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.
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 Its funny how rapidly stuff is obsolete nowadays 9 speed 105 stuff is almost e-bay only.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.