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Independent Fabrication Bikes(10 posts)

Independent Fabrication Bikesrookierider
Nov 9, 2002 5:06 AM
Does anybody have any experience with this company? I like what I've read on the website but can't find any reviews of their frames or service. I'm specifically interested in the titanium models. Thanks for any input
Great reputation, though overpriced in some people's opinion (nmKerry
Nov 9, 2002 7:00 AM
You get what you pay forMy Dog Wally
Mar 29, 2003 1:35 PM
As I sit here writing this, I'm three weeks away from receiving my new, custom Ti Crown Jewel. Here's my experience with this company. About two weeks ago, I finally decided what I want to replace my Klein Quantum II with: either a Serotta Legend Ti, Seven Axiom Ti, or IF Ti Crown Jewel. I found the Serotta and Seven at the same dealer, test rode them both, and fell in love. I'd have been thrilled with either. The next day, I went in to Seattle's one and only IF dealer and discovered that they didn't have a Ti Crown Jewel on the floor to test ride. I called IF and asked them how the heck I'm supposed to buy one of their bikes if I can't test it. Matt Bracken immediately offered to ship me a bike, at IF's expense, solely for the purpose of accomodating a test ride. Man, if a company wants me as a customer that much, I owe it to myself to pay attention to them. As it turns out, I didn't want to feel obligated to IF for having them ship me a bike, and I told them that. Matt said he'd get back to me. Sure enough, he called me later that day, said he'd had a conversation with the local dealer, and the dealer was able to contact a Ti Crown Jewel customer who agreed to bring his bike to the store so I could test ride it. Putting this bike through its paces (on a rainy day) was an absolute thrill. It cornered like it was on rails, climbed like a helium-filled mountain goat, and sucked up the high frequency bumps my Klein would typically amplify to my arms and spine. Keep in mind that this Ti Crown Jewel I was riding WASN'T EVEN MY SIZE, and it still felt fabulous. Considering how much I loved riding this bike and the fact that IF took such good care of me, I spent the next two hours having my dealer fit me for a custom bike. Aside from the products being spectacular, the company itself is a joy to deal with. They're happy to spend as much time as I require helping me decide the most trivial things. They understand that a new Ti Crown Jewel represents a major purchase, and they want to help me get it right. I can't wait to get my new bike.
IF custom paint, mega bucks.Ambishawn
Nov 9, 2002 7:54 AM
I have a Crown jewel Special Edition on order right now. Have only ridden a CJ a few miles at a local bike shop so My experience as limited but there are Reviews on this site for Crown Jewel the bike and the frame set. These reviews only cover the steel models though. One disadvantage to the steel crown jewel is that it's setup for 26.8mm seat post which limits your seatpost option. The Ti version is setup for 27.2mm seatposts so no worries there.

I chose the Steel Crown Jewel due to it's reputation as a great ridding frame. Besides this is the frame that puts IF on the map. After choosing some minor Paint Scheme options My Steel Special Edition is costing Me almost as much as a TI Crown Jewel.

If you go with an IF go to a shop with a Serrota Size Cycle and get a custom fitting. This way you will have the ultimate bike either Ti or steel. Once You have your specs then try to buy your frame directly from IF. Tell them theres no dealer near by and you want a frame.

Another word on IF custom paint. Before putting down a deposit on your frame and starting production get an estimate on your paint scheme along with the prices of your frame and fork. I may have went with a Steelman Stage Race if I were to go with a simple one or two color fade that's no extra charge for IF. The Steelman is actually rated a little higher than the crown jewel on this site.

I realize that your interested in Ti but I feel that this paint info will save some reader on this site some trouble.
IF custom paint, mega bucks.rookierider
Nov 9, 2002 8:10 AM
I welcome any input. After all, an investment this size I'm reviewing the company and all their products as well.
Thanks
Call IF ...merckx56
Nov 9, 2002 2:59 PM
and speak to Ed Magrecke. He's the VP of Sales. I've known Ed for years and he was just as passionate about IF frames before he went to work there as he is now. 617/666-3609. The key to getting really cool paintwork done for an absolute minimum amount of $$ is too spend the guys at IF a little surprise (pizza, beer, a stripper...) and ask for the "painter's choice". We got one for a guy that was the most beautiful chocolate brown with gold flake in the clear coat and creme colored panels with the black and golf IF logos. Oooooh, I'm gettin' all warm and funny just thinking about it! Tell Eddy I said to call him! They make high $$ sh*t, but it's worth it!
Mark Merrill
You would have to buy the bike from IFAmbishawn
Nov 10, 2002 1:16 AM
I think a lot of the cost of the paint job is LBS mark up. IF was tight lipped about the cost of the job and said I had to discuss this with My dealer (whom isn't an IF dealer). The shop owner listed some prices on paint stuff and decals that were no extra charge an asked $250. If I ever buy another IF it will be from them or nothing. All that Pizza, Beer and strippers seem hard to arrange over here on the west coast. Hate to say it but the Steelman sounds better any way you look at it (being located in California).
IF crown jewelpeter1
Nov 9, 2002 8:37 AM
I bought a steel Crown Jewel this spring, with a 1 1/8 head tube. I also sprung for the $75 silver head tube badge. With Campy Centaur 10, Speedplay pedals, Thomson setback post, King headset, and Velocity wheels, it came to $2900 even. Frame was $1400, but I think they've jacked up their prices.
I bought it through my LBS, which sells about 30 IF frames a year. The owner and his wife race on the IF cross frames. Took about a month from start to finish, the frame took 3 weeks without custom paint.

I've got about 2k miles so far and it's everything I expected. It seems to be laterally stiff (they beefed up the chainstays this year) and vertically compliant, as advertised. I ride a lot of dirt roads (on 700x23s at 110 psi) and it doesn't beat me up. The paint is still flawless despite the stones! I don't have any complaints and the bike gets a lot of compliments. (That's important when you have to convince your wife why you need a $3k bike!).

The poster who noted that the steel IF is a bit pricey is correct, but it's the same as a steel Serotta, the other bike I considered.

I drooled over a ti Crown Jewel that the bike shop was building when I ordered mine! However, I know that ti is new to their line, and that may be why you can't find any reviews. IF has a good reputation for customer service--I'd characterize them as a "semi-custom" builder -- and you probably won't go wrong with them.

They're based in the Boston area, so I'd bet if you looked on the internet for a Boston bike club web site, you could find someone who owns a ti Crown Jewel.

e-mail me if you want any more details.

cheers,
Peter
re: Independent Fabrication Bikesmosovich
Nov 9, 2002 4:48 PM
Great frame, super comfy, but paint chips easily. I've had mine repainted and now seems to chip more than before. Great riding bike though. I have a Planet X.
re: Independent Fabrication BikesDan Q
Nov 11, 2002 11:34 AM
I have a steel Crown Jewel and it is everyting I could want a road bike to be. I will get rid of this bike no sooner than the day I can no longer ride it. Mine has close to 10,000 miles on it and the paint looks perfect. I can not imagine anyone having a complaint about one of their bikes. In fact, I love mine so much that I e-mail IF about twice a year just to let them know how much I am still enjoying it.