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Moots Vamoots vs Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel Ti?(9 posts)

Moots Vamoots vs Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel Ti?Johnny426
Apr 28, 2003 4:50 PM
Anyone have experience with the IF Ti Crown Jewel? Other than the obvious differences of butted tubing how does it compare to the Moots Vamoots in terms of build quality. Is IF a good company for Ti frames?

Johnny
re: Moots Vamoots vs Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel Ti?gtx
Apr 28, 2003 5:12 PM
Well, the IF is full custom, but the stock IF geometry has longer c-stays and slacker STAs and probably a longer wheelbase than the equivalent size Moots. Build quality on both should be superb, though Moots is very hard to beat from what I've seen, also they've been doing Ti longer, and I like the Moots finish and Breezer dropouts. Do a search on Moots--there's a post with pics of a factory tour a few days back. Tough call.

426 as in 426 Hemi?
flip a coin...Fez
Apr 28, 2003 5:12 PM
The stock geometries are different between the 2 brands. However, most get custom-sized frames when ordering from either of these companies. So geometries may or may not be a factor.

Sometimes it boils down to how long the wait times are for either brand.

Both are good, and neither is cheap.

I have seen IFs with sloping top tubes on the website. I have yet to see a sloping Moots, but I could be wrong on that.
flip a coin...russw19
Apr 28, 2003 7:48 PM
Either company will custom build you a bike. I have seen one of each in person. I used to own a Moots YBB mountain frame. And I have also owned an Ind. Fab. cross bike. Both are outstanding bikes.... great quality throughout.

One thing that I would say sets one apart over the other is finish... but it works both ways. If you plan on not painting your frame, the Moots has slightly nicer welds and is a little bit cleaner looking. However with the Ind.Fab. you can have it painted, and their paint jobs are fantastic. And they will do custom paint work for you.

So my advice, for what it's worth, is if you are gonna paint it, get the Ind. Fab. if you are gonna leave it bare Ti, go with the Moots. Also, the Vamoots YBB is super sweet. It gives just enough flex to carve thru a corner. It's the same concept as the old Serotta design with the flattened curved carbon stays... the rear wheel just rips through corners and stays glued to the ground so you are always in control. Nice bikes... both of them!

Russ
re: Moots Vamoots vs Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel Ti?jtolleson
Apr 29, 2003 7:17 AM
IF has one of the industries great custom paint shops, if that is important to you. The look of the Crown Jewel Ti reminds me of retro steel, in keeping with IF's general aesthetic. That's a matter of personal preference, though I happen to like it. Both are great builders.

Just as an FYI I did have a bad experience with IF about 14 months ago. I put a grand down on a Crown Jewel Ti and did a full size-cycle fitting for custom geometry. When I hadn't heard anything for four weeks, I started calling and emailing because I wanted to pick my paint (I was having it painted). I really could NOT get them to respond, or when I would reach a live person, they'd say "I'll call you back tomorrow morning" and of course never did. I finally pulled the order with no bike.

In their defense, I think my experience was a fluke. I could forgive that my order had gotten lost, but the failure to return simple calls to someone building a $5000 bike did stick in my craw.

FWIW.
re: Moots Vamoots vs Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel Ti?ryder1
Apr 29, 2003 9:20 AM
I was interested in a Crown Jewel and called them a couple times. Got someone right away. Matt Bracken of IF talked my ear off for like an hour on Ti philosophy, design, fit etc. and was very helpfull, open, and honest. I think your experience was a fluke.

I ended up getting a merlin Agilis as, I got a deal on a demo bike. The IF is definetly my choice down the road. As you said, the shot peening looks great and couple that with the painted panels or some custom paint schemes look great.
have you seen the finish on the IF Ticyclinseth
Apr 29, 2003 8:30 AM
It is astonishing. the shot-peening process gives the surface a texture that glitters in direct sunlight. it is really beautiful. I've compred the "look" of the welds to Seven and in my opinion the IF looks much cleaner and more attentive. I don't know about the moots, I'm sure they build a spectacular bike. But the IF finish is totally unique. You can get any kind of geometry you want, any kind of ride quality you want from IF, it depends on the person measureing you for the bike. I'm sure moots has custom geometry too.
re: Moots Vamoots vs Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel Ti?Dan Q
Apr 30, 2003 6:02 AM
I would possibly lean towards the Moots because of their longer history with Ti, but how could you go wrong. I love my steel IF but the Moots picture below (I copied it from someone who built it up and posted it here a few months ago) looks like heaven on wheels to me.
re: Moots Vamoots vs Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel Ti?Johnny426
Apr 30, 2003 7:25 AM
Thanks for the info. I must admit I like the looks of the Moots better too. They by far have the nicest looking most even welds I've ever seen and I like the traditional seat post binder as well.

IFs Crown Jewel Ti looks to be quite a nice frame too although I wish IF had more pictures of the bare frame on their website so it would be easier to get an idea of what their chain-stays, seat-stays, etc look like. Does anyone know what style of chain-stay and seat-stay Independent Fabrication is using on the Crown Jewel Ti? Are they straight like the Moots or more like the curvy Seven style?

There is virtually no price difference between the two once you go custom with Moots. The IF frame would be a bit lighter as well since they do butt there tubing, I also like the fact they have got 4 trails to choose from for the Reynolds fork instead of the usual 1 that most builders are left with. That seemed like a big selling point to me. The shot peening looks like hype as far as improving frame life but it does leave a nice finish although even after the shot peening the welds are still not as clean and even as Moots.

My main concern with Moots is their custom frame sizing abilities. Apparently Moots is going to come out with some information regarding their custom sizing program. I remember reading in an interview with Kent Erickson in Adventure Cycling that he didn't like doing customs and preferred the mass production aspect of frame building. I don't want to get stuck with a frame that doesn't work for me, I've done that in the past. I'm going to do my homework and try to work out what position works best for me on my current rides before I take the plunge this summer.

In reading through this forum I see there are some small one man builders like Holland or Kellogg which would reduce the number of interfaces one has to go through when getting a custom frame designed, but since neither of them is local to me I haven't really considered them. I figured that it would basically be by the numbers fitting with any builder and in the end who knows what works best and is most comfortable but the rider himself.