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.