Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Soma Build

There's a lovely new ride staring me in the face every day as I keep praying for enough of the snow to melt to be able to take it out on even a short test ride. It's killing me to have it built up and not have a somewhat clear road to take it out for a spin. I've been (impatiently) waiting for an unseasonable warm front to roll through for a few days and provide a brief window of opportunity to try out the fabulous Soma ES sitting in my basement. It doesn't even have bar tape on it yet, nor have we cut the steerer tube on the fork because I don't want to make any ultimate decisions until I can test it out. Yes, it looks absolutely ridiculous because there are so many spacers running up to the handlebars (and above the handlebars), but I'm willing to wait it out to know for sure where I need to cut the steerer.
A sneak view of the Soma (sorry, no glamour shots just yet)... the steerer and all the spacers really do look silly- but that will change soon (hopefully).
The Soma comes to me courtesy of the sale of our VW Beetle (which took place due to a variety of reasons that I won't bore anyone with at this juncture).  A nice, young man from Albuquerque flew in to buy it and drove her home in the middle of one our bigger snow storms several weeks ago. I am impressed with his determination (and lack of fear) in regard to driving the car back to New Mexico as the roads were quite slick. He made it home without issue, which only tells me that we really did build a reliable, solid vehicle. I'm not sure I'd do the same if I were in his shoes (and even recommended that he perhaps spend the evening and then head home when the storm had passed), but I'm glad he made it home safe and sound. I'm also happy to use the "winnings" to fund yet another bike project (the car was my graduation gift and all, so I suppose that something should come out of it - right?). Some people might save their money, but we here in the E.V.L. household love our bikes... and what fun would life be without some sort of project to fill these winter days?

I had been debating the sort of bicycle that I would want if/when the VW sold. Briefly, thoughts when to another attempt at a city bike. A loop frame or mixte would be nice at times, and there's a part of me that doesn't want to give up on that idea, but ultimately I didn't think it was something I really would hang on to long term. I also considered {gasp} selling the Hillborne (I can't believe I am even saying that) and trading it in for the new Cheviot that Rivendell is putting out - which would give me the same use that the Hillborne provides in its set up, but also give a bit more standover for skirt/dress times. While I still think it could be a possibility in the future, it wasn't quite what I am ready to try out at the moment. In the end, I suppose it boiled down to wanting a lighter weight steel road bike, but I didn't want (nor have) to spend a small fortune obtaining one. I also wanted options for various potential set ups down the line, so the ES just seemed to make sense. Whether it will ride as I expect remains to be seen, but I'm looking forward to the adventure and seeing where it takes me.

Do I need another bike? No, of course not, but it seems that bike builds in our house are like that comforting quilt grandma made years ago...It makes us feel all warm and snuggly, and when there isn't something in the works, we both feel a bit - well, empty, I suppose. So, I'm looking forward to reporting on the Soma very soon, but until then, I stare longingly, knowing that we're in for a dry spell in the coming days which will hopefully melt just enough of the white stuff to allow me the fix I've been longing for over the last couple of weeks.


  1. "Do I need another bike?"

    The answer to this is always the same: Yes. This looks like a great bike. Can't wait to hear your impressions of how it rides. I'd also love to know more about how you selected components for it. I've never built up a bike before, but I'm curious.

    1. I can't help but giggle a bit - not because you've asked a question that isn't valid - but because there really wasn't a ton of "choosing" in regard to this bike (and if you saw the mass of parts we just obtained in a giant box from someone on CL who was looking to just "get the parts out of the house" - oh, so many parts - Well, let's just say there's just so much to go through). We generally have excess parts though (mostly from past builds that either didn't work out or that were sold off as a frame only), so we just went with what was available in the stash for the Soma (at least for now as I just wanted to be able to test it out). However, choosing parts seems to be a headache all its own, so I can definitely empathize with anyone trying to build a bike from scratch. For a machine that is so simple, sometimes it seems overwhelming. I've been involved enough with selection to realize that parts (in particular, gearing, crank, shifters) can definitely make a difference in the way I feel about a bike or the way it pedals, etc. I am not a parts nerd by any stretch, but have a base of info I use (generally from past experiences gone awry) when choosing for another build. I will definitely keep your question in mind when writing the post for the Soma report though, as I think you're so right - knowing what goes into it, and how it's selected can be very beneficial. Actually, a post on choosing parts in generally might even be a great place to start.


Word verification is on, but I've turned off the moderation portion in an attempt to make it easier for you to know that your comment has indeed made it through. We'll see how this goes, but I'm hopeful that this will help out and I'll try my best to weed through and remove spammers comments. Additionally, I recommend copying comments before hitting publish as the "blogger comment eater" seems to continue his snacking.