Are women different?

In some ways, it’s a trick question. When you build bikes one-at-a-time for the person who will ride them, every one of them is different. But asking how women, as a general category of rider, are significantly different than men is a good way of understanding the particular value of a custom Seven.
Again generalizing, women vary more in body proportion than men do. A woman of average height will have an inseam measurement that falls in a much wider range than a man of average height. Reach varies wildly, too, and those are just two of the more critical ways we think about fitting a person on a bike. It is also true that the industry doesn’t make stock sizes small enough for a fairly large percentage of women.
In fact, most women who don’t conform to the averages (and there are more of them than there are of men) have never ridden a bike that BOTH fits well and handles well. To make a stock size bike fit well, radical adjustments may need to be made to stem length and/or saddle position, and the result is overwhelmingly a bike that is too twitchy, not much fun to ride.
At Seven we control the variables. Bottom bracket drop, head tube angle, fork rake, not to mention seat tube length, stem length, etc., it all feeds into what will be a great riding bike for a rider of any proportions.
Women are not different in the sense that they want to feel confident on the bike. For far too many, a stock bike won’t get them there, and their cycling experience will be compromised. We take great pride in being able to deliver exactly what they need, regardless of size, proportion, or preference.

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.