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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking about getting an IF Steel Crown Jewel SEC. Anyone here own their frames?

I purchased a new Bianchi Virata and was so impressed with the unique ride characteristics of good steel, I decided to get a new custom steel frame and pick my own colors.

MP
 

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There are lots of other steel frames that are cheaper. I had one in 02. It was nice. I liked my Waterford 2200 better. I still have a singlespeed IF to ride around with the kids and the local trails. I am riding a 2007 Orca now and in total love wih it. Fits me much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
True...the fit is so important. My Bianchi Virata is 57tt 73/73 with 41cm stays and 100cm wheelbase. Those are my perfect numbers. I just feel "dialed". My Tarmac SL ( which I love dearly also ) is a 58.2tt 73/73.5 with 40.7 stays and 101 roughly. It is a tad off on the fit. I can't size down as the gaps between sizes are pretty big. They are making bikes to fit like T-shirts which I am not a big of. People say that the stem length and saddle position take care of the size gaps but I do not agree.
 

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skygodmatt said:
True...the fit is so important. My Bianchi Virata is 57tt 73/73 with 41cm stays and 100cm wheelbase. Those are my perfect numbers. I just feel "dialed". My Tarmac SL ( which I love dearly also ) is a 58.2tt 73/73.5 with 40.7 stays and 101 roughly. It is a tad off on the fit. I can't size down as the gaps between sizes are pretty big. They are making bikes to fit like T-shirts which I am not a big of. People say that the stem length and saddle position take care of the size gaps but I do not agree.
From what I've gathered, IF has one of the better fit systems among custom builders, and that's part of the price. I don't know what the other posters issues were, but the sequence is, you work with your LBS, they work with IF and a plan (geometry) developed from that info. It has to be signed off by the buyer before IF proceeds.

From the info you posted I'd say you're pretty educated and in tune with what you want. In this case, you'd probably do fine with many custom builders, but I still wouldn't rule out IF. They're really not any more than the other guys when you look at it as a package deal.
 

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For what it is worth, I think that Indy Fab makes great bikes. Like BMW or Porsche, they cost a bit more and others will say the price isn't worth it, but few manufacturers match the fit, finish and service that IF offers. Their frames seem to be somewhat lighter than others to boot. I am not sure of your size, but you may want to consider ponying up a few more shekels for a 953 frame or go with the factory lightweight. IF seems to recommend the Lightweight for riders under 160# (may be too whippy for bigger riders). I am not sure the carbon rear stays add anything to the ride (unless you ride cobbles all day long).

I have a 953 that I absolutely love. I am 170# and 5'11.5" with a 32.5" inseam. The frame is a 58.5 TT/ 53 ST sloping (4.7degree) frame with 73/73 angles. The WB is 1011. It has a smooth ride with quick handling. I don't think you can go wrong with Indy Fab. As PJ352 points out, go to a quality LBS and get fitted. Enjoy the journey, the bike's worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow. That looks beautiful.
Did you get the $2000 gold head badge option?
 

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Thanks Bart..... it has the steel thing going on......taut yet springy, but the beauty of going custom is they can make it as stiff as you want, if you can articulate it they can make it.

as it's 953 it should survive for a long time with a minimum of care.
 

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Both of those 953s look great. The more of those bikes I see, the more it makes me want one. You both took different approaches to finish, etc. and both look great.
 

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Are you talking custom? I had a very bad IF custom experience. They had my $1000 deposit for six weeks and wouldn't even return my phone calls regarding paint/color options.

Too bad, though. Classic looks, etc. etc. I ultimately cancelled the transaction. What a let down.
 

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Contrary to the previous post, my experience with IF was excellent. I was measured at my LBS, filled out the extensive questionaire about riding habits, preferences, etc. and in one day I received a design for my frame (Crown Jewel Steel). I had one detailed telephone conversation with the designer about tweaking this and that and was given a delivery time of five weeks. Four weeks and one day later I received an email saying my frame had been shipped. I was (and am) very happy with the frame. Beautiful one-color paint (dark cherry), tight welding, nice fit-and-finish. I built the bike with a mix of Campy Record and Chorus and it rides like a charm. I owned a series of Italian frames in the nineties (Masi, DeRosa, Gios) and this bike is superior to all of them.
Good Luck!
 

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Ride1 said:
Contrary to the previous post, my experience with IF was excellent. I was measured at my LBS, filled out the extensive questionaire about riding habits, preferences, etc. and in one day I received a design for my frame (Crown Jewel Steel). I had one detailed telephone conversation with the designer about tweaking this and that and was given a delivery time of five weeks. Four weeks and one day later I received an email saying my frame had been shipped. I was (and am) very happy with the frame. Beautiful one-color paint (dark cherry), tight welding, nice fit-and-finish. I built the bike with a mix of Campy Record and Chorus and it rides like a charm. I owned a series of Italian frames in the nineties (Masi, DeRosa, Gios) and this bike is superior to all of them.
Good Luck!
A picture would be nice. :yesnod:
 

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Ride1 said:
I'll try to post pics in the next couple of days.
The reason I asked about pics was because I have my eye on the Crown Jewel SE and black cherry is my first color choice. Do you know if they include the painted fork in the price or is there an upcharge?
 

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My main gripe w/ IF (other than $$$) is that you have to work through a dealer. I dunno, I just like being able to have that one-on-one interaction w/ the builder w/o having any intermediaries. Seems like a point where you could introduce discrepancies in what you want.

I ended going with a small builder in Michigan, Scott Quiring. Can't say enough nice things about him or his bikes. His prices are very, very reasonable (ie ~1/2 of an IF CJ), and he paints the bikes himself and is just as gifted with the paint gun as the welder. Check out the gallery on his site.
 

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TACSTS said:
My main gripe w/ IF (other than $$$) is that you have to work through a dealer. I dunno, I just like being able to have that one-on-one interaction w/ the builder w/o having any intermediaries. Seems like a point where you could introduce discrepancies in what you want.

I ended going with a small builder in Michigan, Scott Quiring. Can't say enough nice things about him or his bikes. His prices are very, very reasonable (ie ~1/2 of an IF CJ), and he paints the bikes himself and is just as gifted with the paint gun as the welder. Check out the gallery on his site.
Ironically, I emailed him that I was interested in pursuing the purchase of one of his frames and he never responded. So much for one on one interaction. So I guess our attitudes towards certain builders is based on our particular experience. I'm not saying his work isn't worth the wait, but the lead time for his bikes is now 12 weeks as opposed to 4 with IF.
 

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PJ352 said:
Ironically, I emailed him that I was interested in pursuing the purchase of one of his frames and he never responded. So much for one on one interaction. So I guess our attitudes towards certain builders is based on our particular experience. I'm not saying his work isn't worth the wait, but the lead time for his bikes is now 12 weeks as opposed to 4 with IF.
Odd, I was just checking out the 29r board on mtbr.com and 2 or 3 people have recently received Ti 29rs from him. One got theirs in ~6 weeks. I kind of got the idea that he did things like that, like a run of Ti bikes, then steel, etc. He was uber-responsive to email when I was dealing with him last fall, probably 20-30 emails exchanged between the two of us. If you truly were interested in his bikes you should try calling him before totally writing him off. But I agree, people can have vastly differing experiences with any builder. I had 2 great experiences with Dean and we all know their reputation.
 

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TACSTS said:
Odd, I was just checking out the 29r board on mtbr.com and 2 or 3 people have recently received Ti 29rs from him. One got theirs in ~6 weeks. I kind of got the idea that he did things like that, like a run of Ti bikes, then steel, etc. He was uber-responsive to email when I was dealing with him last fall, probably 20-30 emails exchanged between the two of us. If you truly were interested in his bikes you should try calling him before totally writing him off. But I agree, people can have vastly differing experiences with any builder. I had 2 great experiences with Dean and we all know their reputation.
I may have hit him at a bad time. The first email I sent was responded to in two days. That's when he said 12 - 15 weeks lead time. He said "I got kinda busy lately". And you're right, if I really wanted to pursue it, I should call him. But I have to think between no response to emails and the stretch in wait time, he may just be overwhelmed. In which case, I won't get near the level of service or interaction from him that you did. Besides which, I'm getting to the point of really needing a bike before the weather breaks.
 
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