More Soma Bike Build

Starting to look like a bike

It’s been almost 2 months now since I first recieved the Soma Double Cross frame. Finally, it is starting to look more like a bike. From my first post you may recall that there were several build issues that I was starting to become concened about. Well, instead of pussyfooting around with what-ifs and practicalities, I made some decisions hoping to ride a new bike this summer.

Cane Creek headset

Our friends at Cane Creek helped me out purchasing a 110 headset that was recently reviewed in Dirt Rag #142. That is probably the most sensible item I’ve picked up for this bike so far. 110 year warranty!? That will be smoothly turning corroded forks long after the zombie apocalypse.

The bars and stem where some of the most affordable items I’ve grabbed and have helped keep me in the black. There are of course benchmarks for bike fit, many of which have been discussed around the office (or lectured). Without actually being able to sit onthe bike and ride it, best guesses were made. I picked up a compact drop bar. Some of the critiques common of drop bars is that the lower hand possitions are too low. Raising the bars so the drops are comfortable then makes the brake hoods too high. A compact set of bars, with a shallower reach, will hopefully make for a larger variety of comfortable hand possitions. In hindsight, I wish I had chosen wider bars. But again, won’t really know till I can ride the bike and there isn’t much money invested in them anyways. Same with the stem. Not sure about the length so I grabbed an inexpensive 100mm 84/96. 

Bars, stem, headset, fork

The versatile Soma Double Cross DC frame has a 132.5mm rear hub spacing. Right inbetween a mountain bike (135mm) and road bike (130mm). This almost gives you too many options. Hense my previous concerns about chain line. This is primarily goin to be a commuting bike which I’ll be riding for a few cyclocross races.

I decided to go with a FSA double compact 175mm cyclocross crank and external bottom bracket. The thought is to use STI shifters with a 10 speed derailleur, cassette and short pull road disc brakes. Make a few decisions, and mistakes, so I can get on with the build. If it doesn’t work just right, I’ll change it. I’m hopeful that the 46/36 gearing up front with a 10 speed cassette will offer a comfortable range of gears that will actually get used. If anything I’ll lean towards the lower end since it seems like the majority of the commute is uphill.

Road bikes and disc brakes aren’t exactly synonyms, but luckily Mavic was able to help out with their Speedcity wheel set. Designed to be used with 26" mountain bikes as commuter wheels, these 700c disc or rim brake compatible wheels might be the perfect solution to a possible chain line issue. The Speedcity wheels are decently light tipping our scale at 1140g/970g with skewers. They are likely to be a great addition to the build. Here’s a link to some info and look for a review in an upcoming Bicycle Times issue.

Right now I’m waiting on the important stuff. Hopefully I’ll be able to update this blog soon with more info on the fit of the bike and the problems I’ve run into. Summer’s here and I’m looking forward to spending time on this bike.


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