First ride on new Soma- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    First ride on new Soma

    Finally got my new bike out on a shakedown ride. Did 6.5 miles and it felt good to be back on a bike. No gears either to mess with--just hop on and pedal .. So I'm loving the bike so far.
    Couple things:
    -someone didn't tighten the handlebar clamp enough and I ended up having to limp it part of the way back.

    -felt like my headset was loose but turns out my QR skewer wasn't tight either
    (I know, living on the edge right?) (is is snug or 1/4 turn past snug?)

    -I think I want a shorter stem or maybe a steeper angle--I hate being stretched out and feel like I have to lift my neck back to see ahead of me. Current one is 100mm +/- 7 deg

    -weight came in at 28.8lbs so I'd love to lighten it up as money allows.( for now budget is an extra $600)

    -my rear brake rubs just a touch even after adjusting it 3-4 times.
    But I think its just because my wheelset isn't the greatest. (bontrager mustang disc) However I only paid like $50 on Craigslist for the set

    -also need to pick up some shoes again--I have eggbeater 2s sitting at home but had to use the flats as I'm still looking shoes. 10.5-11 FYI


    Everything else feels good--It'll be a fun summer!



  2. #2
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    Great looking bike!

    The best way to lighten the bike is to replace the fork and wheelset. But I'd dial in the cockpit first and enjoy exploring with the bike the way it is, then upgrade.

    $600 is a lot to throw at new parts. If you keep it rigid, $600 will go a long way.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! Yes I'm definitely keeping it rigid.
    Figure I can cut the weight in wheels and cockpit stuff

  4. #4
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    Nice bike!

    Say what you want about those bontrager wheels, they are easy to make tubeless. That's the exact wheel I'm running on my 21lb ss. What kind of tires are you running? Maybe running a lighter tire tubeless might help? And help in a meaningful way. (Light tires make a huge difference; tubeless, not so much. Because the strip and the sealant have mass. But tubeless goes great with rigid suspension, on my bike it's essentially required. Maybe not so much on a chromoly frame but I am totally glad I went that route)

    Wonder if your rotor is warped. That's fixable, check youtube.

    I like the shorter stem idea more than the higher angle, I'd try that first.

  5. #5
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    Appreciate it

    I'm running Kenda slant six tires

    The rotors are ice-tech and were pulled straight from the box to the tires but I'll check them to be sure.

    And I figure I can slap a shorter stem on there pretty easily to dial in the cockpit.

  6. #6
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    I had mustangs on my ss too. I ovalized the rear rim and had to toss it. The front is still going strong.

    I agree! The bontrager tubeless system is drop dead simple and quick. You should be running tubeless.

  7. #7
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    Ha I'm definitely tubeless! used the stans kit and they took air fine.

  8. #8
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    I'm running bontrager xr2 experts, at ~600g each, that would save you .89lbs right there. Not to go all fan-boy on bontrager, it's what my bike came with, in fact I was assuming I would swap them out at first but dang, turns out they are just really nice tires. I also kinda dig Schwalbe tires, some are pigs but Racing Ralph has a similar tread pattern and also comes in ~600g.

    My wife was running 800g tires for a while there, and even though she's a complete novice she noticed a huge difference switching out to 600g tires. And her bike is a little pig (man I hope she isn't reading this). Rubber is cheaper than titanium eh

    Way I look at it, I'm not so worried about overall weight, I mean shoot if I ate one less cupcake a day that would save me a bunch of money and accomplish the same thing. I'm thinking about angular inertia, specifically the mass my fat ass needs to set spinning, as a function of the radius of spin, figuring the heavier the object, and the bigger the circle I need to spin it in, the more force I need to apply, and the less "snap" I'll feel when I mash the pedals. Of course everything on the bike has angular inertia -- you have to lean it over to turn, right? But the bang for your buck is way out there past the end of your spokes. You can't do much about the weight of your frame, but that mass is centralized, so you get to enjoy the considerable benefits of chromoly with little penalty in terms of angular inertia.

    Likewise, running a lightweight bb accomplishes precisely zero, since that object is at the center of any axis of rotation I can imagine. Getting lightweight riding shoes makes a huge difference, so tell that to the people on aluminum or carbon bikes who are getting their fillings shook loose while they are riding around in big combat boots. I just gotta ride in boots, it's a safety thing I carried over from motorcycling that I can't get away from. But, $150 for a pair of crazy red ultralight North Face boots, $100 for some racing tires, and you still have $350 left to buy a bad-ass carbon fork off ebay (recognizing that your fork has a moment of inertia, right? Keep the weight out of the ends)

  9. #9
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    One thing that was startlingly good on my Juice (I always felt like people saying this improved ride were just drinking the koolaid) was a carbon bar. I've still got a steel fork, but it's a pretty good one in terms of ride quality and weight. I've looked at carbon forks, but the way I ride, and at my weight, I'm not entirely certain I trust any of them just yet.

    About that front QR - you want to tighten it so that you start getting pressure, tension, whatever you want to call it, on the QR lever at 90 degrees from closed - in other words, straight with the axle. Then lock it down.

  10. #10
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    Thanks-- Ita adjusted correctly now.
    And I'm sure the tires (kenda slant six) are heavy--I'll keep an eye out for some lighter ones after I burn through these

  11. #11
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    Yep. Lighter tires and probably tubeless will serve ye well. Nice looking ride.

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