Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Titanium Dreams



My head is just reeling with thoughts of modulus, grain structure, customization, double pass welds, conflict resolution, custom kits, and the 4 second rule. I can not sleep. Every time I close my eyes I see etched titanium tubing and lathe machines. There is just so much information to process. Let me explain. I was invited to Seven Cycles for a seminar where I spent the past 3 day meeting other dealers, learning about manufacturing, customization, fit theory, and the inner workings of the largest custom bicycle manufacturer in the US.

The seminar was lead by Rob Vandermark, the owner of Seven and the man responsible for more titanium bikes than anyone else. Rob started his carrier with this magical tubing at Merlin Metal Works about 30 years ago, which I find amazing because he still looks like he is 29. There is no one with more experience with this tubing in our industry, hearing him talk about grain structure and tube butting was fascinating. Mostly Rob and his crew talked about items we have great experience with; how to fill out their custom kit, why Seven does things the way they do them.

What was so great about this was that it opened up a dialog. The dealers would bring up a topic, discuss what worked and did not work, and Rob would take notes. As we were sitting there he was restructuring his business and deciding on changes to policy while we were talking. This I found amazing, at first. Then I realized that this makes perfect sense.

We were not just people who sell Seven bikes. We are Seven. Our network of dealers are an intrical part of how Seven Cycles does business. WE are part of the Seven Crew. I listen to my “crew” at Bikeworks and make changes in my business.  Why wouldn’t Rob and his crew do the same thing? This got me thinking about Seven as a company, Bikeworks’ position in the world of high-end bikes, and  the other dealers in the room. We are the best of the best. I have never been put in a situation like that before.

 I am humbled, honored, and excited about the future.

Ed Hall

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