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1988 Ibis Carbon Titanium Vintage Mountain Bike

This is a very rare vintage mountain bike, 1 of 3 ever made, see photo gallery. The bike was displayed in the Braunstein/Quay Gallery previously located at 430 Clementina St, San Francisco. The exhibit called “The Art of the Mountain Bike” included a number of prominent Northern Californian mountain bike frame builders, who were at the forefront of the mountain bike movement, which, included the brilliant Charlie Cunningham, Paul Brown, Otis Guy, Steve Potts, and Tom Ritchey, to name a few. I was extremely lucky and fortunate to acquire this bike in 2017 from a good friend in San Francisco. I made a 903.8-mile, one-day trip, which took me 14:32:23 hours (plus a quick stop at In-N-Out to devour a delicious burger and fries - animal style of course!) to pick it up. And I claimed a respectable 43.7 MPG.


The design of the frame was conceived by Scot Nicol, founder of Ibis Cycles, when they were located in Sebastopol, California, Gary Helfrich, one of the three founders of Merlin Metalworks and built by Wes Williams, Ibis Cycles first employee and an incredibly talented frame builder. Wes cut the scallops and miters, and Helfrich helped with the epoxy and actual frame assembly after welding and chroming of the steel, yes ‘steel’, not titanium! Given that this was a new process of frame construction, the design was mocked up, understandably, several times before the chroming of the steel in 1988. 


The Braunstein/Quay Gallery documented the exhibit and accidentally named the bike as “Carbon Titanium” and they claimed the weight as 13 lbs! See photos for reference. The scans are from one of the original catalogs that the gallery produced and distributed to those lucky enough to attend the exhibit.


The bike has an Ibis built version of the famed Charlie Cunningham designed Type II fork, note that there are no scalloped dropouts like the Cunningham/Potts fork, a blend of Shimano Deore XT M730 and M732 components, an Ibis stem, Selle Italia Turbo saddle, Syncros Seatpost, and Specialized Ground Control tires.


I’m the third owner and hope you agree I’m doing the bike the justice it deserves and a deserving custodian for years to come.

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