Introducing: Seven Mudxium S
Looking at my Strava statistics climbing up, my rearranged work schedule around a Wednesday morning ride, the utter detachment with which I look at bikes on the Internet (well…that’s an exaggeration), and the beautiful machine hanging on my wall, I feel rewarded having made the plunge into the titanium custom bike pool and choose to swim with the big sharks – Seven Cycles.
In June, 2013 I had a face-to-face meeting with Rob Vandermark at Ride Studio Cafe (RSC in Lexington, Massachusetts, U.S.A ) which was the culmination of months of internal debates and consultations until I decided to pull the trigger. I routed a flight to Washington, DC through Boston, well, it’s on the way and arranged for a day at RSC. Rob and myself discussed how the ride should feel, what was I going to do with the bike, what the handling should be like and how far I’d like to ride. Tech talk was kept to a minimal and apart from explaining that I’d like to be able to mount big tires on the bike (45mm) and would like disk brakes, we did not talk shop.
Prior to sitting with Rob, I took out one of Seven’s Mudxium S rides for an hour or so. Patria, the amazing curator at Ride Studio Cafe, made sure I’m comfortable on it, that it was dialed to my size, even replacing the stem, and loaded me up with a Garmin GPS so I could ride in a terrain I was completely foreign to. I had a blast, got muddy and excited and after she pumped me with some more excellent coffee, I sat down with Rob.
Rob also measured me on the same Mudhoney I took for a spin and also on my other bike, my Hunter, which I just happened to have have with me. I love riding my Hunter and made it clear that both bikes are not supposed to compete with each other. Hunter is the touring bike, the bike that I can load with panniers and take over the world. My Seven is there for everything else. All weather riding, road riding, gravel racing, whatever.
I picked up the frame on my next visit to the U.S. which was in October and brought it home in November. Then I started collecting components. This was a mistake since the beautiful frame and fork were hanging on the wall begging to be ridden, but were missing on a group and brakes. Then, just as I was ready to order the last piece – the brakes, TRP recalled their Spyre and I was scratching my head trying to figure out alternatives. Lucky enough, TRP managed to replace their Spyres quickly and with that the last component was procured.
With a box of components I went to my local bike shop – Pedalum Mobile, and had them built the bike. This was decided after reading an excellent post by Probably about buying custom bikes. He made the point that there is something very rewarding about going to the shop and picking up your finished bike. And I did just that. And he was correct – I did not see it get created, but within a few days it was ready, and I hit the streets with it.
WOW. What a ride. The Mudxium just needs someone to sit on her and she takes off. Peddling is highly optional. She is responsive to your intentions before you even know where you want to take her. She is comfortable even on the cobblestones that plague the city. She feels just as one would expect a custom made frame – she feels like she is made for me. And for this reason, we spend so much time together.