22 March 2010

Just about a bike: Ibis Mountain Trials

This is my Ibis Mountain Trials.

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

Before that this bike was owned by another well-known Flagstaff Mutant, a guy named Rex, who ordered it through Cosmic Cycles, Flagstaff's original mountain bike shop, 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).

I used to ride this bike a lot, so it's not in pristine condition by any means.  But it's certainly a special bike, two different-sized wheels, uncommon geometry, 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 then cleverly 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 a local auto painter to remove all the old primer and paint it a neat gray with blue-metallic overspray, put new decals on it, and finish with several layers of clear-coat.  It turned out great and looks especially cool in the sun.

The USA-built Mountain Trials bikes (Ibis also imported a less expensive Taiwanese version of both the Mt. Trials and the smaller 24x20" Trials Comp for a few years) were manufactured in only two frame sizes, 13" and 17". This bike is the larger of the two and it fits me, a six-footer, nicely.  

It's a spectacularly fun bike to ride in the woods here in Flagstaff. I used to take it down to Sedona all the time, too, and even rode it in Moab on a couple trips way back when. It's crazy good at riding up slickrock, but ('til you get the hang of it) kinda scary going down.

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" high 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've ever owned, it has been, hands-down, the most challenging one to learn 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