Friday, August 1, 2014

Soma Wolverine - Initial Review

New bike day. The happiest day to any person with a love for two wheels. A day that you reload the tracking number every 15 minutes and look out the window when you hear anything resembling a delivery truck. Gathering things from the parts bin and assembling a somewhat decent bike with as much stuff as you currently own. Sometimes you base a whole bike off of one part that you currently own. Ah, it is always a glorious day.

Got a new bike, the Soma Wolverine, for touring and all over road stuff. With the main focus for getting this bike being the Allegheny Mountain Loop "race" this fall. ~400 miles in, hopefully, 3 days. Almost got the saga disc, but did not really want a dedicated touring bike. The wolverine fit the bill perfectly. This might have been a purchase made entirely because I had a set of disc touring wheels a co-worker of mine made for someone years ago. They never came back for them. But onward and upward. The build up on this is great. Everything is beefy, aka no carbon. Sorry. Carbon is great until you have to rely on not breaking something. Steel. Is. Real. Brought it on a whim and quite excited to get on this bike and ride.

Final build and too clean

After the first  ride around town. It did not feel right. Given that I have not been on a road bike in years, since I sold my last one for more mountain bikes, it did not worry me. Adjusted some things and realized the random stem laying in a box was not gonna work(still need to replace). Feels great. This bike is stable and fun. Great over the rough and smooth on the road.

After work the next day, I just hit the road for a quick ride. Have not enjoyed being on a road bike that much. Ever. The handling on this frame is great; stable, quick, decently lightweight, and fun. Not your typical road bike given that it has a burly steel tubeset. The sliding type of drop outs have kept me from buying frames before. They look weak and excessive. Having them now is nice and awesome. There are many options for wheel types and drivetrain setups. The split dropout is sleek and I definitely want a belt drive on this frame at some point. So, overall this frame is great for someone who does not want a dedicated road bike, or a touring bike, or a cross bike.

Mid mounts

Slick split dropouts

Most reviews you read from various bicycle industry new outlets never talk about the downside or things that could be improved. There will be improvements overtime. Here is my two cents, otherwise the "not so great" but not a deal breaker type of thing.

There are only two things that seem a bit weird and annoying with the frame. One, the brake cable holders on the top tube. They are offset to the side on the top and perfectly located next to your knee, at least for me, and every now and then you hit the cable holder/zip tie with your knee. Why it was put up there, I don't know. The Double cross is on the bottom on the top tube and this on top. Number two. The stand-over height. I have not taken a closer look at this as I do not care very much. Size wise, the 52cm would have been too small for my monkey arms. The 54cm is a great fit but the stand-over height seems tall. It might have something to do with the frame geometry because of the wide tire and fender clearance. This is not at all a big deal, but for those who might be more borderline 52/54 it could be an issue. Just letting that be known. For a true and honest review.

The middle cable holder. Not a deal breaker at all.
Not trying to tear this apart. finding the negative things or problems with something is just how my brain works. I love improvement and my dream job would be to design outdoor gear or bike stuff. I love this frame. It will be a fun bike and I cannot wait to get out on a long tour whether it be road or exploring fire roads out in the mountains. In the long run, there is a small chance I could ride this across the country on a very, very potential Trans America Tour that I might be putting together.

Let the dreaming begin! Ride more. Care less.

2 comments:

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  2. Can you specify the components for this build? I bought a Wolverine frame and I am trying to decide how to set up the drive train. It looks like you have SRAM Rival here (what cranks are you running? Is cassette 10-speed?). A parts list would be immensely helpful as this is basically the setup I envision for my build.

    Thanks!

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