The Seven Ultimate Axiom Disc

This is the Seven Ultimate Axiom Disc, a project bike we developed as part of this season’s focus on technology, innovation, and leveraging the experience of building more than 30,000 custom bikes. For this particular project, the design goal was build the fastest, lightest, no-compromise road disc bike we could. As a result, this bike introduces a slew of new features that are available in our mainline products starting immediately.

Here is a quick look at just a few of those features:

One-Inch Fixed Chainstays  – Larger diameter tubes, with thinner tube walls, increase both bending and torsional stiffness by 32% over our 7/8″ stays. We hold the weight down by custom butting the tube stock in house. Read more here.

Asymmetric Fastback Dropouts – 75% stiffer than the most popular titanium thru-axle disc brake dropout on the market. These custom asymmetric  dropouts save 60 grams of weight over our conventional disc brake dropout system. Read more here.

3D Traction Seat Stays – With 3DT, we’ve been able to improve rear tire traction without reducing frame stiffness. We achieve these traction improvements through a combination of more aggressive bend profile, bending in multiple planes (3D), and a new tube butting process. What you get is a seat stay with a more dramatic shape that dissipates multi-directional force, and minimizes weight. Read more here.

Synergetic Chainstays – When you introduce asymmetry into a frame design, you have to restore balance. Our Synergetic Chainstays serve this function. Their unique design allows clearance for full-sized chainrings and 28c tires. They let us run a sub-41cm chainstay with a 160 mm disc rotor. Read more here.

Active Race Design Geometry – ARD geometry is a combination of race-specific elements that provide quick handling and telepathic transfer of rider input to your tire contact patches. We achieve this through a combination of frame geometry modifications including a compact wheelbase, short chainstays, high bottom bracket, steeper head tube angle, tighter front center, more compact front triangle for faster reaction time, improved front end torsional stiffness, and a bike that’s easier to throw around in a shoulder-to-shoulder pack of riders. Read more here.

All Out Speed Kit – Where Seven’s Active Race Design geometry option is a comprehensive set of geometric adjustments, the All Out Speed Kit modification is a set of design features that improve race performance and placing. Our most popular titanium AOS Kit includes our One-Inch Fixed Chainstays, an oversized down tube, a T47 bottom bracket, a Max Power Seat Post, Slipstream Di2 Internal Wiring, and a 44mm head tube. Read more here.

Direct Mount Derailleur Hanger – This is the industry’s first titanium direct mount hanger for Shimano rear derailleurs. About three times stiffer than a typical aluminum hanger, and tough as nails.​​​​​​​

Joe’s Expat SL

Here is a do-everything touring machine we built for Joe with our friends at Spokes, Etc. in Alexandria, VA. This Expat SL incorporate S&S couplings, front and rear rack & fender mounts, a kickstand, Rohloff belt drive, generator hub, extra water bottle mount and a pump peg. We like this build because it really demonstrates the extent to which a rider can personalize a Seven to produce what is, for them, the ultimate bike for the purpose (or many purposes).

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Photos by Mike Gregerson

Introducing Project RedSky

red-sky-axiom-sl-sideA red morning sky tells sailors that bad weather lies ahead. Project RedSky is our way of making all the bad weather days rideable, no, not just rideable, maximally rideable, lovable, to turn those rainy, snowy, off days into your favorite days to be out on the bike.

Here’s how we did it:

  • Lightweight:  A typical RedSky builds up at 1.5 to 2.0 lbs lighter than an equivalent disc brake bike.  The bike is the same weight as any lightweight road bike; the mid-reach brake calipers are only about 30 grams heavier than most lightweight short reach brakes.  The bike pictured tips the scales at 16.2 lbs with the MSO 32c tires; without pedals.
  • Tire Choices:  From a 23c road slick to a 33c knobby and everything in between, the RedSky is even more versatile than a true cyclocross bike.  On 33c tires, clearance is limited, but tire option versatility will be appreciated in some riding conditions.  True tire clearance depends on measured tire width, rim width, and brake caliper choice.  Perhaps most importantly, the RedSky can also fit studded tires.
  • All Weather:  Designed to fit fenders with up to 28c tires.
  • High Performance:  This design sacrifices nothing compared to any performance road bike.  It’s fast, agile, and accelerates with the best of bikes.
  • Optimal Handling:  Seven’s 5E fork allows for matching the fork rake to the frame geometry so there’s no compromise to the bike’s front end handling.
  • Hidden Fender Mounts:  At dropouts and chainstay bridge.  The mounts are there when you want them, but hidden when you don’t.
  • Travel Bike:  Simple brake system makes for fast, easy, and lightweight bike travel.

red-sky-axiom-sl-down-seat-clusterOverall, the Redsky provides you most of the benefits of an Evergreen — a versatile mixed-terrain disc brake bike — while being as light as a pure performance road bike. Designed specifically for harsh environments, the RedSky loves the rain, sleet, and even snow and ice.  Boston sees an average of 80 rain days a year; why miss that many days of riding?

The RedSky will make everyday a riding day.

What defines RedSky is its versatility. No other rim brake bike offers the same breadth of tire choices, rack and fender options, lighting possibilities.  We’ll show you, in the coming days, just a few of the ways you can build your Seven RedSky.

Picking Tubes

There is a practical side to picking the tubes for a custom bike frame, and there is an aesthetic side. There is a science, and there is a craft. What we think will match the rider’s preferred ride feel, sometimes doesn’t match the rider’s stated desire for “fat tubes,” which can be very stiff. As with all things custom design and build-related, finding the right balancing points make all the difference. The key to success, then, is having enough options to create a balance. We have a whole wall of different-sized tubing, steel and titanium and carbon, multiple diameters and wall thicknesses, and then in many cases we butt those tubes to further refine the bike’s ride feel.

But backing up, we take a lot into consideration when picking the tubes for a rider’s new bike. Some of it is formula, knowing what has worked for rider’s of a given size for a given style of riding. But then you have to consider their aesthetic preferences too, how aggressively they want the frame to handle, how comfortable they want to be. You make little adjustments to the tube spec, based on experience. This is the craft part.

Matt O., our production manager, says, only half-jokingly, that when he specs tubes for a bike, he looks at the rider’s profile and asks how that rider is different from him in size and/or in the way they want their bike to feel. Then he adjusts from what he would build for himself.

There are also factors like racks and fenders to consider. Will the supporting tubes take additional weight and strain. We adjust for that.

We say that every Seven is different. Every one is unique, and that is pretty literally true. There are so many levels of customization that goes into each bike. The tube set is just one of them, but it’s a valuable one. It’s part of what makes the difference between any old bike, and your bike.

The Overlooked Awesome, Part IV

Photo by Pamela Blaylock in Ireland.

The Overlooked Awesome is about all of the great things you can get out of a custom bike beyond the perfect fit. Check out installments I, II and III.

Part IV is about handling. There are a number of ways to affect the handling of a bike. Headtube angle, bottom bracket drop, fork rake, chainstay length, front center, they all interact to produce the bike’s handling characteristics, and we build bikes that span from agile and aggressive to stable and solid. This is a massive value for riders who can’t find a stock bike that handles the way they like. With a stock bike, all of the variables mentioned above are fixed. To change the handling, you only have a few options, like lengthening or shortening the stem. The result may be better handling, but that improvement doesn’t come without shifting your balance on the bike.

A bike handles best when the rider is balanced over the two wheels.

Because we can work from the frame materials up to the component choices, we can give you very specific handling characteristics. For example, our road bikes are spec’d with our own Seven 5E fork. The 5E is unique among high-performance forks. Designed by Seven completely from the ground up, it comes in rakes ranging for 36mm to 58mm—more than any other fork—to ensure optimum frame-fork integration and handling. Most stock bikes come with one fork option, which means you’re stuck with the handling the builder decided was good for you, not the handling you prefer.

Being able to descend confidently, corner authoritatively, or simply take your hand off the bars to adjust clothing, can make a huge difference to your ability to enjoy riding your bike. Beyond fit, this is just one more way a custom Seven can be a better choice.