Seven Cycles Blog » Axiom SL

Axiom SL

The Places We Go

Friday, August 21st, 2015

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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

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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.