Strengths: Well constructed. Strong. Good geometry (individual choice, of course). Nice paint!
Weaknesses: IRD fork was heavy - but the stock frame is awesome. Needs rear fender brackets (by bottom bracket). Drop outs could be better constructed but, so far, no problem.
I saw a SOMA Smoothie Frame at Bicycle Outfitters in Los Altos and thought it was one of the nicest looking frames I'd seen. So I ordered one. It's very well put together and fit me perfectly. I've done multiple centuries and one double-century and survived. I give it a 100 percent recommendation.
It's also an outstanding commuter bike, carrying teaching books and student papers to / from work on a daily basis.
The mountain gearing was selected as this (nearly 60 year old) ancient body struggles to enjoy the Woodside / Coastal mountains. The 22 x 36 cassette might seem too low but it works very well, permitting an average level touring speed of between 16 and 20 mph with reasonable cadence. The advantage of the mountain gearing is that if I take the SOMA off-road, it's not such a big deal.
Strengths: The Soma Smoothie ES comes in 11 sizes. I'm 6'5" tall. The 64cm Soma Smoothie ES frame allows me to get a perfect fit without going to a custom-built frame. Excellent geometry. Smooth, stable, comfortable, and fast too. The Soma Smoothie ES has lots of braze-ons for fenders and racks.
The Soma Smoothie ES is an awesome bike. The build quality is great. It comes in 11 sizes. The geometry yields a comfortable and fast ride. It has room for wider tires. It has braze-ons for fenders and a rear rack. The price is very reasonable. Riding it is a joy!
Similar Products Used: Peugeot PH10LE
Schwinn Super Sport SE
De Bernardi Zona
Bike Setup: 64cm Soma Smoothie ES frame, Bontrager Satellite Plus fork with 335mm steerer tube, Shimano Ultegra 10 speed, hand-built wheels with Mavic T520 rims
Jeffrey B. Skubi
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2008
Strengths: I PREFER STEEL TO OTHER FRAME MATERIALS. The Soma "ES" frame builds into a very comfortable, mile-eating bike. The wheelbase is a long 1027mm so the Soma ES tracks exceptionally well without conscious rider attention. Rivendell on the cheap.
Weaknesses: ES 58cm frame feels "short" relative to other 58cm framed bikes I own. This is likely attributable to the 73 degree head angle and the long fork. I use a l20mm stem to get the 'bar out there at sufficient distance. This "weakness" comment is not a biggie; just build around it. But as Somas are usually bought as frames you should be aware of the subjective feel.
I have two road bikes on which I ride Centuries in Florida and nearby Georgia and Alabama: My Soma Smmothie ES and a Jamis Quest. Both are steel, light, shock absorbing, long wheelbase and comfortable. Both are set up with Shimano 105 components. I can ride them both fast, with the Jamis Quest being slightly faster covering 100 miles. (I have reviewed the Jamis Quest separately.) I like the IRD steel fork. First, it projects quite a distance above the 170mm head tube, longer than the available carbon forks, which yields a distinctly head up riding position which is easy on my neck and back. IRD steel fork also absorbs road shocks well. You BUY a SOMA ES because you want to take it easy on your body relative to trendy "race geometry" frames.
Similar Products Used: Jamis Quest and Specialized Roubaix Triple. I prefer the Jamis Quest and Soma ES to the Roubaix.
Bike Setup: Steel "ES" Cobalt Blue frame : 59cm with tall, uncut IRD Tange steel fork. Mostly Shimano 105 components; triple/ten cogs. Shimano 105 hubs laced to Mavic A319 19mm touring rims 32/36 spokes; WTB Slickasaurus 700 x 35 tires; no fenders. Ritchey "Classic" non-Ergo shallow bars held by Ritchey 120mm Adjustable Stem. Selle Royal gel saddle on springs. MKS #33 counter-weighted pedals with Power Grips. One "blinkie", two strobe lights; I am very careful to be visible to vehicles, especially pickups pulling sport fishing boats on trailers at 75 mph.
Strengths: Bang for the buck
Customer service, after a while.
Weaknesses: Weight, if that matters.
Seat tube water bottle bosses are low like a cross bike. Too low for me to use.
I bought an ES in 2005 for a commuter. I really liked the finish, it exceeded my expectations for the price point. The fork is a boat anchor, but it matches the frame and I am not overly concerned with weight. I used it daily for around 20 months in tropical Hawaii with no rust issues. One morning on the way to work, the frame snapped at the drive side rear dropout. Soma offered to repair the frame under warranty. The frame was sent to a frame shop and repaired. The frame was returned unpainted with bare metal. I was not satisfied with the repair and after a few weeks of being ignored, I finally got a new frame. The frames are built and painted overseas. I have no doubts about the quality of the repair, I just expected the frame to be repainted where the repairs were made.
The frame that broke was a 631 and the replacement was Tange. I haven't ridden the new frame. The frames need quite a bit of prep work before building up.
Bike Setup: 9 Speed Chorus
Tektro long reach brakes
Avocet bag and rack
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2007
Strengths: Basic geometry is right in the sweet spot. 73 degree parallel, 43cm chain stays, 70mm BB drop… throw in extra beefy rear triangle tubes and you get a solid spirited ride with just the right balance of handling, stiffness and comfort. Slightly extended head tube allows bars to match seat height without looking goofy. No alignment or fit and finish issues – a smooth build. Welds are exceptionally clean and uniform and the paint is too, including a nice clear coat over the decals.
Weaknesses: IRD fork is tight, making fender mount w/ 32c Pasela a challenge.
Should have threaded bosses at chain stay and under rear brake bridge for fender mount.
Should have a head tube pump nipple
Early this spring I began searching the market for a frame. I wanted a Randonnuering design for long distance comfort, a bike I could ride in the spring when my lack of fitness limits enjoyment of an aggressive racing position. I wanted to have the handlebars at the same height as the saddle, room for fenders and 32mm tires, provisions for rack and fenders, something suitable for commuting, running errands, centuries, double centuries, and maybe even PBP! Riding a full on race bike like my Serotta Legend Ti is great when I’m in terrific shape and want to go out for a hard charging 20-60 miler, but as I get older, aggressive riding is less frequent. I’m not going to do loaded touring, the bikes I’ve tried of that design feel sluggish and boring. I didn’t want to give up a spirited fun ride.
So what’s out there to choose from? A Specialized Sequoia – limited tire/fender clearance, prefer steel. The Rivendell Rambouillet would have been a top choice but wasn’t in my budget for this project. Surley, Kogswell, Gunnar, Comotion - either the geometry wasn’t perfect or the price wasn’t in range.
I’ve had my Smoothie ES on the road for a month now. I knew on the first ride that I was going to love this bicycle, and after five hundred miles I couldn’t be happier.
I used to work in a bike shop 28 years ago and I haven't ridden a bike since (school, work, kids, etc). I just moved to San Jose, CA and a friend who is really into riding (he has a couple bikes including a $5,000 custom one) has reminded me how much I used to love bikes.
So now I have to ... Read More »
I've been considering building up my own road bike for awhile now and I'm just about ready to make the plunge... After test riding a friend's Soma Smoothie, I've been set on it but I've decided to get the Soma Smoothie ES instead for the extra comfort/versatility as I would eventually want to get in ... Read More »
I am looking to purchase a second bike for commuting and short credit card touring. I am trying to choose between the Smoothie and the Double Cross CX bike.
The only worries I have about the Smoothie is that I want to run Planet Bike Cascadia Road fenders and possibly 28mm tires but I have read ... Read More »
Thought you'd like this.
[IMG]http://ergottwheels.smugmug.com/Sports/The-bikes/MG4674/1080069679_AS264-XL.jpg[/IM ... Read More »