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Why the lack of IndyFabs?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Why the lack of IndyFabs?

Old 06-18-05, 08:06 PM
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Seriously, why is it that I haven't seen anyone here who owns an Independent Fabrications bike? Perhaps everyone that has one is too busy out riding them to brag about how great they are? Either that or they're not as well known as, say, Serotta, Vanilla, Waterford, Gunnar, etc? I've actually been drooling at the idea of getting an IF Crown Jewel steel with carbon stays within a year or so. So anyone here have an IndyFab, know someone who does, ridden one themselves or know someone who's ridden one?


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Old 06-18-05, 08:11 PM
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https://www.ifrider.com
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Old 06-18-05, 08:17 PM
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All these companies make nice frames, but aside from "quality" (ie, welds, etc) what is there magical about these products?

If any of these companies (and I mean overseas companies too like Pinarello, etc) don't test various parts of the finished frame for stiffness, etc then why buy them?

OK, to answer my own question "experience" in judging things comes into play, but I often wonder what sort of engineering these companies invest in?
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Old 06-18-05, 09:21 PM
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I doubt Antonio Mondonico invests much in engineering... His frames have still made the podiums of the Giro and TDF.
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Old 06-18-05, 09:38 PM
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Calling Lowcel...calling Lowcel https://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.p...postcount=1050

The pics are gone from the post but it is a great looking orange Ti Crown Jewel.
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Old 06-18-05, 09:43 PM
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Yeah.. I did happen to find that one after the fact... but no pics.. For me, the lure of a custom frame is being shaped rather oddly and having a bike built specifically for me and not "Joe Average". I'm only 130, so stiffness isn't an issue for me. Everything I've read about the IF's has been overwhelmingly positive. I'd possibly consider Serotta, but we don't even have a Serotta dealer anywhere in my area at all. Amusingly, the IF dealer also sells Seven.
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Old 06-18-05, 09:46 PM
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I like these builders I'm just playing devils advocate.

But seriously, I often hear about Titanium being "whippy" or flexy. I just wonder how they engineer this tendency out of it. I guess years of building these things they probably figured it out by trial and error.

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Old 06-18-05, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by cryogenic
...I'd possibly consider Serotta, but we don't even have a Serotta dealer anywhere in my area at all...
there's two dealers in town here, but I chose to drive 3 hours (6hrs round trip) out to Springfield, MO because the guy was super L337 serotta guy (old school dealer, etc, adv fit tech, designed TONS of serottas). The two dealers in town I didn't have confidence in. One place was a brand new shop called "The Trek Bikestore of St. Louis", the other was the largest shop in town--but it didn't seem like they focused on Serotta much.

They have dealers in Shelby and Williamson Tennesee, not sure how close that is to you. A few hour drive doesn't see like much to me, considering how much time I'll spend on the bike and the amount of $$$--I want to make sure it is perfect for me. I didn't like the first design so now they are doing another one.

lol, this post is a lot longer than I planned--yes IF makes some cool bikes

IndyFab on CNN
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Old 06-18-05, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat
there's two dealers in town here, but I chose to drive 3 hours (6hrs round trip) out to Springfield, MO because the guy was super L337 serotta guy (old school dealer, etc, adv fit tech, designed TONS of serottas). The two dealers in town I didn't have confidence in. One place was a brand new shop called "The Trek Bikestore of St. Louis", the other was the largest shop in town--but it didn't seem like they focused on Serotta much.

They have dealers in Shelby and Williamson Tennesee, not sure how close that is to you. A few hour drive doesn't see like much to me, considering how much time I'll spend on the bike and the amount of $$$--I want to make sure it is perfect for me. I didn't like the first design so now they are doing another one.

lol, this post is a lot longer than I planned--yes IF makes some cool bikes

IndyFab on CNN
Does the dealer draw out or spec the geometry there for you? How do they determine geometry?

After experimenting with a few different factory frames (formulating my geometry prefernces) I wouldn't mind going with a Ti custom frame at some point. The process I'm interested in and can you give your own input into the design?

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Old 06-18-05, 10:10 PM
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Well, considering I don't own a car, driving 3 hrs to Nashville (which is about where Williamson Co is) isn't really a feasible option. Also, the guys that sell IF actually used to sell (at various points in time) Serotta, Merlin and Moots. I consider Serotta and IF to be basically on the same level and the guys at the shop in question are really good at what they do. Obviously it's going to be about a year before I am ready to go custom, so maybe a Serotta dealer will pop up around here before then. Who knows. Just curious, what is it that made you choose Serotta over and above all the other custom builders out there?
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Old 06-18-05, 10:15 PM
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My best friend's brother left "Fat City" Cycles in Boston in the mid nineties with some of Fat City's frame builders, and founded Independant Fabrication mainly as a mountain bike company. Road and Cross bikes were a minor part of the business back then, and they only built steel frames at the start. He sold his share of the company last year, and I'm kicking myself for not buying one of their road frames while I still could get a "friend of the family discount". My friend has a couple of their custom built frames and they are beautifully crafted. The carbon/titanium frame is a masterpiece. Rest assured, there are no better quality custom frames out there. Take good care of that Indy Fab machine.
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Old 06-18-05, 10:37 PM
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Our local shop has one in stock... it's absolutely gorgeous. They actually look far better in person than in pictures. Ever since I first saw one I just flat-out said "I will own one of those" and well, I *will* if it friggin kills me.
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Old 06-18-05, 10:55 PM
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I've had two "professional fittings" and I would characterize them differently. One was for a bike (which didn't fit me, btw) I already had. It was about 60-90 mins long--but was pretty basic. For the fit and components I dropped about 230$ (I think the fit itself was 50-75$). Basically this type of fit is used by dealers to either match you to an off-the-shelf bike they have, or if you already have a bike they will make recommendations (the stuff I bought, new saddle and insoles I was going to buy anyway--so I didn't feel like he was a salesman). This type of fit definitely makes them money for either a bike purchase or components, because 50-75$ for 60-90 minutes of a fit guy's time is practically them giving it away. But, like I said the guy wasn't a salesman at all--and he mentioned this as well. Good fit guys are pretty professional about it.

The second fit I had was with a Serotta guy who has been selling Serotta's -forever- and is one of Serotta's few "advanced fit technicians". I brought my bike, shoes and some water. The Serotta fit, or at least this guy's version, is very "holistic" (imprecise term, but it's all I got right now). It took about 2hrs, possibly longer. For a good portion of that time I was pedaling on the Serotta size cycle. They also do an interview and ask a lot of questions. They have various devices and lay you out on a massage table and stretch you various ways. He also had me stand in various positions, balance in certain ways, go from seated to standing in certain ways--lots of different stuff. He also gave me -lots- of tips about my pedal stroke, adjusted my cleats and pedals at least once. Showed me how to correct some of my positioning, and told me various techniques to improve my balance. Overall it was a great experience. I think the cost was $175.

As far as design, it is basically up to you--but, they will try to steer you from stuff they know (from experience) you might like aesthetically, but won't like when you ride. The first draft of my bike probably had a bit more headtube and slope than I would like. I searched tons of Serotta pics from the serotta.com forum and bikefanclub.com gallery and emailed him examples I like. They are pretty firm about certain stuff. He showed me a Fierte (and even said a Fierte would sorta fit me if I didn't want custom) and I said "that's a lot of headtube" and he kinda laughed "Yup, you're gonna have some headtube" (but I think this is also going to be changed.)

My first plan was to get a Colorado 3 (aka CIII) with the pimped out Lemond-like paintjob below--exact colors and style.


I decided instead on the Titanium Concours, which is Serotta's mid-level Ti frame (Fierte [no custom geo] $1800, Concours $2500, Legend $3400). The main reason I chose Ti was not for it's "pimp" value or even weight considerations, I chose it mainly because it is so low maintenance without paint. And I am getting mine unpainted with only two decals, so worse comes to worse I just order new decals--no paint to worry about, no rust, no corrosion, can ride in snow, rain, salt, etc. I also chose Ti because I won't be afraid to push myself on the bike--if I crash I can just buff out any scratch with scotchbrite or steel wool. This bike is WAY too pimp for me (I'm not into flashy stuff, or wild looking/etc stuff). I am getting it with only downtube decal and no seat tube or chainstay decals. Whatever wheels I get will probably have the graphics removed (ksyrium sl's would look sweet without decals). Also, I'm not the type to spend this kind of money on a bike, but have decided to for two reasons 1) I will probably be off to grad school or law school soon. I will have almost zero income during that 2-3 years, and will be unable to buy another bike during that period. and 2) I want to close the "bike box"--handle this thing and be done. Once I get this bike it will be COMPLETE, and I will focus exclusively on my riding (and focus my posting in the 'Training and Nutrition' forum). I'm not the type to be tinkering or upgrading or swapping stuff out. I will be done with looking at bikes after I buy this one (and then buy a Parlee if/after grad school .

I also considered Seven and Moots. The Seven dealer in town are punks, and Serotta has more experience and a much more open owner community, and just community in general. The Moots was 300$ less but wasn't custom and you can't specify tube types. With the Serotta you can select -everything-, geometry, tubing types, paintjob, badges and/or decals, etc, etc. Also the finish on the Moots apparently scratches and Moots offers a refinishing service for this. The Serotta is just polished, no finish. My second choice would have definitely been the Moots though, I was very close to getting a Moots when I spoke with the Serotta dealer I eventually went with.

As far as eliminating flex/whip from Ti, lots of mfg can build with oversize tubes to eliminate this--I will probably opt for this. If you look at first generation or second generation aluminum frames, they weren't always built oversized like they are now. A lot of Ti builders are using larger tubes as well. Serotta, in particular, is good at building clyde-friendly Ti frames.

okay, long post. It will look like the one below, except only decal on downtube. Very plain jane. Titanium like a mack truck, not a piece of jewelry.

I'm also a firm believer in spending your money on the frame. Like someone else said (paraphrase) "Would you rather have a fully-loaded Yugo, or a base-trim Mercedes?"


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Old 06-18-05, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 53-11_alltheway
All these companies make nice frames, but aside from "quality" (ie, welds, etc) what is there magical about these products?

If any of these companies (and I mean overseas companies too like Pinarello, etc) don't test various parts of the finished frame for stiffness, etc then why buy them?

OK, to answer my own question "experience" in judging things comes into play, but I often wonder what sort of engineering these companies invest in?

Come on give me a break. Where did guys like Masi, De Rosa, Colnago, and such test their bikes without fancy computers and million dollar testing equip. They often tested on equip. called Merckx, or Hinault.

Since 1982, I have owned, raced, crashed and abused a more then good few Italian pro frames. They have help up great. I don't think a Trek, for example, can take that kinda abuse.

I have been to Masi under the Velodrome, De Rosa, and a few so call factories. They are just small buildings a little larger then our houses here in the states. No fancy testing equip. but i trust them with my life flying through a turn or in an all out sprint. I am too old and have no more power, so I don't worry much about that anymore. Cheer,

Jeff
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Old 06-18-05, 11:14 PM
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You're going with this gorgeous custom bike (I love flat, understated colors) and going to put Ksyriums on it? Please don't! Why not have Gravy Wheels or Mike Garcia or whomever build you a nice set of custom wheels? From experience, they're no more expensive than a nice set of factory built wheels.
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Old 06-18-05, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cryogenic
You're going with this gorgeous custom bike (I love flat, understated colors) and going to put Ksyriums on it? Please don't! Why not have Gravy Wheels or Mike Garcia or whomever build you a nice set of custom wheels? From experience, they're no more expensive than a nice set of factory built wheels.
no, I am not getting kysriums--I just think they'd look cool without the graphics. The 06' mavics look ugly as hell (way too busy).

I am looking at American Classic Hurricane's or DT's with RR 1.1's and 240 hubs--Mike Garcia would probably be the one I'd call for these. Not a lot of reviews out for the Hurricane's though--but any wheel rated at 235lb that is 1500g has gotta be tough as hell. I liked Bontrager Race Lites, but I always wondered what would happen if I broke a spoke--not interested in low spoke-count wheels for this reason. Maybe even open pro's laced to chorus hubs, I dunno. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
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Old 06-19-05, 02:04 AM
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Nice Bike Ziggurat,

The high spoke count stuff is nice because even if you break a spoke you may not even notice anything is wrong till you stop and happen to look at the wheel or spin it on the bike (it goes out of true slightly).
Funny you mentioned not thinking about bikes after you get it.

I'm shopping for a computer right now and when I finally buy the right one I'm going to forget about all the new stuff that comes out after I buy it.

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Old 06-19-05, 04:35 AM
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I'm not sure which is more daunting... buying a bike or buying a computer!
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Old 06-19-05, 11:47 AM
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Buying a computer is much simpler- you know that the large amount of money you put down will depreciate like crazy in the next 12 months and that the product will be obsolete in 3 years. A bike is a much longer term investment, so you really have to get it right.
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Old 06-19-05, 12:05 PM
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Ziggurat,

That is a great looking paint scheme on that CIII. One of the nicer paint schemes I've seen in a long time.
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Old 06-19-05, 02:39 PM
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My answer to the original question is simple: They're not worth the money they charge for them.
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Old 06-19-05, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ImprezaDrvr
My answer to the original question is simple: They're not worth the money they charge for them.
I don't believe they're any less worth the money than a Serotta, Moots, Merlin, etc. are by any stretch of the imagination. To me, $2k for a custom steel frame is more justifiable than $2k for a non-custom carbon frame.
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Old 06-19-05, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 53-11_alltheway
Does the dealer draw out or spec the geometry there for you? How do they determine geometry?

The process I'm interested in and can you give your own input into the design?
An IF Planet Cross in pink fuschia is my Holy Grail.
The only place I have seen them, Fit Werx in Waitsfield, VT. puts you through a Serotta fitting
machine / program first. Ive seen the machine and check off sheet and it looks pretty intensive.
If I recall, they do take your input or will even replicate a favorite frame if you want.
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Old 06-19-05, 05:19 PM
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I live in MA and hardly ever see them? Serottas and Sevens are pretty common. I've seen one IF on the road out here. Never seen a Moots. I see more Sachs than IFs.
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Old 06-19-05, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cryogenic
I don't believe they're any less worth the money than a Serotta, Moots, Merlin, etc. are by any stretch of the imagination. To me, $2k for a custom steel frame is more justifiable than $2k for a non-custom carbon frame.
THe CIII is $1500 and custom . In fact, you even get the best Columbus steel being made at this time (Spirit/Life tube sets)
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