Seven Cycles Blog

The Overlooked Awesome, Part IV

March 5th, 2015 by Seven

Photo by Pamela Blaylock in Ireland.

The Overlooked Awesome is about all of the great things you can get out of a custom bike beyond the perfect fit. Check out installments I, II and III.

Part IV is about handling. There are a number of ways to affect the handling of a bike. Headtube angle, bottom bracket drop, fork rake, chainstay length, front center, they all interact to produce the bike’s handling characteristics, and we build bikes that span from agile and aggressive to stable and solid. This is a massive value for riders who can’t find a stock bike that handles the way they like. With a stock bike, all of the variables mentioned above are fixed. To change the handling, you only have a few options, like lengthening or shortening the stem. The result may be better handling, but that improvement doesn’t come without shifting your balance on the bike.

A bike handles best when the rider is balanced over the two wheels.

Because we can work from the frame materials up to the component choices, we can give you very specific handling characteristics. For example, our road bikes are spec’d with our own Seven 5E fork. The 5E is unique among high-performance forks. Designed by Seven completely from the ground up, it comes in rakes ranging for 36mm to 58mm—more than any other fork—to ensure optimum frame-fork integration and handling. Most stock bikes come with one fork option, which means you’re stuck with the handling the builder decided was good for you, not the handling you prefer.

Being able to descend confidently, corner authoritatively, or simply take your hand off the bars to adjust clothing, can make a huge difference to your ability to enjoy riding your bike. Beyond fit, this is just one more way a custom Seven can be a better choice.

 

Sam’s Flying Tiger Airheart

March 2nd, 2015 by Seven

Our friend Sam from Cycle Boutique Thailand wanted a fighter plane theme for his Airheart, so he asked our designers to come up with something special. After a few design iterations, we had something he was happy with. There are a LOT of cool details on this one, including some distressing, faux rust and rivet details on the metallic section. Check out the photos below.

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The Bicycle Story – Mike Flanigan

February 27th, 2015 by Seven

Rob Vandermark (left) and Mike Flanigan at Seven.

Seven has always been a sort of collective, a group of passionate cyclists and bike builders, very much in the New England tradition. Our founders came from Merlin Metalworks, but we’ve been fortunate to be able to bring in builders from the other local bastions of craft as well. We’ve given some young builders their start, and we are always, always dedicated to the idea that the more passion and experience we can get in the door, the better our bikes will be.

So we were particularly thrilled when Mike Flanigan (Fat City, IF, ANT) came aboard as a welder. Mike has been at this as long as we have and brings so much talent and experience with him.

He was interviewed recently by The Bicycle Story, and it’s a good read for anyone interested in custom bike building. Check it out here.

Sweet Eighteen

February 25th, 2015 by Seven

We were so busy building bikes (and shoveling snow) in January that we failed to remember that we turned 18. It was January of 1997 that saw Seven, in its first incarnation, 1000sf of machinery, desks, and bike builders all jumbled together, putting out the first all-custom frames from our original location in Topsfield.

Eighteen years later, 30,000+ frames, 17,000sf and a team of 30, we’re all grown up and still growing. Like so many milestones, you don’t see them coming. They creep up on you, you reflect on what they mean, and you move on. When we set out, we believed the world’s cyclists would respond to the idea of a fully-custom bike, built on a short timeline, but you can never see the future. It’s nice to be here now, and see it working out.

Mike’s Sola S 29er

February 24th, 2015 by Seven

We have recently found a good partner to work with in New Zealand, Mark Rose of Bespoke Cycles of Hamilton, which is pretty great, because riding bikes there is a unique pleasure we can recommend highly. Anyway, this is one of the first bikes we built for our Kiwi friends, Mike’s Sola S 29er.