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  1. #1
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    Soma Riff?

    Has anyone ridden or received a Soma Riff frameset yet? It checks all the boxes for me to be able to build up/swap over from my Santa Cruz 5010c. I think Iíd be a solid medium from the geo charts, but riding one prior to ordering doesnít seem to be an option.


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  2. #2
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    That Riff seems a nice update for the B-side, belt drive option is nice.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  3. #3
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    So I guess Iíll just be the guinea pig then


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  4. #4
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    they updated the Juice and the B-side with the new Juice and the Riff. both look like solid improvements, although the recent versions were also nice. I would ride one.

  5. #5
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    Yawn. Ugly downtube, they couldn't work out the geometry to prevent that? ISO tabs in 2018? Why not post mount? Nothing new, and 650b? I guess that means you can score a cheap set of high end 27.5 wheels. But then, why?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by metrotuned View Post
    Yawn. Ugly downtube, they couldn't work out the geometry to prevent that? ISO tabs in 2018? Why not post mount? Nothing new, and 650b? I guess that means you can score a cheap set of high end 27.5 wheels. But then, why?
    OK smart guy, do you have any other suggestions for a SS 27.5 frameset? I'm all ears, but last time I asked I got crickets. I am looking to move all of my parts over from my Santa Cruz 5010, and the Riff seems to be pretty compatible.
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  7. #7
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    Is the Kona Explosif still around?

    Compare the geo of any 2 or three bikes you are considering with Stack and reach calculator

  8. #8
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    I've got the geo part figured out, I was more asking if there are any other recommendations on 27.5 single speed frames that I could potentially build up. Mr Metrotuned just wants to critique the frame I asked about, yet offer no alternatives.
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  9. #9
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    To be fair, go back and read your first post. I don't see the part where you asked for more alternative frame options. If that was in another thread, you should reference that.

    27.5 SS is a very small niche in the market. SS is already a small collection of options, and most hardtails seem to be going B-Plus or 29er/ B-plus.

    Many of the smaller frame makers can make you such a bike. Firefly, Engin, Moots, waltworks, etc, but $$$. I have to wonder if that Surly LowSide might do it as well.

  10. #10
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    I went to Soma's website and checked it out. Could do without the rack mounts on the seat stays, but that is just nitpicking. I do think it is a nice looking frame. Set up for a dropper post, can handle a 120mm fork and tire size should not be an issue. If I was in the market for a SS 27.5 frame, I would consider it. Curious to hear how it rides.

  11. #11
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    Any news on the Riff? There aren't many B+ capable frames that can still take a non-boost wheelset.
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  12. #12
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    here's the thing about boost- if you want a new frame and you have non-boost hubs, you're going to have to put adapters on your hubs or buy new hubs. that's the reality of the situation and no amount of whining about it is going to change that. you can scour the internet for the few options that are left or pay a custom frame maker top dollar to make you a non-boost frame, or just deal with it. Boost isn't going anywhere and your old stuff is going to become more and more obsolete.

    I hate it too. I just bought a Hadley hub, and paid top dollar for it thinking that it would be the last hub I buy for at least a decade. then the industry pulled the rug out from under that idea. I'll just get adapters if the time comes, but I'll be damned if I am going to limit myself to the last two or so retrogrouch companies that are holding out on the old standard.

    on the other hand, it would be totally possible, I think, to make sliding dropouts that can be used for any axle standard. right? if Soma wanted to, they could make most of their frames with QR, 142x12, or boost dropouts. that would mean three different kinds of dropouts, but I think it would be possible.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    Any news on the Riff? There aren't many B+ capable frames that can still take a non-boost wheelset.
    No, to be honest I kind of cooled on the idea. I'm realizing I am losing my passion for riding in general after 30+ years, and am just looking to spend money to try and get the stoke back. I already have a nice SS, if I do anything I should just sell the Santa Cruz I'm trying to use as a donor bike and pocket the $$. I'll lose my ass doing it but it's better that someone is enjoying it than having it hanging on hooks in the garage.

    I'm sure the Riff is a nice enough bike, and it did do what I wanted it to do on paper, I've just changed my mind in general.
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  14. #14
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    I'm kind of wondering if I can sit out the Boost standard until the next big thing arrives. I almost made it without buying a through axle wheelset, but I ended up with two pairs of wheels that are convertible from QR to through axle.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    here's the thing about boost- if you want a new frame and you have non-boost hubs, you're going to have to put adapters on your hubs or buy new hubs. that's the reality of the situation and no amount of whining about it is going to change that. you can scour the internet for the few options that are left or pay a custom frame maker top dollar to make you a non-boost frame, or just deal with it. Boost isn't going anywhere and your old stuff is going to become more and more obsolete.

    I hate it too. I just bought a Hadley hub, and paid top dollar for it thinking that it would be the last hub I buy for at least a decade. then the industry pulled the rug out from under that idea. I'll just get adapters if the time comes, but I'll be damned if I am going to limit myself to the last two or so retrogrouch companies that are holding out on the old standard.

    on the other hand, it would be totally possible, I think, to make sliding dropouts that can be used for any axle standard. right? if Soma wanted to, they could make most of their frames with QR, 142x12, or boost dropouts. that would mean three different kinds of dropouts, but I think it would be possible.
    http://www.bikingtoplay.blogspot.com/
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    I'm kind of wondering if I can sit out the Boost standard until the next big thing arrives. I almost made it without buying a through axle wheelset, but I ended up with two pairs of wheels that are convertible from QR to through axle.
    Pivot is already outfitting quite few of their models with Super Boost. Sit tight, the industry isn't done making our expensive wheels parts obsolete.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    I'm kind of wondering if I can sit out the Boost standard until the next big thing arrives. I almost made it without buying a through axle wheelset, but I ended up with two pairs of wheels that are convertible from QR to through axle.
    "standard" might not be the right word, but it's the first word that comes to mind. I really doubt manufacturers are going to go back to 142x12 or 135x10, even though those "options" or "standards" were perfectly fine for the vast majority of mountain bikes, especially on singlespeed hardtail bikes.

    it might make sense for manufacturers who are building singlespeed bikes to use the older standard, since few of us are riding stock bikes anyways, it would be smart for some frame manufacturers to make such a thing. that's probably why small manufacturers are doing that, but most companies are banking on the sale of complete bikes. if you can make a bike that can be single-speed or geared, why not make it both? how many true single-speed only frames are there on the market? they all have derailleur hangers and cable guides because they will have an easier time selling versatile bikes than one-trick ponies.

    so boost spacing on the rear is going to keep coming and not go back, because the market demands bikes that can be ridden with gear and ginormous tires.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    "standard" might not be the right word, but it's the first word that comes to mind. I really doubt manufacturers are going to go back to 142x12 or 135x10, even though those "options" or "standards" were perfectly fine for the vast majority of mountain bikes, especially on singlespeed hardtail bikes.

    it might make sense for manufacturers who are building singlespeed bikes to use the older standard, since few of us are riding stock bikes anyways, it would be smart for some frame manufacturers to make such a thing. that's probably why small manufacturers are doing that, but most companies are banking on the sale of complete bikes. if you can make a bike that can be single-speed or geared, why not make it both? how many true single-speed only frames are there on the market? they all have derailleur hangers and cable guides because they will have an easier time selling versatile bikes than one-trick ponies.

    so boost spacing on the rear is going to keep coming and not go back, because the market demands bikes that can be ridden with gear and ginormous tires.
    The good thing though, is that a lot of steel frame companies are at least offering different dropouts for their frames. I have a new Nimble 9 Boost but was able to get 142 inserts so I can run my nice TA wheelset.

  18. #18
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    I am into that. I almost bought a Karate Monkey for that reason. the people who care about the upgrade-ability and versatility of a new frame is a small slice of the market though, so most companies are going to go straight to boost or super-boost. I think it will stop at boost for a long time for most bikes, because not everyone has a need for uber fat tires, a massive gear range, and rear suspension.

  19. #19
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    On the flip side of that coin though, the industry is really good at convincing people that they DO need that stuff. I recently sold my basically brand new Specialized Enduro (was way too big for my local terrain) and I got messages to the ad from people asking me if I thought the 11spd drivetrain "held me back"... It took basically one season to convince the masses that they NEED a 12 speed drivetrain. I have also heard the weekend warrior crowd (aka people in my office who ride 12 miles a month but constantly research parts) that Boost is necessary because your wheel can be built stiffer and more bomb proof.

    The brainwash is real.

  20. #20
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    mackturtle: If you're keen on 650b, an alternative is a 700c disc CX-Gravel type frameset with 650b wheelset, something like a 27.5x50c, full rigid. Better to go with gears on such a bike and serve as a unique bike to your SS. You could even put 650b's on your 29er frame and go fat tire. 650b specific frames are funny, like having a geared bike with sliders and buying an SS specific frame to go SS.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    people asking me if I thought the 11spd drivetrain "held me back"...
    How about people getting the 11/12 speed with a 30t chainring.
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by metrotuned View Post
    mackturtle: If you're keen on 650b, an alternative is a 700c disc CX-Gravel type frameset with 650b wheelset, something like a 27.5x50c, full rigid. Better to go with gears on such a bike and serve as a unique bike to your SS. You could even put 650b's on your 29er frame and go fat tire. 650b specific frames are funny, like having a geared bike with sliders and buying an SS specific frame to go SS.
    I have absolutely no interest in 650B wheels, but that is useful info to anyone who is. I also have zero interest in putting gear on either of my bikes.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    On the flip side of that coin though, the industry is really good at convincing people that they DO need that stuff. [good examples]

    The brainwash is real.
    part of the reason I ride a singlespeed bike with a rigid post, and sometimes a rigid fork, is purely to piss off people like that. I should do it only because it's what I like, but it's still fun to see over-biked people get annoyed.

  24. #24
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    Not sure what question not any I am speaking to here:

    I got all excited in 2015 about the boost system and was "sold" as soon as I read about it, because I had been fat biking, liked the tires, but experience had me wishing for not so fat tires for the dirt.

    As a single speeder, I was skeptical of how heavy the tires would be, but figure, and still sort of believe, that the potential extra grip would be worth the extra mass.

    One of the greatest aspects of boost bikes are their potential abilities to use different wheel and tire combinations. This is indeed a fascinating aspect because one bike can fulfill different missions.

    In practice, sometimes it doesn't work out so well.

    Well, I got a Specialized Six Fattie when they came out, got a 29" wheelset and a 27.5 wide Scraper Wheelset to get the bike into various modes. It was and is a capable and practical bike. But I don't ride it much.

    Because rigid single speeding is so much of a fun and interesting experience, I think a boost single speed with the chance to ride 2.8 tires has got to be awesome.

    Yet, for the way and places I mostly ride, plus tires are usually unnecessary. And so, I'm waiting.

    Those extra boost wheelsets will be great to use on that used single speed boost frame that's out there, coming my way, in a year or two.

    And even then, I think I'll still prefer to ride old steel single speeds most of the time.



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  25. #25
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    My v3 B-side dropout rotated upward from regular braking and Soma has been the least responsive company to deal with. It is [somewhat] rideable but I've been slowly looking for a replacement.

    At least it looks like they upgraded the dropouts on the new Riff...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by loren90 View Post
    My v3 B-side dropout rotated upward from regular braking and Soma has been the least responsive company to deal with. It is [somewhat] rideable but I've been slowly looking for a replacement.

    At least it looks like they upgraded the dropouts on the new Riff...
    Same experience here. Crack on one of my rear triangle welds and no response from their support. Unfortuntey I moved somewhere with no soma dealers in less than a 3 he drive. I want a rift to replace this (finally can use a dropper) but sour taste from experience.

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  27. #27
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    Well obviously this frame might be renamed :

    The Soma Biff

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burns View Post
    Well obviously this frame might be renamed :

    The Soma Biff
    Why don't you make like a screen door on a submarine and leave if you don't have anything nice to say. 😜
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  29. #29
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    Perhaps BIFF stands for Brake Interference Frame Feature.

    No, wait , that isn't nice.

    But this might be worse for RIFF:

    Rapid instantaneous frame failure.

    Let's see some detailed photos with metrics of the problems. I won't believe there's a problem until I see it.

    I have two Soma handlebars on bikes that I ride. So I have skin in the game as well.

    No offense intended.

    Actually I don't think I understand the reason and dynamics of the Soma RIFF brake issue. And I'm not certain the allegations are true. I want to know what the cause is. It's good information. I ride a bunch of steel frames.

    I've had a steel fork snap underneath me before, and was lucky I wasn't hurt terribly. At least when the rear brake goes wonky, it's less catastrophic.

    One of my bikes has a brace for the brake which might help.

    Or is the issue with an aluminum plate? Or the way the brake was installed? Or using a rotor that is too large? Or as seems most likely, failing weld?

    But why does the weld fail? Are the stays to flexible and light?

    Although I've never had the pleasure of owning and riding one, I think Soma consistently produces great frames of the kind that I want to ride.

    Photo of my Jamis Dragon 1's left rear drop out area below.


    Last edited by Jack Burns; 09-04-2018 at 09:57 PM.

  30. #30
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    I was just expanding a quote from Back to the Future's Biff character. No offense intended or taken, just riffin' on the Biff opening.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  31. #31
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    Has anyone built one of these up yet? I just cannot find a decently priced single speed that I like so I'm starting to plan up a build and I love this frame.

    And a newb question. Is there a replacement sliding dropout for the drive side I could buy that doesn't have a derrailluer hanger? Not a huge deal but that just looks annoying.


  32. #32
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    Paragon Machine Works should have such a slider, but I am not sure it fits the new IRD dropouts. Otherwise, hack the hanger off.

  33. #33
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    I had one briefly. It was pretty low (low stack height), and the ride wasn't anything special. Kind of a generic bike.Soma Riff?-img_0802.jpg

    I liked my subsequent Niner ROS9 27.5+ conversion better--until it cracked. That Niner was a really nice handling bike... except for the headtube crack. That's kind of a fatal flaw.
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