Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FOCUS: Stickers

It seems as though stickers are all over the factory. Before the fridge became the target for peoples need to stick a sticker to something people stuck stickers all over the place. In my search for vintage IF stickers stuck to stuff I came across some winners on our walls.

Behold "The Naked Man":

"The Martini Glass":

One of the rarest, "Divine":

This one is REAL old, "The Dragster":

The "Race Puppy":

Here are some other stickers that are stuck to stuff around the factory:

This one is a magnet, but awesome nonetheless:

If there anything you would like us to FOCUS on, let us know in the comments below...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Stainless Report: XCr - 02

The Columbus XCr chainstay sub assembly is completed. The sub assembly includes bottom bracket, chainstays and dropouts.

The pieces were mitered, slotted, cleaned, argon purged then tack welded together in our sub assembly jig.

The XCr stainless steel tubing cut and tacked together well. Below you can see the small metal tack welds holding the sub assembly together as well as the purge holes that allow the argon to flow (eventually) through the frame as it is welded.

All welding (and tacking) is done with a special alloy wire. The wire is actually the same alloy as the XCr tubing itself and is provided with the tubeset by Columbus .

These are actually not the dropouts supplied by Columbus, they are the same "Indy Fab" 17-4 dropouts we use on our 953 SSR's. I talked with our metallurgist to find out about alloy compatibility and and got the go-ahead.

I polished (sanded to 1500 grit) the inside and outside faces of the dropouts before tacking them together. The final polish with cloth and rouge will take place after the frame is completed.

Look for more installments of The Stainless Report coming soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

FOCUS: The Hummingbird

This was one of our NAHBS bikes from 2008. It was the first IF lugged bike. The frame, fork and stem were all built and polished in-house at IF... under the cover of darkness. It's been riding the streets of Boston since the show ended.

The entire tubeset is Reynolds 953 stainless steel paired with Pacenti "Slant Six" stainless steel lugs. The stainless fork crown is also from Kirk Pacenti. The stainless stem parts are from Llewellyn in Australia.
Featuring a brazed in stainless steel top tube protector.

Our friend from the land of Japan, Daisuke Yano (also our Japanese distributor), brought the Kashimax Five Gold Olympic double strap toe straps over when he came for a visit.

The titanium seatpost is from Kent Eriksen.

The hubs (graciously donated) are from Cape Cod hub maker LeVeL.

Craig (A.K.A. "The Jerk") hooked me up with the sweet hoops, never built up, still in original packaging Campy Epsilon.... clinchers. They were hidden in the basement of International Bicycle... for a long, long time.

Just to be clear: we have no plans to produce lugged bicycles at Independent Fabrication, or forks, or stems.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

News Flash! Hobo Heaven BURNS!!

Behind IF headquarters, underneath our fire escape (which is ironically made out of wood) out by the railroad tracks, there is a special place. This place is known as Hobo Heaven. It is not uncommon to find a real live hobo stashing his shopping cart there and shimmying under the fence to the secret hobo camp that they have about a mile down the tracks. We also have a picnic table there where we will sometimes hang out or have informal meetings on a nice day.

Well... today Hobo Heaven caught on fire. But fear not! It was saved by Somerville's finest. They brought 2 firetrucks a couple of police cars and a bicycle cop to make sure everything was under control.

You just cant take the spirit away from this amazing place. Hobo Heaven, you will never die! We will rebuild!

The aftermath is not pretty:

(not that it was that pretty to begin with...)

**Update 5/15/09: the hobos have begun to rebuild!!***

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Stainless Report: XCr - 01

Mauro from Columbus sent us over another XCr stainless steel tubeset to try out. This will be the second one we have made. We have no plans on offering this as an option for our stainless steel SSR yet, but it is always good to know thy materials.

The tubing came with each tube individually wrapped and an exceptionally smooth surface inside and out. Just a few minutes of polishing and the metal developed a beautifully soft luster. The inside of the tubing is even smoooother with precise butt transitions.

Mmmm... A really nice tubeset.

Look for more installments of The Stainless Report.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Focus: Employee Factory Race Bikes

I grabbed Kevin's team issue SSR to snap a few pictures. This is the same bike featured in our 2009 catalog. He has been training and racing on it for quite a while now and it's still looking pretty sharp.

The IFracing team is riding on Mavic Neutral Support (service-courses) wheels right now, identifiable by the zip-ties on the hubs:

While we are at it let's take a look at Leah's SSR race bike. She's racing for another team so she doesn't have the IFracing paintjob.

She has the "Leah's tiny greenish squares" paintjob:

If there anything you would like us to FOCUS on, let us know in the comments below...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

FOCUS: Frames in Process

Snapshots of some frames that are all welded up waiting to move into the finishing department.

If you look closely you can see an XS, some Ti Crown Jewels, a Steel Planet Cross and others.

Maybe one of them is yours?

If there anything you would like us to FOCUS on, let us know in the comments below...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Focus: Jamie's (legendary) Brown Bird

Independent Fabrication icon Jamie Medieros has the longest commute of anyone at IF and logs some serious miles. His weapon of choice for year round urban/suburban commuting: The Brown Bird, a most beastly workhorse. He prefers to not wear a bag but instead attaches all of his stuff to his bike, as you can see.

Custom mounting bracket for rechargeable front light:

Severely worked drivetrain:

About as broken in as you can get for a Brooks saddle:

Jamie made this walnut top cap many years ago out of a fallen tree in his yard. Years of being exposed to harsh conditions have led to a crack, but it still does the job:

If there anything you would like us to FOCUS on, let us know in the comments below...