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  1. #1
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    Soma, On One, Zion or Karate monkey for budget 29'er build?

    Hello all, I'm new to this forum and after doing some reading and observing I think I'm ready to try and build my first 29'er (geared). I'm 6'2" and 205 lbs so sturdiness is somewhat of an issue. I test rode a GF X-caliber and it was alright but I'd rather have a steel frame. The Zion cought my eye because it looks looks like a good frame for the money and will allow me to spend more money on the wheels which I feel is critical on a 29'er. The GF felt like the wheels and tires were heavy and sluggish. What budget (under $400 or so)frame do you all like best and where is the best place to order it from?

  2. #2
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    fullcycles.com has the Soma for $350 right now, I went that route and I'm very happy with the frame.

  3. #3
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    If your running discs, I would eliminate Soma and KM because of the track ends. The sliding dropouts on the Inbred are unneccesary with gears but haven't been a problem for me. Still, its another 4 bolts to keep tight. The Zion is available in a geared version but some have said fork crown clearance could be an issue. I thought I saw something about a geared Inbred on the way.

  4. #4
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    I say again

    I don't get the complaints about Surly's dropouts. I never had any issues with them, ever.

    Enough of that, I haven't a clue about the Zion, it does look nice, but I have never seen touched or smelled one so I have no opinion.

    I have had two KMs, great bikes for the money and they have fixed, for 07, the down tube clearance problem.

    I have seen a Soma, not bad, but never ridden one, you could do much worse.

    But if I was to do it all aver again, I would get the On One Inbred. It looks really nice, it is not too heavy and it rides very well, both rigid and suspended. I have not had any slippage from the dropouts personally, but have read that can be a problem. To preempt that supposed problem I replaced the stock bolts for the sliding dropouts with some steel ones. I like my On One, but haven't ridden it since I got my Salsa El Mari which is new, so I am riding the wheels off it, and seeing that it is not on you list I won't tell you how good it is. I will be keeping my Inbred as my back-up bike. I had a real hard time justifying the Salsa because the Inbred is so good, but I really prefer an Eccentric BB. I think any of the frames you are looking at would be good, but the Inbred is the best frame IMO of the four listed.

    Lastly, a full 6' 2" tall, and a good 215 and all bikes were/are being used as SS.

  5. #5
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    I've got a Soma Juice with gears and the sliders really are not a problem. If you take off the rear wheel, loosen two bolts for the caliper, slide it out then back on. The frame rides and handles great.
    Another option is the Haro Mary. I'm looking for a dedicated SS an test rode one and it's a very nice ride. Geared versions and frames will be available soon
    Beteen the Inbred,KM,and Soma I don't think you can make a bad choice. If you can't test ride do extra research to find your best fit. Enjoy!.

  6. #6
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    Picked up a Soma a few weeks ago....

    ...through Full Cycle. The guys at Full Cycle have been good to deal with. The frame itself had some problems. The rear triangle was off center and the seat stays were missing weld beads at the seat tube junction. Trying to get in touch with Soma directly was not easy so I called the guys at Full Cycle and they were good with a replacing the frame. The second Soma frame was definitely in better shape.

    The Soma Juice frame has a well though out design as far as cable routing, track ends, disc and V options, and SS v. geared option. It's quite light for a large frame (they call the 18" ST the large). The ride is not the smoothest for a steel but for the price it's tough to beat. The geometry is great. The large has a short TT by 29er standards, that's why I went with the Soma. The effective TT on the large is 23.6". I'm riding it with a KM fork. The fork is a bit too stiff for my liking but for my first 29er build it's a good setup at a killer price. As a previous 26" holdout I must say the 29er has won me over.

  7. #7
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    I've seen the On-One Inbred for as low as 389 frame only.
    I'd rather be riding my bike...

  8. #8
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    Don't eliminate the KM because of the track end drop outs. Unless you're a racer and need to be able to change rear flats in 30 seconds the track ends are not a disadvantage. In fact they offer a couple advantages over vertical dropouts. One being the ability to increase chainstay length and the other being the ability to increase rear tire clearance. Both of these are easily obtained by sliding the wheel rearward in the dropouts. BTW I'm 6'5" 220# and ride an XL KM. It's a very well built frame and handles the load quite well. My $.02 worth.

  9. #9
    In the rear with the gear
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    I am riding the Q Ball, rigid and SS, and it rocks on New England Techy Trails!
    Get some Cycle Snack!

    Iron Horse MKIII
    Q Ball 29er
    Fetish Fixed-ation 69er

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gitzit
    Don't eliminate the KM because of the track end drop outs. Unless you're a racer and need to be able to change rear flats in 30 seconds the track ends are not a disadvantage. In fact they offer a couple advantages over vertical dropouts. One being the ability to increase chainstay length and the other being the ability to increase rear tire clearance. Both of these are easily obtained by sliding the wheel rearward in the dropouts.
    Also easily accomplished with the sliding dropouts of the Inbred. Though I'd rather not think about it. Its too tempting to start experimenting. I really only brought it up because its one of the easiest ways to differrentiate between three excellent frames.

    Bummer that FullCycle doesn't have the Inbred on their site anymore. I got mine with a Reba, headset installed, BB and HT faced, and shipped for $800. Great service too. Looks like Price Point has the best deal now @369. Wouldn't know what to expect in the way of service though.

  11. #11
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    anyone know if a Reba Race/w remote lockout will fit on the Zion?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29erPilot
    anyone know if a Reba Race/w remote lockout will fit on the Zion?
    I think so...
    http://twentynineinches.com/images/Zion/sneak.jpg

  13. #13
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    Having had both an ebb and track ends...

    Quote Originally Posted by cwfish
    If your running discs, I would eliminate Soma and KM because of the track ends. The sliding dropouts on the Inbred are unneccesary with gears but haven't been a problem for me. Still, its another 4 bolts to keep tight. The Zion is available in a geared version but some have said fork crown clearance could be an issue. I thought I saw something about a geared Inbred on the way.

    If I had my choice it would definitely be track ends, even with discs. Like other posters said, unless you are getting paid to win races track ends are fine. The Spot SS disc was the best so far. The way the disc tabs were sotted allowed the rear wheel to be removed without touching the caliper bolts.

  14. #14
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    Really. How many times do you pull your rear wheel? I ride my karate monkey a million times a week, and I have pulled the rear wheel off twice this summer. Once for a flat, and once since i replaced the chain and figured I may as well clean stuff while I was at it.

  15. #15
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    Once this summer...

    My one flat this year was during a night ride in mosquito infested Wisconsin.
    I pulled the wheel off my Soma in seconds, threw in a tube, pumped it up and I was out of there with only a dozen bites.

    Getting back to the bike though, I'd get the one that fits me rather than base a bike decision on what type of dropouts it had.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotu
    Really. How many times do you pull your rear wheel? I ride my karate monkey a million times a week, and I have pulled the rear wheel off twice this summer. Once for a flat, and once since i replaced the chain and figured I may as well clean stuff while I was at it.

  16. #16
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    I bought a Soma and have been very happy with it. The more I ride it the better it gets. I regularly take the wheels off to throw in the back of the hatchback and even though I still use V-brakes it's getting easier to remove and re-install (practice will do that!). The frame is lighter than a KM, if that is any concern, but definitely check fit first before deciding on any one of them...
    My LBS | Riding this and this

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