What does a six times Tour de France finisher choose for his personal road bike.
Recently I caught up with Stephen Hodge, went for a pedal and snapped some impromptu pics of his Seven, the bike a rare beast in Australia.
ORDERING A SEVEN First Seven will require measurements for everything, including height, total body length, inseam, arm, lower leg, forearm, shoulder width, foot and shoe size.
Customisation begins with taking into account your flexibility, whether you suffer any shoulder, neck or upper back pain or hand numbness, cycling related or not.
Your current bike information is analysed including how responsive it is, the drive train rigidity, vertical compliance and ride comfort. Plus reach, bar height and current bike measurements are taken into account.
Considerations for your new Seven can include, how you use your bike, ride characteristics weight vs stiffness, handling, drive train stiffness, vertical compliance, weight to performance, wheel size, headset diameter, rear axle spacing, bottom bracket type, dropouts, brakes, cable routing options. Frame options include bottle mounts, chain hanger, fender mounts, rack mounts, belt drive option, decals colour, name decal option, paint colour. You can also specify fork, seat post, stem, handlebar, group set -triple or double, pedal model, maximum tire width, saddle model.
Ordering a Seven is an involved process, the end result, you receive a custom bike that fits your needs precisely. One reviewer's Seven compelled him to write, "Feels as if it had been forged from a single piece and sculpted into a perfectly balanced instrument".
The bike build was completed by Ian Downing of Downing's Bicycles Canberra, Ian summed up the Seven with one word, "unique".
In 1997 Seven Cycles introduced the Elium SL ground-breaking for it's time. The Elium SL pioneered the strategic combination of carbon and titanium. Responsive, forgiving and smooth, the butted titanium and filament wound carbon fiber tubing are bonded together to achieve what neither could accomplish alone.
The Specs : Stephen Hodge's Seven Cycles Elium Frame Seven Carbon - Titanium Frame Forks Seven Carbon integrated steerer and blades Custom Graphics On top tube Groupset Dura Ace 7900 Bars PRO PLT Stem PRO LT Headset Chris King Ti Wheels Dura Ace Carbon 1380 clinchers. Red spoke nipples Tyres Continental Gran Prix Poly X Breaker 700 x 24mm rear | Continental GP 4000S front Saddle Selle Italia PRO Link Titanium (The saddle has Ti rails, but the main aspect is that it is comfortable for me!) Seat Post Seven Titanium (The Ti seat post, I just wanted to package to be light and nice. I wanted to get a bit more set back in my position with one of those seat posts that gets you further back behind the bottom bracket, but the standard Seven post was actually as far back already as the specialist after-market posts.)
Pictures of the Elium build by Stephen Hodge, shot at Ian Downing's customised workshop in Canberra.
Impromptu i phone camera snaps of Stephen Hodge's Elium by Robert Cobcroft.