The King and Us

We (and our customers) are in the very fortunate position of being able to choose what parts we put on our bikes, so it’s no surprise that we choose to work with companies who share our passion for quality, durability, and simplicity.

Chris King Precision Components has made bicycle components since 1976, focusing on those same principles. Like us, they take a ground up approach, engineering and manufacturing their own bearings, specifically for bicycles, right in their own factory.

Over the years, we’ve seen their headsets go from frame to frame. We’ve seen hubsets survive jarring crashes and seemingly intolerable conditions. These are parts that have carried their riders to   Tour de France podiums and World Championships in the dirt, but they also go on Sevens every day. We are proud to work with Chris King and put their headsets, bottom brackets and wheelsets on our bikes.

When you make good things for people, things that last, they reward you with loyalty. King has earned that sort of loyalty over their 40 years in the bike game. A touch of color pressed into a head tube or that distinctive angry bee hub sound lets you know you’re riding with a King devotee. It’s a loyalty born of those bedrock beliefs in value, quality, and performance, values we share and deliver with every bike.

A Night to Feel Lucky

It was a night to feel lucky. We worked late, in the city, talking bike building with a small group of interested cyclists over pizza and cooler full of cold drinks, one of those nights where the conversation just flows, bike people talking about bikes, none of us in any rush to be anywhere else.

When we finally packed up and left the sun still hung above the river, gauzy cloud muting it and giving it color. People ran and walked. Sailboats cut and darted on the water, and cyclists pedaled past in every direction.

Probably every night is a night to feel lucky, but last night, as we wound our way back down the river and out of the city, struck just the right note, the right scene, the right pace, the right temperature and distance, everything falling into place in just the right way.

The Numbers

As you can imagine, at a company whose name is Seven, numbers play an immeasurable part in everything we do. The name Seven, just to get this out of the way first, is a product of our desire to build bikes to be ridden on the seven continents, a lucky number, a prime number, and even as a word, a symmetrical combination of letters that looks good on a down tube.

The 622
The 622

Taking a step backwards to six, the first number in the name of our category defining 622 SLX, we find carbon, the sixth element in the periodic table. Carbon fiber is the defining element of the 622 line of bikes. It brings elemental lightness to those bikes. High frequency vibration, radiating up from the road or trail, disappear between the fibers.

Now jump forward to twenty-two in that same table, titanium, the metal that launched our bike building careers. Five times the strength of steel at the same weight, titanium moves with a rider like nothing else. It flexes and returns microscopically, soaking up the lower frequency jolts that push beyond carbon fibers range. Titanium smooths the ride, keeps your tires connected, spares your muscles. It won’t rust. It holds a shine like little else.

A Long History of Photo-Taking
A Long History of Photo-Taking

Nineteen is another prime number. Nineteen is the number of years Seven has been building and delivering bikes. Our second full decade is there on the horizon. And, with apologies, we are primed to do our best work. This year’s R&D effort will produce a slew of new products, new bikes, new forks, new frame components. We have already begun planning limited editions for our anniversary, already begun gathering the ideas that have been developing over those decades.

There are so many more numbers, too. Too many to call out, the lengths and angles of every rider-specific frame we’ve designed, more than 30,000 of them, the number of bike and component companies we’ve partnered with, the hundreds of bike builders we’ve been fortunate enough to train and learn from in return, and of course, all the riders, many of them with two, three and more bikes they asked us to build for them, maybe the most important number of all.

Open

One of the great gifts we receive, as bike builders, is riders who come to us with an open mind and an interest in collaborating on the design of a new bike. We try not to be in the business of telling people what they want. Better bikes come from listening.

12189841_956764771063013_411348361520900486_nThis is a challenge. We’ve been at this nearly 20 years, and while the accumulated experience of more than 30,000 builds is likely our greatest asset, there is still so much room for riders to teach us about what might make a bike great.

Open exchange like this creates buy-in on both sides, or all three sides, when you consider the bike shop who provides us with fitting and measurement data, with another set of eyes on the project. What we end up with is a bike that everyone is happy with, proud of even, because we built it together.

A Moment to Appreciate the Bicycle

Mainly, this blog is a means of promoting what we do. This probably goes without saying, but it’s good to own that also, because the Seven Cycles project isn’t only about promoting Seven Cycles. It’s about promoting cycling in general, about celebrating the bicycle.

Seven_headbadgeSo we wanted to take a moment to appreciate the bicycle, every bicycle, without referring to any of the specific bikes we make or the wonderful people who ride them.

The bicycle gives us freedom, fitness, adventure, transportation, a means of connecting to the world around us, to our friends and families. Its simplicity means it is accessible to almost anyone, anywhere, an elegant machine that amplifies effort, producing the most amazing results.

For us, it has provided a living for nearly two decades, not only in terms of income, but also in bringing us together for a common purpose. It has drawn us closer to the greater cycling community, helped us explore our creativity, given us a focus for our craft.

Bicycles are good, and it helps not to get so caught up in what we do that we lose sight of that.