Archive for October, 2009

Enthusiasm or Overstatement?

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Super Premium Festive Cutlery?  Actually, it's, "super cheap plastic utensils".

Super Premium Festive Cutlery? Actually, it's, "super cheap plastic utensils".

Anyone that’s worked with me, or talked with me, for mor than 5-minutes knows that I’m not a cheerleader.  not only don’t I look like one, I also don’t talk like one.

So, it feels a bit odd that I’m so excited about the Collaborative with Seven Cycles.  I’m almost being a cheerleader–but not quite.

One of the reasons for this cheering-ness is that I’m so turned off by overstatement in product promises that I try not to have people confuse any hint of enthusiasm from me for overstatement.  It seems easy to cross the line in the 21st century.

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Why A Lugged Steel Bike?

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
Lugs and tubes and silver, oh my!

Lugs and tubes and silver, oh my!

The list of reasons is long.  Today, I’ll start with this reason:

Seven Cycles has never offered a lugged steel bike.

We’ve made a lot of steel frames over the years–all tig welded, never lugged.  We’ve built a lot of lugged frames–all titanium and carbon, never steel.

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The Project

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

So, what is this long-term project I’ve been writing about?  The short answer is:

Design & Build a Steel Lugged Bike

We have a more definitive mission for the Collaborative, but that’s all I’m going to say for now.

This may not seem very exciting.  However, I am pretty confident that it’s going to be interesting and engaging.  Yes, exciting—not for everyone but for some.  It’s already been exciting for me and some of the people in the Collaborative.

People that know Seven might find this to be a strange project.  In some ways it is; it’s certainly not a type of frame building for which Seven is known.  And, a lot of people would be surprised to know how many people at Seven have built lugged steel bikes and how long that’s been going on.

More on that later.  Back to work now.

A year and a half ago

Monday, October 12th, 2009
Opposing Forces & Creative Conflict

Opposing Forces & Creative Conflict

I was talking with one of the Seven Cycles CoLab participants a few days ago about how this project began came about. Where did the idea come from?

It’s a long and convoluted story.

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Creativity & Capital Resources

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
T.D. building a frame for Greg Lemond.  In the dark?

T.D. building a frame for Greg Lemond. In the dark? Circa 1990

Continuing the conversation about the inception of the CoLab idea.  In a conversation with Seven Cycles’ M.O. we discussed some of the creative work we did at Merlin Metalworks in the lat 1980s.  And, how the creative work at Seven occurs so differently than it did at Merlin.

There are a lot of reasons for why these differnces exist.  However, I believe that the single overriding factor to the differences has to do with capital resources.  Merlin was blessed with a co-founder that had capital–and he invested a lot of capital to help Merlin develop, particularity in the early years.  Seven, on the other hand had only enough capital to get us through the first couple months of the business.  All the rest of the initial money came from my credit cards–lots of them.  And a lot of sweat equity from the founding team of Seven.  That first year, and really every year since, has been a reminder that we’re not like Merlin–that’s good and bad.

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