Independent Fabrication XS review

Independent Fabrication XS
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Independent Fabrication XS blends carbon and titanium to create a bike with the most sublime ride qualities. The bike purred along, giving my backside the most comfortable ride during two days of purgatory. It was light, it was stiff (enough), and it rode like a dream. A great sportive bike.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Perfect sportive ride

  • +

    Light

  • +

    Superb workmanship

  • +

    Great looks

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The Independent Fabrication XS is a mix of titanium and carbon and one of

the company’s most sought-after frames. The Boston-based manufacturer

makes high-end custom-builds (as well as bikes with standard geometry)

and doesn’t have a traditional price-pointed range, but the XS still

stands out.

As first rides go, the Marmotte has to be right up there in terms of putting a bike through its paces. The 174-kilometre Alpine event throws everything at both man and machine, so I don’t recommended anyone following my example, even if I did come out of it (relatively) unscathed.

Equipped with Campag Record and sporting a new set of Mavic R-SYS wheels the bike’s weight meant it was well suited to the challenge I had been set (the Marmotte was followed the next day by riding the Etape du Tour). But if the bike’s minimal weight can be matched by most other bike manufacturers out there, the quality of the ride cannot.

I was sceptical when I heard the bike was a mix of carbon and titanium. It would be neither fish nor fowl, I thought, with each material cancelling out the other’s finer properties. I was wrong.

INDEPENDENT FABRICATION XS: SPEC

Distributor Mosquito Bikes 020 7226 8765

Price£4455 (including painting

Frame Carbon/titanium

Fork Reynolds

Size range Custom or 48-63cm

Weight 15.7lb (7.13kg)

Groupset Campagnolo Record

Wheels Mavic R-SYS Size tested 54 (custom)

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Simon Richardson
Magazine editor

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling 1989 when watching the Tour de France on Channel 4, started racing in 1995 and in 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium. During his time at CW (and Cycle Sport magazine) he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He became the 130-year-old magazine's 13th editor in 2015.