Before We Were Us, But Were Already Starting to Be Us

Our own Rob Vandermark posted this photo the other day, which reminded all of us whipper-snappers here at Seven just how deep our roots go in this wild and crazy bike business.

Most of this part is stolen from Rob’s post:

It’s a photo from the November 1991 issue of Mountain Bike Action, John Tomac and Ned Overend ready to race at the Mammoth World Cup.

When the core Seven team was still at Merlin Metalworks they built both of the bikes in this photo, and for a few years before and after this when Tomac and Overend were at the tops of their forms.

In 1991 alone, the year of this photo: Tomac was XC World Champion, US National DH Champion, took second at DH Worlds, and was World Cup CX Champion. Even now it’s hard to comprehend: World champion at cross country AND silver at downhill worlds.

Overend was US National Champion and took bronze in the Worlds cross county race.

These champions would have won on tricycles but at Merlin Rob and the team there did everything possible to build them the most cutting edge bikes of the era. Both bikes had carbon fiber tubing with titanium lugs. That’s where the similarities ended.

Both bikes took entirely different approaches to design and fabrication. Each was tailored to the companies that we were working with; Overend was with Specialized, Tomac with Raleigh.

We are humbled to have played a part in designing and building these iconic bikes during the wild west days of early mountain biking — nearly 30 year’s ago.

In so many real ways, this was Seven before we even existed, building rider-specific bikes, deeply custom, one-at-a-time, because it’s just a better way to do things.

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