Joe Lindsey at Bicycling Magazine wanted to review a Seven, so we started the conversation with him the way we start the conversation with anyone interested in a Seven. What did he want this bike to be?
He filled out our Custom Kit. Our Performance Design team interviewed him. We generated specs, and he signed off on them. The same process we go through with everyone, even those not writing about one of our bikes for a major publication.
Together with Joe, we settled on an Axiom SL, our best selling bike and the flagship of the Seven fleet. We picked a tube set and went to work. In fact, the only thing special we did for this bike was the paint, a slick mix of polished Ti, matte black and high gloss white. When you’re going to be in a big magazine, you put on a clean shirt and tie, right?
Joe’s article, entitled “Rides Like a Dream – The Best American Hand-Built Bikes,” appeared in the November issue of Bicycling, on newsstands now.
Our quick synopsis: Joe liked his bike.
“The Axiom SL, Seven’s most traditional and versatile frame, is a study in the company’s philosophy: Fit and ride quality are paramount, while character and performance are almost infinitely malleable. A dream bike is not just a machine; it’s a deeply personal expression of a rider’s self, entrusted to master craftsmen to interpret and make real. We do not choose lightly whom to entrust with those dreams; with our test Axiom SL, as with thousands of frames before it, Seven has earned that trust.“
Can you send out a test bike for a magazine review and hope for higher praise? It is hard to explain just how gratifying it is to send one of our bikes to an expert, have him ride it, and immediately understand what we’re trying to do as a company.
Later in the piece, he wrote, “This bike proves that you don’t need carbon for performance…Though the bikes isn’t the lightest…it climbs as well as, or better than, bikes that weigh much less.”
Every material has its place in the bicycle. Carbon has it’s place. Titanium has it’s place. Steel has it’s place. No one material can be all things to all riders. Choosing the right material or materials for each rider is what we’re about. Obviously, we’ve been very successful with titanium. It’s what we’re known for, and it’s good to be known for something.
But far beyond the cycling shorthand of carbon vs. Ti or heavy bike vs. light bike are universal characteristics like fit, ride quality and performance. What we try to do with every bike we build is to consider what the rider wants. Rather than building bikes and telling riders they need them, we ask riders what they need and then build bikes to match. It’s an approach that makes sense to us.
And it’s an approach that tests well, even in a new shirt and tie, on the big stage, with an expert at the wheel.