High-End Bikes Pedal A New Kind Of Luxe Ride

Ala Moana Bike Factory manager Carl Brooks believes that bicycles, like many things, need to fit each cyclist’s comfort – whether cost is an issue or not.

“There are handlebars that cost $50 and there are handlebars that cost $500. There are wheels that cost $200 and then there are wheels that cost $2,000,” says Brooks. “If you want to spend a lot of money on a bike, you can.”

Brooks has sold bikes anywhere from $200 up to $8,000 through the Ala Moana-based shop. “It all depends on what you’re looking for,” he says. “We had a woman from Kahala come in and buy an adult tricycle ($600). There’s a big basket in the back, which she put her dog in. That’s all she wanted the bike for was to ride around with her dog.”

As far as luxury and getting the greatest bike made especially for the rider, Seven Cycles has some of the best bikes on the market.

“Seven Cycles is a company that makes all types of bikes,” Brooks says. “Their motto is ‘one bike, your bike,’ and I’m a strong believer in that.”

The 11-year-old company is based out of Watertown, Mass., and makes custom bicycles for racing, terrain or whatever kind of riding the customer has in mind. Brooks currently is building a bike with the company to sell in the shop – though he mentioned he might be the buyer in the end – and the frame alone costs $4,900.

“The frame is $4,400 and the paint is an extra few hundred,” he says. “The one that I ride cost me $3,500.” He went on to say that particular bike was run over by a horse and still felt great to ride even though it was slightly damaged. “I’ve had that bike for about eight years.”

When buying from the company, there are several steps the customer must go through. First, they should measure their body as if they were buying a suit or dress. Second, give their input on what is a comfortable ride through a questionnaire. There also are a few phone interviews with company representatives, a review of the design and then the build.

“I think it’s a 150 questionaire I had to fill out,” says Clayton Chee, a video production worker for the University of Hawaii at Manoa who had a frame made by Seven for about $3,200 four years ago. “And once you get that to the manufacturer, you go back and forth about how you want your bike to be tuned specifically to your needs, and they create it.”

Chee says he uses his bike generally to ride around and train. He’s done some racing, but says he got the bike simply because he loves riding.

Chee ended up with a great frame that he supplemented with parts from his previous bike. And though he is thinking about having a new bike made, he has no plans to part with his Seven frame. “I’m not going to sell this one,” he says, mentioning that he usually can afford to upgrade bikes because he sells his old frames. “I might build it up again with other parts when I get my new frame. But for now, I think I’ll just hang it on the wall.”

For more information on Seven Cycles, visit www.sevencycles.com, or call the Bike Factory at 596-8844.

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