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.  Of the many things he wrote on it, my personal favorite was written in bold lettering on one of the seatstays: "Yes, the rear wheel is smaller!"

Click images to enlarge
I got it stripped, painted a neat gray with blue-metallic overspray, put new decals on it, and then had it finished with several layers of clear-coat.  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 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 the most challenging to ride well.


Grego said...

Thanks for keeping this info alive! I hope you're still enjoying your bike.

Unknown said...

I have an old Ibis Mt. Trials bike I'm looking to part with if you're interested.

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey