Strengths: TOP quality finish. Beautiful welds. Solid. Built with attention to detail.
Weaknesses: None to speak of.
I bought this frame used. If I had paid full whack for it then admittedly the value score would have dropped a chilli. I`ve been mountain biking since 1992. Basically, I`ve went full circle. Rigid, HT, FS and now back to a Hardtail. Tried em all and a good few in between. I was orginally looking for a Fat Chance Yo Eddy but after a year of searching gave up and bought this.
After coming from my last bike (DeVinci Moonracer) I was expecting a sluggish retro hard ride. In absolute all honesty I was very pleasnatly surprised. It tracks and rides with the zeal only a steel hardtail can give. Brilliant brilliant bicycle to get on an go. Anywhere. From local cross country trails to the pavement or into town it comes to life. The last time I had a bike that felt like this was the Yo Eddy. Glad I took the gamble and bought it. Built up with 100mm air fork and XT/Thomson/Control tech parts.
Sure it can`t do DH or huck or tackle the jump park with any conviction but when it comes to BIKE RIDING it ticks every box. Makes me smile and remember when things were great. Top bike.
Similar Products Used: Fat Chance Yo Eddy (the best)
Ibis Alibi (excellent)
Airborne Titanium (so so)
Bike Setup: 100 Reba Race. XT drivetrain. Control tech components. Flite Ti, King Aheadset.
Date Reviewed: March 17, 2005
Strengths: This bike is most beautiful bike I have ever seen and ridden. Anyone who says this bike is less than perfect is a moron.
Weaknesses: None at all, price is worth it.
This bike is great. I saw another person put in this was a horrible bike, well your a noob rider. This bike is great, I love it. Theres nothing better and it was worth the money. If you can afford it, buy it. The welds and everything are perfect and this bike runs smooth. I race and this bike blows the competiton away, weighing 20lbs. Its a great bike and anyone who says it isnt does NOT know what they are talking about.
Bike Setup: Full Xtr, Chris King Hubs,Ceramic rims, Manitou carbon fork..... etc.
a Cross Country Rider
from Ontario Canada
Date Reviewed: August 29, 2004
Strengths: Perfection in construction and tailoring. Longevity. Factory dealings pre and post purchase. Annual xmas card (nice touch 7!). E-mails to Seven get immediate replies.
Weaknesses: I guess for some people the price would be its weakness.
I've now had this frame 5½ years so I think this entitles me to update my review way down below. I still have this frame because it can't be improved upon in any way. If I ordered a new one tomorrow I'd get it made exactly the same as this one. Apart from a dulling of the finish and a few scratches it still looks like new.
Seven Cycles promise to do a perfect tailoring job and here we are five years down the road and I still can't fault anything about this frame.
It rides so mellow (I asked specifically for a "mellow" ride) that I have no need or wish for suspension of any kind - my Pace rigid carbon fork compliments it perfectly. Oh sure it's not like a 4" travel FS bike but it pours itself through tennis ball sized rock gardens good enough to put a smile on my face.
I guess it's kind of boring in a way as I like to buy new stuff (none of the parts are original) but I can't think of one good reason to replace it. A factory re-furbish would make it look like new again.
This bike is so light and fast I prefer to take it than my (non Seven) road bike. It still holds the record for my 30 mile road ride.
This is the kind of frame that should be bought by anyone who has the means and the experience to appreciate the finest in riding tools. This is the Ferrari F150 of bikes.
Even if you're not experienced enough to specify exactly what you want or need Seven has the custom fit process down to a science. Just surrender to them.
Similar Products Used: Custom True North 853. Kestrel CS-X. Bontrager Race Lite.
Bike Setup: Pace carbon fiber rigid fork, Formula B4SL disc brakes, Race Face cranks, King headset, Boone Ti chainrings, Moots Ti seatpost and stem, DT-Swiss 240 hubs, Sapim CX-Ray spokes, Bontrager rims, SRAM shifting with XO derailer, Shimano Ti cassette, Eggbeater pedals. Conti Twister tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from sf, ca
Date Reviewed: June 14, 2003
Strengths: super customization, awesome bike art, bulletproof finish (sort of), unbeliveable stiffness and compliance
Weaknesses: dingable- a big rock bit my chainstay
ok, i rode it hard the first two years, even crazy to abuse it in moab, but then i had some serious professional school to attend in another city. so i bought an aluminum trek 4100, which is a darn whole bike for so little cash. hey, im not a snob. I almost forgot about how the sola rode because I just needed the bike for commuting. the treks aluminum frame is actually pretty good and stiff, but not as harsh as I expected big diameter aluminum to be. funny thing is, the whole bike was stiff- with the handlebar against the wall, i could not flex the seatpost/frame toward the wall. I remember that I could easily flex it on my sola. well, i just got home on a break and took the sola out for a spin- funny thing, the ti sola is even stiffer than a big aluminum frame at the bottom bracked AND is more compliant in the rear. to tell the truth, while riding the sola, it is very hard to detect the rear compliance because you don't feel the small annoying bumps and you think it's not working, but it actually is. well, anyways, the sola is amazing- superlight and rides like a tuned instrument. these days, though, i must admit, even an entry level (but well designed) trek aluminum frame feels pretty decent. stuff is so much better now, but the sola has been bulletproof and supertuned from day 1- i can wait until later when im free to ride it more. its my hobby, money is no object as long as i have some left to pay the bills!
Purchased At: i shouldnt have gone to a road store
a Cross Country Rider
from Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China
Date Reviewed: December 18, 2002
Strengths: Light weight, easy to handle, almost unique in the locality, looks really cool !!!
Weaknesses: Not yet detected apart from being too expensive.
My Seven Sola Ti weighs almost 30 pounds!!! Yet it is very solid and is the best and sweetest bike I've ever ridden. No repair what so ever is needed during the whole year except replacing brake pads as I cover at least 20 KM almost every night and much more during weekends and public holidays. People used to call me Uncle TREK. Now they call me Uncle Seven.
Favorite Trail: Any trail as long as it is unpaved
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: Flying Ball, Hong Kong
Similar Products Used: TREK 930 Singletrack
Bike Setup: Seven stem and handlebar, a Ti seat-post from Tai Wan, Zona Tres saddle from Salsa Cycles,Chris King headset, Chris King disc hubs, Marvic D521+DT spokes & Michelin 2.2 DH tires, Shimano XT disc brakes, Marzocchi X-Fly 100 fork, and the rest are all Shimano XTRs.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2002
Strengths: Attention to detail. I own a 5 year old Axiom and the build quality hasn't suffered in the past 5 years. Fit and sizing. Seven's ability to interpret your requests. Not so much a review of the frame, the materials, the craftmanship or Seven themselves, but of the whole process. A truly integrated approach to building the bike.
Weaknesses: Costs so much, you do feel yourself holding back for fear of crashing and denting the frame or causing damage. Maybe this will pass with time. The disc brake mount is a little cheap looking.
Inevitably at this price, some reviews are as much a justification for having spent what is really an obscene amount of money on a bike ratyer than a true reflection of the bike's characteristics. However, having ridden (and been disappointed by) a number of similarly priced bikes over the years, I can honestly say that the Seven is truly the ultimate bike. You need to have a pretty good idea of what you want from a bike before you start, but if like me you have a very clear idea, and want to take the best aspects of a number of different designs and feels of materials that you have tried, then the Sola is the way to go. No other bike offers this level of customisation. I put my trust entirely in Seven's interpretation of my measurements and the finished result is amazing. I thought that I had other bikes set up to my geometry pretty well until I rode the Sola. Having experienced Seven's customer service with my Axiom, I can honestly say that they were first rate after sale as well. The finish of the welds, the detail and the quality of materials used goes a long way to justifying the price, but the finishing touch is the customisation.
Similar Products Used: Merlin XLM, Cannondale CAAD5, De Kerf Team SL
Bike Setup: Full 2003 XTR Disc, Seven Stem, Easton EC90 bar, PMP Ti Seat Post, Selle Italia SLR, Mavic 317 disc rims, DT Competition spokes, Continental Explorer Supersonic tyres.
a Cross Country Rider
from Livermore, ME USA
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2002
Strengths: Hype, Take this piece of crap to a race and you'll get a lot of attention.
Weaknesses: Very Poor quality, Bad Customer Service. Two year old bike: 1) Weld at BB to chain stay failed. 2) Frame bolts for water bottle cages loose I'd expect better quality from a bike that costs a quarter the price.
Do not buy anything from Seven, poor quality at outrageous prices, dosen't add up.
a Cross Country Rider
from Hyattsville, MD, USA
Date Reviewed: July 8, 2002
Strengths: Beautiful craftsmenship, strong, power transfers to the ground where it belongs.
Weaknesses: Envy - Now I want a Seven road frame too.
This bike is as close to perfect as a bike could be. Yes it is expensive, but it's the last frame you should ever have to buy. I have found that I can ride twice as long as I could on my aluminum hardtail. The bike climbs and accelerates smoothly and powerfully, and corners like it's on rails. If you want a premier hardtail, this is the bike for you.
Similar Products Used: Schwinn Homegrown, Klein Attitude, Fisher Sugar 1
Bike Setup: Full XTR, Chris King Headset, Thomson Stem, Easton Carbon Seat post and flat bar, CaneCreek Chrono wheels, Continental Explorer Pro tires. Time ATAC Pedals, and RockShox Sid SL Fork.
a Weekend Warrior
from Allendale, Michigan
Date Reviewed: May 1, 2002
Strengths: - Rear end compliance - Nice craftsmanship
Weaknesses: - Flexy handling, expecially in turns - Custom-sized frame felt too big for me
This was my second Seven (the first being a Sola Ti hardtail). The Sola fit me well, but I felt it was considerably stiffer in the back end than what it should have been. I initially switched to a ti frame to get a smoother ride than my hardtail Cannondale. Since the Sola was still too stiff, a Teres seemed like the logical choice based on the reviews and the construction/quality of my Sola.
I decided to go with the same relative measurements as the Sola, except I decided to use a straight Thomson seatpost rather than the RaceFace XY post that I had on the Sola. The result was a slacker seat angle and longer top tube. The bike ended up feeling too big for me, even though the measurements told me that it matched up with my riding position on the Sola.
My biggest complaint, though, was that the handling in turns felt incredibly squirmy due to the flex of the bottom bracket (Note: I'm 178lbs...not a small rider, but not a clydesdale either). Granted, the vertical compliance was nice, but the trade-off for the handling wasn't worth it. I decided to sell the bike after riding it only a handful of times.
I now ride a factory-sized steel Soulcraft hardtail, and I am much more pleased (actually, elated) with the ride quality and fit of this bike than I was with either of my custom Sevens. Seven makes a really pretty bike, but IMHO, there are much better options at a much more reasonable price.
In all fairness, my riding partner (5'9" 165 lb.) also rides a Teres. His frame is considerably smaller than the one I had, and he doesn't notice the sideways flex I mentioned. I attribute this to the smaller triangles of the frame, but that's just speculation. As a frame of reference, I'm 6'0" 178lbs. My frame was had an 18" C-C seat tube and 24.4" top tube.
Favorite Trail: Highland Rec Area, Pontiac Lake Rec Area
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: Team Active Cycling & Fitness
Similar Products Used: - Seven Sola Ti - Multiple other hardtails
Bike Setup: HeadShok Fatty Ultra DL fork, RaceFace post, Easton bars, Mavic Cross-Ride wheels, XT/XTR/Coda components
a Cross Country Rider
from Somerville, MA
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2001
Strengths: Fantastic ride and quality craftsmanship.
Weaknesses: Paint job envy.
I waited a full year to post a review because I didn’t want my opinion to be tainted by newness.
I have met many other Seven Sola owners and know that each one of them has an entirely different bike from mine. The important thing is that you can get exactly what you want. If you want to experience the fun of working with a team of professionals to create a bike that does exactly what you want it to, then this bike is for you. No it is not cheap. Yes it takes at least 6 weeks to design and build (possibly longer) but where else are you going to get this kind of service. These bikes are very rare and most people do not recognize them by name. They are not outwardly flashy but are cherished by the people who know what they are. If you really enjoy riding and take pride in your bike then you will not be disappointed.
I specified my bike with two things in mind. I wanted it to climb like a mountain goat and I wanted it to soak up a little of the stutter on heavily rooted trails. Everything else on the bike is in line with Seven’s Signature fit which is a great setup for tight, technical singletrack. I expected that my first ride on the bike would be different in some way. In reality, I didn’t notice anything unusual at all. I did notice that my neck didn’t hurt after the ride and my wrists didn’t hurt during the ride. So I guess the lesson is that it is the things you don’t feel that make the customization worth while. The steering was very responsive because of the steep head angle I specified. Subtle movements are easily translated into a turn but not to the detriment of downhill stability. My bike is great on the tight New England singletrack. Unfortunately, I sacrificed some bottom bracket stiffness in the pursuit of vertical compliance but I take responsibility for that decision. As it is, the bottom bracket is stiffer than my old steel frame.
I spent some time discussing head tube angle with the folks at Seven. I am using a Marzocchi Superfly on the front of my bike which is like riding a rigid fork that happens to have 1” of travel when you really need it. Because this fork is short (63mm) they wanted me to know that any change would result in a less steep head angle. I decided to build my frame around the dimensions of this shorter fork. If I get a new fork in the future, the head tube angle may be a little less steep. (It seems to me that this is one thing that is constantly changing as the shock cycles anyways.)
Seven has a number of perks for owners. They have a great web site and a newsletter and have had an annual get together for everybody who owns a Seven. It seems to me that a support group for Seven spouses would be one thing they may want to consider adding.
Favorite Trail: Dead Moose Alley (Kingdom Trails, VT)
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: Belmont Wheelworks
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher, Trek, Specialized, Independant Fabrictions, Cannondale.
Bike Setup: Marzocchi Superfly, SRAM ESP9.0, Thompson, Chris King, Mavic, XT V-Brakes, Merlin Ti Bars (this bugs the folks at Seven but a good friend gave them to me.)
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 17, 2001
Strengths: Immaculate craftsmanship, great interview fitting process, super cozy ride, straight and true, fits like a well worn glove, totally custom an NO extra charge, owner perks from Seven, light and strong.
Weaknesses: The bb area of the bike could be stiffer, but that's what ti is prone to.
I've have this bike for over 2 years and just upgraded the fork this fall. The ride, which was great before, is phenomenal now! Much more positive steering and response...wow, to think a fork could make that much difference! Anyway, back to the bike. I had the bike fitted at my LBS and then Seven called for the phone interview/fitting, which lasted about 20 - 30 minutes. Totally awesome! I thought I knew what I wanted before that phone call, but after discussion, we changed a few things and man, did that help! A little shorter wheelbase, a little steeper headangle, a little longer top tube with a descent slope to it, a slightly shorter seat tube, stiffer seat stays and a head tube extension! Never would have thought to put a headtube extension on a mtb, but now I have my saddle 1.5 inches above my bars with only about a cm of stack! Tight switchbacks are not much concern with a shorter wheelbase and steeper headtube. I can run a 100mm stem with the longer toptube and I don't 'rack the boys' on the toptube as ofter because of the slope. I only wish that I opted for a little stiffer bb like they recommended, but I chose to save a few ounces without thinking of the ramifications to my shifting with my 2x9 setup. That was eventually cleared up with a shorter spindled bb, but it was a bit of an annoyance for a while until we figured out the cure. Other than that, which was totally my choice, the bike has been a dream to own and ride! Handling is great with this bike! Twisty, rocky, rooty varied terrain is what this bike thrives on! Climbs well, or as well as you make it, and corners superb. Like all hardtails, technical fast downhill is a little jarring, but not as bad as my old cannondale. I would recommend tubeless wheels/tires with this setup because the extra traction and forgiveness works will with the ti! If you are considering a seven custom hardtail, especially a ti, listen to the recommendations on the phone call and talk with your LBS about the final geometry. When they say "custom", they mean custom...not like other builders that may offer a longer version of the same geometry for their custom frame for a few hundred $$$ more. Everything within reason is up for discussion with these guys, so take full advantage of it. I have a custom ti Duo (Maverick designed suspension platform) on order with them now which should be built up around new years. THAT should be really really sweet!
Similar Products Used: Cannondale hardtail & giant hardtail
Bike Setup: XTR, raceface, manitou mars elite 2002, chris king, mavic, etc...
a Cross Country Rider
from NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2001
Strengths: INDESTRUCTIBLE FRAME MATERIAL-ARGEN TITANIUM. CUSTOM GEOMETRY AT NO ADDITIONAL COST. WEIGHT 2.98LBS.(CUSTOM FRAME ONLY) FLAWLESS WELDS-BEST FINISH IN THE INDUSTRY!!! IMPECABLE CUSTOMER SERVICE-ONE ON ONE THROUGHOUT CUSTOM FRAME FABRICATION. GOATS CAN'T CLIMB THIS WELL!!!
Weaknesses: SOME SAY PRICE. I SAY IF YOU DESIRE THE BEST CUSTOM MTB FRAME, THEN SPEND THE G'S MAN!!! NO WEAKNESSES!!!
AS A TRADITIONAL HARDTAIL ENTHUSIAST, I BELIEVE IN THE INTERPRETATION OF THE TRAIL THROUGH THE BIKE. NO MOUNTAIN BIKE FRAME CAN CONNECT OR TEACH YOU THE TRAIL LIKE A HARDTAIL. IN TODAY'S MTB MARKET, WHERE FULL SUSPENSION XC STEEDS ARE SPROUTING UP WORLDWIDE LIKE SOME PLAGUE, I RECOMMEND THE FINEST, CUSTOM, HARDTAIL TITANIUM MOUNTAIN BIKE AVAILABLE-THE SOLA BY SEVEN CYCLES. AS FAR AS MATERIAL IS CONCERNED, TITANIUM HAS SURPASSED MY EXPECTATIONS TEN-FOLD. THE SOLA ACCELERATES LIKE NO FRAME I HAVE EVER RIDDEN! IT'S VERTICAL COMPLIANCE COUPLED WITH AN AGILE LATERAL STIFFNESS EATS UP EVERY TIGHT SINGLE-TRACK SWITCHBACK I CAN HIT! IT'S SHORT CHAINSTAYS AND TIGHT HEADTUBE ANGLE YIELD A NIMBLE CLIMBER! IT SIMPLY SPRINGS UP THE MOUNTAIN LIKE A GOAT! ON DESCENTS, COUPLED WITH A MARZOCCHI AIR/OIL FORK, THE FRAME SOAKS UP EVERY STUTTER BUMP, ROCK LEDGE DROP OR LOG HOP LIKE A WET SPONGE! ON THE FLATS IT STICKS TO THE TRAIL LIKE A LEETCH! CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, TITANIUM DOESN'T FLEX AS SOME CRITICS STATE. IT IS MERELY A LIVELY MATERIAL. SEVEN CYCLES WILL MANUFACTURE A CUSTOM FRAME FOR $2595.00. THE CUSTOMIZATION PROCESS IS SPECIFIC TO YOUR BODY MEASUREMENTS AND RIDING STYLE. WHAT BETTER FIT IS THERE ANYWAY? IT IS UNLIKE ANY BIKE PURCHASE YOU WILL EVER MAKE. THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE IS SECOND TO NONE AND AFTER YOU INITIATE THE PROCESS WITH YOUR LOCAL DEALER, YOU WILL BE IN CONTACT WITH ONE SALES PERSON FROM THE CUSTOM DIVISION. IT'S ONE ON ONE SERVICE THAT MAKES THIS COMPANY WORTH EVERY DOLLAR YOU WILL SPEND. THE TURN AROUND TIME IS APPROXIMATELY 4 WEEKS. ENOUGH SAID.
Similar Products Used: 1994 KLEIN FERVOR. SIX YEARS OF KICKASS HARDTAIL ALUMINUM!
Bike Setup: 2001 MARZOCCHI X-FLY 100. MONKEYLITES 3/4" RISER BARS. 120 MM THOMSON STEM. CHRIS KING HEADSET. PAUL MOTOLITE BRAKESET. OURY GRIPS. 27.2MM THOMSON SEATPOST. KOOBI SL SADDLE. XT FRONT DERAILLEUR. SRAM 9.0 REAR DERAILLEUR. CARUMBA DOUBLE BARREL CRANKSET W/KOOKA RINGSET 46/36/24. RACEFACE TAPERLOCK BOTTOMBRACKET. WHITE INDUSTRIES HUBSET W/MAVIC 517. IRC'S 1.95 SERAC TIRES. PANARACER GREENLITE TUBES.
from Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: September 22, 2001
Strengths: Beautiful, light and not aluminum. Climbs like a rocket. Bottom bracket is stiffer than I had expected.
Weaknesses: The front triangle is a little flexy, but no more than other Ti bikes.
A sweet ride and mine isn't even custom - just a stock 17". If you want the ultimate hardtail, this is it. I got tired of my aluminum frames beating me up and I'm here to tell you you can have a light, compliant bike. They're just not cheap. And ten years from now I will still be riding it.