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Matt’s Maneha 250 – In Photos

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Last week we told the story of the inaugural Maneha 250. This week we bring you more from that event, because it was just that good.

If you were to call Matt O’Keefe, our erstwhile production manager and bike handling guru, a visual storyteller, he would likely guffaw in your face, because he’s modest, and at root, he just likes to take pictures. He’s also a hell of a bike rider, and so, when we received his trove of photos from the Maneha 250, we had to share them. Matt makes 250 miles of self-supported, off-road riding look as good as it gets. If these don’t make you want to ride your bike, then you don’t like to ride bikes.

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Matt (right) with Seven bike builder Brad Smith.

 

 

Going to the Woods

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

7050643843_401b3e8d9c_zWe’ve already talked about Going Up, Going Far and Going Fast.  Going to the Woods is another thing we like to do, riding the jeep tracks and trails that crisscross our New England forests. We design bikes to go there in a few different ways.

Two crucial variables for any woods-oriented bikes are traction and speed. How will we keep the wheels on the ground, and how fast do we want them to move? Suspension is an option with our classic NE hardtail mountain bikes, the Solas and 622M SLX. They’re built to be fast over chattery, heavily-rooted ground and to climb the short, steep pitches we find all over. The Ti chainstays on these bikes act as de facto suspension systems, effectively keep the rear tire planted on the ground and rolling forward. For dirt road bikes, we can narrow the tires and build around a rigid fork, which will speed things up on less technical terrain.

b9325f7471c811e19e4a12313813ffc0_7Another key question is, how much ground are we trying to cover? Are typical rides of approximately the same length, as with a cross country race bike, or do they vary wildly, with marathon trail sessions coming as often as possible. Those two bikes differ geometrically, one built for agility and speed, the other for comfort and stability. We can build them as traditional trail bikes, or with rack mounts for bike-packing. Geometries can get more relaxed or more aggressive.

We also send our Evergreens and Expats to the trees. The Evergreens are designed to tackle mixed-terrain, some road, some dirt. The Expats are touring bikes. As with the other types of bikes we design, finding the balance points is key to delivering the right bike. Going to the Woods can add as many or more different variables than the bikes we’ve discussed in previous pieces, so working through all the basic questions is integral to the process.

 

 

Seven at Syllamo’s Revenge

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Syllamo’s Revenge is a 50 mile mountain bike race that takes place annually in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas. 50 miles is a long way to go on a mountain bike, but it’s even longer (not technically, but certainly effort-wise) when you’re racing single-speed as our friends Hart and Boomer were. They were 1st and 2nd place in the single-speed division, left and center in the photo below. We built both their bikes with our friends at Outdoors, Inc in Memphis.

Hart’s picture and words below:

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Seven team, 

I just returned to Memphis from north central Arkansas having completed “Syllamo’s Revenge” for the 7th year in a row.  This was the first year on a Seven as I took delivery in December from the good folks at Outdoors, Inc. Joel worked with you guys to get me setup on the perfect rig, and keeps it running smoothly and reliably. The conditions were great and I finished 2nd overall and 1st single-speed feeling tired but not nearly as beat up as in previous years. I credit the Custom Ti frame for the difference. I am very pleased. This is my third race on the bike and I am happy to report the Seven has put me on the top of the podium in each of the three. 

 Thank you guys for an awesome bike!!!

 Picture attached. (I’m in the center. Boomer also rides a Seven and is standing to my right.)

 Warmest Regards,

 Hart

Robert’s Sola SL 007

Monday, April 13th, 2015

This is Robert’s new Sola SL 007, a mountain tandem perfect for the Hawaiian back roads and trails Robert wants to explore. The final build looks great.

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He says:

I finally got all the parts for my tandem and put it together on the weekend. Took it for it’s maiden voyage today on a short ride here in Maui. It is perfect. Thank you again. 

Now I can plan my next project…

Speak soon

Robert

On the Road – Daniel Sharp Goes Stampede Solo

Friday, March 20th, 2015

One of the nice things about Daniel Sharp’s photographs and prose is that they don’t over-glorify his exploits. He acknowledges his miscalculations, his struggles and his suffering. Because that’s what adventure is, right? The intersection of suffering and fun?

This time Dan is riding solo near his Oregon home. His photos and excerpts from his trip journal below:

At some point you realize that a good weather window is a gift and that if you’re going to go, you might just have to go solo. I see the solo as a step in my progression with bikepacking. I did a couple hard solo rides in Arizona recently. One of them just about broke me, but that’s a post for the near future. Doing it solo allows you to ride your own pace, to leave when you have an opening in your schedule.

From the Velodirt site:

“The route itself is not to be taken lightly.  Expect lots of dirt and gravel with over 9,000 ft of climbing and some real rough riding in sections.  There are well spaced services, but inconsistent cell service.  As with all rides out this way, watch the weather for high winds and extreme temperatures.”

The other great thing about this route is its proximity to Portland. The start of the route is just 95 miles down 84 to the Deschutes River Recreation Area, where you can leave your car.

I love this part of the state. I think my first exposure to the area was photographing the Rapha Continental Dufur ride back in 2009. I fell in love with the undulating wheat fields and picture-perfect farms. I love how open and dry it is compared to the dense forest of the Cascades. But starting that climb up Company Hollow you’re reminded that it’s going to be a long day through some of the most beautiful and lonely roads in Oregon. The road to Dufur is not easy on a loaded mountain bike. There is about 1300 feet climbing in 40 miles. I kept imagining how much easier it would be on a road or cross bike.