Friday location: Seven | Studio || 7:35 am – 9:10 pm
- Product Development: I’m way behind on a new mountain bike design for Seven Cycles. It’s been rolling around – on paper – for a few years. Matt O. and I are starting to work on a prototype. I’m way too slow. And there’s too many ideas to jam into one bike so the project will probably more likely end up being three bikes. That’s okay, but it’ll be frustrating for Matt. But he’s used to working with me – for 25 years. On this first bike we’ll be including about 10% of the total design ideas.
- Product Development: The three bikes for the RSC Endurance Team are moving along. They are diverging from each other every day. This is the actual design intent from the beginning: three bikes that can ride 1,200k but are all extremely different approaches to the same challenge. I’m excited about this one – or these three. More to come!
- Product Evolution: The past year has been interesting to watch how three wheel size options in mountain biking has wreaked havoc on bike industry product managers. Fortunate for Seven Cycles it doesn’t really matter what wheel-size is hot right now; we happily work with all three. And, because every bike we build is custom, we have some unusual insights into what’s happening on the front line. Lots of excited talk about a given design does not necessarily mean that people are buying it – at least at the high-end. It’ll be fun to watch how the true share of 26″, 650b, and 29er wheels evolve in the next year. It’s all good from where I sit – except for the marketing hype that says one wheel is infinitely better than all other wheels, until next week.
Post title: Me.
Parklet assembly for the Ride Studio Cafe
Thursday location: Seven | Studio || 7:40 am – 10:35 pm
- Product Development: Making some headway on Seven’s Tapered Carbon Road fork. Design phase is done; now on to testing and figuring out how to tune the ride properly.
- Product Development: I think I’ve found a good solution to Seven’s Carbon Disc Cross and Utility forks with multiple rakes. It’s tricky and time consuming but I believe it will work. Prototyping this in the next couple months. And it will be well worth it. Unique and purposeful.
- Ride Project: The Highpoint Ride with RSC is coming together really well. I think we’ve found the right set of individuals to help pull this logistic puzzle together. Details posting very soon.
- Future: The Ride Studio Cafe Parklet is getting assembled this weekend! It must be Spring! A parklet is a combination of bike parking and outdoor seating that takes up car parking spaces; in this case two car parking spaces. I hope that Lexington will survive. The town has been excellent in helping make this happen. As has Patria L.!
Post title: “Earth, spinning fast, proved sunrises and sunsets to be only dizzy local illusions.” - Howard Hendrix
Wednesday location: Seven | Studio || 7:55 am – 8:10 pm
- Product Development: Working on the Seven Cycles RSC Endurance Team bikes. Trying to come up with a fatigue-proof method for internal brake cable housing and hydraulic housing. Not so easy. Many years ago – at Merlin Metalworks we used to offer internal brake housing and nearly all those frames came back. Fortunately, internal electronic wiring is a completely different – and much easier challenge.
- Product Development: Working on the 2.0 version of Seven’s integrated fender mount system for carbon forks.
- Association: Had an interesting conversation with Chip Baker about Honey Bikes and my name association with the company. He says its a good connection. I sometimes sense that some people think Honey is a distraction from Seven Cycles. And therefore a negative connotation, in some ways. Chip says it’s all positive – but he’s always positive. I definitely find that working with both Seven Cycles and Honey Bikes reinforce and cross-pollinate – no puns please – in a very useful way. I’ve definitely had ideas from Honey that we’ve applied at Seven. And ideas from Seven that have creeped into Honey.
Post title: Me
Tuesday location: Scouting | Seven | Studio || 11:50 am – 9:20 pm
- Design: Making progress on the Seven Cycles video project. Natalia has been great. As per usual, she’s waiting on me for the next steps on getting the video completed.
- Ride: The Ride Studio Cafe Thursday night mountain ride is back on! Not for me this week. But it is my favorite.
- Note: 650b offroad wheels came out with 29er but got squashed. Yes, 650 has been around for a long time, but not for offroad. Just like 29er has been around for a long time – it used to be called 700c.
Post title: Frank Herbert
Monday location: Seven | Studio || 7:55 am – 8:45 pm
- Race: The 2013 Rapha Gentlemen’s Race is happening this weekend. Difficult to believe it’s already here. The team has been coming together for a while and it is a strong one. We’re expecting a good ride from the Ride Studio Cafe Endurance team – augmented with a few equally strong riders.
- Product Development: I’ve been working on the RSC Endurance Team bike project for a while. It’s now just about complete. Three unique bikes for three unique riders. Getting them completed in time for the Dirty Kanza. It’ll be tight but that’s how we rolls.
- Product Development: I’ve been working on integrating the upcoming 11-speed nightmare into Seven Cycles’ design process. The information I’ve received from the component manufacturers is preliminary so nothing’s set in stone. However, there’s going to be some problems doing retrofits onto existing bikes. Essentially they’re saying, “don’t do it.” Sweet.
Post title: “You set fire to everything you touch… and then you walk away as it burns.” - The Wire
Sunday location: Studio | 7:40 am – 7:05 pm
- Time Marker: A record at the Studio again today. The highest number of invoices per employee, to date. We shattered the previous record from two weeks ago.
- Time Marker: Today was a two tire iron shattering day for me at the Studio. That must be a good day.
Saturday location: Studio | Retailer Event in Connecticut || 6:40 am – 7:20 pm
From left to right profiles: Ben Serotta, Paul Levine, Bob Parlee, and Nick.
I’m the one taking the photo. Honest, I was there.
I – and John L. and Karl B. of Seven Cycles – were at Signature Cycles‘ “Meet the Makers” event today. It
The “Makers” were Bob Parlee of Parlee Cycles, Ben Serotta of Serotta Cycles, Nick of Guru Bicycles, and me. Paul Levine of Signature hosted some prepared questions and then opened up the floor for questions. People asked some great questions. And I heard some interesting answers. Maybe I’ll try to write down some of my recollections. Someone was filming the event but I doubt it’ll end up online.
It’s always good to see Bob Parlee; he’s honest and unfiltered. Ben always has interesting stories. This was the first time I’d met Nick of Guru; he was a really nice guy, smart, and did well sitting next to Ben Serotta and Bob Parlee.
The drive out and back was the best part because I got to listen to great music and talk about some seminal groups from my youth. I was feeling a bit old. Maybe it’s just the lack of sleep.
Friday location: Seven | Studio || 7:55 am – 12:20 am the next morning
- Event: Tomorrow is Signature Cycles’ Meet the Makers event. I’m wiped out so it’s going to be an interesting time.
- Meeting: I met with one of the oldest consultants with which I still work. It was a great meeting in which we focused on the ways in which I destroy Seven. It’s a long list so it was a long lunch. I want to write out some fo the destructive methods I use. They are very useful; if you want to destroy value.
- Ride Project: I worked on some of the parameters for the Highpoint Ride today. It’s interesting because I’ve not really seen a ride like this before so we’ve got to figure out some stuff that doesn’t really have a template from which to plagiarize.
- Words: The Honey Bikes blog is up and rolling. Thanks to Chip Baker for being so prolific with the great words. I certainly can’t keep up.
- Time Marker: Another long day’s slide into night.
Post title: “When you are wrestling for possession of a sword, the man with the handle always wins.” ― Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
Thursday location: Seven | 7:40 am – 9:35 pm
- Way-Back Machine: Competitive Cyclist dug up something about which I forgot.
- Product Development: Had a meeting today with A.C. about an important Seven Cycles project today. I’ll code-name it ”Trail Trial” for now. It’s going to take a month or so before this project becomes public. Once it’s public we’ll be tracking it on a daily basis. It’s going to be a bit of a mini Velvet project. And the person with which I’m working rocks at writing and documenting so this will be fun for a lot of reasons. More to come.
- Power Management: Three lights. Two Garmins. Two taillights. One backup power suppler Four hours in the dark. Night scouting is digital: the best ride or the worst. I’ve been blessed by having the best over and over again.
- Observation: Warning: rant coming. High speed wobble in a bicycle is something that pretty much everyone I’ve heard – that thinks they understand it – does not. It’s tedious to have the same conversation over and over with people that really don’t have much experience with it. I’ve been involved in building well over 60,000 hand-made bikes; more than 25,000 of these have been 100% customized. So, I – and Seven – actually have a very rare skill set when it comes to understanding bicycle dynamics and what makes them work – and not work. Seven knows how to troubleshoot high-speed wobble. And, surprise, surprise, it’s very rarely got anything to do with frame stiffness. For some reason a lot of people think this is the cause; it’s not. About 95% of the time it’s a component issue. 2.5% of the time it’s frameset alignment. About 2.47% of the time it’s rider position. And maybe 0.03% of the time it’s frame stiffness. Okay, I’m over it now. No more complaining. Back to work.
Post title: Me
For years I used a Blackberry phone. A number of Blackberry phones.
Competitive Cyclist’s most recent, “What’s New” dug up a Blackberry ad that I was in, back in 2006.
Anyone that’s been interviewed in a magazine before will know how quotes are often not real. This is one of those cases. I doubt anyone has ever heard me use the term, “world-class” in the same sentence as “Seven Cycles.”