Friday, April 1, 2011

TiFLW :: Cycling Weekly Review

Our good friends at Mosquito Bikes in London have been introducing our Sprout Green Titanium Factory Lightweight to the press since showing it off at the London Bicycle Show back in January (excuse the cell phone pic, there are some great detail shots in the online article linked below).

Cycling Weekly recently did an online preview and then a print review after throwing a leg over it.

We set out to make a modern metal (mostly) race bike in the same spirit as the muscle cars that came out of Detroit in the late 60's and early 70's (e.g., everything you need for performance, and nothing extraneous, wrapped in aggressive aesthetics).

Modern in the adoption of standards such as BB30 compatible bottom brackets and head tubes for 44mm in-set head-sets, which provide the platform for large diameter tubing to create an extremely rigid frame-set, yet retaining the sweet ride of titanium.

On the aesthetic front, I've taken some heat for limiting the paint scheme and color options on the TiFLW, and even forgone some orders as a result, but after reading Neil Webb's last line in the print review, "the TiFLW is exceptionally well finished, the bike will fit perfectly, and the paint job itself is worth 20 watts!", I feel justified in taking a firm stance on the bike's aggressive aesthetics.

It's not for everyone, and that is a good thing, worth reflecting on from time to time. We make custom bikes, and that is often over simplified into "we make exactly what the customer wants". While we aspire to exceed customer expectations, we aim to do that within the unique context of what makes an IF an IF. Marketeers can go all buzz-babble about brand DNA and such, but sometimes it's best to just be who you are and let the customer decide if they want to dance with you.

Let's face it, lots of folks can join tubes together and make a decent bike... just look at the expanding list of exhibitors at NAHBS. What separates those that can just make a bike from those that will endure over time is the unique emotional context they create for themselves and their customers.

We are an American brand. No faux Euro nomenclature or heritage rip-offs here. After 16 years in the game, we have our own point of view... we make stuff that gets us excited in the morning.

Sprout Green, Omaha Orange, Velocity Yellow, Barracuda Purple, Boss Blue... good for an extra 20 watts? Not sure about that, but if looks fast and has some attitude, you will be faster.

Let's dance,



colnagocross said...

What? Limited colors and paint? Picking paint and making it uniquely mine was the best part. When my wife crashed hers and it had to be put to rest the IF crew had a "let's make it happen" attitude toward everything, even putting Texas flags on it. Heck the crew even added a "Don't mess with Texas" on it as a surprise. That's what made IF cool. If I want someone to tell me what to like and what it should look like I'll call one of the big manufacturers. The IF I've danced with four times is dead, too bad. On to find a new dance partner, IF will be missed.

Prez said...

This is the only bike that has paint stipulations, every other one is as blank of a canvas as they always have been. No need to look elsewhere, IF still builds the best there is out there and this bike is no different.

Looks bad ass and I am sure you guys will sell loads of them!


Indy Fab said...


One model with a limited paint scheme and "only" 30 possible color combinations... yeah, we're dead, oh the drama...

From your name it sounds like you're already riding an Asian sourced bike, so why bother coming here to bring the hate?

FWIW, we painted the Colorado license plate on a bike this week.

media said...

I just wish I could afford one. :(

colnagocross said...

Indy Fab,

You are right that I do own a few Italian bikes from before I started buying IFs. I was exteremely dissapointed in the quality of my C-50 that used cheap aluminum cable stops etc that corroded very quickly. That's why I replaced it with a quality American Made IF! I see the same potential problem with IF going forward. Let me ask, a question, why limit the paint on that bike if you offer options on all the others?

My initial comments were probably more out of frustration than anything else. I would really like to have a TiFLW but NOT in that paint scheme. Oh well, can't complain too much, life on an SSR is pretty darn good.

Indy Fab said...

Colnago Cross,

Why the concern about our quality? There seems to be some underlying assumption that we are moving in the wrong direction, and nothing could be farther from reality.

Please help me understand what's behind the concern.

As for the decision to offer the tiFLW as a limited edition, that's complicated, and mostly explained by the desire to have the brand demonstrate a stronger point of view about who we are through this model. The other reality is that many of the raw materials for this bike are difficult to come by, so it may end up being a limited run regardless of our desires.

Hope that helps.

cincicycles said...

Let's see a cross version!!!

Tim said...

Is there any chance we could see a Velocity Yellow version? the orange is great and blue very cool.

Fat Chance said...

Wow, lots of vitriol just over the question of color and disapointment over lack of choices.

Evidently colors= fighting words.

Fat Chance said...

I have this frame in person at NYC Velo- the finest shop- and I have to say i am really impressed by it... pictures do not lie but they do not give the significance of the workmanship. While I have never been a fan of the mixed material bike, this frame raises the bar with all the details. Now I just want one sans carbon- all Ti version?

Indy Fab said...

Unfortunately, no one has yet to pick Velocity Yellow, although we recently did a CJ in a similar paint scheme in Velocity Yellow and matte black.

Brian built himself a proto-type cross version last week fro the upcoming Rapha Gentlemen's Race, so stay tuned for pics.

Anonymous said...

It is the first time that I have heard about them. It is quite excellent bike. It is better that the one that Generic Viagra sponsored.