|The original Soma ES on a ride in early March 2014|
As you may recall, the custom process turned into quite a disaster and the last couple of years have been spent attempting to not only recover from injuries but trying to find a road bike that would work for me once again. We in our household had discussed the idea of re-purchasing the ES frame (and it had even been suggested by a couple of readers in messages via email), but it never seemed to be the right time or I would continue to look, thinking that something else would come along.
One day in June of this year, Sam came home from work and said, "I have an early birthday present for you!" Since my birthday was months away, I was a little perplexed, but Sam had alluded in earlier conversations to having a fix for a problem I was experiencing riding. So, as I followed him out to our family room, I presumed he had picked up a part for me to try out.
As I reached the room, there sat a fully built Soma ES. I have to admit, I was a bit confused.
"Okaaay..." I drug out, sounding completely confused, I am quite sure.
Beyond my confusion about how this had all taken place without me having any clue, I noticed that this wasn't built up with leftover components that we had stashed somewhere; this was complete Shimano Ultegra from wheels to drive train and I was mentally trying to put the pieces together in an attempt to fathom what was going on.
"I looked at the old photos of your ES, so I think it's close to being set up the way it needs to be, and I know you'll want different pedals, but those were the only ones I could find," Sam continued.
I don't know that I had the exact reaction one would hope for when receiving such an incredibly thoughtful gift because I was still trying to figure it all out. Of course I was excited, but I also wasn't sure this was a necessity. I was doing well riding the BDB Pelican and while I had thought and talked about possibly getting a strictly faster-paced road bike, I didn't expect it to be sitting in our house at this very moment.
As I started to pedal, I instantly remembered why I enjoyed the ES so much. With the first build, it was initially put together using random pieces and parts from other abandoned or sold projects, but it was later fitted with a mostly SRAM Red groupset. I knew this bike had capabilities with both higher end and lower end components though as I have several personal best time records that were achieved riding the first Soma ES with two very different levels of components.
a short rant-tweet about my "pink" bar tape that wasn't pink. I was using some old bar tape for a short stint while waiting for an order from a British bike shop that had pictured online a light pink Brooks bar tape. I had never seen this color in person and was excited to have a different color, but when it arrived it was actually the darker raspberry color I have on my Hillborne handlebars. The bike shop offered to pay for return shipping and did apologize profusely, but I ended up liking the darker color with this build so I kept it.
As for the ride, I still enjoy the ES just as much (and perhaps even more given recent history) as I did in the past. There has been a small amount of tweaking to the set up since the initial build, but overall, Sam did pretty good for someone using photos as his sole reference. When I ride the ES I have the same thoughts I did in the past... it's just an easy to ride and enjoy bicycle. I don't have to push it if I'm not in the mood or I'm feeling like just going slow and enjoying the scenery, or I can pump it up a notch (or several) and find myself speeding down the road.
So, to those who encouraged me to try this option again and to Sam who had the foresight to move ahead without a lengthy discussion, I thank you. It's been fun to re-explore this bike and I'm pretty certain this time it will stick around, regardless of what other options may be added in the future. The bottom line is, it's a fun bike and I'm happy to have this Soma ES "deux-over."