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Seven????(11 posts)

Jan 4, 2002 8:11 PM
I am torn between getting a custom Seven Axiom or a LS Vortex. To those who know, is an Axiom going to be the race bike that the Vortex is?? I mean, I see it more as an elegant and cushy frame as opposed to the Vortex which is race ridden and proven.
I realize people love their bikes and rarely criticize or discuss their limitations, but all bikes have them in some capacity. Is the 7 a more plush ride and less a racer or can it be that as well. From what I gathered thus far, it seems more like a "GT rather than a true sports car". The Vortex is pure sports car.
Either bike I choose, I will have doubts about whether I should have chosen the other. This is a huge purchase for me as I am not a big dollar earning person, but I am willing to spend on my obsession but I want to make the best decsion for me.
Fit is essential, but I know I can get that on a non-custom frame. Plus I would have to go to a different LBS than my usual to get the 7 which is an issue as I want to be loyal and enjoy doing business with the guys who I know and trust. But if the 7s are what people say they are then I would be willing to go elswhere this one time.
The only thing that concerns me about 7 is the toe overlap issue which they say is avoidable but at a cost of performance. They cannot guarantee it won't happen. I am totally unsure of what I want and any input will be appreciated.
re: Seven????Woof the dog
Jan 4, 2002 10:27 PM
First of all, you gotta have an image of how you gonna use a bike. Obviously you want a high quality ti frame, but are you planning on having this bike as a "sunday town pimping" bike or a dedicated training+racing bike? That also has something to do with what kind of cyclist you are and who are the customers of LS, seven and other mfrers.

My bet is that a worksmanship is better in a Seven or Serotta, then comes Lightspeed and new-generation Merlins. It seems (and probably is true) that Sevens are usually bought by older people who like expensive stuff and actually have the resources. Usually they are doctors, lawyers, but there are always exceptions, mind you. From the words of a 7 dealer I know, none of his customers were under 35 years of age, and the last bike he was working on should pay him rent for this winter, how cool is that?

In any case, if you want to show off, buy a seven. If you are into functionality and racyness stuff, get a Seven without any decals or a headtube badge (I think you can skip that one as well), or even better, get a ti Serotta. It seems Seven offers more customization options like stiffness degree etc etc etc, but that may just seem that way. Serottas appeal to racers more for some reason.

In the races you may see some people riding Merlins and the infamous for some reason Lightspeeds, but to tell you the truth none of these bikes, even sevens and serottas will make you as happy as you'd think - they are just that, bike frames! In any case, what I gather from others, 7 and Serotta (+that guy in CA) have the highest quality/attention to detail, vs. LS 'cause they maybe got too big.

If you go with a Seven, you should pre-ride one, ask what were the characteristics on that frame in terms of stiffness and such, then if you want more, ask Seven to make it more stiff, i bet you could do that. LS is more generic and you'd feel less important buying one - every shmoe can get a frame with ultegra on it on a closeout off the internet.

Hell, if you want performance of a lightspeed, some of it will depend on geometry. Just ask Seven to get their frame geom. close to LS, and you kill two rabbits with one shot.

Overall, my advice is useless as I rode neither, but I hope you'd find what I heard somewhat helpful.


Woof the dog.
re: Seven????zzz
Jan 4, 2002 10:27 PM
I would think about the fit more than anything. The Axiom and Vortex and you should also think about the Serotta Legend are all great bikes. The Axiom and Legend will be built to whatever handling specifications you want plus they will fit like a glove. The advantage of the custom build is that you get exactly the ride you want and the fit. Seven and Serotta can give you the exact same handling characteristics as the Vortex with perfect fit. There are some differences in the types of titanium used in these three bikes. 3-2.5 double-butted in the Axiom, 3-2.5 triple-butted main triangle in the Legend and worked 6-4 in the Vortex. Others here may have opinions on the differences of those but I personally don't think they are significant. Each of these bikes also have a different look and aesthetic appeal.
From what you say this is a considerable investment for you. The Axiom and Legend have a retail price that's a little less than the Vortex (from what I just checked on the internet, however there is a price on 2001 Vortex's at Colorado Cyclist that's lower that both the Axiom and Legend). Some dealers, mine did, will also give you a discount on a Seven frame.
I have an Axiom that is the best bike, fit, handling and comfort wise that I have had. Mine was built more for long comfortable rides than racing. It is still rock solid on fast descents and cornering and as stiff as anything I've ridden in the bottom bracket. Hopefully someone here has one that was build for racing to give you that perspective.
If your LBS knows you well and are good people they should respect your decision on this. After all you'll continue to be their customer for all the other things that you buy there now.
I can't speak to the toe over lap issue as it's never been a problem for me so I've never had to look into it.
Your choices are great bikes and should serve you well whichever one you choose.
try thisgtx
Jan 4, 2002 11:06 PM
test ride a Vortex and if it fits and you like it then test ride a Tuscany and see if you can tell any difference at all between the two frames. If you don't like the LS frames then get the Seven. Anyway, there is no way to compare a custom frame which does not yet exist to a stock frame. Seven has a good rep and with custom you get what you want. But then maybe you want a Vortex. Or maybe a Tuscany would be work just as well for you--the $1200 you'd save would go a long way toward making up for the 2 oz difference between the two frames. Good luck and have fun!
re: Seven????MikeC
Jan 5, 2002 1:32 PM
I have a Seven Odonata, and I was shocked by how different it rides than the sample Odonata my LBS had built up. Mine is stiffer laterally and in the BB, and has quicker handling.
I'm one of those who's never had a bad experience with a Lightspeed, and I'm very familiar with my friend's Vortex. His bike and mine ride very much alike, with mine being a teeny bit more comfortable and about a half-pound lighter.
My point is that a custom builder (Seven or any other good frame shop) can build you a bike that performs according to your wishes. If you want a bike that's exactly like a Vortex, and a Vortex fits you, then buy one. If not, tell Seven how you want an Axiom to perform, and they'll build you one to your performance specs, not just your body size.
Half pound??Kerry Irons
Jan 5, 2002 5:18 PM
Are you suggesting that your Seven frame is a half pound lighter than a Vortex? I doubt it! But otherwise, why would you mention the weight difference, since it is all probably in the components and wheels?

Regards the original question, the anquish in the poster's "voice" suggests that he risks being trapped by buyer's remorse which ever frame he gets. Alternatively, he'll get all wrapped up in convincing himself that his choice was the right one. In practice, with identical geometry and the same parts, you probably would have a hard time telling the bikes apart in the ride.
Yep. A half-pound.MikeC
Jan 5, 2002 7:43 PM
A 55cm Vortex frame is 3.1 lb, according to Litepeed's web site, which I just checked. A 55cm Odonata is 2.57 lb (in the "standard" configuration).
Now I was talking about overall bike weight in my original post (because I was discussing overall riding experience), but it's interesting that the frames are a half-pound apart, too.
Also, there's no way that a Seven would ever end up with identical geometry to a Vortex, as it would be customized for everything from the owner's body proportions to riding style.
Despite all that, I also said that the two bikes ride very similarly...except that mine's lighter and a little more comfortable.
custom vs stock thoughColnagoFE
Jan 7, 2002 10:17 AM
I'd imagine someone that is heavier or wants a stiffer Seven would use heavier tubing negating any weight loss. Comparing a custom bike to a stock bike is not easy to do.
re: Seven????Maude Gonne
Jan 5, 2002 3:23 PM
What are you riding now and how long have you had it? Does your current bike make you happy and what can you learn from it in choosing a new bike?
If you want a race bikeColnagoFE
Jan 7, 2002 10:14 AM
Forget either unless you have a lot of $ to burn. Can you imagine crashing and ruining that Seven at the local Cat 5 crit? Ouch!!!!!!! TI does bend by the way (personal experience) just doesn't bend back as well as steel.
If you want a race bikeWoof the dog
Jan 8, 2002 12:49 AM
true that, I cut some ti tubes and I'd say it was somewhere between steel and aluminum. The only advantage of ti is being lighter than steel at the same volume. But damn Sevens and Serottas are sweet. You'd have to crash real bad to radically bend a ti or a steel frame, i think.


Woof the dog.