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Paint with Independent Fabrication
Independent Fabrication has been putting out some of the best paint jobs in the industry for as long as I can remember. A quick look at their new website and more importantly their blog is testament to that. Also interesting is the appearance of a few great bikes with the word "Rapha" neatly displayed on them.
They're known for their paint jobs however and always have been (at least as far as I'm concerned). Besides that, their version of BRG (British Racing Green) has been seen on Cyclocross, Mountain Bike and road courses all over New England for as long as I can remember.
Independent Fabrication are also one of the most accessible bicycle companies that I've ever come across. Which is why, whenever I happen to be in the Somerville, Massachusetts area I like to stop in and see what they're up to at any given moment. The impetus this time was the Rapha Racing bikes that I had seen on their website. (However, don't confuse them with the Rapha Condor team, these guys are based out of New York City and have been tearing up the local racing scene there).
Independent's attention to detail has to be one of the elements that sets them apart from the rest of the bunch. I remember one occurrence where the painters were arguing in the back as to how much buffing and polish should go into each frame. Each person claiming more than the other to the point where I don't think they'd ever be getting anything done if that actually was the case. It is working for them though, because from what I can tell, and I don't claim to know much of anything about paint, the frames that I've seen come out of this shop have been something close to flawless.
Another key piece to this puzzle is the fact that they shoot photos of all their frames and complete bikes before they head out the door. Take a look through the photos on their site as Tyler runs a tight ship over there and they do a much better job than my little point and shoot. I did capture one of the Rapha frames however…
When I got close and inspected the Rapha frames they were better than I could imagine, and I felt more than a little pang of jealousy. The silky smooth pearl coating of the bikes was highlighted with pink accents that remain in your peripheral vision the whole time. They seem to disappear when you look directly at them. It took me a minute, in a good way, to decipher the upside down IF logo on the end of the fork.
It was then that I saw Head Painter, Clint Lunsford, working on his own bike at the back of the shop. The top tube was painted with three stripes. But they weren't the red, white and blue that we've come to associate with the good ol' U.S. of A. They looked closer to the French national jersey, and even more importantly the Rapha French Country Jersey.
Believe me when I say that this was a full trip to IF.
I say this because unbeknownst to me there was also another special bike hanging around the shop. That of our fearless leader, Simon Mottram, an IF Crown Jewel. The bike was in house getting ready for a repaint. Apparently this bike is going to be attending the EuroBike tradeshow in August, so I was curious as to what Head Painter, Clint Lunsford, had in store for the bike. Watch the video to find out.
- How good is this shot ! “@TourdeKorea2013: @mike_cuming looking good in yellow! #TdK2013 @johnherety @raphacondor http://t.co/CrCV1zkCUB”
- RT @TourdeKorea2013: @mike_cuming looking good in yellow! #TdK2013 @johnherety @raphacondor http://t.co/oCjdyhvSue
- Reality check we also lost teammates @AaronBuggle and @carthy94 today. Going to be tough to defend.
- @mike_cuming in yellow with just over a minutes lead going into the final 2 stages of @TourdeKorea2013 couldn't of happened to a nicer guy
- RT @TourdeKorea2013: 25km to go in Stage 6. @mike_cuming is the virtual leader for @raphacondor. #TdK2013
- RT @TourdeKorea2013: 102 riders will sign on today after eight were dropped by their teams in the TTT and failed to make the time cut. #TdK…
- RT @London_phill: @raphacondor @MiBsponsor @james_fairbank_ Rapha team in Tour De Korea 2013 TTT http://t.co/SW09x70Zs0
- RT @182Jay: @raphacondor please share my @JustGiving page @thomwilson88, @DavidMetherell1 and I are fundraising for @MyelomaUK http://t.co…
- Great ride by the boys in Korea. 3rd by only 3 seconds in the 25km TTT today. Mike Cuming now up to 5th overall.
- Some nice pics of the boys and report on the great Mr Cancy's ride last night: http://t.co/ctoHu37ixb