53, 55, 58, and 61cm.

We measured our size 58cm test bike and found a 573mm effective top tube length and a 392mm reach. The head tube angle was 72-degrees with a 73.5-degree seat tube angle. The bottom bracket sat 276mm off the ground with 430mm long chainstays and a 1040mm wheelbase. Our test bike tipped the scales at just 18 lbs and 13 oz set up tubeless without pedals.

Ibis redesigned their Hakka cyclocross race bike a few years back to modernize its geometry to meet the demands of the growing gravel riding scene. In doing so, they created the Hakka MX, a highly versatile bike suitable for everything from hardcore gravel racing to bike packing adventures. The MX stands for "monster-cross" and makes light of the fact that they offer it with 700c wheels and tires, or a 27.5" x 2.1" monster-cross setup. The Hakka is built around a lightweight and stiff carbon fiber frame that is incredibly fast and efficient with a snappy and race-inspired feel. The frame's stiffness gives it surgically precise handling. However, the lack of compliance can sometimes feel a bit harsh compared to the competition, a tradeoff for its unparalleled efficiency. The Hakka's geometry is in line with modern gravel bike trends, and this bike is comfortable for casual group rides and 100-mile endurance races alike.

Design Highlights

  • Carbon fiber frame only
  • Frame weight of only 1000-grams
  • 700c or 27.5" wheels
  • Tire clearance up to 700 x 40c or 27.5" x 2.1"
  • Threaded bottom bracket
  • Frame and fork only for $1,999
  • Complete builds ranging from $3,399 (tested) to $4,399 with the option to upgrade to carbon wheels for an additional $800

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the hakka mx is a little less forgiving than some, but it is an...
The Hakka MX is a little less forgiving than some, but it is an absolute rocketship on the descents.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Downhill Performance


The Hakka MX is straight-up fast. On the descents, it excels on smoother and more manicured gravel conditions with razor-sharp handling and uncompromising precision. The carbon frame is very stiff, giving this bike its impeccable handling and responsiveness, though this stiffness results in a less forgiving ride quality than some of the competition. We had the chance to test the Hakka MX with both the stock wheel and tire combinations available on the Rival build, though most of our time was on the 27.5" setup.


The lightweight carbon fiber frame of the Hakka is STIFF. It is without a doubt the stiffest frame of all the models we tested, and this works a bit of a double-edged sword for this bike's downhill performance. On the one hand, this bike is fast; it accelerates like no other and has razor-sharp handling. On the other, the limited compliance of the frame does little to absorb vibration and road chatter which can make it feel a little harsh over the rough stuff. This bike is an absolute rocket down the hill without outrageous power transfer, efficiency, and a race-inspired feel on mellow singletrack, smooth gravel, or pavement. It's also super fast over rough gravel; you just feel the feedback more than you do on other more compliant frame designs. The geometry feels dialed and comfortable, almost identical to the Stigmata but with a slightly lower bottom bracket, touch longer chainstay, and slightly lower front end. Testers found this geometry allowed for a relaxed enough position for all-day comfort with the ability to get down into an aggressive attack position when needed.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the hakka is fast on the descents, although the stiff frame...
The Hakka is fast on the descents, although the stiff frame transmits a little more feedback than some of the competition.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

We had the chance to try both of the stock wheel and tire combinations offered for the Rival build during testing. Not surprisingly, the 700c wheels and tires offered a distinctly racier, faster, and more refined feel. These would be our choice if splitting our time between pavement and gravel, if our typical gravel rides were relatively smooth and buffed, or if racing the Hakka in some endurance gravel events (which we did). The 27.5" wheel setup is a bit slower rolling but provides heaps more traction and dampening in the form of air volume. These would be our choice if our gravel roads were rough or chunky, if we planned to ride any singletrack, or if we were planning on doing any bike packing. We like that Ibis gives you options when you buy, helping to ensure you get the proper setup for your needs. Ibis also gives you upgrade options to get carbon wheels at an additional cost.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - we found the 27.5" x 2.1" wheel and tire setup provided a smoother...
We found the 27.5" x 2.1" wheel and tire setup provided a smoother and more comfortable ride on rough roads and trails.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Our testers were generally impressed with the Rival build on our test bike. This component spec is quite similar to the Stigmata we tested and works well for the intended application of the Hakka. While the build isn't high-end or especially fancy, everything works well and doesn't compromise the bike's overall performance in any way. Our only real gripe with the build we tested was the narrower non-flared stock Ibis Flat-Top handlebar. While this handlebar provides a relatively comfortable place to rest your hands, our testers much preferred the feel of wider bars with flared drops. Ibis does give you the option of upgrading your Hakka with an ENVE G-Series gravel bar for an additional cost, and the handlebar would be the first upgrade we'd make to enhance the downhill performance of this bike.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - whether you're just cruising or trying to beat your pr on your...
Whether you're just cruising or trying to beat your PR on your favorite climb, the Hakka is light and fast with no wasted energy.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Climbing Performance


The Hakka MX is a speedy and efficient bike on the climbs, and it earned one of the top scores for the group with a 9 out of 10. This efficiency is thanks to the bike's lighter weight and the stiffness of the frame that allows for a very direct transfer of your power to the drivetrain. Sure the frame transmits a little more feedback than some, but there is absolutely no loss of power when pedaling this bike. If you're interested in going uphill quickly, the Hakka has you covered.


The very nature of rigid bikes makes them all quite efficient when climbing, but few can match the Hakka in this regard. Our test bike weighed less than 19 lbs complete with 27.5" wheels and girthy 2.1" tires. This was the lightest bike we tested and you can feel the difference over the course of long and short climbs. When you get on the gas the bike responds immediately whether you're grinding it out in the saddle or punching it up a short rise. It has a very snappy and lively feel due mostly to the stiffness of the frame. You don't need to be a racer to appreciate this bike's climbing abilities, those who take a more casual approach will still be rewarded by its efficiency over the course of any length of ride.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the hakka's climbing efficiency is unparalleled.
The Hakka's climbing efficiency is unparalleled.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Hakka's geometry is generally quite comfortable for climbing with a properly steep seat tube and a moderate length reach. The modern gravel geometry works well, whether you are settled in for a long slow grind with hands on the top of the bars or down in the drops sprinting uphill for glory. The components are generally dialed for the climbs as well. The SRAM Rival 1x11-speed drivetrain has plenty of range for just about any pitch of climb and you don't need to fiddle with any pesky front derailleur. Testers found that they preferred the 700c wheels and tires for smoother road surfaces, though the 27.5" setup was great for rougher roads where the benefits of additional air volume were more appreciated.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the 27.5" setup on the hakka give it a somewhat more forgiving ride...
The 27.5" setup on the Hakka give it a somewhat more forgiving ride feel and enhance its singletrack riding abilities.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Versatility


The Hakka gets a nod for its versatility right off the bat due to the fact that it is offered with either 700c or 27.5" wheels. This gives the consumer the ability to select the wheel and tire setup they prefer depending on their intended use. With such a lightweight and stiff frame, the Hakka works well for road rides, and with the big tires, you can rip this bike around on some mellower singletrack trails.


We've also seen some custom builds with short-travel suspension forks and flat handlebars to create a super lightweight hardtail. While the frame and fork don't have mounts specifically for bike packing accessories, we have seen many Hakka's loaded up with handlebar, saddle, and frame bags for bike packing adventures.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - we had the chance to test the hakka with both of the stock wheel and...
We had the chance to test the Hakka with both of the stock wheel and tire configurations. Both have their distinct advantages, and we appreciate the versatility and options.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Weight


Our size 58cm Hakka MX takes top honors for its impressively low weight. At just 18 lbs and 13 oz set up tubeless without pedals, the Hakka is the lightest bike in this test, coming in 5 oz lighter than the next lightest model.


The light weight is especially impressive considering the fact that this is the entry-level Rival build. This is primarily the result of the ultra-light 1000-gram frame weight and modest but lightweight component spec. Climbs feel easier and this bike feels incredibly lightweight and fast underneath you. For the price, this bike is very lightweight, and we'd imagine that anyone building up their own dream build on a Hakka frame could make one significantly lighter.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the hakka is a very attractive bicycle with a quality build that's...
The Hakka is a very attractive bicycle with a quality build that's ready to shred.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Build


The build of a bike entails specs such as drivetrain, wheels, pedals, and more. In our tests, the quality and functionality of a bike's build accounts for 10% of its overall score.


The Hakka MX we tested comes with the SRAM Rival build. This is far from the flashiest component specification, but it is lightweight and functional and helps to keep the price of this lightweight carbon bike from being completely astronomical.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the sram rival 1x11-speed drivetrain works quite well. our testers...
The SRAM Rival 1x11-speed drivetrain works quite well. Our testers prefer 1x setups for their simplicity.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Groupset


Our test model came equipped with a full SRAM Rival kit which includes the drivetrain and the brakes. This is a 1 x 11-speed drivetrain that pairs a 40-tooth front chainring with a wide range 11-42-tooth cassette. Ibis chose stiff and lightweight Praxis Zayante Alloy cranks with a 30mm spindle and a threaded bottom bracket. The SRAM Rival hydraulic disc brakes are flat mount with 160mm rotors front and rear.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the schwalbe thunder burt 27.5" x 2.1" tires have loads of air...
The Schwalbe Thunder Burt 27.5" x 2.1" tires have loads of air volume and relatively low rolling resistance. We did find, however, that they are somewhat easy to puncture.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Wheels/Tires


When you buy a complete Hakka MX you have the option of standard 27.5" or 700c wheels and tires. We bought the 27.5" wheeled version which comes with Ibis branded 733 Alloy rims laced to Ibis hubs. These rims have a 29mm inner rim width which pairs well with the 2.1" Schwalbe Thunder Burt tires. These tires have lots of air volume and a semi-slick tread that features very low profile center tread with some slightly more substantial cornering knobs. If you opt for the 700c wheels you get the same Ibis hubs laced to a set of Stan's Grail Alloy rims with Schwalbe G-One 700 x 38c tires mounted to them.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the stock flat top handlebar is okay, but we'd much prefer a wider...
The stock Flat Top handlebar is okay, but we'd much prefer a wider flared bar for gravel riding.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Cockpit


The cockpit features a handful of house-branded Ibis components. The Ibis Flat Top alloy handlebar is a relatively standard non-flared drop bar with a wide "flat-top" that is quite comfortable. The bar comes wrapped with basic EVA bar tape, and the handlebar is clamped to an Ibis alloy stem that comes in a 70, 80, 90, or 100mm length depending on frame size. The seat post is an Ibis aluminum in a 31.6mm diameter and 350mm length. Our test bike came with a WTB Silverado Pro saddle in a 142mm width, and you have the option of a WTB Koda Pro in a 150mm width if you prefer a wider and softer seat.

Build Options


The Hakka MX is offered as a frame only with the ENVE G-Series carbon fiber gravel fork for $1,999 for riders who want to create their own custom dream build. Otherwise, Ibis offers it in two complete builds including the Rival build we tested. You can purchase the Rival build with either the 27.5' x 2.1" wheel and tire combo we tested or with Stan's Grail Alloy 700c wheels for the same price. Ibis also provides upgrade options for several components including the handlebar, stem, seat post, and wheelset at an additional cost.

The GRX build is the other option that retails for $4,399 and comes with the Shimano GRX gravel-specific groupset. This build has a full GRX 1x drivetrain, GRX brakes, and comes standard with an ENVE G-Series gravel handlebar, road stem, and carbon seat post. You can also purchase it with either the 27.5" or 700c wheels with the option to upgrade to carbon rims in either wheel size.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - testing the ibis hakka mx.
Testing the Ibis Hakka MX.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Suggested Upgrades


The Hakka MX with the Rival build is very capable and ready for just about anything straight out of the box. Testers did feel that the stock Ibis Flat Top handlebar was a little narrow for their preferences, and the lack of flare made it somewhat less comfortable than the wider flared bar that came on the Stigmata, for example. The handlebar would probably be our first upgrade on this bike, and it's also an upgrade option if you configure your component specification on the Ibis website.

Testers also found that the stock Schwalbe Thunder Burt tires that came on our test bike weren't the most durable. If you ride seriously rough and rocky roads or trails, you may find the limitations of these tires quickly. Tires are an affordable upgrade and will eventually be a necessary purchase if you ride with any frequency anyway. Beyond that, the Hakka is about as ready to rip as we'd expect for the price.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the hakka mx is a very lightweight and stiff carbon gravel bike that...
The Hakka MX is a very lightweight and stiff carbon gravel bike that sacrifices a little comfort for pure efficiency.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Should You Buy the Ibis Hakka MX Rival?


We feel the Hakka is a great choice for aspiring or current gravel racers or anyone seeking a very lightweight and efficient bike for their adventures. While it is fairly expensive, we feel that the Hakka MX Rival is a solid value when considering its excellent performance. This is a high-performing lightweight carbon rocketship of a bike that is equally at home toeing the line at gravel races as it is casually spinning out the miles on paved or dirt roads with friends. We think the price-to-performance ratio is quite high with the Hakka MX, and we recommend it to anyone seriously considering getting into the gravel racing scene.

ibis hakka mx rival gravel bike review - the ibis hakka mx is an excellent gravel bike and a great choice for...
The Ibis Hakka MX is an excellent gravel bike and a great choice for racers or casual riders who prioritize lightweight and efficiency.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

What Other Gravel Bikes Should You Consider?


The Hakka MX is a high-performance carbon fiber gravel bike that is very fast and efficient. Considering the race-inspired performance of the Hakka we feel that the Rival build we tested is a solid value and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who seeks efficiency and a top-quality ride. However, the ultra-stiff frame that makes this bike so quick and ultra-responsive also sacrifices a little in the comfort department. If you are more of a laid-back rider and value comfort more than speed, you may want to take a look at some other models. The Santa Cruz Stigmata Carbon CC Rival is one of our favorite bikes that strikes a good balance between comfort and performance. The Canyon Grail CF SL 7 is another more affordable, but still well-performing option. It has a unique hover handlebar that helps to take the edge off rattly rides and offers a bit more cushion overall.

Jeremy Benson, Dillon Osleger
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More