American Custom Bicycles in Steel, Titanium and Ti/carbon mix

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Axiom SL

Fran’s Ti Axiom (16yrs later)

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

People send us pictures of their bikes. This is common. Usually it’s a month or two after they’ve picked it up from their shop. They’ve ridden it a bit, and they write in to tell us they love it. It’s nice.

Fran has taken a slightly unconventional approach to this sort of note, as you’ll see below. We actually delivered his Ti Axiom in 1999. IMAG0422Hello,

I’ve been meaning to write this for some time…years really.

My bike was built in the 2000/2001 time frame. I remember speaking to someone on the phone back when I ordered the bike and the comment I made was that I’m looking for the best all around bike that I’ll never need to replace. You guys delivered!

A bad knee is what got me on a bike and I hadn’t been riding long when I got my 7. I was in my late 30’s when I took delivery. As an adult I had been on 2 steel and 1 aluminum frames prior to the 7. I still remember taking it out on the road the first time and thinking OMG how is this possible…it’s just a bike! What a beast!

IMAG0428I used to ride a lot in those days. Whether taking a leisurely ride, a testosterone ride, climbing, a century(or more) or whatever the bike has always been a pleasure to pedal. I’d take it to my LBS and people would just stare. My wife would get sick of hearing me talk about the bike.

I’m now 53. Last time I had need to bring the bike to the LBS people still stared though more to comment on the “old technology”. After many surgeries the knee has interfered, or

I’ve allowed it to interfere, with many things including riding. I recently had a sunny weekend at the Cape and had the presence of mind to dust off the bike and take it with me. First ride in a very long while and all I could think was OMG how is this possible…it’s just a bike! It’s still a beast!

So again…thanks…you delivered.

Axiom s/n 5509I17 (still referred to by my wife as “The Mistress”)

The Places We Go

Friday, August 21st, 2015


Because we build our bikes one-at-time, for their riders, we don’t have to manage an inventory of anything other than raw materials. That allows us to build the bikes riders want instead of trying to guess what they want or trying to convince them to buy what we have already built.

The challenges our riders have been taking on this last year really bring home to us how the way we do things allows our customers to lead us forward, to take us where they want us to go.

Mike Bybee rode from Arizona to Canada on his Sola SL bike-packing rig. Brad rode across the US, from Oregon to Virginia on his Evergreen SL, set up for loaded randonneuring. We rode in Yorkshire and on the Isle of Man. Matt Roy and David Wilcox attempted a 1000km brevet in the worst heat wave the Pacific Northwest has seen in decades. Daniel Sharp rode the Oregon Outback. Seven was at the Mt.Evans Hill Climb, in the Pyrenees and at Dirty Kanza. Sevens have been ridden through the night, through two full centuries, around Lake Michigan, through Paris and over the Paris-Roubaix cobbles.

Sometimes we shake our heads in wonder at all of it. What ends up happening is that, as much as guide Seven riders through the process of designing their bike, they guide us through the world of cycling. They show us what is possible and change our own ideas about what a bike can be.

Image: Daniel Sharp

Seven in the Pyrenees

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

FullSizeRenderWith the Tour de France just over, now seems like a good time to share Steve’s photos of himself and his Seven Axiom SL on the Col du Sulour, the Portilhon and the Col du Tourmalet. We built this bike last year with our friends at Palo Alto Bicycles, and painted it in a classic panel scheme in Cueball White and Remedios Red.


Steve says:

Did the key climbs used by the Tour de France over the years on a 6 day ride in the PyreneesDid Col de Tourmalet ( and Col d’Aspin) on june 29 ( my 60th bday!)-which,  

Love my Seven


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!


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.