Weekender Ride

This ‘Spirit of ’77’ dream bike is awaiting a Trail Blazers player

Posted by on February 9th, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Introducing the “Seven Spirit of ’77,” on sale now at a local bike shop.
(Photos: River City Bicycles)

Portlander Dave Guettler is a huge Trail Blazers fan. He also happens to own River City Bicycles, one of the best bike shops in the country.

And now River City (located just a mile from the Blazers’ home court) is probably the only bike shop in America with a high-quality custom bike made specifically for a tall person who happens to play for the Blazers.

Yes that is the same leather used on basketballs.

In a video released today (watch it below), Guettler explains that the bike was inspired not just by his love of the team; but by an unannounced visit from a Blazers player last year. When that player (who will remain anonymous) walked in, shop staff was caught a bit off-guard. Because it’s River City, the nearly seven-foot-tall player left with a great bike. But Guettler wanted to do better. “We thought it would be a great thing to have a bike at River City,” Guettler says in the video, “that just about any of the current Blazers could come down and at least test ride and get a feel for what a quality bike – that would fit them – would feel like.”

The bike is made for someone about six-foot, nine-inches. And it’s a doozy. Dubbed the “Seven Spirit of ’77” (after the year the Blazers won the NBA Championship), it features a thoughtful assortment of high-end parts based around a Seven Cycles Evergreen S model frame. The parts list includes: Wheels with extra-strong DT spokes laced to Chris King hubs; top-of-the-range Shimano Dura-Ace components; a carbon Enve Composites fork; powerful disc brakes; and more. Aesthetic touches include a paint scheme that pays homage to the Blazers and handlebars wrapped with basketball leather (sourced and cut by Portland’s own Walnut Bespoke Leather Designs, now based in Nehalem). Even at its size the bike still weights just 22.7 pounds — making it nearly as athletic and fast as the athlete who its intended for.


Of course the bike isn’t being set aside specifically for a Blazers player, but we think it’d be pretty cool if one of them took the bait. And keep in mind River City and Seven would probably be happy to put together more of these in different sizes if there’s a demand. Once one player gets this one, we have a feeling a few others will want one too. That’s often how cycling goes.

And because this is Portland, this isn’t the first custom bike someone has built for a Blazers player. Remember back in 2010 when Signal Cycles did a gorgeous bike for former player Joel Pryzbilla?

So who’s it going to be? Is CJ ready for a step-up in performance from a Biketown bike (which weighs three times as much!)? Or how about Meyers Leonard? He’s been known to use bike share and ride around Lake Oswego on his own bike.

Actually, it might be most fitting (pun intended) if Bill Walton bought this bike. After all, he not only famously rode his bike to practice when he played for Blazers on that 1977 championship team, but he still rides today.

Whoever ends up getting this bike (or one like it), they’ll have to part with a cool $7,400.

For more, check out the video below:

Go Blazers!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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  • Champs February 9, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    If I had the scratch (and outrageous reach/stack numbers to fit that bike), a Di2 build would be nice but a $377 upgrade (lucky $7,777) probably won’t fetch more than custom painted cages, maybe the stem and/or seat post too.

    That (uncut) fork, tho. Surely it is fine to have all that head tube and spacer, but it’s funny how bicycle designs are so sensitive to rider size. Yowsah.

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  • JAT in Seattle February 9, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    This is an apocryphal story (as I’m the only one who tells it and it sounds untrue…) but when I was a kid frequently visiting my Portland relatives my sports nut cousin said Bill Walton was interviewed on local radio and talked about the custom bike [frame, presumably] he’d had built for $400, as he loved riding but had a hard time finding anything that would fit, and he described the components, etc. The interviewer asked about a kickstand and Bill said it didn’t have one to which the host reportedly replied: what kind of an a**hole pays $400 for a bike that doesn’t have a kickstand?!?

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  • Dave February 9, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Walton and I rode with the same club when he played for UCLA. Another rider’s father was a very skilled machinist and made him a stem and seatpost to size his 64cm Falcon up to what he needed. He did some racing and of course the only time that the LA Times noticed was when he crashed and needed first aid. His bikes covered in Grateful Dead regalia are kind of legendary in the custom bike building world.

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  • JD February 9, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Curious what the crank arm length is (and the bottom bracket height)

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    • Matt February 9, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      The cranks are Dura-Ace 180mm cranks.

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    • Matt February 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Personally I would have gone for a set of Zinn 210mm cranks for a bike that size.

      But I still love the bike, and hope a tall guy gets to enjoy it soon.

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  • Middle of the Road Guy February 9, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Walton just ended up borrowing a friend’s bike a week ago. Of course, my friend like 6’10”.


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  • Ryan February 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    This is awesome! Love the details like the basketball leather bar tape. Makes me want to go to RCB more often :-). It’s not too far from my work, but it’s in the opposite direction of home. The couple times I’ve been there I didn’t want to leave, though. So many beautiful bikes!

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  • mh February 9, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I’m with Grant Peterson on the carbon fork here. http://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.dk/2013/10/carbon-forks-no-way.html

    Replace after any crash?

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    • dwk February 9, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Totally agree. A nice steel fork would look great and for a person of size, weight is not a big issue. I would also have gone for a longer chain stay, the bike looks cramped….

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      • Adam
        Adam February 9, 2017 at 6:31 pm

        Hold the phone. You and I agree on something?!

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        • dwk February 9, 2017 at 8:01 pm

          I know custom bikes…..

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      • Eric Leifsdad February 10, 2017 at 8:05 am

        36in wheels would put it in proportion. It looks a bit like a 20in Bike Friday.

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        • Chris I February 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

          They should have made a folding option…

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        • Kyle Banerjee February 10, 2017 at 10:16 am

          Proportion could be achieved by switching to a racing recumbent design. Faster (except grinding up hills), more aesthetically pleasing, and possibly more practical for a large rider.

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      • SE Rider February 12, 2017 at 10:25 am

        I would actually argue that for a person of size (and financial means) weight is likely even more important because everything is already heavier. Shave the weight where you can.

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    • Adam
      Adam February 9, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Steel is real!

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    • Pete February 10, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      Alpha Q got into a lawsuit with Cervelo over the strength of carbon forks, after a few alleged failures, but there weren’t many and they were never able to prove it wasn’t due to abuse. It’s unfortunate; the founder, Bert, a triathlete from Tennessee had started building Warp 9 bikes as a second business and I think losing Cervelo may have done him in. I had two Warp 9’s that were great, watched Michael Olheiser win the Mt. Hood Crit on one, convinced a friend to buy one on which he podiumed at PIR, and eventually I sold one and gave the other to a good Portland friend you might see riding around sometime. They were basically Masi 3VC frames designed for Kenda Racing in 2006, but Bert’s had a beautiful paint job designed by a TN bike artist.


      Unfortunately with carbon it can be compromised, but there is a service down here that will do Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) for weaknesses if you’ve had a crash. To each their own, though. Have had many thousands of hard miles on carbon frames and forks, including an alloy tandem with carbon forks and a 350 lb team. Steel is just not for me, and I wasn’t as impressed with titanium as I thought I would be, but bike love still runs deep, even for ‘Chinese plastic’.

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      • dwk February 11, 2017 at 5:21 pm

        I am not anti-Carbon at all. A couple of my bikes have carbon forks. I would never worry about them. I just like the look of a steel fork on a steel bike. I don’t know why most high end steel bikes have carbon forks, but it is not a good look to me.

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        • Dan A February 13, 2017 at 9:51 am

          My 2002 LeMond Buenos Aires has a carbon fork, but it’s well-disguised.

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    • soren February 18, 2017 at 11:14 am

      i have totaled 5 metal frames (steel and alloy) simply via use (4 bb welds and 1 head tube crack). i have yet to total a carbon frame via use and doubt i ever will.

      Scott Nielson has worked with carbon fibre for over a decade, starting with Trek, and is now the vice president of research and development and engineering at Enve. “If you look at carbon materials in general,” he said, “they’re very good in fatigue, much better than any aluminium or steel would be. If done properly, a frame could last you forever.”

      “Composites do not behave like metals,” explained Chuck Texiera. “In fact, they don’t actually fatigue like metals in the same classic sense of the word. The fatigue life of the fibre itself is just about infinite.”


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  • Evan Manvel February 9, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Reminds me of when I bought my bike. I went into a couple local stores, both of whom were kind enough to tell me their manufacturers don’t make an off-the-shelf bike appropriate for my frame (6’5″, 37 inch inseam), and I should get a custom-made frame.

    It wasn’t really in my budget to do so, so I ended up hearing of a guy at Sellwood Cycles who tended to build bikes for the Blazers (like Brian Grant, I think). He had the largest used bike I could find on the market; that Bianchi Europa is still what I ride today.

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  • Andy K February 9, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Festus Ezeli?

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  • Justin M February 10, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Tall people make me uncomfortable. I am afraid they’ll accidentally step on my kids.

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    • Stephen Keller February 10, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      I wouldn’t too much. Most of us are house trained.

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    • Pete February 10, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      I dance like a tall white guy, but it isn’t just because I’m a tall white guy. When I was younger we used to see ska shows in Boston. I caught a girl’s nose with my elbow by accident one night, and things were just never the same after that…

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      • Justin M February 11, 2017 at 2:49 pm

        This might be the most interesting thing I’ve read all day, and I read about Lord Dampnut’s dossier being corroborated by US Intelligence

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