Friday, September 17, 2010

A Soma is Born

This is my new Smoothie, still nameless, that was birthed this Sunday. Up until then I had been trucking around on a Peugeot mixte (a lovable bike until you're cursing it as you scaling one of SF's hills) . It's not fair to compare these two bicycles but I will say that since Sunday I have been a born-again biker.
First a few words on the Smoothie:
Let me preface this by saying I'm one of the graphic designers here at Soma. I've been here for 5 months now and before then my bike knowledge was scant. I'm at a conversational level in bike language. I love riding though, and I've started to appreciate the technical aspects of biking more since working here.

Smoothie definitely lives up to its name, my neighborhood is rife with potholes but since Sunday, riding's been a whole lot more enjoyable. While my Peugeot (Lucille 2) lagged on hills, climbing with the Smoothie is a breeze (maybe I should name it Ms. Moss). I love it so much that I keep it in my office with my all day-it's too beautiful to be tossed about in the communal bike parking area.

Why did I wait 5 months for biking bliss? As I mentioned above, having just stepped off the plane in Bike Land, the idea of building a bike was intimidating. I have become more comfortable with the parts, knew what I wanted in a bike and felt I was at the point when I could make a thorough shopping list.

My Shopping List:

Soma Smoothie Frame 54 cm (I'm 5'7") in Pearl White
Soma Fork 1 1/8" CroMo Lug White
Soma Thick and Zesty Bar Tape in Pear Green
Soma Toe Clips 2-Gate Chrome
Nitto Dynamic 626 Seatpost
Tange Headset Threadless in Black
The new silver Soma Shotwell Stem
Nitto Noodle Handlebar 41/26.0
Soma New Express Tires 700x26 w/ Skin Wall
Soma Ensho Saddle --the new Electric line in "Mutha of Pearl"(ridiculous saddles call for ridiculous names)
The SRAM Apex Group
and Velocity Deep-V rims

I love the Smoothie in Pearl White because of the versatility you have with handlebar tape and saddle color (as I mentioned, I'm a designer). I chose kind of crazy colors, I know, bright colors please me. My coworkers have given me a lot of grief over the tape/saddle combination... there's quite a variety of white Smoothie builds out there-check out our flickr pool. The possibilities are endless!

Having never built a bike before but wanting to get a taste of the process, I lured my coworker Keith (the resident mechanic) into helping me (his only currency is beer). We listened to some Lisa Lisa and Keith built my bike-explaining the process along the way. If you're a novice to building, I definitely recommend having a mechanic help you-it's pretty complicated and involves a few of odd/expensive tools.

Here are some pics from the process:

The first trimester

Keith pressing the headset

Shotwell Stem and fork... lost without their frame

Prepping the fork...

The third trimester...OOO!!!

Yes, building a Soma is intimidating to those unfamiliar with the process (me and many others). Yes, it would have been easier to head down to the local bike shop/shop the interwebs and pick up a Trek or Specialized bike already built. But when you assemble your own, every time you ride it you will be in heaven-relishing every decision you made. And Somas are so much more awesome!!

That's all....I promise. Have a great weekend, and for the love of Mike, go test ride a Soma!


Anonymous said...

I would love to test ride a Soma but none of the shops around here carry completes.

rigtenzin said...

That's a nice looking bike. You've put a nice combination of colors on it. It makes me want a new bike, although lots of things make me feel that way.

Anonymous said...

Very nice ride! I'm also looking into getting a soma, but an ES. Question for ya, do they run small in size? I see that you chose a 54cm and you are 5'7". That would be my size, but I'm 5'9". Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love your journey!
I am in the same boat! Waiting for my dream bike to be kitted up soon. I was looking at a Stanyan but decided on a custom sized steel frame instead. Your bike looks great! ride on...

Julia said...

Thanks for writing!

Anonymous #1: I'm sorry about the lack of Somas in your area. I wish I could help..

Anonymous #2: The 54cm fits me well, a 52cm probably would have done as well..the seatpost was raised for the picture, its actually a bit lower than that. I would recommend getting sized at a shop because there are more factors than height at play (limb length, torso length, personal preference). I wouldn't say they run small in size though.

Thanks for reading everyone, I'm glad you appreciated the journey! Best of luck with all your journeys and keep us posted! We love when send us their Soma pics via flickr/facebook/email..

Anonymous said...

nice smoothie.

built at the sf bike kitchen i see. either after hours or during an unusually slow shift.