Money where the miles
When I started working at Cyclefit, I resolved to put the money where the miles were. My first Seven winter bike was an Axiom S. A custom Titanium frame with an Ultegra Di2 groupset and hand built wheels with Dura Ace hubs and HEDArdennes rims. Deda and Bontrager made up the rest of the bike. All new components but nothing over the top. I stuck with rim brakes as there was not a Di2 hydraulic disc option at the time.
This was an amazing bike. Super comfortable because of the frame and fit. Almost maintenance free because Di2 doesn’t mind if it rains. There are no moving cables to get gritty and sluggish. The Dura Ace hubs were equally untroubled by 200 miles per week in all weathers, and Seven’s titanium tubes have a brushed finish that is always only a wipe away, no paint equals to chips or scratches.
The only problem was that due to the amount of braking involved in the city portion of my commute (this bike gets me to work too), I got through a front rim in six months.
Once Shimano released their Di2/Hydraulic STIlever, I moved the Axiom S along and ordered a disc brake version. The geometry stayed the same, but the fork obviously had to change. I opted for a Wound Up Composites fork in order to accommodate mudguards and retain a 11/8” head tube. For me, this relatively spindly looking fork fits in better with the tube diameters used by Seven. It is also very comfortable and handles the power of the disc brake very well.
New wheels too. Bontrager Affinity Pro have DT Swiss hub internals and are tubeless compatible. They served a bit of time previously on my cyclocross bike and have been 100% trouble free on the winter bike.
The rest of the bike came over from the rim brake frame so the Di2 bits are now approaching their third winter with no problems.
The most stark difference between the two Sevens is the brakes. Not just that the disc brakes are very predictable (they do the same thing regardless of conditions), but also they are psychologically more relaxing to use. The white noise made by pads sliding over a wet rim is actually just the sound of the rim wearing away without really slowing you down that much. I hated that.