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.