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
Design Mission: Create the most capable four season bike possible. As cyclists we are keenly aware of the weather and the many challenges it presents. Any cyclist who lives in an area that experiences four true seasons, like our home here in Massachusetts, will want a bike capable of tackling whatever the weather throws at them.
After building about a dozen variants of a year-round bike, we packed all our experience and research into this one broad-use, high-capability bike.
For summer and fall, with 29er mountain tires, the bike is a fast and agile race-ready bike, setup for technical single-track and short, punchy climbs. In the winter and spring, with 27+ 3” tires, the bike can do anything and go anywhere, with or without studs, in snow, ice, mud, or frozen terrain.
Our buddy Joe is a bike-packer of some skill and repute. Regular readers will recall that we built him a Treeline SL recently, in advance of a trip to Alaska (more on that to come). Now that he’s back, we’ve received an early review of the bike that we thought worth sharing.
Though I’ve had the Treeline for over a month, I’d only ever ridden it in Alaska on frozen rivers and snowmobile trails with a full load. It was fantastic in that context, the most perfect adventure bike I’ve been on.
But tonight I joined up with our Thursday Night Mountain Bike Worlds and rode it unladen. Holy s*%t: that bike rips. I pointed it down chaotic corkscrew chunky pitches and it just carves and carves. The geo is brilliant, super fast turning but so easy to throw your hips to stand it back up it seemed like cheating. So many thanks for your hard work.
Our buddy Tim Brick, at Brick Wheels in Traverse City, MI, sent us these photos of their latest Seven demo bike, a Treeline S, built to ride as a 29+ mountain bike, or a full-tilt fat bike with 4-inch tires.
Versatility is value. At first glance, the Treelines are fat bikes, built for snow adventures, but we were never interested in just building fat bikes, as awesome as they are. We wanted the Treeline to be a valuable bike year-round, which is why we made them part of our mountain line. Roll the snow all winter long, and then swap over to plus-sized tires for regular trail riding.