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Ibis Cycles Expands Engineering Department

Published February 16, 2021

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Ibis Cycles has hired Sara Passantino and Will Hilgenberg as design engineers.

Passantino is a recent graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Before accepting a full-time position at Ibis, she spent two years working as an engineering intern for the Santa Cruz based company.

As an intern, she primarily assisted in the carbon fiber lay-up development for a new US manufacturing project which has yet to be announced. She also helped create shock tuning suggestion charts, CAD files for brake mount adapters, and other fitment projects.

"Stepping into Ibis as an intern, I was immediately welcomed and felt right at home, so I am excited to be joining the family as a full-time engineer," said Passantino. "I became a mechanical engineer with the dream of designing bikes, so I am beyond stoked to living that dream with a company that cares so much about its people, riders, and the sport I love."

Tom Morgan, Ibis' President, and Partner said "I am very happy to have Sara joining us permanently. After my first experience working with her during her internship my first thought was - When does she graduate and when can we hire her?"

"Working with us the past two summers Sara has proved herself capable of tackling difficult projects and delivering them with a level of polish uncommon for an intern," said Colin Hughes, Ibis' Engineering Manager and Partner. "I'm excited to see what she comes up with in the future."

In addition to Passantino, Ibis has also added Hilgenberg. He has over eight years of experience as a mechanical engineer in the cycling industry. He began his career at Specialized, where he helped in the design and construction of the carbon fiber wind tunnel wall. From there, he helped Praxis Works develop carbon cranks, wheels, chainrings, and a new line of bottom brackets. Most recently, he was a mechanical design engineer at Bell Helmets.

Hilgenberg said, "It's exciting to work for a company that's as close-knit as Ibis is. Everyone is focused on producing some of the best bikes in the industry without losing track of what makes mountain biking such a great sport: the riders."

"Will joined us the day before shelter in place started, which is why we're just getting to the press release now," said Hughes. "Despite being sent home with his computer on his second day of work, he immediately became a productive and valuable member of the team."

Morgan added, "Will brings a fresh perspective and skillset to further enhance what I feel is already an incredibly talented and resourceful team. I can't wait to ride the bikes they're going to create!"

About Ibis Cycles

Ibis is a design and engineering-driven bicycle manufacturer based in Santa Cruz, California. Founded in 1981 by a young hippie, Ibis offers several mountain bikes and gravel models, plus a full range of carbon fiber and aluminum wheelsets. You'd think there would be a lot of beer in the fridge, but there isn't.

Sara Passantino

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