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Archive for the ‘Axiom S’ Category

The Anatomy of a Race Bike

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Craig Gaulzetti axiom SL side - DSC_0006When our own Craig Gaulzetti built himself a new road bike, he knew just what he wanted. This is his Axiom SL race machine with oversized headtube/tapered fork, long stem (painted to match), short chainstays, 1″ in diameter, and an aggressive race geometry.

As a rule, we don’t pay much attention to the the professional cyclists competing at the ProTour level. We don’t believe what happens at that level is particularly relevant to even the most serious cycling enthusiast, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t love and build race bikes every single day. We build a lot of race bikes here at Seven.  To us, when built specifically for the individual, this type of bike is the most efficient, fun and amazing form of transportation on the road.  Our race bikes are built with none of the compromises inherent in large scale batch manufacturing. Our processes allow us to build a perfect bike for the intended rider each and every time.  We take into account over 100 distinct data points and call upon our collective experience of having designed and built over 30,000 custom bikes with every bike we build.

A race bike is, in many ways, the ultimate sporting good. With a moderate amount of fitness, anyone can ride it for hours without pain or discomfort. The skill set required to operate a racing bike is, despite what a lot of magazines might tell you, rather minimal. Crochet or SCUBA diving or tennis or skateboarding all require far greater diligence, coordination and skill. As a tool, it can bring the casual user fitness and fun or the professional victories and wealth.

In a world where even the best cyclists in the world are racing on machines designed first and foremost as commodities, we try to do more with our bikes. Each and every one is purpose-built for the needs and desires of the person who will ride it.



What Comes Around

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

The circle is a powerful symbol and a strong shape. Our friends at Circles Japan commissioned this paint scheme, dubbed, aptly enough,  “the circle,” for a run of road and cyclocross bikes we did with them. Shinya Tanaka, Circles’ owner and big-thinker, loves the idea of iterative learning and improvement, of putting back into his cycling community all the good things he takes out. We iterated this scheme in five different colourways for him.

There are a lot of great pictures of these bikes here. It is good to work with people you can call friends, people who can teach you about their cycling culture and reinforce what we all, as bike lovers, have in common. Watch this space for more collaborations with Circles and others in our extended circle of friends.

Images: Ryota Kemmochi

Packing a Travel Bike

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

We built an Axiom S with S&S couplers for Mark Slavonia with our friends at City Cycle in San Francisco. This was Mark’s third Seven, and he uses it for EVERYTHING, including a lot of travel riding. We’ve talked about packing travel bikes before, in terms of the features and benefits of the various cases, and we’ve reviewed some of the frame and component choices that make the most sense for travel bikes, but ultimately, your success and enjoyment of bike travel will come down to how easy it is for you to pack and unpack your bike.

Mark wrote up his own bike packing guide and shared it with us. He also weighs in on the merits of the various coupling systems and the cases available. It’s well worth a read.

He says, “My travel bike is  a Seven Axiom with optional S&S couplings.  It weighs 18 lbs, 2 oz. with a 60 cm frame.  The oversized titanium tubing and the stainless steel couplings make it pretty stiff overall, especially for a titanium bike.  I’d use this bike for any ride or race and I never feel compromised by it.”

Thanks to Mark for allowing us to share.

The Bikes of Summer

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Nick2013-11-01 08.53.34CampOutFreedomWigsCooper_AxiomSLBrassardForestTrailVaillancourtKarlShredTandem






























































































































































































































More as Sculpture – Leon’s Axiom S

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Seven_Mar-18-2014Last month, together with our good friends at Velosmith, we delivered an Axiom S to professional photographer Leon Ikler. And before Tony and Andrew at the shop could work their magic on the final build, Leon took the frame away to photograph in his studio.

Leon said, “My idea was to capture the form and detail of the frame more as sculpture then just a shot of the bike from the “drive side” and I’m pleased to share my vision with you.”

Here is some of Leon’s vision:





Dan F’s Pretty Metal Warship

Thursday, March 13th, 2014


“Pretty Metal Warship”

I have been on a quest for the perfect bicycle since 2005. I tried several. If the bike was not too stiff, it was too flexible. If it was comfortable it was heavy, and when it was light, it had twitchy handling. When the bikes handled well in the corners, they accelerated slowly, and those that were responsive to stomping on the pedals handled poorly on the descents.

I wanted it all. I wanted a geared bike with the option of running a single speed. I wanted a cyclocross race weapon that could keep up on a 60 mile group ride while giving me the stopping consistency of disc brakes. I wanted a bike that was light, stiff AND comfortable. I wanted a bike that no one else had.

DSC_0003After taking a detour through the years of carbon fiber-mania, eccentric bottom brackets and hefty 4130 steel bikes, I approached my pals at Team Active. I told Dutch and Mike of my vision for the perfect pedal machine, and they knew the only possible way to “have it all” would be a project with Seven Cycles.

This was not my first custom build. I had worked with redacted, redacted and redacted on other frames.  The difference and attention to detail was evident in the first steps of the process. The multi-page application and fit procedure covered everything from the length of the stem I rode last season to the distance between my clavicle and shoulder. Once my body measurements were taken, checked, and double-checked, Mike and I discussed my riding preferences as they related to the position on the bike. Flexibility, handling preferences and component selection were all considered. A couple of phone calls later and I was signing on the dotted line ready to start my custom build.

This is where my experience in custom frame building ends. My previous builds ended with the fit document, and 3 weeks later I had a fancy machine on my front porch.

DSC_0007The experience of Seven Cycles went beyond this traditional approach, and started with a phone conversation with Dan, their designer. This interview covered every bike I had ridden for the last 5 seasons, cyclocross course conditions in Michigan, tubing selection and ride quality. We talked about the advantages of an oversize head tube, pressfit bottom bracket and component selection options. Tire clearance, disc brake tab position, cable routing, frame angles and chain ring clearance were debated. We discussed the dropouts at length and compared the advantages of titanium over steel. The conversation put my mind at ease, and before seeing the frame, I knew it was going to be everything I was looking for.

A few days later I received the CAD sketches of my proposed frame design, along with tube length and angle measurements. Dan and I emailed back and forth, making some minor adjustments based on handling preferences, before settling on a final design that was tailored to my riding preferences and Seven Cycle’s meticulous fit methodology. The sketch was faxed to Mike at Team Active for another signature, and I was officially in the build “queue.”

The waiting was horrible. Even with the snow covered asphalt and bitterly cold temperatures, I still dreamt of riding my new bike. I had the build kit, headset and wheels staged on the work bench with all the necessary tools for the build. I googled images of similar Seven builds, and checked my build progress on the Seven site daily.

5 weeks and 3 days later the frame arrived. I was stuck home with a napping toddler when the call came, so Dutch at Team Active delivered it to my house so I could start the build. 1 x 10 SRAM drivetrain, Velocity USA hoops, Thomson cock pit, 3 New Belgium Fat Tire Ales and a Fizik saddle complimented the titanium finish nicely.

By biggest take away from working with Team Active and Seven Cycles was my role in the process. It was very much a team effort to to build a machine that exceeded my standards for performance, while maintaining an efficient and comfortable riding position.

- Dan F – Battle Creek, MI

Roxanne’s Axiom S

Thursday, December 12th, 2013


This is Roxanne’s Axiom S. We built it with one of our favorite fitters, Jess at Two Wheel Tango. Roxanne opted for custom blue decals to match her bar tape. We like it a lot. Now we’re just waiting for a warm winter day, so she can show it off to the world.

Roxanne says:

Waiting for a ride! Brutal cold here in MI! Thanks for all your help and excellent work by your staff! She’s a beauty!

Learning to Endure

Friday, May 24th, 2013

DSC_7436Endurance riding is not a new segment. From the early days of cycling, riders have sought to challenge themselves by covering distances previously unimagined. But as a category within the broader cycling industry, endurance is now flourishing in a way it never has with the advent of longer, challenge-style events both on-road and off. After spending years working on rando bikes of every stripe, we are now seeing these bikes consolidate around the common experience of riders who are taking on events like Dirty Kanza, the Almanzo 100 and D2R2.

Welding Zip Tie Guides for Hydraulic Brakes

Welding Zip Tie Guides for Hydraulic Brakes

The Seven-sponsored Ride Studio Cafe Endurance Team is made up of three riders who, collectively and in massive solo efforts, will clock more miles on their Sevens this year than most folks will manage in their cars. We are deeply fortunate to be able to work with John Bayley, David Wilcox and Matt Roy. This season they will tackle Dirty Kanza, the Green Mountain Double Century, the Rapha Gentleman’s Race, the Vermont 600, D2R2 and a 1200k brevet of their own design. And events aside, almost every weekend will see these guys spending whole days in the saddle, knocking out century after century, saving up their endurance for big, fast miles on their custom Sevens.

Over-sized Head Tube Fo Jon Bayley's Axiom SL

Over-sized Head Tube for John Bayley’s Axiom SL


We’ve built each of them a unique, custom, randonneuring bike suited to their personal style and approach to endurance cycling. Comfort and utility get more and more important as the miles pile into your legs and light wanes at the end of the day.

Endurance Team Captain Matt Roy, a Harvard trained immunologist, rides a 622 SLX, the most technically-advanced bike on the endurance circuit.  We’ve taken some cues from Mo Bruno Roy’s – last name not coincidental – cyclocross winning Mudhoney PRO.  Matt’s 622 is by far the lightest rando bike on gravel, while still boasting the lifetime durability Seven builds into every frame.

John Bayley values versatility. He is riding an Axiom SL that can run 650b or 700c wheels. His cabling is external for easy servicing and quick adaptation. We finished his bike this week, another speed build that went together in just three days from final design to full assembly thanks to a fair amount of overtime and a group of willing collaborators on the Seven shop floor.

Taillight Prototype

Taillight Prototype


David Wilcox is a quiet, powerful rider, the kind of guy who can ride all day and all night without the whisper of a complaint. His bike is the most simple of the three, an Axiom S with no frills other than hydraulic disc brakes.


As co-sponsors, SRAM has provided the team with their new Force 22 hydraulic groups for each frame. Clement Tires has signed on as well. Working with cutting edge products makes projects like this one even more fun for us.

The Seven Crew Knocking Out John's Axiom SL Rando Special

The Seven Crew Knocking Out John’s Axiom SL Rando Special


The Endurance Team sponsorship allows us to explore and experiment in a new and interesting way because these guys will tell us, in the space of one ride, what we might take months of research to learn on our own. Endurance riding pushes bikes to their limits and tests the effectiveness of different component integration strategies. The needs of the long-distance rider also push us to design and integrate practical solutions into each build, the details, big and small, that make all the difference between success and failure.


Melinda’s 650C Axiom S

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013


This is Melinda’s brand new 650c Axiom S. We built it in partnership with our friends at Podium Multisport in Atlanta. The challenge here was to find a good, balanced design and fit for Melinda, who is both diminutive in stature and aggressive in riding style. Working around a 650c wheel size, Podium gave us positionals to work from, and we came up with this bike, which seems to be just what Melinda was looking for…

She reports:

My first real ride didn’t occur until yesterday! We went about 53 miles, and I honestly didn’t know what to expect.  Here is my first impression: All the the ‘hot spots’ where I felt uncomfortable on my other bike were nonexistant..The pinch at the ankles, tweak in the knee, hip; ache in the back, etc….all gone.  It felt like I could be on the bike and actually relax my entire body.  Like sitting in a “stressless” chair (if you know what those are).

From a power perspective, on my old bike I always felt that I couldn’t pull up on the pedal stroke efficiently and I was correct!  I was missing about half my power in the stroke because I couldn’t get the pull.  On this bike I felt like I could utilize muscles and power that I never had access to.  Rather than feeling the crunch at mile 20 and hanging off the back and thinking I couldn’t possibly go another 30+miles, I stayed toward the front most of the time, was able to fly up the hills, and even had energy left over at the end of the ride.  It was beyond anything that I could have imagined!

Needless to say, I am pleased! I felt the road but not all of the bad things that come from the road like uncomfortable bumps, etc.  It absorbed those nicely.  It was incredibly responsive and ZIPPY! There is no better term for it!  I don’t think Alan is very happy though because I smoked him up the big hills and had to hold back to fetch his sorry ass at the end of the ride.  Oh well, can’t please them all!



Monday, June 4th, 2012

This is our new Serrano Green on an Axiom S headed for the shipping dock. This, and a number of other new stock colors, are available now for paint-loving customization. See the full spectrum here.