Monday, November 28, 2016

Soma Photo Contest

We at Soma Fabrications are looking for photos of our Soma frames in their natural habitat to decorate our office.  The winning photo will be enlarged to 8' x 4' for our conference room and for that reason, it must have a resolution of 15 – 20 Mega Pixels. Runner ups will need a lesser resolution (12-20 MP) and will be enlarged to about 3' x 4' and hung throughout the offices. 

What are we looking for:   

1.  San Francisco or Coastal Northern California, i.e. West Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt, Santa Cruz, etc. involving fog and redwoods, etc.

2.  Exotic places such as Nepal, Tibet, India, etc. 

3.  Colored photo or black and white, whatever suits the mood of the photo

4. There must be a Soma bike in the photo, but it doesn’t have to be prominently featured.

5. Photo captions must accompany all submissions, and should include

  • The location in which the image was taken
  • A description of the trip, circumstances, etc, that may be helpful for judges

One Winner will receive a name acknowledgement for the photo and a $500 credit towards the SomaFab Store.  The Runner Ups (up to 4), will also receive a name acknowledgement for the photo as well as a $100 credit towards the SomaFab store. The store credit will be good for up to 6 months from the date of issuance.

*Images can be emailed as compressed JPEG's.  Do not email RAW image or images over 15 megabytes in size as our email service will not accept them.  You are free to watermark your submissions; but we would like the images to be submitted at full size, if possible, so we can evaluate color and composition as well as the potential sharpness/noise when blown up to size. 

Please email submission(s) to jim_porter(at)

Last date to email your submission will be Dec. 31, 2016.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bikecamping With Our New Distributor in South Africa

Yes we have finally found some like-minded souls to represent Soma Fabrications on the continent Africa (Cape Town, South Africa to be exact). We are quite quite happy about that.

Here is some photo coverage of a week long camping ride they took outside of Cape Town with some fellow members of the "S24o Bicycle Microadventures" Facebook group. They are called that because most of their outings are sub-24 hours. Please visit the Everyday Cycle Supply site for the full photo essay of the trip.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sandworm: May His passing cleanse the World

Words and Photography by Spencer J. Harding

Essay by Edward Abbey "I Loved it...I Loved it All" from Ned Judge on Vimeo.

Go to that link, watch the first few minutes of that piece by Ed Abbey. After a week of cavorting around the Moab desert I started to appreciate what ole’ Ed had to say about the desert.

But we aren’t gonna get into conservation and all the politics right now, just look at what he’s driving. That beautiful Cadillac, not some souped up jeep, a classy as hell convertible Cadillac. When trying to review this frame it has been hard to figure out what to highlight, this is the most versatile frameset for off-road riding that I am aware of at the moment.

So this is the point I want to make, you could go buy the fancy carbon fiber plus tire full squish mega bike, but if you are reading this that is probably not your thing. You are a dignified off-road cycling enthusiast, and this my friends is your Cadillac.

This is a convertible Cadillac meandering down lonely desert roads kind of bike, its about looking damn good and feeling even better. Sure there are more specific bikes, but trust me, this bike can be made to handle almost everything (Captain Ahab was a little gnarly rigid but I managed). You don’t need to ride in the desert for long to be stoked that you have some plus sized tires, and you can run just about any tire you can image on this thing (26/27.5/29).

The chain stays are longer than bike publications would deem noteworthy (fear not this thing wheelies no problem) but, this thing is a freaking Cadillac, its not gonna turn on a dime, but you don't need to when you look and feel this good.

So get that stem up nice and high and put some wide bars so you can really take in the landscape, you don’t have to watch every rock and sand patch with this beauty, just let the 3”+ air suspension handle the imperfections. I’ve yet to see anyone ride this bike without a shit eating grin on their face the entire time.

Are the type of person who; likes to get way way out in the great outdoors, enjoys the challenge of crawling through spreadsheets of mountain bike parts measurements, rides slower than the average Strava roadie who just discovered mountain biking, has an appreciation for fashion over function, and wants to build up a plus bike that is so classy that even ole’ Ed Abbey would tip his hat?

Then my friend, the Sandworm is for you. THE SPICE MUST FLOW.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Soma Vitesse Tire Review from Velo De Route of France

We don't re-post reviews of our products too much here anymore, but since this one requires Google Translate and has such pretty pictures, we made an exception. View the full review here.
Joly reviewed the 42mm wide SL with an inner tube. He was interested in trying the tire after meeting us at Eurobike.

On the tarmac he had nothing out of the ordinary to report, but for the downhill...
<<In downhill the balance is strangely more mixed: admittedly, the section and the gum of quality offer a grip in curve, as braking, simply phenomenal, but the height of the bike does not fully exploit these assets. It is not the fault of the tire, but if you add the two centimeters due to the cyclo-cross frame and the tire, it is at least three centimeters higher than on a road frame in tire of 25/28 Mm. It starts to do ... In practice, the configuration photographed did not allow me to beat or even approach my reference time in downhill (established with Compass tires).>>

He noted his 42mm measured closer to 37mm. This was with a narrowish rim with 18mm internal width.
A 23mm internal width rim should get you closer to 42mm.

On gravel performance:
<On roads generally traveled in tires of the same volume but more or less clinging, with rubber flank, the difference of flexibility and yield is really impressive. The surface adheres very well, even on loose ground, and slightly damp, the grip remains very correct. The micro-slats that partially cover the surface of the tire are probably for something, and the adhesion is not less than with semi-slicks type "tip of diamond". In the mud ... it slips, normal. This is the obvious limit of a slick tire.
[On downhill gravel:]
There, it is a new (good) surprise. Once again the flexibility of the tire, and the absence of crampons [knobs] provide much less vibration than my usual tires. If it's obvious on the tar, it's also noticeable on a path. It seems that at equal volume, the absence of crampons provides better contact with the ground.>>
After a few tests I adopted pressures of 3 bars at the rear, 2.5 at the front whatever the ground, and so far without puncture. The lightness of the flanks is reminiscent of the first MTB tires of yesteryear, and therefore the specter of the pinch is very present in mind ... caution remains, but after 200 km of rustic gravel,

In the end, these Soma Speed ​​42 mm are the ideal gravel tires for dry conditions.
Their road performances are impeccable, and allow to drive in a group at high speed, as much as on a 150km turn.
But especially their performances along the way are really excellent. The combination of a large volume on a slick tire in my opinion provide the best versatility of a "gravel". Of course some extreme terrain or wet conditions require crampons, but always to the detriment of versatility and performance.>>

The writer makes an interesting note that tires in the 40mm and up range raise the BB of road bikes and CX bikes higher than what they are designed for. And thus you can't corner and steer as confidently, even with the added grip of these tires. Frame makers would need to make frames with lower bottom brackets. This isn't lost on us. We stay pretty conservative on our BB heights. Because ven though we are designing many of our bike to fit 38c and up, we have many customers and bike shops who will outfit our frames with 700x28.  This means we can't optimize the BB drop just for the largest tire size, because then the BB height will be too low for more common size tires. For folks wanting wider tires AND the lowest BB height with disc road/CX bike, your main option is to go with a 650b conversion. Second option...a custom frame.