Thursday, October 24, 2013

Soma 2014 Frame News: Version 3.0 of our 27.5"/650B B-Side

Just read Bike Magazine's online interview with Kirk Pacenti. I have to say cheers to Bike for bringing Kirk back into the spotlight at this time when 27.5"/650b tire size is finally being adopted by a slew of bike manufacturers both in the USA and Europe.
There's been a lot of press releases and ads from the big brands: One big brand new to the game offering new extensive research why they feel 650b is the better tire size of the three. Another reiterating they've been producing 650b bikes for years longer than anyone else. But none of these big brands giving much credit to Pacenti,who was truly the first to start pushing the "650b for MTB" concept to the industry.

It is awesome to see an interview that lets him answer the question... "How does it feel after years and years of trying to convince companies of its advantages  to see it finally being widely adopted." We find it really satisfying.

Well we hope you will find some satisfaction (see what we did there) with what we are doing with the next generation B-Side SS/Geared hardtail frame.(Not available until January.) Gone is the classic NORBA/XC racing geometry. The new B-Side is now in "extra fun, trail bike" territory...allowing you to go faster in the rough stuff, but still lithe enough to be flickable and easily maneuverable.
  • Revamped geometry to take advantage of the true 27.5 specific forks designed by RockShox and Fox. We are optimizing the B-Side to run 100mm and 120mm travel forks with slack 69/68 degree head angle that has become almost the norm these days. 
  • Machined 44mm headtube to increase stiffness and to be compatible with tapered steerer tube suspension fork
  • Beefed up the down tube with thicker and longer butts (but not to the all-mountain tank level)
    Tange Prestige heat-treated CrMo of course
  • Slightly shorter chainstays
  • Equipped with  Tange/IRD stainless steel sliding dropouts which allow you run this as a single speed, traditionally geared, or even with a Rohloff hub.
Brave New B-Side: Now designed for 100mm and 120mm travel forks

Road Bikes for Kids: The Soma Bart and Lisa

Kids don't have your passion for the bicycle.
Kids don't have your training discipline.
Kids don't have your long strong legs.
Kids don't know a thing about cadence, Campagnolo or Cavendish.

But when you take them out on a charity ride or tour, you stick them with a crap bargain department store bike with fake suspension forks and Pop Rock quality bearings –
and then wonder why aren't they keeping up with you or enjoying themselves more?
Ay, caramba is right!

In your young, single days you may have lovingly built a nice bike for your significant other (or had one built for you), because you wanted them to love cycling as much as you do. Soma asks you to consider whether it is time for your kids (or your sister's kids) to get a quality, lovingly specced road bike.

Introducing our 20" wheel road frame sets... The Lisa is a potent Pink. The Bart sports bad-ass Chrome Plating. Both have a classic road bike look with skinny tubes and level top tube, but are compatible with modern components like 9-speed cassettes, threadless headsets, and 27.2mm seatpost. Fork crown and dropouts are investment cast just like our other frames.

An optional Mini-Kit includes harder to find kid-sized parts:
  • Shallow drop 33cm road bar
  • 140mm double road crank (40-34t, cold-forged aluminum, polished finish)
  • 20" aluminum wheelset, with Kenda Kwik tires installed 
  • IRD B-57 dual pivot brakes
Everything else is up to your imagination or your bike shop's.
Frame set has a 24.5" standover height and should be fittable to kids and short adults 48 to 58 inches tall.

Soma Lisa built with the Mini-Kit. This is currently only orderable
through your local bike shop. It won't be on the SomaFab Shop.
So call them up soon.
This little lady is fine on drop bars, especially with cross levers on top,
but feel free to use whatever bars you like.
I'd like to see Nitto All Rounders myself.

Here's a build with the Mini-Kit except with chopped down riser bars.
(Furry cow saddle from Origin8)
The Bart would make a great boy's bike or girl's bike. .
Remember this is custom – you can add pink bar tape, a camo saddle, whatever!
We aren't pushing the Lisa, strictly as a girl's bike either.

Does your kid appreciate cold forged cranks with CNC'd and polished chainrings? 
No? Then it's your job as a responsible adult to instill sound values. (This crank
is available in the optional Mini-Kit. Highly recommended since kid's short legs
can't spin adult sized cranks)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

OG Soma Product Tester

In case you thought we only hire professional models, here is conclusive evidence that we've got experienced product testers putting our products to work.

She would not be deterred from riding, even in the subarctic climate we're currently experiencing. Dig those stylish riser bars!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

FreeRange Grand Randonneur Build

For those of you who haven't been compulsively searching for Grand Randonneur build pictures, here's the first complete shots we've seen from FreeRange up in old Seattle.

I really like the contrasting green touches! If I know my brickwork, then that there is the Theo Chocolate factory in the background. Some people have all the luck.

If you look close you can see they picked some nice parts for this build. Our Soma B-Line 650b tires, IRD Defiant Crankset, Nitto Quill Stem + Bars, Grand Compe brake levers, Velocity Synergy Rims, and of course the matching leather saddle.

If you're in Seattle, or even if you're not, you should definitely make the trip over to Fremont down by the giant leafy Brontosaur and check out all the lovely bikes they have in stock. More pics of their other custom builds can be found on the Flickr.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Another Smoothie build by Competitive Instincts

Hi Evan,

It was great bumping into you at Interbike.  Here's a description and some photos of that Smoothie I told you about.

It's a Soma Smoothie 48cm built as follows:

Campagnolo Record 11 Shifter/brake handles, front & rear derailleurs, brakes, chain, cassette, compact crankset

Handbuilt wheelset - Campagnolo Record hubs, Velocity A-23 rims, DT 14-17 spokes

Ritchey stem & seatpost

Terry saddle with ti rails

Enve 1.0 carbon fork with 50 mm offset

Chris King Headset

MKS pedals, alloy clips, and straps

Lizard Skins 'fat' bartape

Continental 700x25 Four Seasons tires 

The bike weighs 15.8 pounds and its performance and ride quality are as good as it gets, plus it's a real head turner.   Thanks!

Larry Baggett
Competitive Instincts Bike Shop

Friday, October 4, 2013

Joel's Custom Painted Green Double Cross Disc


I would just like to share my Soma build from Spring Street Sports in Chippewa Falls, WI. If you would like any more information, let me know! I know I painted over the graphics, but I'm trying to find a decal that would go well with my color scheme. A local hot rod shop sprayed it for me. I look at your blog and see how you guys show off some shops' rides. I think I made one hell of a clean example. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dirt Drop/Super Boss

I know the first thing that comes to most people mind when they think of Soma's handlebar selection is "Why don't you have more options?" Well don't worry, 'cause were on the case.

It all started with our dirt drop bar, the Junebug. We got to thinking, wouldn't it be cool if you could use the JB bar with Hydraulic mountain levers. So we shrank the diameter of the drop handles to accommodate 22.2 levers. We also reamed the tips so they still work with bar end shifters.

Well, we made a couple samples to test out, and one of the things we figured out was that they make pretty good cruiser bars when you flip them upside down. They're kinda like a mutant Soma Oxford bar.

They do work well as a dirt drop too. The taper is located at the bottom of the bend, so you can still use the with regular drop levers.

Now in case y'all think we're completely tone deaf, yes we realize how weird this bike looks. It's our permanent test platform so it's set up for different size people to hop on and take it for a spin. You might recognize the fork too. It's the fat tire suspension corrected prototype we showed you a while ago. Our buddies at Velocity USA sent us this dialed Pacenti P35 double rear wheel set, since it takes a 135mm hub on the front. Since you can swap the front wheel with the rear, we put two different size cogs on to make it a 2 speed. All of these strange bits n' bobs should be available for you to purchase sometime after Stardate 67466.9

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

IRD Sub Compact Chainring Prototype

Here's a fun widget that we've been working with IRD to develop.

It's a 50.4 BCD chain ring designed to mount to french style 6 bolt cranks. It has mounting points for 130, 110 and 94 BCD chain rings so you can dial in your gearing for different riding conditions.

They're specifically made to fit the Sun XCD cranks in the picture, but they should work well with other modern reproduction crank arms with the same bolt pattern.

Since they'll work with most commonly available double chain rings you'll never have to scour ebay looking for NOS TA or Stronglight rings again. The cutout design matches the chain rings that come on the IRD Defiant cranks, and it will work with the Defiant replacement rings that are now available.

They have shift ramps and pins like any modern chain ring, so they should shift with indexed derailleurs as well as classic friction systems. We should have our first production run in a few months.