I purchased my Ibis Silk SL from Rick. This is the first expensive road bike I’ve bought. I wasn’t looking for an Ibis at the time, but after researching options in my price range, I decided the quality of the bike frame from one company to another would be comparable, so the decision was a lot more about whom I could trust to build the bike up. A mutual friend referred me to Rick, and I got this interesting message that I would get the closest thing to a custom bike as possible with a production frame.
Over the next month, I exchanged a lot of email with Rick about fit, options, why Ibis, and other questions I had. Once I decided to buy one, the parts arrived and the fun really began. I went over to Rick’s shop and unpacked the frame and components, and we started building the bike together. It was not a fast process. It took a few weeks. We would work in little blocks of time whenever we could get together. Sometimes we only got something small accomplished, like hanging the derailleur. But everything about the process was directed at me understanding what we were doing and why. Sometimes these explanations lead to long discussions, stories, demonstrations, photos . . . I soon learned that working with Rick is not always a linear experience. But I can’t imagine having more fun or learning more about the bike than I did. In the process, we have also become friends and have gone on quite a few rides together. I had no idea buying a bike could be about so much more than just getting a new bike.