622 SLX Disc: How combining titanium, carbon, thru-axles, disc brakes, and Di2 makes a super performance bike

At Ride Headquarters we all work together with you to bring your dream bike to life.  It is a holistic process where you, we, and our suppliers all collaborate.  Not only is it incredibly rewarding for us, but you get a bike that looks, feels, and rides exactly the way you want it to.

In 2017, we delivered a number of amazing new bikes. One that stood out was Harvard, Massachusetts cyclist Mark G's 622 SLX. Mark's 622 SLX is a performance road machine with the newest technology, classic style, and several unique features.  This bike incorporates many of Seven's coolest design features such as their new thru-axle dropouts, carbon-titanium frameset, road geometry, clean aesthetic with internally routed Di2 wires, and road disc brakes. Like all Seven bikes, it is a completely custom bicycle with the geometry, tubing, and frame features selected specifically for Mark based on his wants and needs.

As Mark describes his bike: "The more I ride it, the more I notice and appreciate the many nuances and refinement. The manner in which the bike responds to input is simply a joy. Such precise and immediate response is doubly amazing when measured against how damped the frame is on very fast descents." 

We sat down with Mark to share his story and hear what inspired his choices.  

 This is the 622 SLX that Mark describes as "stable, nimble, and responsive all at the same time."

This is the 622 SLX that Mark describes as "stable, nimble, and responsive all at the same time."

Mark's Build Kit

  • Frame: Seven 622 SLX, Custom
    • 44mm Headtube
    • Electronic Internal Wiring System
    • Seven Max 45 Thru Axle Fork
  • Shimano Dura Ace Di2 9170 Group
    • BB-R9100 Bottom Bracket, English
    • 52x39, custom chain ring combination
    • R9170 11 speed electronic/hydraulic levers with flat mount caliper brake
    • R9100 Front and Rear Derailleurs
    • CS-9100 Cassette, 12-28 tooth
  • Wheelset
    • ENVE 3.4 Disc Wheels, tubeless ready, thru axle
    • Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless Tires
  • Support Package
    • Seven aluminum 3D forged ultralight stem
    • Seven aluminum ergo bend ultralight handlebars
    • Fizik R3 Cyrano aluminum seatpost
  • Contact Points
    • Selle Italia SLR Saddle, titanium rails
    • Fizik Endurance Tacky handlebar tape
    • Shimano Dura Ace Pedals

Cal: Mark, how did you become a cyclist? And what inspires you to ride?

Mark: Like most kids, you start when you are 4 years old and you ride your bike everywhere – that’s your little peace of freedom. I actually got into the whole road riding thing from mountain biking. I was racing with a group that was fairly competitive and we all started riding on the road to get better results in the woods. Before I knew it, I was road riding all the time. I just enjoy it. I enjoy the competitive nature of it and it’s a great way for my wife and I to spend time together.

Cal: What led you to Ride Headquarters?

Mark: Back when I was racing in the woods, Merlin was an up and coming company. My first real mountain bike was a Merlin Standard Mountain. Then when I started racing on the road I ended up with an Extralight. And then I had an old Surly Cross Check that I was commuting on for a really long time that ended up needing to be replaced. So I started looking around at who was making really nice cross bikes. And Seven stood out. The designer of the Merlins which I had I enjoyed so much works at Seven, so I went in trusting the design would be good with a Seven. Knowing the staff of Ride HQ has many years of experience working with Seven Cycles and selling Seven's bikes brought me here.

 Seven's signature thru-axle dropouts are exceptionally strong and well designed. Never worry about a broken derailleur hanger again with this titanium hanger.    

Seven's signature thru-axle dropouts are exceptionally strong and well designed. Never worry about a broken derailleur hanger again with this titanium hanger.   

Cal: When looking for your new bike what inspired your choices? Did you consider other options?

Mark: I looked around quite a bit. Initially I had a bias towards Seven but I definitely looked around. There was such a huge technology change in the last year. I knew that I wanted to have road disc brakes, thru axles and electronic shifting. 

I investigated who was building bikes that were interesting, better than what I had. There are people doing some crazy carbon/titanium hybrids out on the west coast. So I looked at that stuff but nobody really had the whole package that Seven did. Some of it was either questionable or wasn’t as fully thought out. But when I looked at the Seven 622 SLX, I started to understand what they were doing. Other companies had similar kinds of concepts but they didn’t take it the whole way. And so I was looking at the philosophy Seven had for building bikes and the technology they were using. All of those things combined, after looking at everything and looking at everybody, it was clear that Seven was one of the few companies, maybe the only company, who had a solid solution. There are a lot of frame makers out there but every other one had a question mark.

 Mark opted for a unique chainring combination of 52x39 with a 12-28 tooth cassette.

Mark opted for a unique chainring combination of 52x39 with a 12-28 tooth cassette.

Cal: What was the process like working with Ride Headquarters?

Mark: It’s been great. No matter what bike you get it has to fit. Just going through the fitting process and experiencing the end result, I have the utmost confidence in Ride HQ. Now my bike feels like an extension of myself. It’s just so comfortable. Part of it is the machine but also my position on the bike – I couldn’t have asked for a better fit.

I took the test bike out for almost two hours. I rode it in one direction until I felt I had an understanding of the bike.  I got on the 622 and said I’m not turning around until I understand how the bike should feel. I probably rode it for over an hour before I starting heading back. It was really eye opening. 

 The clean interface between the flat-mount Dura Ace 9170 hydraulic   caliper and Seven's titanium dropouts make for confidence in braking power, stiffness in the rear of the bike, and is indicative of all of the quality control and precise tolerances Seven incorporates into each of their frames.    

The clean interface between the flat-mount Dura Ace 9170 hydraulic caliper and Seven's titanium dropouts make for confidence in braking power, stiffness in the rear of the bike, and is indicative of all of the quality control and precise tolerances Seven incorporates into each of their frames.   

Cal: How does the new bike ride?

Mark: I have over 600 miles on it as of this morning. The frame itself, the whole platform, is just so efficient. The wheels are very, very reactive. It is really eye opening. You notice it the first time you go to ride a hill and you stand – the bike is already waiting for your next pedal stroke!

 Mark and his 622 SLX regularly ride the hills in and around Harvard. 

Mark and his 622 SLX regularly ride the hills in and around Harvard. 

If you'd like further information about this or other bikes, just ask. There is so much more to custom than geometry. This is perfect time to be dreaming up an awesome bike to be riding this spring! Email us at connect@rideheadquarters.com