A new frame arrived the other day, this one for good pal Douglas Brooks. The whole bike will be a Tournesol Leger, similar to our new Classic: a quick, light road bike designed around the Alpha Q GS25 fork and 57mm -reach calipers. Shiny Honjo 35mm fenders fit perfectly wih 25mm tires; yank the fenders and 28 or 30mm tires fit just fine. We’ll use standard SRAM parts and handbuilt wheels, maybe a few leather touches amongst the shiny alloy.
What makes the frame so interesting, however, is that this is our first frame from Independent Fabrication built with Reynolds 953 mar-aging stainless steel. Don’t look to me for an explanation of this fancy expensive tubeset, but understand that it builds up into a very light, shiny frame with immaculate little welds – they truly need to be seen to be appreciated. I must admit that I was a tad ambivalent towards a steel frame with the same weight and price of titanium but without the same crash-worthiness of that material. Then I saw the frame, admired the welds, felt the light weight, fondled the oversized tubing. The material doesn’t rust, it’s incredibly strong, and the ride is supposedly slightly terrific.
And finally, a long-overdue show of appreciation to the great folks at Independent Fabrication, purveyors of fine steel, 953, and titanium frames. I’m thrilled with the ferrous frames we’re getting from them and were I not owned by the Steamboat Springs Mafia I would be perfectly happy to ask IndyFab for titanium frames. Thanks, gang.