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4,274 Posts
Never owned one but I remember when that bike debuted — I was in awe. So cool. A buddy bought one and I was sooo jealous.
=sParty
I owned 2 of them over the course of a few seasons of racing. My sponsor/friend had connections w/SC, so they would hook us up with excellent deals on fully loaded bikes. At the time, the VPP stuff was so efficient, and the bike was fast.
 

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Life's a Garden, dig it!
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4,250 Posts
Castellano/Steve Potts built Ibis titanium Silk Ti with flat chainstay flex plates. An incredible combination of engineering and art.

If I could buy it in a medium 29er today with slightly updated geo, I would pay almost anything.

<hint hint>
I bet you can. JC is still building them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
It's amazing how far they've come, based on some of their designs that were pretty close to some of the worst ever...like the Bow Ti.
I hear great thing about Ibis, I even had one of their CX bikes once, but their bikes are just about non-existent in BC. I haven't actually seen one in person in years.
 

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2007 On-One 456 Ti, Lynskey-built frame. Kept me riding a hardtail for 8 years. Unfortunately, the world of wheels, forks and seatposts all outgrew the 456- sold it in a purge along with all of my canti-brake cyclocross bikes

And objective proof that it was the best bike ever:

 

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Life's a Garden, dig it!
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4,250 Posts
I'm biased, but I'll say it anyway... Homegrown.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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35,326 Posts
Their stuff was either super weird or really nailed it. The Tranny was an awesome bike, I still don't understand why they didn't keep it in the lineup and just update the geo.
I think their early FS stuff was pretty bad. They got a good reputation for welding and could turn out some nice hardtails and soft-tails, but they were as clueless as most when it came to FS, with just bizarre stuff. Tranny came much later I think, after the original company dissolved and was brought back to life. Ever since then, they've been an industry leader.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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35,326 Posts

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Life's a Garden, dig it!
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4,250 Posts
I think their early FS stuff was pretty bad. They got a good reputation for welding and could turn out some nice hardtails and soft-tails, but they were as clueless as most when it came to FS, with just bizarre stuff. Tranny came much later I think, after the original company dissolved and was brought back to life. Ever since then, they've been an industry leader.
Interestingly, the Sweetspot URT is still my go to bike. Modern shock and disc brakes set up as an SS, it's a damn fine ride.

I'm actually having a new one built by JC and Potts. The Zorro, Son of Szasbo.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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37,955 Posts
Meh, I think that's the point. The real issue with the question is that mountain bikes keep getting better every year, and as a trend, I'd say that each mountain bike I've had has been slightly better in some way than the previous one. Yeah, a lot of the long low slack stuff is excessive, but manufactures are still making stuff that xc-weenies like myself enjoy that can shred but are still efficient.

We've also not seen the price ceiling come into effect yet. Bike companies are making $15,000 bikes...that people are actually buying! This is a signal that bike companies should keep pouring R&D dollars into their bikes to improve them since improvement = $$, so bikes will probably continue to get better. I hate the trend as a working scrub with a child, but maybe I'll catch some of the scraps from the rich people.
That's all great but there’s no we anyone or a group could name the best mountain bike ever built. Everybody has different tastes in what they like so the question still remains as too subjective to answer.
 

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I secretly ride 12spd
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1,963 Posts
I think their early FS stuff was pretty bad. They got a good reputation for welding and could turn out some nice hardtails and soft-tails, but they were as clueless as most when it came to FS, with just bizarre stuff. Tranny came much later I think, after the original company dissolved and was brought back to life. Ever since then, they've been an industry leader.
I actually didn't know they'd gone through a closure. Interesting.
 

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Ian Limburg
*Custom* 2016 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 770 MSL
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123 Posts
1927028

I think that these have always been super sweet. I haven't ridden one, but based on the performance, Geometry, and reviews I've seen this is a worthy nominee...at least in my book, this might very well be my dream bike.
 

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I would say the current crop of modern full suspension bikes are the best ever made. There's not a real ton of difference between brands apart from minor degrees of difference. By and large bikes have settled on modern geometry and components, and we are experiencing rapidly diminishing returns in regard to improvements. It's hard to find a bad bike these days.

My favorite bike was my 2007 Stumpjumper. It's not as good as the bike I have now, but I did ten years on that thing and when I got it, it was a revolutionary upgrade from the '97 Stumpjumper hardtail I had been riding. It did everything I asked and more, and then it went to a good home with someone who continues to ride it. Most of the components were still the original, too (derailleur, fox talas fork, fox float shock, Avid Juicy 7 brakes, etc). That's an impressive amount of durability for the amount of abuse I subjected it to.
 

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Crazed Country Rebel
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6,345 Posts
Chumba - the era after Ted owned them. The new owners were so friendly and never ever threatened to sue anyone.

Ibex. Similar to Chumba, the owner was an amazing guy. He wasn't argumentative or butthurt about anything and his bikes were clearly ahead of their time.

Ellsworth! The bikes were nearly bullet proof. The owner was amazing and customer service was top notch.

Lastly:

Specialized anything. Mike Sinyard has go to be the most ethical person in the bike business. He never ever, not even once stole anyone else's ideas or patents and he was never overly litigious. He never sued little companies out of business. Never ever threatened to sue companies. And for certain he wasn't so petty as to sue prior employees for coloring their bikes red. He's just a stand up guy all around.

That's my list!
 
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