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Archive for the ‘Axiom SL’ Category

Andrew’s – Axiom SL

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Bike ScotlandThis is Andrew and his new Axiom SL in Scotland. We designed it together with our friends at Signature Cycles in Manhattan. It features a subtle custom bead-blasted finish.

Andrew says:

S8jxrBUcHwzq09z0A3jc9mUOXufPUk8X96wOPFbiY7w,meW2t0wwje_EdYkiwlZSFl7V_RZS1GVPXSDOhHN6FhsMy Seven is one of the best purchases I have ever made.  The amazing fit and ride quality mean that — for the first time in my life — I can enjoy long rides without suffering from back pain.  And the process of building a bike with all the features I wanted was terrific fun; now I have a bike I can use for road rides, touring, and even commuting to work! I love this bike and look forward to many years riding it!

Thanks for all the diligent work on my bike — you guys are the best!

Andrew

Future Leap

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

axiom-s-frame-and-forkWe had an email from a rider currently in the process of getting a Seven. He had questions. A lot of them. And chief among his concerns was how we could possibly design a lifetime bike for a rider who would, himself, change over time.

These are legitimate concerns, and we put a lot of time and energy into exactly these challenges. People’s bodies do change over time, for better and for worse, so when we propose a design, that design has to be as durable as the frame materials we use. It all has to last a lifetime. So what do we do?

For us, all the variables are within our control. Head tube length and angle. Seat tube angle. Head tube extension. Unlike stock bikes, which have fixed geometries and only get adapted to a rider with spacers and saddle placement and stem length, we are starting from the rider’s perfect position, with everything centered over the wheels and no adjustments necessary. So, we start with that advantage. Once we arrive at that position, and our partner shops are good at finding it, we design so that the bars can go lower as you get fitter and/or higher as you get older and less flexible. Building in that flexibility isn’t difficult, as long as you are starting from the right point.

All of which brings us to the very idea of comfort. When it comes to your comfort, you are the expert. You either feel good or you don’t, and no fitter should tell you that you are in the correct position if it doesn’t feel correct to you. A first custom bike can be something of an epiphany. We realize that we have always been adapting to bikes, sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small ways, so we are used to being uncomfortable.

The first spin on a custom bike you think, “Oh, wow. Everything is in the right place.”

We can’t stress enough that your comfort is something you feel, not something a fitter or bike designer can prescribe. That’s why your time with a fitter will be so important. The fitting gives us that good starting point, and our personal interview with you provides us the context to understand how flexible our design needs to be. We have built 30,000+  frames this way with excellent results. We know it requires a leap of faith on your side, but we have the data to suggest it’s not as long a leap as it appears.

Going Fast

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Craig Gaulzetti axiom SL side - DSC_0006

In the last few weeks, we’ve talked about Going Up, the process of designing a climbing bike, and Going Far, the things that go into a long distance bike, which might be a century bike, a touring bike or might be a full-blown randonneuring machine. This week we turn our attention to race bikes.

The bike industry has traditionally worked backwards from race bikes to fill shop floors with race look-alikes for everyday riders who will never turn a crank in anger. What is good for the pros, so the logic goes, must be good for you, too, and for some very small number of non-pro riders, that could be true.

As with all our bikes, we start with the purpose of the bike and work forward. Going fast requires being able to sit in a comfortable, aerodynamic position, to be able to handle your bike in tight spaces, and to get good power transfer through the rear triangle.

As custom builders, getting to that perfect position is a given. We can replicate exact saddle and grip positions from a bike fitting. We can dial in handling by adjusting headtube angle and fork rake to produce the exact characteristics the rider wants. We can adjust the stiffness of the rear triangle by selecting specific diameter chainstays, up to and including the 1″ stays we call “race stays.”

Our 622 SLX rivals all of today’s carbon race machines for weight and stiffness, but it incorporates more road feel and better comfort than those bike through its unique combination of laser-cut titanium lugs and filament-wound carbon tubing. Our all-Ti Axioms make great criterium bikes for their ability to absorb the heavy impacts of racing on imperfect pavement and the way they come through the occasional crash.

The technology of race bikes evolves quickly, and adapting to new component standards can be a challenge, but with a custom bike these things can be considered during the design phase to leave you with as many upgrade options as possible.

The thing is, bikes aren’t fast. Riders are fast. The best way for the rider to Go Fast is to design a bike around them that fits them perfectly, handles the way they want it to and transfers as much of their power as possible.

 

 

Going Far

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Last week we talked about Going Up, the process of designing a climbing bike. This week we look at what goes into a long distance bike, which might be a century bike, a touring bike or might be a full-blown randonneuring machine. We build these on our Axiom platform or our Expat platform typically, but as with everything we do, it’s custom, so the features are more important than the model name.

four-season-expat-slThese sorts of bikes usually have comfort as their primary design goal. Performance remains important, so drivetrain stiffness is still desirable, but one of the keys to performing over long distances and after many, many hours in the saddle is comfort.

Comfort in this regard isn’t just about how the rider feels in the moment, but how fresh he or she can remain. Muscles that have not been pummeled by an overly stiff frame for eight hours are better able to sustain effort in the 9th and 10th hours of pedaling. There is the next day to consider as well. On multi-day tours, the need to wake up in the morning rested and recovered can be the difference between fun and misery.

randoNightTitanium is a particularly good material for long distance bikes, and our ability to refine this tubing for the individual rider means we can keep those riders fresh and comfortable according to their own preferences. The tube butting process consists of removing material along the length of the tube to make it strategically compliant. The more aggressively the tubes are butted, the more compliant the frame becomes, the better it soaks up chatter and impacts from the road. Steel also shares these properties, just at a slightly greater weight.

As with the climbing bike we discussed last week, there are a number of factors to balance, comfort and performance being the most obvious. Stability and handling are also critical to a good long distance bike, a more relaxed geometry, a longer wheelbase. You want to be able to ride hands free to rest hands and shoulders. You want good handling at low speed, even carrying a load, which brings us to features and options.

Touring bikes used to have cantilever brakes as a default, because they let you run a wider tire with a fender, but the advent of better medium reach fork/brake combinations and disc brakes have radically improved braking performance and given riders more options for bike set up. The touring triple has given way to the compact double crank, with wide range cassette to achieve the same gearing ratios. Rack and fender mounts are very popular on long distance bikes too, as are our custom racks, which can be built to fit the specific bags, panniers and lighting systems you want to run. Dyno hubs and front facing light mounts keep riders going into the night.

It is well-nigh impossible to get a great long-distance bike off the shelf. The unique attributes that keep a rider comfortable over long periods of time with the features and options and component choices that suit them make each of Seven’s “Go Far” bikes special.

Summer’s Options

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

It isn’t summer yet, just April’s end, but there are buds on the trees, the sun rises higher in the sky every day, and we can begin to see all the riding options summer will give us. Our New England trails are drying out. The sunrise is early enough to get out on the road on a Saturday before the cars have woken up. The options are nice to have, though they sometimes necessitate more than one bike.

Flat bars or drop? Skinny tires or fat? One seat or two? In summer, it almost doesn’t matter what you choose.

FreedomWigs

ForestTrail

Nick

KarlShred

Tandem