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Posts Tagged ‘Mountain Bikes’

Secretly, in the Night, Summer Fell

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015


On September 23rd we passed the autumnal equinox, that magic moment when the Earth’s equator passes the center of the sun and night and day are of roughly equal length, depending on where you’re standing. A hot, humid end to the summer helped the fall sneak in under our noses.

But then cyclocross season started.

The races leading up to Holy Week (the twin weekends of GP Gloucester and the KMC Cyclocross Festival in Providence) were mainly dusty affairs as riders rode fast over dry fields, trying to remember how to dis- and remount their bikes. Perfect conditions at Gloucester more or less guaranteed that this weekend, in Providence, will be racked by torrential rain, the cheerful gift of Tropical Storm Joaquin.

What does it all mean for a New England bike builder?

First of all, it means we are busy, that we have been busy, to let summer slip into fall without really noticing. Sure, there has been in uptick in ‘cross bikes, in mountain bikes and in the ubiquitous Evergreen, as folks begin to put road season to rest, but it’s funny the way, when you build bikes for specific riders, the various categories blur together and the larger trends in what you’re doing escape you.

The late season warmth has left most of the leaves on the trees and the trails clear. As always, the time to ride is now. This is the lesson of every season, everywhere.

Going to the Woods

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

7050643843_401b3e8d9c_zWe’ve already talked about Going Up, Going Far and Going Fast.  Going to the Woods is another thing we like to do, riding the jeep tracks and trails that crisscross our New England forests. We design bikes to go there in a few different ways.

Two crucial variables for any woods-oriented bikes are traction and speed. How will we keep the wheels on the ground, and how fast do we want them to move? Suspension is an option with our classic NE hardtail mountain bikes, the Solas and 622M SLX. They’re built to be fast over chattery, heavily-rooted ground and to climb the short, steep pitches we find all over. The Ti chainstays on these bikes act as de facto suspension systems, effectively keep the rear tire planted on the ground and rolling forward. For dirt road bikes, we can narrow the tires and build around a rigid fork, which will speed things up on less technical terrain.

b9325f7471c811e19e4a12313813ffc0_7Another key question is, how much ground are we trying to cover? Are typical rides of approximately the same length, as with a cross country race bike, or do they vary wildly, with marathon trail sessions coming as often as possible. Those two bikes differ geometrically, one built for agility and speed, the other for comfort and stability. We can build them as traditional trail bikes, or with rack mounts for bike-packing. Geometries can get more relaxed or more aggressive.

We also send our Evergreens and Expats to the trees. The Evergreens are designed to tackle mixed-terrain, some road, some dirt. The Expats are touring bikes. As with the other types of bikes we design, finding the balance points is key to delivering the right bike. Going to the Woods can add as many or more different variables than the bikes we’ve discussed in previous pieces, so working through all the basic questions is integral to the process.



Seven and Get-a-Grip at the Wassau 24

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Our good friends from Get-a-Grip in Chicago recently raced the Wassau24. See the picture below of Adam Kaplan with Seven Sola SL.

Adam said, “The Wausau24 was a great event. Very well organized. The course was 11 miles of twisty, rooty, and rocky singletrack mixed with some nice gradual fire road climbs and fast descents. I started off first for our team and had laps at approximately 10am, 4pm, 8pm, 2am and 6am. The first two laps were great, no real fatigue. The third lap I flatted 2 minutes in and had to be careful. The fourth lap was amazing in the dead of night. The last lap was in the rising sun and misty conditions. Our team, Get a Grip Cycles, was able to clinch a podium spot for third place. Not bad for a bunch of 40+ year old men.”


Thursday, August 7th, 2014

6a00d8354dc5ac69e20120a5da77d5970c-800wiA (much) younger Rob V with Seven #1, the steel Rex he raced once or twice. He can’t remember.

Mike and Mary at MTB Nationals

Monday, July 29th, 2013


Great pictures and stories from Mike and Mary’s recent exploits at MTB Nationals, where they made us all really proud, Mary with a podium finish and Mike with a top 10, as well as the full catch up on their RV-based, race-chasing exploits.

Just a sample:

I got a great start from my front row call up and settled into a 3rd place position that I was able to maintain for the entirety of the race.   I really had to measure my output in the heat but actually felt kind of great a few times while taking a few calculated but extreme lines and really enjoying the challenge of  this “real” mountain bike course – something that is less and less typical in this newer era of XC racing.

– Mary McConneloug