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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In Paint: Independent Fabrication Ti Factory Lightweight

We have a little sneak peek of a very big project: an IF TiFLW project that's coming together nicely.  She's in paint as I write, and should be making her way to Chicago before we know it.

It'll be dressed appropriately with all sorts of nice bits, the details will follow.  Until then, check out the frame in progress.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Weekend Office

This weekend was sweet.  Saturday was a nice day at the shop, steady and smooth.  Everyone working, but under control.  Not so busy that we can't really take care of people the way we want to, yet busy enough to keep us from standing around.

Then came Sunday.  With expected temperatures in the high-90's and a lot of miles to log on the trails, I stocked up with a ton of fluids.  My bike was set to only carry two bottles, but I had two more Iron Cycles bottles as well as 1 liter of water and 32oz of Gatorade in my car.

I set out with Derrick who was riding his new Niner Jet9 RDO.  This was only his second or third ride on it, and having a new baby at home his training has been limited, but once the trails get twisty that dude is fast.  He's been raving about the Jet9 RDO and how fast it is in rough stuff, but watching him carve was impressive.

Within a couple of miles I knew I couldn't take his lines.  My Air9 RDO is sick-fast, but it won't eat up the bumps the same way his Jet9 RDO will, so I have to duck and weave a lot more where Derrick can just point and shoot.

We ran into Ted Burger and David Pilotto about 20 minutes in and did some miles with them.  Cemetary Loop and heading North-East with those guys was a blast.

After we had knocked out an hour, we shot back to the car for more fluid.  We ran into one of Derrick's friends who gave us a nice tour of some new trails I haven't seen before, then we hit Swallow Cliffs.  8 miles of gravel with a few nice climbs.  We hammered those, rode a few more miles, then it was time for Derrick to depart.

Back to the cars and we have over 3 hours done.  I make my way over to Speedway for a refill on water and Gatorade as well as some Gummy-Savers.  I'm feeling not so bad, and head back to the trails.  Another 12-14 miles and it's time to get off the trails.  I start to really feel it on the climbs and catch a glimpse of some goosebumps.  Not good.  Too much heat, and even though I have gotten about 120-140 oz o fluids in, I'm not sure I have gotten enough.

Just shy of 60 total miles, 50 of it on single-track, and I'm cashed.  Here's the cockpit that was staring at me for about 5 hours:

I'm loving this Air9 RDO.  Coming off of the EMD9, the bottom bracket stiffness doesn't seem like a huge jump, but front-end stiffness is noticeably better.  The frame is also significantly lighter, something like 550g lighter (1780g for the EMD9, 1230g for the Air9 RDO, both weights include all hardware).

A real nice, in-depth review is coming sooner rather than later on the Air9 RDO, stay tuned....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

NEW BIKE DAY! Anderson Lugged Stainless

When you're currently riding an Independent Fabrication SSR you don't normally long for something new, especially something else that's stainless steel.  But Rob was affixed on an Anderson, I believe he told me after Anderson won The President's Choice Award at the 2011 North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

This bike was truly something special to see come out of the box, and I can't help but to assume even better to ride.  Brushed KVA stainless tubes with polished stainless lugs on the frame.  The fork is even stainless with brushed legs and polished lugs.  The only thing that isn't stainless is the steerer tube.

Complete bike photos coming in the near future.

Enough with words, just enjoy the photos.

Friday, May 25, 2012

New IF Shots

More new paint shots rolling out of the factory in New Market.  I swear, these guys keep getting better and better, and I never thought it possible.  Well done fellas.

A beautiful blue/white scheme on a Crown Jewel.  Maybe a little busy for my taste on a classic steel bike, but I can certainly understand why someone would like this.

This shot just opens a new world of ideas.  I'm a pretty toned-down-paint-scheme kind of guy, but a row of bikes showing color like this makes me yearn for something bright.

Personally I wouldn't ride a bike with the Lion of Flanders prominently displayed like this per my request, but for the right person this could be really cool.  Of course it's done well, and much like the blue/white Crown Jewel, I can appreciate it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

NEW BIKE DAY! Niner Jet9 RDO with Shimano XT

I'll cut to the chase: 23.7 lbs without pedals.  Now, get the details.

Builds like this just don't come along that often.  It's not every day we get to build the dream bike of a seasoned mountain biker.  When we were asked to build a Jet9 RDO, I was nervous.  Back order lists are incredibly long, this one was ordered the first week of December.

Once the frame had been acquired, everything else was easy.  The frame received a SID XX World Cup 100mm fork with a 15mm thru axle and Cane Creek headset.

The build kit was simple: full Shimano XT.  Every time I ride it I become more and more impressed with the quality of the shifts, but more-so the braking.  Best braking I've ever used.

Wheels where another spot where we knew exactly where to go: Stan's NoTubes.  The stock Crest wheelset came to use 30g LIGHTER than advertised and perfectly round and true.

Thomson post and silver stand-in stem to be replaced with the correct size (and color) once the fit is dialed.  EDGE carbon bars, ESI grips, Maxxis Aspen 2.1 tires set up tubeless.

NEW BIKE DAY! Surly Cross-Check Custom in Robin's Egg Blue

Surly builds like this are always a pleasure.  Starting with the complete build, adding small touches to make the bike yours without going over the top.  Much like we did with this bike, the Robin's Egg Blue Cross-Check today was all class.

The complete build is pretty sweet, but subtle changes like Arundel Gekko tape in white really brightens up the finish on this bike.

Fatties do in fact fit fine.  This bike was built with SKS fenders and 28c Continental Gatorskin Ultra tires, and there's still a ton of clearance.

Just sit back and enjoy the rest of the photos.  This bike is just so classy, so clean, and so ready for whatever the road brings.  This one is intended to be used on a roughly 20-mile commute each way, though I have a feeling it will be seeing far more miles than that.