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  1. #1
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    First build: Soma Juice, On-One Scandal, or something else for internally geared?

    I've had it in my head for ages that I want to learn to build a bike, and with the winter 2012 closeouts going on right now, I'm feeling compelled to get started.

    Most of my riding is for transportation in hilly San Francisco, though I also enjoy riding into the mountains. I'm biased towards a mountain bike because I have sensitive joints, and I'd rather have the bike absorb the road shock than my wrists.

    For both aesthetic and maintenance reasons, I'm leaning towards an internally-geared hub (probably an Alfine).

    I'm definitely putting fenders on, and probably a Topeak Explorer rear rack to hold my Office Bag. I like the bright green paint job (and lack of tacky decals) on the Soma Juice. The reviews I've read all say it rides comfortably.

    While researching, I stumbled upon The Lazy Rando's blog, where he lists all the IGH-compatible 29ers. At 3.5lbs, the On-One Scandal is the lightest on the list. It's also cheap, which is nice on my wallet, but makes me wonder about the quality. I haven't found any comparisons to similar frames, and only a handful of reviews.

    It looks like the Niner Sir9 is also lightweight, but lacks brazeons for fenders/racks. I can get an XL for $550, but that might be a bit too big for me. (I'm a long-limbed 5'11" and wear a 32" inseam.) The reviews I've read of the Surly Karate Monkey/Ogre seem to prefer the Juice for comfort and weight.

    I'd love to hear any and all recommendations. Is the Scandal a quality frame, or too good to be true? Which frame would you buy?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I've owned a Juice, Monkey, Ogre and On-One Inbred (sort of the steel version of the Scandal).

    By far, I enjoyed the ride quality of the Juice the most. With all it's bells and whistles, the Ogre is the most versatile of the bunch. The Scandal is certainly a good frame, but it's also the only aluminum one on your list. It is light weight, but there's a centuries-old argument regarding whether aluminum rides harsher than steel.

    Given your proposed usage, I'd recommend the Ogre. If you were asking strictly for a trail bike, I'd say the Juice.
    Enjoy the ride!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. Why would the Ogre suit me better? Do you think the Juice is noticeably smoother on the street, or only on the trail?

  4. #4
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    I think you'll really only be able to see a discernible difference between the two on the trail. On the road, something as simple as a tire pressure change can cover up any noticeable difference in ride quality. On the trail, you tend to notice more of a difference. Since it sounds like you'd spend more time on the road than on the trail, I don't think the smoothness of the Juice would necessarily matter that much. It's not like the Ogre is going to kill you on the trail anyway.

    Plus, I think the Ogre has a braze-on for every imaginable add-on that a commuter would want. I'm not sure if the Juice is as well suited to that use.
    Enjoy the ride!

  5. #5
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    Thanks. :-)

  6. #6
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    I have a Juice. Is is the smoothest frame I've ridden? Quite possibly, and I've been through quite a few. My XL weighs close to six pounds, but if you're running an IGH, rack, and fenders, you probably shouldn't be caring about weight (and it really doesn't matter)
    WTB: Specialized AWOL frameset, XL

  7. #7
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    I've taken my 26" MTB up some of the steepest hills in San Francisco with fenders, rear rack, and a laptop bag, so while I'd prefer to be at least cognizant of weight, it's not my primary concern.

    I'm 5‛11" and wear 32"inseam pants. Think a 20" Juice will fit?

  8. #8
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    First build: Soma Juice, On-One Scandal, or something else for internally geared?

    Surly: some really cool urban builds have been posted if you look through the threads. It can go urban, yet you can ride it across the bridge and hit the trails!

  9. #9
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    It seems like your body size is way off for the frame you're looking at. I'd think with most frames, you'd be at the high end of a Medium and at the low end of a Large.

    It also seems to me that an aluminum frame should suit your needs just fine. The benefits you'd gain from steel on the kind of riding you're doing would be offset by the deficits you'd get from the pounds of extra drag you'd be hauling around. Just because you're adding a little weight in fenders and rack doesn't mean weight no longer matters. Find the right size for yourself and go with the On-One or the Niner. Unless someone here has a strong compelling reason to avoid On-One, it's a deal that's very hard to turn down if the geometry works for you. The price difference between the On-One and the Niner could move you from an X5 to X9 groupo or from an OEM wheelset to a solid midrange cartridge bearing wheelset. Or it could make this fun project a whole lot less stressful by simply saving you a few hundo.

  10. #10
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    That's why I'm asking. I'd think to go for a large, but the bike shop I'm emailing thinks a 20" would be appropriate. I don't know if it would, or if that's just what they have left in stock.

  11. #11
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    First build: Soma Juice, On-One Scandal, or something else for internally geared?

    Just get whatever will be easier to replace after it's stolen.

  12. #12
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    If I recall, the sizing on the Juice is a little weird. they consider the 18 inch frame a Large, even though most would call it a Medium. Therefore, a 20 inch according to Soma would be a XL...I think. Look at the effective top tube (ETT) measurements posted on their site and use that as a guide.
    Enjoy the ride!

  13. #13
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    Indeed. Here're the measurements:

    http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-3773699254952_2250_4749815

    I'm gonna swing by a bike shop today and ride some similarly-sized models.

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