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The Sevens of D2R2

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

D2R2, the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee, is the sort of event that challenges a rider, not only to ride great distances and climb what seem like endless New England hills, but also to come up with a bike that will meet all its challenges for traction, comfort and speed. With up to 180km of mixed-terrain and as many as 10,000ft of vertical gain, this is no small challenge. Every year we love to look around and see the bikes, and it seems that each year we also see more Sevens.

We might be uniquely suited to building this style of bike. We saw Axiom road bikes modified to take wider tires (and a flat bar) like the one below. We saw Mudhoney CX race bikes, and we saw Evergreens aplenty, our purpose built mixed-terrain bikes.

Here are just a few of the Sevens we saw at D2R2.IMG_1050IMG_0996IMG_0999IMG_1007IMG_1004IMG_1061

The Places We Go

Friday, August 21st, 2015

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Because we build our bikes one-at-time, for their riders, we don’t have to manage an inventory of anything other than raw materials. That allows us to build the bikes riders want instead of trying to guess what they want or trying to convince them to buy what we have already built.

The challenges our riders have been taking on this last year really bring home to us how the way we do things allows our customers to lead us forward, to take us where they want us to go.

Mike Bybee rode from Arizona to Canada on his Sola SL bike-packing rig. Brad rode across the US, from Oregon to Virginia on his Evergreen SL, set up for loaded randonneuring. We rode in Yorkshire and on the Isle of Man. Matt Roy and David Wilcox attempted a 1000km brevet in the worst heat wave the Pacific Northwest has seen in decades. Daniel Sharp rode the Oregon Outback. Seven was at the Mt.Evans Hill Climb, in the Pyrenees and at Dirty Kanza. Sevens have been ridden through the night, through two full centuries, around Lake Michigan, through Paris and over the Paris-Roubaix cobbles.

Sometimes we shake our heads in wonder at all of it. What ends up happening is that, as much as guide Seven riders through the process of designing their bike, they guide us through the world of cycling. They show us what is possible and change our own ideas about what a bike can be.

Image: Daniel Sharp

Marc’s Axiom S Fixed Gear Road Bike

Monday, August 17th, 2015

IMG_6896This is Marc’s Axiom S. He wanted it dead simple. Track dropouts. Campy Pista crank. It’s not a track bike, but it has that seething-with-speed thing that track bikes have, while being set up for round-town road riding. Our friends at Velosmith did the build, and it definitely reflects their refined sense of what a bike should look like.

Alex’s 622 SLX and the Mt. Evans Hill Climb

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

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This is Alex and her new 622 SLX, which, as you can see, is made for climbing, right down to its Queen-of-the-Mountains paint scheme. All the titanium is painted Dianthus, one of our new colors for this season. We built it with Mark Brone at Brone’s Bike Shop in Fountain City, WI. We finished it just in time for Alex to take to Colorado for two weeks, culminating in the Mt. Evans Hill Climb. Here is her quick report from the trip:

Hi Seven,

I would just like to give you a feed back about my new bike.

We have returned from our trip to Colorado and the bike is amazing!

 I was curious how this “custom made” is going to turn out and if I was going to notice any difference in the fit/feel. I have several bikes that are all “fine”, so it had to be better than “fine” to stand out.

And it…did!! Amazing, how comfortable it is. Not just a smooth ride, but I have never had any aches or pains (with climbing I got used to a uncomfortable “straining” feel in my lower back). I thought that the strain/pressure in my lower back is simply “a deal” for me in climbing position, not avoidable.

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We first did the Independence Pass, then Loveland Pass (both from the harder sides, both about 12,000 ft elevation). A big surprise: I was not even thinking about any discomfort (other then the thin air…) and later on realized that I had no discomfort of any kind on that bike! Great!!

Our main event, at the end of the trip, was Bob Cook Road Bike race on Mt. Evans, to 14,140 ft elevation and about 7,000 ft of climbing in 28 miles. I was doubtful if I would make it to the top, but I did it! It took me 5 and a half hours (my husband did in 3hrs 22 min, riding conservatively as we did not know what to expect), but who cares? The weather was great (just luck), I felt perfectly fine going my relaxed tempo, so I kept going. It was an amazing feel to go through that finish line on over 14,000 ft height. Wow!!!

I am so happy that I was able to take my new bike on that trip. It would not be the same without it, so thank you for making the best effort at the end to make it happen!

Alex

Ken’s Evergreen SL

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

17758114924_a8a868661d_zThis is Ken’s Evergreen SL, another great build from Bob at Wheel Werks in Crystal Lake, IL. It’s hard to tell how well the bike came out, because Ken more or less immediately put it through hell (see his comment below), and he sent pictures with it still covered in mud from one of the more intense editions of the Dirty Kanza in recent memory. We love it.

Ken says:

The bike is great, couldn’t be happier. Two days after I picked it up I did a 300k and if performed perfectly in terms of fit and performance. Also did Dirty Kanza 200 a few weeks later, same thing (rider, not so good…19hrs, 59 minutes).

See more of Ken’s photos here.

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