Ibis Cycles has a 30-plus year history yet continues to offer a contemporary catalog of products that reveal their dedication to the original MTB pursuit. This 90s-era hardtail show how relevant the old frames are, especially with a new fork by Austin’s Nao Tomii.
Unless you’ve spent a fair amount of time in any of Australia’s metropolitan centers, you may not get the ‘
Bin Chicken‘ reference, but without it, the Ibis is a sacred Egyptian bird with a graceful form and flight — an appropriate moniker for these bikes.
Scot Nicol, the founder of
Ibis Cycles, is an avowed naturist and selected the name from his
Audoban dictionary. Back around 1980, providence brought Scot into the same circle as Joe Breeze, Charlie Cunningham, Gary Fisher, and Joe Breeze.
Scot went back to his workshop in Mendocino CA to start building frames and establish Ibis Cycles. Fast forward to 2019 and Scot Nicols, along with his compadres, have all been inducted into the MTB Hall of Fame and Ibis Cycles celebrated their 38th anniversary.
The SS was released in 1990 and was the last pre-suspension hardtail in the range. This one is owned by Jaime and is still rolling bright and smooth, freshly updated with a pair of forks by Austin frame builder Nao Tomii.
Nao makes beautiful frames and these custom forks are equally well-built and stylish, topped with a Pacenti crown personalized with a diamond and heart cutouts. Jaime wanted a “vintage MTB-style fork” with a 1″ steerer, v-brake mounts, SON SL dropouts, and internal cable routing. One of Nao’s
hand-hammered bells sounds the alarm.
The SS is graced with Shimano’s legendary 1997
M950 XTR groupset, a functional and understated ensemble that was the pinnacle of performance products during this decade — and didn’t detract from the rainbow of frame paint that was also in vogue.
While vintage mountain bikes have been surpassed by geometries, evolved steerer diameters, and stem lengths, Jaime’s created a commuter that makes the most of their historical significance and style cues.
Big thanks to Nao for the photos — see more of his work on his