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Editions of One: Project Pioneer

Friday, June 6th, 2014

What are the Editions of One?

The Seven Cycles’ Editions of One bikes are special projects aimed at pushing the bounds of our creativity and ability. Like every Seven, built for the person who will ride it, each is one of a kind. Each is meant to inspire. Each is meant to celebrate the craft of bike building and the freedom cycling affords us all.

We will release three Editions of One this year.  The first, built back in March was the Ever Changing Evergeen.  The second is currently underway, and will be completed in time for an adventurous ride this weekend.  We’re calling this second Edition of One, Project Pioneer.

Project Pioneer Design Details

Eugene Christophe was leading the 1913 Tour de France when his fork broke on the descent of the Tourmalet. Prohibited from accepting outside help, he hiked 10km to the village of Ste-Marie-de-Campan with his bike on his shoulder. Once there he repaired his own fork at the forge of Mssr. Lecomte and then continued on to the finish even though the entire field passed him while he toiled and the race was lost.

The Project Pioneer bike is a tribute not only to Christophe, but to the pioneer spirit of cycling’s early decades, to the self-sufficiency that cycling fosters and to the joy of building and riding your own bicycle.

Seven built this bike in collaboration with Rapha Performance Roadwear, the Rapha Continental Team and Ride Studio Cafe for the June 7th, 2014 Pioneers Ride, designed as a tribute to the pioneers of early cycling.  Details on the ride can be found here. All are welcome!

Design Details: Paying homage to the cycling era from 1900 through 1940.

  • Frame: Carbon tubing with titanium lugs and chain stays.
  • Tubular Truss:  harkens back to bikes of this period.
  • Derailleur:  Three-speed, designed and built from scratch, in house.  Inspired by the first derailleur ever allowed in the Tour de France, the Super Champion.
  • Chain tensioner:  Customized, in house.
  • Shift lever:  Modified in house for three-speed use.
  • Gearing: 42 front; 14-18-24t cluster.
  • Handlebar:  Wide flare drop bar.
  • Stem:  Adjustable – track style, built from scratch.
  • Wheels:  Rims and hubs painted to match frameset.
  • Skewers: Modified wing nuts.
  • Paint:  Logo designs and details based on the style of the era.  Gold leaf logos – real gold leaf.  Unpainted chainstay – reminiscent of chrome plating.

The Editions of One bikes are not for sale, but some design elements can be incorporated into our standard offerings.  Each of these special bikes will remain in the Seven Cycles factory show room at the conclusion of their intended usage.  For behind the scenes action of the creation of the bike, follow our Instagram feed, Twitter page or Tumblr.

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Ravi K’s 622 SLX

Monday, May 19th, 2014

RkhalsaThis is Ravi’s 622 SLX. We worked with Faster in Scottsdale, AZ on the design. This photo was taken on a particularly nice day in the Southwest.

Ravi wrote us this morning to say:

Still the best ride I’ve ever had.

Thanks, Ravi. Keep making us look good.

Seven in Flanders

Monday, April 14th, 2014

phil_cobblesThis is Phil Cavell from Cyclefit in London. Phil is on our 622 SLX on the cobbles in Flanders, and this picture was taken on a trip to Belgium in advance of this year’s Tour of Flanders.

Phil, and his partner Julian Wall, do the fits for all of Trek Factory Racing, the team of this year’s Flanders winner, Fabian Cancellara. So, safe to say Phil knows of what he speaks, when he’s speaking about bikes.

He wrote a review of his experience on this bike for the Cyclefit site.

Here are a couple choice quotes from that review:

“Look closely at the dropouts or welds, or brake-bridge. Rob Vandermark has made Seven his life’s work and project. It is his entry into The Great Ledger. This is not a product or model or something stamped out of a mould in China. It is a mission that he judges himself upon every day.”


“The ride is flawless and so it should be. Taut, responsive, nuanced and brimming with undertones of distinction.”

Find the rest here, and thanks Phil for bringing us along on your Flandrien escapade, for putting us through our paces, and also for making us look so good.



Raymond Z’s 622 SLX

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Raymond says, “Greetings from Reno, NV!  My Seven 622 SLX is the best bike I have ever ridden! She climbs up the steep hills of Reno and Lake Tahoe and is snappy on flat roads.  Pictured is my Seven 622 SLX Ultegra Di2 in ‘Swimming Pool Blue’ decals and my Boston Terrier ‘Goliath.’”

622 SLX

Thanks to Raymond for the kind words, and to Paul Williams at Perfect Fit for making it happen!

Adam K’s 622 SLX refresh

Friday, March 14th, 2014


We built this 622 SLX for our friend Adam at Get-a-Grip Cycles in Chicago last season, but he just gave it the fresh bar tape, fresh saddle treatment, so he sent us a picture. We love the Swimming Pool Blue he chose for the carbon tubing, and the Campy EPS build out turns it into something of a show bike. Fortunately, we know the Chicago winter is coming to a close, and we expect this one to leave the showroom and get back on the road shortly.

Crafting Carbon

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

IMAG1565We have covered steel and titanium in recent posts. Now it’s time to talk carbon fiber.

Our approach to carbon fiber is fundamentally different than the one taken by most production bike builders, who focus primarily on the lightness and stiffness of carbon. While those are both positive characteristics of the material, we believe, in any rider-specific bike, they have to be balanced against the needs for the bike to fit properly, handle well and last a lifetime.

Though we are sometimes perceived as exclusively a Ti frame builder, we are working with carbon fiber every single day and have been for many years. We have, at this point, built thousands of custom carbon and Ti/carbon mix frames. Carbon fiber is a material we value highly for its aforementioned lightness and stiffness, but also for its natural vibration dampening characteristics. So whether we’re building an all carbon Diamas, or a mixed material machine like the 622 SLX, we always focus on why carbon belongs in the design, and then work to maximize its benefits.

There are two basic types of carbon tubing that we work with. One is round carbon tubes, like the ones we use in our Elium line, the 622 SLX and the Mudhoney PRO. These tubes are built to our specifications for diameter and wall thickness. By mixing and matching a wide array of round carbon tubes, and mating them to titanium lugs, we can tune the stiffness and handling characteristics of mixed material bikes in much the same way we do with our all Ti frames.

The other type of carbon tubing in heavy use at Seven is shaped. Just as we have an array of round carbon tubing, we also keep a significant selection of shaped tubes on hand for use in our A6 carbon line. While the outside diameter and appearance of the tubes remains constant from model to model, the wall thickness varies, altering the performance characteristics of each tube.  Cut, mitered, wrapped and bonded in house, our shaped A6 tubes give us complete customizability of fit, handling, and road feel (within the range of possibility for carbon).



Video – Our 622 SLX as VIB (Very Important Bike)

Monday, February 25th, 2013

The UK’s Cycling Plus magazine, part of the Bike Radar group, recently featured our 622 SLX road bike in their recurring feature VIB (Very Important Bike), and part of the coverage included this slick video.

622 SLX – Red Decals

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Another 622 SLX headed for a frame box. This time with red decals. Is red really faster?

Close Encounters of the 622 Kind

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Bryan saw something in my expression and invited me over.

“Check it out!”

Clamped in his final machining stand was a yet to be finished, and very raw 622 SLX.  He popped it out and handed it over.  Until this morning I had not seen a 622 in the flesh, let alone held one.  I basked in its aura for a bit, maybe a little too long.

“Well?” he asked.

Still stunned by the frame’s lithe beauty, I had forgotten to pay a compliment to one of its craftsman and could only muster a fleeting thought.  Had I not been in a trance, I would have told him just what I was thinking,

Everything is different than I expected.  The lugs are miniscule and oh-so-shapely.  The matte finish looks appropriately industrial, but in the right light, the filament-wound fibers twinkle. 

My word!  They twinkle! 

Deceptively lightweight yet surprisingly beefy.  Elegance and power rolled into one.  Mamacita.

But in the heat of the moment, all I could say was, “it’s awesome.”

Sorry Bryan, I was awestruck.

-Karl B.

Axiom SL: Bicycling Magazine Dream Bike, Part Two

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Axiom SL

We talk about customization a lot, but the word itself means so many different things to so many different people it becomes sort of meaningless, another bike industry buzz word that flies around but seldom lands.  We thought it might be a good idea to explain how WE customize a bike using the Bicycling magazine test bike we built for Joe Lindsey as an example.

The truth is we didn’t want to send Joe an Axiom SL, initially.  When he got in touch with us we were just putting the finishing touches on the 622 SLX, and the opportunity to put our newest creation into a big magazine was exciting.

But Joe didn’t want a purpose-built speed demon.  He was more interested in versatility and timelessness, so we arrived, together, at the Axiom SL.  It’s light, but not the lightest.  It can race, or it can tour.  And it showcases our double-butting process, one of the ways we tune ride characteristics to the rider.

Joe filled out our Custom Kit, a small pamphlet we developed to capture all the ideas a rider has about his or her new bike, and also to learn some things the rider might not mention otherwise.  It starts with personal information, name, age, and weight, but also occupation and geographic location.  We ask about what people do, so that we can get a sense for their everyday ergonomics.  Do they sit at a desk all day or are they more active?  Clues like this tell us a lot about how a rider will approach their new bike.  Where they live gives us some idea about the roads they’ll ride, the hills or the flats, the quality of the surfaces.