In the small town of Newmarket, New Hampshire lives a bike manufacturer dedicated to designing and building custom bicycles. Their name? Independent Fabrication. Their trading principles? Making high-end, precise, handcrafted frames, and allowing the customer to paint his or her bike whatever color his or her heart desires, no matter how ugly it may be.
Independent Fabrication is one of the 29 bike makers and designers featured in The Elite Bicycle. An intimate portrait of their company reveals their undying love for their bikes and for their customers. Not only are the folks at Indy Fab friendly and down to earth, but they are also people committed to their art and dedicated to the sport of cycling.
Take Gary Smith, the founder of IF. He ‘gave up his parking space in the rat race to make bikes and bags…[because] bikes are easier to park so who needs the reserved space?’ Their chief frame builder nominates the IF BMX bike as his favourite: ‘You’ve got to love a bike that makes you feel like a 200 pound 12 year-old.’ The company co-sponsors a local 45-mile challenge and charity ride, the RAID Rockingham, and the ad. concludes: ‘Join us for the after-party featuring Smuttynose beer, good food and lots of swag to give away. So, sign up–we’d be honored to show you our local roads and secret stash of packed gravel.’ They quite clearly revel in the fun, the sheer exuberance of riding a bike, whether it be cross-country or roads.
They care about the people behind the bikes. It is with thoughtfulness, supreme craftsmanship, and the newest metal technologies, that they create beautiful and flawless handmade bicycles for each of their customers.
This brief portrait of Independent Fabrication comes from the new book The Elite Bicycle.
The Elite Bicycle brings together intimate portraits of the world’s greatest bicycle artisans, examining the philosophies, the meticulous workmanship, and the eccentric personalities behind cycling’s most prestigious brands. Their materials and methods could not be more disparate, yet their pursuit is the same: the perfect bicycle.
In chapters featuring some of cycling’s greatest craftspeople, The Elite Bicycle offers up a conversation with the men and women who make the most coveted bicycles. Lavish, oversize photographs and personal interviews invite readers into their workshops to show the melding of old-world craftsmanship with space-age materials in fascinating studios and factories that fabricate superb machines.
The Elite Bicycle is both an homage to the bicycle maker and a collector’s piece in its own right, celebrating the stories behind the greatest bicycles and components in the world.