John’s Airheart

IMG_4588This is John and his Seven Airheart. We built this one with our friend Eric at Pleasant Hill Cyclery. John went with a simple matte black paint job over his steel frame, then built the bike out with wide range Shimano Ultegra cassette and a set of Rolf Prima Elan wheels.

He says:

IMG_4160Hi Seven,

I hope all is well with you… apologies for my delay, I built out my Airheart in March. Since then I’ve done a number of short to long, easy to tough rides and throughout the Airheart performed much better than originally anticipated. I cannot detect any difference in performance from having frame couplers and not. As far as where my Airheart fits in my ‘bike’ world… right between my Merckx and Parlee. I would have no issue if I my Airheart was my ‘only’ bike but I’m glad I have all three !!

IMG_9069I‘ve included a few pics of the final build and from my first [airline] trip to Maui and Haleakala Crater. Jeez, packing the Airheart was so much easier with the Rolf Prima wheels as the cassette, shaft and free-hub easily come off.

The total bike weight less water bottles and saddle bag is 18 LB., just a half pound heavier than my Merckx EMX-5 and 2 LB’s heavier than my Parlee Z5.

Many thanks to you and Seven Cycles !!



0 thoughts on “John’s Airheart

  • Why the reference to the wheel set? Would love to understand better the packability vs other wheel sets… ie one suitcase possible?

  • I mentioned the Rolf Prima’s since I couldn’t get my head around how best to pack my bike with the rear wheel free-body hub still attached. The front and rear wheels will have to lay on top of each other and if the hub is attached then you have to angle one or the other, I saw that as a problem. I use a Co-Motion soft travel case (26″x26″x10″) and everything goes into the case except my helmet and GoPro gear. I’ve read about travel cyclists opting for the 12″ wide case which would help with ‘packing’ but then you’re out of airline ‘size’ compliance.

    I’ve read about several bike ‘packing’ methods where some combination of the fork, rear derailleur or the crank is either removed or left on the frame. I didn’t like the idea of removing the rear derailleur or taking the fork out of the frame. So I looked at how the wheels interact in the case and concluded that removing the free-body hub and axle off the rear wheel would help. I then starting looking for a wheel build that allowed easy removal and came across Rolf Prima.

    My packing method: besides removing the saddle/seat-post, cages and wheels I remove the handle bars and front brake along with the crank. I lay the rear frame section in first with the rear derailleur in the ‘case’ bottom right corner. The rear wheel goes in next and then I wrap the handle bars into the rear wheel spokes. I lay the front half of the frame in next on the opposite side, fork against the case side and the top tube against the case bottom. The front wheel goes in last.

    The Rolf Prima wheels offer two advantages with ‘packing’. The first is easy removal of the free-body hub and axle, this makes the rear wheel thinner and allows both wheels to easily lay on top of each other (with the front half of the frame sandwiched in between). The second is the wide spoke layout of the wheels, this allows me to wrap the drop sections of the handle bars into the rear wheel spokes along with bike parts in soft plastic containers like the cassette, pedals, small tool bags, fanny pack (with spares), water bottles, bike clothes and my shoes as well.

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