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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a Trek 1200 which is a good entry level bike, but perhaps not the one I should have bought, since I have had to put a stem 'raiser'(sp) on it to get the handlebars up to seat height level. It is a 54cm and is probably as comfortable as it will get, considering my age, 54, and knee injuries, and overall health.

Now I am interested in buying a steel bike and am considering just buying a frame and moving as many components as possible from the Trek to whatever I buy.

Recently I saw the Soma frame and wondered if anyone had any thoughts about the 'Smoothie ES', possibly in a 56cm size? My thought is that the steel might be a softer ride, and I would like the experience of building a bike myself.

I have done a search and found several comments regarding the Soma, but most were several weeks or months old and was hoping for more recent comments.

Sooooooo, are Soma owners happy with the bike quality and ride, and would you do it again?

Thanks for any input,
Strider
 

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Strider, I bought a Soma ES last summer to add to the stable. Built it up with 105 components and Mavic Open Pro wheelset. I bought it originally to use as a backup bike since I also have an Orbea spirit carbon to ride also. I now have to admit that it has become my favorite bike to ride. The geometry is a little more laid relaxed (but not like a touring bike) and the bike is very comfortable for me. I do notice a difference between the Orbea and the Soma with regards to the stiffness of the frame but there should be a difference since the Orbea is OS platinum tubing with carbon seat and chainstays and the Soma is 631 and additionally the Soma has a little longer wheelbase and chainstays. It is not flexy but the Soma does soak up the road vibrations very well and I am not a lightweight (215 lbs). Handling is good but it is a little slower handling compared to the Orbea. All in all for the money I spent (approx $1700 built up with pedals) I would heartily recommend them to anyone who is looking for a bike in that price range. I have the blue color and it always seems to get compliments on the group rides I take it on. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Soma..........

two wheel,
Thanks very much. That's exactly the type of information I have been looking for. As much as I appreciate all the other comments, there is nothing like a person who owns the model you are interested in.


As far as handling goes, if I were young and racing I would be more concerned, but as an old fart, I want a bike that will make a turn at the corner and another turn at the next corner, ad nauseum.

Thanks again,
Strider
 

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RoadBikeReview's Member
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Strider said:
two wheel,
Thanks very much. That's exactly the type of information I have been looking for. As much as I appreciate all the other comments, there is nothing like a person who owns the model you are interested in.


As far as handling goes, if I were young and racing I would be more concerned, but as an old fart, I want a bike that will make a turn at the corner and another turn at the next corner, ad nauseum.

Thanks again,
Strider
Then you probably want to check geometry; don't get a 73.5 degree seat tube, et cetera, because that's what comes on a racing bike, it's stiffer basically. Seat tubes range from 72 to 74 degrees normally. Closer to 72 - softer, more relaxed, more upright position. Closer to 74, motoring in the drops. Make sure to check head tube angles, I have no idea about numbers for them so I won't give them. However, if you're not racing, make sure you don't get a steep head tube, it'll give quick handling and that could prove agonizing if you were just out for a ride, a slacker head tube will be slower steering, smoother, and judging by what you've said, more along the lines of what you want.
-estone2
 

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I have put about 11K on my ES since I bought it last year. I ride it to work everyday and I outfitted it with fenders, rack, and headlight. The handling is adequate, the comfort is great, and the finish has really held up well. Since it is a commuter, it doesn't get the royal treatment, I clean it when it gets really dirty, I ride it on a really rough MUT, and for point of reference, I have broken two back rims. I have nicked the paint in a couple of places, but no rust. Overall, it has exceeded my expectations in quality and durability. The regular smoothie is supposed to be more a club racer but still has eyelets for fenders. I haven't checked the website but it appears that they have changed tubing. My ES is 631 and when I bought it last year, I believe that the smoothie was 853. GVH has the regular smoothie with a reynolds fork for around $595.
 

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two wheel texan said:
Strider, I bought a Soma ES last summer to add to the stable. Built it up with 105 components and Mavic Open Pro wheelset. I bought it originally to use as a backup bike since I also have an Orbea spirit carbon to ride also. I now have to admit that it has become my favorite bike to ride. The geometry is a little more laid relaxed (but not like a touring bike) and the bike is very comfortable for me. I do notice a difference between the Orbea and the Soma with regards to the stiffness of the frame but there should be a difference since the Orbea is OS platinum tubing with carbon seat and chainstays and the Soma is 631 and additionally the Soma has a little longer wheelbase and chainstays. It is not flexy but the Soma does soak up the road vibrations very well and I am not a lightweight (215 lbs). Handling is good but it is a little slower handling compared to the Orbea. All in all for the money I spent (approx $1700 built up with pedals) I would heartily recommend them to anyone who is looking for a bike in that price range. I have the blue color and it always seems to get compliments on the group rides I take it on. Hope this helps.

I have had an ES for a couple of months now and am very pleased with the bike. I bought it to ride, not look at but was surprised that the finish was real nice. Like mentioned above, this bike is relaxed so gives you a smooth ride. I have found mine to be a little flexy when standing but I didn't buy it to sprint on. I agree the handling is a little slower than a race bike. Overall I am extremely pleased with the bike which is built up as a commuter/tourer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Soma..............

Thanks guys. More great replies.

estone2,
Good points all. Actually the geometry is pretty similar to my Trek 1200, but maybe a bit 'softer'.

Trek..54cm
Head Angle............72.5
Seat Angle.............74.5

Soma..56cm
Head Angle............73
Seat Angle.............73.5

Tha chainstay is a bit longer, and the wheelbase is about an inch longer. As I said in an earlier post, I am interested in steel and the possibility of doing my first build using the parts from my Trek 1200, which I now have about 1500 miles on. Thanks again.

bigbill,
Thanks for another vote on the positive side.

Strider
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Smoothie ES

jitahs,

Thanks for the comment. A lbs owner, who is a friend, saw their frames at an industry trade show and said those looked pretty good but no one is going to take a dog to a trade show.

At this point it is probably just a matter of coming up with the money.

Strider
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Soma

PBB,

Thanks. As I said, at this point it is pretty much trying to find the money. Its weird that I will be spending as much money on a frame as I spent on the bike origionally.

Haven't heard 'BRG' in quite a while. Reminds me of an old Triumph or MG. Or maybe an old Morgan. Sorry, showing my age.

Strider
 

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Soma's are built in the same Taiwanese factory as Bianchi steel frames, IIRC. You should have few problems with quality control. The only limitations I can see are "design limits" on how light the tubing can be, and limited color choices.

The guys who spec'ed these frames (American Cyclery) are one of the top Waterford and Gunnar dealers in the country, so they know classic steel.
 

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good Soma

I built up a Soma Groove about a month ago and am very happy with it. The black paint is excellent with a really nice clear coat - I'm very glad I didn't send it off to be repainted another color as originally planned. The TIG welds are very clean. The Soma parks next to my wife's custom hand-built mountain bike frame. I can't tell any difference from a weld/paint quality standpoint. Obviously I don't know about the handling of the ES, but their description seems to match your intent.

It's a funny thing when such a clean, well executed, simple and modestly light steel frame is such a sleeper. I wish I made the switch from aluminum to Soma steel years ago.
 
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