Wednesday, November 28, 2012

650b BV love from


650b Soma Buena Vista:
Soma Fabrications is a company based in San Francisco, CA USA and they are responsible for producing practical, durable, comfortable bicycle frames, parts, and accessories and apparel. One of their frames is called the Buena Vista and I have really wanted to like this frame, but a couple of niggling design points kept me from it. The position of the brake bridge in the rear, combined with the semi-horizontal dropouts, and the position of the brake hole in the front fork made it difficult to mount fenders with normal side pull brake calipers. On Buena Vistas we have built in the past using 700c wheels we ended up using calipers with different reaches on the front and rear just to get clearances. The US distributor told me that long reach brake calipers such as the Rivendell Silver or Tektro 559 which accommodate reaches from 55-73mm will work with 700c tires up to about 28mm wide and fenders, but that is still sort of limiting.

bike frame
The Soma Buena Vista is a mixte design. A pair of small diameter tubes run more or less parallel from the head tube past the seat tube and on to the rear dropouts providing stiffness and strength to the step through frame.

An astute customer and reader of the Lovely Bicycle blog brought to my attention that the frames could be used with 650b wheels with tires up to 40mm wide! Well, I thought, I’ll be dipped in shit and called stinky. The US distributor also confirmed that the frame has always been suitable for either 650b or 700c wheels.

Dry fitting the brake calipers and fenders. The brake pads contact the rims at close to the max 73mm reach. Plenty of clearance for the Berthoud 50mm fenders with Grand Bois Hetre 42mm tires.

checking the length
The rear brake works too!

Yes the bike is complete and it turned out brilliantly, thank you very much. We are waiting for the VO Zeppelin fenders to become available and then I can include some pics of the finished bike. Now I’m happy to recommend the Soma Buena Vista 650b as a capable light touring and commuting machine.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2013 Frame News: Mixte Colors

The Buena Vista will finally get a refresh after 2 years.
Old Gold with black accent panel and Pearl White with minty fresh Portofino Green panel. Both will look dynamite with classic brown leather builds, but we hope to see some more imaginative builds from you guys.

The Buena Vista may look like other mixtes out there, but with its sporty geometry and butted CrMo tubeset, you can build it into a more upright "slow bike"or a fast commuter. So you might think about wearing a helmet for it.

Comes in four sizes: 42, 50, 54, and 58cm.
Dealers can order these in mid to late December.

2013 Frame News: New Color for Soma ES

We say "au revior" to the elegant Deep Red ES next year. (Our boss loves that color.) Replacing it will be a Nickel color, that will definitely open up options for those whose like to experiment with different colored bar tape and components; however we envision it to look bad-ass with just all black parts.

By the way, look for Momentum Magazine to be featuring an ES in its pages soon. They have Chris, the marketing guy from Rickshaw Bags, testing a 66cm ES currently for the "Bikes for Tall People" feature.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Soma ES

Soma ES, originally uploaded by sewm.

A clean, modern ES build.

Friday, November 16, 2012

TJ's Soma Rush from London

This Build is from Tony at the Rapha Cycle Club in London. Nice Build TJ!

Nice photography too!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Keep them coming!

We love seeing all the wild builds that people put together. If you've got one that you want to share email us or add them to our Flickr group.

This one comes from Steve.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Soma Oxford Pedals

Check these out!

Soma has been making pedals for a few years now. We've got the Hellyer for track, the Highway 1 for road, and the Downie for mountain. But we wanted something specifically designed for commuters. The problem with most pedals for commuters is getting the right amount of grip. Track pedals aren't very grippy because they're designed to be used with a toe clip, tightened down. Road pedals work the same way, but they have a guard on the side to protect your foot in the event of a crash. The problem with using these for commuting is if you use soft soled sneakers they don't give a ton of support.

Mountain pedals are super supportive and grippy but the metal spikes can mess up nice dress shoes and many modern mountain platforms aren't made to work with toe clips.

We really like classic Japanese Touring pedals, but we wanted something a little more modern.

So we're introducing the Soma Oxford, our commuter specific pedal. It's designed with a angled grip patter that keeps your foot on the pedal but doesn't grind into your souls. It's got a wide, supportive platform on one side so you can use it as a platform without toe clips. The opposite side is cut away so that you can make a hard turn and not worry about your pedal scraping on the ground.

You can also mount it up with a toe clip and strap for a little push/pull action. Handy if you ride a fixed gear. Even works with double straps. The finish is nice and shiny, just the way you want. This is probably the nicest looking pedal we've ever made, and one of the best options out there for Urban Cyclists.

Coming soon to a bike shop near you.

Soma B-Line Terra Cotta Tires

Front 3/4, originally uploaded by Franklyn W.

In the wild

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Email from a rider

From Brian

With the NW fall season is in full swing, my delicate carbon race rig is hiding in the rafters but my new sweet steel Soma "Roma" Smoothie is ready to take over the streets.  From commutes to century rides, this new bike is smoother than olive oil.  Ciao ciao...  By the way Soma translates "to pack", I'll be packing this rig up with a credit card, water bottle and miles upon miles of tarmac bliss.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2013 Frame News: Soma Juice

The Soma Juice has gone through a lot of changes since its introduction in 2006. The 2013 Juice ceases to look like any of the Juices that have come before it as it opts for a conventional straight top tube. Size wise the effective top tube length stays pretty much the same, but to keep the standover height low we've cut down the seat tube by a full 1/2 inch.
Another major change is to adapt the frame to 100mm suspension forks, something we kind of resisted for a while. You can still run a rigid fork (like our steel fork or the White Bros carbon) on it (It'll change the angles slightly. Follow the numbers for the "80mm fork" below for that. (Specs subject to change.) To keep the cockpit low, we decided to make the headtube on all sizes 110mm.

All in all just as fun and fast as the previous Juices, just now with more fork options, but fewer brake options, because we finally dumped the V-brake bosses. Color: Nickel Availability: Mid December.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Look what just turned up

This is the first box of brand new SA-30 rims seen stateside since the 80s.

For those of you not in the know, Araya was and still is one of the top manufacturers of rims in Japan. They make the rims for Shimano's wheel line and were one of the first manufactures to start exporting alloy mountain bike rims such as the RM-20, the first dedicated mountain bike rim on the market. These high polish aero beauties will look stellar on your classic track or road build, but wouldn't look out of place on a high zoot race bike either. Ask your local bike purveyor to contact Merry Sales about ordering you a pair of these.