Changes at IF Posted on January 6th 2011

Over the last week or so the blogosphere has been abuzz with rumours about what’s happening at Independent Fabrication’s Somerville, MA factory and headquarters. James Morrison wrote earlier this week about his interpretation of events and there’s a good deal of fact in his article.

Gary Smith from IF gave an interview with Mountain Bike Magazine last night and there will be some more in depth coverage and detail coming up in the near future (keep an eye on the IF Bikes blog) for his take on events and the positive future for Indy Fab.

What I can exclusively reveal is that several of IFs former team members are rejoining the firm in the next few days, amongst them Chris Rowe and Brian Kelly. Bike aficionados may be excited to hear that the legendary Frank Wadelton, aka Frank the Welder, will also be working with IF in future.

That’s not to say those departing will not be missed. It’s been a great honour to have had the help and support of Joe Ingram, Tyler Evans and Lloyd Graves over the many years that the Owners’ Club has been running and I wish them the best of luck for their future endeavours. Independent Fabrication tends to leave many positive memories with people, so who knows, they might return to IF one day.

Leaving Somerville after 15 years of being at the heart of the urban Boston scene will be a big move for the firm. Having visited the factory on a couple of occasions you get drawn in by the eclectic nature of the place, but any eye that looks beyond the home furnishings and comforts of the workplace quickly identifies the limitations of the factory space they were operating from.

The new setup in New Hampshire looks set to offer the firm a chance to flourish within a new creative environment and offers a new home for the production equipment with space for well planned and designed welding, prep, painting and finishing sections as well as the office, photos and the staff. As the Orange County Choppers team found in 2004, sometimes it’s just necessary to move on to a new premises.

mill-towerOne of the changes following the move will be the replacement of the iconic rendering of the Prospect Hill Tower that has featured as a graphic on most IF seat tubes with the new IF Tower (see photo). A new graphic is on the way! More news to come as things move forwards.

It’s certainly an exciting time for all involved and following IF, but there’s certainly no need for panic or concern. The bikes are still rolling out (including two that have recently been prepped for the NAHBS) and there’s no doubt that Independent Fabrication will remain at the cutting edge of innovative and creative approaches to building custom bikes with amazing paintwork.

Stay tuned!

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