American Custom Bicycles in Steel, Titanium and Ti/carbon mix

Kirk Tegelaar: Graphic Designer

It’s exciting to be amongst a team of builders that devote such great care and effort to make the most beautify efficient machines on the planet.

Biography

Born on a heavy gravity planet, I pilot a mighty ship, the USB Cloudbuster, a 200-pound bicycle equipped with a stereo system, lights, and telescoping disco ball known as ‘the Discobobulator’. I’m the Fleet Admiral, founder and leader of SCUL, a Boston Area bicycle nerd gang established in your Earth Year 1996. I make robots, rayguns, rocketships and critters from re-purposed metal under the name Skunkadelia. I enjoy sewing, electronics, cooking, making music, philosophy, and making the most of life. I pass on my TIG welding skillset teaching TIG classes at the Artisan’s Asylum.

But before that I was working with Rob, Matt, Skip, Tim, Jennifer, and Mike at Merlin Metalworks in Cambridge, and after a few years, here at Seven. Seven supersedes and feeds all the other aforementioned things I do. Seven taught me to make things, to weld, to explore and nurture crazy ideas.

Why I work With Seven

I stopped scooping ice cream cones and began making bikes in 1993. My cousin, my brother and my sister have all worked together making bike frames. I guess I’m the only one stubborn enough in my family to stick with it.

My Role at Seven

I was a machinist when I first started working at Seven. Since then, I’ve taken on many roles, including final machining and finishing, welding, shipping, inspection, and repairs. I’ve been the in-house graphic designer since 2006.

Frequently Asked Questions about my job at Seven

What exactly do you do here, anyway?

Much of my day involves many things that fit under that umbrella, including webslinging, photography, print design, clothing and softgoods, etc. However I’m game for just about anything thrown at me.

Isn’t Skunk the graphic designer at Seven?

That’s me.

My Sevens

The phrase ‘The best bikes in the world are the ones that are ridden’ resonates with me. I pride myself in enjoying whatever two wheels happen to be under me. However, when I’m on my Seven, it’s almost as if many of the laws of friction and mass are seriously shifted in my favor.

Evergreen SL: AKA Redshift

For years I commuted almost exclusively on a heavyweight cruiser, but after a crime-fighting shoulder injury, the rough Bostonian roads were too harsh: I'd sometimes have to grab my messenger bag mid-air as it catapulted out of the Wald giant delivery basket as I bounced out of puddle-camouflaged potholes on narrow shoulders. I had considered building myself a beefy mountain frame with racks galore, however Rob urged me to try a Mudhoney SL to see if I could finesse over some of the terrain. I was sceptical but once I tried it I was convinced.

Redshift was the first Seven I built from start to finish: once my frame drawing was done and the tubeset was selected, I took the frame through machining, welding, final machining and finishing. I created some special graphics to blast on the frame as well. Since I've been out of production since 2006, it was a special treat to take a week off to come to work amongst my fellow Seveneers. There's nothing quite like getting my hands dirty making the best possible bike for me from the ground up.

While I've been riding for twenty years on all kinds of bikes in and near Boston, I've never felt like there was nothing left to change about my bike. Every once and a while I tweak a derailleur cable, or top off the tires, but most of the time the thing's just ready to go: and every time I do go I am reminded of what levels of perfection, precision, and exhilarating speed and grace can be achieved with an expert rendition of a the world‘s most efficient machine.

I named the bike ‘Redshift’ after the phenomenon that happens when light or other electromagnetic radiation from an object is increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum, which is used in Astronomy to measure the speed and direction of a star moving away from Earth.

Axiom: Serial No: C327

Every time I take it out, I am amazed just how responsive and agile a bike can be. It feels like every pedal stroke is amplified and transformed into unadulterated speed.

Axiom (singlespeed)

The only stainless Seven ever made. Complete with S&S couplers. Unfortunately, stainless in inherently low in fatigue strength, so it’s no longer around. It was a dream come true while I had it.