The Connaught 600

First the photo, this one worth 2,000 words, we think.

Even without any context, we found ourselves wondering, if you could ride a bike there (where?) why would you ever ride anywhere else? If you’re looking for the spot, it’s at the Ceide Fields a Neolithic field system in Mayo, Ireland.

We met Noel, the rider, through our friends at Cyclefit in London. Noel is an accomplished audax rider from Ireland, and we painted his Axiom SL to match his favorite place to ride, as well as to honor Audax Ireland. The photo was taken during the Connaught 600, a 600k event by the organiser of the Wild Atlantic Way Randonee.

It’s Not Art. Unless It Is.

People sometimes say our bikes are art, and that they should be hung on a wall. We very much appreciate the sentiment, but emphatically disagree with the practice. Bikes are for riding, and we hope every one of our riders is out on the road or trail at every opportunity.

We met Kevin W at NAHBS last month, and his wife, after teasing him about how much he loves his bike, went one step further and turned his Seven into actual art. This seems, to us, like a solid compromise.

Mike Bybee’s Sights of the Southwest

It’s becoming something like a tradition, our friend Mike emails us about his new calendar, sends us a few, and then we spend the year daydreaming about riding the Southwest US where he rides, camera-in-tow, and gets up to some serious bikepacking.

Mike is a Seven rider, and he is always kind enough to include us (we’re June this year!). If you’re looking for something inspiring, pop over to his site, gaze at the vistas, and then go ride your bike.

 

The Six Day Race: The Story of Major Taylor

In 1899, Major Taylor, the first African-American sports star, was the sprint champion of the world. That’s only 36 short years after the Emancipation Proclamation, which makes what he did all the more remarkable. Luckily, through a series of books and videos, more riders are aware of the contribution Taylor made to our sport than only a few years back, when his story had drifted into the mists of time.

We are proud to share this short video with you, to highlight some of the inspiring riders keeping Taylor’s story alive and pushing it forward with their own contributions to cycling.

What is Performance?

We use the term a lot, and it’s one of those that lends itself to broad interpretation. Everyone reading it will project their own ideas onto it, and that’s a good thing. It suggests that no matter what you want from a new bike, we can deliver it.

The trick is figuring out what performance means for the individual rider before designing and building their bike. If you’re not careful,  you can get your head stuck in the bubble of bike industry media, marketing, and hype. In the bubble, everyone just wants to go faster, forever and always. And while it’s probably fair to say that almost no one who turns the pedals wants to go more slowly, that may not be why they’re getting a new bike.

What we hear from our riders runs a wide gamut, from comfort to endurance, from better handling to better features, from the ability to travel to greater versatility on-road and off. One person’s watts are another person’s panniers, or tire clearance, or root level versatility.

The good news for those of us who design bikes is that figuring out what the rider is really looking for, beyond speed, is also the process of designing, that is to say, in asking questions to discover our customer’s priorities, we are also collaborating with them to design their new bike.