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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new frame arrived just in time for Christmas and some serious SNOW. The new Ti Crown Jewel has some seriously big shoes to fill as it replaces my beloved Eriksen 29er. Working with IF and Bethel Cycle has been a joy and so far this is the best custom bike experience I have had (lets hope the frame will measure up, sure looks nice). By no means where my other bikes bad (Serotta, Seven, Soulcraft and Eriksen) but I feel that the combination of a very knowledgeable shop and IF's expertise made this frame very special. The process started with an appointment with shop owner Greg Pelican. Greg measured my current 29er and used some pretty neat contraptions to measure my body (Fit Kit?). After all the measuring was done, we put my Eriksen in a trainer and Greg recorded me riding the Eriksen. All this, and some still photos, where sent to Kevin at IF. Kevin got back to us in less than a week with a preliminary drawing. After talking to Kevin and Greg we tweaked a couple of things and signed off on the design. Bethel Cycle has two very experienced builders/ mtb racers (Pro license, ouch) in Sean and Scott. We worked together to come up with components. Sure I wanted Edge components wheels, stem, seat post,bar and SRAM XX but my wallet said NO. Instead we recycled a lot of components from the Eriksen, except for a new Reba XX 29er,Easton post and some misc. godies. We are still working on the build, but I will post a ride report and comparison to previous bikes A.S.A.P.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Snow melted and it got very cold. Perfect for riding. Attached is a picture of the IF next to my Soulcraft, this was a rushed build just to get me out and try the bike. For now it is built with 180mm XTR 1x9 cranks with a 34 front ring. I will post a better quality picture of the bike complete later.
I took the bike out on my local test loop this evening. These trails are rocky, rooty with steep climbs and some great downhills. As I am sure most of us do we can quickly judge a new bike. In my case I have certain trail sections that I only make 10% of the time, 5% and so on. Well, I cleared everything on the first try with this bike. Some was probably excitement over a new bike in combination with incredible traction on frozen trails. But this bike is special. I asked Kevin to make a New England singletrack machine that would be very turny with a tight feel. I also wanted the bike to track well on very steep rutted downhills like Mount Snow. From what I experienced this evening, this bike delivers all of it. In short, the gamble of switching frames paid of for me! Some may crinch at these numbers, but here we go. I am 6'2", wear 33" inseam pants. My Eriksen had a 25.1" top tube, set back Eriksen post and 120mm stem. The IF has a 25.8 LOOOONG top tube, straight post and 110 stem. I know this sounds crazy big, it all comes down to set back post, seat angle and head angle. IF and Bethel Cycle built an awesome bike for me, I am very pleased!
 

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soulcraft29er said:
The IF has a 25.8 LOOOONG top tube, straight post and 110 stem. I know this sounds crazy big, it all comes down to set back post, seat angle and head angle.
That does sound crazy big; were you trying to mimic the fit of a road bike or something? Did they go with an extra steep HTA/short chainstays to keep the wheelbase manageable? Beautiful bike, just curious about the fit. Does it have the shot peened finish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The IF is shoot peened Titanium. Didn't try to mimic road bike and bike doesn't feel big at all. The wheelbase is shorter by 1cm from my Eriksen. IF head angle and seat angle are both 72 degrees. Chainstays are 450mm, feels great when climbing without wanting to wheelie or s turn when going up steep stuff.
Soulcraft is staying with me. It is equiped with Paragon sliders and S & S couplings for travel and even beltdrive. Very sweet bike, similar feel to the IF eventhough top tupe is "only" 25.4 inches.
 
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