My Independent Fabrication Deluxe Redux 29′r MTB

Everyone that reads this website has had a moment in their life where cycling became something more than just pedaling around. They found a bike, or had a moment out riding that changed their perspective forever. For me, it was a mountain bike in college. Sure, I had bikes growing up, but they were always used for transportation, or hitting a kicker ramp and some trails once and a while. It wasn’t until college that I found something I vibed with. The trails became an exit from architecture school. I sucked and was slow but loved going fast and mostly avoiding the occasional wreck.

That was over 10 years ago and since moving to Austin, I’ve wanted to get a new MTB but never really had the opportunity arise. I didn’t necessarily want a modern machine and preferred steel. This year at NAHBS, when I walked up to the Independent Fabrication booth, this blue beauty caught my eye. I walked over, checked it out and quickly realized that THIS is what I was looking for. Rigid, modern components, throwback Somerville geometry and an Igleheart fork. It looked like a modern day Fat Chance.

Gary walked up and told me how the Deluxe Redux came about. Last year, when Chris Chance came to NAHBS, he was asked what he thought of modern day MTBs and his reply was something along the lines of “things got really complicated”. The Deluxe Redux is IF’s answer to that. They hired Chris Igleheart, ex employee of Chris Chance to make 20 forks and IF would make the frames. They were each painted either electronic blue, hot lime or lavender.

Decked out with Shimano XT, which uses arguably some of the best hydraulic disc brakes in the industry, Chris King throughout, with Crank Brothers Cobalt bars, stem and post. The Deluxe Redux is topped it off with hand-laced Luxe Wheelworks Stans Tubeless wheels and some Racing Ralphs. It was even Mudfoot blue!

Knowing that I had to have it, Gary and I struck a deal. For me, the parties involved in this bike are so special and so Somerville that it was a worthy MTB choice. Here in central Texas, things can get rocky, fast but since I’m used to pulling lines on the cross bike, I’ve found this bike just eats that shit alive. I have a general rule about posting my bikes: don’t post about them til you’ve had a moment with them and this week, I’ve had a few. Last night when I shot these photos, I had one of the best rides on it yet.

This bike and I have clicked real hard this week. I’ve crashed a few times, finding the pocket on a sharp turn but have been able to pump and thrash through some technical sections with ease. It just jams through my favorite trails. As shown here, it’s all stock, even with the XTR pedals. I wanted to give everything a chance before swapping parts out. In the end, I’ll probably go ENVE cockpick and post. I’m not a fan of the Crank Brothers Cobalt post but the bars and stem are growing on me. I’ll switch to tubeless when I’m back from China as well.

What about suspension options? Well, Igleheart told me it’ll be tricky but possible, only because of the rake. This bike has a trail of 73mm. A rake of 50mm and a heat tube angle of 71 degrees. I could lock out a 100mm Fox at 80mm and achieve roughly the same HTA but I don’t think that’s what this bike deserves. At some point, I’ll go full suspension but right now, this is a great machine for how I’m riding.

If this is something you like, there are still a small and a medium Deluxe Redux for sale at IF for $4,500, which considering the parts alone, is a steal for steel. Contact IF for more information.

  • ckamp

    Very nice, like the blue and the fork style.

  • http://www.facebook.com/coop.esq Cooper Mittelhauser

    I love this. There’s something cool about mastering a full-rigid mountain bike.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mdkimbro Mike Kimbro

    I love the damn outta this bike. More like Indy Fabulous, am I right? :D

  • autophile

    Finally!

    Looks sick. I have sort of a budget version of the same:

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Looks nice!

  • ced

    pure class! how many bikes do you own?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      N+1

      • ced

        i beg to differ. you currently own N.

  • http://twitter.com/acklindesign James Acklin

    Awesome, man. Congrats. Does this finally mean more MTB content?!

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      most likely

  • http://twitter.com/wadestevens Wade Stevens

    John, I put an 80mm locked-out 100mm Fox (they don’t offer 80mm anymore) on my Dedacciai steel Kona Explosif, and the fork works great. I had Fox do it for me at the factory.

  • Sean Curran

    Do you work in Architecture? I do, and my riding time is being ruined by it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jamesmckeon Jamie McKeon

      He did in NYC, but the industry went to shit and he went into full time blog mode in Austin (a blessing for us).
      Excellent bike Prolly – making me seriously jealous as per the norm.

  • http://twitter.com/pdxfixed PDXFixed

    What’s that weird little plate with the cable coming out of it just above your crank? And it looks like there’s a funky smaller chainring stuck behind the normal one???

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      I think it’s called a sissy chain catch. The funky smaller ring keeps the chain from scratching the CK blue BB.

      • http://twitter.com/pdxfixed PDXFixed

        I approve this message.

  • http://www.facebook.com/devinjones44 Devin Jones

    surprised you didn’t go lavender

  • Tinj

    When you say “Somerville geometry” what are you referring to?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Classic, Chris Chance-influenced design.

  • Johnny Burrell

    That’s a nice bike John, you did good. Now post some pics of your clunker. :)

  • naisemaj

    Great price on an amazing bike, is that a 2×10 drivetrain too? Sexy. I like that you still got to throw a splash of purple in there too. Also I’ve ridden my full rigid all over the place and I’ve never had the want for suspension. It’s not as fun as it could be sometimes, but when you hit that perfect trail it’s downright magical.

  • http://twitter.com/Elder_Poptarts Mike F.

    This is the only mountain bike I’ve ever been sexually attracted to. My blue-purple IF Crown Jewel says hi.

  • http://twitter.com/wassilie Lee Wassilie

    love the bike john, couple things i’ve noticed :P chain could be one link shorter prolly, front wheel should be dished over to the non drive side a bit or it’s not all the way into the dropouts in one of these pics, also i usually put the seapost in so the height marks can be read from the back, which might explain why your nose is pointed up some. I know gary fisher likes his road bikes set up this way but I have yet to enjoy the numb junk feeling I get when riding a saddle this way. Love the flaming hatchet cable rub sticker, maybe I’ll order one for my new road bike(Ahem,…Corporate Carbon) this year:) Enjoy those trail. if you bring this thing with you to vermont when you come up we should ride kingdom together!!! Enjoy the trails:))

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Nose isn’t pointed up, the back of the saddle is level with the front, as it should be. The seat post is installed as per the manufacturer’s specifications. The wheel’s dish is correct (optical illusion in the front-on photo) and you’re probably right about the chain.
      :-)

  • Ian Summers

    If you start getting wrist and upper back pain, get a sus fork. I know my full sus has allowed me to ride more back to back days without all the muscle fatigue and without aggravating old wrist injuries. Bike is sick though and would still be super sick with a fox.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      I still BMX and rode FGFS religiously. My wrists will be fine!

  • Jeff Wyman

    Nice bike ,agree with things getting complicated !. I built up a hardtail Dialled Alpine and put Groovy Luv handles on in steel, great bars with rave reviews .Went with a Nuvinci drive simple maint free.

    Rgds Pondoro

  • http://www.digicycle.net/ Tucker

    Killer bike! 29ers are so much fun.

  • fernando martín

    Great words of wisdow” Everyone that reads this website has had a moment in their life where cycling became something more than just pedaling around” ,I`m complete agree with.

  • http://twitter.com/brettrothmeyer Brett Rothmeyer

    So nice, I am lucky enough to work at an I.F. dealer and have managed to purchase a road and cx bike from them. They are by far my favorite bikes. I keep thinking about a rigid 29 single speed, I go back and forth, I want to spread the love to other builders but their stuff is so sick, and those Igleheart segmented forks. Damn.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryShawd Harry

    Awesome. Makes me want to go ride my MTB now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joeseph.blow.58 Joeseph Blow

    Nice geometry on this bike. So rare to see a 29er with the bar not 8 feet off the ground..

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      that shit’s the worst…

  • Scott

    The only thing I ever felt this blog was lacking was MTB content. This pleases me.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Trying my best to appease!

  • Mister Dangerpants

    Back in 2007, I had Ted Wojcik build me up a bike he affectionately called a “Yo Teddy.” It also has the Igleheart segmented fork. Earlier this year, Circle A Cycles converted it to a single speed with Black Cat dropouts. Anyway, really digging the IF Deluxe Redux.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      That is fucking sick.

      • Mister Dangerpants

        Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/IndyFab IndyFab

    Reading John’s reaction to his Deluxe Redux reminds me of Colonel Hannibal Smith’s catch phrase from The A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together”. His reaction is exactly what this bike was designed to do… get folks back in touch with the simple joy of riding a bike hard on the trails, devoid of all the modern fluff that has made that harder and harder to do.

    So happy that this worked out for you. Ride it well! Gary

  • Morgan Taylor

    Hey John,

    Nice bike no doubt. Lowering a Fox Float is a simple process and definitely worth doing for bikes that were designed around a shorter axle-crown. What do you mean when you say you “don’t think that’s what this bike deserves”?

    Morgan

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=521163230 Todd McClafferty

    They nailed it. This reminds me so much of my old Yo! – that fork, that cable routing, that geometry that rewards good riding and (let’s face it) punishes the bad. Enjoy it, John!

  • Loren Beaber

    John, I ran into you at Shifterbikes a couple of weeks ago. This is my version of your choice Deluxe Redux.