What is Performance?

We use the term a lot, and it’s one of those that lends itself to broad interpretation. Everyone reading it will project their own ideas onto it, and that’s a good thing. It suggests that no matter what you want from a new bike, we can deliver it.

The trick is figuring out what performance means for the individual rider before designing and building their bike. If you’re not careful,  you can get your head stuck in the bubble of bike industry media, marketing, and hype. In the bubble, everyone just wants to go faster, forever and always. And while it’s probably fair to say that almost no one who turns the pedals wants to go more slowly, that may not be why they’re getting a new bike.

What we hear from our riders runs a wide gamut, from comfort to endurance, from better handling to better features, from the ability to travel to greater versatility on-road and off. One person’s watts are another person’s panniers, or tire clearance, or root level versatility.

The good news for those of us who design bikes is that figuring out what the rider is really looking for, beyond speed, is also the process of designing, that is to say, in asking questions to discover our customer’s priorities, we are also collaborating with them to design their new bike.

 

New Dawns – 2019

The roll-top door at our shipping dock makes the same sound now it made in 1997. The electric motor makes a loud click and then there is a drone and rattle as the door’s wheels trundle up and down their tracks. It’s one of those familiar, even comforting sounds that attends daily business here at Seven.

And maybe opening doors just seem more poignantly symbolic on the first work day of a new year. The door rolls up, low winter sun streams in, bike parts, titanium tubing, and people follow. Late in the day, bikes go out.

The bike season is funny. By some loose consensus it starts October 1st and runs through the end of September. But in real life, there is nothing quite like the turn of a new year, right?

After 22 years of bike building talking about new dawns feels dramatic. What we can say for certain is that no year (or season) ever looks quite the way we think it will. Riders bring us new challenges. The industry churns up new technologies and trends, and the one constant is just the group of us, building bikes, which makes for a nice constancy and safe place to sit and ponder how we can best respond to all the ideas we’ll hear, how best to present all the ideas we’ll have.

We’re excited. The bicycle is still a miracle machine. It’s still fun to ride. And every day people call us up with great ideas for new bikes for themselves. We look into the near future and see a busy year of bike building.

TransAt Project Update – WE WIN!!!

They rolled out in the most perfect weather Ireland could offer, made it through a wild coastal storm that nearly blew them off their bikes, and finished in the middle of the night. We are super proud of Brad and Matt and what they’ve accomplished over the last week in Ireland. When you set out on a race/adventure like this one, you hope it all comes together, the training, the equipment, the performance, and it did.
Their winning team time was 7d16h19m over a total distance of 2251.6km.
We have already talked with a number of riders who have been following along and are interested in the special edition bikes we put together. The deadline to place a deposit for a TransAt bike was Monday, the 18th, but Brad and Matt’s big victory inspired us to extend it to the end of June.
These are incredible bikes for riders who want to take on any style of endurance event, from ultra-endurance races like the TransAt to local bikepacking and touring. It is the thoughtful details that make the ride. This win feels good for all of us here, not only because we’re happy for our friends, but also because it bears out our experience designing and building high-performance bikes for our distance-minded riders.

Seven Design Philosophy – Understanding Chainstays

Seven Cycles offers a variety of chainstay styles, each with their own unique features and benefits. Our most popular designs include our Inline stays and Chopped stays.

The popular perception is that chainstay length is one of the most important factors in bike design because stay length affects bike handling, acceleration, climbing ability, and descending stability. While it’s true that chainstay length has an important impact on all those aspects of a bike’s character, stay length is only one factor in more than 200 design parameters that go into developing an ideal bike.

Anytime we put too much emphasis on one design element at the sacrifice of others, the result is a sub-optimal riding experience.

Read THIS for a deep dive on Seven’s design philosophy for optimal chain stays.

The Four-Season Sola 2×2

Design Mission: Create the most capable four season bike possible. As cyclists we are keenly aware of the weather and the many challenges it presents. Any cyclist who lives in an area that experiences four true seasons, like our home here in Massachusetts, will want a bike capable of tackling whatever the weather throws at them.

After building about a dozen variants of a year-round bike, we packed all our experience and research into this one broad-use, high-capability bike.

For summer and fall, with 29er mountain tires, the bike is a fast and agile race-ready bike, setup for technical single-track and short, punchy climbs. In the winter and spring, with 27+ 3” tires, the bike can do anything and go anywhere, with or without studs, in snow, ice, mud, or frozen terrain.

See more photos and read all the details here.