Soma Juice or Wolverine?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    _CJ
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    Soma Juice or Wolverine?

    I'm pretty set on building up a new bike, and have it narrowed down to these two. Both check all my must have boxes of steel, 29"/700c, belt drive compatible.

    I already have a 26" (belt drive) trail bike with 2.2/2.4 tires, and this second bike will be more aimed at endurance-XC-Gravel with narrower 1.8-ish tires. Not planning to run a suspension fork. I feel like the Wolverine is closer to what I'm looking for, but the Juice might offer more flexibility down the road if I want to use this bike for long distance trail rides, or decide to make it my primary trail bike with 27.5" tires or whatever.

    Can the Wolverine handle long distance XC single-track riding?

    Can the Juice be set up to handle gravel/road riding?

    It seems I'm somewhere between the two. Undecided on drop bar vs. flat, but will probably end up flat.

    Opinions? Experience? Advice?

  2. #2
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    I don't have either of these bikes (though I used to have a green Juice), so take this with a grain of salt: the Juice looks like the clear winner, since it give you the versatility to add fatter tires or a sus fork down the road.

    But I would choose the Wolverine seven days a week. Set it up like a pre-suspension mtb with 2.0" tires and a flat bar, with that flat crown hovering over the front tire... that's a cool ride in a world of 5" travel carbon wunderbikes.
    http://www.bikingtoplay.blogspot.com/
    RIGID, not "ridged" or "ridgid"
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  3. #3
    WillWorkForTrail
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    I've got a pre-belt compatible Juice (Brownstone), and I'd say it will set up as a gravel bike just fine. The wolverine also looks like a fine bike, so I understand your indecision. What would sway me is two things:

    The website says the Wolverine will clear a 45c tire. That's fine until you start talking about XC single track riding, where, to me at least, you want a little more tire than you're going to find there.

    I also think the Juice will be happier in the flat bar configuration you think you're leaning towards.

  4. #4
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
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    Ok, I'll go against the grain (as usual). I vote for the Wolverine based on no suspension and 1.8's.

    the decision should also factor in what other bikes you own so you don't end up with too much overlap. is the 26" trail bike your only other bike?

    each has pros and cons. I think of the juice as a XC/trail mtb. I think of the Wolverine as Monstercross. the fact that the Juice will take up to a 120mm fork is cool, it will only fit 2.8" 27.5's which is kind of meh IMO. if your going for chubby, go full chubby (3.0).

    If your looking for a gravel bike that can also hit pavement or singletrack, go Wolverine. if you want a mountain bike that can hit gravel roads, or build a second wheelset and add a squish fork, get the Juice.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  5. #5
    _CJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    I would choose the Wolverine seven days a week. Set it up like a pre-suspension mtb with 2.0" tires and a flat bar, with that flat crown hovering over the front tire... that's a cool ride in a world of 5" travel carbon wunderbikes.
    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    the decision should also factor in what other bikes you own so you don't end up with too much overlap. is the 26" trail bike your only other bike?
    The 26" bike is the only bike I ride. I have a road bike, but it just hangs on the wall, largely because I've grown to distrust motorists and their phones so much. I do miss road riding though, and that's why the wolverine caught my attention to begin with. The road riding isn't great in my area unless you can mix in some dirt connectors.

    Having looked at the Soma website again, I'm leaning back towards the Wolverine. They have a straight legged fork to go with it now for heavier duty use, so it might kind of bridge that gap into trail riding.

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

  6. #6
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    Do you want to run drop bars? Wolverine.
    The geo on the Juice was designed around flat bars and the Wolverine, drop bars. They can go the other way but setting that up sounds like a giant pain.

    Suspension fork? Juice

    29er tires bigger than 2.1? Juice.

    I just rode the Texas Chainring Massacre 100k on my Juice. 38/18 singlespeed, rigid steel fork, 2.1 Thunderburts, narrow bars with bars ends. Normally this bike has a much lower gear, squish fork, and wider riser bars for trails. It does both very well. I only own one bike, so I have to make the Juice trail and gravel road capable. If I had more than one bike, I would leave the Juice in "trail mode" and have a second rigid bike for long distances and gravel.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    ... belt drive compatible...
    I don't think either frame is belt drive compatible because you'd need to break and re link the chain around the chainstay, something you can't do with belt. All belt drive bikes either have a removable section of the seatstay or chainstays that go over the belt instead of through it.

    EDIT: am mistaken

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    Both the new Juice and the Wolverine have a breakaway section on the seatstay for a belt. It's clearly spelled out on Soma's website.

  9. #9
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    Soma Juice drop bar gravel grinder

    I finished this Soma Juice gravel grinder today. After reading the comments that a Wolverine is designed for drops and the Juice for flat bars (which in theory is true) I can truly say that this is one on the most comfortable and natural feeling bikes I have ever ridden. Not had time to go long and far yet, but the initial feeling is surprisingly very, very good.
    Salsa CowChipper bars feel very natural, bike feels very responsive with the light Newmen Evo SL XA.25 rims, and the 80mm short stem makes sure I'm not laying totally flat out.
    It was a bit of a parts bin build, so I was lucky to have the short Thomson stem lying around. Also had the setback Thomson lying around which put me back a bit more than I wanted, but it turned out fine.
    Will keep you posted the coming weeks, but first impressions are stunning.

    For anyone who's interested, here's the build set up:

    Frame: Soma Juice "L"
    Fork: Salsa Firestarter 15mm
    Wheels: Hope Pro 4 hubs in Newmen Evo SL XA.25 rims with Schwalbe Thunder Burt tyres (tubeless)
    Drivetrain: Sram Force shifters and rear mech, Sram GX1 1400 crank with direct mount 40t ring, Sram XD 11-42 cassette and KMC EL chain.
    Brakes: TRP Spyre SLC with Yokozuna Compressionless cables
    Rotors: Magura Storm SL 160mm
    Bars: Salsa CowChipper
    Stem: Thomson X4
    Seatpost: Thomson Elite
    Saddle: Sella Italia Flite Ti
    BB: Hope
    Headset: Hope
    Pedals: Shimano XT SPD
    Cage: Ron King Cage (ofcourse ;-))

    Soma Juice or Wolverine?-soma-juice-gravel.jpg
    Passionate about Wheelz!

  10. #10
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    I've ridden my flat-bar Wolverine on trails with 1.7" gravel tires. If it's smooth you're golden. And it's fast. Once it gets rough it's like an ol' school mtb. Challenging, ****s your body to hell, but still fun.

    To my mind, however, it's a road-bike first. So get it and save the really rough stuff for the trail bike.

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