Night and Day – Made to Fit vs. Built to Fit

Both these bikes belong to Kate. The top one was purchased second hand and made to fit through a series of what we might term “compromises.” You can see that extra spacers have been added under the stem, and the stem itself rises at a steep angle to achieve a handlebar position that works for Kate.

dsc_0001After riding the bike above for a few years, Kate decided to see what we could do for her with a new bike design. We took body measurements. We interviewed her to find out what she liked/didn’t like about her existing bike. We designed a frame that would support her ideal riding position while retaining proportionality, flexibility for future changes to her position AND delivering spot on handling.

Some of this is visible in the photo below of her new bike.

dsc_0002What you can’t see here is the tube set selection we made and how it differs from her original bike, which was stiffer in front and plusher in the rear than she wanted it to be. We reversed that combination by giving her increased drivetrain stiffness and a more comfortable front end. Because we can both select tube diameters and wall thicknesses, and then butt the tubing to give an even more specific comfort profile, we have a massive advantage over every other framebuilder working today.

The other thing you can’t see is the way this bike will handle. When we design a bike we aim to balance the rider evenly over the two wheels. This balance leads to greater comfort, but also to better handling. By designing the frame, via headtube angle and fork rake, to give a very specific relation between rider and ground, we can be sure that every bike we build handles exactly like the rider wants it to, which might be super stable or more twitchy and aggressive, but most of the time in the sweet spot right in between.

Kate’s original bike was a Seven, but it was second hand, i.e. not built for, so in almost every regard it was like any stock bike a rider might get. Those bikes can usually be made to fit by moving the saddle or the stem length, but not without compromising comfort, handling, and ultimately performance. That is why so many of our riders report a night-and-day difference between what they were riding and their new Seven.

By taking control of the frame’s geometry and materials, we are able to build a bike that fits, handles well, and feels good to ride all day. The secret is working forward from the rider, not backward from the bike.

 

Damien’s Axiom SL and Evergreen S

Here are a pair of beautiful builds completed with our good friend Steve at Cycle Logic in Cornwall, UK.  Apparently, we charmed Damien thoroughly enough with his first build, the Axiom SL, that he came back for an Evergreen S the following season. Some kind words and great photos below.

Hello,

I am lucky enough to have two Seven bicycles, an Axiom SL and an Evergreen S. Both are the best bikes I have ever ridden and were sourced via Cycle Logic in Helston, Cornwall. I absolutely love the custom fit, unique quality of the titanium and superb workmanship. Both took me ages to save up for and are worth every penny.

Here are a few photographs of them.

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Rode my Evergreen in France the other weekend, I smile every time I am on it.

Thanks and kind regards,

Damien

Spring’s Promise/Summer’s Heat/Fall’s Hope

IMAG2108It’s overwhelming, Spring in New England. The flood of riding possibilities that come with better weather leave you wondering what to do first, how much to do, which direction to ride. It’s like a starving person confronted with a Vegas buffet.

And in a minute, it’s summer. The riding becomes regular, more regimented. You know where you’re riding, when, and who you’ll ride with. You start to feel fit, maybe you even are. It’s hard to tell. Everyone else is getting fit, too.

IMG_1035Then the heat sets in. You pay more attention to your water bottles, spend more time, off the bike, making yourself drink water. If you set goals, you begin to know whether you achieved any of them, even if they only amount to riding more with friends.

Although it’s still warm here, the factory’s big tilting windows channeling in whatever air is available, we can feel the change to Fall coming. Conversations leave the road, turn to cyclocross, mixed-terrain, Fall mountain biking. Someone says the words “fat bike.”

310778d1448294377-seven-treeline-sl-drop-bars-=-fun-road-ish-bike-tl4If Spring is a beginning, then Fall is one, too. We start to dream about cool temperatures, wondering how much faster and farther we might go. There is an urgency, too, in Fall. Winter is coming. We will ride straight through it, but certain places and certain ways of riding will be less possible. Fall is the time to cram in the good stuff, the things we missed during the Summer’s high heat.

Inheritance and Tribute

This is Mac’s bike after a recent refit and refurb. This one belonged originally to his father-in-law, but we’ll let you read it in Mac’s words below. Suffice it to say, we’re really happy to be a small part of this story.IMG_2682Hi Seven,

Wanted to share the end product of my “restomod” Seven build with the new decals you guys sent – pics attached. My father in law gave me his beloved Seven when he passed away from cancer in January. It was his most prized possession IMG_4964with somewhere in the 15-20k range on it. The only thing I saved was the frame and did my dream build from there, Super Record 11 Mid-Compact, Enve Bars & Wheels, Serotta F3 fork painted to match, Etc.

I rode it on the Prouty Century benefit ride in his honor a few weeks back. I’ve never owned anything with more meaning and function than this bike and I wanted to thank you guys for building it.

Best,

Mac