Monday, October 17, 2022

Meet the Adventure-Ready Soma Jawbone

Over the years, we at Soma have been truly amazed at how the modern bicycle has allowed all types of folks to travel the across continents and be immersed and mesmerized by the great outdoors even as much of humanity is often living in more and more in urban and suburban sprawl. Whether you enjoy the camaraderie of a weekend bikecamping trip or are hooked on doing week-long solo adventures, we salute you. And your passion encourages us to build better tools for the experience.

While our popular Wolverine monster cross frame and our Juice and Riff hardtails are super-capable for the majority of cyclotourists and bikepackers, we recognize there are many of you - after being out a different trips on different terrain and riding different bikes - find themselves wanting more of one thing and maybe less of another. 

Basic idea: A drop bar bikepacking/touring bike that fits true mountain bike width tires (up to 29 x 2.25" and 27.5 x 2.6" with decent mud clearance -- depending on frame size and drivetrain choice). 

Why would I try this over using a Wolverine, a gravel or CX bike for bikepacking?
- More stability while loaded thanks to a longer wheelbase and slightly stiffer design
- Tackle more rugged conditions with fatter tires 
- More three pack mounts

Why would I try this over a Juice or Riff or other hardtail frame for bikepacking?
- You don't think you need a suspension fork and you want to run drop bars
- Slightly lighter in weight
- More room in the front triangle for gear
- More responsive handling on asphalt 
- More sizes for better fit
- Geometry has higher stack to make it easier to use the drops on drop bars

Why would I try this over a Saga Touring Frame or similar heavy duty touring frame?
- Not super stiff, so still enjoyable to ride off-road unloaded or to commute on.
(We don't tout the Jawbone as a traditional touring frame, but it can do the job, if you can live without a kickstand.)

While it seems the Jawbone might be simply a mash between the Wolverine and the Juice, the geometry is designed from a clean slate. Stack is higher than either to make it easier to build a bike where the riders can more comfortably run drops high enough so the drops are more practical to use. This also creates a large space in the triangle for frame bags and gear. Please look carefully at the geometry chart when selecting a size, even if you have owned a Wolverine or Saga before.


The Jawbone is offered in two versions. 

The A-Type is for those who feel a simpler design with less moving parts makes for a more reliable, thus better touring bike. It also adopts more current standards like thru-axles, which offer a stiffer connection to the wheel.

The B-Type is for those who like to tinker and appreciates practical bells and whistles. The Broski thru-axles allow to run the bike with derailleurs or geared hubs like Rohloff and if either fails on a trip, it can be run as a single speed. The sliders on the B-Type allow you shorten the chainstay to 435mm for a sportier ride or 455mm for a more stable ride.
The B-Type maintains compatibility with QR wheels standard. We know there are quite a few of you who find QR wheels quite reliable for long distance touring and gravel. It is the technology you know and it is still easy to find and cheap to replace.

Find out more at

Optional fork for A-Type:
Steve Potts Type II-R MTB fork. Unique looks. Note: Unlike the frame having flat mount ,
the fork has an IS mount. This makes it easier to run a 180mm rotor, if that is your choice.

Optional fork for B-Type:
Simple efficient unicrown design. Has three-pack mounts angling rear and front.
Plus dedicated pannier rack mount on inside and outside the leg.

Jawbone B-Type Build (Size 54cm)