Author Topic: Soma Frames  (Read 7025 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline noshbygosh

Soma Frames
« on: February 09, 2011, 10:46:40 pm »
I've basically used a Trek mountain bike when touring.  My beater, 30-year old Univega road bike is what I have used for commuting the past 15 or so years.  My Univega may be on its last legs.  As such, I am looking to kill two birds with one stone at minimal cost:  replace my beater with a relatively cheap bike for touring and commuting.  My initial game plan is to focus on gettig a good, cheap frame and replacing as many parts on my Univega (105 7-gear downtube, 52-39-30 crank, wheels and seat/seatpost) as possible.  In doing my initial homework, I have had two very smart people come up with two recommendations:

(1) Obtain a 1982 used Shogun in excellent condition at very good price; or
(2) Order a new Soma touring frame for several hundred more dollars.

If saving the several hundred dollars are very important at the moment, but I also do not want to regret the purchase in a few years, what would people advise?

Offline whittierider

Re: Soma Frames
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 12:26:42 am »
If you want to move the old parts from one old bike to another old bike, there may not be any problem.  Otherwise, I've updated a couple of old bikes and basically concluded that in most situations it's not worth it.  For example, if it had 27" wheels, can the brakes be adjusted down to reach 700c's?  If not, you'll need new brakes (which will in most cases brake much better and stay centered better anyway), but the old frames won't accommodate the kind of bolts used on modern brakes.  I could go through quite a list of things, and when you finally get it all going, you still don't know if the frame is ready to crack from fatigue next month.

The 21st century (or even the 1990's) definitely does not have a corner on bikes that are super responsive and handle really great; but in the 70's for example you had to reach closer to the higher end of the price range to find the really great ones, and most of the ones I see people wanting to resotore or update these days were dogs compared to the nice ones of the same era.

Offline noshbygosh

Re: Soma Frames
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2011, 01:01:49 am »
Thanks for the quick advice.  I do not pretend to know much about the technical stuff.  I do like to ride and rely on the LBS to help out with major stuff beyond replacing pedals, fixing flats, broken spokes, derraileur adjustments, etc.  The major issue between the two concerns the quality of the Shogun.  One person who knows more than the other (but also is selling it) claims this Shogun is good as any Bob Jackson which he has sold for many years.  The other claims otherwise based on his quick Google search of the specs of this frame.  The one issue that they agree on is that the Shogun will come with cantilever brakes (new purchase).  The other person is recommending that I consider a newer frame, specifically suggesting the Soma (and this also will require new brakes).  I never heard of the manufacturer before so was looking for opinions on its relative quality.  So..., this is a roundabout way of asking how the Soma frame fares compared to a Shogun model in the early 1980s in excellent condition, all else equal apart from price given my preference to keep this within budget by swapping out stuff on my beater to the extent possible.

Offline noshbygosh

Re: Soma Frames
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2011, 01:16:43 am »
P.S. The Shogun will accommodate 700 cc wheels.

Offline lonerider

Re: Soma Frames
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2011, 04:58:19 am »
If the Shogun has lots of miles then fatigue may be an issue. If it is pristine, then likely it has low miles and will be fine. Go with the Shogun if it meets the low mileage criteria and is of sufficient build quality and design for the job.

Offline DaveB

Re: Soma Frames
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2011, 01:18:12 pm »
Updating a 1980's vintage frame can certainly be done but fitting modern components will be expensive and finding suitable period stuff can be a treasure hunt.  It's quite possible but better left to those who know the intricacies of older bikes.

Another source for a new and modern frame and fork at reasonable cost is Surly.  Their LHT is one of the most widely accepted touring bikes and their Cross Check makes a very versatile commuter/tourer/whatever bike.   

Offline gregg

Re: Soma Frames
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2011, 09:44:12 pm »
  I never heard of the manufacturer before so was looking for opinions on its relative quality.

I have a Soma frame that I have had for over 4 years, and put thousands of miles on.  In my opinion Soma frames very well built, designed, and finished.  They are high quality frame from the steel used, to how nice the welds are, to how good the paint job is.  I think they are a real bargain.  Should you get one? Yes, by all means, I can't imagine you will ever regret getting a Soma Saga, and there will be no need to upgrade later. 

Offline noshbygosh

Re: Soma Frames
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 11:08:51 pm »
OK, this is going to be a no-brainer.  I am going to go with a Soma frame but probably will not make the purchase for awhile as it will cost more than I anticipated.  The used frame costs about $275.  The Soma frame is about $500.  If I save my wheels and seat from my old bike, but build out from there using a LBS, can someone give me an estimate about how much extra I will have to pay?  Assume a new groupset, handlebars and new rear rack.  I presume I'll be looking at some combination of Shimano low-end road and mountain bike components in the group set, yes?