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257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was patiently waiting to receive my bike until I composed my first posting, so here goes...

So, I hung up my road biking hat (or, err, helmet) back in 1986 and focused all my energy on mountain biking. All was going well until 2007 when I caught the bug again. Several of my friends are avid road cyclists and I forgot how much I enjoyed it, so I took the plunge and bought myself a brand new Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel SEC right off the floor.

This bike performed perfectly well, and after a year of piling on the miles, I decided that I really wanted a bike that was custom built. One of my riding buddies that rides an IF Club Racer recommended Roy Cervantes from Grace Bicycles ( It's a bit of a trek to get out there, but I was told that he performs one of the best bike fittings around (he uses the Retul 3D Motion Capture system), so curiosity got the best of me. Roy is a great guy and really listened to what I wanted. I never felt rushed during the process. He's also very understanding as I'm known to change my mind midstream. :D Anyway, after a 3 hour fitting, and a subsequent 3 month wait, I had a beautiful new bike. Here's what it looked like when it was delivered:

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Roy transferred all of my parts from the IF CJ SEC, but wanted to upgrade a few things, specifically the stem, seat post and shifters. The IF CJ SEC came with the 7800 Dura Ace, and it has so few miles (looks brand new), but I really wanted the 2009 7900 STI levers. This meant I had to also replace the front derailleur (compatibility issue; thank goodness I was able to still use the rear derailleur), and I also needed a chain, so threw that in too.

I ordered the 7900 items last week and my local bike shop (Belmont Wheel Works) received them on Friday, so I dropped the bike off to have them installed. Just picked it up tonight, so here's what it looks like now:

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I didn't have time to get in the saddle to try out the 7900 parts, but am hoping I can possibly manage the time later in the week...

257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Here are the specs...

Frame: Independent Fabrication Titanium Crown Jewel
Fork: Reynolds Ouzo Pro (all carbon)
Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium SL
Tires: Vittoria Open Corsa EVO CX
Pedals: Time RXS Carbon
Crankset/Bottom Bracket: 7800 Dura Ace
Chain: 7900 Dura Ace
Cassette: 7800 Dura Ace (12-23)
Front Derailleur: 7900 Dura Ace
Rear Derailleur: 7800 Dura Ace
STI Levers: 7900 Dura Ace
Handlebars: Ritchey Evolution WCS Carbon
Stem: Moots titanium
Headset: Chris King
Brakes: Zero Gravity Zero G Ti
Saddle: Sella Italia SLC
Seat Post: Kent Eriksen titanium
Weight: 16.5 pounds
Place of Origin: Somerville, MA

World's 1st Anal-rapist
1,086 Posts
Ouch. Hawt.:thumbsup:

420 Posts
That is a very nice bike! Just a question, is there an advantage to the sloping downtube? You seem to have enough seat post to have the downtube flat. I'm not sure about the advantages or disadvantages. It's super nice though. Make sure you tell us how it rides

Lexicon Devil
961 Posts
I like it, lots.

I have a custom steel that I had built as a super-compact frame, mostly for s-and-giggles, but also just because I like the looks of compacts. Not everyone does, but I admire the rider who chooses to build his/her custom bike as such.

257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Gosh, thanks for all the kind words and compliments. I’m elated that this bike is finally completed so I can start riding it again soon. I had surgery on my elbow back in August and it’s still somewhat problematic to cycle, but in the interim, I can focus on my other project, a Ted Wojcik.

To answer your questions::

iherald said:
Just a question, is there an advantage to the sloping downtube? You seem to have enough seat post to have the downtube flat.
lampshade said:
At the fitting, did you request the most possible seat post showing?
First and foremost, I like the way it looks. It’s a great climber and handles quite well, though I’m not as comfortable at higher speeds like I was on my steel Crown Jewel SEC. Anyway, the top tube angle is 12.6 degrees. When I sat down with Roy, after all the fitting information had been imported to the computer program, I was able to express my concerns about the geometry. In 2007, I had the unfortunate experience of having an extremely serious injury in my pelvis (not bike related). Not to go too much into detail, I wanted as much room between the top tube and me. Roy showed me several different configurations and I like this the most. This was the most I could get, and you can see the rear brake cable had to be custom routed on the top of the tube because of the extreme angle. It’s safe, and IF approved it, so I’m happy. And yes, it certainly is sporty looking!

Lance#8in09 said:
Only thing I'd add in the future is to have IF paint the fork to match.
Actually, what I really want is a Black Sheep titanium fork. It’s really a nice looking fork. I have an order (handlebars, stem and seat post) for my Ted Wojcik currently en route to me, so I’ll check out the quality of their work and then make a decision. I’m thinking for whatever I do, painting it green to match the lettering would look really cool.

homebrew said:
Were is the headbadge?
I really didn’t like the head badge all that much on my Crown Jewel SEC, so opted to forego that option. If I hadn’t painted the bike, I may have chosen to have it installed.

sonic_W said:
how is wheelworks by the way?
I really like Wheelworks, and generally visit the Belmont location. I’ve been going to them since 1988. They’re the only shop I trust with my bikes (locally; Roy @ Grace Bicycles is great also but he’s a bit of a drive). When I picked up this bike, they went over all the work and gave lots of information and instruction regarding the new parts. The tech actually ran after me as I was leaving to show me the special feature on the chain. Great service all around.

AFS said:
I'm really interested in your impressions of the 7900/7800 mix. My lbs was suggesting something similar.
I’ve heard the shifting isn’t quite a crisp without doing the full conversion (crankset & rear derailleur), but it seems pretty nice to me so far. Will report more later when I can actually experience it on a nice long ride…

Steaming piles of opinion
10,503 Posts
Nice bike, but this thread won't be complete without someone commenting about the Moots stem and Erikson seatpost on an IF.

Can't argue with any of them as individual choices, but there's some stripes-and-plaids thing happening here. :D

My bike has an FSA crank, Shimano running gear, and Campy levers, so take this in the spirit intended.

1,108 Posts
Nice. Nowt wrong with a sloping top tube.

Actually there is if you over do it like I did a few years ago - yikes!!

Loving that IF, shame about the ShimaNO. Glad they've finally sorted their cable routing out, might have to move away from Campy and give it a crack.

You still MTB too or just on the road now?

That bike is crying out for some wicked Tune hubs, Niobium rims and CX Ray spokes!!
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