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.

 

The Seven TransAt in Bicycling Magazine

Last week a pair of Sevens showed up on Bicycling.com in a piece about the Trans Atlantic Way Race. It’s well worth a read just to find out more about riding along the Irish Coast, but there are also some good tips on riding fast over long distances, as well as some photos of a pair of handsome, purpose-built bikes.Here are some brief excerpts:

The race kicked off at 11:30 a.m. on June 7, 2018. Brad and Matt had 200 miles planned that day, and they expected to be riding until about midnight. Halfway through their first long day, they dined curbside on pizza after the first checkpoint. They ate as much as possible because food options would close well before their planned finish. Being vegetarians, pizza was frequently on the menu.

Along with avoiding the normal hazards of exhaustion, fatigue, and other standard issues with long days in the saddle, the duo had to adjust to riding on the left side of the road.

Read a bit more about our involvement in this epic race.

Outdoors, Inc & The Race Between the Bridges

Here’s a handsome crew. Our friends at Outdoors, Inc in Memphis sponsor a race team called Los Locos (pictured here with some of their Sevens), and this is a shot of them just after the Race Between the Bridges, a local gravel grinder. Seven rider Hart Robinson, second from right, made this year’s race podium. Outdoors, Inc. owners Joe and Carol-Lee Royer are in the middle.

Out of 100+ starters, only approx 38 finished the race due wet conditions with clay mud and gravel.

At the Coulee Challenge

Brad and Matt are at it again, this time taking on the 1200km Coulee Challenge in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We remixed their TransAt bikes for this new event. This ride differs from the TransAtlantic Way they took on last month in the quality of the road surfaces (thus the switch to 700c wheels) and the type of climbing they’re doing.

From the ride description:

Our RM 1200k route includes great roads and bike trails in Minnesota and Wisconsin with a focus on the challenging coulees of Southeast Minnesota and Southwest Wisconsin. The terrain will have some hilly sections, with multiple, occasionally steep, hills crossing ridge lines followed by pastoral valleys and quiet, bucolic roads. Along the way riders will enjoy passing through a number of small towns in the coulees and river towns on the Mississippi River.

A coulee is a deep ravine, one of the defining features of the terrain in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This is no flat, mid-Western romp,so we reconfigured Brad and Matt’s bikes for the occasion.

The Coulee Remix bike is a progressive gravel bike that features a number of innovations, special offers, and incentives. It’s also available for a very limited time. The Remix employs the SRAM Force 1 group set with mechanical shifting and hydraulic brakes, aiming for the lightest weight, simplest design, and purest performance.

Follow the Brad and Matt’s progress here.

Omar B at the Etape du Tour – Axiom SL

We had a nice note from Omar B, who has just been in France for the Etape du Tour, on his Axiom SL. This year’s route, based on Tour Stage 10, took the riders around Lake Annecy and packed in more than 4,000 meters of climbing. But, one thing we noticed in the photos Omar sent was the big smile on his face. Regardless of how fast you’re going (and he looks pretty fast), that’s the right look.

Omar said:

Just finished my first Etape du Tour ( de France) on 8 July on my Seven Axiom Sl. Bike did great. A big thanks for a great bike.