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  1. #1
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    2006 Axiom steel

    I test rode a 2006 axiom steel yesterday at my local LBS, a Seven dealer, which has been calling my name since I saw it just last week in the store. Hadn't paid any attention to the thought of a custom frame bike as I've only been riding road for a few months on a Spec.Secteur which has been a great bike for the first 900 miles.It fits me quite well at least as this newbie sees it, no pains anywhere on rides up to 50 miles.

    The Seven was a different ride and amazingly a close fit considering it was a custom build for someone else and purchased from this same LBS new 6 years ago. It's got a 9sp Ultegra with a triple,decent Mavic Aksium race wheels, Chris king headset, thompson seat post, and amazingly a Spec. avatar seat which I had wanted to try on my Secteur. It has a beautiful lighter blue fading into gray on the large tubes. I felt so good and natural on the bike and I tried the test of riding hands free which has been shaky on my Secteur but was rock steady on the Seven. I'm not looking to replace my Secteur as I've really enjoyed it but this Seven is priced at $1300 and won't last I'm sure. My only hesitation is I'm not that experienced and evaluating a used bike is scary as well as throwing more dollars down the bike money pit. I do trust the LBS having bought my Secteur there and
    have been treated well since the purchase. Glad today is a holiday and see myself walking in there as soon as they open tomorrow and picking up bike #3. What an addicting hobby that's not much different than my other love, guitars. I've managed to accumulate nine of the darn things.

    Any advice on evaluating a used bike would be helpful. We weighed it as well as my Secteur and both came in at just under 21 lbs which seemed surprisingly heavy. I did have my Shimano SPD/platform combo pedals on the Seven and suppose the Mavics are far from the lightest wheels around as well. Perhaps the Avatar seat is heavy too. I keep seeing postings from Seven owners including some steel Resolutes coming in around 18-19 pounds and less for titanium axioms. I have no intention to get into the lower weight world but still find it interesting. Most of my focus has been learning how to ride on the road and I've really surprised myself in this short time. At 62 I have no intention to race but definitely see centuries in my future.

    Latif

  2. #2
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    How I would evaluate a used or new bike, does it fit me? It's that plain and simple. If it doesn't fit, then it's not a good value.

    Second, for the Seven, what was the original owners weight that the bike was designed for? If they were 50 lbs lighter than you, the bike might be too soft for you.

    Ride quality was my up most important when I selected my Seven Axiom SL. It currently weighs 17.1 lbs with pedals (ready to ride with two water bottle cages and computer). Weight isn't everything. I weigh 175 lbs + 17 lbs bike = 192 lbs ... so an additional three lbs, say 195 lbs total weight isn't the end of the world. I went from a 21 lbs bike to my 17 lbs bike, I'm only slightly faster climbing and it's not noticeable in the flats.

    My Axiom SL leaves me pain free at the end of a century ... I'm no where as beat up as my old alum/carbon bike.

  3. #3
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    As I was told when I was shopping for my Seven and the store had a demo bike on sale: a deal on a bike that doesn't fit is no deal at all.

  4. #4
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    Well I went ahead and got the bike last Friday and despite the heavy rains we're seeing have managed about 60 miles including one 25 miler. So far so great! The shop I got it from is a Seven dealer and they got the original spec sheets from Seven so I could see what the original build was. It was built as a "stock 58cm sloping" axiom steel frame and the LBS built it for a client from there. It has Ultegra 9sp with a 52,39,39 triple and 12-25 cassette, Mavik Aksium race wheels and Cont. gatorskins.
    The amazing thing is although it has a 2cm longer ETT than my Secteur, almost all the critical points are just about the same. The Secteur is sold as a comfort frame with the same geometry as the Roubaix. I'm slightly more stretched out on the Seven and it feels great. The saddle to bar drop is almost even, same as the Secteur so it really is a similar feel. For some reason I feel more powerful on the Seven and it really is a smooth and solid feeling ride. I'd say the Secteur is more twitchy and I feel a bit more confident on the Seven on fast downhills.(We're only talking low 30s here folks). I prefer the cornering feel on the Seven as well. So far no problems with neck, back, hands or knees but the Secteur was doing well in that category. Aside from a decent off the shelf fit, there's something about the Seven that I feel intimately connected with that beckons me to ride more. I was never crazy about the aesthetics of my Secteur and find the Seven the nicest looking bike I've seen and feel lucky to have found a used one in such great shape. Perhaps someday I'll get to do a custom Ti build but that possibility is far off the radar at this time.
    The only thing I feel I need to change is going to a 12-27 cassette for climbing relief. I do have a question about that and it's do I need a new longer chain in going from a 25 to 27? The bike has a new chain already and it would be great if I didn't need to add that expense at this time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LatifB View Post

    The only thing I feel I need to change is going to a 12-27 cassette for climbing relief. I do have a question about that and it's do I need a new longer chain in going from a 25 to 27? The bike has a new chain already and it would be great if I didn't need to add that expense at this time.
    No, you do not need a longer chain and I think it will not make much of a difference going from a 25 to a 27 on a triple chainring

  6. #6
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    Here's an update after a couple months and close to 700m.I'm so glad I made the leap and dot this bike.Most every day I can't wait to get out and ride it although my Sectuer gets the nod on the wetter days and town run/errand days. I put a Selle Anatomica on it about 300m ago and am very pleased with that choice as well.

    The 7 year old Ultegra 9 sp triple drive train still shifts smooth and is noticeably quieter than the much newer Sram apex setup on my Spesh. The tires are gatorskins and I just had my first flat, a piece of embeded glass. I've read that gatorskins are supposed to be a hard ride but I've got no complaints and only the stock spesh tires on my Sectuer to compare to. Even though the Sectuer has the zertz fittings and carbon forks and seatstays the ride quality on the Seven is smoother and steadier. My only complaint which has nothing to do with the Seven is that the ultegra brifters rattle a lot on our chipseal roads which I've read is a common complaint.
    I've got some steep climbs close by and have decided to change out my 30t granny ring for a 26 after a lot of research and recommendations. I know it's no substitute for conditioning but I've been unable to make it up a couple hills. I don't want to give up my closer spacing on the 12-25 cassette for a bigger cassette and the chainring change is less costly as well. I may give up some shifting smoothness between the inner and middle rings but I don't tend to shift back and forth on the front very often.

    So far no back, knee, hand or neck pains and feel my choice to go for the slightly larger bike has worked out great. Can't help but wonder what a Seven custom fitted to my body would be like as this used one has been so good but would need a windfall as I begin my semi retirement days on a fixed SS income and some small construction/consultation jobs.

  7. #7
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    Well done! Sounds like you made a terrific choice on good advise from your LBS. Glad to read you are enjoying your Seven.

    NM

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