Soma Doublecross Build

Every so often you make the decision to purchase a bike for fun. Not out of necessity, not to replace an outdated model, but just because you love the idea of having some new eye candy to roll on.

Buying the Soma Doublecross frame was one of those purchases. It wasn’t like we needed anymore bikes. I have a Raleigh RX 1.0, a Surly Cross Check, a vintage Raleigh fixie conversion, a vintage Peugot fixie conversion, Keri’s Fuji touring bike, and Keri’s Trek Lexa SLX. All fantastic options for going out and riding about town.

The purchase of the Doublecross frame couldn’t be helped. It was love at first site and with a bank full of tax refund, there weren’t any excuses not to buy. Once it was settled, I gave a call to the wonderful folks over at Merry Sales. They are one of few Soma distributors and work closely with the folks at Rivendell to import some quality bike goods. I placed an order for a 48cm Soma Doublecross frame, matching fork, purple IRD headset, a Suzue touring wheelset, and a Nitto front rack. The order was placed and there was no turning back.

The next step was ordering some items from QBP. A new triple crank from Shimano, a matching Hallowtech bb, Jagwire cables in white silver, a Sram 9spd chain, and a new Shimano XT 9sp rear derailleur. The rest of the parts were transferred over from the Surly Crosscheck.

It took a few weeks for the build to be completed. Tools to complete all the tasks were the biggest hurdle, so each week a tool would be purchased that was necessary to get the job done. The purchases would probably seem a little unnecessary to the casual cyclist, but since we plan on opening a shop and all…it’s going to end up being a write off anyway!

If there was one task that was the most difficult or I guess rather annoying…it would be setting up the rear brake. Soma went about placing not only a built in hanger for canti brakes on the frame, but also a braze on for if you wanted to use V brakes. The only thing is that with the noodle design of the Paul Mini Motos, you can’t really get a nice clean line coming off the noodle to the cable housing. There was lots of experimentation to be had with housing length. It seemed like the more streamlined/shorter it was made, the more difficult it was to set up the brake properly. In the end it was decided to leave the housing on the long side and just deal with it. Maybe someday when the schedule allows that issue will be tackled, but for the time being the bike works and so do the brakes, so that’s all a girl can really ask for.

This build was officially the first that was completed without the help of anyone else. Usually I grab a more mechanically inclined friend to assist, but I decided it was about time to suck it up and do it on my own. I knew how to install everything, I knew how to lube, grease, and tighten everything to spec. In most cases when it came to assembling a bike it was the lack of tools that really made me lazy. I’d take the bike into a shop or ask a friend if I could come hang out to work on my bike and they usually did all the work for me. Not this time. I’m proud to say this is the first of MANY bikes that will be built by me. My goal is just to improve upon my mechanical skills and hopefully pick up some tips along the way to make things a little speedier and easier along the way.

For all the bike nerds, I’ll list all the parts below.

The official build list is as follows:
Frame: Soma Doublecross 48cmFork: Soma painted to match
Wheels: Suzue Touring /Cyclocross
Skewers: Salsa Flipoff purple
Tires: Resist Nomad
Crank: Shimano Tiagra
BB: Shimano Tiagra Hallowtech II
Front Der: Shimano 105 triple
Rear Der: Shimano XT 9spd
Chain: Sram 9spd
Seatpost: Ritchey Classic (cut down to fit in the frame)
Seat clamp: Salsa Liplock purple
Saddle: Brooks Flyer
Stem: Dimension +- 17 degrees (give or take) 90 or 100mm 26.0
Handlebars: Nitto Noodles 41cm/42cm depending on source
Headset: IRD/Tange-Sekai purple
Brake Levers: Tektro short reach
Brakes: Paul Mini Motos
Cables: Jagwire
Shifters: Shimano 9spd bar ends mounted on Paul thumbies
Handlebar tape: Velo Orange leather
Pedals: Crank Brothers Candy C
Bottle cages: Velo Orange Moderniste

Last night the bike was tested around our parking garage and it was such a smooth ride. I don’t like comparing two different cycling companies, as they both have their strong suites…it’s just that the Soma was a great improvement from riding the Surly. The frame tubing is higher quality, the welds are smooth as butter, the paint is gorgeous, and using vertical dropouts instead of horizontal made for much easier assembly. The vertical drops will also be appreciated should a rear flat ever occur. The frame felt zippier and a little more responsive than the CC.

Spring can really arrive any day now. The Doublecross is itching to get out on some road rides and rail trails. A full write up on the long distance ride quality will be added once we get some miles racked up. I’m still looking for a name for my new found love. The Surly was always lovingly known as Foxy Brown. Give us a shout on Facebook if you have any suggestions!

Business Planning

We just wanted to give everyone an update letting you know we’ll be putting things on hold for a bit with the blog, possibly doing some re-structuring and figuring out our groove.

Keri and I have been hard at work, putting together a kick-ass business plan for Spoke Haven. We have a deadline coming up for submitting our plan for a course we both took this spring.  It’s getting down to the wire! The hardest part has been forecasting financials and really carving out the type of shop we’d like to have. We’ve now got a pretty clear vision of who we’d like to be and it’s a lot different from any other shop in the Madison area.

I want to take a moment to thank our friends with small businesses who have offered up some really great advice. Coast In Bikes, NessAlla Kombucha, Chrysalis Hair and Body, Hinckley Design & Production, and the Froth House. We’re very lucky to have a wonderful community of small business owners who are willing to help out other up and comers. Please support their businesses!

It may take awhile to get everything going, but we have some fundraising goals for next year as well as some events and promotions to help get the word out about the future shop. There’s going to be lots of touring of commercial space and talks with distributors happening. We’re both really excited to see our dreams of small business ownership coming to life!

There’s some talk of doing either a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign. While we’ll be the owners of the shop, we want our customers, friends, and family to feel like they too own a little part of it. Not to mention, giving back to those who choose to support our endeavors! Having a fun community space is really important to us and we want to be more than your average corporate or overstuffed shop.

Spoke Haven really wants to support and collaborate with local businesses and manufacturers of bike related goods. There are so many great companies doing such unique, progressive things in the world of cycling. We want to help them grow as we grow.

Once we finish up our business plan and move into our new home in October, we’ll hopefully have more info available. In the meantime will still try to post about upcoming events, etc. We may just be slow on doing product reviews and similar write ups. Believe me, there’s a lot of cool gear we’ve been using and would love to share!

Please feel free to shoot us an e-mail if you have any questions, comments, or advice. We’d love to hear people’s ideas on what they’d like to see in a local shop. -info@spokehaven.com-

One of things we’re going to work on is getting an e-mail list set up so once we get things rolling with the business we can keep folks updated on what we’re doing and where we’re at. We also want to spread the word about events we’ll be attending or hosting relating to the business.

Thanks so much for coming along for the ride!

-Cassandra

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