The Seven Ultimate Axiom Disc

This is the Seven Ultimate Axiom Disc, a project bike we developed as part of this season’s focus on technology, innovation, and leveraging the experience of building more than 30,000 custom bikes. For this particular project, the design goal was build the fastest, lightest, no-compromise road disc bike we could. As a result, this bike introduces a slew of new features that are available in our mainline products starting immediately.

Here is a quick look at just a few of those features:

One-Inch Fixed Chainstays  – Larger diameter tubes, with thinner tube walls, increase both bending and torsional stiffness by 32% over our 7/8″ stays. We hold the weight down by custom butting the tube stock in house. Read more here.

Asymmetric Fastback Dropouts – 75% stiffer than the most popular titanium thru-axle disc brake dropout on the market. These custom asymmetric  dropouts save 60 grams of weight over our conventional disc brake dropout system. Read more here.

3D Traction Seat Stays – With 3DT, we’ve been able to improve rear tire traction without reducing frame stiffness. We achieve these traction improvements through a combination of more aggressive bend profile, bending in multiple planes (3D), and a new tube butting process. What you get is a seat stay with a more dramatic shape that dissipates multi-directional force, and minimizes weight. Read more here.

Synergetic Chainstays – When you introduce asymmetry into a frame design, you have to restore balance. Our Synergetic Chainstays serve this function. Their unique design allows clearance for full-sized chainrings and 28c tires. They let us run a sub-41cm chainstay with a 160 mm disc rotor. Read more here.

Active Race Design Geometry – ARD geometry is a combination of race-specific elements that provide quick handling and telepathic transfer of rider input to your tire contact patches. We achieve this through a combination of frame geometry modifications including a compact wheelbase, short chainstays, high bottom bracket, steeper head tube angle, tighter front center, more compact front triangle for faster reaction time, improved front end torsional stiffness, and a bike that’s easier to throw around in a shoulder-to-shoulder pack of riders. Read more here.

All Out Speed Kit – Where Seven’s Active Race Design geometry option is a comprehensive set of geometric adjustments, the All Out Speed Kit modification is a set of design features that improve race performance and placing. Our most popular titanium AOS Kit includes our One-Inch Fixed Chainstays, an oversized down tube, a T47 bottom bracket, a Max Power Seat Post, Slipstream Di2 Internal Wiring, and a 44mm head tube. Read more here.

Direct Mount Derailleur Hanger – This is the industry’s first titanium direct mount hanger for Shimano rear derailleurs. About three times stiffer than a typical aluminum hanger, and tough as nails.​​​​​​​

Col’s Axiom SL

This is Col’s Axiom SL, delivered by our good friend Steve Hogg at Pedal Pushers in Australia:

Col wrote us this nice note:

Dear Seven Artisans,

I had dreamed about a Titanium Seven for years and was able to realise that dream late in 2017. I have now had sufficient time on the bike to fully appreciate it and love it more every time I climb aboard.

Aesthetically, it is the epitome of style – a bit industrial, a bit old school and cool as hell!

Dynamically, the ride is like nothing I have ridden before! It is deceptively quick, stiff enough to be responsive, yet comfortable. It handles like it is on rails and I have so much more confidence descending as a result.

I wanted to thank you for the bike, let you know how much joy it is bringing me and assure you that I will recommend your frames to anyone looking for something far better than the “run of the mill” carbon junk!!

Kindest Regards,

Col Smith

Metal Sculpture

We received this photo from our friend Giovanni, something of a cycling mystic and guru, who lives in Seattle, a frequent visitor at Cascade Bicycle Studio, with whom we’ve built hundreds of frames, including the Axiom SL in this photo.

It reminded us that Rob V, our own mystic and founder, was in art school studying metal sculpture when Merlin Metalworks plucked him from academia and turned him into a bike builder, designer, and visionary (don’t tell him we called him a visionary).

This is at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks between the lake and sound in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

Night and Day – Made to Fit vs. Built to Fit

Both these bikes belong to Kate. The top one was purchased second hand and made to fit through a series of what we might term “compromises.” You can see that extra spacers have been added under the stem, and the stem itself rises at a steep angle to achieve a handlebar position that works for Kate.

dsc_0001After riding the bike above for a few years, Kate decided to see what we could do for her with a new bike design. We took body measurements. We interviewed her to find out what she liked/didn’t like about her existing bike. We designed a frame that would support her ideal riding position while retaining proportionality, flexibility for future changes to her position AND delivering spot on handling.

Some of this is visible in the photo below of her new bike.

dsc_0002What you can’t see here is the tube set selection we made and how it differs from her original bike, which was stiffer in front and plusher in the rear than she wanted it to be. We reversed that combination by giving her increased drivetrain stiffness and a more comfortable front end. Because we can both select tube diameters and wall thicknesses, and then butt the tubing to give an even more specific comfort profile, we have a massive advantage over every other framebuilder working today.

The other thing you can’t see is the way this bike will handle. When we design a bike we aim to balance the rider evenly over the two wheels. This balance leads to greater comfort, but also to better handling. By designing the frame, via headtube angle and fork rake, to give a very specific relation between rider and ground, we can be sure that every bike we build handles exactly like the rider wants it to, which might be super stable or more twitchy and aggressive, but most of the time in the sweet spot right in between.

Kate’s original bike was a Seven, but it was second hand, i.e. not built for, so in almost every regard it was like any stock bike a rider might get. Those bikes can usually be made to fit by moving the saddle or the stem length, but not without compromising comfort, handling, and ultimately performance. That is why so many of our riders report a night-and-day difference between what they were riding and their new Seven.

By taking control of the frame’s geometry and materials, we are able to build a bike that fits, handles well, and feels good to ride all day. The secret is working forward from the rider, not backward from the bike.