Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


In response to the repeat problems I've had with spokes breaking on the ghetto bike, I figured that I'd try something a bit beefier, tire-wise. It seems to me that having a bit more meat on the rims might protect the spokes from stress.

So, I converted the 29er 3-speed to temporary commuter duty, and got on the internet looking for a steel frame to go with the lugged fork I had picked up a while ago. After searching far and wide, I finally just ordered a Soma 4ONE5. It's actually built for 26" wheels, but I figured I'd be able to adapt it to 29" wheels and tires, since it has track-ends rather than dropouts. With the semi-smooth tires, it works fine. I don't think that I could run knobby 2.2s, though.

I wanted to run fixed gear, of course. But, I also wanted to run disc brakes (Iknow...I know...). It's pretty much impossible to find a disc-ready fixed hub, though.

So, I converted a 29er mtb flip-flop rear wheel to a fixed gear/disc brake wheel by using one of these. The spin-on adapter lined up perfectly with the caliper, and even came with a rotor which was exactly the same as the rotors on the mechanical discs I use. So, now I have a spare.

Once the Soma frame arrived, I gathered up parts and prepped the frame for the build. I waited until this weekend to actually build it. I didn't want to have to hurry the build in order to be able to ride to work the next day.

So, today, I built the bike.

(Click pictures for BIG)

Getting the fenders to fit was the biggest challenge. I've never seen "29er" fenders, and the widest 700c version I could find was too narrow. So, I had to futz around with some 26" mtb fenders, which were wide enough, but have a different radius to their arc, and get them to work.

The rear fender is attached to the deck of the rack, and trimmed a bit short. This allowed me to forego use of the stays, and allows the rear-exit wheel to come out a bit more easily than it would with a full-length fender.

I wanted a silver mustache-style bar, and Cycle Analyst had one in stock. Coincidentally, it happened to be a Soma bar. I'm not enough of a brand-whore to do that on purpose, but I don't mind it.

I modified the clamps on the brake levers to fit onto the larger-diameter bars. For grips, I used cork tape. I might put some actual grips on it later. (I've stretched rubber mtb grips on road-diameter bars, before.)

Shimano cranks, Brooks B-15, Cateye cyclometer, dingy bell...the rest of the bike is just more of the same as what I usually put together. The stem is an old Profile BOA that I had on my mountain bike back in 1998 or '99.

So, there it is: The Super Commuter. Let's see how long it takes to start breaking spokes on this one.



At 8:50 PM , Anonymous red light green light said...

Tight wheelbase Man!!
It must corner like it's on rails....

At 8:17 AM , Blogger Apertome said...

Oh, sweet. Soma frames have always seemed really nice to me ... looking forward to hearing about how it rides. That's a pretty unique configuration you've got there.

At 3:15 PM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

Holy C#*P Jon, it's the S.U.V. HUMMER version of a commuter bike.If you break spokes on that you are a beast!By the way Surly makes a fixed disc hub spaced 135mm they don't list it on their site but you can order it fron QBP.look up the part # in Surly's blog archives,on second thought I'll do it for you-- wait a sec.It's hu0231, took me a sec to find it Surly doesn't have there April blog archived yet.The adaptor is a neat fix though, lemme know hoe it holds up.

At 5:56 PM , Blogger Jon said...

The Surly hub would come in handy if I was building the wheel. But I already had the flip/flop, so the adapter was a good, cheap, alternative ($25.00 vs ~$100.00 for the Surly hub, plus spokes and rim).

I used it alllast week, on the other bike, with no problems so far.

At 10:37 PM , Blogger Doohickie said...

That bike is badazz.


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