Showing posts with label Soma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soma. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2017

Soma Pescadero

The Soma Pescadero all built up and ready to roll through the woods. Photo credit: The Soma Blog

Soma plans to start selling its Pescadero frameset in March 2017.  The price has not been announced.

The Pescadero is Soma's update to the Soma E.S. ("Extra Smooth") road sport frame.  As we said back in 2009, the Soma E.S. "is a quality steel frame for someone who wants to build their own commuter or touring bike. It has a relaxed geometry, which should make for a comfortable ride."  David even snapped a photo of his sister's Smoothie and posted it here.

So why is Soma fixing something that ain't broke?  According to the Soma Blog, the primary reason for the update is that the new Pescadero can run wide, supple 42c tires.  To accommodate the tire width, the frameset fits 67mm long reach brakes.

On the topic of brakes, Soma Blog had this to say about the Pescadero:

Some people feel that long reach caliper brakes just aren't quite responsive enough.  I can't say that I agree with that, since I've been riding them for years, but to those people I'd say you have two options to consider:

Option 1 is to just go for the disc brake friendly Fog Cutter and embrace the future, man.  But if you're the wool wearing, pipe smoking, Robert Burns reading type of cyclist consider...

Option 2. Centerpull brakes! Remember those? Mafac, Weinmann, Dia Compe? Even Shimano used to make them. Anyway, Paul Components up in old Chico, CA makes some and they are just bitchin. Great stopping power, tons of fender clearance, stiff as a metaphor, and boy-oh-boy do they look nice.  We even included a special cable hanger in the back so you don't have to use one of those dangly ones.

Nice. This is some of the best bicycle product writing since Grant Petersen was at Bridgestone.  That line about the "wool wearing, pipe smoking, Robert Burns reading type of cyclist?"  It's like they really know us!  And speaking of Petersen, the Burns mention is the best literary reference used in conjunction with a new bike release since Rivendell came out with the Betty Foy, a mixte named for a character in a Wordsworth poem.

Here are the specs for the Pescadero frameset:

- Tange Prestige heat-treated butted CrMo steel front triangle; butted CrMo rear end
- Road sport geometry (inbetween road race and cyclo-cross bikes in handling responsiveness)
- Rear rack, front mini rack & fender mounts
- Designed with Paul Racer center mount, center pull brakes in mind. Also fits 57-73mm reach dual pivot caliper brakes.
- Lugged crown CrMo steel fork included
- Stiff and light Breezer-style dropouts
- 1-1/8" size headtube
- 27.2mm post size
- 6 sizes: 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61, cm
- 4.25 lbs. (51cm)
- In Colonial Blue

And here's some Robert Burns, circa 1786:

Lines To An Old Sweetheart

Once fondly lov'd, and still remember'd dear,
Sweet early object of my youthful vows,
Accept this mark of friendship, warm, sincere,
Friendship! 'tis all cold duty now allows.
And when you read the simple artless rhymes,
One friendly sigh for him -- he asks no more,
Who, distant, burns in flaming torrid climes,
or haply lies beneath th' Atlantic roar.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Soma Wolverine

The Soma Wolverine frameset includes fork and Tange IRD stainless steel sliding dropouts. Photo courtesy of Soma Blog.
The Soma Wolverine frameset is available from Soma Fabrications for $620.

We once had a commenter -- our resident curmudgeon, really -- who called himself "Al in Philadelphia." Whenever we posted about a bike like this one, Al would exclaim: "Why is this THING being reviewed on a site that calls itself 'Bikes for the Rest of Us'?"  I'm not even paraphrasing. Check out Al's comments on the All City Space Horse.

So for Al and anyone else who wonders why I consider this THING a bike for the rest of us, let me explain.  It all comes down to one word: VERSATILITY.

This Wolverine will take racks and fenders. It can be built up with an internal gear hub.  It is compatible with a Gates Carbon Belt Drive.  But best of all, it accommodates really wide tires.  According to Soma, it will fit 700 x 45 tires with fenders.

A Wolverine with racks and fenders. Courtesy: Soma Blog.

Bike tires are shock absorbers.  Skinny tires might make sense on racing bikes, but they make for an uncomfortable ride in the real world. Wide, fat tires are great for riding on unpaved surfaces as well as roads that are paved but strewn with potholes and bumps.  Wide tires are also useful when hauling cargo.  So get with the cush.

One more thing about this bike: the color.  We never talk about the color here, even though, let's face it, many bicycle (and car) purchase decisions are made on color alone.  The Wolverine is pumpkin orange, which brings to mind the bike that set the standard for versatility nearly 25 years ago: the 1993 Bridgestone XO-1.

By the way, there is a great review of the Wolverine on reddit: Soma Wolverine vs. Surly Straggler. It's recommended reading if you're interested in this bike

Here are the specs:

- Tange Prestige heat-treated CrMo front triangle; butted CrMo rear end
- Clearance for 700x45c tires w/ fenders
- Rear hub spacing:135mm
- Gates Carbon belt drive compatible
- Matching lugged flat crown fork Tange Infinity CrMo steel fork; double eyelets pannier rack and mini rack mounts (mini rack mounts not pictured)
- Braze-ons for rear rack and fenders (disc brake-compatible racks only)
- 1-1/8" size headtube
- Sizes:50, 52, 54, 56, 58. 60, 62cm
- 4.79 lbs (frame); 2.3 lbs. (fork, uncut steerer)
- Color: Pumpkin Orange
- Compatible with Paragon Machine Works "flat/flanged sliding dropout" replacement inserts (Rohloff, Single Speed, Direct Mount, Thru Axle)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Soma Buena Vista

The Buena Vista built with fenders and rear rack. Credit: Somafab

Soma Fabrications sells its 2013 Buena Vista mixte frameset for $500 (the 2012 frameset is currently on sale for $470). This is a quality steel mixte frame made from Tange Infinity heat-treated Chromoly with rack and fender eyelets. 

It's available in four sizes: 42, 50, 54, and 58 cm. The 42 cm takes 26" wheels and accommodates a width of 1.5"; the larger sizes take 700c wheels with a maximum tire width of 28c. Available in Pearl White and Old Gold.
Buena Vista frame and fork in "Old Gold."
Here are some reviews: Lovely Bicycle (test riding a 650B version)

Paved Magazine

Monday, April 30, 2012

Soma Tradesman

What you see is what you get.  Courtesy: Soma Fabrications.
Soma is offering this new-for-2012 Tradesman cargo frameset for $700.

According to Soma, the Tange chromoly frame can load 40-50 pounds of cargo. It's one-size-fits-all.  Here's a few more details:

- 22" inches wide and 68" long

- Designed for 26" rear and 20" front wheels.

- Designed for front and rear disc brakes

- Extra long 40mm oversize head tube for maximum cargo capacity

- Modular high-tensile steel rack.

- Wheelbase of 1116mm

What it looks like built up. Courtesy: Somafab Blog
There have been a few reviews:

Urban Velo

Bike Tinker

Pushing the Pedals

Soma also has another cargo bike in the works, called the Pickup Artist, which you can read about here

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Elusive Chain Guard

There isn't a feature on a Bike For The Rest Of Us more essential and elusive than the chain guard. 

Why elusive, you ask? 

Just walk into your local bike shop and count the number of bikes with chain guards. Yes, plenty of kids bikes have them, but they seem to vanish when you get to wheel sizes over 12 inches. And if you do happen to have a chain guard sighting it will probably be a partial coverage one that just covers the top half of the chain.

Torker T-300 Partial Chain Guard

On some new bikes the chain guards are so tiny that you'll probably miss them at first glance. These 1-inch strips of metal are very much the thong of the chain guard world providing only the minimal amount of coverage and not obscuring the circular lines of the front sprocket and chain.

Electra Tincino's Low Profile Approach

Now there's no question in my mind that chain guards are essential. They keep your pants clean and remove another barrier from just hopping on your bike and riding. OK, so there are other solutions that people have suggested like cuff rolling, pants strapping and knicker wearing. But a BFROU is about using your bike for transportation. You wouldn't think about special clothing modifications for driving your car, so why should your bike be any different?

Chain guards have other functions like keeping the lube on your chain and the dirt off of it. If you're really lucky you'll find a bike with a chain case. Chain cases enclose the chain on both sides and keep the weather out, extending the life of the drivetrain. Dutch bikes are commonly equipped with chain cases because, like our beloved cars in the US, are made to sit out in the weather for many years without frequent maintenance.

Mighty Batavus Chaincase
Chain guards and chain cases are not without their drawbacks. They add an extra step to removing your rear wheel. Access to your chain for inspection, cleaning and lubrication will be hampered as well. At one time chain guards were fashionable and made to enhance the appearance of the bike; however, now the bare lines of the chain are the desirable visual cue thanks to the dominance of fixie and track bikes.

I'll mention that if you want to add a chain guard to your existing bike they're hard to find and can be a challenge to retrofit. They range from the very functional and plastic
(SKS) to the handcrafted and unique (Velo-Orange). Soma even has a modular one that they say works with front derailleurs. With the resurgence of internally-geared transportation bikes we hope to see more chain guards and more BFROU along with them.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Smoothie ES; Part II

Here is my sister's Smoothie ES frame and fork (by Soma Fabrications) built up as a comfortable and stylish town bike. The rain in Portland appears to have infiltrated my camera, but you can still make out the important elements: upright and swept-back handlebars, platform pedals, full fenders, and a dynamo headlight.

The Smoothie ES is a light and sporty frame, but it doesn't have to be set up as a road bike. This bike is light and sporty AND comfortable and stylish! Also, the Cobalt Blue is luscious.

In case you missed it, here's a link back to Part I, regarding the Soma Smoothie ES.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pake C'Mute

Pake (pronounced "Pah-Kay,")" calls the C'Mute "a tough jack of many trades frame... fast commuter, sport tourer, CX, geared or single speed." It's made by the same people who make Soma frames, and the Soma Store sells the C'Mute fork and frame for $360. You may also find a dealer who will special order you the complete bike... prices will vary.

The frame really is built as an all-rounder, with double eyelets and clearance for wide tires. The horizontal dropout allows it to easily be converted to a single or fixed gear.


Frame: Butted Tange 4130 CrMo tubeset. Sizes 47-60 cm.
Clearance for 35c tires with fenders.
Decals: Removable w/o stripping clearcoat
Horizonal dropouts (updated to a longer slot for 2009)
Optional unicrown steel fork w/ rack and fender mounts and low rider pannier mounts;
44mm rake, matching paint
Extended headtube
Color: Pave-Mint

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Soma Smoothie ES

Soma sells its Smoothie ES Road Sport Frame, constructed from tange heat-treated chromoly, for $400.

The frame has rear rack and fender mounts, and it will fit 32c tires with fenders. It comes with a carbon or steel fork, and requires long reach 57mm caliper brakes. The Smoothie ES is available in 11 sizes, ranging from 46cm to 66cm.

Basically, this is a quality steel frame for someone who wants to build their own commuter or touring bike. It has a relaxed geometry, which should make for a comfortable ride.

Here's what it looks like built-up (via Velospace):

And here's two reviews from Smoothie ES owners:

Crosswrench: The good and the bad after hitting the 2000km mark.

Nooksack: How he built up his Smoothie.