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Discussion Starter #1
So, when you bought a Seven was there much/any communication directly with Seven regarding handling and if so how did the results translate to what you wanted?

As far as fit goes I'm very confident I know what I want and what geometry will do that, so no fears there, but I definitely want certain handling characteristics and I'm clueless on being able to look at a geo chart and figure how those numbers translate to handling.

naturally I'm asking because Seven only sells though shops. Which is a bummer because I live on a few miles from them. I wouldn't say I don't trust the shops I know of that sell them but I'd be more comfortable knowing I could remove the chance of anything getting lost in translation from me to the shop to Seven.

Any input appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And to kind of expand on that. I also don't know which model/material would best suite my desires so I'd prefer a builder to figure that out for me.
I don't care about weight and that's all I can figure that separates the model/materials (give that Geo can be anything on any of them) from the marketing. I'd rather say I want X, Y and Z for handling and ride feel and you tell me which model (in otherwords which tubing) would be best.
 

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A wheelist
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When I ordered my Seven (Sola MTB frame, 17 years ago) I got a long phonecall (one hour?) from Seven to firm up all the details. They went over everything. Maybe they would allow you to visit in person for your consultation.
 

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I agree with your concerns about the potential for stuff getting lost in translation, especially since bike shop people aren't necessarily frame geometry people.

You might want to consider going one-on-one with a builder such as Carl Strong, who has a process which seems to eliminate much of your concerns.

Perhaps e-mail your concerns directly to Seven and see if you can short circuit the process and speak directly to them.

In conveying your handling desires considering your lack of understanding of the numbers, it would help greatly if you are able to have the numbers of your current bike as a point of reference. Just remember; those numbers will vary with frame size so get the specs for the frame size you're riding.
 

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I got two phone calls from them to tighten up what I wanted regarding performance/handling. After that I called them once with questions and concerns.

Call this guy at Seven:
Greg Marchand
Performance Design Group
Seven Cycles, Inc
617-923-7774

He'll answer your questions.
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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Shops exist primarily to do a fit-kit as well as the initial interview. Then to do a prototype fit to see if you like the geometry. As part of the process you talk to one of their fit people to talk about everything regarding the bike. What you do and don't like about your present and past rides (fit ofc, handling, feel, accessories, accoutrements) and so on.

Not sure if you have yet based on your questions and how they're posed, but download the Seven Fit Kit PDF.

When I ordered mine turnaround from start (I want a Seven) to finish (frameset in the LBS being built) was 6 weeks....which is one aspect no individual custom builder (AKA one guy working in his shop by himself) can match. Strong and Zinn and so on are great guys, but you'll be waiting until long into next riding season probably before you see your toy. Depending on the builder, big individual names can have lead times of a year+



With any custom build process the key is for the customer to know what they want. Di2? Fender mounts? Rack mounts? Disk versus caliper versus canti? Max tire size in both forks? Paint? Matching paint to components like hubs? What BB standard? As well as fit/handling characteristics. The more you think every detail though the more likely you'll be pleased as a peach. My Axiom Race puts a smile on my face every time I ride it, 8 years later. Put a new transmission on it last summer, no upgrade-itis urge on the frameset whatsoever

https://imgur.com/a/fRBor

Sometime when I have disposable money to throw at a project I'll do a custom gravel bike-just because my roadie is fundamentally that. Make it a disk brake bike, handle 32mm tires plus fenders, kitted for wireless shifting. 68mm BSA bottom bracket, maybe T47 if that CK standard takes off...The key is starting at the top of the long list of possible features/options and going down and figuring out what you want item by item.
 

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A wheelist
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turnaround from start to finish was 6 weeks....which is one aspect no individual custom builder (AKA one guy working in his shop by himself) can match.
Hmmm, Jim Kish, one man shop, the builder of my current Ti road frame, missed it by one week - seven weeks until it was in my hands. Same as my Seven - seven weeks too.
 

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When I ordered my Seven the process was to go through the initiating meeting with the retailer who fills up the order form with you, measures your current bike, measures you and receives the deposit. Seven follows up with an interview at which you speak with the designer about specific traits you want the bike to have. Tubes are selected based on your weight and on how compliant you want the bike to be; however, I believe your weight has more to do with the tube selection comparively speaking.
Since you live so close to Seven you have another option readily available if you want to try before you buy and that is to visit the Ride Studio Cafe where these guys and Rob V., the owner of Seven, frequent.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
When I ordered my Seven the process was to go through the initiating meeting with the retailer who fills up the order form with you, measures your current bike, measures you and receives the deposit. Seven follows up with an interview at which you speak with the designer about specific traits you want the bike to have. Tubes are selected based on your weight and on how compliant you want the bike to be; however, I believe your weight has more to do with the tube selection comparively speaking.
Since you live so close to Seven you have another option readily available if you want to try before you buy and that is to visit the Ride Studio Cafe where these guys and Rob V., the owner of Seven, frequent.
yeah I've been to RSC quite a few times. Rob is a really nice guy. They have a new place out in Sherborn MA too.

Check this out: Introducing Project RedSky – Seven Cycles Blog

While a "custom" maker offering such a bike shouldn't be considered news in most case I think with Seven it probably is. I think there tend to stick within a model's description as opposed to other custom builders who could/would build anything you dreamed up and don't worry about it fitting into a model description.
 

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yeah I've been to RSC quite a few times. Rob is a really nice guy. They have a new place out in Sherborn MA too.

Check this out: Introducing Project RedSky – Seven Cycles Blog

While a "custom" maker offering such a bike shouldn't be considered news in most case I think with Seven it probably is. I think there tend to stick within a model's description as opposed to other custom builders who could/would build anything you dreamed up and don't worry about it fitting into a model description.
That RedSky looks to be quite a versatile rim brake all-rounder!

Their bike models are evolving around the same general layup with the each particular model adressing a specific variation; some more subtle than others. Take the RedSky, as an example, it appears to be the Axiom with wider chainstays to fit 32s with fenders rather than the standard Axiom option of 32s or 28s with fenders.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I can't believe it was way back in early August I asked about this.

Anyway, after a lot of deliberation and tossing around a lot of options, mentally I'm at the point of no return and going with Seven S model. The only thing that remains to be seen is Axiom or Red Sky. I intend to tell Seven that if exactly what I want handling and stiffness wise can be done with Red Sky (32 tire clearance) with no compromise that's what I want and if the extra clearance involves compromise make it Axiom (28 tire clearance).

It turns out my concern about communicating handling desires to Seven wasn't a valid one. The reason being that I have a Honey bike and have learned exactly where on the Seven number scale that falls for handling. Honey is designed and made by Seven so using what I know as a standard of compare should make communicating handling very easy.

Another hurdle I had to get over was deciding between steel, S or SL.
Partly because I'm cheap and partly because I saw and rode a steel Axiom that was seriously being considered. Man, talk about nice. But in the end I decided not having to worry about paint and rust has value to me and I suspected for steel to be as light as this was that denting risk would have to be there.....so decided Ti.

Then between S and SL. I had the pleasure of speaking to Someone Whodknowforsure, described what I'm looking for and confirmed either could be designed for that so it boiled down to roughly 1/4 of pound. I don't care about 1/4 a pound so picking the S is a no-brainer.

I probably won't order until January or so. Because I don't think I could stand the torture of picking up such a bike when there's too much snow and ice on the ground to go out and ride it hard and long.

Thanks again for all the feedback, guys. That really helped get the ball rolling. It's funny how after so much thought and research I ended up exactly where I would have been making a snap decision months ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When I was ordering my Kish I asked Jim what the difference was between butted and straight gauge Ti and his reply, in all honesty, was along the lines of "4 ounces and 2 hundred dollars".
yup, I'm really glad I found that out because I mistakenly was thinking butted would help them dial in exactly what I wanted and been poorer for it.

Mr. Someone Whodknowforsure also said butting allows them to adjust ride feel a little more than straight gauge does but that extra adjustability could only be taken advantage of by super light riders and people going way out of the box. At 150 pounds and wanting a pretty 'ordinary' road bike I stand nothing to gain from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So I didn't wait to order like I said I would and have had the bike for about 400 miles.

It far exceeded my hopes/expectations and rides like I didn't think possible. My goal was something between a snappy race bike I have and a big tire taking slow handling cross bike I have. The race bike is super fun to ride fast on but beats me up over 70 miles and I can ride the cross bike forever and feel fresh and it's super stable but pretty dull when sprinting or riding really aggressive. I thought there had to be a compromise between snappy fun to sprint and super smooth and stable and that was my goal.

Rather than a compromise the Seven is the best of both. It's super smooth (same tires and PSI as I was using on previous race bike) and stable when seated JRA but comes alive and is snappy and fun when I stand to sprint, climb or really lay into a curvey section. It's really amazing. Super fun to ride aggressively, yet boring when a bike should be boring.

One of the biggest improvements I've noticed is with my cornering ability. My old bike really did handle like the cliché "on rails". But the problem was that the rails didn't always go where I wanted to go. The Seven is just in a totally different league. Hard to explain how/why but I just don't even think about cornering anymore. The body English comes natural and it just carves the perfect line.

Super smooth too. One of the reasons I went custom is to insure I had something I could use 28mm tires on for super long rides or really bad roads. The irony is this thing is so smooth with 25mm that I probably won't even bother with 28 now. But it's nice to have the ability anyway.

The workmanship is flawless.

Overall I'm just thrilled.
 

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So I didn't wait to order like I said I would and have had the bike for about 400 miles....
Overall I'm just thrilled.
Very good review. VERY lousy pictures; it's almost like there aren't any...;-)

I don't know how you went about defining your wishes to Seven, but I could see how easy it would be to meet your needs; if they know the geometry of the road bike you're riding, and the geometry of the 'cross bike you're riding, it would be so easy to find the middle ground and result in a very happy cyclist.

I had the same result when I ordered my last custom frame. I knew what I liked and didn't like about the various road bikes I owned. I culled the features of each, mashed them together, and the result was a smile on my face every time I ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
yeah sorry. I don't own anything to post pictures and probably wouldn't be smart enough to use it if I did.

It looks great, trust me.
 
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