I don't see the Analog on Soma's site anymore... wonder if it's going away
Which means I might finally have to get off the fence and get one
The current Soma Juice
The retired Soma Groove
Hey Agwan: I'm switching from a 60cm Straggler to a Wolverine. What size should I get?
Did the Straggler fit right? and are you swapping the same parts over? If so the ETT and Standover are very similar. ETT for the 60cm Wolverine is a centimeter shorter than the Straggler, so keep that in mind. They also probably wont have a size larger than 60cm until the next run. At which time Soma has also planned some changes to the chainstay yoke, much like the most recent B-Side/Juice has
As well as moving the gate for the belt up to the seat stay (personally, I like the split drop out looks. but these changes are for stiffness, which is needed for a belt drivetrain)
Thank you for taking the time to reply. The 60 cm straggler standover is about all I can handle, so I'll likely go for the 60 cm Wolverine. Do you know when the new framesets will be released?
Soma hired a new "Social Media Manager" who refuses to do any part of his job. He ignores all questions.
I do know they're on order. And that the frameset has been a HUGE success for them. But when they actually get to the states and get distributed is beyond me.
If I was to make a totally uneducated guess, I'd think late June at the best, Late summer at the worst. And I'd place my bets on late summer.
Soma is a weird company. They've always made small batches. Which has been fine because they're not some giant company. But I was told they only made 300 Wolverines the first run, the second batch only numbered 100. Surly made THOUSANDS of Stragglers, and that bike is also at or near selling out most of the time (And it's a lesser bike that costs more money!) They both order from Maxway in Taiwan, I'm confused at how Surly can maintain inventory but Soma doesn't.
There are literally dozens, if not hundreds of people who are ready to fork over 600 bucks a pop for the frameset. Which is not something that can be said for ANYTHING ELSE SOMA MAKES RIGHT NOW. And Soma's reply is
"yeah, sure. We'll get around to it. I guess. LOOK AT ALL OUR RANDONNEUR ****! LIKE 4 RANDO BIKES! AND A FAT BIKE"
"But Soma, no one wants that from you. they want the Wolverine and a disc brake Smoothie"
"Eff that! WE MADE BIGGER DIRT DROPS!"
"No one wants that!"
"200 DOLLAR RANDO BAGS!"
"We have Velo Orange for cheap rando crap. MAKE THE BIKES WE WANT FROM YOU"
"GRANT PETERSEN DESIGNED THIS ONE BIKE! LUGS!"
"MAKE OUR DAMN BIKES SOMA!"
"NEVER! WE'RE A GROUP OF ENTITLED SAN FRANCISCAN HIPSTERS, PROFIT BENEFITS THE PROLETARIAT, WE ARE ARTISTS! WE WILL DEFINE THE MARKET!"
''A successful company realizes consumer demand drives the Market!"
"Never! here! take another "adventure road touring bikepacking bike!" Also! let us make a 29er that is too fragile for the trail!"
granted that conversation is fictional. But it is more or less how it would go if neither party could lie or use tact.
Hey, nothing fragile about the Juice after the first generation! At least, I haven't heard anything.
I hope they don't bulk it up--that slender, flexible tubing is its biggest asset.
Originally Posted by Agwan
I think just about everyone at Soma ignores questions by current and prospective customers. I have heard they are pretty silent but found this out for sure when I sent a question regarding the adjustable dropouts on some of their frames (specifically the Analog I was ordering).
Originally Posted by Agwan
I sent the question to both Soma and IRD (whose dropouts they are) on April 2nd. Soma never answered. IRD decided to email back on May 3rd with a completely useless email (entire email content, cut-and-pasted: "Your best option would be to your frame to an experienced bike mechanic. They can check the bolt tension and dropout alignment.")
I AM an experienced bike mechanic, that is why I was asking the manufacturer about their sliding dropouts when I did not have direct experience with them...my experience has taught me to ask the experts prior to taking my hamfist and wrench to a bolt. And the manufacturer gave nothing!!! A useless as well as late response.
Searching for another avenue for the info I was looking for on April 21st I contacted both the parent company of Soma, The Merry Sales Co., as well as one of the dealers Soma is always going on about on their blog, American Cyclery. Within hours I received usable info from Merry Sales and a link to a PDF from Paragon Machine Works containing usable info sent from American Cyclery.
At least I found what I was looking for. Soma makes good frames, but their customer service is non-existent. I do not wonder why Surly, who is selling what is in my opinion an inferior product, is making many, many more sales than Soma.
"You're messing with my zen thing, man!"
As another experienced bike mechanic, I know exactly where you're coming from.
I also know that pain when you realize that you know more than someone "professional"
"I know that the TechDoc says this, and it is a good ground rule, but trust me... It works differently in reality. YES I AM AWARE ATF VOIDS THE WARRANTY."
Soma wasn't always this way, back in the day when I bought my Groove, they were friendly and responsive... that was... Five-ish years ago?
What kills me is the fact that American Cyclery technically IS Soma. Soma is a partnership between AC and Merry Sales. AC does the designing, a little prototyping. and Merry manages production, distribution and pretty much everything else.
It's not wholly clear WHO at AC is doing the design work, I think it's a handful of people. But It's counter intuitive to have to contact the bike shop instead of the brand.
And as someone who has shopped at American Cyclery down in San Francisco. Even that shop has issues. The store is technically two stores, across the street from each other. One road and one MTB. I've had to go to the MTB side to ask for help before, because the "Ole' skool legit roadie steel is real Velo-Grouches" would only sigh, grumble and scowl as I asked for pricing on Nitto stems.
Which really got my goat, because I was on a road trip and went out of my way to see their shop and give them money for things, because I loved my bike that much.
It was a part of that snobbery that made me trade my Soma Groove for a Surly Straggler. The brand is less bullsheety. But frankly I missed the ride quality and went back with my Wolverine. I wish Surly's cost what they were worth, or were worth what they cost. because at 600 dollars it should be a name brand steel (Or ride like it. and it doesn't) It should also have no major failings (The Straggler has moronic drop outs) as they sit, pretty much every frame in the Surly line needs to cost roughly 200 dollars less. Not that they ever will. but that's the price drop I need to go back to Surly.
I love this Soma, and for 550 it's worth what it should be. Frankly, if I ever want to go with a different steel framed bike, I'll probably save up and go custom or semi-custom. None of QBPs steel bikes are really my style, or a good price.
man, I typed a lot of words.
Soma is effectively a 1 man company, and he's stretched pretty thin. They never hired another social media person. The assertion that Soma is run by hipsters is incredibly amusing to me. Anybody who acctually knows them will understand why. FYI, all Soma technical emails will automatically get forwarded to American going forward.
I don't buy bikes due to their social media.
I used to work in shops as well, so I know my way around a bike - I rarely need feedback from a manufacturer.
I have seen several retailers say the Juice was convertible to a 142x12 but the google machine would not tell me what or where to buy the parts, So I messaged several retailers who claimed the conversion was possible with no answers.
I emailed Soma next, they responded they were not positive which drop outs might be able to do that and said they have heard it can be done, but have not claimed it themselves. They pointed me to Paragon.
I emailed Paragon and they said they don't make parts specifically for Soma, so they are positive what will work and they don't have a Juice on hand to test - however we agreed on trying some stuff out and we resolved it. Paragon is now aware what "works" on the Juice.
I then messaged Soma to let them know the part numbers so they would know for future inquiries. They thanked me for the feedback and we moved on.
While I certainly would have loved to have heard directly from Soma the answer and have it quickly, I found no issues with them not knowing the answer. They do not list on their site it is convertible. They also did not blow me off - they pointed me in the direction to help me find an answer.
I will say I noticed a difference from when I contacted them just a little over a year ago. Evan was answering emails and responses were generally within a day. It did feel more welcoming to speak with him than my last interaction - however that is not something that makes or breaks working with a company. It just makes it more pleasant to me.
I found Agwan's post entertaining, and worth sharing with the management at Merry Sales. Thanks for that.
As Agwan already surmised correctly, we are small and lean, probably smaller than you think. And currently we are running Merry with fewer people than we'd like. And we already wear one or two hats too many here. Thus, email answering fell by the wayside (or more like off a cliff),... but we are catching up. We know it is more important to do a good job assisting people that are actually trying to reach you, rather than whoring for "likes" on FB or even designing new products.
Regarding the unfortunate shortages of Wolverines, it's a combination of the crazy port issue and how we run our frame business...We don't require dealers to commit to min. buy-in program, we don't force our distributors to provide forecasts (though it'd be frickin helpful if they did). Usually that's less stress for our dealers/distributors which they love, but if there is an unusual spike in demand that means it will take longer for us to catch up. Believe us, it upsets us to no end that we can't supply product to you folks in a timely manner. (BTW we don't use Maxway! We never had. Not that there's anything wrong with them)
We don't want people to feel sorry for us, but please don't think we'd rather smell the leather on $200 randonneur bags all day than helping potential customers.
I know who you are Evan. So I appreciate your post very much. I'm bothered to hear that they never hired another SMM, but that would explain so much. If they're still only a one man company, that's on him. It's a great brand and interns are affordable and gullible. (That also explains the TON of products for a niche section of cycling. One man is making his passion. I can understand that.)
As for Soma directly, I am glad to hear that the low volume of Wolverines is largely related to you not torturing dealers. As someone who has personally had to deal with QBP's game of "you can order one frame. No you're not a Dealer you can't order any, okay you can order but it has to be a minimum of X orders. okay but you have to commit to ordering X more next year. Okay you have to carry it full time. No you can't be a dealer" It's good to know that you're not playing that game.
I'm also excited to hear that you don't use Maxway, Not that I dislike Maxway, but the wet paint on your bikes has always looked so much better than other bikes I've seen built there, I had just assumed you paid extra for that. I am a bit bothered that I can't arrogantly prattle on about where you build your bikes anymore. At least not until I figure it out again. If I ever do.
I totally understand the issues on the Wolverine stock. When QBP released the Straggler, they had a mountain of issues getting it to the states. and there wasn't even a dock worker strike at the time. And they ordered a huge volume. Some of these things are out of our control. I just hope you can ride the "Gravel Grinder" cash cow home. Because the Wolverine is a good "Almost anything" bike.
Hopefully you can tell from the tone of my previous post that it shouldn't be taken too seriously. 2 of the 3 bikes in my Garage are Soma (the other is a steel, 95 rockhopper I bought new off Ebay in 2013) I've just finished helping a friend build up a Smoothie that I talked him into buying. I have another friend I talked into a Double Cross. I am totally a fan.
All that being said, I demand disc brakes on everything, Celeste as an Optional color on everything, The ability to run a 55 tooth Gates chainring on everything, A carbon fiber downhill race bike. and the highway 1 bars in a 50cm width. Because I have gorilla shoulders and I'm sick of Flat bars. Dirt drops just aren't the same.
And the guys at AC still possess 32% more elitist sneer than your average roadie shop.
All the words.
Somacisco or Evan, any update on size 60 availability date? Is there a huge wait list for this size Frame set?
Originally Posted by somacisco
Evans comment about Soma NOT being a Hipster company still kind of amuses me.
They build (sometimes lugged) steel bikes, in the style of the classic frames, Which Hipsters love.
Based in San Francisco, Which is Hipster Mecca.
They call themselves SoMa, Which is one of the most Hipstery parts of that Hipster city.
They painted a bicycle called the "Groove" a color called Cappuccino. They called another bike the "Analog"
Don't get me wrong. I listen to genres like Ambient Doom Metal and Ethereal E-Pop. I complained about Monsanto ages before everyone else, And I knew about Steampunk before it was cool. I denied knowing about Steampunk after it became uncool.
I majored in Art.
If I could grow a decent beard I'd be a hipster in a heartbeat, but I don't look good in flannel.
Also, saying you aren't a hipster. makes you a hipster. It's a paradox. I asked Bill Nye about it.... He shot Neil Degrasse Tyson and then the universe restarted.
So don't bring it back up.
I can't find anyone who can name a bicycle company more synonymous with Hipsters than this brand.
Do you think I can get Lucky Strike to build Bicycles?
That's not really a whole lot of trolling. It is a fair amount of humor used to bring something back to light after a fair amount of time. The humor is further used to color the comments in such a way that those who have even a modicum of insight can tell that my concern, while still existing, is not of great urgency or even emotional weight.
I've noticed that in this day and age of the internet being fast and affordable, terms like Meme and Troll are enthusiastically miss-applied.
Don't get me wrong, I think they would very much like to be a hipster company, much like the middle age dentist who starts wearing Warby Parkers and throwback nikes.
Has anyone noticed the clear coat flaking off their drop outs and the area over their decals?
Because mine has been.
It's not a huge bother, and it gives me an excuse to powdercoat the thing.
I've been thinking about Specialized Allez Red, (Most names for this shade are "Ferrari Red" "Racing Red" and even "Really Red") Bianchi Celesete (RAL 6027 comes closest)
Or something neon, Or Glittery, Or both.
It's amazing that an issue like this on my Straggler would probably have enraged me. Mostly because I was never happy with it.
But this bike is awesome and you can have it when you pry it from my cold dead hands. So I'll get over it.
No issues so far with my Wolverine. Mine's from batch 2. I'll keep an eye on it.
'15 Soma Wolverine '12 Soma Analog SS '10 Transition TransAM '07 Felt F1X '97 Schwinn Mesa SS '89 Fuji Saratoga '86 Fuji Club
Hi. I am looking hard at the Wolverine, after the Glitter Dreams Straggler going out of stock. Seems it might be a lucky happening.
That orange though. It looks really good, but someone else stated something about orange looking better on somebody else's bike, and I'd been kinda thinking that. What does it cost to have a frame repainted? But then again, "just ride the goddamn bike".
My Fuji Cross is a 54 (fits great), but the Wolverine ETT in size 52, is very close (3mm), with the only really (probably) noticeable difference in geo would be the seat tube, and a few other things here or there. That sound about right to you?
2015 Trek Farley 6
2009 Fuji Cross Comp
2001 Schwinn Frontier SS
I can't remember exactly how much it cost to powder coat my Wolverine, but I'm sure it was in the $200 - $250 CAN range for a simple coat in one color. I'm really pleased with the results. Depending on the powdercoater, you may have to supply your own powder if they don't have any stock in the color you want.
Don't know if you already found your answer elsewhere. We have 60cm's now. And we should have good stock on all sizes next week.
Originally Posted by dsjackson
Anyone care to share their impressions on the Brown Juice? I am thinking of building a rigid one up with a semi fat front end.
I have the Juice and have been riding it now for 2 years.
I ran it 2x10 for the first year and running it 1x1 now.
Impressions - I ride a 19" and I am a Clydesdale rider - it is a tad flexy - but you should expect that with steel. Once up to speed, you do not notice it much, but just messing around at low speed, you can tell it is there. Nothing alarming, but figured I would mention it. A smaller frame and a lighter rider would reduce the flex I feel tremendously.
The ride is nice. I have a fox 32 float up front and have run 2.4, 2.2 & 2.0 tires on the front and rear trying to find the ideal setup for my local trails. I have settled on 2.2 Nevengals and intend to stay with this setup. Of course this is on my trails... if I lived in AZ, I would chose differently.
Personally, I do not see any advantage to adding weight to the front end of the bike with a fat tire/fork. As I see it, ff I want a fat bike, I would just get one, not make a franken bike. There has been a guy on Ebay trying to unload his franken bike for probably 6+ months now. That might be a cheaper route for you if you are going to build something.
BUT - to each their own. If it is what you want, I look forward to hearing your feedback once built.
Alo - on my juice, I was able to get the adjustable dropouts from Paragon to convert my bike to a 142x12 setup with a DT Swiss maxle.
Originally Posted by scoon
Somas own people say the B-side is built a bit more stout than the juice. How much more I do not know.
That's good to know. The flexiness of the Juice is what makes it so nice.
Originally Posted by Agwan
Exactly - plus the 29" wheels.
My prior hardtail was the Groove - with some flex - so I jumped from 26 to 29 on this bike.
The flex has never been enough to cause issues set up at a 2x10 or 1x1, I have never thrown a chain or had drive line issues because of it.
Originally Posted by seat_boy
Thanks for the input. Since I want to try full rigid, the "not quite" fat dirt wizard in the front will do just fine. I'll save squishy duties for the bike that is full squishy. Will post back once the build gets going.
Originally Posted by bloaker
I never posted the new Analog that I built up a couple months ago:
Surprisingly satisfying bike.
"You're messing with my zen thing, man!"
Latest setup on my Juice.
My Juice and Niner were overlapping a bit too much. Both were fun on the trails, but the Niner was becoming my 'go to' bike. Not much of a weight penalty and both climb well... so changes needed to come to differentiate the bikes a bit more.
The trails near my house are suitable for both geared and singlespeed.
So I switched the Juice over to SingleSpeed.
New setup includes dropouts for 142x12 DT Swiss maxle.
EndlessBikeCo gearing and spacers.
Hope Hubs on Stans Flows.
While I am not as quick on the Soma now as I used to be, there is a new fun factor that is making the Soma the new "go to" bike. I am not a singlespeeder at heart. I am just looking for something fun and challenging. This switch made my local trails all feel new again and made just grabbing a bike to ride for an hour fun again.
Just a little update:
I hasn't escaped our view that some have been trying to squeeze plus tires onto our B-Side and Juice, something they aren't really designed for.
In 4 or 5 months we will be releasing some Juices (our 29er) with re-designed stays that will truly fit 27.5 x 2.8" WTB Trailblazer/i45 Scraper combo with a 1x10 set up. This tweak will only be on the standard model, not the Gates Drive compatible model. The B-Side will also get this same treatment, but will more likely be 6 or 7 months out. These are not a full-on "plus" bikes, but a good way to experiment with this trend using older parts you may have.