RedSky – The Ultimate in Versatile Performance

Yesterday, we introduced Project RedSky. Today we want to look at this bike’s incredible versatility. To demonstrate, we offer photos of an eTap equipped RedSky wearing a wide range of tires.

With 23c tires, RedSky looks like any road bike. What you will notice, as we step up from 28c, to 32c, 33c, and finally to 30c studded, is that the bike always looks proportional, always looks purpose-built.

RedSky can very literally be your go-to fast, group ride bike, and also your winter time commuter (with 32c tires and fenders). You can ride mixed-terrain on it with an array of file treaded tires, or you can tour on it. It has hidden rack mounts at the dropouts.

We know a lot of our riders are hesitant to move to disc brakes, because they have already invested in quality rim brake wheels. RedSky solves this problem by giving those riders access to the same tires as they might run on a mixed-terrain or cyclocross bike.

Mavic 23c tireDSC_0006DSC_0012Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy 28c

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Clement X’Plor MSO 32c

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DSC_0012Rivendell Jack Brown 33cDSC_0023DSC_0030

Clement LAS 33c

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45 North Xerxes 30c studded

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Introducing Project RedSky

red-sky-axiom-sl-sideA red morning sky tells sailors that bad weather lies ahead. Project RedSky is our way of making all the bad weather days rideable, no, not just rideable, maximally rideable, lovable, to turn those rainy, snowy, off days into your favorite days to be out on the bike.

Here’s how we did it:

  • Lightweight:  A typical RedSky builds up at 1.5 to 2.0 lbs lighter than an equivalent disc brake bike.  The bike is the same weight as any lightweight road bike; the mid-reach brake calipers are only about 30 grams heavier than most lightweight short reach brakes.  The bike pictured tips the scales at 16.2 lbs with the MSO 32c tires; without pedals.
  • Tire Choices:  From a 23c road slick to a 35c knobby and everything in between, the RedSky is even more versatile than a true cyclocross bike.  On 33+ tires, clearance is limited, but tire option versatility will be appreciated in some riding conditions.  True tire clearance depends on measured tire width, rim width, and brake caliper choice.  Perhaps most importantly, the RedSky can also fit studded tires.
  • All Weather:  Designed to fit fenders with up to 32c tires.
  • High Performance:  This design sacrifices nothing compared to any performance road bike.  It’s fast, agile, and accelerates with the best of bikes.
  • Optimal Handling:  Seven’s 5E fork allows for matching the fork rake to the frame geometry so there’s no compromise to the bike’s front end handling.
  • Hidden Fender Mounts:  At dropouts and chainstay bridge.  The mounts are there when you want them, but hidden when you don’t.
  • Travel Bike:  Simple brake system makes for fast, easy, and lightweight bike travel.

red-sky-axiom-sl-down-seat-clusterOverall, the Redsky provides you most of the benefits of an Evergreen — a versatile mixed-terrain disc brake bike — while being as light as a pure performance road bike. Designed specifically for harsh environments, the RedSky loves the rain, sleet, and even snow and ice.  Boston sees an average of 80 rain days a year; why miss that many days of riding?

The RedSky will make everyday a riding day.

What defines RedSky is its versatility. No other rim brake bike offers the same breadth of tire choices, rack and fender options, lighting possibilities.  We’ll show you, in the coming days, just a few of the ways you can build your Seven RedSky.

The Drifters at the Maneha 250

Our own Brad Smith and Matt Masuzzo, bike builders, riders, all-around cool guys gave us the low down on a local event, the Maneha 250, that just celebrated its second running. Brad and Matt rode, as they often do, with their team The Drifters.

All words by Matty and photos by Brad below:

HsAzkvuCyJ9deaopZ33cXGLStDMOovfUWLd8WE2dYZgc9uAxqiuCIRG-8bz4p-elcyFRqg=w1627-h775When I first learned the details of the Maneha 250, it quickly made its way towards the top of my ride bucket list. It’s certainly a singular event, unlike anything I’ve ridden before. The concept is straightforward enough — 250 miles of mixed terrain riding over the course of two days with roughly 14,000 feet of climbing. However, the content and execution of the route planning is what really sets the Maneha apart and makes it so unique. It’s definitely a maximalist approach to riding, as our tires seemed to touch every possible type of surface within New England.

0m_1GuRRm105SLBdBTL56x_vdCe_F-g36KwREKk7PdhSizZ9IRjBn8lB5eQuetoomg_xqQ=w1627-h775We left our respective homes at a time of day normally reserved for third shift security guards. Around 30 riders met at the start location, Ride Studio Cafe to sign in, and following a quick breakfast and round of coffee, groups started slowly rolling out around the 6 a.m. Grand Depart.

After some compulsory group photos, our team of three followed suit. We began the day on a long stretch of familiar gravel that often serves as a pre-work dirt commute. The morning sun was out in full effect and seemed to backlight all of the newly formed foliage along the path. The first 30 miles or so was a twisty-turny mix of mostly suburban hobo trails, the type you forget are practically in your backyard and beg to be explored and connected with bits of quiet paved back roads. From there we headed into some more secluded singletrack that wound through several town forests. Just as we were almost out of gas from a punishing climb up a lengthy rock garden, we were met by the affable sag wagon driver Mark, who supplied us with mini cokes and a cornucopia of gels, bars, and homemade rice cakes.

TPFp0JvcvMN3SM9HwsFmE7SVpH3r-8qW2AKE3EShJ735pRHSfBdo2UGPirxM1yxUVrQr2Q=w1627-h775The sun was starting to beat down as we continued on towards the New Hampshire state line. As we crossed into Granite State (official home of the vanity license plate) the ride took on a completely different feel. Rough single and double track gave way to peaceful gravel farm roads and rail trails. We stopped at mile 90 for a bonk break, quickly recovered and set our sights on the Mayfair Farm where we would be camping and feasting. The last few miles of Day 1 were a blur of steep yet smooth dirt roads, screaming legs, and some helpful locals offering friendly encouragements like  “You’ll never make it up that hill!”

SQfSZG1gOp_VO9ve_FieFxDlFLr6gIUX68KVCEiwtvj8daiNF4ljQimCODJil9WFyuCvlw=w1627-h775Once camp was set up at the farm, everyone began helping themselves to an amazing spread of food and drinks. We all swapped stories from the day as riders continued to pull into camp after nightfall.  Following some obligatory s’mores and fireside beers, we zipped up our tents just as the first few drops of rain began to fall.

ooOGVQGRdOwBreE6dB4b1B5QF-DDsB4dFw_vPvmQuI3aBj0VEUVnNieGPYXgMbJShX7lgw=w1627-h775The next morning we awoke at dawn to get another early start and head back towards Boston. Day 2 promised to be an overall descent and there was rumor of a possible tailwind to provide a little extra help to get us home. We started on similar dirt roads to those that had been so taxing just 10 hours earlier. Unfortunately for us, they hadn’t flattened out overnight in spite of the steady rain. It was decidedly chillier than the previous morning, even more so when cruising down some of the long gravel descents as we made our way back into the great state of Massachusetts.

The majority of the second day rolled along much quicker than the first, even when we hit some bone-rattling singletrack in the northern portion of the state. Throughout the day we were met by the support van offering cold brew and snacks to keep us going. The rural landscape and vanity plates began to fade away as we entered the familiar exurbs of Boston where it seems an appreciation for the quirky charm of having a personalized slogan on your license plate is lost. 

eQ80jQTPhw3njcYYwaZrQjo0DwcdDN96iqBEO21qtKwat4EZIOLOF4vXPuixpRi6vRHZSA=w1627-h775By now I had figured out that any paved sections that promised a straight shot to our destination were off the table. The last leg of our journey was spent on overgrown MTB trails, a bike path or two, and a few wetland boardwalks for good measure.

Our team finished up the Maneha 250 in good spirits, a little beaten up but proud of the ground we had covered in under 48 hours. It was an incredible two days of riding on a route that epitomized what is quickly becoming a new standard of a truly memorable ride — the type that emphasizes ambitious mileage, less traffic, more dirt, great food, and somehow manages to be both physically exhausting and overwhelmingly fun at the same time. The Maneha 250 may be checked off the bucket list, but luckily it found a new home on the annual “essential rides” schedule.

The Drifters ride our Evergreen series of mixed-terrain bikes.

The B-Team

IMG_4156Don’t be fooled. The B-team is fast. They see themselves as a more casual alternative to the young guns going hell for leather, but each of them is fit and fast and formidable in their own right.

They are Matt, Jenny, Roger, Cris, and Dan, aka Dancing Roy.

Jenny says the team’s philosophy is to “take care of each other and ride steady on the roads, save your energy for the trails, be shark-like at stops, except when we opt for a sit down, waiter-serviced lunch.  By a waterfall.  Martinis optional.”

IMG_4089The team came together on last year’s Maneha 250.

Matt explains, “By chance we ended up riding together at last year’s Maneha and we became the “B-team.” We all knew each other and had individually ridden with each other at times, but never as a group. The 4 of us Cris, Roger, Dan and myself really just ride well together, have fun, support each other, and I feel that we all make each other better riders. Jenny rode with us at this year’s Wintertide Ride, and it was clear that she would be a great addition to the B-team. She may be the strongest of the group. She is super positive and never shows any weakness. Basically she raises us all to B+.”

IMG_20160515_194459Roger adds, “The B-Team formed by accident and was bonded by shared work and suffering. Finding a group of people who can ride well together is hard. Finding a group of people who inspire you is harder. Finding both of those things by chance during a long  hard ride is statistically hard to imagine. But there it is. That is how the B-Team formed.”

You won’t find many photos of Dan from the B-team’s adventure, because he broke his pelvis on a training ride with the rest of the crew. Not knowing how badly he was hurt, the team kept riding after his crash and visited a bar or two before it became clear he needed medical attention.

IMG_4141When you speak with them, what becomes clear right away is that the ability to put a brave, even humorous, face on the darkest moments is what makes them such a good team.

Cris backs that up, saying, “Regardless of how deep into a ride and tired we are, this team lights up when it hits the trails. Things get rad and fast and flow-y. And everyone seems to ride even better because no matter whose wheel you are following, it’s picking inspiring lines and going fast.  With Matt being our super ace in this respect.”IMG_20160515_193631At this year’s Maneha, Matt says, “A highlight for me was actually a low moment. I was suffering through some “dark miles” about midway on day one, wanting the group to ride ahead, and I would solo it in. The team was not having it, dragged me to lunch with sit down table service by a waterfall in some old mill town. It was just what I needed to get some gas again and finish with the group. It was a longer break than anyone but me wanted to sit, but it was 100% about getting us to the line together. On day two I found my legs and I hope that I re-paid the favor.”

IMG_4146It says something about the B-team that Dan, walking with a cane, followed them online, texting in for updates, and then met the others at the overnight stop for dinner and beers.

Roger says, “Bikes introduce you to the most amazing people and places.   That is my take on the B-Team.”

Brian’s 622 SLX

This is Brian’s new 622 SLX, built with our good friends at Get-a-Grip Cycles in Chicago. Brian was going for a very refined look, so he painted the 622’s carbon tubes Platinum to match the titanium lugs and added a Ti post and stem. The result is pretty stunning, we think. Some kind words from Brian also, below.Westphal622aWestphal622bDear Seven,

…………….it is EXTRORDINARY.  

It really is a work of art.

Thanks for putting up with me — I was stressed about dropping so much dough on a bike, but seeing the end product I have absolutely NO regrets.  

Looking forward to the inaugural ride tomorrow morning (I’m a bit giddy at the thought of it!).  So far I’ve just spun around the block to test the saddle and eTap which were also both amazing.

Anyway, enjoy the pics and let me know what you think.

All my best,

Brian