First the photo, this one worth 2,000 words, we think.
Even without any context, we found ourselves wondering, if you could ride a bike there (where?) why would you ever ride anywhere else? If you’re looking for the spot, it’s at the Ceide Fields a Neolithic field system in Mayo, Ireland.
We met Noel, the rider, through our friends at Cyclefit in London. Noel is an accomplished audax rider from Ireland, and we painted his Axiom SL to match his favorite place to ride, as well as to honor Audax Ireland. The photo was taken during the Connaught 600, a 600k event by the organiser of the Wild Atlantic Way Randonee.
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.
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.
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.
This is Col’s Axiom SL, delivered by our good friend Steve Hogg at Pedal Pushers in Australia:
Col wrote us this nice note:
Dear Seven Artisans,
I had dreamed about a Titanium Seven for years and was able to realise that dream late in 2017. I have now had sufficient time on the bike to fully appreciate it and love it more every time I climb aboard.
Aesthetically, it is the epitome of style – a bit industrial, a bit old school and cool as hell!
Dynamically, the ride is like nothing I have ridden before! It is deceptively quick, stiff enough to be responsive, yet comfortable. It handles like it is on rails and I have so much more confidence descending as a result.
I wanted to thank you for the bike, let you know how much joy it is bringing me and assure you that I will recommend your frames to anyone looking for something far better than the “run of the mill” carbon junk!!
Click the image to watch the video, via CNN.com.