Featured User Review: Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel Road Bike
by AJ Moellenbeck
Price Paid: $2750.00 at LBS
Overall Rating: 5 of 5
Value Rating: 5 of 5
Independent Fabrication Steel Crown Jewel SE, Chorus 11, Zipp 101’s, ENVE carbon Cockpit
Anything over 50 miles
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.
Build quality, attention to detail, quality of material, stunning paint job, customer service, level of customization, and you get something completely unique
Price? They dont mess around. Just look at the options list (yikes). But I’d pay it again in a heartbeat
Similar Products Used:
Cervelo r3, Cannondale CAAD10, Salsa pistola, Serotta, Moots
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