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
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
Size range Custom or 48-63cm
Weight 15.7lb (7.13kg)
Groupset Campagnolo Record
Wheels Mavic R-SYS Size tested 54 (custom)
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.