American Custom Bicycles in Steel, Titanium and Ti/carbon mix
Many female cyclists believe they need a women’s specific bike. The women’s specific marketing message from most of the bike industry is, at its core, that women’s specific bikes are the answer for any discomfort or fit issues that women may experience on a bike.
The reality is that women’s bodies vary—a lot. In fact, they vary more from woman to woman than men’s do from man to man. Women’s specific bikes are designed around vast generalizations about women’s bodies, preferred fit, and preferred riding style. In short, they pigeonhole female cyclists, and what they want as an individual rider is compromised.
With a custom Seven, it won’t be.
Here’s why: we don&lsqho;t believe in ‘women’ as a divider. We believe in riders and build bikes suited to their individual bodies and needs. We don’t build bikes based on generalizations or assumptions. Because of this, a Seven is the no-compromises frame for every person—male or female.
Rider-specific trumps women’s specific every time.
The importance of fit cannot be understated. It is one of the most important factors of the perfect bike. However, with a Seven, fit is just the beginning.
Every Seven is designed to not only fit the rider, but also to ride the way the rider wants it to—performance and handling is tailored to meet the individual’ wants and needs.
Achieving this goes beyond geometry. When it comes to ride characteristics, a frame’ s tubing selection is as important as the geometry. We don’t just mean “size specific” tubing—we mean rider specific tubing. We handpick each tube to optimize weight-to-performance and tune compliance and stiffness for each individual rider.
Here is a case study that illustrates how two riders of similar sizes can have very different bikes due to the personal and individualized factors considered when building a custom Seven.
The expression “size specific” is often used to describe the benefits of one frame over another. Basically, it means that the tubing in, say, a 17” mountain frame was selected to optimize the ride characteristics for the average person riding that size. It’s not a bad idea, but here’s the problem.
Two people riding identical frames can be completely different in weight and riding style. So if the tubing in these frames was selected for the frame size and not for the rider, at least one of the riders is going to be compromising. This is why a lot of lighter riders find their frames too harsh, while many heavier or more powerful riders find theirs too flexible and even break them.
Take Marilyn and Bernard, for example. They ride almost exactly the same size frames, but they’re very different riders.
|The Frame:||17” Sola SL|
|Style:||Spins smaller gears|
|The Ride:||Light and lively|
Marilyn is known as a climber. She’s agile and has a preference for spinning smaller gears. When we set out to build her frame, we carefully selected each tube to create a very light, lively ride, while maintaining drive train stiffness. In its five seasons of hardcore racing, Marilyn’s Sola SL has accompanied her to countless wins and titles, including three Master’s World Championships in 1999, 2000 and 2010.
|Style:||Pushes bigger gears|
|The Ride:||Very stiff torsionally, but not harsh|
Bernard has almost 40 pounds on Marilyn. He loves technical single track and will push a big gear to create short, powerful bursts. His additional weight and aggressive riding style demands greater stiffness from his frame. By tailoring the diameter, wall thickness, and butting placement of the tubes, we made Bernard’s Sola SL stiff and durable without sacrificing comfort.
It’s not simply a tagline. It is who we are and what we do. Seven builds more rider-specific bikes each year than any other manufacturer in the world. We build them one at a time, by hand, in Watertown, MA. Our mission is simple: to build one bike. Yours.
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