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Thread: Seeking opinions for new bike

  1. #1
    Steve O's Avatar
    Steve O is offline 5000+ Posts? The first step to beating addiction is admitting you have one.
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    Default Seeking opinions for new bike

    Hi,

    I'm considering buying a Soma Wolverine frameset and outfitting it with an IGH and belt drive. My intent is to have a bike that is very durable, can be set up for everyday commuting and will also work for multi-day trips with panniers, etc. Also fun to ride. Rack, fenders, lights.
    Please give me your thoughts on the following:
    - Do you have a Wolverine? Or ridden one? What is your opinion?
    - I intend to have the wheels built. Thinking of a White Industries hub for the front wheel. I'm unclear on which hub is right for the Wolverine (B) disc brakes.

    - I also am taking suggestions for rims? 32 or 36 spoke? Brand/model. Again, seeking strong, durable and high quality over a few grams.
    I'm thinking 32mm tires with tubes (still not convinced on tubeless). I currently ride on 28s and am happy with them, too. So I guess I'm a bit agnostic on tire width. Feel free to weigh in.
    Last edited by Steve O; 10-05-2021 at 09:57 PM.

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    Regarding the wheels - a modern 36 spoke wheel is pretty indestructible. My Kona Sutra is heavier than an M1 tank, but it's also as rugged as an M1 tank. Part of that ruggedness comes from the wheel set. I curse the weight of the bike and wheels when I'm riding up a hill, but I don't think my spoke wrench has touched those nipples yet. I've built a few wheels before, and I can build a light, strong 28 spoke wheel, but have to keep up with truing it.

    I think the tires in these photos were 32s. They are not the lightest, and I have gotten the occasional flat, but they are pretty rugged for city and suburban riding. When I was actually commuting somewhere for work (instead of upstairs), I made it a priority to get a reflective tire.

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    Schmidt makes a great disk-brake dynamo hub.

    I feel like there is a pretty big difference between tubeless 28mm tires (fast) and tubeless 32mm in terms of speed which may be related to the lower air pressure of tubeless, but then my bike is weird.

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    My opinion is that you should definitely get another bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crickey7 View Post
    My opinion is that you should definitely get another bike.
    Whatever happened to The Enabler?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I'm considering buying a Soma Wolverine frameset and outfitting it with an IGH and belt drive. My intent is to have a bike that is very durable, can be set up for everyday commuting and will also work for multi-day trips with panniers, etc. Also fun to ride. Rack, fenders, lights.
    That's exactly what I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Please give me your thoughts on the following:
    - Do you have a Wolverine? Or ridden one? What is your opinion?
    I've ridden mine more than any other bike I've had. The ride is smooth and comfortable, and it's also a pretty bike. Steel is heavy, but Soma uses good quality steel that nicely balances strength with suppleness. The belt drive is fantastic because it is practically zero maintenance once it's set up (I say practically zero because it occasionally gets a little squeaky, which I resolve by spraying it with water from my water bottle while I'm riding. It is a weird feeling to spray your drivetrain with water on purpose!): after a rain ride I do exactly nothing to maintain the drivetrain. There are lots of choices for an IGH: I went with a Shimano Alfine 8 because I didn't feel like I needed the range of more gears for riding around here, and IGH gears are heavy; you might want more for loaded touring, though. If you plan to run drop bars, you will likely have to go with an aftermarket shifter, as IGH manufacturers seem to assume you will be running flat bars with your IGH; fortunately choices for Shimano and Rohloff are increasing (I actually haven't shopped for a shifter in a while, so there may be more out there than I am aware; I recently switched my Wolverine to flat bars, and I will say the stock Shimano Rapidfire shifter works better than the Jtek bar end shifter I ran on my drops, though the Jtek was perfectly serviceable.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    - I intend to have the wheels built. Thinking of a White Industries hub for the front wheel. I'm unclear on which hub is right for the Wolverine (B) disc brakes.
    The hub choice will depend on the width of the front fork and the type of rotor you're putting on it (whether center lock or 6-bolt). Shimano products always have center lock, but I think 6-bolt will give you more choices for rotors. I put an adapter on my Shimano IGH so I could use a 6-bolt rotor with it. I don't recall the exact measurement for the Wolverine front fork, but it's probably 100 rather than 110; you can confirm this with Soma or your LBS before ordering a hub for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    - I also am taking suggestions for rims? 32 or 36 spoke? Brand/model. Again, seeking strong, durable and high quality over a few grams.
    I'm thinking 32mm tires with tubes (still not convinced on tubeless). I currently ride on 28s and am happy with them, too. So I guess I'm a bit agnostic on tire width. Feel free to weigh in.
    More spokes will make the wheels more durable, but by the time you get to 32, you have a really strong wheel; if you were a very heavy rider I'd recommend 36, but I know you aren't. Some rims and hubs aren't available in 36-hole, so maybe don't decide on that number before looking at your rim and hub options. Double butted spokes will give you a better ride, and many argue they actually make the wheels stronger because of their suppleness; straight gauge spokes are strong because they are thick along their whole length, but they aren't as flexible; they are cheaper, though. @hozn recommended H Plus Son Archetype rims for me, and I've liked them. In any case, when you run disc brakes you have lots of choices because you can use disc-specific or rim-brake rims. You can run very wide tires with fenders on the Wolverine, so why not do that? Anything less than 32s would look weird if you ask me, because the spacing is huge on that frame. I run 40s because they are badass.

    Ok that's all I can think of off the top of my head. Feel free to come by and ride mine, Steve O: I think it will give you as good an impression of what you're looking for as you can get.

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    How silly of me: I didn't include pictures above.

    With drops:
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    With Jones Loop bars:
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  12. #8
    Steve O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkel View Post

    Ok that's all I can think of off the top of my head. Feel free to come by and ride mine, Steve O: I think it will give you as good an impression of what you're looking for as you can get.
    Thanks, dkel! I pulled the trigger at bikenetic this week, and now the frame is on order. But I will touch base to come over and give yours a test drive. You are taller, so the frame is probably a bit large for me, but I'm really curious to see the drive train.
    Out of town until next Saturday. I'll shoot you an email when I get back.
    Thanks again!

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    Do you plan to build this yourself?

    Please post a spec list and any lessons learned when you're done. I didn't know there were off-the-shelf frames with split chainstays. Looks like there's a lot of bike commuting in my future and I'd consider a build like this when & if I decide to replace the Space Horse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by secstate View Post
    Do you plan to build this yourself?

    Please post a spec list and any lessons learned when you're done. I didn't know there were off-the-shelf frames with split chainstays. Looks like there's a lot of bike commuting in my future and I'd consider a build like this when & if I decide to replace the Space Horse.
    I'll be following this build! This is the green Wolverine frame with yellow decals? It's a looker.

    Speaking of belt drives, last year I got my kid a 20" belt-drive bike from Priority that uses a Shimano 3-speed hub. The quality is good, and I think the internal hub has been helpful as he learns about gears and shifting. I think that frame splits at the dropout. Priority also sells an adult commuter bike that uses a Gates belt and a 7-speed Shimano hub for under $800. It reminds me of the Jamis Coda.

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