Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Independent in the Seacoast

There is a certain hardiness about New Englanders that is readily apparent—it might be a result of the wildly variant weather, the shortened growing season, the endless wood stacking in the winter, the consistently inconsistent (at best) ski/surf/climbing conditions. And whatever that set of New England-y qualities is, it seamlessly transfers to the souls of the companies that inhabit this area.

We're proud to be a New England company; to be inspired and surrounded by like-minded outdoor companies is a huge bonus.

We recently had a chance to visit Independent Fabrication, a hop/skip/jump over from Dover to Newmarket. To call IF a bike company is like calling Apple a music player company. Gary Smith gave us the behind the scenes tour at their new(ish) digs.

Tubestock, racked and ready to go.

Much of their machining is done on post-war era lathes, CNC machines, etc. There's a lot of heavy metal going on in the back, just sayin'.

A titanium frame on the stand, ready to be finished welded in the morning.

Shiny and waiting their turn -- rack of forks. 

Some finished forks being shown off by Gary.

Independent's locker rooms. Fully customized, as expected.

Gotta love details like on this belt drive bike. 

Their in-house capabilities are impressive and inspiring. They've certainly elevated bicycle manufacturing to a level of artisan craft that doesn't necessarily exist in today's world anymore.

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