Archive for November 2012

Guest Post – Soma Stanyan Build

November 26, 2012

Hey, guess what?  Mike got a new bike.  I briefly mentioned it the other day, but since I knew posting would be pretty light around here, I asked him to fill some of the dead space between my ears and tell us all about it.  Here ‘tis….

A week before the MS150 Queen City Cycles found a cracked lug while getting my bike ready. We resolved this by building up a Kona Zing Supreme carbon that is a great bicycle. Functionally it leaves nothing to be desired. But as soon as my blue Kona Kapu with the white lugs left my sight I started missing my steel bike. There is a feel to a steel bike that the carbon manufacturers have been chasing and some even claim to have it. I don’t know if that’s all it is or not. I know a lugged steel frame gets my attention, no matter what type it is. Road, Touring, Mixte they all have a classic appeal that I crave.

original handlebar profile

So I decided I needed one more bike. I searched Craig’s list for possible candidates and there was always something that kept me from buying. So I started shopping for a new lugged frame. I’ll condense this process for the sake of the reader, but a lot of thought went into the selection and I finally settled on the Soma Stanyan. Not only was it lugged but it also had chrome lugs at the head-tube and fork crown. I contemplated and even purchased a triple front crank from Sugino but ended up using my double from White Industries. As for cassette selection I decided on a 9 speed 12-28. The derailleurs are Shimano 105 which have worked flawlessly for me on my Masi cyclocross. Its funny how rapidly stuff is obsolete nowadays 9 speed 105 stuff is almost e-bay only. I also always liked my bar-end shifters on my Kona cowhorns. They go where you want rapidly and add very few ounces to your build. You can upgrade to Dura-Ace also without breaking the bank and the modern Shimano components work together flawlessly.


The one thing I noticed while riding around town was that in the original position (level drops) I hit the shifters with my legs and dropped down to the 12 tooth cog while crossing a street. Not good if traffic is thick. I rotated the handle bar foward putting the drops at a 90 degree angle to the head tube this seams to have cured it as I haven’t done it since this in essence shortens the drops about 2 inches. It also raises the hoods somewhat making them an extremely comfortable riding position. The handle bars I selected were Nitto 132’s which have a rise from the stem built in. I also brought over the King headset from the Kapu. One piece on this bike that some might find interesting is the handlebar stem. It has an internal collet wedge that eliminates horizontal and unsightly clamp screws on the steering tube. These are new old stock from e-bay also its moniker is Avid Dark–Ops Saago. How menacing is that?


For wheels I got another set of Velocity’s,  This time I got their Synergy’s which have a 23mm cross section as opposed to 18 or 19 on most road wheel rims. The effect is when you mount a 700×28 tire it is spread out to a rounder shape, This makes the ride really soft. Rolling over man-hole covers or pavement imperfections almost disappear. Also I went with a 32 spoke pattern, after multiple conversations I decided in a pinch It would be better to miss 1/32nd of the total as opposed to 1/28th or fewer. I tried 4 different sets of fenders and finally ended up with a set of Planet Bike Cascadia’s, they aren’t chrome but there is enough black on the bike to make it look right. Also they were the only ones that fit without some major modifications. The front fork ended up being the problem child there. After consulting the Soma homepage I see now that they say it will take a 700×28 tire max with fenders mounted and they mean it. As for a seat I got another Brooks, This time it was a really beat up one that doesn’t have hardly any black left on it but the undercarriage is completely chrome plated. I really like the contrast. Seat tube is V.O.’s grand cru seat post, long setback. It was kinda shiny when I got it but I put some white rouge on a buffing wheel and brought it up to match the chrome stuff. Brakes are Cane Creek SCR-5 levers with Tektro R539’s.

Well that’s it. Overall I am pleased with the result. It is a really comfy bike. Hopefully if I missed some component the pictures will reveal its make, but ask away if not and I am sure you’ll get answered.


Words of Wisdom

November 23, 2012


When one needs to get home quickly to pack for vacation, one should ensure that when they put their bike in the locker for the day that they haven’t absent-mindedly thrown their keys into the handlebar bag.

Otherwise, one may find themselves bumming a ride home, buying a bolt-cutter, and driving back to the office when they should be at home packing.

Just saying….

God bless.


Soggy last day

November 20, 2012

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We’re vacating the premises for a while, keeping our fingers crossed that the boy doesn’t destroy them while we’re gone in retaliation for not feeding him turkey and pumpkin pie.

Wouldn’t you know it, the last morning ride before the big vacate was delightfully wet and soggy.  It was one of those mornings that kind of give me a sense of accomplishment.  Just wet enough to call it wet and warm enough to be comfortable, although I would swear the temperature dropped at least 5 degrees while I was riding.

Have a safe holiday and don’t eat too much!

God bless….


Another Great One

November 19, 2012


Wow!  I can’t believe we managed to get yet another Saturday tandem ride in this fall!  Every week we think that was probably it, but given what we’ve got going the next couple of weekends, the probability is high that this really might be the last one for a while.


Mike was on his new bike Saturday.  It’s a Soma Stanyan  frameset that he built up to a pretty nice longer distance bike.  The picture doesn’t do it justice…it’s beautiful, although I couldn’t help but give him grief over the ghetto looking white wall tires!


Jim joined us Saturday as well.  Actually, he rode 30 miles before joining us, so he had the high mileage for the day!  You couldn’t tell it, though…He’s strong and fast!


Our plan for the day was to ride 17 miles to Strafford, take a break at the c-store, then head for home.  The first several miles were with the wind at our backs, so we were feeling pretty good.  After the hard winds we rode in the last couple of weeks, this was heaven!  Both Pam and I were a little concerned that we might pay the piper later on, but it didn’t happen.  The wind was light enough that heading into it wasn’t very noticeable.  I guess it’s all relative – the breeze we had wasn’t anything compared to the 25-30 mph winds on those rides.


As we started getting close to Strafford, Mike dropped off the back, causing us to wonder what was up.  Was he bonking?  Was that new bike that much heavier that it was slowing him down?  When he pulled in, we found out he was having derailleur problems and couldn’t shift down past his third cog on the back.  No wonder he slowed down!

Pam laughingly captioned the picture above “How many guys does it take to work on a bike?”.  Well, without a work-stand, it takes three.  One to hold the bike up, one to shift gears, and one to adjust the derailleur.  Don’t give us grief over it!


With the bike adjusted and Snicker’s bars consumed, turned our sights toward home.  It didn’t take long before we realized that it was already feeling cooler.  Although it was only mid-afternoon, with the sun  already starting to get low in the sky, Pam switched back to her full-fingered gloves.  We had both started out with them and shed them after about 10 miles.


Our lone wildlife sighting for the day was a big doe that bounded across the road in front of us after we crossed Pierson Creek on the way back.  It’s the last weekend of deer season around here, so we considered it to be a “survivor”.  Needless to say, we had to look quickly before she was gone.

We pulled into the house with 30.7 miles behind us and an average speed of 15.6 mph.  Thirty miles seems to be about the right distance for us this time of year.  It’s long enough to feel like we’ve accomplished something, but not so far as to wear us completely out.  We both felt good when we finished, and it was great to ride with both Mike and Jim.

You can click the map above to see the full GPS track.  It’s on Strava also.

God bless…



November 16, 2012

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On the way home last night, I saw Jim‘s flashing rear light several cars ahead of me at the light at National and Cherry.  Our paths diverged for a while, then came back together as we were riding up Bennett.  He was about a block and a half ahead of me, so I knew the only chance of catching him was at the light at Sunshine, and sure enough, he was still sitting there when I pulled up.

Then, within just a couple of blocks, Ron and Jan passed in their car and sent a greeting our way.  I didn’t recognize who it was, but Jim did and returned their “hello”.

When you think about it, what are the odds that three blogging cyclists will randomly manage to meet up at one place at the same time?

God bless…






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