The Seven Evergreen has definitely won us over, it borrows from the performance and passion behind their storied 622SLX titanium lugged carbon bikes and firmly plants itself at the top of the burgeoning gravel bike segment while looking ahead towards the future.
We are lucky. We know it. All day, every day, we work with people on bikes they will do amazing things with, and sometimes, as we found out recently, they’ll even write books about those things.
Longtime followers of this blog will possibly remember the Cycling Silk Project, undertaken by Kate Harris and Melissa Yule in 2011, when, in their own words they, “lurched off the European shore of Istanbul, Turkey with overburdened bikes and quaking legs. Just a few days ago, in late October, we pedaled into Leh, a small city barnacled onto the Himalayan mountains in northern India. In the months between, we consumed roughly 10,000 packs of instant noodles to fuel nearly 10,000 km of riding, polishing our souls on roads rough as pumice on this pilgrimage to the Silk Road’s wildest mountains and deserts.”
We got a copy of the book in the mail recently, and it was nice to walk back down memory lane and hear an expanded version of a story we followed closely as it was going on. We were enormously proud to build the bikes Kate and Mel rode, a pair of Expat S off-road touring machines. These bikes played into our thinking as we evolved designs of the early Evergreens, so they, and this project, were highly inspiring and influential for us.
The book is available now. We recommend it highly.
Well, that’s a mouthful, but it’s a bike with a LOT going on. The basic idea with this project was to build a massively versatile machine that can maximize performance across a range of ride types. The knock on some multi-purpose bikes is that they’re not great at any one thing. The 2×2 Scrambler aims to be great at many types of riding.
Here is what it’s for and how we optimize for each thing.
For this specific design project we optimized for these two distinct ride functions:
- A bike ideally suited for fast gravel and dirt road riding in hilly terrain (Sevenduro mode)
- A bike optimized for New England mixed terrain riding: sections of singletrack with equal sections of paved roads — and a bit of everything else thrown in (Scrambler mode)
These two bikes are very different in function, and therefore design. How do you get this to work? Beginning with tire choice and wheel diameter decisions, the optimal design produces a frame geometry that allows for versatile rider position, fine tuning for each type of riding.
With this Evergreen 2×2 we have two hot-swappable modes. The first configuration is a pure gravel riding setup for the 700c wheels, we call it the Sevenduro Mode — because it’s designed for endurance gravel rides. It’s lightweight and provides a perfect gravel balanced rider position.
For the second hot-swap configuration we’ve optimized for 650b riding. We’ve tagged it the Scrambler Mode — named after a type of bandit off-road motorcycle race. The Scrambler Mode has a flared drop bar for better trail handling, wider grip stance for more control, a shorter stem for slighter reach and improved body language control, and slightly higher front end to facilitate rolling over logs and other adventure obstacles.
There is a ton of new tech in this bike, features that make it a great travel bike, a worthy race bike, an all-weather commuter and adventure rig. Read more on the specifics here.
We build a lot of travel bikes. Increasingly, riders are realizing the value, not only of riding in far flung places, but in riding their own bike along to do it. BTC couplers and travel cases make this dream a much simpler reality than it might at first appear. We like to think about more than just getting the bike into the case though.
Part of the value of the way we build bikes, one-at-a-time, for the specific people who will ride them, is that we can be thoughtful about the whole bike and how it serves the larger goal.
With that in mind, and with a request from one of our readers, we thought we would break down, in detail the bike above, one of the bikes we brought with us on our most recent trip.
This bike is optimized for traveling just about anywhere in the world. The kit is chosen for easy service at any reasonable bike shop on the planet.
- Model: Evergreen SL
- Kit: A mix of Dura Ace and Ultegra. Ultegra rear derailleur so the rider could use a wider range cassette. Shimano because it’s the most popular and common kit on the planet so easiest to get replacement parts.
- Gearing: 11-32t cassette with 44/28t chainrings. 11-32t rather than a wider range cassette because it’s easy to replace while traveling if needed.
- Crank: Rene Herse. Why? We used this crank in order to get a lower gear ratio for steep technical climbing. Herse cranks use a classic tapered and threaded bottom bracket for easy service while traveling.
- Saddle bag: Revelate Viscacha
- Handlebar bag: Bedrock bags Tapeats Handlebar Bag. We like this because it has a waterproof closure at the top. Easy to access.
- Tires: Clement MOS 40c tires. With tubes. Tubeless is nice to ride, but presents serviceability issues when traveling.
- Wheels Pacenti rims with White Brothers hubs. Centerlock for traveling. Classic hook spokes for ease of service. 700c wheels because they are ubiquitous anywhere in the world. The bike also works with 27″ wheels — if you’re really in the boonies — and 650b or 27.5″ if needed for some reason.
- Brakes: Mechanical Shimano CX77. These work really well for mechanical discs (which are easier to set up and break down) and are very low service.
- Bar, stem, post: Seven parts. Aluminum and titanium, so they are as durable as possible.
- Pedals: XTR
- Saddle: Fizik Arione
- Lights: Light & Motion Urban 1000s. Easy to mount, easy to charge, light weight, multi-function, helmet mount and bar mount.