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  1. #1
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    Seven Axiom S or SL versus Lynskey Helix or R230?

    I've been comparing and reading reviews on both Seven and Lynskey, and I can't make up my mind!!

    I invite any and every bit of information that might help me make a decision. A couple key points are:

    1) Seven is totally custom, Lynskey offers optional custom, but maybe their stock sizes are good enough?

    2) How good is the ride quality of a Seven S or SL against a Lynskey Helix or R230?

  2. #2
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    The good part about Seven is you specify the exact ride you want with Seven. Not only is the geometry custom but the ride is tailored to what you want. They do that partially through different diameter tubsets. The bad part is you need to know enough about you exact bike requirements to communicate that to them. If that's the way you want to go, my advice is take lots of test rides first.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  3. #3
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    You mean, take test rides on a Ti bike?

    What about the claimed higher quality titanium welds and the helix shaped tubes of Lynskey.

    I do know I want a fast and light bike, but also a comfortable bike for long distances.

    But does Seven have the different titanium finishes that Lynskey offers?

  4. #4
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    I couldn't afford a Seven and don't need any custom geometries. My R230 will be here in a month.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  5. #5
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    I recently built up my Lynskey Helix OS.

    I also went through a very similar shopping process: Lynskey, Independent Frabricators, Moots, and Seven. I talked to the IF, Moots, and Seven dealers but most weren't helpful beyond what I could google. The best and most knowledgeable dealers that I came across were Adrenaline Bikes and Dream Bikes.

    I generally knew what I want but did not know specifically what geometry I wanted. I ended up looking at lots and lots of bike geometries and reading their "characteristics". I had a growing suspicion that there was more hype than fact. I wasn't sure what each geometry measurement would specifially translate into what bike characteristic and how all the geometries would ultimately interact with each other.

    I realized that I had no idea what head tube angle or seat tube angle I wanted and what their ultimate effects would be nor what head tube height I needed and what could still be altered slightly with headset spacers nor what effective top tube length I needed and what could still be altered with stem lengths and handle bar drop and reach type nor what seat stay and chain stay length I needed nor what rake length nor reach I wanted, and the list went on. My day job involves working with engineers, architects, pharmacists, scientists, and federal agents and I design, build, commission, and validate high-tech factories and all of these measurements and characteristics seem specious.

    I tried to email and talk directly to the various manufacturers but got no where until I talked to Don Erwin, Lynskey's sales manager.

    Don Erwin is a great resource. He asked what kind of riding I generally did and what kind of bike I think I wanted. He asked me what features I wanted - aggressiveness, quick responsiveness, crit racing, climbing and descending, touring, stability, long distance riding. He then went through the various road bikes they had and explained each geometry characteristic and how it related to the bike's character. We emailed and chatted back and forth. We talked about the finishing and painting options. Then, we talked about the ordering process and their manufacturing schedule. Then, he made me a great offer.

    I chose the Lynskey Helix OS. I had a bikefit done with the Helix OS geometry measurements to settle the adjustable geometry dimensions (stem angle and length, handle bar width, drop, and reach, headset spacer amount, seat post length, seat post set back amount, crank length).

    Don Erwin promised that I would be riding my new bike on my 43rd birthday at the end of April. I placed the order in October 2011. I received my custom-built wheels in Janurary 2012. I received my bike frame at the end of February 2012. I received my 2012 SRAM Red groupset in March 2012. I received that last of the components in April 2012. My bike was assembled at the end of April 2012. I did all of this from Bangkok, Thailand with one trip to U.S. in April 2012.

    Whatever bike you choose, please email Don Erwin at Lynskey.

    Mark
    Last edited by MarkThailand; 05-08-12 at 06:48 AM. Reason: Grammar

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
    I've been comparing and reading reviews on both Seven and Lynskey, and I can't make up my mind!!
    I own a Seven Odonata, which I believe is now called the Elium SL. I highly recommend Seven. The purchase experience was flawless and the bike has far exceeded my expectations.

    Unfortunately, I see on the Seven website that the only dealer in AZ is in Tucson. Call that dealer and ask for the person that handles Seven purchases. Ask them how many Seven fittings has the shop performed. Ask them if anyone has ever been dissatisfied with their Seven.

    Even though I am in SoCal with lots of Seven dealers (now, not so much in 2004), I drove 90 minutes to the dealer I worked with because they had the most experience with Seven's fitting system. The Seven dealer measures you, measures your old bike and helps you fill out the lengthy questionaire that is the key to getting your perfect bike. After the initial measurements by the Seven dealer, you receive a phone call from Seven. They go over all of the measurements, any health issues (low back pain, etc.) and really discuss in depth your questionaire, the type of rides you do and your expectations. My purchase took three trips to the dealer: the initial measurements, a second fitting session after my phone conference with Seven, and when I picked up the bike. If it were me, it would be worth the drive to Tucson three times to get the bike of your dreams.

    I'm a clydesdale that loves to ride long distances and in the mountains so my two main priorities were a comfortable ride and stable high speed handling. I completed a mountainous century this past weekend (Breathless Agony, 114 miles, 12,000 feet of climbing) and the handling of that bike between 35-45mph was flawless; easy to turn in without being twitchy and rock steady. I don't ride crits or sprint, so I was willing to sacrifice a little stiffness for a smooth ride. Seven never got techincal on me. I have no idea what tubing or angle decisions they made to make my frame, all I know is I want to be buried with that frame.

    I have two friends that own Axioms that do double centuries and love them.

    I have seen a few local riders with Lynskeys and they love them, but I have no experience with them. Good luck, choosing between those two frames is a nice problem to have!

  7. #7
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdp8 View Post
    I have seen a few local riders with Lynskeys and they love them, but I have no experience with them. Good luck, choosing between those two frames is a nice problem to have!
    I agree. I really don't think you could go wrong with either......but call Don. He's lonely and likes to talk to people! ;-)
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brew1's Avatar
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    My Helix rides smoother then my Wilier Izoard XP but It may be because I'm riding tubeless on the Helix. My Helix is about 1lb lighter as well and is very stiff but not harsh....
    Sorry can't compare it to the Seven but I'm sure it is just as good or better, depends how much you have to spend.



    medium.jpg
    Last edited by Brew1; 05-08-12 at 02:33 PM.

  9. #9
    [IMG]http://i4.photobucke jeepseahawk's Avatar
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    Funny, I told some dude on a Seven going up to Angles Oaks, "nice Seven." Wonder if it was you, just got mine and was excited to see another. I was not part of the ride but was doing my maiden climb on bike. Guy was wearing a Seven jersey, on a carbon/ti and passed my clyde self pretty quick.

    To the OP, I chose Seven just for the fact my LBS was a dealer for them. Was going for the Lynskey R230 but was not privy with a June build date, very impatient. They were really nice on the phone though. Went custom because of my long torso.
    Last edited by jeepseahawk; 05-08-12 at 03:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepseahawk View Post
    Was going for the Lynskey R230 but was not privy with a June build date, very impatient.
    OK, while Don was completely up-front and disclosed the production schedule, I have to admit, the wait is KILLING ME. I WANT IT NOW!!!!
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  11. #11
    Senior Member WHOOOSSHHH...'s Avatar
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    I'm going to have to vote Lynskey. I bought this one in 2008 and have had and sold many carbon bikes over the years. The lynskey will always be a keeper. As stated above the customer service is outstanding! Best of luck on your choice!


  12. #12
    Senior Member ual747captain's Avatar
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    After countless hours of research and talking to a lot of people that do ride both most did prefer a Seven but a what cost. If you can afford it then go for it. Seven are at the top of the echelon, the cream of the crop and that is not being said from me! Talk to people that knows bike and do research & history for yourself on this company.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all you replies, guys! I've read and re-read all your replies, and am yet to make a decision. Price-wise, I don't see too big of a difference between a Seven Axiom SL ($5595 - Ultegra) and Lynskey Helix ($5099 - Ultegra), which is a 10% difference.

    1)What about the quality of titanium either company uses, and the quality of welds.

    2)Also, on the Seven website, all the Ti bikes have dull finishes, whereas the Lynskey's give options of bright brushed and polished (which is absolutely gorgeous!) Does Seven offer a brighter finish?

    I agree:

    (quote) "choosing between those two frames is a nice problem to have!"

    So can somebody answer my two questions above?

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    Don't know for sure, but it sounds like Seven only does a satin finish.

    http://www.sevencycles.com/buildingb...nt/surface.php

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    I know it's off topic, but have you considered IF also? I have a Seven Axiom Ti and an IF Crown Jewel steel. I found myself prefer the IF most of the times. Of course the geo and material difference between the two are quite bit. I dont race and like do longish rides, and semi aggressive, FWIW. Never tried the Helix so I can't comment on that.

  16. #16
    Senior Member speedemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuji_owner View Post
    Also, on the Seven website, all the Ti bikes have dull finishes, whereas the Lynskey's give options of bright brushed and polished (which is absolutely gorgeous!) Does Seven offer a brighter finish?

    All Seven Ti models comes with brushed finish as standard, with option you can have it all painted up. Their welds are at the top of the class, second to none absolute smooth!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ramjm_2000's Avatar
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    Whichever you chose, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised as there is not a bad bike in lot. That said, custom is over rated. 95% of us don't need it and sometimes (I know in my case twice) a custom frame can actually be a negative especially when trying to "tune" your ride based on what you think you need. Best to leave the "secret blend" of tubing thickness/diameter/manipulation to the builders/engineers. Additionally, getting into custom geos can be a slippery slope as well. As someone who sold Sevens and unless something has changed in the last few years, I've seen too many Sevens come in with funky looking geometries (and in a few cases tried to be returned) for me to use their proprietary custom geo formula. As for weld quality was as nice as any single pass style frame (Serotta, Seven, Lynskey) but no better and no worse. To me the specialness in the bike is in that "special blend" I mentioned before. In that respect, I think Lynksey has the edge. I've owned just about every brand Ti frame out there and none have come close the ride quality that I had on my Level 3 and my Helix. I also think Lynskey's pricing structure is about right, make the cost of entry reasonable and charge accordingly if you truly feel you need something different. Just my 2 cents...

    Last edited by Ramjm_2000; 05-11-12 at 02:13 PM.

  18. #18
    GMM
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    Go with the geometry that fits you best. Lynskey's geometry tends to reflect shorter reach, yet taller headtubes.(the $1700 model)

    Some makers will not specify whether their tubes are of U.S, Russian, or Chinese origin. U.S = best, Russian = stay clear of. Chinese = second to U.S. Moots along with others certainly will.

    Regardless what someone states, all Ti tubes are Sport-Grade NOT Aerospace-Grade. It would run $30k if it were and their is no reason to use aerospace-grade tubing.

    Ti is finicky, it must be prepped correctly prior to welding. Every edge must be absolutely burr-free in order to prevent cracking. I suggest you visit an LBS who carries various makes, pull several frames and examine inside the BB's shell and H-tube to be sure they are burr-free. That should be the quickest way to determine overall quality.
    Last edited by GMM; 05-11-12 at 08:37 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ramjm_2000's Avatar
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    Lots of inaccurate info here. First you realize Lynskey has 2 stock geo options right? Race and Sport. The Race geo has a longer TT and shorter HTs as opposed to the sport with slightly taller HT and shorter TT. Makes choosing a stock option vs. custom even easier. Secondly Lynskey is very upfront about there tubing sources, specifically they use tubing from over 11 sources, foreign and domestic all certified aerospace grade, fact. Using "aerospace grade" as a selling point (they all do) just means the tubing meets certain ISO standards, again nothing mystical. I asked this very question when I ordered my first Lynskey 5 years ago. Additionally I think you'd be surprised that international sourcing is more the norm rather than the exception. Moreover, when you see companies use "domestically sourced tubing" that doesn't always mean the raw material is from the US. For me, I could care less where the raw material comes from rather how the company uses it. I'll chose a company who stands behind their products by offering a REAL lifetime warranty, without a run around when things aren't right (ie..100% satisfaction guarantee) every time. If said company produces American jobs and supports our military even better.

    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
    Go with the geometry that fits you best. Lynskey's geometry tends to reflect shorter reach, yet taller headtubes.

    Lynskey will not specify whether their tubes are of U.S, Russian, or Chinese origin. U.S = best, Russian = stay clear of. Chinese = second to U.S. Moots along with others certainly will.

    Regardless what either states, all Ti tubes are Sport-Grade NOT Aerospace-Grade. It would run $30k if it were.

    Ti is finicky, it must be prepped correctly prior to welding. Every edge must be absolutely burr-free in order to prevent cracking. I suggest you visit an LBS who carries various makes, pull several frames and examine inside the BB's shell and H-tube to be sure they are burr-free. That's the quickest way to determine overall quality.

  20. #20
    GMM
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    R_2000,

    No one makes bikes with aerospace grade tubing, so they should not claim such. It's sport-grade. Aerospace-grade would push the frame upwards of $30K, and is not worth it. There is no reason to use aerospace grade tubing, unless you plan on riding on the moon. The majority of titanium ore comes from Russia. The difference in quality is due to how controlled the smelting, blending, curing and extruding process is. It's what defines the products final quality. Russian tubing's thickness is very inconsistant. Chinease and U.S are very consistant. American Sport-Grade tubing is made on the same machines that make the countries Aerospace-Grade tubes, but it is still considered Sport-Grade. Which is fine.
    Keep in mind, this info came from various custom Ti buiders, I assume it's correct. Then again?

    In my opinion, if someone's going to spend $2500 on a Ti frame, it would be nice to know where the tubeset came from. That's all I'm saying.

    As for Lynsky's geometry. I was simply stating the fact that they do not offer racing geometry with their budget $1700 frames. You have to step up and spend $2400 and yes, their quality is great, they stand behind their product which is a big plus. It would be nice if they offered race geometry for $1700.
    Last edited by GMM; 05-11-12 at 08:36 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Ramjm_2000's Avatar
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    Sport grade??? I'm sorry but titanium is classified by it's alloy composition. Yes some alloys are more expensive than others but 6/4 and 3/2.5 are 6/4 and 3/2.5 regardless of what they are used for. And yes both are used in the aerospace industry, aerospace does not imply some secret proprietary military unobtanium blend. For your edification, ASTM standards:

    Grade 1-4 are unalloyed and considered commercially pure or "CP". Generally the tensile and yield strength goes up with grade number for these "pure" grades. The difference in their physical properties is primarily due to the quantity of interstitial elements. They are used for corrosion resistance applications where cost and ease of fabrication and welding are important.

    Grade 5, also known as Ti6Al4V, Ti-6Al-4V or Ti 6-4, is the most commonly used alloy. It has a chemical composition of 6% aluminium, 4% vanadium, 0.25% (maximum) iron, 0.2% (maximum) oxygen, and the remainder titanium.[5] It is significantly stronger than commercially pure titanium while having the same stiffness and thermal properties (excluding thermal conductivity, which is about 60% lower in Grade 5 Ti than in CP Ti).[6] Among its many advantages, it is heat treatable. This grade is an excellent combination of strength, corrosion resistance, weld and fabricability. Consequently, it is used extensively in Aerospace, Medical, Marine, and Chemical Processing[7] E.g.internal combustion engine connecting rods and surgical implants.[5] Generally, it is used in applications up to 400 degrees Celsius.

    It has a density of roughly 4420 kg/m3, Young's modulus of 110 GPa, and tensile strength of 1000 MPa.[8] By comparison, annealed type 316 stainless steel has a density of 8000 kg/m3, modulus of 193 GPa, and tensile strength of only 570 MPa.[9] And tempered 6061 aluminium alloy has 2700 kg/m3, 69 GPa, and 310 MPa, respectively.[10]

    Grade 9 contains 3.0% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium. This grade is a compromise between the ease of welding and manufacturing of the "pure" grades and the high strength of Grade 5. It is commonly used in aircraft tubing for hydraulics and in athletic equipment.

    I only referenced CP, 6/4, and 3/2.5 b/c that's whats generally used in Ti production.
    Last edited by Ramjm_2000; 05-12-12 at 11:50 AM.

  22. #22
    GMM
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    Everyone knows that there are different grades of Ti.

    What these three framemakers were saying is that Aerospace Grade Ti is not the same as Bicycle Frame ti.
    Regardless, I emailed a well-known Ti supplier, they should clairfy. You could be right. If the info I was told is incorrect, I'll delete the post.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Ramjm_2000's Avatar
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    What they were probably saying is that not all grades of Ti are appropriate for recreational use. Not that there is a different "version" of 6/4 or 3/2.5 Ti used. If there were why have a "standard"? Having had access to Boeing and AF depot/maintenance industrial shops and I've seen various grades if Ti billet, welding rod and tubing stored, some expensive and some standard grade 6/4 and 3/2.5.

  24. #24
    RT
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    This thread makes me want a Ti bike. Only two and a half years to 50.

  25. #25
    GMM
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    Here's the results, the recieved e-mail inquirey. They are from a well-known Ti supplier:

    Hello,
    I will attempt to answer your questions. However I must stress that we do not produce seamless or welded tubing.The bicycle frame manufacturers use mostly Grade 9 tube. Grade 9 is 3Al-2.5V. They use both seamless and welded tube. Welded tube in general usually has a more uniform wall thickness as it is produced from cold rolled Grade 9 coil. It does have a weld seam. That may or may not be a deterrent to performance. Seamless is cold drawn around a mandrel and may have slight wall variation. Tube specifications have a wall thickness tolerance of +/- 10% regardless of manufacturing method .
    I will embed my comments into your e-mail

    1. Ti tubing used for bicycles is NOT Aerospace-Grade, it's Sports-Grade. SEAMLESS TUBE IS ALSO USED FOR AERO APPLICATIONS AND THE DIFFERENCE MAY BE IN THE FINAL PRODUCT TESTING. THERE ARE VARIOUS METHODS OF ANNEALING THIS TUBE THAT WOULD CHANGE THE FINAL PRODUCT TENSILE AND YEILD STRENGTHS. AERO TUBE IS PRODUCED TO AMS SPECIFICATION AS WELL AS POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FROM THE PURCHASER. NON- AERO TUBE IS USUALLY PRODUCED TO ASTM B 338 SPECIFICATIONS. ASTM has two separate property requirements listed.
    I WOULD HIGLY RECOMMEND YOU REVIEW AMS 4943 which is for annealed Grade 9, AMS 4944 -cold worked and stress relieved and ASTM B 338 Grade 9 which is for non aero applications as either seamless or welded tube. These 3 material specifications will add credibility to your findings. As an added bit of information AERO tube is usually smaller diameter tube and is for higher pressure hydraulic usage.

    2. Ti tubing used in the bicycle industry comes from three sources: U.S. made, China made, Russian made. TRUE, BUT THERE ARE OTHER COUNTRIES THAT MAKE TUBE FOR THIS APPLICATION.

    3. U.S. tubing is made on the same machines that make Aerospace-Grade Tubing, but is still considered Sports Grade, regardless. YES AND THE DIFFERENCE IS TESTING CRITERIA NOT MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUE for seamless. WELDED TUBE IS GENERALLY NOT USED FOR AERO APPLICATIONS

    4. China Tubing is almost as consistent as U.S. made tubing. Inconsistent means that the tubing's wall thickness is not uniform. NO COMMENT OTHER THAN TO SAY INCONSISTENCIES COULD EXIST IN DIAMETER, OVALITY AND OR CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICAL RESULTS.

    5. Russian tubing is very inconsistent and should be avoided. NO EXPERIENCE WITH RUSSIAN PRODUCED TUBE OF ANY GRADE OR ENDUSE.

    6. Ti tubes must be properly prepped prior to welding, the edges must be burr-free in order to prevent cracking. VERY TRUE AND TO EXPOUND: EDGE PREP IS IMPORTANT ALONG WITH THE PROPER SHIELDING OF THE WELD AREA WITH AN INERT GAS, SUCH AS ARGON. TITANIUM ALONG WITH OTHER REACTIVE METALS MUST BE WELDED CORRECTLY TO AVOID A CONTAMINATED WELD. ANY TIME THE ATMOSPHERE MIXES WITH ELEVATED TEMPERATURES IN A REACTIVE METAL WELD AREA AND HEAT EFFECTED ZONE THE WELD CAN PICK UP HYDROGEN AND CONTAMINATE THE WELD. PROPER SHIELDING AND SOUND WELD PRACTICES ARE A MUST REGARDLESS OF THE GRADE OF TITANIUM BEING WELDED ALONG WITH THE PROPER WELD WIRE FOR THE GRADE SELECTED.
    Last edited by GMM; 05-14-12 at 12:36 PM.

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