It’s hot in the shop this time of year. Some days the air doesn’t move much and the heavy whir of fans makes the place sound like an aircraft hangar.
But late in the afternoon, as the sun slants toward the horizon, it floods in at the back windows and bathes the place in this beautiful light that overcomes the fluorescents. We call it magic hour.
It’s overwhelming, Spring in New England. The flood of riding possibilities that come with better weather leave you wondering what to do first, how much to do, which direction to ride. It’s like a starving person confronted with a Vegas buffet.
And in a minute, it’s summer. The riding becomes regular, more regimented. You know where you’re riding, when, and who you’ll ride with. You start to feel fit, maybe you even are. It’s hard to tell. Everyone else is getting fit, too.
Then the heat sets in. You pay more attention to your water bottles, spend more time, off the bike, making yourself drink water. If you set goals, you begin to know whether you achieved any of them, even if they only amount to riding more with friends.
Although it’s still warm here, the factory’s big tilting windows channeling in whatever air is available, we can feel the change to Fall coming. Conversations leave the road, turn to cyclocross, mixed-terrain, Fall mountain biking. Someone says the words “fat bike.”
If Spring is a beginning, then Fall is one, too. We start to dream about cool temperatures, wondering how much faster and farther we might go. There is an urgency, too, in Fall. Winter is coming. We will ride straight through it, but certain places and certain ways of riding will be less possible. Fall is the time to cram in the good stuff, the things we missed during the Summer’s high heat.
This is Steve’s Sola SL, spec’d and delivered by our buddy Chris at Robinson Wheel Works in San Leandro, CA. Steve has already, evidently, taken it where it’s supposed to go. His kind words below…
I finally picked up my Seven.
Thanks for helping walk me through getting my Sola SL. You guys are awesome. Chris at RWW is truly the King.
I can only summarize in two words. Bad ass.
It fits perfect and the ride is … What can I say. Perfect.
This is Mac’s bike after a recent refit and refurb. This one belonged originally to his father-in-law, but we’ll let you read it in Mac’s words below. Suffice it to say, we’re really happy to be a small part of this story.Hi Seven,
Wanted to share the end product of my “restomod” Seven build with the new decals you guys sent – pics attached. My father in law gave me his beloved Seven when he passed away from cancer in January. It was his most prized possession with somewhere in the 15-20k range on it. The only thing I saved was the frame and did my dream build from there, Super Record 11 Mid-Compact, Enve Bars & Wheels, Serotta F3 fork painted to match, Etc.
I rode it on the Prouty Century benefit ride in his honor a few weeks back. I’ve never owned anything with more meaning and function than this bike and I wanted to thank you guys for building it.
One of the great gifts we receive, as bike builders, is riders who come to us with an open mind and an interest in collaborating on the design of a new bike. We try not to be in the business of telling people what they want. Better bikes come from listening.
This is a challenge. We’ve been at this nearly 20 years, and while the accumulated experience of more than 30,000 builds is likely our greatest asset, there is still so much room for riders to teach us about what might make a bike great.
Open exchange like this creates buy-in on both sides, or all three sides, when you consider the bike shop who provides us with fitting and measurement data, with another set of eyes on the project. What we end up with is a bike that everyone is happy with, proud of even, because we built it together.