Friday, July 20, 2012

Deluxe :: Redux

Chris Chance showed up at NAHBS in Sacramento this past March. During a conversation towards the end of the show he commented on how much things have changed, particularly with regard to mountain bikes. It was really interesting to listen to the perspective of someone who has contributed so much to our space, but had essentially pulled a Rip Van Winkle and removed himself from the bicycle business for over a decade.

Indeed MTBs have changed, some for the better (disc brakes, 29" wheels), and some for the worse (overly complex suspensions, too many sub genres, boring colors).

I reflected on this conversation while traveling home from California, and for some time afterwards.  The final impetus for the Deluxe Redux project were several discussions with folks about what mountain biking really is, or should be all about. It ultimately took us down the path of "remember when?".

The early days of mountain biking were lots of things, but the one common denominator throughout the birth of the new sport was fun. Because it was all new, and anti-establishment at that, there was no cultural baggage and no one took things too seriously.

Unfortunately, much of that irreverence has been "matured" out of the sport.  Gone are the crazy colors and small brands bringing forward an eclectic mix of innovation and character.

The whole thing got me thinking about what if? What if you took the best of old school and blended it with the best of new school? We're still a very small brand, so we can do pretty much whatever we want if the mood strikes us. We don't need to have a series of product planning meetings followed by corporate approval.

So, out of all of this reminiscing, and a bit of lamenting, we conjured up the Deluxe Redux.  The Deluxe has been our MTB platform for over 17 years.  It has been continuously refined and updated over the years in both steel and titanium to accommodate increased suspension travel and more recently, new BB standards and tapered steerer tubes.

For the Redux project, we wanted to go back to the essence of early mountain biking... simple machines designed to be quick and nimble and take some abuse.  So, we decided to make a fully rigid, steel frame with a segmented fork. Chris Igleheart was the fork maker at Fat City, and he's never stopped refining his skills. We asked him to make his best non-suspension corrected 29er fork, and he delivered.

The bigger tires of a 29er provide some extra cush and roll-over capability, so combined with some versatile New England geometry, we ended up with a light and strong bike that handles crisply.  Mated up with modern components like Shimano's excellent XT group, and this thing is basically a geared big kid's BMX bike.

We topped it off with three bright color combos and matching custom Chris King anodized hubs, head sets and BB's to make it visually distinctive and, wait for it... fun.  We hope that you enjoy.

This one we call "Bite the Lime":
This one is "Blues B4 & After":
And last, but not least, "El Fabuloso":
Yeah, those are custom bar end caps featuring flying monkey skulls wearing IF crowns!

We're pretty excited about how they came out, and struggle each day to pick a favorite color.  We're now officially taking orders for a numbered run of 12 in each color.  Sizing is custom, but geometry is not, and they are only being sold as complete bikes featuring the components that you see here.  Pricing is $5999 plus applicable tax and shipping.

Custom sized steel Deluxe Redux frame with sterling silver head badge
Igleheart segmented steel fork (425 build height)
Full Shimano XT 2X10 group with Ice Tech rotors
Luxe Wheelworks hand built wheels featuring Stan's tubeless rims and Chris King ISO disc hubs
Matching Chris King head set, BB and hubs
Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evo tires
Salsa skewers
Fizik Tundra saddle
Crank Brothers Cobalt grips, bar, post, and stem with matching custom painted stem inserts
Custom molded IF flying monkey skull bar end caps

Please give us a call if you'd like to reserve yours, and even if you aren't in the market for a new bike, remember to have fun the next time you hit your favorite trails.