Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel Frames

Crown Jewel

User Reviews (31)

Showing 1-10 of 31  
AJ Moellenbeck   Road Racer [Feb 04, 2012]
Strength:

Build quality, attention to detail, quality of material, stunning paint job, customer service, level of customization, and you get something completely unique

Weakness:

Price? they dont mess around. just look at the options list (yikes). But I'd pay it again in a heartbeat

Simply beautiful, incredible, and amazing. The first thing you notice is the attention to detail and quality of construction. The weld lines are PERFECT. All the tubes and bottle mounts are sealed so this is as corrosion resistant as steel gets. I love how they leave a circle of different colored paint on the dropouts so it does not ever chip the frame's main paint color, and the circle is perfect and sits perfectly flush with the quick release ends. In my opinion this is the highest quality tig welded custom steel frame you can buy.
As far as the ride characteristics, they are perfect. All I did was describe a vague and general feeling of how I wanted my steel frame to feel. I said I wanted a very aggressive position with steep angles and as much stiffness as possible. The masters at IF dialed it in perfectly. I asked for it to be stiff and oh my did they deliver. It feels like a high end aluminum frame in terms of stiffness, but simutainously glides over pot hole ridden streets. Even better is that my 53cm frame weighed in at 1530g! For a steel frame with all that sealing, thick and high quality paint job, and my request to make lightness the bottom priority, thats simply incredible.
The final fit is beyond anything I can really explain, but I'll try. Its perfect. plain and simple. there's nothing that can prepare you for the feeling of a frameset that is built around you. Admittedly most people (myself included) can get a very nice bike fit around a standard frame, but its a completely different feeling. The frame is fitted to your body and riding style, not the reverse. and the effect of that is almost beyond words.
Dealing with the people at IF was a joy as well. Customer service was unbelievable and OMG do these people know bicycle frames. If you can dream it they will create it. I'll admit that this is as expensive as steel gets, but I'm convinced that it is as good as it gets too.
Bottom line is this....What you pay for is the attention to detail, custom geometry, at quality of materials/construction. If you are looking for a custom steel frame I would recommend these guys a thousand times over.

Similar Products Used: cervelo r3, cannondale caad10, salsa pistola, serotta, moots
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
lovethatsteel   Road Racer [Jul 01, 2010]
Strength:

Stiff and extremely responsive. Great custom paint. Feels solid on the road.
Weighs a pound more than my carbon setup which I don't ride anymore.

Weakness:

Can't think of any. It might be the waiting for a custom build, but after your first ride you'll forget about the wait.

I have ridden many different bikes including titanium, aluminum, and carbon, but steel remains the best frame material available. There's really no way to compare the custom geometry and ride of a handmade (in America) steel bicycle. A fine steel frame gives something back to the rider that is hard to describe.

Similar Products Used: Waterford R33, Vicious slider, Giant TCR, Felt F2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bingomck   Triathlete [Apr 26, 2010]
Strength:

Reliability. Speed. Control. Smooth. Longevity.

Weakness:

Price (unless you buy it used!)

(Review for Crown Jewel Titanium.) Amazing bike. Bought it used on eBay from someone who used it more as an around town bike (Nitto Mustache bars, etc.). Put drops, more aggressive stem, and took it out. Handles so well. I've ridden Carbon before, which is nice, but Titanium is all by itself. And it looks so clean.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jocko   Recreational Rider [Mar 05, 2009]
Strength:

Climbing, comfort, acceleration, eye appeal.

Weakness:

None

Beautiful Bike with performance and comfort characteristics that make me look better than I really am! Bike weight (without pedals) is under 17 pounds, amazing for a steel bike. Roy at Grace Bicycles helped guide me through the selection of components and we wound up with what I consider to be the most perfect bike I have ever ridden (Until I get my next IF!).

Similar Products Used: Bianchi, Klein, Scapin.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
scoobycpa   Recreational Rider [Nov 25, 2008]
Strength:

Rides like Cadillac with great handling. Great power transfer with just the right amount of flex. Spot-on cutom fit is all day comfortable.

Weakness:

None at all.

Indy Fab steel CJ SE: Fabulous bike. After 3 different stock geometry bikes I finally realized that I needed a custom rig. It makes a huge difference. I no longer have to fight the bike to get comfortable. The ride of steel is sweet. This bike is by far the best I've ridden. It feels solid and steady but at the same time acts a like spring underneath you, giving just the right amount of feedback from bumps and undulations in the road. And the paint and welds are beautiful. My bike measures at around 58.5 cm, and weighs exactly 19 lbs fully dressed with pedals and computer. Perhaps a bit heavy for some folks taste, but after riding this bike I no longer care about weight.

Similar Products Used: Cervelo Soloist (harsh aluminum), Giant TCR (too light Carbon with wasted energy transfer), Giant Trinity with Alliiance tech (carbon-aluminum tri bike that was actually nice but was an aweful fit for me).
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Scott Barr   Recreational Rider [Mar 04, 2007]
Strength:

Ride quality; construction and finish quality; skilled craftspersons actually MADE IT--you know--with their HANDS!

Weakness:

Maybe the wait time, but it's definitely worth every second.

This review is for the steel IF Crown Jewel. This is the finest-riding road bike I've ever had the pleasure of piloting. (And after 6+ years of wrenching in a shop, I got to ride them all.) Every time I get on it, it makes me swear that I will ride more; it just reminds why I love this sport in the first place. The steel ride is incredible--compliant and responsive in a way that carbon and carbon/aluminum race bikes aren't. The slight weight penalty is well worth it. It tracks like it's on rails, and the paint and welds are the sharpest I've ever seen. BTW--huge props to Matt for incredible customer service! IF absolutely stands behind their product.

Similar Products Used: Trek carbon; early 90s steel lugged Basso; Cannondale R series; etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
julesar   Recreational Rider [Feb 08, 2007]
Strength:

Fit and finish, unbelievable ride, working with folks at IF to design and build. Hey I liked mine so much my wife went out and bought one!

Weakness:

They should be characterized as a drug of abuse...because they are addicting.

First off, the old adage is correct...you get what you pay for. First let me specify that this review is for a 2006 Ti Crown Jewel with S&S couplers for traveling. This bike is a road-riders dream. It is responsive, light, and corners on rails. It is strong with hard stands with minimal flex in the frame due to the oversized Ti tubing (and I am no small fellow at 6'3" 220lbs). The finish is impeccable and the bike fit is fabulous. No more shifting of position to gain comfort on long rides, no more aching or numbing....just simply unbelievable. No production bicycle can come close and I doubt many "custom" bikes can as well. Plus, Matt at IF is super nice to deal with, knowledgable, and genuinely passionate about IF's.

Similar Products Used: Trek 5.2SL Madone, Softride TT, Cannondale
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rmckittr   Road Racer [Jan 26, 2007]
Strength:

All, including superior customer service.

Weakness:

Order wait time.

I am reviewing a Crown Jewel with the carbon Seatstay. First off, I totaled this bike and went right back into the shop and ordered another. That really is all that I need to say, isn't it?
But why? Mine rode like a dream. It flexed and sprung back on sprints, it stuck to the road on rough descents, it climbed like a monkey. It was perfect.
Anyone who is considering whether to get steel or Ti, I highly recommend the steel, it just ride better. It only adds a pound of mass. Just eat one less donut a week and you can afford the weight gain on the bike.
My only complaint, is DAMN, those steel frames are getting expensive.

Similar Products Used: Lemond Victoire Ti, Merlin Agilis, Moser AX Leader, Old Team Fuji Fixed gear conversion, Tommassinni steel...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Mark   Recreational Rider [Jul 07, 2006]
Strength:

Custom fit. I noticed after my first long ride that I wasn't sore in places I normally was. It's so comfortable, rides are longer and more enjoyable. It's very light as well. When I put the component list together, I was going for comfort over weight, but the bike still is about 19lbs. Lastly, it's a beautiful machine.

Weakness:

Custom made means a long wait. No instant gratification. Also, the cable running up the top tube is on the side, so my left leg rubs against it when I'm standing at a light. Small detail, not a big deal.

I was planning on spending a lot of money on this bike that I'd been waiting a while to buy. After looking at what I could get off-the-shelf, I figured I'd just spend the extra and get a custom frame. It makes all the difference in the world.

Similar Products Used: Cannondales, Trek Carbon
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
jsheets   Road Racer [Nov 17, 2005]
Strength:

Paint, fit (geometry and flex), ride.

Weakness:

a little heavy but the ride makes up for it

The bike is perfect. The fit is better than I ever could imagine. It's like having a suit custom tailored for you, nothing beats it. And the ride, the ride is amazing. Steel is really real. The bike absorbs bumps like magic but still jumps ahead when you put power to the pedals. The resiliency makes it feel almost as though the bike gives you something back.

Similar Products Used: Trek 5200, Madone 5.2, Cannondale 6/13
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 31  

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