The Four-Season Sola 2×2

Design Mission: Create the most capable four season bike possible. As cyclists we are keenly aware of the weather and the many challenges it presents. Any cyclist who lives in an area that experiences four true seasons, like our home here in Massachusetts, will want a bike capable of tackling whatever the weather throws at them.

After building about a dozen variants of a year-round bike, we packed all our experience and research into this one broad-use, high-capability bike.

For summer and fall, with 29er mountain tires, the bike is a fast and agile race-ready bike, setup for technical single-track and short, punchy climbs. In the winter and spring, with 27+ 3” tires, the bike can do anything and go anywhere, with or without studs, in snow, ice, mud, or frozen terrain.

See more photos and read all the details here.


Patrick’s Sola 27.5

We received this great photo from Patrick in Tennessee. It’s his Sola 27.5 in Swimming Pool Blue with Red decals on the Ridgeline trail in the DuPont State Forest just outside of Brevard, North Carolina.Seven still Protune 4

He says:

I love my bike! It’s the best handling bike I’ve ever ridden. I’ve had it for a little over a year now and can’t say enough good things about it! So much fun!!!

I hope you and the rest of the crew are doing well and having a great summer!

Take care,


Introducing Treeline

Treeline SL towardsWRIt is tempting to say we have a fat bike. Riders have been asking us for one for a few seasons now. But, what we have instead is Treeline, not just a fat bike but an all-season mountain bike with the ability to run super wide tires like most fat bikes, but also the adaptability to be a 27.5+ war horse or a long haul bikepacking rig.

Treeline can be a flat bar bike or a drop bar bike. It can run suspended or rigid. It can take racks. It can be built fully thru-axle or with QR front and rear. In short, Treeline is a fat bike worthy of being a Seven, capable of fulfilling all your winter dreams without being a just a one-season luxury.

The Treeline S is built with our Integrity™ straight-gauge tubing, ultra durable. The Treeline SL, built for long-distance comfort, features our Argen™ double-butted tubing.


My Hillary Step

At the end of the parking lot, past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park soccer fields and beyond the gate, a narrow dirt path divides in two.  One goes right, around the hill, and through a grassy field before disappearing from view.  Locals prefer starting the ride on the trail to the left.  A short steep ascent of the ridge takes you to the best trails in the quickest fashion.  This particular trail is rocky, but passable for experienced riders, at least until the very top.  If there was a Hillary Step at the Tyler Mill Recreation Area, this would surely be it.

The crux is narrow, and no more than a short patch of trail, but it features exposed roots and bedrock shiny from years of use, that refuse to give tires any purchase.  The approach is steep already, but this section is perfectly vertical and requires the front wheel to be lifted up and over.  A single tree on the left won’t allow for more than one bike through at a time, but does provide something to hold onto should you veer too far left, and over the edge.  Above the trail is too wooded to offer an alternative route.  There is no line to choose, no new approach, you either have what it takes that day or you don’t.

Adding to the difficulty is the complete lack of rhythm and increased heart rate that comes from starting off a ride with an immediate, technical climb.  Of course, this is all just background noise and may not occur to you at that moment, but what does, is that everyone behind will be forced to walk up should you spin out, effectively plugging the trail.  The pressure is high.  Sometimes no one makes it.  The few that do are rewarded with a flawless trip to the summit, and a moment to bask in their own sweet glory, as they watch the rest struggle to achieve the same.  The only solace in getting caught behind the bottleneck is listening to the good-natured heckling of the poor soul who had to put a foot down, and knowing you won’t have to face the same shame.  Not this time at least.

I haven’t ridden at Tyler Mill since I lived at home many years ago, but that step has taunted me ever since.

This spring I plan to bring my bike back home, and give it another try.  I may not have the unabashed courage I had as a kid, but I will have a bike that fits perfectly and was designed to excel on the very trails I described to the design team, trails just like Tyler Mill.  I’ll have loads of new technology to help as well, but the biggest help of all, might be the twenty-year-old monkey on my back, prodding me all the way up.

Wish me luck.

Sola SL 140124


Getting Closer

Riding past horse pastures and state parks in and around Hamilton, MA, last weekend, I found myself daydreaming once more about riding off road. I chuckled to myself remembering the wise old proverb, “if all you have is a mountain bike, everything looks like a trail.”  Now I am finally understanding the truth of it.  In fact, ever since ordering a Sola SL, I have scoured the countryside for trails, parks, and recreation areas.  I stare at the woods and drift off, longing for the day I can roll through those very trees.

A few weekends ago, I was hiking the Ledge Hill Trail at Ravenswood Park.  High up on a rocky outcropping, the view of Gloucester Harbor, blanketed in winter colors, was Instagram worthy – but instead of taking a snapshot, I pulled out my phone to search “Ravenswood Mountain Biking.”  I had to know if bikes were allowed in the park.

What I learned was nothing short of incredible.  Not only were bikes allowed, but Ravenswood was just a small piece of about twenty-five thousand acres of parks, forests, and free trails in Massachusetts managed and maintained by the Trustees of Reservations.  Many of these parks welcome mountain biking, and just like that, my mountain biking schedule is set.

The timing couldn’t be working out any better, either.  Nearly every component for my new bike has arrived.  I’m only waiting on the wheels and brakes.  Once it’s built, Spring will be knocking on the door.  My restless legs bounce just thinking about it.

Because no one in the office wants to hear me talk about it any more (two years of discussion prior to ordering will do that) and because I’m not done yet, I’ll spell out the details in this forum instead.

I have had a soft spot for the Sola SL, since 2004, so I didn’t think twice about the model choice.  I knew that a double-butted tube set would be beneficial for at least two reasons: my frame will be big, and I love the look of over-sized titanium tubes.  Without butting those tubes, my lanky build would take a beating during the course of a ride.  By thinning the tube walls down, I can have a bike that rides like a dream, and meets my oh-so-discerning aesthetic.

Choosing a wheel size ended up being simple as well. I have only ever ridden 26″ wheels, and I wanted to try one of the larger sizes, 27.5″ or 29″.  I knew either one would be fun and new, but beyond that, I couldn’t see any overwhelming  evidence to suggest one would be better for me than the other.  As luck would have it, the fork I wanted was only available in 27.5″ , so the decision was made.

The only real oddity with my bike, or maybe with me, is that I wanted a 150mm travel fork.  Surely a 150mm fork is overkill, especially for the relatively mellow riding I’ll use it for.  No downhill, no huge drops, and nothing that could be considered extreme to anyone other than my parents.  In fact, it will mostly be a cross country rig, with a huge fork.  I proposed the idea to the design team, and while they had questions at first, they started to see my vision, and designed a frame that will accommodate the extra travel without hindering its handling.  It is amazing what they can do once your measurements, component spec, and vision are in front of them.

Below is the drawing of my very own Sola SL. I think it’s going to be awesome.

Karl's Sola SL Cad Drawing

And yes, that is a ton of slope and post exposure, two more style requirements.