Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category
One stubborn visa is all that keeps Zand Martin from boarding a plane to Kazakhstan, the starting point of an amazing adventure. The wait will be over soon though, and in the anxious days leading up to the visa’s arrival, Zand has been hard at work. For starters, the trip’s website and Facebook page have been created, and are now live!
Zand might be an outdoorsman at heart, but he is a gifted writer and storyteller, too. When he visited us a few weeks ago, it was apparent that he was biting his tongue to prevent all of the stories from rushing out, perhaps to avoid keeping us there all day. I doubt we would have noticed the clock, however. His stories sound like folktales. One such story involved his inland kayak traverse of the United States a few years ago. He came to a point where he could paddle no further, so he bought a $30 bike on Craigslist, built a trailer, and pulled his kayak right through Yellowstone. I’m sure the buses of tourists took as many pictures of him and his rig as they did the buffaloes that day.
To help us grasp the scale of his latest trip, Zand unfolded all of his maps on out showroom floor. Laying them out, it was obvious he is a map guy (I wasn’t surprised to see this blog post a few days later). Some of the maps were what you could find on line, others were old Russian military maps and harder to acquire. While he was talking us through the route, his enthusiasm, and smile, began to gleam. If there weren’t bikes to make, we’d be on that trip with him.
Speaking of bikes, Zand has also been using his time to familiarize himself with his Expat S. His bike is outfitted with drop bars, bar con shifters, mechanical disc brakes, and due to the weight of his gear and the unknown terrain ahead, a triple chain ring. On his rack, he’ll be carrying a tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear, a change of clothes, skis, ski boots, an avalanche probe, and camera equipment. The goal is to carry no more than 35 pounds of gear and equipment. To see what all of this gear looks like, when spread out and organized over a time lapse video, click here.
And so, our excitement grows for “Circling the Golden Mountains.” As soon as the final visa arrives, Zand and his partner will be off, and we’ll be that much closer to our next folktale.
We recently built new Sola 650b SLX race bikes for Mike Broderick and Mary McConneloug and had them delivered to Germany where the pro mountain biking power couple are working their way around the World Cup circuit.
The frames turned out beautifully!
The care you all take with your work, the attention to detail and finesse is second to NONE! Rob – your design, is again, masterful! We know so many hands played a part in this project! Thank you guys for your artful work in planning, crafting and shipping these incredible frames to Mike and I over here in Europe!! Mike spent the majority of this past week carefully building the frames up at the SRAM headquarters in central Germany. Having access to a real shop (and not some outdoor RV camp spot) to build the bikes up was very much appreciated. Thanks to our awesome crew of supporting sponsors who helped with the various components – everything came together perfectly.
We feel so lucky to be backed by the best in the industry and we are honored to represent you all out in the field!
We got out on our first ride in the forests of Schweinfurt yesterday and instantly were both SMILING! The fit and balance of the frames are impeccable. My first impression of riding the 27.5 wheel size was the ease of acceleration. I could feel the relation of the pedal stroke efficiently translate my power to the smaller wheel size and it seemed easier overall to push and maintain a smooth cadence. The complete bike is also a little lighter and easier to maneuver through the tight turns of the trails…
We can hardly wait to RACE our new 27.5 Solas at the World Cup in Italy this weekend!!!
Thank you all again!!!
We are truly honored to represent Seven Cycles and ever grateful for your continued support of our team.
Mary and Mike
Our new brochure is done, and we are maybe a little too excited about it. We are bike builders after all, not marketing people. But once a year we take on the project of reinventing the company in print. It’s an odd job for us, but as a company we always take the approach, ‘if you need something, make it.’ So we sit down at our desks and we write about our bikes and about bike building. We take pictures. We lay it all out. We pour ourselves into the task and agonize over all the little design decisions, the same way we would with a new bike.
And then the printer delivers it to us on a pallet, in boxes of 50. Imagine if Santa drove a forklift.
This year we have taken a fairly radical departure from the brochure strategy of past years. Instead of taking pictures of all the different bikes we build and trying to write something brief but captivating about each one, we decided to step back and document how and why we do the things we do. Rather than showcasing the end of our work, the bikes themselves, we thought to highlight the beginnings of our work, the methods, reasons and inspirations behind every Seven. What we used to do in 30 pages, we have expanded to 60 pages this time out. It is substantial.
We have titled the new book “Love to Ride.” There were about 20 alternate titles, none of which felt big enough, but this one, “Love to Ride,” hung in the air while we thought it over, testing it against the task at hand, until we smiled and knew it was right.
At root, we build bikes because we love to ride. Every frame that leaves our shop is aimed directly at that love. We want to give every Seven rider a bike they love to ride. That is the method. That is the reason. That is the inspiration. Everything that comes after is detail.
For the complete list of contributors, visit our credits page.
You can order your copy here.
For good and obvious reasons, Seven Cycles has come to be associated with the bare titanium frame aesthetic. In the ‘90s, when we started building custom titanium frames for people, this was very much the current look. And even now, for many people, the classic look of hand-polished Ti is where bike style begins and ends. It has been a good look and a good association for us, even though it belies the depth of customization available from our paint team.
Today, we are painting approximately 30% of our customer frames, with schemes ranging from the standard paneled look to the exotic and unique.
As a custom builder–and painter–it can be very hard to have any control over your frame aesthetic and people’s perception of you. We paint what people ask us to paint. Much of that is influenced by the schemes we display on our website, but our customers’ influence bends and shapes our own ideas, so that the whole thing becomes a big collaboration, a good one.
The challenge is evolving the look of your bikes to make sure you’re always contemporary. To that end, we’ve replaced 10 of our 20 stock colors and have revised the paint gallery on our web site to display some of the more cutting edge work we’ve done over the last year.
The hope is that by giving our customers some new choices and infusing the process with more ideas, we can take the next step in the collaboration and, together, define the new look of Seven Cycles.
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.
Keep your eyes out for Mo on the race course and other rides on some stealthy looking Seven road bikes.
We just wrapped up a meeting about the upcoming cyclocross season with Matt Roy and Mo Bruno of MM Racing. Along with all the usual sponsorship work: race schedule, expectations, logistics, products, etc., we also began discussions about a new ‘cross project bike. Word got out about this new ‘cross bike design earlier this week at one of our team meetings; by accident we mentioned the project publicly. Oops.
The bike concept is something that’s been in the works since early this year; well, in fact, this project found its conception in one of the dead ends of the Seven Collaborative project – remember that – from a year ago. The bike design is finally coming to the prototype stage and we all agreed that Mo would be the perfect racer to ride and race the first pre-production bike.
Drifting across the kitchen table the sweet smell of chemicals tickled my nostrils, it was intoxicating and put me immediately at ease. I melted into the world before me; rich glossy colors swirled about, exquisite materials caressed my skin, luxurious accoutrements were at my beck and call. I floated higher and higher, looking down I saw myself basking in euphoria; feet up, lounging, laughing, warm, comfortable. So immensely comfortable.
That 1984 Dodge Caravan brochure opened my eyes to a beautiful new world. Not just a world of seven passenger seating, sliding doors, dome lights, and interior storage compartments but also graphic design, copy, brand image and identity, and marketing in general. By blending the right colors, pictures, and words, Dodge had put me in the middle row of seats without ever having seen the minivan in person. My dad also succumbed, and we were the first on the block to put a minivan in the garage. Beige, four on the floor, crank windows, and not a single head rest to be found, yep, we were living the good life. (more…)