Everyone remember this frame? It is our new MTB proto frame with IRD/Tange sliding dropouts. That bridge is on the fire road on the last bit of the Downieville downhill trail, which is a 17 mile, mostly downhill trail ride that really tests your endurance and bike handling prowess (located in beautiful Sierra County, CA in the town of Downieville). It is mostly twisty, tight singletrack with a few bursts onto jeep trail out in the middle of the beautiful Sierras. The frame handled beautifully, stable enough to handle flying over the braking bumps carved out by years of abuse from armor-clad downhillers. We ran some 2.24 MutanoRaptors on the full rigid setup to give a little cushion against the harsh, wheel-eating braking bumps and rock gardens (after riding similar trails in places like Whistler and Northstar on a full DH bike, you forget what an extra 7 inches of travel lets you get away with). The rigid single-speed setup keeps things real. The fork is the 453mm axle to crown IRD rigid fork, designed to 26" wheel frames made for 100mm suspension forks. (It is also a nice fit for our 650b B-Side frame which is designed for 80mm travel version of White Bros. 650b sized fork. ) The taller front end climbed fine (no excessive wandering) and really helped keep both wheels moving when hitting an unexpected root or rock at speed.
You don't realize how exhausting riding down the hill is until you have spent two hours doing it, but at the bottom the only thing to be done was grab pizza and beer and head into the brisk North Yuba river for a little cool down. We were definitely a bit of throwback- 3 of us all riding rigid single-speed (incidentally, all Soma frames) in full Lycra kits in a town full of baggies, armor and suspension. You got the sense that most of the guys in the shuttle didn't think we would make it back down in one piece, much less pass up folks with all mountain bikes (yes, we shuttled up. A few years ago we road the fire road to the top, and the 5000 foot, 11 mile climb hurt. Real bad). A really fun trip, especially when coupled with a campsite full of good people and gorgeous weather.
(Thanks for the photos Jesse)
Back in the office, we have been getting new stuff every week. We just got the following awesome items up in the SomaShop for your purchasing pleasure: Soma Colored Spokes, Pake Nylon Toe Clips, Dia-Compe Gran Compe Shot Levers in colors, Dia-Compe Gran Compe hubs in colors, Dia-Compe Gran Compe tires in colors (check the purple!), and KMC dual color chains (black plus either red, orange, yellow or white). Punk rock.