Picked up Tuesday. Built Weds/Thurs. Ridden Saturday!!
Proper good. Def. not gravel, or road-plus, this is proper monster cross!! Very happy man!!
It’s a devil’s bargain, really. When you look at John Young, you notice his stature. He is a little person, born 50 years ago with dwarfism. This is, of course, only a very small part of who he is. A local teacher, and an avid triathlete, John came to the conclusion at some point that he would and could do bigger things with his life than anyone’s first glance at him might have suggested were possible. To us, the main thrust of John’s work and message is that he is an athlete first, a guy pushing his own boundaries before he thinks about inspiring other people to push theirs.
But that’s what he does. He has a lot of fans, both within the LP community and outside of it. This is the devil’s bargain part, wanting to move past people’s preconceived notions of himself to become just another athlete, and also recognize, that in doing so, he can be an inspiration for other little people.
How do you shake off one narrow definition of yourself and also allow that definition to stand, as an example for others?
The answer we get from observing John is that you just go about the work. You train. You prepare. You race. You take care of your end of the bargain, and then let other people draw what they will from it. Just doing it, if you’ll excuse the borrowed phrase, is how to answer those who would judge you AND to inspire those who have endured those same judgements.
He finished his first Ironman on October 1st of this year.
We were proud to build John a bike, but he was going to achieve what he has achieved whether we were involved or not. He did not need a custom bike. A custom bike just made him faster and more comfortable than he was going to be.
He is, after all, an athlete.
Images: 1) Mindy Randall 2) Brunswick/Schiffman
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.
After 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.
What 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.
A red morning sky tells sailors that bad weather lies ahead. Project RedSky is our way of making all the bad weather days rideable, no, not just rideable, maximally rideable, lovable, to turn those rainy, snowy, off days into your favorite days to be out on the bike.
Here’s how we did it:
Overall, the Redsky provides you most of the benefits of an Evergreen — a versatile mixed-terrain disc brake bike — while being as light as a pure performance road bike. Designed specifically for harsh environments, the RedSky loves the rain, sleet, and even snow and ice. Boston sees an average of 80 rain days a year; why miss that many days of riding?
The RedSky will make everyday a riding day.
What defines RedSky is its versatility. No other rim brake bike offers the same breadth of tire choices, rack and fender options, lighting possibilities. We’ll show you, in the coming days, just a few of the ways you can build your Seven RedSky.
We were fortunate to be featured in Chicago Magazine this last month, with a little help from our friends at Get-a-Grip Cycles. With a two-page spread of our (actually rider Shawn Briggs’) 622 SLX, the piece does a nice job of quickly dissecting what goes into a bike customized to the nines. Many potential riders can by put off by a price tag, without considering all the components that go into it, and the long term value you get from designing and building the right thing the first time.