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Andrew’s – Axiom SL

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Bike ScotlandThis is Andrew and his new Axiom SL in Scotland. We designed it together with our friends at Signature Cycles in Manhattan. It features a subtle custom bead-blasted finish.

Andrew says:

S8jxrBUcHwzq09z0A3jc9mUOXufPUk8X96wOPFbiY7w,meW2t0wwje_EdYkiwlZSFl7V_RZS1GVPXSDOhHN6FhsMy Seven is one of the best purchases I have ever made.  The amazing fit and ride quality mean that — for the first time in my life — I can enjoy long rides without suffering from back pain.  And the process of building a bike with all the features I wanted was terrific fun; now I have a bike I can use for road rides, touring, and even commuting to work! I love this bike and look forward to many years riding it!

Thanks for all the diligent work on my bike — you guys are the best!

Andrew

Future Leap

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

axiom-s-frame-and-forkWe had an email from a rider currently in the process of getting a Seven. He had questions. A lot of them. And chief among his concerns was how we could possibly design a lifetime bike for a rider who would, himself, change over time.

These are legitimate concerns, and we put a lot of time and energy into exactly these challenges. People’s bodies do change over time, for better and for worse, so when we propose a design, that design has to be as durable as the frame materials we use. It all has to last a lifetime. So what do we do?

For us, all the variables are within our control. Head tube length and angle. Seat tube angle. Head tube extension. Unlike stock bikes, which have fixed geometries and only get adapted to a rider with spacers and saddle placement and stem length, we are starting from the rider’s perfect position, with everything centered over the wheels and no adjustments necessary. So, we start with that advantage. Once we arrive at that position, and our partner shops are good at finding it, we design so that the bars can go lower as you get fitter and/or higher as you get older and less flexible. Building in that flexibility isn’t difficult, as long as you are starting from the right point.

All of which brings us to the very idea of comfort. When it comes to your comfort, you are the expert. You either feel good or you don’t, and no fitter should tell you that you are in the correct position if it doesn’t feel correct to you. A first custom bike can be something of an epiphany. We realize that we have always been adapting to bikes, sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small ways, so we are used to being uncomfortable.

The first spin on a custom bike you think, “Oh, wow. Everything is in the right place.”

We can’t stress enough that your comfort is something you feel, not something a fitter or bike designer can prescribe. That’s why your time with a fitter will be so important. The fitting gives us that good starting point, and our personal interview with you provides us the context to understand how flexible our design needs to be. We have built 30,000+  frames this way with excellent results. We know it requires a leap of faith on your side, but we have the data to suggest it’s not as long a leap as it appears.

A Month with the Lake

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

We recently received this story from our friends at Velosmith. Two Seven riders, whose bikes we built just last year, are headed out for a month-long trip round Lake Michigan. See the story below:

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Ask Suzie LaBelle about her Seven and she will tell you about its geometry and handling. She understands how the weight of the bike and the material used affects her performance and feel of the ride. And she knows that it feels stable on climbs, descents, and around corners.

Sounds like a hardcore, performance-minded racer, right?

In this case, you’d be incorrect. You won’t find Suzie on the local race circuit. Rather, you’ll find her in the midst of a month-long, fully self-supported, 1,400-mile bike trip around Lake Michigan.

The Adventure

The trip around Lake Michigan began May 17 and will take 30 days in total: 25 days of riding and five rest days. Suzie and her riding partner Will – also a Seven rider – met through the Evanston Bicycle Club, a local group of cyclists who ride together several times a week.

They soon discovered they both had a taste for adventure, and started to plan this tour. It will be self-supported; both Sevens are equipped with racks and they will carry only what they need.

“Will is a stronger rider than I am so he gets to pull in the wind,” she says with a chuckle. In addition to their own personal items, they’ve compromised on who carries what on their bikes. “He gets to carry the tools and I carry the first aid kit.”
The Training

Suzie and Will are both in their 60s, but don’t let their age fool you. These are two strong and experienced riders, and preparing for the trip meant many hours in the saddle.

Their typical week consisted of a moderate ride of 40-50 miles on Tuesday, a hard 40 miles on Wednesday, a fast 50 miles on Friday, and about 60 miles on one or both days over the weekend.

“For me this is more than an athletic undertaking. This is a journey – a pilgrimage – and I want time to stop and see the sites around Lake Michigan.”

The Best (and Possible Worst)

Suzie did most of the route planning and is most looking forward to discovering what she calls the “reality under the maps.”

“I love making the routes, visualizing what it will be like. I look forward to being in that environment day after day. And when we get there, discovering hidden meadows, hills, and lakes that maps don’t always show. “

She’s most concerned about the weather, especially as they get up towards the Upper Peninsula – which can still include very cold temps and snow at this time of year.

“Through our club contacts, we’ve been able to line up emergency people along the way in case we encounter extreme weather or a mechanical issue we can’t resolve ourselves.”

 

For more, follow along on their blog, or read more in the Chicago Tribune.

 

Nick’s 622 SLX

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

This is Nick’s 622 SLX. We built it with our friends at the Red Bicycle Studio in Red Bank, NJ. Nick took our Lug Deluxe paint scheme and went a step further. We think it came out great, and the matching white and red pedals are a nice touch.

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There Are No Bikes

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

6941319752_b9cb75a4a6_zThere are no bikes, but only riders, more than 30,000 of them. They came to us and told us about their riding, the roads and trails they wanted to ride, and we gave them a way to get there. It’s true that, in some ways, it was the bikes that took them where they wanted to go, but without the riders, there was nothing.

This is an important distinction to make. We have never built a bike with the express purpose of convincing someone to buy it. We have only ever built the bikes that people asked us to build. The rider comes first, always.

We get somewhat regular calls from people who ask something like, “Hi, I wonder if you have a 56cm road bike in stock that I can just buy.” And we say, “Sorry, we don’t actually have any bikes in inventory,” which is true.

There are no bikes until there are riders who want them, and what they want is very specific. We wouldn’t build the same bike for you, because you are different. We have built more than 30,000 bikes, and never two the same in a row. It is a lot more fun to do it this way.