Independent Fabrication

hubcap
hubcap Posts: 163
edited August 2012 in Road buying advice
Hi all, I'm really interested in getting an Independent Fabrication, has anyone got one and where did you source it from?

Mosquito Bikes seems to be the main UK dealer but I haven't heard many positive comments about them, and according to the IF website the other place that does them is Sideways Cycles who are near Stoke on Trent which is a long way from me. They also look like an extension on the front of someones house!

So if anyone has an IF bike I would really appreciate some info on how you went about getting the bike, I know you can fill in their form and send it off to them in America but I would rather deal with someone at this side as it is a custom build and would want to make sure it is spot on.

Thanks. :D
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Comments

  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    IF are nice bikes and they make some groovy designs but fixing any potential errors in a full custom build and standing by the guarantee are pretty hard to do at a distance. If they paint it the wrong shade, what are you going to do? I dont think IF are any better than Roberts, BJ, Mercian, Dave Yates etc.
  • hubcap
    hubcap Posts: 163
    Thanks for the reply Michael and I know the guys you mention make some nice frames, would still be interested to hear from any IF owners though.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    With all the amazing frame builders that this country still boasts, one has to go for a USA made custom frame... I would stand 100% behind British made, especially given the outstanding quality
    left the forum March 2023
  • styxd
    styxd Posts: 3,234
    hear hear
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    With all the amazing frame builders that this country still boasts, one has to go for a USA made custom frame... I would stand 100% behind British made, especially given the outstanding quality

    +1

    OK, so IF make nice bikes, but the quality of my Enigma and the service I recieved throughout the build process has to make you ask why you'd pay the premium and go abroad for the IF.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    With all the amazing frame builders that this country still boasts, one has to go for a USA made custom frame... I would stand 100% behind British made, especially given the outstanding quality

    Quite - I mean, how much effort do you need to go to to stuff up our economy even further?! It's not as though we actually need an economy :lol:

    On the other hand, we'd make a bit back on the import duties.....
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Sideways Cycles may be a small shop but the quality of stock and knowledge of Tim the owner is outstanding. Don't judge a book (or shop) by its cover.
  • meesterbond
    meesterbond Posts: 1,240
    Unlike everyone else on the thread, I've not had the opportunity to compare an IF frame against a British steel / Ti equivalent (although the Seven bikes I used to drool over in Sigma cycles were really something special) so I couldn't tell you whether they compare, but if I remember correctly, Tim from Sideways Cycles used to post on Singletrackworld (maybe still does) and was always very helpful.

    If you're going to be spending that much, then a couple of trips to the Midlands have got to be worthwhile. Give him a ring and have a chat, see what you can do remotely.

    Personally, I've always fancied a Pegoretti, but the Mosquito angle has stopped me pursuing it further.
  • mjbennett
    mjbennett Posts: 532
    In my time I've had an IF titanium Crown Jewel, and two club racers. I have had many bikes/frames and have a lot of experience with them. To some extent I agree that there are really good UK bike builders, but I guarantee none of them will match the quality and attention to detail of an Indy Fab. The paint jobs are the best I've ever seen on a bike bar none. In addition, the quality of the welds and the styling of the bikes cannot be matched. However, there is a premium to be paid. These bikes are not cheap! Regarding Pegoretti, the designs are fantastic, but the materials are nothing special.
    If you can afford it, go for an indy fab. You won't regret it. If I had the money I'd be going for a custom built SSR, the only issue i'd have is that they no longer use 953 due to supply chain issues, instead optiing for Xcr.
    Good luck
  • crankycrank
    crankycrank Posts: 1,830
    Being an american myself I would love for you to send your money here but agree with the others that you have many excellent builders in the UK which will give you more for your money and can give you the in-person attention that is always better in a custom build. I have ridden 2 IF bikes in my life and yes, they are one of the best quality builds available but I can't say that they were any more special in terms of ride quality per dollar than some of the frames from other top builders. If you're determined to get an IF I would recommend emailing IF directly to get a conversation going about a bike before using a middle man. Even if you have to spend a few quid to call them from the UK to discuss the fit and finish it would be well worth it. Cheaper than the middle man and you will be talking directly with the people who make the bike. We do have quite a large national debt here so I won't stop anyone from sending us some more money. 8)
  • Eyorerox
    Eyorerox Posts: 43
    Whats wrong with Mosquito Bikes?
    If you want a custom bike you should go the full Monty, which means meeting the frame builder in person
    and discussing your wishes with him/her.
    If that means flying to the USA because you must have an IF bike then hop on the plane.
  • hubcap
    hubcap Posts: 163
    Thanks for the replies everyone. It's good to have some input from people with first hand experience of IF's handywork, and I also appreciate the comments about UK builders. I've looked at the Enigma website and their Extensor looks like a really nice bike and from reading about them on the forums they seem like a great company so I reckon a trip to see them is in order.

    I think I do still really want an IF in my heart so will contact them directly as cranky suggests. The bike I want would be made from XCr so both companies should be able to do a good job. :D

    This is going to be a one off special purchase as I don't have resources to change bikes often so want to ensure I make the right decision as this one will be a keeper. I think that's why I'm leaning slightly more towards the IF as the looks, finish and paintwork on them look absolutely stunning and to me it really does seem like a 'special' bike.

    Would still appreciate any more comments from IF owners!

    Thanks again all.
  • Eyorerox
    Eyorerox Posts: 43
    Why do you want stainless steel? what about Columbus Spirit for lugs.
  • APIII
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    There's a really nice IF over on weight weenies. It may be worth having a look over there and asking any questions.
    tKoXU.jpg

    Btw, don't let people bully you into buying british. Your money, get what you want.
  • jordan_217
    jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    APIII wrote:
    There's a really nice IF over on weight weenies. It may be worth having a look over there and asking any questions.
    tKoXU.jpg

    Btw, don't let people bully you into buying british. Your money, get what you want.

    Oh why did you post that?! I just did a little sex wee......
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • If you are looking at spending IF sort of money, also look closely at Firefly bicycles who are made of 3x ex-IF engineers (available through Bespoke Cycling in London) and Darren Crisp (Italy)

    http://fireflybicycles.com/ | http://www.flickr.com/photos/fireflybicycles/
    http://www.crisptitanium.com | http://www.flickr.com/photos/16933657@N08/
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    mjbennett wrote:
    but I guarantee none of them will match the quality and attention to detail of an Indy Fab.

    On what grounds ?
    mjbennett wrote:
    The paint jobs are the best I've ever seen on a bike bar none.

    Irrelevant if you have a bare metal finish.
    mjbennett wrote:
    In addition, the quality of the welds and the styling of the bikes cannot be matched.

    Based on what ? I suspect that's b*llocks !
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    MattC59 wrote:
    mjbennett wrote:
    but I guarantee none of them will match the quality and attention to detail of an Indy Fab.

    On what grounds ?
    mjbennett wrote:
    The paint jobs are the best I've ever seen on a bike bar none.

    Irrelevant if you have a bare metal finish.
    mjbennett wrote:
    In addition, the quality of the welds and the styling of the bikes cannot be matched.

    Based on what ? I suspect that's b*llocks !
    I agree. That's a very subjective point of view.

    I'm not English (or British) so this isn't a matter of parochialism, but I am sure you'll find local builders that are every bit as good as IF. Enigma springs to mind fir starters.
  • mjbennett
    mjbennett Posts: 532
    The op wanted comments, espcially from indy fab owners. I have had three, so i think i am in a reasonable poisition to express my opinion. Have you had direct indy fab experience, mattc59? Why would you think it's reasonable to call my comments bollocks? Are you an internet troller or something?
  • I've got an American frame. It's steel and it's the best frame I've ever had. Just thought you'd like to know.
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    mjbennett wrote:
    The op wanted comments, espcially from indy fab owners. I have had three, so i think i am in a reasonable poisition to express my opinion. Have you had direct indy fab experience, mattc59? Why would you think it's reasonable to call my comments bollocks? Are you an internet troller or something?
    I don't think it was your positive sentiments about IF that were being called into question but your sweeping generalisation that the weld and stylings of an IF cannot be matched and your 'guarantee' that none of the local builders could match IF for quality and attention to detail. Hyperbole doesn't make a very convinving argument. It just sounds absurd.
  • mjbennett
    mjbennett Posts: 532
    I'm not making an argument and I didn't think there was anything wrong with Hyperbole. I stated my opinion and that's that. The op wanted opinions, and I believe that's what this forum is for, is it not? You've got your opinion, and I've got mine - shall we agree to differ?
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    mjbennett wrote:
    I'm not making an argument and I didn't think there was anything wrong with Hyperbole. I stated my opinion and that's that. The op wanted opinions, and I believe that's what this forum is for, is it not? You've got your opinion, and I've got mine - shall we agree to differ?

    But you were accusing Matt of trolling because he was stating that frames that he is familiar with are likely to be as good as IF without being familiar with IF frames. Yet you clearly state that the basis for your claim that IF is the worlds best is based solely on your experience of IF. So if Matt is a troll then by the same argument so are you.

    Really, the only people who can claim that any manufacturer is the worlds best are people who are familiar with the all the contenders and it is a little bit silly to say that the quality of an IF frame "cannot be matched" without that experience.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • on-yer-bike
    on-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Thought Enigma where made in Far East at least some of them are. To the person who wanted a Pegoretti – just deal with him direct. To the OP – you might find Baum to your liking.
    Pegoretti
    Colnago
    Cervelo
    Campagnolo
  • bondurant
    bondurant Posts: 858
    As far as I know custom ti Enigmas and the steel bikes are made in the UK, with off the peg ti being made in the Far East. I think the idea is to have everything made in the UK over time.
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    mjbennett wrote:
    The op wanted comments, espcially from indy fab owners. I have had three, so i think i am in a reasonable poisition to express my opinion. Have you had direct indy fab experience, mattc59? Why would you think it's reasonable to call my comments bollocks? Are you an internet troller or something?

    Have a look at what you wrote, then what I wrote; you'll then see why it's reasonable to call your comments b*llocks.

    You say you guarantee that no other manufacturers will match the quality and attention to detail of IF. How can you possibly do that ? Have do you have direct, indepth and up to date experience of them all ? Are you honestly saying that no other manufacture can make a bike to the same level of quality.

    You also said that "the quality of the welds and the styling of the bikes cannot be matched." Really.......... Really ?

    Are you telling me that no other bike manufacturer can weld as well as IF ?
    Are you also telling me that whilst styling is purely subjective, IF are the, be all and end all, of style.

    oh, and whilst I 've not owned three IF bikes; yes, I do have direct experience of the bikes. They are indeed exceptional quality, but your comments are still b*llocks.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Bondurant wrote:
    As far as I know custom ti Enigmas and the steel bikes are made in the UK, with off the peg ti being made in the Far East. I think the idea is to have everything made in the UK over time.

    Eclipses and Echos are currently welded Enigma's facility in the far East. They are finished and assembled in Eastbourne. They do an Esprit which is welded in the far East, but also offer a British made version. Anything which is non standard, is made in Eastbourne. They are trying to bring all production back to the UK.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    MattC59 wrote:
    Bondurant wrote:
    As far as I know custom ti Enigmas and the steel bikes are made in the UK, with off the peg ti being made in the Far East. I think the idea is to have everything made in the UK over time.

    Eclipses and Echos are currently welded Enigma's facility in the far East. They are finished and assembled in Eastbourne. They do an Esprit which is welded in the far East, but also offer a British made version. Anything which is non standard, is made in Eastbourne. They are trying to bring all production back to the UK.
    And as far as I know ALL of Enigma's steel frames are made in their shop here in the UK.

    I own an Enigma and watched - and photographed - Mark Reilly build it from go to whoa.

    Amazing craftsmanship.
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    Thought Enigma where made in Far East at least some of them are. To the person who wanted a Pegoretti – just deal with him direct. To the OP – you might find Baum to your liking.
    Pegorettis are indeed wonderful bikes. I own a Luigino and love it - it is everything one might imagine such a bike would be.

    I would definitely deal with him direct rather than muck about with that particular shop in London - that's a great place to avoid
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    mjbennett wrote:
    I'm not making an argument and I didn't think there was anything wrong with Hyperbole. I stated my opinion and that's that. The op wanted opinions, and I believe that's what this forum is for, is it not? You've got your opinion, and I've got mine - shall we agree to differ?
    You don't know my opinion - I never stated one other than to say your use of hyperbole sounded absurd, illogical and weakens people's perception of your point of view.