Sunday, November 20, 2011

My NEW Independent Fabrication Rando Ride

After nearly 15 months, I finally have a replacement for the lovely Independent Fabrication rando bike that was totaled during my accident. It wasn't until June 2011 that I was physically ready for a custom fitting appointment and now it's finally here. The wait time for IF frames is typically 2 months, but with the company's move to NH this summer, things took a bit longer.

I was able to transfer a few parts off the old bike to a different IF frame, so now I'm blessed with two great bikes. I'll keep this blue bike fully kitted out for brevets, permanents and long distance adventures with fenders and lights, while the other will serve as my all-around training and racing bike. Since I knew this would be my second Club Racer in the stable, I decided to try out a different color for the new frame. IF is well known for their excellent paint work and this new bike is no exception. The lustrous blue paint just pops, especially with the silver components and the white and gold IF decals.

Since I was starting from scratch, I decided to make a few aesthetic and performance upgrades. In particular, I opted for the Paul Racer brakes over the Tektro long reach. I was not a huge fan of the Tektros the last time around, but they fit around my 43mm Honjo fenders better than the Shimano long reach. This time though, I made the plunge (and commitment!) to go with the Pauls. Since the Paul Racers mount to uniquely placed frame bosses, there's no going back.

In addition, I chose the beautiful silver Ritchey Classic line for stem, handlebar and seat post and, of course, the special IF sterling silver head badge. Finally, Justin at Signature Cycles built me a great pair of hoops around a gorgeous set of White Industries hubs.

As luck would have it, I have been EXTREMELY busy since picking up the bike on Thursday night, so I've only been able to ride it for about an hour. So far, it rides just as good as it looks. I can't wait to spend some serious time with this new friend. I think I'm in love.

  • Independent Fabrication Club Racer - steel frame and fork (custom)
  • Shimano Ultegra with 10-speed cassette
  • Paul Racer brakes
  • Chris King headset
  • Ritchey Classic stem, handlebar and seat post
  • White Industries hubs
  • Mavic Open Pro 32-spoke wheels
  • Time RSX pedals
  • Brooks Professional saddle with titanium rails
  • Honjo 43mm fenders
  • Grand Bois Cypres 32mm tires
  • Blackburn frame pump


  1. Gorgeous! I hope you two have many happy hours together.

  2. I am in love with your bike, George! Also, the color is STUNNING!

  3. Thanks for all of the kind words. I really think I hit the jackpot with this one. A wonderful unexpected pleasure? The cable routing for the new Ultegra group set allows for a front rack and bag. Oh, the joys keep coming.

    1. By the way, I'm glad you seem to have recovered so well from your crash! My Google search for "Paul Racers" first led me to your blog, but I could not help but continue reading.

  4. This is a stunning bike. After six months, I would love to hear your impression of the Paul Racer brakes. I am having my first custom road bike built this summer and thinking about Paul Racer Ms to accommodate larger tires and fenders. Should I take the plunge with braze-on centerpull bosses, or compromise with the center mount?

  5. Hi Partick - Thanks. I love the Paul Racer brakes. They really work very well and look great to boot. I've used Tektro 559 long reach brakes and Shimano long reach as well. Paul's are the best. Since they are unique, it is a plunge, as you say. The only reservation I have involves the unexpected ability I now have to mount a front rack. I had not considered this before building up the bike since I use STI shifters, but when Shimano came out with the new Ultegra line, they routed the cables under the tape which suddenly gave me some front handlebar bag real estate to consider. There are a number of front racks that are designed to mount on standard cantilever braze-on bosses, but I've yet to see them for the Paul's. I may just get a custom rack built.

    Anyway, that's my only reservation. If you don't think you'll use a front handlebar bag, I'd say take the plunge. These are great brakes.