Last week, I traveled to Boston for the first time in 15 or 16 years. As Robot noted, we’d also planned to ride together but due to an injury to his hand, that didn’t happen. Still, the trip wasn’t a wash. The purpose of the trip was to visit Seven Cycles and sit down with Rob Vandermark and some of his staff to talk over a collaboration between Seven and RKP. This will be an unusual step for us and I look forward to revealing it later this summer.
Naturally, part of my visit included a tour of Seven’s shop floor, which has grown significantly since I last saw it. It’s an impressive place.
This rack contains carbon fiber tubes of varying diameters and composition for use in bikes like the 622 SLX.
These are raw titanium tubes that have yet to be cut into shorter sections for use in frames. I had to remind myself that this stuff is usually being used for hydraulic lines in aircraft.
These bins contain titanium dropouts and disc brake tabs.
Need to shape a tube into a curve? Bending titanium isn’t easy; the bar extended well out of the frame.
This box contains all the tubes for a frame as well as the folder with all the customer’s bike’s information. Interestingly, each bike is tracked according to the customer’s name, not a production number. It gives Seven’s workforce a greater sense of accountability and registers that this bike is for an individual.
This is the main triangle of a frame that has been coped or mitered and is ready to be tacked.
This is one of Seven’s flat tables. There’s a certain irony to a tool that does nothing other than sit there, but has a profound impact on whether or not a bike is built correctly.
These are completed welds that haven’t been cleaned up. The heat-affected zone is tiny and the discoloration is absolutely minimal. The small disc on the down tube is for a Di2 port.
I find CNC machines endlessly fascinating. The control unit is as mysterious to me as the cockpit of a plane.
There’s no real secret to the satin finish of a Seven frame. It requires a lot of old-fashioned elbow grease.
Not much to say here. A completed frame ready to ship.
Not all bikes at Seven are by Seven. The employees ride lots of different bikes. I didn’t notice the skateboards until after I’d taken this photo, though.
No matter how beat, it’s still a Laser.
Among bike makers, there’s always a collector. And what they collect can vary, but a collection of rear derailleurs is pretty cool.
Still gorgeous 25 years later.
Faceplates for ti stems.
These are mitered tube sections that will be bonded to carbon tubes for Seven’s popular Elium model.