First off, today is the LAST DAY to WIN the custom painted PNW Components Range bar and stem! Enter here! https://mailchi.mp/5d61c856f4a7/qs4icr67fl
I worked at Ibis for 7 years, starting with some odd jobs, making it to the warehouse, then eventually landing in the sales room, managing 50% of all Ibis sales for about 5 years. During that time, I got to see something that the Ibis head brass really believed in- USA carbon bicycle manufacturing- transition from a dream to a reality. How cool is that?!
The leading force behind this project was Hans Heim, the CEO of Ibis. Hans has a really unique background, and his recent Pinbike article shares a lot of that: https://www.pinkbike.com/news/from-the-top-hans-heim-ceo-ibis-cycles.html
Hans’ approach to this USA production goal was really cool. I saw him start purchasing equipment YEARS ago, and even used some of that equipment for some of my own personal projects- all with Hans’ blessing and assistance of course! But what’s far more important than any equipment? Having the right people to manage it all!!!
Hans’ experience with Kestral, and his relationship with the former president of Kestral, Preston Sandusky, got this project really cranking. Preston got Travis and Rueben both involved as well. This was the dream team that could actually get this equipment in action!
Ibis had to develop all of this within their own means, as at the end of the day, Ibis is still a small company. Ibis had no chance to simply mirror what the Asian factories are doing, as those processes are HIGHLY labor intensive. Ibis instead thought about how they could make the process within their own limitations, and to do that, they had to be as efficient and automated as possible. This in turn would turn out to be FAR more feasible and environmentally friendly than making the frames in Asia.
And important note about this project- Ibis is NOT attempting to cease Asian productions, rather, it wants the ability to product some select (and low quantity) stuff in house. Despite these developments, the quantity of standard frames that Ibis needs for regular sales simply to keep the company in business far exceeds what they would ever be able to produce in house.
Where they will go with this technology is anyone’s guess, but I for one am VERY excited, and I am rooting loudly for Ibis to win with this new development!
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Jeff KW rides an Ibis Ripmo bike: https://bit.ly/2KdZn5S
Jeff KW wears a Camelbak Kudo: https://bit.ly/2tHs5ku
Jeff KW wears the Kitsbow Trials Jacket, Ride Tee, and Origin short: https://bit.ly/2N2SeTY
Jeff KW is protected by the Kali Maya helmet: https://bit.ly/2KmcCgJ
Jeff KW runs the PNW Components Bachelor 170 post: https://bit.ly/2IvG0zA