What's this I'm hearing about IF?

IF52

New member
Oh, I didn't realize FTW was still welding for Spooky. Is that really so? I thought he was doing Sinisters or something?
 

stepchild

New member
^^IF52

He does consultant work with Sinister I believe. In addition to that, he does subcontract work for other builders. Keep an eye on him.....
 

45Ronin

New member
Mho

Amen to everything IF52 has put down. The market, or more so the consumer is driving the price train.

Curtis at Retrotec made me a Half frame in 2010 for under $1400. After spending some time with the bike I have a hard time buying (no pun intended) the "all custom" IF marketing. They make an awesome frame and paint is as good as anyone else, or even better. But last time I checked it is demand that drives everything.

Look at Harley Davidson. Their sales and pricing went sky high until people stopped buying their bikes. Now they can't get rid of what's on their lot. Add to the mix they had so many different models competing for sales and the company is hurting. Does IF need to make a full carbon bike? I think not.

As posted by others here on the thread, there are plenty of top notch frame builders (Retrotec/Inglis, Sycip, Hunter, Black Cat, Coconino, etc.) that truly give you what most IF buyers really want, a unique bike that rides tops.

Everyone manifests on the "Made in Somerville" aspect of FC bikes. Why is that? It's when the company was at its roots and quality was killer. New York bikes are generally worth less in resale if I'm not mistaken.

History will repeat itself here if all folds as the gouge has been put out.
 

yo-Nate-y

Global Moderator
Staff member
They perhaps aren't as high profile as the other builders mentioned in this thread so far, but for what it is worth, Tom Teesdale and Doug Curtlo still make awesome and reasonably priced MTBs at +/- a $1,000. And they are both long time "classic" mountain bike builders.

Teesdale doesn't seem to do as much "keeping up" with trends but if you want classic, his frames are legit. And I am sure he'd build to what ever spec you wanted.

And as far as the NY vs Somerville thing: NY bikes are really really built nicely. Of the Fats I have bought as sold, barring things like having a matching Yo fork, the Serotta built bikes do surprisingly well on the market. I prefer the old ones personally, but the NY are definitely sweet.
 

yo-Nate-y

Global Moderator
Staff member
I'd also like to shill a bit for Winter Bikes. Eric did my Monster stem and was great to work with. The level of customization and attention to detail he gives his frames is out of this world....and for far less than an equivalent IF would cost.

I dunno, they basically turned into "dentist bikes" like Seven and the ilk.
 

stepchild

New member
^^ This is coming straight from the horses mouth (original member of FC and founding member of IF), "I didn't think FC bikes were made all that well, until it moved to NY."
 

AB

New member
IF is suffering the same woes as FCC - poor management and a lack of a clear distinct vision statement. The current economy can't be helping either, but you have to adapt and change or die.
 

IF52

New member
^^ This is coming straight from the horses mouth (original member of FC and founding member of IF), "I didn't think FC bikes were made all that well, until it moved to NY."

I've read and heard that before as well. IIRC, there was something over on the Serotta forum about Fat's move to NY where somebody who worked at Serotta during the transition commented on what crap the FCC fixtures were and how they basically scrapped everything that FCC brought from MA to NY. I'd kind of like Scott's perspective though. The perspective of the original IF boys is somewhat tainted in my opinion. The amount of time I spent around Elmo and Lloyd BITD, they were diplomatic about it, but clearly bitter.
 

sketchy

New member
As someone who has worked at a couple of medium sized custom bike companies for the last 15 years, I'm all too aware of how difficult it is to make a go of it. Even at 1900 bucks for a steel frame, the profit margin is slim, especially for a company building in Boston, with astronomical rents and fancy big city wages.

From what I'm hearing, IF is moving to Newmarket NH in March. One or two current employees are making the move, and someone has been contracted to weld short term until a permanent solution is found.
 

tvcreative

New member
Correction on my part....dentist's fix your teeth, and they keep paychecks in the pocket of bike industry workers...

Same goes for the rest of the professional world that pay FULL RETAIL for things.

Never bite the hand that feeds you....
 

yo-Nate-y

Global Moderator
Staff member
If I ever have a profession......I think I'll still stick my second-hand skin-flint hard-scrabble ways. The lessons of the great depression live on!
 

tvcreative

New member
I am old bike shop junky from the late 70s and 80s with alot of junk (10 plus years at Yellow Jersey in Madison)

I am not a dentist

but I don't believe taking pot shots at those who can afford a nice bike is really needed...

The sport is inclusive...for the rich and the poor.

I am a professional, with a childhood love of the wind in my hair and the burn in my legs...the same as my friends who serve coffee, and my friends who carry a torch...

whether you ride 150 miles a year or 150 a day the common denominator is the passion for the sport

good luck to the new IF

good luck to the old who will make something new...

the bottom like is that the customer should always be right and cash is king

there are going to be skin flints, there are going to be money bags

but ultimately sales/service will drive the meter of success

I am not sure why so many high end shops, bike racers, and builders don't get it...

treating people like crap - as if you are not good enough to be in their little club

this level of arrogance has always baffled me...

my suggestion is find a shop or a builder that smiles when you call, and makes you feel like you a part of it all...

I bet you'll be loyal for life...I bet they'll be making money
 

IF52

New member
I think you missed the point. The comment, I think, was directed at anybody who buys anything just so they can brag it up. I guess spend your money however you see fit, but spending so you can be seen spending is tacky in my book. Those are the same kind of people who ask you how much you paid for your house or car.

And no the customer is not always right, and no the dollar is not king. The reasonable, respectful customer deserves respect. The d!ck who waves a handful of cash because he thinks he can bully his way to the front gets shown the door.
 

stepchild

New member
"am not sure why so many high end shops, bike racers, and builders don't get it...

treating people like crap - as if you are not good enough to be in their little club

this level of arrogance has always baffled me..."

I'm on the inside and I still feel this way. Bull****! Build something bullet proof, crash it, trash it and rebuild it even better.
 

fat-tony

Global Moderator
Staff member
There are all types.......spolied brats whose parents buy them whatever, the newspaper boy who scraps and scrapes to buy his first bike. Everyone is different and ever shop is different. The balance is finding the one that fits you. :twocents:

I hate seeing IF going through this, but we make our own path.
 
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