22 March 2010

Just about a bike: Ibis Mountain Trials

This is my Ibis Mountain Trials.

I've had this bike since about 1995 or 1996, which makes me it's longest-owner, I think.  But I am not the original owner.  I bought it from Flagstaff local-legend Steve Garro of Coconino Cycles fame, who owned it back in the day... even before he was a world-famous frame builder.

Before that this bike was owned by another well-known local Flagstaff Mutant, a guy named Rex, who bought it at Cosmic Cycles, Flagstaff's original mountain bike shop, sometime back in the early 1990s.

The spec sheet that I got from Steve when I bought the bike indicates "Prices effective 4/1/92".

However, the serial number on the bottom-bracket shell, 1087, would seem to indicate that the bike is actually of a slightly earlier vintage (around 1991, I think).

It's not really a collector's item.  It's certainly not in pristine or near-perfect condition by any means; I've ridden it a lot, all over.  But it's certainly a special bike, two different-sized wheels, handmade in Sebastopol by Scot Nicol, stuff like that.  Plus, it's got a few cool parts on it.  Over the years I've done my best to A) fix it up just a little... and B) keep it in decent condition while riding it on a regular basis.

When I got it it had never been painted, just primered... and Sharpie'd by Steve.  My personal favorite was written in bold lettering on one of the seatstays: "Yes, the rear wheel is smaller!"

This is how it looked shortly after I got it stripped, painted a neat gray with blue-metallic overspray, decaled, and finished with several layers of clear-coat.  Better, I think:

It looks especially cool in the sun.

The Mountain Trials bikes were manufactured by Ibis in only 2 sizes, 13." and 17". This bike is the larger of the two and it fits me, a six-footer, perfectly.  It's a spectacularly fun bike to ride in the woods!

Like all Mountain Trials of this vintage, has a 26" front wheel and a 24" rear wheel, 15" chainstays, a 72 degree headtube, a 72.5 degree seat-tube, a 22.75" top tube, a 12" bottom-bracket, and a 2x8 drivetrain with a milled-down outer chainring to act as a bash guard.  It's still got its original original Koski fork and the original Salsa high-rise stem, too.

Needless to say, it's rather unique.  Of all the bikes I own, it's easily the most challenging to really ride well.

Of course, no bike is perfect, especially a third-hand Mutant-owned oddity like this.  I've put a couple dings in it, and it had a couple small blems that were there when I bought the bike. Most notably: A small ding under left chainstay and a small ding in the downtube