Seven Cycles Blog

The Local Bike Shop (LBS)

December 19th, 2014 by Seven

Here at holiday time, as people dash around looking for last minute gifts, we wanted to say a quick word about local bike shops

The Internet is a magical thing, a tool that has allowed us to share information (like this blog) with greater ease than all the technologies of previous centuries combined, and yet we’ve learned that the Internet isn’t a solution for every challenge we face.

Everyday we get calls and emails from people interested in our bikes, and often they want to know if they can order a bike directly through our website. Technologically, it is possible.

But, we persist in the belief that the local bike shop is the best solution for the challenge of building a custom bike.

There are a number of reasons we feel this way:

1) Local, local, local – We build bikes for riders all over the world, but we believe in doing business locally whenever possible. And the only way for us to be local to many of our riders is by having a local expert who is intimately familiar with our products and processes. That local expertise is critical to building good bikes, and it comes from the local shops we’ve partnered with from the beginning.

2) Collaboration – Building a custom bike is a collaborative process. As the builder, we need the input of the rider to know not only the correct proportions for the bike, but also how the bike needs to feel and what features it needs to have. The local bike shop has spent years (sometimes decades) fitting riders to their bikes and anticipating issues before they start. Their input to the design process is critical.

3) Lifetime service – We expect your Seven to be the best bike you’ve ever owned, but that doesn’t mean it won’t ever need service. Proper and regular maintenance is key to the quality and longevity of your bike. That service comes from the LBS, and it is always better when the shop was also involved with the initial design and assembly of the bike.

4) Advocacy – Cycling is a sport that depends on community, and few entities do more to support that community than the local bike shop. From group rides to charity events to racing teams, the LBS is almost always the hub for the cycling community. Working with these key players is the best way for Seven to support cycling in your community.

Happy Holidays all, from Seven.


On the Road – The Blayleys in Ireland, Part II

December 18th, 2014 by Seven

It’s been a hard couple of years on the bike for Pamela Blalock. In June of 2013 she was hit head on by another cyclist coming at her on the wrong side of the road, breaking her collarbone. Then, three months later she was hit by a truck, from behind. The resulting surgery left her with fused vertebra and, ironically, a whole litany of titanium screws and supports. She broke six ribs and spent four months in a back brace. She got back on the bike last April, but has been doing physical therapy and dealing with chronic pain continuously since then.

By the time she and John got to Ireland this year she had missed a lot of saddle time. In fact, the last of their annual trips to John’s homeland, she’d spent the whole time walking mile and miles through Dublin’s rambling streets and urban parks. She had dreamed of getting back on her bike. This year, getting from Dublin to the west coast, where they’d not been in nearly twenty years, was something of a redemptive pilgrimage for her, each ride a rich reward for pain endured and time passed.

In Scotland, the lakes are lochs, the most famous of which is Loch Ness, with its deep, dark water and its monster. The Irish equivalent is a lough, and the west of the country, Galway and Connemara are marked by two massive inland lakes, Lough Corrib and Lough Mask.

This photo was taken from the road above Lough Corrib. Old stone walls cut the farm fields into grazeable portions for the local sheep.

This is the road down to Lough Mask. Rolling banks of gray clouds hint at the sudden and torrential rain that leave you feeling you earned whatever view the day afforded.

This is the grass-corrupted double track to Westport in Connemara during a brief spasm of sun. These roads all rise and fall like the country’s erratic heart beat.

Here is the dark and wet portion of the Westport loop, fluoro vests keeping the riders from disappearing into the slate gray day.

The Sheeffry Mountains (the Irish translation is “Hills of the Wraith”) in County Mayo offer cyclists miles of these rough, narrow roads. This shot, taken in Sheeffry Pass, captures the elemental nature of riding in Ireland.


This the road from Ross Errilly Friary in County Galway, a medieval Fransiscan outpost among the oldest and best preserved such structures in Ireland.