Strengths: Amazing ride. Yes, it is as great as people say. I thought the reviews were a little gushy until I rode one myself. Now I'm the one gushing. And the ride is what it is all about in the end.
Weaknesses: Pulley for front derailleur came off during a ride. I guess I should've been a bit more vigilant on my bike inspections.
Front fork shudders a bit under heavy braking on the road... this may be a brake adjustment issue too.
I needed a cross bike and a new road bike. So, I started test riding cross bikes with the idea that I would have a set of wheels for road and one for cross. I formerly had a DeRosa which rode nicely, but the frame was a bad fit. I test rode a number of cross bikes. They were all nice bikes, but left me a bit, well, uninspired. Just when I was about to give up, I found an IF used just around the corner. It is a super smooth ride on trails, hopping curbs, nasty rough stuff and all the things that made my teeth fall out of my skull on other bikes I tested. The frame is open and easy to portage, and the lightness is appreciated on the run ups.
On the road it rides better than my DeRosa did- and that is saying something. The difference is in the frame since the wheelset was the same on both bikes. The ride is soooo smooth and the power transfer feels great with no flex.
The construction is impeccable. The welds are all gorgeous, the lines are clean, the design is well thought out (clears mud well), and the paint job is nice.
On the whole, I doubt I'll ever buy a different frame unless something awful happens to it. Then, I'd run back to IF and get another one...
a Road Racer
from Cambridge, MA
Date Reviewed: September 24, 2003
Strengths: Predictable balanced handling. Also little touches like a 72 degree seat tube (so you use a stronger post - sans layback), and a long headtube to make room for your arm as you run make the IF one of the best. A special frame. It rides like an attachment to your thoughts.
I have nothing but accolades for the boys/gals at IF. They make nice, thought out stuff. I have raced cross on my steel Planet X for two seasons now. There is not really a more 'handling neutral' cross bike out there that can be stiff where you need it and absorbent as well (unlike Empella/Ridleys). Even won the 2002 B Cross Nats on my trusty IF. Dope stuff. This year I am getting a Ti one. Can't wait.
Similar Products Used: Bianchi steel cross frame, Empella, Ridley.
Bike Setup: Ultegra all around, King, Thompson, Times, Frog Legs, Shimano Dace Wheels.
a Road Racer
from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: April 14, 2003
Strengths: It will be about 20.5lbs after I change out the Sora triple crankset. =P The frame is tough, handles mud very well . . . it almost feels as though it propels itself, anticipating your commands.
Weaknesses: What is up with all of these paint chips?! =P
If the owner of Tricycle Works wasn't selling his built bike, I would probably be riding a KHS CX100 cyclo cross . . . thank you, Jon. =) Got it for $2000CDN slightly used and in like-new condition.
This bike is incredible . . . even with the cheap Sora drivetrain and Deore hubs with Mavic T221 touring rims this bike was exceptionally fast and handled incredibly well. I have never ridden anything so responsive and so comfortable. This season, I will have spend nearly $1500CDN upgrading this beast to something more road worthy and I will be racing it and, hopefully, winning with it. Even after two major bike-vehicle accidents and one minor mishap, other than a few scratches and paint ships, the frame is in immaculate condition.
Favorite Ride: Across the city to my girlfriend's house ;-)
Purchased At: Tricycle Works
Similar Products Used: Nothing like it. =)
Bike Setup: Sora triple crankset (will be Truvative Elita triple, soon), 105 rear derailleur, tiagra front derailleur, Sora integrated shifters, Thomson Elite stem, Titec seatpost, Selle Italia Flight w/ gel and Ti rails, FSA headset, Time ATAC carbon pedals, Chris King hubs, Mavic Open Pro rims, 32 hole, 3TTT handle bar . . . a bit bent after my last accident.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: December 11, 2002
Strengths: Beautiful craftsmanship. Solid ride. Unmatched versatility. Lighter than most road bikes. Attention getter - not everyone has one.
Weaknesses: Absolutely none.
My bike is actually a model year 2002 titanium version. It has become my main training bike due to its versatility. From pavement to dirt roads to smooth trails, it can go most anywhere. Did a few 'cross races also; it certainly performed better than I did.
Similar Products Used: Steel Planet X. I liked this bike so much that when I had the opportunity to get a titanium version, I had to do it. Sold the steel one to a friend and he loves it.
Bike Setup: Dura Ace, Ksyrium wheels, Frogleggs brakes/top levers, Time pedals, Thomson post, SLR seat.
a Road Racer
from Woodstock, GA
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2002
Strengths: Great handling, smooth steel ride, light, fine craftmanship, and a beautiful paint job.
Weaknesses: I ride a 48 cm and I initially thought the toe-wheel overlap would be a big problem. Well, I was wrong. I have never had an instance in a race where it became an issue, even going through 180 degree turns.
Wow..Where do I begin. From the day I built up my IF Planet X, I have been riding it everywhere..road, trail, and of course for cyclocross. I was amazed at how well it handled in the singletrack and since I got a custom frame, it fits me better than my beautiful Colnago Road bike. (Which is now sitting in the garage - without wheels because I have since put them on the Planet X for road rides) This bike is very versatile, I will definitely use it throughout the year. Oh and the paint job...I have a team bike and it is absolutely beautiful. Very fine attention to the details.