Ok so I have a dilemma. Not a bad dilemma, a good one. To help I need opinions, both strong and weak, from the weight weenie gods.
I'm looking to build a new race bike. I'm almost there, I think, but could do with a reality check on my build list.
Seven Axiom (2004)
b]Preliminary Build List[/b]
Enve Smart 3.4 tubulars (King Hubs)
Campy Super or Record EPS (Undecided as price difference seems excessive)
Rotor 3D compact chainset
I have a great setup and it has served me proud. The Seven still looks like new. This is annoying because every time I clean it, it looks like new again and I have found it difficult to justify a new build. HOWEVER. The ride on the bike is pretty soft at the back because when the frame was originally spec'd for me I asked for a more comfortable sportive feel. So consequently the rear is a little soft.
So comments, advice, opinions, changes you would recommend. Should I just put new wheels and a groupset on my Seven. Should I finally go carbon? Is the Wilier a steal compared to the Colnago?
Ok, as you can see from my chop of your original post, I think you should keep a frame that is timeless, durable (it's survived London and the French high peaks!), and a known pleasure, upgrade to the cool new kit that you clearly desire and rightly admire, and consider how the "softness" of the Seven is constraining your progress toward your competitive goals.
A compliant bike with a toned, fit rider and top-level kit seems like a great option for long-distance sportives and event rides that you describe. Furthermore, Seven is a custom shop with ongoing relationships with its customers. I've seen second and third owners of Sevens send the frames back to the shop for ride preference changes or changes to accommodate new tech (e.g., a Gates drive). They could probably set up your bike for internal EPS routing and insert 1" chainstays (.016 or .032, depending on how stiff you want to go) for FAR less than the price of a new Willier/Colnago frame.
Consider that option. An enduring bike that you love is worth upgrading. The Willier and Colnago are nice bikes, but they are commodity products subject to fashion and obsolescence to a degree that the Seven isn't. A lot of their appeal is driven by their current spec and use in the pro ranks. Once their tech standards are out of date, a newer stay/bracket/steerer/layup emerges, and the pros pick up something different, will they still have the same appeal?
By all means, treat yourself, because life is short and bikes are fun. Just make sure you get the most enjoyment out of your choice and don't think you *must* pursue a new frame.