SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


Soma Speedster Lugged Frameset

I have around 8 bikes, which is crazy-far too many. Whichever one I'm riding is my favorite, when asked. Lately, I've been riding my Bridgestone RB-1 in preparation for the SFR 200k brevet next weekend, since I think I'm going to ride that bike on the event. Anyways, as I said, I've got lots of bikes...and each one of them has one or a couple of characteristics that I really like, but also some flaws or issues that undermine their complete enjoyment. This fuels the quest for The One Bike, I guess. OK, back to the RB-1...I tweaked the rear gearing a bit and now this bike seems perfect for the long day rides I do in Marin, low enough gearing for the hills I go up and high enough for the hills I ride down. A couple of months ago I installed a taller stem and some wider, curvier handlebars, and the controls feel quite nice now. I spent a full day on the bike last weekend, and amazingly nothing hurt aside from my tired legs, which is something I haven't experienced in a long time. That bike just feels FAST! It's nearly the perfect bike, aside from a couple of issues, of course: I really wish that the frame was designed for long-reach brakes for better tire/fender clearance -- this issue is mostly my fault for taking what was intended as a road-racer and using it as a fast day-tripper. And I also really wish that the frame had been brazed better (mine has, at least for now, non-structural cracks at the headtube lugs due to incomplete brass penetration == poor brazing).

I was just poking around on the Soma website, and noticed that they've updated their page on the new Speedster lugged frameset, which now has a picture of the matching fork. I think that's a pretty nice frame -- the chromed headtube lugs and fork crown are a classic touch that you don't see on many frames these days. The dimensions on this frameset VERY closely match those of my RB-1; really the only difference is slightly longer chainstays (and therefore overall wheelbase), which is a good thing in my book. The frame has front, double rear, AND seatstay rack eyelets, too, and Soma claims it'll fit a 28mm tire with fenders. Poking around online, I've found a couple places selling it for around $700, which I guess isn't too bad for a frameset built with heat-treated Tange Prestige tubing (in comparison, Kogswell's Model P, similarly made with heat-treated tubing and lugs, sold for around $800).


Blogger Dan said...

Hey, JimG: Saw that you added me as a Flickr contact, so I went and checked out your pix. Ah -- another RB-1 rider. I'm doing the SF 200 as well, if my Achilles cooperates, and I'll be on my Bridgestone (rode one for PBP in '03, too). Anyway -- liked yr shots and yr blog. I'll look for you Saturday. ...

4:34 PM  
Blogger Gino Zahnd said...

My Rambouillet has been The One Bike, and yet I have a custom Riv on the way. I hope it lives up to what my expectations are, and I also wonder if it is possible to get any better fit-wise than the blue sheep.

You can't have too many bikes as long as they are in working order, and you ride of them. :-)

See also: More than one bike.

Justifying bike gluttony, or all in good fun?

7:55 AM  

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