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The Ever Changing Evergreen

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The Evergreen is a bit of a chameleon by nature, adapting and changing to best suit the terrain it’s tackling. Day or night, loaded or unloaded, technical or rolling, with a few pre-ride modifications the Evergreen can be perfectly suited to handle it all. Below is a photo essay that demonstrates how a few modifications can transform the bike from a road worthy rig, to a loaded expedition bike.

Exhibit A:

Model:  Seven Cycles Evergreen SL
Purpose:  Fast road rides.  Keep up with any pure road bike and still be able to roll in the woods
How:  Schwalbe One tires.  Full on road performance – and I’d still ride these on any mountain trail.

Evergreen Road

Exhibit B:

Model:  Seven Cycles Evergreen SL
Purpose:  Mostly paved conditions with some dirt road sections.
How:  Ruffy Tuffy 28c slick tire.  As an aside, this tire and the Roll-y Pol-y are some of our favorite off road tires.

Evergreen Paved and Dirt

Exhibit C:

Model:  Seven Cycles Evergreen SL
Purpose:  Fast wet or dry conditions in mixed terrain; more paved than dirt.  Cyclocross style; fast handling for tight terrain.  Works great with 45mm fenders for those fun wet rides.
How:  Clement MSO 32  knobby with center ridge

Evergreen Fast Wet

 

Exhibit D:

Model:  Seven Cycles Evergreen SL
Purpose:  Fast dry conditions in mixed terrain; equal parts paved and dirt
How:  Clement LAS 33c filetread tires

Evergreen Fast MixedExhibit E:

Model:  Seven Cycles Evergreen SL
Purpose:  Mixed terrain exploration; wet conditions; more dirt than paved
How:  Clement MSO 40c tires

Evergreen Mixed Explore

Exhibit F:

Model:  Seven Cycles Evergreen SL
Purpose:  Night riding mixed terrain exploration; wet conditions; more dirt than paved
How:  Son28 generator hub, Edelux II headlight, Clement MSO 40c tires

Evergreen Night Mixed

Exhibit G:

Model:  Seven Cycles Evergreen SL
Purpose:  All day – and night – riding in all conditions and all terrain; worldwide travel.
How:  BTC couplersPDX City fenders,  Revelate Viscacha saddle bag, Revelate Mountain Feedbag, Ortlieb Ultimate 6 handlebar bag, Son28 generator hub, Edelux II headlight, Clement MSO 40c tires

Evergreen Night and Day

This photo essay might make for a fun flip book.

David K’s Sola Pro

Monday, April 7th, 2014

We received an email over the weekend from David K, who gave us an early review of his new bike.

 

He writes, “So, the day came in my life (I am 41 years old) when I started to think about yet another new bike. I bought my first mountain bike in 1986 and have had roughly 15 different mountain bikes. With each new bike comes anticipation that certain things will be differently better than the last bike. Hopefully it will corner better, track better, downhill with more confidence, be a little bit better at each task than the last bike. Some bikes live up to the expectation better than others. I started to look online for my new dream bike. I decided I would go with a titanium hard tail 29er. I saw a lot of companies out there making high quality cycles. I researched and researched, and researched some more and then came across Seven. I remembered that there was a local dealer right by me. I never gave much thought to Seven. I didn’t know a thing about them. All I knew at this point is that they build custom bikes. I liked that idea a lot. I went to my dealer and upon further inspection realized that these guys really know what they are doing. I started reading review after review and decided I was going to do it.

 

 
It was a high price to pay but, not much more, and custom! I was on the fence because I had never bought a bike I hadn’t ridden. I had to take a massive leap of faith and just go for it.  I scheduled my fit and came back a few days later.  I was blown away with the amount of information that I provided about what kind of riding experience I was looking for in a bike.  The bike fit process was amazing as well. Measuring everything twice and checking angles over and over and then re tweaking and measuring again and checking comfort levels along the way.

 

 
Then, the 8 week wait started. I tried to keep it out of my mind. “It will be here when it gets here” I tell myself daily. I research parts and read up on past Seven customer’s reviews. I can’t wait. I felt like a 7 year old boy waiting for Santa to bring me my very first bike.  The bike shop called and it was finally here. I opened the box and then saw what was a true work of machined art. The bike was all I had hoped for. The attention to detail and craftsmanship was beautiful. I could hardly believe my eyes.

Kevitch

Then I rushed home and started the build. Once everything was finished, I dropped her out of the stand and took a look.  Everything looked right. I was afraid to get on just in case something wasn’t going to fit right. I threw a leg over and hopped on.  It felt RIGHT. It disappeared under me. It was part of me. I couldn’t dream of a better fit. Then I rode around the neighborhood to get everything dialed in.  The cornering was magical. I had read someone saying their Seven was “telepathic” and thought how right they were. I had never ridden a bike that felt like this. I couldn’t quit smiling. I knew I had found my soul mate.

 

 
Before I wrote a review or even gave Seven my feedback, I wanted to ride her for a month. So the rides started. Each one as enjoyable as the last. I didn’t want the rides to end. I wanted to keep ridding. I didn’t have any adjustment period or any need to dial in the bike. It was perfect from the first pedal stroke. I messed with stem height and ended right back where it was at the start, where my fitter said it was supposed to be. This “Sola pro” had many characteristics that I wasn’t used to. It sucked up bumps but was still stiff at the bb. It tracked absolutely straight as an arrow. It dampened the chatter beautifully. It downhilled like it was built to do just that. Never feeling sketchy or uneasy in the corners. Always feeling great and wanting more.  The ride quality that this bike has is unlike any other bike I have ever ridden.

 

 

 

If you can get your equipment to “disappear” from the experience, then it’s doing its job. If it disappears, then it’s working perfectly. If nothing is going wrong then you don’t notice the gear, what ever it may be.  This bike does just that.

 

Thanks Seven for making my biking dream a reality.

 

David K”

 

Thanks David, we’re happy to hear it!  Thanks also to the team at Millcreek Bicycles in Salt Lake for designing the bike.

Eilidh B’s Evergreen SLX

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Eilidh recently received her Evergreen SLX, and says, “I wanted to drop you a line as I can’t tell you how happy I am with my gorgeous new Evergreen. I have always loved to cycle but hurt my hip/back a couple of years ago and have never been able to cycle strongly or comfortably since. About a year ago I therefore started looking at custom bikes. In addition I am a keen mountain biker and like to cycle off road so cycling on the gravel roads around Boston is very appealing. Finally, I’m a materials scientist and appreciate careful engineering and materials selection

…. and that all came together in the absolutely amazing Seven Evergreen.”

Eilidh B Evergreen SLX

“The frame is a beautiful work of art, everything is just right from the shape of the geometry to little details such as the chain stays. It just gleamed when I bought it, although it is pretty dirty now after a few rides in our Carlisle MA slush, sand and muddy pot holes. It flies along and is stable and comfortable at the same time. I am sure it will be excellent off road when the snow and mud disappear. The best thing is the fit which is just right.”

Here’s to hoping that snow and mud will disappear!  Thanks to Eilidh for the great write up, and to Patria Lanfranchi at the Ride Studio Cafe for delivering such a cool bike.

 

Hardly an Update on Karl’s Sola SL

Friday, March 28th, 2014

The first bike I ever built was a Trek 800 mountain bike at Alpha-Lo Bicycles in Wallingford, CT when I was in 6th grade. I had applied to work at the bike shop weeks earlier, even though I had few skills in the realm of sales, merchandising, or mechanics, and yet they hired me anyway. Chalk it up to the sweetheart of an owner, and my obvious love for his store.

I worked on the weekends, and though I doubt I provided $20 of value, that’s what I was paid. Keeping the shop presentable was my number one priority, which sounds lame, but I couldn’t get enough of it. I took great pride in shifting the bikes to the big ring, pulling products to the front of the shelves, and vacuuming the floor. When the shop was clean, George, Aaron, and Matt all pitched in to help me learn the basics of bike mechanics.

The shop wasn’t enormous, but it felt like we hand an endless array of entry level mountain bikes to assemble. Building these bikes would become my second responsibility. At the time, I could operate a quick release and fix a flat, but that was the extent of my skills. I was a clean slate. The learning curve was steep, and I wasn’t the quickest learner, but the shop guys were incredible teachers, celebrating victories when I had them, and understanding when I failed. They’d gather round to inspect, coach, joke, mock, and help whenever I was stuck. They’d pull up stools and watch, or shout out advice from afar.

Life was good. What I learned at that shop wasn’t a mastery of bike mechanics, something I’m still searching for, but a love of the bike build and the fanfare that goes with it.

photo 3

At Seven Cycles, we have a bike stand and work shop just beyond our bike commuter lot. Low on bells and whistles, but high on character, it has all of the essential tools to transform a frame into a complete bike, a well worn work bench, recycling bins, a vice, shelves, rags, a drawer of miscellaneous parts, and stools. Whenever a bike is being built, whether it be a new bike for a magazine review, or someone’s old beat up commuter, people gather. Opinions are voiced, jokes cracked. The stools fill with spectators. Assistance is provided, wanted or not. Should the build happen after work, the crowd grows along with the laughter.

photo 1

The technology has changed, as have the tools, but the fanfare of a bike build today is no different than it was when I was a kid. I wouldn’t want it any other way, and I can’t think of a better place to build my new Sola.

 

Raymond Z’s 622 SLX

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Raymond says, “Greetings from Reno, NV!  My Seven 622 SLX is the best bike I have ever ridden! She climbs up the steep hills of Reno and Lake Tahoe and is snappy on flat roads.  Pictured is my Seven 622 SLX Ultegra Di2 in ‘Swimming Pool Blue’ decals and my Boston Terrier ‘Goliath.’”

622 SLX

Thanks to Raymond for the kind words, and to Paul Williams at Perfect Fit for making it happen!

Folktales

Friday, March 21st, 2014

One stubborn visa is all that keeps Zand Martin from boarding a plane to Kazakhstan, the starting point of an amazing adventure.  The wait will be over soon though, and in the anxious days leading up to the visa’s arrival, Zand has been hard at work.  For starters, the trip’s website and Facebook page have been created, and are now live!

Zand might be an outdoorsman at heart, but he is a gifted writer and storyteller, too.  When he visited us a few weeks ago, it was apparent that he was biting his tongue to prevent all of the stories from rushing out, perhaps to avoid keeping us there all day.  I doubt we would have noticed the clock, however. His stories sound like folktales.  One such story involved his inland kayak traverse of the United States a few years ago. He came to a point where he could paddle no further, so he bought a $30 bike on Craigslist, built a trailer, and pulled his kayak right through Yellowstone.  I’m sure the buses of tourists took as many pictures of him and his rig as they did the buffaloes that day.

photoTo help us grasp the scale of his latest trip, Zand unfolded all of his maps on out showroom floor.  Laying them out, it was obvious he is a map guy (I wasn’t surprised to see this blog post a few days later).  Some of the maps were what you could find on line, others were old Russian military maps and harder to acquire.  While he was talking us through the route, his enthusiasm, and smile, began to gleam.  If there weren’t bikes to make, we’d be on that trip with him.

Speaking of bikes, Zand has also been using his time to familiarize himself with his Expat S.  His bike is outfitted with drop bars, bar con shifters, mechanical disc brakes, and due to the weight of his gear and the unknown terrain ahead, a triple chain ring.  On his rack, he’ll be carrying a tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear,  a change of clothes, skis, ski boots, an avalanche probe, and camera equipment.  The goal is to carry no more than 35 pounds of gear and equipment.  To see what all of this gear looks like, when spread out and organized over a time lapse video, click here.

And so, our excitement grows for “Circling the Golden Mountains.”  As soon as the final visa arrives, Zand and his partner will be off, and we’ll be that much closer to our next folktale.

“Meet the Makers” at Landry’s Bicycles in Natick

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Our friends at Landry’s Bicycles are hosting a special one-night-only event at their Natick location entitled “Meet the Makers,” this Thursday, March 20th, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Two makers will be in attendance, our very own Rob Vandermark as well as Bob Parlee from Parlee Cycles.

Many topics will be covered, but Rob will spend some time sharing his thoughts on frame materials, and what makes titanium such a great choice for bicycles in particular.  Both Rob and Bob will discuss the bike business, their companies, their products, and take questions from those in attendance.

The event is open to all, so there is no excuse to miss it!  We look forward to seeing you there.

To the Altai Mountains

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

There was a time in my life when all I wanted to do was load up a massive set of panniers with a tent, sleeping bag, and camp stove then head out on a journey.  In high school I participated in a few loaded touring trips, and fell in love with the freedom, and was too youthful to care about the uphills.  In college, my miniscule, monthly work study check forced some down sizing in gear and equipment, so I exchanged the panniers for a backpack, and used school vacations as the perfect excuse to head out into the mountains.  Into Thin Air, the book, came out my sophomore year of college, and the Imax film Everest came out the year after that.  I was enthralled with the mountains, and the adventure.

Until I met Zand Martin, I had never heard of the Altai mountains.  An internet search provided me with their location, “where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan come together,” but while clicking through the images tab, I wondered what shape my backpack was in.  Zand Martin, the newest member of Team Seven Cycles, will be traveling to the Altai Mountain Range next week on a most incredible adventure that he and his partner are calling “Circling the Golden Mountains.”

Their goal is lofty, to circumnavigate the Altai using nothing but bikes and skis, all the while telling the story of the home of skiing, its people, and its landscape.  Zand described it to us, “At the northern edge of the vast endoheic basins of Central Asia rises the last of the great mountain complexes radiating northeast from the Indian subcontinent: the Altai, or ‘Golden Mountains’ in Altaysk. The Altai straddles the transboundary region where Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and Russia come together, and constitute a diverse 1600 kilometer long partially-­‐ glaciated range that reaches 15,000 feet. Skiing was invented in the Altai around 8000 BC, thousands of years before Scandinavia; thousands of years before that, the first dogs were domesticated in the range. Today, semi-­‐nomadic Tuvan and Kazakh herders cut and bend their own skis and attach caribou fur to them, even going so far as to race downhill and powder ski.”  While on the road they plan to conduct citizen-­‐science initiatives through ASC and support the work of WWF Mongolia, WWF Russia, and the IUCN-­‐WPCA Mountain Biome Network.

The route, a mere 4,000 kilometers, will be grueling.  Zand says they’ll be traveling light, but with skis, cold weather gear, and all of the necessities for a self supported trip strapped to their bikes, I can’t imagine “light” would be your first thought.

p2040617

We get to meet Zand in person tomorrow, and are pretty darn excited about it.  This trip is the latest in a long list of awe inspiring journeys (like the one shown above in the picture taken by Zand Martin) which you can learn more about here: http://zandmartin.com/, but will be posting about his trip as it unfolds.

Kate U’s Evergreen S

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
We received some nice feedback from Kate, who just took delivery of her Evergreen S.
She says, “I wanted to let you know that my frame made it to Portland and finally to me! I got to ride the bike this morning and it feels amazing (and it was wet and super windy here this morning, so I don’t actually feel like I gave it a proper chance to feel as amazing as it might…I was way glad to have the disc brakes and the generally better handling, though).
I’m attaching a picture of the bike all built up. This is in our backyard in Palo Alto – I’ll send some more exciting pictures after spring break, we’re planning to take it up to Bend to ride in the mountains.  I happen to be one of those nerdy people who names her bikes, too, so if it’s of any interest, the bike’s name is Orio (pronounced like the cookie), which is short for Orion.
Kate
Thanks so much for all your help!!! Please thank all the folks who worked on the bike for me, too. I got the frame card in the mail and it was so fun to see all the signatures.
Best,
Kate”
Thanks to Kate and the all star staff at River City who helped her out!

Rob Vandermark to present at the Seattle Bike Expo

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

 

expo header

The 26th annual Seattle Bike Expo is rolling through the Pacific Northwest this weekend, and bringing with it over 175 other vendors, a huge array of bikes, bike related art, and a few guest speakers. One of those guest speakers is our very own Rob Vandermark!  Rob will present an interactive session at 12:30 PM on Saturday March 1st :

“Customizing Beyond Fit”

This interactive session will break down the aspects of custom bike building that go beyond the geometry of the bike, explaining how deep personalization of the riding experience can have value for any and every rider. Understanding the bike in this way will help riders evaluate their riding needs more clearly and clarify priorities as they dream of their next bike.

We keep Rob pretty busy here at home, so this is a rare chance to get see him out in the wild. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello, or better yet, participate in the discussion!

Cascade Bicycle Studio, one of our top authorized Seven retailers, will have a booth decked out with a variety of Sevens and other not to be missed bike paraphernalia, be sure to check out their display as well.