In 1980 a young hippie living on the US west coast read an article about this new “Clunker Bike” movement that was happening in various places around the country, especially Marin County and Crested Butte in Colorado.
In amongst doing what hippies did in California at that time Scot Nicol was intrigued by the article as it turned out he had been riding these ‘paperboy’ bikes since the mid-sixties. In fact, by 1976, he had already converted his 1947 Excelsior to a geared bike with cantilever brakes and like any young rider, rode it in the dirt and drifted corners whenever he could.
With no plan and no money, but bucket loads of hippie energy and bike movement inspiration, what followed in the Spring of 1981 was a frame building exercise which forged the Ibis bike company we know today; unique, innovative and with lots of soul.
As Scot says “Bikes represent your first taste of freedom… the second I get on a bike, any problems or challenges fade into the background. I often think that if more people rode bikes more often, our world would be a much better place.”
Fast forward to the present and Ibis is now a well-known and highly regarded bike manufacturer, still focused on the craft of bike building and innovative. Coupled with a belief in the opportunities that bikes represent and a US west coast attitude, they continue to do things their way, skillfully negotiating the obstacles of a global marketplace while spearheading all that’s good about riding bikes.
Their philosophy is perfectly encapsulated in their ‘Ibis Cycles Enduro race team’ which travels through the year to race the Enduro World Series events on most of the globe’s continents.
Although still relatively young the EWS is now regarded by many as the pinnacle of mountain bike competition, with big budget and highly resourced teams and riders now the norm, each looking for the spoils of each event.
Yet, even with a range of world class Enduro specific bikes Ibis, unsurprisingly, has built a team and group of riders that race things in a different way. With riders like Robin Wallner, Bex Baraona and Lewis Buchanan they have the talent to compete at the sharp end of any competition, but sit down with the team and you will notice something else.
When you are on the road for large parts of the year, extracted from your creature comforts, whether you like it or not your teammates become a new family and it’s here the success of the Ibis Cycles Enduro team lies.
Travelling with friends, talking set up, living together, experiencing new cultures, sharing many highs and lows, track walk banter etc. The list goes on and on, but the core and what inspired Scot Nicol stays the same; the bike movement started all those years ago because friends were out riding bikes, wanting to have fun and share things.
The bike industry is well known for a fad or two, but one thing is a constant, and something that goes all the way back to seventies Marin County. Regardless of your bike, your training, whether its hero dirt, roots or rock slabs the most enjoyable ride will always be the one you share.
The Ibis way is to approach the racing from a broader perspective; when you get the whole right the seconds will follow. Ask any racer about how to deal with the pressure of competition or how to get the best speed on course and the answer will almost always be the same; relax, ride with a smile and the rest follows.
The Ibis Cycles Enduro race team may be small, but they are perfectly formed.
On the trail with Ibis
New Zealand is the perfect place to kick off a new season of EWS racing, trails and forest runs that will get your muscles twitching in anticipation. The EWS is all about racing, but with the character of the Ibis team, they offer much more than perfect cornering and high-speed shenanigans. Take a look behind the scenes at the Ibis Enduro Team as they take on the first round of the 2019 Enduro World Series in Rotorua, New Zealand, and get ready to dust off your bike.