Introducing KellCruis SL

Well, it’s not really supposed to go like this, or maybe you hope it does, but you think you probably have more time than you end up having.
But we built a new race bike last week, and then before we could post about it being done, it won a race.

Kelly Catale did it again at Orchard Cross Cyclocross Race

Introducing the KellCruis SL, a radical departure from your everyday cyclocross racer. What we’ve done here is take our Mudhoney CX platform and pushed it forward to its logical conclusion, something entirely new, akin to the way our Scrambler bikes took the gravel category forward.

This is part of the Seven Racing Optimized EXotica series, or ROX. These are bikes that might exist as a single unit for a special rider (in this case Kelly Catale), or as a new model in our line. The name “Cruis” is a bastardization of “Kruis,” which is Dutch for “cross.”

What will jump out at you is, of course, the curved top tube. To us, it’s reminiscent of the cafe racer motorcycle profile. The bend is located for optimal shouldering during running sections of CX courses.
The significant but less obvious benefits of the curvature are:


1. It allows us to shorten the seat stays and seat tube, which saves weight.

2. The smaller rear triangle is stiffer and so gives better power transfer.

3. The added seat post exposure helps the bike absorb ruts and bumps, i.e. it gives better vertical compliance.

4. The bike’s center of gravity is lower, which makes it easier to body around tight corners.

5. Pushing up hill you can lean into the bend rather than pushing along the top tube.

6. Lifting the bike over barriers is more ergonomically efficient.


What is less noticeable in photos is the new asymmetric rear end, which pushes the absolute limits on weight and stiffness.

First, the prototype dropout pair is 48 grams vs. 100 grams. That’s 2 ounces we remove by reducing the amount of 6/4 titanium plating we need to support axles and brake mounts.

Second, we use 1″ chainstays, again, to maximize power transfer. The driveside stay is dropped also, to shorten the rear end and improve traction.

Third, the seatstays are both asymmetric AND offset (offsymmetric?). This is a logical outcome of reducing the dropouts to their optimal size, and it has the knock on benefits of making the bike lighter (seatstay tubing is lighter than dropout plating) and also stiffer (larger diameter tubing is stiffer than narrow plating).

There is not one symmetric aspect of the rear of this bike, but it remains perfectly balanced and aligned.

TransAt Project Update – WE WIN!!!

They rolled out in the most perfect weather Ireland could offer, made it through a wild coastal storm that nearly blew them off their bikes, and finished in the middle of the night. We are super proud of Brad and Matt and what they’ve accomplished over the last week in Ireland. When you set out on a race/adventure like this one, you hope it all comes together, the training, the equipment, the performance, and it did.
Their winning team time was 7d16h19m over a total distance of 2251.6km.
We have already talked with a number of riders who have been following along and are interested in the special edition bikes we put together. The deadline to place a deposit for a TransAt bike was Monday, the 18th, but Brad and Matt’s big victory inspired us to extend it to the end of June.
These are incredible bikes for riders who want to take on any style of endurance event, from ultra-endurance races like the TransAt to local bikepacking and touring. It is the thoughtful details that make the ride. This win feels good for all of us here, not only because we’re happy for our friends, but also because it bears out our experience designing and building high-performance bikes for our distance-minded riders.

At the Races with Julie Wright

Seven Ambassador Julie Wright checks in with us after a challenging start to her cyclocross campaign that’s taken in both World Cup races and the other big US events.

We just added a Mudhoney SL to her race day equipment.

For those who don’t know me, here are some random and less random facts about me. I race on a small women’s elite team, Team Averica. We’re based out of Boston, though I live in Western MA. My day job is working in analytics in the health care industry. Chocolate and coffee are two of my favorite things. So are bikes, vegetables and swimming. And riding trails. When I decided to get my Mudhoney PRO, my goal was to have a bike that would elevate my level of racing, be fun to ride and be a source of inspiration to work harder. I found all of that and more! I’m beyond excited to have the Mudhoney SL now, which is proving to be another absolutely amazing bike.

I’m fresh off my first block of racing for this cyclocross season! As is expected, there were some ups and downs. The results weren’t what I hoped for, but I’ve learned a ton from the racing and the women in the UCI field.  Two years ago, during my first full season in the UCI field when I was coming up with my cyclocross goals, my ultimate goal in cross was to race in a world cup one day. At the time, I thought it was a long shot. This year, I got to start my season off with not one, but two World Cups, and both right here in the United States. It was an amazing way to start the season.

I made the trip in my little Honda Fit, packed with two bikes, five wheelsets, a trainer, clothes for racing in any imaginable weather and my work gear. I was gone for a solid three weeks, starting the season off in Rochester. I made my way west to Iowa, for the Jingle Cross WC, then on to Wisconsin for Trek CXC WC and then back again for KMC. I knew it would be a trip where the learning curve was steep, but I couldn’t have imagined how steep. I definitely lean toward the type A end of the spectrum and I really wanted a FAQ on traveling for bike racing, what to pack, how to budget, what to expect at a World Cup, and how to calm all the nerves that had been building up since wrapping up the cross season last year in Belgium. The funny thing about racing World Cups is that you don’t pick up your number at a reg table like you do at any other bike race. For those of us that don’t have a DS, we have to find the US representative who picks up our number for us either at the venue the day before the event, or if you don’t find them in time, at their hotel later that night. It’s kind of like Where’s Waldo, except for that you don’t know what Waldo looks like or what he’s going to be wearing. It was an adventure. It turns out Waldo was very nice and he had my numbers.

Lining up alongside some of the fastest women in the world is incredible and a bit terrifying. World champion stripes have the ability to be a little intimidating. We also had Annika Langvad, the 2016 XC MTB World Champion lining up. It took some practice reminding myself that I belonged there and that it was still pedaling around in circles like any other bike race.

Here’s my bike, post trip. It’s also a good metaphor for how I felt after the road trip back from the Midwest…

This past week, I’ve been camped out at home, enjoying some more of my favorite things: sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my kitchen, drinking coffee slowly, getting out on some long rides and mixing in rolling dirt roads, as well as beginning to work on the long list of things I learned I need to work on from the trip. Lots of turning practice!

Mark’s Orange Crush

Mark is a rider we’ve collaborated with a few times. He brings a lot of forethought and passion to his bike projects, and this was no exception.

This is Mark’s Expat S, monster cross bike, and some kind words, below.

Thanks again for your help (and Neil’s help) on the monster cross…”Orange Crush.” I’m still working rounding up a few orange accessories, but for the most part, she’s all built up and ready to ride ! I’m excited for future adventures!

Regarding the build, I decided to use a SRAM 1 x 11 drivetrain. A work colleague was selling parts, so I was more than happy to buy those from him! I’ve always loved Shimano parts, but I do really like the simplicity, reliability, and range of the SRAM single chain ring set-up.  To support the orange theme, I used the Chris King mango headset, headset spacers, and bottom bracket (ceramic…so smooth!).

I tracked down a Phil Wood orange seat post collar. And I had the head badge powder coated at a local auto paint store. The orange flame decals are a work in progress. These ones aren’t sticking very well, so I suspect they will be short lived. For wheels, I stuck with DT Swiss hubs…so reliable and easy to service. The anodized Chris King, I-9, and Hope hubs are nice, but I’m a DT Swiss fan. The hubs are laced to DT Swiss XM401 rims and I’m currently using Maxxis Treadlite tires. The cockpit is complete with Thomson post and stem, Salsa Cowbell handlebars, and Cobb saddle.