The Sevenduro 2×2 Scrambler

Well, that’s a mouthful, but it’s a bike with a LOT going on. The basic idea with this project was to build a massively versatile machine that can maximize performance across a range of ride types. The knock on some multi-purpose bikes is that they’re not great at any one thing. The 2×2 Scrambler aims to be great at many types of riding.

Here is what it’s for and how we optimize for each thing.

For this specific design project we optimized for these two distinct ride functions:

  • A bike ideally suited for fast gravel and dirt road riding in hilly terrain (Sevenduro mode)
  • A bike optimized for New England mixed terrain riding: sections of singletrack with equal sections of paved roads — and a bit of everything else thrown in (Scrambler mode)

These two bikes are very different in function, and therefore design. How do you get this to work? Beginning with tire choice and wheel diameter decisions, the optimal design produces a frame geometry that allows for versatile rider position, fine tuning for each type of riding.

With this Evergreen 2×2 we have two hot-swappable modes. The first configuration is a pure gravel riding setup for the 700c wheels, we call it the Sevenduro Mode — because it’s designed for endurance gravel rides. It’s lightweight and provides a perfect gravel balanced rider position.

For the second hot-swap configuration we’ve optimized for 650b riding. We’ve tagged it the Scrambler Mode — named after a type of bandit off-road motorcycle race. The Scrambler Mode has a flared drop bar for better trail handling, wider grip stance for more control, a shorter stem for slighter reach and improved body language control, and slightly higher front end to facilitate rolling over logs and other adventure obstacles.

There is a ton of new tech in this bike, features that make it a great travel bike, a worthy race bike, an all-weather commuter and adventure rig. Read more on the specifics here.

From Benelux to Barcelona

On Saturdays and Sundays, through the winter, we watch the cyclocross racing from Europe. Flemish language commentary bounces off the shop walls as we go about our weekend rituals, cleaning and tuning bikes, and so, when we spied a (mostly) free week that lined up with the World Championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands, we packed our travel bikes and headed to the airport.

We flew into Belgium, the spiritual home of cyclocross, and drove east to Valkenburg.

Our original idea was to ride our bikes to the race, but there was so much mud it proved impossible. For two days we mixed with the oddly quiet crowd as the racers whipped by in their colors. A streaker sprinted down the course just before the men’s elite event, slipping, covering himself in mud, and bringing loud guffaws and cheers from the spectators. This wasn’t the R&D we had in mind, but we laughed along.

It snowed. It rained. It sleeted. But we didn’t mind.

On the Monday we rode the flat farmland outside the city, rolling through the open spaces on mostly car-free roads.

The next day we drove down through France, pausing for a quick ride in Lyon, before finding our hotel in Barcelona. There we did three rides, one an urban adventure, trying to find our way in the hectic, fever-pitch traffic of the city. We found the cycling infrastructure really impressive, but we struggled to keep up with Barcelona’s fast city riders. Still we fed off the energy and everyone we met was friendly and helpful.

The next day we put our tires on some dirt, riding portions of the Olympic mountain bike course, near the velodrome. The single-track was beautiful, swoopy, and fun on our Evergreens.

Later, we took a night ride up into the hills above the city, where we found wide mixed-use paths with stunning views. Beyond that we could see miles and miles of more technical dirt calling to us, but we were out of time. We’ll have to wait for another week, mostly free, to get away.

The Drifters at the Maneha 250

Our own Brad Smith and Matt Masuzzo, bike builders, riders, all-around cool guys gave us the low down on a local event, the Maneha 250, that just celebrated its second running. Brad and Matt rode, as they often do, with their team The Drifters.

All words by Matty and photos by Brad below:

HsAzkvuCyJ9deaopZ33cXGLStDMOovfUWLd8WE2dYZgc9uAxqiuCIRG-8bz4p-elcyFRqg=w1627-h775When I first learned the details of the Maneha 250, it quickly made its way towards the top of my ride bucket list. It’s certainly a singular event, unlike anything I’ve ridden before. The concept is straightforward enough — 250 miles of mixed terrain riding over the course of two days with roughly 14,000 feet of climbing. However, the content and execution of the route planning is what really sets the Maneha apart and makes it so unique. It’s definitely a maximalist approach to riding, as our tires seemed to touch every possible type of surface within New England.

0m_1GuRRm105SLBdBTL56x_vdCe_F-g36KwREKk7PdhSizZ9IRjBn8lB5eQuetoomg_xqQ=w1627-h775We left our respective homes at a time of day normally reserved for third shift security guards. Around 30 riders met at the start location, Ride Studio Cafe to sign in, and following a quick breakfast and round of coffee, groups started slowly rolling out around the 6 a.m. Grand Depart.

After some compulsory group photos, our team of three followed suit. We began the day on a long stretch of familiar gravel that often serves as a pre-work dirt commute. The morning sun was out in full effect and seemed to backlight all of the newly formed foliage along the path. The first 30 miles or so was a twisty-turny mix of mostly suburban hobo trails, the type you forget are practically in your backyard and beg to be explored and connected with bits of quiet paved back roads. From there we headed into some more secluded singletrack that wound through several town forests. Just as we were almost out of gas from a punishing climb up a lengthy rock garden, we were met by the affable sag wagon driver Mark, who supplied us with mini cokes and a cornucopia of gels, bars, and homemade rice cakes.

TPFp0JvcvMN3SM9HwsFmE7SVpH3r-8qW2AKE3EShJ735pRHSfBdo2UGPirxM1yxUVrQr2Q=w1627-h775The sun was starting to beat down as we continued on towards the New Hampshire state line. As we crossed into Granite State (official home of the vanity license plate) the ride took on a completely different feel. Rough single and double track gave way to peaceful gravel farm roads and rail trails. We stopped at mile 90 for a bonk break, quickly recovered and set our sights on the Mayfair Farm where we would be camping and feasting. The last few miles of Day 1 were a blur of steep yet smooth dirt roads, screaming legs, and some helpful locals offering friendly encouragements like  “You’ll never make it up that hill!”

SQfSZG1gOp_VO9ve_FieFxDlFLr6gIUX68KVCEiwtvj8daiNF4ljQimCODJil9WFyuCvlw=w1627-h775Once camp was set up at the farm, everyone began helping themselves to an amazing spread of food and drinks. We all swapped stories from the day as riders continued to pull into camp after nightfall.  Following some obligatory s’mores and fireside beers, we zipped up our tents just as the first few drops of rain began to fall.

ooOGVQGRdOwBreE6dB4b1B5QF-DDsB4dFw_vPvmQuI3aBj0VEUVnNieGPYXgMbJShX7lgw=w1627-h775The next morning we awoke at dawn to get another early start and head back towards Boston. Day 2 promised to be an overall descent and there was rumor of a possible tailwind to provide a little extra help to get us home. We started on similar dirt roads to those that had been so taxing just 10 hours earlier. Unfortunately for us, they hadn’t flattened out overnight in spite of the steady rain. It was decidedly chillier than the previous morning, even more so when cruising down some of the long gravel descents as we made our way back into the great state of Massachusetts.

The majority of the second day rolled along much quicker than the first, even when we hit some bone-rattling singletrack in the northern portion of the state. Throughout the day we were met by the support van offering cold brew and snacks to keep us going. The rural landscape and vanity plates began to fade away as we entered the familiar exurbs of Boston where it seems an appreciation for the quirky charm of having a personalized slogan on your license plate is lost. 

eQ80jQTPhw3njcYYwaZrQjo0DwcdDN96iqBEO21qtKwat4EZIOLOF4vXPuixpRi6vRHZSA=w1627-h775By now I had figured out that any paved sections that promised a straight shot to our destination were off the table. The last leg of our journey was spent on overgrown MTB trails, a bike path or two, and a few wetland boardwalks for good measure.

Our team finished up the Maneha 250 in good spirits, a little beaten up but proud of the ground we had covered in under 48 hours. It was an incredible two days of riding on a route that epitomized what is quickly becoming a new standard of a truly memorable ride — the type that emphasizes ambitious mileage, less traffic, more dirt, great food, and somehow manages to be both physically exhausting and overwhelmingly fun at the same time. The Maneha 250 may be checked off the bucket list, but luckily it found a new home on the annual “essential rides” schedule.

The Drifters ride our Evergreen series of mixed-terrain bikes.

2015 Dusk to Dawn Ride

June’s Dusk to Dawn Ride was another inaugural event for Overland Base Camp, the more organized incarnation of our own Rob V‘s obsession with dirt and mixed-terrain riding. D2D indulges Rob’s penchant for late night adventures, serving up 85 miles of crazy trail sections linked by pavement. A bonfire at the turnaround gave riders an opportunity to refuel.

Out of the Night - video image - Rob Vandermark

This style of riding demands a lot (including a SPOT tracker and enough battery to power lights through most of a night on the trail), not just physically, but also mentally. All your concentration is riveted on a patch of light ahead of your front tire, and staying upright depends on reading the line quickly.

This edition of D2D was plagued by downpours, but all the riders finished safely and happily, if not completely exhausted.

Some photos below:

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Mesmerized by the Dusk to Dawn Fire - photo - Rob VandermarkOn the Bridge of Dusk to Dawn - photo - Rob VandermarkThe Rain Returns at the Dusk to Dawn Ride - photo Rob VandermarkThinking About Beginning the Next Leg of the Dusk to Dawn - photo - Rob VandermarkDrying Feet and Shoes at the Dusk to Dawn Ride - photo - Rob Vandermark

Wheel Test – Paris-Roubaix Pacenti Luxe Disc Wheels

???????????????????????????????We’ve been looking for good go-to disc wheel for mixed-terrain riding. It’s a category with a number of entrants, but few products that really hit the mark. So we connected with Justin Spinelli at Luxe Wheelworks and Kirk Pacenti at Pacenti Cycle Design for a set of Pacenti’s own rims laced to White Industries hubs with Sapim bladed spokes.

They proved very durable and, at 24 hole front and rear, they manage to strike the right balance between weight and strength for us. Certainly we were impressed with them over the 54km of cobblestones at the Paris-Roubaix Challenge last weekend, not to mention the 14 hour mixed-terrain odyssey we did around Paris a few days before. We did both these rides without a broken spoke, dent or even a flat tire.

???????????????????????????????We rode them with Challenge Paris-Roubaix 27mm tires, similar to what the pros ride, to really put them through their paces. Justin had promised us that we’d have no problems, that they’d be bulletproof, but the cobbles of northern France have crushed all sorts of wheels (and spirits). We were impressed enough with them that they’ll become the default wheel for our Evergreen line in the coming months.