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Melinda’s 650C Axiom S

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Greenfield

This is Melinda’s brand new 650c Axiom S. We built it in partnership with our friends at Podium Multisport in Atlanta. The challenge here was to find a good, balanced design and fit for Melinda, who is both diminutive in stature and aggressive in riding style. Working around a 650c wheel size, Podium gave us positionals to work from, and we came up with this bike, which seems to be just what Melinda was looking for…

She reports:

My first real ride didn’t occur until yesterday! We went about 53 miles, and I honestly didn’t know what to expect.  Here is my first impression: All the the ‘hot spots’ where I felt uncomfortable on my other bike were nonexistant..The pinch at the ankles, tweak in the knee, hip; ache in the back, etc….all gone.  It felt like I could be on the bike and actually relax my entire body.  Like sitting in a “stressless” chair (if you know what those are).

From a power perspective, on my old bike I always felt that I couldn’t pull up on the pedal stroke efficiently and I was correct!  I was missing about half my power in the stroke because I couldn’t get the pull.  On this bike I felt like I could utilize muscles and power that I never had access to.  Rather than feeling the crunch at mile 20 and hanging off the back and thinking I couldn’t possibly go another 30+miles, I stayed toward the front most of the time, was able to fly up the hills, and even had energy left over at the end of the ride.  It was beyond anything that I could have imagined!

Needless to say, I am pleased! I felt the road but not all of the bad things that come from the road like uncomfortable bumps, etc.  It absorbed those nicely.  It was incredibly responsive and ZIPPY! There is no better term for it!  I don’t think Alan is very happy though because I smoked him up the big hills and had to hold back to fetch his sorry ass at the end of the ride.  Oh well, can’t please them all!

 

Titanium/Carbon Mixes – The Best of Both Worlds

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

622-lugsIf you were to take a carbon fiber tube and wrap it against the wall, then hold your ear to it, there would be little if any sound emanating from the tube.  If you did the same test with metal, it would sing like a tuning fork.  The same holds true for frames, metal sings and carbon whispers.  These two qualities make for very different experiences on the road.  Carbon bikes, like our Diamas line, make pitted and potholed roads feel like you are pedaling over wall to wall carpeting; smooth, with very little feedback.  Metal bikes, like the Axiom, Resolute, Sola, and Mudhoney, on the other hand, provide constant feedback keeping you in tune with the surface of the road.  Once we start customizing and manipulating tube sets, we can alter how compliant or how stout the frames will be, but the material dictates how the road’s vibrations will be relayed to the rider.

There is a gap between whispering and singing, and to some, that’s where the perfect bike resides.  By adding carbon tubes to a titanium frame, or vice versa, we can fabricate a bike that hums, bridging the gap between the two materials.

tubingThe idea of a titanium frame paired with carbon seat stays for the intended purpose of soaking up road vibrations was a notion that Seven pioneered and first implemented with the Odonata back in 1997, and though there have been some updates and improvements the same basic model exists today, now known as the Elium SL.

The ride of a ti/carbon bike is so pleasant, that we offer them in road, cross, and mountain bike disciplines.

The Life Cycle – Abridged Version

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

IMAG1421Every few weeks a freight truck wends its way down our steep, angled driveway to drop off two or three of these long wooden boxes. They contain raw titanium tubing in 18 foot lengths, all different gauges. The process of loading the unwieldy boxes onto a four-wheeler and moving them past the shipping department, through paint and into the machining area, one at a time, is something like a tugboat pushing a long cargo barge up the narrow, jagged length of the Mississippi River. It takes a strong sense of spatial relations and a fair amount of experience.

 

 

P1000546

The boxes get unpacked and the various tubes sorted by size into these vertical bays. This is our vault. This is our wine cellar. This is where the process of building a new bike begins, Matt O’Keefe standing here in front of the stock, a customer’s order in his hands, selecting the assortment of tubes that will go into their new bike.

 

IMAG1073We cut down the lengths to size, before butting each tube to give a very specific ride feel and handling characteristic. Then we miter the ends to fit together just so, tolerances hovering somewhere near the thickness of a human hair, the raw tubing shedding material in small increments, becoming a bike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0007The modified tubes collect in small cardboard boxes, the frame builder working through a series of work cells, each with several mills or lathes in it, each set up for a very specific job, until the tubeset is complete. Then they get jigged up, so we can test the build against the frame drawing, refine any last details.

 

 

 

mudhoney-slEventually, you get one of these. There are, as you can imagine, some important intervening steps, but this is the abridged version of the story. Suffice it to say we weld, machine, finish, polish and decal, before we get to this point. Sometimes we paint.

 

 

 

IMAG1507What titanium doesn’t make it into the frame gets carefully collected in a barrel, building up over time into a strangely beautiful pile of titanium squiggles and spirals. The recycler comes by to pick these up and return them to the mill where the process starts all over, a closed loop of magic from which we extract custom bicycles.

The end.

Crafting Carbon

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

IMAG1565We have covered steel and titanium in recent posts. Now it’s time to talk carbon fiber.

Our approach to carbon fiber is fundamentally different than the one taken by most production bike builders, who focus primarily on the lightness and stiffness of carbon. While those are both positive characteristics of the material, we believe, in any rider-specific bike, they have to be balanced against the needs for the bike to fit properly, handle well and last a lifetime.

Though we are sometimes perceived as exclusively a Ti frame builder, we are working with carbon fiber every single day and have been for many years. We have, at this point, built thousands of custom carbon and Ti/carbon mix frames. Carbon fiber is a material we value highly for its aforementioned lightness and stiffness, but also for its natural vibration dampening characteristics. So whether we’re building an all carbon Diamas, or a mixed material machine like the 622 SLX, we always focus on why carbon belongs in the design, and then work to maximize its benefits.

There are two basic types of carbon tubing that we work with. One is round carbon tubes, like the ones we use in our Elium line, the 622 SLX and the Mudhoney PRO. These tubes are built to our specifications for diameter and wall thickness. By mixing and matching a wide array of round carbon tubes, and mating them to titanium lugs, we can tune the stiffness and handling characteristics of mixed material bikes in much the same way we do with our all Ti frames.

The other type of carbon tubing in heavy use at Seven is shaped. Just as we have an array of round carbon tubing, we also keep a significant selection of shaped tubes on hand for use in our A6 carbon line. While the outside diameter and appearance of the tubes remains constant from model to model, the wall thickness varies, altering the performance characteristics of each tube.  Cut, mitered, wrapped and bonded in house, our shaped A6 tubes give us complete customizability of fit, handling, and road feel (within the range of possibility for carbon).

 

 

Mike’s Dune Mudhoney

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Continuing with the recent cyclocross theme, here is Mike‘s Mudhoney fresh off a session on the Battle Road. We don’t normally post pictures of dirty bikes, but this one hides its dust pretty well, and anyway what is the point of a clean CX bike?

Graphite

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

One of our new stock colors, graphite, on a Resolute SLX headed to the shipping dock. Check out all our new paint colors here.

Seven’s Latest Cross Bike: Mo-Honey

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Photos Courtesy of Matt O'Keefe; Collage Courtesy of Matt Roy

We recently unveiled our latest cross bike – lovingly and tongue-in-cheekingly dubbed the “Mo-Honey”; stay tuned for the actual name.   Seven racer Mo Bruno Roy is currently testing the pre-production bike and providing feedback on ride characteristics.

This cross project came together out of three distinct and disparate projects.  Initially the venture started surreptitiously two years ago in part as a product of the Seven Cycles Collaborative.  The design also evolved from specific aspects of our Elium SLX line, and the project even includes some of the best elements of the A6 carbon frame platform.  We chose to create this bike because of our track record with the carbon tube design and ride performance on the Elium SLX, knowing we’d be able to make our lightest bike yet, while maintaining the durability for which Seven carbon frames are known.

As with the Elium line, the titanium lugs enable us to easily accommodate any frame geometry, tube size, ride characteristics, and frame options.  Mo’s cross frame is a testament to this – her bike includes many of the custom aspects and features available on any other Seven model.

Recently, this bike was accused of being our “most artistic frame” yet.  We definitely agree.  This new model is the lightest, most technically sophisticated, and visually stimulating frame we have in our line.

The frame price is $4,995; this includes full customization.  All the tubes are carbon except the chainstays and bottom brackets, which are titanium.

In addition to the cross bikes, first production road bikes will be available mid-November.  Contact us for more details.

Thanks to Matt Roy of MM Racing for putting together this photo collage the bike with photos by Seven’s Matt O’Keefe.

Keep your eyes out for Mo on the race course and other rides on some stealthy looking Seven road bikes.

Featured Product: Internal Cable Routing for Shimano Di2 Compatibility

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

For riders planning to take advantage of Shimano’s Di2 groupset, Seven Cycles offers an internal cable routing option on our frames.

Since the introduction of Di2, Seven has been building frames with standard cable routing that allows riders to use zip-ties to secure the Di2 cables. Now we offer the clean, protected look of internal routing on all road and cyclocross models.

These images show an Axiom SL frame with frame modifications for internal routing. The Internal Cable Routing option is available on new bike orders only, for an additional charge of $400.