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Old January 4th, 2011, 12:10 PM   #41
I-ROBOT
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WOW This thread seemed to take on a life of its own! Somebody asked for my perspective but I don't think I can offer much that hasn't already been said one way or another. Obviously when Fat City hit its stride, mountain bikes were still "the latest and greatest". From what started out for me as just a part-time job, became a labor of love, blood, sweat, and tears. My focus was to be the best welder in the industry. I couldn't concern myself with the business side of things since that was not my area. To me, Chris Chance's biggest mistake was staying in Somerville when he had an opportunity to move the company to someplace outside of the city. He leased space in a big crappy building (Linden St.) that was ill-suited to bike manufacturing - especially on the scale we were. I know that Somerville was made into the "lore" but, to me, it held no great significance. The spirit and will of the employees to make the best bikes was much more important than the location.

I'm not surprised to hear that the NY guys thought our fixtures were no good. We built as much as we could as cheaply as we could. If they had better tooling, than that's the way it was. When Somerville was going down, Serotta came in and interviewed everyone. They did make me an offer, but with a two-year old, moving to South Glens Falls (with a pay cut) was not an option. By the time Somerville was done, bike frame welding had reached the end for me and I knew I had to find something different. I was lucky enough to walk into a much better paying job inspecting and welding at a small family-run company that built biotech manufacturing equipment - and knew how to make serious money doing it. Enough so that they attracted the attention of ITT in 2001 and sold out to them - and then beat their sorry asses at their own game and forced ITT out after cashing their lottery ticket.

As far as IF goes, I'm glad they have lasted as long as they have. I liked Lloyd and I wish him the best. If it was me, I would go to Newmarket in a heartbeat. It's a really nice town, close to Portsmouth on the coast, Manchester to the west, and Boston is only an hour away. I wouldn't work in Brockton no matter how much you offered me.

It seems like there is a lot more competition in the high-end market that has probably shrunk considerably due to the economy. When we lost the lucrative West German market to re-unification, the effect was much the same as the financial woes of today, at least as far as I can tell.

Scott
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Old January 4th, 2011, 2:21 PM   #42
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ha-ha, I was half kidding about Brockton. I was wondering if any MA folks on here would comment on it. Rent has got to be way cheaper there what since Shoe City as it use to be called has no industry anymore. Of course as I hear it, crime is way up there as well.

My great grandfather was Mayor of Brockton. Still a community pool there named after him.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 8:48 AM   #43
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I am John Galt
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Old January 5th, 2011, 12:23 PM   #44
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I am John Galt
Em, I pretty sure nobody here was suggesting any sort of repression of the free market.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 1:16 PM   #45
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my suggestion is find a shop or a builder that smiles when you call, and makes you feel like you are a part of it all...

I bet you'll be loyal for life...I bet they'll be making money
Amen to that. I'm feel very fortunate to have a first class shop as my local shop. I'm there a few times a week and see all the interworkings of mid to high price bike sales and service. It's not unusual to see $5,000.00 + bikes go out the door or $10,000.00 bikes come in for service. Not all of the customers know what they need or want, but the knowledable staff guides them through the process and truly cares about their customers.

Good customer service is vital to staying in business today and being open-minded is the first step.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 1:23 PM   #46
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Wow, this all getting very deep.
Looking forward to the next "what color should I paint my Yo" thread.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 1:52 PM   #47
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So back to the topic at hand. We have come to the conclusion that if is moving to newmarket ( cool ) 30 min from me . But the question i want to know is what the spin off company will be whom what and where ? As we all know it is going to take some very deep pockets to do a start up.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 4:21 PM   #48
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http://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum...als-18876.html
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Old January 5th, 2011, 6:39 PM   #49
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Just to be clear, I wasn't trying to bad mouth Brockton - only the commute. I grew up and lived in Everett while I worked at Fat City. Nice easy commute to Somerville by car, bus, bike (OK only a couple of times) or even walking (nice in the summer). If I was at IF right now and was faced with having to get to Brockton from someplace like Everett every day, there's no way I could do that. There's just no good way to get there and back without 2 hours of traffic and/or tolls. And that's in good weather! It would actually easier to commute to Newmarket from Everett than it would be to Brockton. I feel for those that will be left behind. It sucks, it always does no matter what. For those that will stay, they face the daunting task of starting over - again.
Scott
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Old January 5th, 2011, 6:45 PM   #50
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nice post ^^^ just spent an hour reading all that!!! Chris in Cali???
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Old January 5th, 2011, 7:58 PM   #51
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Just to be clear, I wasn't trying to bad mouth Brockton - only the commute. I grew up and lived in Everett while I worked at Fat City. Nice easy commute to Somerville by car, bus, bike (OK only a couple of times) or even walking (nice in the summer). If I was at IF right now and was faced with having to get to Brockton from someplace like Everett every day, there's no way I could do that. There's just no good way to get there and back without 2 hours of traffic and/or tolls. And that's in good weather! It would actually easier to commute to Newmarket from Everett than it would be to Brockton. I feel for those that will be left behind. It sucks, it always does no matter what. For those that will stay, they face the daunting task of starting over - again.
Scott
Oh, believe me Scott, I am not worried about whether you were badmouthing Brockton. My understanding from family that still lives in MA is that Brockton has kind of become a dump. I only mentioned it because I know it, as many old industrial towns in MA could use a boost to their economy. It could be any town around the area for all I care. If the desire of the fanboys is for the MA lore of IF to live on, then that is what would have to happen. I get how untenable it must be for any small company like IF to try to survive in the Boston area and don't blame the powers that be for wanting to leave.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 11:03 AM   #52
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I have owned fats IFs and Sevens.

Honestly if IF has priced themselves into sevens territory I will take the seven every time and twice on Thursdays. In fact I have basically told myself that all my future bikes will be sevens. Not that I am planning on all that many...

Having said that, my most recent frame purchase was a salsa vaya. And while it is a bit heavy (for a reason) and the welds aren't quite as pretty, it rides just as well as my previous road bike which was an If crown jewel. And it cost less than $500 for the frame and fork.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 2:38 PM   #53
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re value for money custom framesets. I always thought curtlo looked pretty good for the money. http://www.curtlo.com/pricing.html
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Old January 6th, 2011, 4:14 PM   #54
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Yup, I concur. I mentioned Curtlo and Teesdale way back on page one.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 3:36 PM   #55
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Getting back on topic-just heard that 3 past IF employees are making the move to NH. I know 2 of them and feel confident that IF is going to continue to be successful.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 8:07 PM   #56
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yeah, Chris Rowe, Brian Kelly and possibly Keith (still figuring it out) are back. It's hectic right now, but it will settle down. Oh yeah, Frank the Welder is helping out on Mondays.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 8:14 PM   #57
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Scott,

Just read your long post...nice. The building in N.M. is nice!
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Old January 12th, 2011, 6:04 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvcreative View Post

The Q-ball looks like a Gary Littlejohn I had in 1980.

Great BMX Cruiser...the paint flaked off in a day, won a few races on it, and I didn't care what it looked like...
huh? don't those cruisers have curvy double toptubes? I don't see the relationship

(sorry to swerve off the topic of this thread again, I just keep scratching my head on that one.)

Rock on Indy Fab and all your bad ass, New England, pricey, handbuilt sweetness!

(btw: my only dealing with IF was buying socks, they sent size small, I called and said that I had ordered large, their response was that they were out of large so they sent me small. I assume that is not their way with frames!)
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Old January 18th, 2011, 3:57 PM   #59
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In other news, I just bought my first dentist bike. Erm, I mean IF--a Crown Jewel at that! Frame/fork, so I've got some part hunting to do.

Another iron to the fire......and now my first modern/post-millenial bike!
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Old January 20th, 2011, 5:19 PM   #60
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I love my IF. I got it direct from the original crew.

I'm sorry that Lloyd isn't with them anymore.

I was sorry when FAT went to NY.

I was sorry when Merlin left town.

I'm sorry I can't afford an ANTbike at the moment. Or an Englehart. But glad they are both in MA. Ted Wojick would be a good choice too!

Oh yeah,

I'm also sorry that Brocton Cycles went out of business. (motorcycles).
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 7:31 PM   #61
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"I know that Somerville was made into the "lore" but, to me, it held no great significance. The spirit and will of the employees to make the best bikes was much more important than the location."

Werd i-robot! DC what's your address? I'll send out a pair this week.

-Stepchild

Ps. The crew is waaaaaayyyyyy better now with Brian, Leah, Shawn, Keith, Ron, Chris, Mike, Ryan, Jesse and Gary.

No drama or divas, just blowing bikes out like afros.....word.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 9:16 PM   #62
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The IF brand may do well but who can afford one now? Surely not me.

Indy Fab started out offering high quality steel frames (granted not custom sizing standard) in the wake of the FC demise. Now their prices are in the stratospheric range and the only people I know that own one bought them used on Ebay (if it's a Deluxe then guaranteed to have a dented tube).

The company has evolved well. If I'm not mistaken, Bracken pushed for titanium and someone else (consumers) pushed for CF frames.

I'm not hating on the IF clan but given the economy, you would think pricing would be accessible to more people.

The riders in my circle can't keep up with the inflationary pricing of frames/forks as made by IF and other uber boutique makers.

My New Years Eve .02.
Quote:
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Wow, I hadn't looked in a while, almst $1900.00 for a Steel Deluxe? That is crazy! I think when I bought #52 in 1995 it was $850.00, which is like $1200.00 today.
She's still doing well with me here in Idaho...and NO DENTS!!!


But back to the main topic...does this mean anything about IF paint jobs? It's tax return time!
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Old March 27th, 2011, 7:05 PM   #63
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Is there any contact info for the new IF house. I have a college kid customer that has built a few frames, and he is looking for some contact info
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Old March 27th, 2011, 10:23 PM   #64
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DC...

the first gary littlejohn's were overgrown BMX bikes...very similar to Mongoose with a gusset.

we were an authorized dealer....

were you thinking powerlite, cook bros, mcs and the like?

they had curves
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Old March 27th, 2011, 10:29 PM   #65
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Default littlejohn

example attached
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Old March 28th, 2011, 7:04 AM   #66
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ok now I can see the relation.
When I did a google image search a bunch of curvy cruisers came up.
cheers
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Old March 28th, 2011, 9:03 AM   #67
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DC...

the first gary littlejohn's were overgrown BMX bikes...very similar to Mongoose with a gusset.

we were an authorized dealer....

were you thinking powerlite, cook bros, mcs and the like?

they had curves
I have a good friend that has 2 20in bmx tandom frame/forks
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