Friday, May 31, 2013

Zugster Rando Bags

We asked Adam @Zugsterbags to make us some simple Rando front bags and they are now in stock in the Soma Store.

They feature slim side pockets, an adjustable flap closure with connected side flaps to keep your stuff from falling out, underside velcro strap to secure it to a front rack, a clear map case and loop ties to attach the bag to your drops for stability (not needed if using a decaleur). They're made with waterproof inside lining to keep your cargo dry during wet trips.

We only got one in each color, so if you want one you had better act fast.

Best of all, each Zugster bag is handmade one at a time right here in San Francisco!

Get yours here >>>>

Jen's Double Cross 42cm

This just showed up in our inbox, and we had to share it. Looking good Jen!

"I had my heart set on a cross bike so I could have one bike to do everything from road to trails and some light touring. Little did I know that cross bikes don't really exist for really short women! I tried many small bikes including the surly cross check and the specialized tricross, but they both had stand over heights 1 cm more than my inseam. Many of the local shops told me I needed a custom frame. Then I found Soma, and the 42 cm Double Cross that I am fairly certain is the only cross bike that is small enough to fit me (besides of course a custom frame). Here is my new Double Cross, built up by Tree Fort Bikes in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  I've put 25c tires on to start and so far it rides great.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rivendell Pop Up in the Mission

If you're in the bay area and you haven't made it out to Walnut Creek to see the Rivendell showroom, now is a really good opportunity to check out some of that Rivendell goodness right in SF. The word is that Riv is opening a pop up store in the Mission near 24th and Van Ness starting June 1st. It's only for a limited time, so make sure to swing by and check 'em out.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Endless Velo Love 650b New Xpress Review

Found this review of the New Cream 650b tires over at Some really nice photography to accompany it.

"I haven't had a single flat tire [...]. The tires are comfortable, allow for speed [...], and are aesthetically  what I was looking for in a tire."

Read the full article here

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Zugster Custom Rando Bags

I just got word from Adam @zugsterbags that he's finished with our custom Rando bags. These will be showing up in the Soma Store very soon. If you want one, get your order in quick because when they're gone they're gone.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Soma Smoothie SS: Our Stainless Steel Road Frame All Built Up

The Smoothie SS uses the same semi-compact geometry of our CrMo Smoothie, but is fillet brazed with double butted thin wall KVA MS2 stainless steel. We opted for a nice hand polish over the cheaper Scotch Brit finish. Sold as frame alone. Component highlights: SRAM Force crank (Rival Apex mix of other drivetrain stuff) Zipp post, Vredestine tires, Ritchey fork, Look pedals, zinc-plated IRD Techno-Glide headset. Bar, stem, tape and saddle are ours. Special thanks to Willliams for loaning us the Carbon System 38 wheels. Also thanks to American Cyclery for building it up quick, so we could display it at the first leg of the Tour of California.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bike Shop Spotlight: Le Cyc in Tokyo, Japan

Le Cyc is a chain of bicycle stores in Japan. From what we can tell they aren't clones of eachother like some of the chain stores in the States. The one in Tokyo which carries a few Somas has one of the most diverse collection of bikes we've seen in one store. They carry urban stuff like Linus, Vamoof and Electra (and our Buena Vista and Double Cross). They carry cargo bikes like Bullit (and our Tradesman). They carry fat tire bikes from Surly. It's all jammed tightly in a medium-size space, but done without looking like a dollar store. A bike geek can't go in without his/her eyes widening at least 5mm.  Photos: Ken Homma. (Use hyperlink in first sentence for the Google Translated page)

Soma Tradesman (version 2)

Kenpa Classic

Soma Buena Vista with drop bars and interesting saddle bag.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bicycle Times reviews the San Marcos

Matt K just posted this long term review of the San Marcos over at Bicycle Times.

"I believe bikes have personalities and those personalities are part of the buying decision. Jim Porter of Merry Sales (Soma’s distributor) says their relationship with Rivendell is like the relationship of Elvis to blues or gospel music. Taking his analogy further: if Rivendell is gospel, then Soma is Elvis being played in an old Cadillac."

Read the full review here

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Soma Stanyan 650b from Velo Cult

George at Velo Cult in PDX sent me some gorgeous shots of his custom Stanyan 650b build. I love the look of the new Cream New Xpress tires with all the shiney shiney on this bike. You gotta hand it to the Northwest for putting together some sexy builds.

Beveled Honjos, omg so nice.

Whoo! Everything fits!

The Nitto CT81 is one of the nicest looking threadless stems around hands down.

That is some classy leatherwork right there!

Keeping it classic with the ENE Ciclo downtube shifters. 

Dia Compe 750 centerpulls are ideal for 650b conversions. Now available with modern recessed hardware for those in the know.

And the mud flap matches the seat bag. Well done sir, well done.

If you want to see more from Velo Cult follow their blog here Thanks George!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Rivendell on IRD 8/9spd cassettes

From Riv

"We’re now carrying IRD cassettes, 8-speeders and 9-speeders, made, we hear, by
Shimano’s subcontractor and to the same quality standards."

"Anyway, the great thing is we got to pick the ratios, and although it’s hard to go way wrong with a cassette, there is a theoretically-smarter-than-usual way to go about it, and that’s what we've done. The cog gaps increase as they cogs get bigger, so the effective change in gear or effort makes sense. PLUS, we got 12t top cogs, which are more useful than 11’s, and 34t low cogs, which split the difference nicely between a 32 and 36."

Saga Moustache Bar Touring Build

Some really nice Japanese bits on this build. Nothing compares to these Nitto racks for loaded touring.

Thanks to David @ Brazen Bicycles for sending this over. More shots of this build here

Friday, May 3, 2013

San Marcos Complete from Rivendell

If you've been looking for a Soma San Marcos, but you don't have the time or inclination to build one yourself, Rivendell has got you covered with this Bike Of the Month complete build.

A standard issue Riv build, speced out by Mark (of Mark's rack fame). Built up as a proper upright bike fit for the city or the country, with fenders and plenty of low gears for climbing those rolling hills of gold.

If this looks like the San Marcos you've been waiting for, just follow the link and get yourself kitted out!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Soma Noe Wedge Seat Bag

Soma Noe Wedge Seat Bag, originally uploaded by Lovely Bicycle!.

Lovely Bicycle has a nice write up of the Soma Noe seat bag. Check it out!

Low Trail Forks

As you may or may not have heard, Soma is working on a 650b randonneuring frame called the Grand Randonneur. We've very close to announcing the final specs for that project, so to those of you waiting for more details, thanks for your patience. We want to make sure we nail down all the little details.

In the meantime, I thought I'd let you in on another project we've got cooking.

We've gotten numerous requests, to make a low trail conversion fork that would fit some of our other models (trust me on the emails, I've read a lot of them). So after lot's of discussion and many drawings we have the first samples of the upcoming Champs Elysees fork. There will be 2 versions, one designed around 700c w/ canti brakes and one designed around 700c w/ 57mm calipers (it'll be good for 650b conversion too). I won't get into the whole trail debate here; if you search on Google Groups I'm sure you'll find more opinions than you could ever digest. But for those who care, they'll be 65mm offset, they'll have 2 sets of dropout eyelets, mid blade eyelets and hourglass eyelets for Nitto Mini racks. 350mm steer tubes like the rest of our steel forks, and chrome plated so they'll look sweet with any color frame.

I switched this bike over from the 45mm Classic Curve fork and I've had a few days to get used to it now. At first it felt pretty squirrely without a front load, but after taking it out for a longer ride I'm feeling more confident. After loading it up with a front rack and a bar bag and filling it with the usual daily commute cargo it feel completely natural (thanks to Zugster for making these awesome minimal Rando bags for us!). It definitely feels more 'neutral' compared to the higher trail configuration, especially at slower speeds. Cornering is a breeze, even no handed. If you're wondering what rack that is on the front, it's one of the new stainless rando racks which will also bear the Champs Elysees name. I've had the rear on my bike for a while and just swapped the Nitto M-12 out for the front version. These racks will feature the same adjustable axle mounting tabs as the Soma Porteur racks for bikes that lack the correct braze ons.

So that's all for now. Hang tight and we'll have more details on the GR frame very soon. I'll leave you with this. Enjoy!

(This is the V.2 prototype, so there are still a few small changes we're making on the production version)