Seven axiom/axiom sl or IF ti crown jewel with carbon seat tube
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  1. #1
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    Seven axiom/axiom sl or IF ti crown jewel with carbon seat tube

    I'm really torn between these options and would appreciate your views on the pros and or cons of any of the 3 options above.
    Im about 130lbs, and intending on using the bike for long commutes of up to 2 hrs a few times a week so need a comfortable bike which arguably shouldnt be an issue for any of these frames given their custom nature.

    The sl is the most expensive, followed by the if ti crown jewel followed by the axiom s. Sl is double butted and the other 2 aren't.

    The IF is shot peended but harder to "refresh" if scratched than either of the axiom models which is something i guess?

    Any thoughts on mixing the carbon and ti tubes?

    I have owned an if mtb previously and know they are a good company. I also know that seven a re a good company. So for those of you in the know, what would make you pick one over the other and crucially, why?

    Thanks in advance of your replies.

  2. #2
    Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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    I don't have a recommendation either way, but do have a couple of thoughts to share.

    Seven is really good about helping buyers decide between the straight-gauge S and the double-butted SL. Listen to them. They'll tell you if, in your situation, the extra expense of the SL makes sense or not. I personally know Seven owners who have been told that for the specifications they chose and their weight, that the double-butted would only add expense without adding to comfort or performance.

    Over at IF, if you prefer brushed to shot-peened, just say so when ordering, and they'll finish it in brushed. That's the beauty of custom frames--you have the final say in every detail.

    At either one, plan ahead and ask for rack and fender mounts, even if you have no current plans for either one. Ten years from now, you may change your mind, and they'll already be there. Same thing with tire size. Today you may be thinking 23. Make sure there's room for 28s just to take it easier on your older self 20 years from now.

    Personally, I think Ti is a fantastic choice for a commuter, if only for the durability of the finish. With the exception of the decals, my ancient (1996) Litespeed still looks like new. (If you ignore the old-school threaded steerer and headset.) It doesn't have rack or fender mounts, so it doesn't commute every day, but I do commute on it every day possible. Makes the day so much nicer.

    HTH!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
    ...Any thoughts on mixing the carbon and ti tubes?..
    I like mixed Ti/carbon frames because they look really cool, but the practical benefits are doubtful at best. For commuting I would stick to all Ti, for durability.

    Forget about double-butting. It gives only a small improvement in weight, while costing a lot and reducing fatigue strength.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for your thoughts Brucew. I rang IF to speak to them personally last week but it never struck me to speak to Seven which I will do next week. It will be interesting to see what they say about double butting vs no butting.
    Your points about rack and fender mounts and the options to fit larger volume tyres are duly noted. At the moment, I commute with a back pack which isn't too uncomfortable as I have been doing so for several years but I suspect, there will come a time when it becomes les comfortable.

  5. #5
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    I agree Mr Evil, carbon ti mixtures do look very cool but I have a feeling that you're right about its function on a commuter albeit a very nice durable commuter. As for double butting, barring weight I am yet to hear of a good reason for the excess in cost so thats positive too. By the way, youre Firefly is amazing!

  6. #6
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Do you have a Seven or Indy Fab dealer nearby? Odds are you only have one or the other-although I suppose in a big area you might have a dealer of both locally.

    I use my trusty Axiom Race as my commuter and go quicky/far bike. Very little I'd change about it, and love racking on the miles...and if or when there is I can call Seven and odds are for a fee they'd do the work. Probably in a few years, I'll want disc breaks, for example. Great thing about Ti, it gets grimey and a damp paper towel wipes it clean.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  7. #7
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    Thanks Marc. I have both dealers near to where I work and live so accessing the dealer isn't an issue in this case. Their fitting options are dramatically different however.

    One uses the Retul system and the data is interpreted by a fitter who is a biomechanic by trade and the other uses Specialized's BG system and interprets the data based on their years of experience of selling bikes. Also something for me to think about when deciding who and where to purchase the frame from.

    Agree that the option to be able to refresh titanium bikes is a big plus which ever bike I end up with.

    Is your Axiom Race set up differently to a standard Axiom i.e do you have a 44mm headtube etc?

  8. #8
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Quote Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
    Thanks Marc. I have both dealers near to where I work and live so accessing the dealer isn't an issue in this case. Their fitting options are dramatically different however.

    One uses the Retul system and the data is interpreted by a fitter who is a biomechanic by trade and the other uses Specialized's BG system and interprets the data based on their years of experience of selling bikes. Also something for me to think about when deciding who and where to purchase the frame from.

    Agree that the option to be able to refresh titanium bikes is a big plus which ever bike I end up with.

    Is your Axiom Race set up differently to a standard Axiom i.e do you have a 44mm headtube etc?
    From reading and look at both Indy's and Seven's fitting documents they both look pretty darn similar...and the procedure for custom fit is pretty darn similar as well. You go somewhere, someone measures you-fill out a document about your riding prefs and bikes, send it off, and someone at homebase cooks up a fit. Also phone calls/interviews etc.



    I got my Axiom Race the last year they offered that model (was 2009 I ordered)...it became in 2010 what is now the Axiom SL I believe. Got the Race and not that year's Axiom S equivalent in part because back then they had a package deal of Race-framset(current SL model frame/fork)+custom paint. It was that package discount that made me jump for the Race (Now-SL) over the straight-gauge frame only. I didn't have IndyFab to pick from locally, it was either Seven or Moots-and IMHO the bendy-looking seatstays on Sevens are just beautiful things, also liked the shop better. Can also see the metal working of the butting externally.

    I'm honestly not sure what my headtube size is. I asked for it to fit a standard King Nothreadset. Had English threaded BB (pressfit was becoming the norm but still had issues back then). Asked for 28mm tire clearance. Asked for fender mounts as much as could be-Race fork back then didn't have the holes for it sadly. Asked for a 6* top tube slope just because I like the look (standard TT slop on Moots). Got custom paint.

    Bike still puts a smile on my face every morning commute, even in the foul weather. Have had zero desire to shop for another bike since.

    Word of warning, bare decals on bare Ti aren't very durable IME. Just nature of the beast. My Seven has some battle scars from a crash or two-but only in the paint (can see in photos below Like I said only thing I'm really debating about changing is disc break mounts once they get more standardized on road. Also AFAIK Seven doesn't do their Ti frames with replaceable derailleur hangers-I've had zero issues though*


    *Funny story. Was on the state cycling tour a few years ago...rear shifting was being problematic. Tour SAG was *convinced* I had a bent der hanger, and were happy to try and bend it back. Now a few days later, I get back to town, take my baby back to the shop where I bought her...their master wrench looks at it and puts it in a frame jig-and declares, "bullsh!t". Source of my bad shifting was actually gunked up RD housing....not only did ride SAG not correctly diagnose the problem, they also failed at trying to coldset (bend) by hand the 3/2.5 Ti hanger. Yes, the SAG crew failed at trying to bend the RD hanger off center. LOL.

    Some piccies:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/agyft9rayl...13.56.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/8kt4o27v87...34.45.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/oz7y3zbjdk...34.34.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/2yt0afy40n...31.09.jpg?dl=0
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  9. #9
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    All second hand, but continue to hear wonderful things about Seven and their customer service. I just don't hear those same things about I.F. Seven also has one of the best reputations at building custom bikes. Their database of previous fittings gives them more data points to work with than just about anyone else.

  10. #10
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    You’re absolutely right about the fitting sytems at Seven and IF being very similar. The really annoying thing is that there are aspects to both styles of their straight gauge bikes that I like, hence the indecision for the time being. The Axiom SL over in the UK is about $1000US more than the Axiom S so thats pretty much out of bounds for me budget wise.
    You must have been thrilled to get an end of season frame deal with custom paint to boot. Your frame is specced as I would pretty much have mine. The fender mount at the fork is proving to be an issue as I would need long reach brake calipers and there aren't any options out there for campag users unless I get the TRP version.
    Re painting, I’m likely to go with a brushed look with minimal decals.
    Great story about the SAG attempts, though I would have been mortified if they had been successful at the ‘cold set’ only to find out later than it was the RD and not the frame.

  11. #11
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    Yes, same here Trek5200. In fact I have only come across one bad review of a Seven from a customer on this site. Everything else I have read to date has been nothing but glowing. What have you heard about IF? I thought their reputation in the US was equally positive?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
    Yes, same here Trek5200. In fact I have only come across one bad review of a Seven from a customer on this site. Everything else I have read to date has been nothing but glowing. What have you heard about IF? I thought their reputation in the US was equally positive?
    The big negative I've heard about I.F. is that customers experience long waits. My understanding is that Seven is better able to deliver a bike on schedule. Again , this is , what I've heard. I don't have personal experience with either, although lately I've been lusting after a Firefly, which ironically has wait times approaching one year.

  13. #13
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Quote Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
    You’re absolutely right about the fitting sytems at Seven and IF being very similar. The really annoying thing is that there are aspects to both styles of their straight gauge bikes that I like, hence the indecision for the time being. The Axiom SL over in the UK is about $1000US more than the Axiom S so thats pretty much out of bounds for me budget wise.
    You must have been thrilled to get an end of season frame deal with custom paint to boot. Your frame is specced as I would pretty much have mine. The fender mount at the fork is proving to be an issue as I would need long reach brake calipers and there aren't any options out there for campag users unless I get the TRP version.
    Re painting, I’m likely to go with a brushed look with minimal decals.
    Great story about the SAG attempts, though I would have been mortified if they had been successful at the ‘cold set’ only to find out later than it was the RD and not the frame.
    Oh, when I heard about SAG's failure on all accounts I was livid. I still do that ride every year, but I keep that SAG crews mitts off my baby unless I absolutely need to.

    Something you might consider if you're going bespoke anyway...and are wanting fenders, and worried about brake clearance... Nowadays they offer a gravel-road Ti bike (Evergreen) that is disc brake, and hell the roadbike scene seems to be destined to migrate to disc brakes anyway.

    Nice thing about going bespoke, you know what you want and ask for it-odds are you can get it. Me I was kind of stuck because I wanted the custom paint deal, you're not. And being bespoke, they can make any of their framesets handle however you want basically. When I ordered my Axiom Race, I asked them to tone done the raciness geometry a bit to make it handle more like the reg Axiom. Never hurts to shoot them an email and ask, heck they might have a better idea than I do. Presumably there's ways of making Campy work with disc brakes, but that is something I'm not an expert in.


    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    The big negative I've heard about I.F. is that customers experience long waits. My understanding is that Seven is better able to deliver a bike on schedule. Again , this is , what I've heard. I don't have personal experience with either, although lately I've been lusting after a Firefly, which ironically has wait times approaching one year.
    Dunno how large IF's operation is, but last I knew Seven employed a crew of like 30-40 guys/gals from welders/finishers/painters to office staff. They also work through a ton of shops. I've never seen IF's on a shop floor, then again my LBS doesn't keep Sevens on their shop floor either and so far as I know I was their first custom Seven order.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

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