Friday, March 27, 2009

Nitto: Silvery Elegance

Nitto doesn't have much of a presence on the American road racing circuit. And because they're products are made in Japan and not Taiwan or China, they aren't exactly price competitively with mainstream brands. They don't make anything super light or in sexy carbon fiber. But I have to say there aren't many bicycle parts I like holding in my hands more than a smooth-like-satin Nitto bar or stem.

Nitto has released a new road bar. The M179 SSB is neither not classic or vintage, but is totally modern...uses a 31.8mm center (26.0mm available, too), is optimized for STI levers (especially Dura-Ace 7900 STI levers which work best on double-grooved bars), and has a mildly short drop and reach (131/80mm). So if you are a lady or need/like shorter drop bars and are tired of black components, this should be on top of your list.

We carry that and the matching Nitto UI5 Ex stem on the SomaFab Shop.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Buena Vistas Have Arrived

Our mixte frames are in the warehouse and we will be shipping all backorder frames to shops beginning Monday. We apologize for the long wait our customers have had to endure.

  • The Buena Vista is a true mixte with the double top tube/stays.
  • This is not just for the ladies. "Mixte" (pronounced "MEExt") is French for "mixed" or "unisex"and fully envisioned for both men and women from the beginning. North Americans have come to pronounce it "mix-ty". Both are acceptable to use.
  • Ride characteristics/geometry is somewhere between road sport and touring
  • An oversized butted downtube makes this frame stiffer than the mixtes of the 70's.
  • Removable decals make it easier for you to customize your ride
  • Four sizes to start: 42, 50, 54, 58cm
  • Horizontal dropouts w/hanger allows you to run it with a rear derailleur, with internal geared hubs, or single speed
  • Downtube shifter bosses
  • Rack and fender braze-ons
  • Bosses for single bottle cage

Special Notes on Tires and Brakes:
  • The 42cm is designed for 26" wheels and 73mm reach brakes(Tektro R-556/Rivendell Silvers) are recommended. They can also use Dia-Compe 750 center pulls if you can find a long enough straddle cable. Recommended tire width: 1.25" - 1.5"(38c)
  • The 50-58cm sizes are designed for 700c wheels and 57mm reach road brakes are recommended. Recommended tire widths: 26c - 35c (Both frame and fork are drilled for recessed brake bolts, so Dia-Compe MX-806 with old hardware are not compatible) 650b conversions are possible but we recommend speccing tires that will not change the BB drop appreciably.
    (Modular cable stops for the "top tube" bridges allow you to run the rear brake housing a few different ways.)
***Because we only got a small amount in, we are reserving stock for bike shops and we are not putting this on the Soma online shop yet. Please inquire to special order from a local bike shop.

Friday, March 20, 2009


The huge Taipei Bicycle Show was this week. And I was surfing the internet for any coverage. Usually Cycling News does a good job of covering the new bling, but I didn't see anything on the site this year. So I tried Flickr. Was kind of dissappointed, but this picture was entertaining.
It is a booth for a special saddle to help take pressure off that "certain part of the male anatomy".
Follow the link for a picture of the seat. Photo: David Reid

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tasty Three-Speed

Snapped these while ordering a Philly Cheesesteak at the a Firehouse Grill in South SF. They used red bell peppers instead of green today and they were especially sweet today.

This is a co-worker's 3-speed project bike. The Pake track frame is built up with our IGgy (internal gearing) wheels which feature Sturmey-Archer hubs. The wheels features nice alloy rims with machined braking sidewalls. The front hub is our SoMax track hub. The cable is routed along the top tube with alloy clamp-on cable guides. (The second one is not in use. He opted to run a CX cable roller to direct the cable down to the hub.) It also has a Cardiff Cornwall saddle and Soma Oxford bars. Green brakes are Dia-Compe and green headset is IRD. Other components are just from the ol' parts box.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Whoa, That's Deep

MKS hasn't changed their toe clip design in eons (no need to), but they have recently responded to the fact that many of their toe clips aren't being ridden with low profile cycling shoes. While MKS's standard toe clips fit many casual shoes, they might not fit boots and other bulky shoes. That's why they created the MKS Deep Toe Clips. They have a much roomier toe box section. These are available in the standard steel in size medium and up and in the Half Clip in one size, in standard steel or leather covered.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Schweet Schtuff

We don't know why pedal maker, MKS has produce a titanium bell, but the "Titan" does look svelte. It is practical, too. It borrows the clamp from Japanese bike light/computer manufacturer Cat Eye, so you can fit it on bars 22.2 up to 31.8mm. You can probably wrap on the top tube of your Moots. The "Titan" will only set you back $50.

March has also brought new Soma items.
- New colors for the Hellyer Track Pedal

- Soma Leather Toe Straps with Buckle Pads (you can also buy pads separately to upgrade the straps you own)

- New EvenFlow Tires: The big idea is that fixed gear riders don't need to use the thick skinned (but slightly pricey) Everwear up in front since skidding is done on the rear tire. By using the inexpensive Evenflow on the front wheel they can save some money, but still have a tire that matches the look of the rear tire. The graphics look the similar and the Evenflow comes in all the colors that the Everwear comes in. A couple of shops gave us this idea, so we shall see how it flies. If you are one of the riders, that don't give a crap about matching tires, well.... maybe you should. (Please note the Evenflow is not cheesy "cheap". It is still made in Japan by Panaracer.)