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Michael’s new mountain bike, a Steel Deluxe from Independent Fabrication, is the latest Bike of the Week, and extends the “Month of Indy Fab” just a bit farther.
This Deluxe is, like all bikes from Indy Fab, handmade in Newmarket, NH. Michael had his bike designed around 29-inch wheels, the larger cousin of the once-standard 26-inch mountain bike wheel. Are 29″ wheels better? Who knows – there are passionate folks with “irrefutable” evidence on both sides of this argument, so we’ll take the Swiss position. One thing they are is bigger. While in many conditions, the larger wheels offer an advantage, they offer a distinct challenge to the frame designer, as they now have more wheel to cram into the frame made for a regular-sized rider (whatever regular-sized means…). Luckily, designing 29ers (as they’re called) is something that the folks at Indy Fab do well (exceedingly well, actually), so Michael received an off-road-ready bike that is precisely designed to offer him the best trail ride possible.
Michael selected the Deore XT component group from Shimano for his new custom rig. He chose a Fox 32 Float 29 100 CTD tapered fork, Mavic Crossride wheels and WTB tires, Chris King sealed bottom bracket and headset bearings, and a cockpit from Thomson. He topped of the bike with a Tundra saddle from Fizik and Time’s venerable ATAC off-road pedal system.
While the frame specs and the component list may be impressive, it’s the 5-color paintjob that truly impresses. Chris Rowe and the design and paint team at Indy Fab finished off a paint scheme on Michael’s MTB, one with a great shot of color, that is both daring and restrained (not possible, you say?). That being said, there’s no shame in covering their work with copious amounts of dirt and mud. Off to the trails!
29er, Bike of the Week, custom, deore xt, fox fork, independent fabrication, Mountain biking, NAHBS, shimano, time atac
Stan’s carbon-and-titanium XS from Independent Fabrication is the latest Bike of the Week (BOTW). Stan chose the XS because its use of carbon tubes joined together by Indy Fab’s signature titanium lugs. Billed (well, by us) as the “Best of Both Worlds”, the XS uses carbon tubes made specifically for the rider by ENVE Composites in Utah and ti lugs manufactured in-house (by Indy Fab) to the precise angle needed by the rider: the ride of carbon fiber and the customization of titanium.
Stan outfitted his XS with Campagnolo’s latest Super Record EPS electronic groupset. Indy Fab designed the frame with fittings specifically for Campy EPS, resulting in a comprehensive, well-performing package. We don’t speak Italian very well, but Super Record sounds like the top of the heap to us, molto grande! Zipp’s “new for ’12″ 303 Firecrest carbon tubular wheels, stem, handlebar, and seatpost finish off the component specification of the bike.
While we can’t confirm that Stan’s new XS has made him a better rider, or that it’s won him some previously un-winnable town-line-sprints, we can say that it’s earned him the respect of his Morgan Hill cycling pals.
Bike of the Week, custom, independent fabrication, indy fab, pedal-strike, Racing, Road Biking, xs
NYC Velo proudly welcomes Franklin’s Indy Fab SSR (Stainless Steel Road) as the Bike of the Week!
This particular SSR was handmade by Independent Fabrication in Newmarket, NH using Columbus XCr stainless steel tubes. Franklin chose a relatively conservative black/white/raw paint scheme that showcases the material’s natural aesthetic. The bike wears a new Campagnolo Record 11 groupset, pink Chris King R45 hubs laced to Velocity A23 tubeless ready rims, and a cockpit consisting of parts from Fizik and 3T.
Now complete, this SSR is ready to take on New York City’s winter riding conditions (snow/salt/freezing temps) in style!
Bike of the Week, custom, independent fabrication, Racing, Road Biking
NYC Velo’s latest Bike of the Week (BOTW) catapulted itself into the limelight after a strong showing at last week’s Crazy Train *Race* in Philly.
The BOTW is a Planet X cyclocross bike from Independent Fabrication, in steel. This Indy Fab was built for its owner in 2002, along with the steel fork, of (mostly) Reynolds 853 air-hardened tubes. Underneath its current cloak of sand/salt/mud/train sweat, this Made-in-Somerville, Mass cross frame wears an eclectic mix of SRAM Force shifters & derailleurs, Shimano Ultegra 6600 Single-ring cranks, Mavic R-SYS wheels (the replacement version) with Maxxis 700 x 33mm mud knobbies, Paul cantilever brakes, and Chris King headset and bottom bracket.
As has been written, the Crazy Train course was a mix of riding surfaces (sounds like cross, no?), including muddy singletrack, snowy singletrack, icy bike paths (that seemed like riding on cornmeal), railroad ties, piles of cinderblocks, and both improved and unimproved roads. This Planet X (Tim Johnson rode a similar bike to win the USA’s first podium spot ever at a CX World Championship event in 1999) has seen a lot in it’s 10 years on the Mid-Atlantic-New England CX racing circuit, but the adventure along the tracks in Philly last week was the one to beat.
Bike of the Week, crazy train, cx, Cyclocross, events, independent fabrication, NAHBS, philadelphia, Racing, shop rides
For the third week of September, NYC Velo (under the “NYC Velo Tours” banner) led a group of intrepid cyclists on a tour of the Southern French Alps. The priorities of the trip were as follows: ride, eat, drink, sleep. Setting that list to repeat 6 times yielded a week full of climbing (total elevation gain of 72,631 feet), descending, sun, scenery, and warm French hospitality. Along the way, we thoroughly tested our legs and our gear (see the recent BOTW feature), including the Search and State S1-J Riding Jacket, a variety of Grimpeur Bros Coffees, Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration (USADA-legal we’re told), and Endura compression gear, reviews to follow.
The trip is best seen in photos, which are broken up into 3 News posts (Days 1&2, Days 3&4, and Days 5&6), with little more than captions to accompany the images. If you’d like to learn more about this trip, or any of the upcoming adventures, stop by the shop or drop us an email at: Andrew@nycvelo.com.Alps, bike tour, coffee, events, french alps, Grimpeur Bros Coffee, independent fabrication, NAHBS, Road Biking, Search and State, shop rides, skratch labs, Tour de France, Trips
This edition of the Bike of the Week feature details not one, but five bikes, making it the first 5x BOTW, FWIW. The bikes in question were all part of Fr2012, an NYC Velo Tours-sponsored weeklong attack on the Southern French Alps.
Ian’s bike is the carbon fiber Opal, from the venerable Spanish marque Orbea, which came his way when he was part of the CRCA Junior Racing Program (a program that he helped to re-launch). He’s now had the bike for a number of years, and it served him well as the French tarmac headed skyward. Ian’s Orbea is outfitted with a mix of Shimano Ultegra 6600 and Dura Ace 7700 parts, not the latest-and-greatest, but more than up to the task, even the bike-racer-friendly 130mm stem and flo-purple Knog light (and Helen’s Cycles water bottles).
Jack’s bike is a Cervelo R3, a white carbon beauty that, when paired with the latest Shimano Ultegra 6700 gear, helped him set the pace as the Fr2012 crew tackled the nearly 75,000 vertical feet of ascension over the 6 day trip. Jack’s brand-appropriate (ahem, Ian) water bottles did not slow down his Strava-insprired attack on the Alpe d’Huez, nor his sunset lead-out on the Galibier. Not surprisingly, the Easton EC90 Equipe carbon handlebars and Cane Creek Crosstop levers aided finish-line one-hande-wheelie victory salutes.
Troy’s custom titanium Eriksen cyclocross bike may seem like a fish out of water on a predominately paved bike trip, but its S&S Machine Co coupler system allows him to pack it neatly into a suitcase (and avoid the increasingly nasty airline bike-handling fees). Troy swapped the stock knobby tires for 23mm slicks on his White Industries-hubbed custom wheels, but kept the rest of the bike cyclocross-ready, including a Campy groupset and TRP cantilever brakes. Troy’s Eriksen also sports a rarely-seen Syncros Revolution crankset. Made of tubular steel, yet still lightweight and ultra-strong, these cranks were rare when they were available new 15 years ago, and almost never seen today.
Ian’s custom steel Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel road machine also uses S&S Couplers to facilitate air travel. Ian’s Somerville, Mass-made Indy Fab is painted in a champaign-like hue, suggesting a titanium composition to the casual observer, remaining understated, like the rider himself. His bike is set up with Shimano’s Dura Ace 7800 group and a pair of hand-laced wheels, perfect options for a week’s worth of Euro-riding.
Andrew’s Independent Fabrication Ti Crown Jewel rounds out the group’s equipment. The Ti CJ is, like Troy and Ian’s bikes, outfitted with S&S couplers, to many the best option for setting up a travel bike. Andrew’s bike uses 2010 model year SRAM Red parts and a set of NYC Velo’s signature wheels (custom Industry 9 20/24-hole hubs, Sapim CX-Ray spokes, Stan’s Notubes Alpha 340 rims, and Hutchinson Atom 700x23mm tubeless tires). The bike also utilized Chris King’s (the Pride of Portland) headset and bottom bracket, as well as Ritchey WCS handlebars, stem, and seatpost and a Fizik Antares saddle. Weighing in at around 16 pounds, it proved to be a fitting piece of equipment for a weeklong ride in cycling’s Promised Land.
Bike of the Week, independent fabrication, NAHBS, Road Biking, shop rides, Trips
Two weeks, two cyclocross bikes from Independent Fabrication….it must mean something (fall’s right around the corner!). Like the last Indy Fab featured, this bike is for sale. The BOTW is a stainless steel cyclocross frame, the SSX, constructed of Reynolds 953 tubes and painted up in the Rapha Racing colours. The frame has 6 Northeast CX races on it, and much of the Sram Force component package is brand new, having been serviced by the Intergalactic Mechanic Crew at NYC Velo immediately prior to being offered for sale. The price for a this marriage of New England bike building prowess and British charm is a scant $3500.
Bike of the Week, custom, cx, independent fabrication, NAHBS, Racing, rapha, Road Biking, Sale
‘Tis the season, the season of Cyclocross. As odd as it may sound to say that the first week of September makes us all think of cyclocross, the paradigm has shifted, and the races are already starting. The local and regional cyclocross camps and practices are in full swing, so it’s high time that you CX racers out there lined up the right ride for the 2012/13 season.
The Bike of the Week is from the framehouse in Newmarket, NH, Independent Fabrication. Indy Fab’s cyclocross offering is the Planet X, a model that made a name for itself on the international stage in 1999 when Tim Johnson piloted his to a Bronze medal at the Under 23 UCI World Championships in Proprad, Slovakia. Each Planet X is made by hand in Newmarket, by people that know what it takes to build a race-winning machine.
This Planet X includes an Alpha Q carbon fork, SRAM Rival components, Mavic Aksium wheels, Michelin Mud 2 tires, and a Fizik saddle, for $3099.
Bike of the Week, custom, cx, Cyclocross, independent fabrication, NAHBS
The bike, in the owners own words:
When I was asked if i minded if my IF was feautured as a bike of the week, I agreed with the caveat being only if I could write and photograph the post.
I will forgo the superfluous descriptions that can be found in the pages of most bike magazines and instead just say that the wheels, the seat and bars are all in the right place. In my opinion, this bike is the correct tool for racing and riding in the woods.
With design input on the geometry from Andrew at NYC Velo and Jesse at Independent Fabrication, my vision of the lifetime bike was met – she is a keeper. It is a confidence-inspiring ride and surely will serve me well.
While the wheels are mere a part of the bike, it merits mentioning that they are Bill Spaceman-built. These are the 2nd set of wheels he has built for me – they are certainly a highlight of the machine, and deserving of their own post.
For those that may not know, Bill has attended most of the Single Speed World Championship mountain bike races and clearly knows a few things about building great wheels – especially single speed mountain bike wheels. Off the shelf wheels are not a fitting substitute for well made, made to measure for the rider (might be more succinct if you just say bespoke) wheels.
With its roots in the fertile crescent of US bike culture, just saying “Independent Fabrication” conjures up the Fat Chance mountain bikes I coveted in high school and college.
The build process, the ride, and the aesthetics of the final product have exceeded expectations.
Thank you NYC Velo and Thank You Indy Fab.
29er, Bike of the Week, hand-built bicycle, independent fabrication, Mountain biking
NYC Velo helps cyclists of all types find their perfect ride.