The newest frame to be introduced from Seven Cycles is their 622 SLX. It utilizes size-specific filament wound carbon fiber in the top tube, down tube, seat tube, seat stays, and head tube. The carbon tubes are joined by extremely thin, intricately designed, and minimal titanium lugs. The chain stays are Seven’s ultra- butted titanium. The idea behind this design is to minimize weight, maximize performance, and add comfort in a frame that is infinitely customizable.
Seven hit the mark perfectly on all counts.
Combining carbon and titanium in the right way yields a package that offers the light weight, acceleration, and noise dampening of carbon and the spring and planted feel of a titanium frame. This 622 package is Seven’s lightest frame, but it doesn’t sacrifice performance in the least. The titanium lugs and chain stays keep the bike feeling solid when rolling over the rougher roads, and the carbon (specifically in the down and top tubes) keep the bike accelerating like stiffer, less compliant, full carbon bikes. I noticed this specifically while doing some intervals on some less than stellar roads. I can really hunker down and apply power through the drivetrain without feeling the bike skip around and over the road. This is very confidence inspiring.
I asked Seven to build the frame around a tried and true Colnago 50S geometry to yield a very stable yet responsive ride. Seven gave me exactly what I asked for.
The bike is built up with and was designed specifically for Campagnolo Record EPS componentry. All the electric wires are cleanly routed internally through the frame. Initial impressions are very favorable. The feel at the shifter is very positive and solid. There is good feedback at the lever when a shift is made. By holding the thumb or paddle, one can shift up and down the cassette continuously and accurately. This is a feature that is not found in the Shimano Di2 systems where each shift needs a tap of the button. From the drops, shifting to a smaller cog is better than the cable systems in my opinion as one can really be precise with how many cogs you want to drop. It is easy in the heat of a fast ride to hit the thumb trigger and drop too many cogs and have to upshift to correct with the cable shifters. A small difference, but it is a difference that I really appreciate. The front shifting is as solid as the Shimano designs, and has the same auto trim feature that is needed in cross-chain situations. The hoods themselves have a more aggressive grip pattern that I am getting used to. Additionally, it feels like the hood is more sloped and contoured versus the cabled hoods. I noticed less hand numbness and fatigue with these new shifters.
The total weight of my bike with Look Keo Carbon pedals and 2 King Ti bottle cages is 15 lbs. 3 oz.
The Mavic wheels, simply said, are like cheating.
At approx. 1150g for the set, they hit all the marks: light, laterally stiff, reasonably aero, and tough as nails. I have been using these wheels on various bikes for about 6 months or so, and they absolutely make any bike ride better. I have had great luck (knock wood) with the Mavic tubular tires. The rear tire is just starting to show a bit of wear after at least a thousand miles. No cuts or punctures. The tires do lose about 20-30 psi overnight, which is typical of the lighter tubular tires.
Braking on the Carbone Ultimate wheel is sure and pulse free. The few wet rides I have done with them didn’t diminish braking any more than what is experienced with aluminum rims.
I can assure you that I have not taken it easy on these wheels. Pounding over bad roads, going up and down curbs, riding the crushed gravel paths, riding in the wet, they have held up perfectly. I had to adjust the hub bearings front and rear only once after the break in period.
In sum, a finely tuned and well-built frame, cutting edge electronic components and world class wheels really add up to a great riding experience. Having any one of these three elements is a real advantage for the cycling enthusiast. In order of priority, I would go with the best frame that makes sense for your riding style and fit, then the best wheels that also make sense for your riding style. Components take third priority. Any one of these three things being top quality is a real blessing. Having all three is like having your cake and eating it too. I like my cake!