It’s Not Art. Unless It Is.

People sometimes say our bikes are art, and that they should be hung on a wall. We very much appreciate the sentiment, but emphatically disagree with the practice. Bikes are for riding, and we hope every one of our riders is out on the road or trail at every opportunity.

We met Kevin W at NAHBS last month, and his wife, after teasing him about how much he loves his bike, went one step further and turned his Seven into actual art. This seems, to us, like a solid compromise.

Greg’s 622 SLX

This is Greg’s 622 SLX in Gloss Black with Superhero Blue accents and purple hubs. It has a custom Ti seatpost. Our good friends at Ride Studio Cafe turned this one out, and it’s gorgeous.Greg said:

So, I’ve had the bike out four times: Sunday coffee ride, Rippers opener, Ripper B52, and Monsters Spinster ride this past Saturday. The ride quality, handling, acceleration and all around feel is spot on. Numerous PR’s on areas I’ve ridden a number of times in the past, I PR’ed the col-de-lex and was one second off from a second PR just two days apart. The Spinster ride had almost 3K feet of climbing over 48 miles and I was easily in the mix. When I put the power to the pedals, especially up hill I can clearly feel the bike respond making it so much more rewarding to continue the effort. My Specialized doesn’t have anything special on the Seven in fact you can’t even put them in the same room together. I wasn’t necessarily expecting anything stupendous coming from what I had but, WOW, this Seven just keeps giving! After just 4 rides I know this bike is heads and tales above anything out there, if a reference is needed please don’t hesitate to give my name out.

Martin’s 622 SLX

Here is Martin’s 622 SLX, with custom komodo pink paint. The guys at Bicycle Speed Shop in Houston delivered it for us.

Seven,

Hi! Hope all is well and that you are building bicycles like crazy. Yesterday Brian came to Mexico (to visit his brother) and brought my beautiful Seven 622 SLX in person. I am still out of words and I have a very jealous wife & kids back home. Today I had my professional fitting done and the fitter was out of words too. Attached a few pictures of the final build. Please thank everyone at Seven for their masterful work.

Al the best and warmest regards,

Martin

The Big Ideas – The 5 Elements of Customization

The Big Ideas, as a series, is about this whole bike building project we embarked on in 1997 and the foundational ideas that make what we do possible. The first installment was about Single-Piece Flow (SPF). The second installment was about Just-in-Time manufacturing (JIT).

This week we explore the 5 Elements of Customization.

It is all well and good to tell someone you can build their ultimate bike, but if they don’t have the vocabulary to tell you what that bike should look like, you’re no closer to that bike existing than you were before you met them. The 5 Elements give riders a useful way to think about customization.

The 5 Elements are the language of Single-Piece Flow on the bike shop floor.

RyanDrafting1) Fit & Geometry – Think of the upper half of the bike, the points where you touch the bike, saddle height, set back, reach, bar height. These are the angles and centimeters that address different riders’ size, proportions, age, style and health (injuries). We address these, at the shop, through a bike fitting, and then follow up with body measurements that allow us to consider that fit in terms of your new frame’s geometry.

2) Handling and Performance – Think of the lower half of the bike. This is where we fine tune for rider weight, comfort, handling and riding conditions. Bottom bracket drop, fork rake, chainstay length, all these things affect how the bike feels. If you tell us you want your bike to be stable or quick handling, we can produce those characteristics through fine tuning of handling and performance features.

Gatson43) Tubing & Materials – We work in steel, titanium, and Ti/carbon mix. We start from the beginning when designing a bike for you, choosing a material that speaks to the kind of riding you do, then we go further, picking a tube set, in that material(s), that matches your specific preferences for stiffness and/or comfort, then we go further still, refining your rider-specific tube set through tube butting processes to accomplish the most personalized on-bike experience available from any custom builder, anywhere.

4) Options – Brake types, rack and fender mounts, decal colors and placement, paint, cable-routing, couplers, chain or belt drive component optimization, the configurations and permutations are close to infinite. This is how you dial the bike in. This is how you meet ALL your goals for your new bike, without compromise.

ColorChooser

5) The Future – This is how we make our design as durable as our materials. We plan for the rider’s aspirations. Racing? Touring? Commuting? How does the bike age with the rider’s body? Is it adaptable? How do we keep the bike useful for the rest of the rider’s life?

You don’t have to be a bike designer to collaborate with us on the design of your new bike. You just need to be able to express your preferences in simple terms and let us map them onto the 5 Elements of Customization.

Adam K’s 622 SLX refresh

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We built this 622 SLX for our friend Adam at Get-a-Grip Cycles in Chicago last season, but he just gave it the fresh bar tape, fresh saddle treatment, so he sent us a picture. We love the Swimming Pool Blue he chose for the carbon tubing, and the Campy EPS build out turns it into something of a show bike. Fortunately, we know the Chicago winter is coming to a close, and we expect this one to leave the showroom and get back on the road shortly.