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  1. #1
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    Critique My Build-Up: Soma Smoothie ES

    I don't want a road racing or a full touring bike, so I'm piecing together what I want. Please let me know where I'm going wrong:

    • Soma Smoothie ES frame, size 58 or 60 TBD
    • IRD carbon fork, 1-1/8, made for 57mm brakes
    • Ritchey fuzzy logic, 1-1/8 headset
    • Stem: to be determined by frame size; probably 110mm with a 58ETT or 90mm with a 59ETT
    • Ritchey Pro seatpost, 27.2
    • Ritchey Pro Biomax handlebars, 31.8x44cm

    • Ultegra 6510 3x9 shifters
    • Shimano 57mm brake calipers (the Smoothie ES frame & IRD fork call for 57mm-reach brakes)


    • Deore M530 44/32/22 ring crankset; I'll get a 36T middle ring now and 48T/26T rings when I can
    • 105 5500 9-speed triple front derailleur, allows a 22T difference between
    • 12-27 9-speed cassette, make/model TBD
    • Ultegra 6600 rear derailleur, 9/10-speed, 27T max cog, triple-compatible


    • Ultegra/Open Pro wheels or Velocity Deep V wheelset
    • Continental Gatorskin 700x25 tires front & rear


    .....
    I'm about 6'1", 185lbs. I keep my seat at 79cm height, 8cm setback. I like my bars pretty close to saddle height.

    I've got to two bikes which I use as a reference for sizing:
    Bike #1: 58cmETT, 74*ST, 73*HT, 195mm head tube with 290mm steerer length from fork crown to top of headset cap with a 17* 110mm stem.
    This bike has me fairly spread out, even with the 17* stem.

    Bike #2: 58cmETT, 73*ST, 72*HT, 200mm head tube with a 275mm steerer, 8* 110mm stem. This bike fits me pretty well and has a shorter reach than bike #1 which makes it easier to ride for longer periods.

    I'm undecided between the Smoothie ES 58 and 60 frames.

    The 58 frame has a 58ETT, 73*ST and 73*HT with a 170mm head tube. The IRD fork comes with a 350mm steerer length so I can easily end up with a 290mm steerer length if I want to. Just don't know if I want so much steerer tube exposed.

    The 60 frame has a 59ETT, 73*ST and 73*HT and a 190mm head tube. I want the longer head tube but the longer top tube is a cause for concern as I don't want the bars too far out there.

    I'm familiar with the French Fit- get larger bike because the handlebars "retreat" towards you. In this case, though, the steerer length can be the same either way; I'm just choosing between an 170 or 190mm head tube length to contain more of it.

    Will having a shorter head tube with the same length steerer make the steerer less prone with flexing or breakage?

    Please advise..
    Last edited by thirdin77; 09-06-08 at 04:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    I like the sounds of your vision and can't see anything wrong with your GT like concept.

    Some points to check on if you haven't already done so.

    • If the IRD fork is compatible with heavier tread tires of 28 mm AND still takes fenders then good. By your mention that it is speced for 57mm reach calipers I'm guessing this is already the case. Regardless any bike that will see longer day rides or possible overnight rides in any area that gets rain should have room for fenders.
    • Not sure which model the M530 cranks are but I recently got my first set of external BB cranks and love them. The total weight is less than the old sealed BB and cranks total and they are FAR stiffer than the old style square taper setup. I'd suggest the Hollowtech II LX cranks, whatever model number those are.
    • Why Ultegra? If you're after a long cage to allow a wider MTB like cassette and want to stay triple capable then don't pass up on any deals for an LX or XT rear derr. Nothing at all wrong with the way those shift.
    • I've been looking at rim options to upgrade a wheelset I've got. Without exception the deep V rims are all quite heavy compared to lower box section rims such as the Open Pro's. And weight out by the rim means more when pulling away from a stop than other weight so I'd vote to go against the current style and opt for a lighter and more functional low section box rim. And while I can't prove it other than my one time with a deep V that suffered a buckle when it hit something at some point I THINK deepV's are more prone to impact damage than a more flexible box rim that due to the lesser height can flex easier if it hits something catastrophic. In my case it was an older Mavic CXP12 that I hit something totally forgetable with yet it dented the rim at the point of impact and partially buckled the extrusion two spokes away from the dent on either side. I'm not a big fan of deep section rims since that little experience.
    Will having a longer head tube with the same length steerer make the steerer less prone with flexing or breakage?
    Shouldn't be an issue. Soma and others seem to be using this setup on their cyclocross bikes without issue so on a road bike such as you're building I can't see it being any issue at all.

    Outside of that there will likely be a little bit of fine tuning that may involve optional parts but that's not a biggie. You're starting with a nice solid foundation in your frame and wheels and the rest are items that can alter as you wish.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply, BC..


    • Soma says a 28mm may fit the IRD fork, with fenders. I think I'll probably fit only a 25 with fenders but I'm willing to accept that as I anticipate the longer wheelbase/steel frame/32 3x-laced wheels will make the bike less vertically stiff.
    • I really want to run a newer LX or XT Hollowtech II crankset but my understanding is that they are sized for 135mm MTB hubs, giving a 50mm chainline whereas I'll be running 130mm road hubs which call for a 43.5-45mm chain line so I can't use them..
    • Supposedly the Octalink BB MTB cranksets can be used with a road frame/130mm rear hub. I know that REI's Novara Randonee uses and Octalink BB/Deore 48/36/26 triple. I'm hoping to do the same.
    • I may indeed use an XT rear derailleur as I earlier got one thinking that I may use a wide ratio cassette on this bike if I put a light load on it.


    Regarding the head tube, I meant to say that my concern was about running a shorter head tube with a longer steerer tube, in this instance a 170mm head tube with a 290mm steerer tube. After accounting for the external head set and the 40mm stem clamp height, I'd be left with 40mm or so of spacers. Just wondering if that would be problematic as I'm pulling up on the handlebars to sprint over a freeway overpass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
    Thanks for the reply, BC..
    I really want to run a newer LX or XT Hollowtech II crankset but my understanding is that they are sized for 135mm MTB hubs, giving a 50mm chainline whereas I'll be running 130mm road hubs which call for a 43.5-45mm chain line so I can't use them..
    I can confirm this, as I have an LX M581 crankset (that's the 48-36-26 one) that I've tried out on my cross check. It's a fine crank, but as you say, it's more appropriate for 135mm hubs. Not only that but the chainline places the big ring so far outboard that most road FD's won't be able to reach. I had to use a mountain FD (LX M571), which was great, but it was so bulky around the seat tube area that it interfered with my rear fender. I ended up going back to my Sugino crank and 113mm BB, though I'm sure I'll find a good use for the LX crank eventually.

    By the way, I have a Gunnar Sport which also uses 57mm brakes. I'm using some cheap Tektro calipers, but they work great. Certainly enough stopping power for my 250lbs, and no noticeable squeal. I've noticed a little rust forming around the cable release pivots though. If you're looking at the Shimano Ultegra calipers, hopefully they're using higher quality materials that won't rust (they better be for nearly quadruple the price).

  5. #5
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    Have you considered this crankset: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=2637

    Or this slightly cheaper, but heavier, version: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=2637

    Based on what I've read, either should provide the proper chainline with a road hub and save you the expense and trouble of swapping chainrings.

  6. #6
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    Joe,
    Thanks for the recommendation but those Sugino cranksets both are labeled as 8-speeds. Because one of the later model Bianchi Axis bikes ran a Sugio XD500T with a 9-speed chain, though, I suspect the XD600 will as well and I just emailed Sugino asking them if it will. Hopefully they'll reply.

  7. #7
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    Good points on the chain line. The last MTB cranks that will work with 68mm shells without spacers are the Octalink or ISIS types. I'll still say go Hollowtech II but with Octalink as you have already thought about. It should end up as one of the lighter options overall and stiffer than most any option all at the same time.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
    Joe,
    Thanks for the recommendation but those Sugino cranksets both are labeled as 8-speeds. Because one of the later model Bianchi Axis bikes ran a Sugio XD500T with a 9-speed chain, though, I suspect the XD600 will as well and I just emailed Sugino asking them if it will. Hopefully they'll reply.
    I wouldn't think you'd encounter any issues using a narrower chain on that crankset. Granted, I don't tons of experience with this stuff, but the only crankset/chain problem I've encounter was trying to use an 8 speed chain with a 9 speed ring. The chain was too wide and would catch on the chainring ramps on the middle chainring when in the little chainring and cross-chaining.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, the Sugino cranksets are still on my list of those considered. A couple of others that I just found, though, were the Stronglight Impact triple and Speedlight triple. Wow, those crankets offer really broad choices of rings, such as 46/36/26 and 46/34/24 . Perfect for the recreational cyclist.

    Does anyone have any feedback to give on Stronglight?

    Also, if I can get such small middle and small rings, I may not need a 11-32 and I would opt instead for a 12-25 or 12-27. I've got a XT M770 SGS rear derailleur sitting here, though, and since I now realize that maybe I could just go to a 105/Ultegra rear derailleur, my question is.. will the XT rear der shift a 12-25/27 as "nicely" as a 105 or Ultegra rear der?

    Also, given that the Stronglight cranksets are advertised as being 9/10-speed compatible, it looks like I could even forego a 9-speed set-up altogether and just go 10-speed road, with the crankset's low gears giving me the effective lower gearing that I'm looking for. So, I could just go to an Ultegra 6603 shifters/cassette/rear der and maybe an Ultegra 10-speed front der as well. Dunno.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
    I'm undecided between the Smoothie ES 58 and 60 frames.
    Which size did you get? Right decision? Thoughts...

  11. #11
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    That is going to be fantastic. The only two things I would change, depending on where you will be riding and what sort of performance you are looking for... one is the gearing... 44 X 12 is actually a pretty small top gear... You may find it very easy to spin out going down the slightest of incline. If you go with a road crankset, which generally come with a 50 - 53 big ring, this will not be an issue.

    The other is tires... fatter tires don't only protect you from road shock, they also protect your wheels. It looks like you are looking for a tough set of wheels. Fatter tires protect you and your wheels when the road conditions are poor.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
    [*]Deore M530 44/32/22 ring crankset; I'll get a 36T middle ring now and 48T/26T rings when I can[*]105 5500 9-speed triple front derailleur, allows a 22T difference between
    Just an FYI from something I encountered building Soma Double Cross last fall;
    I was using an XT crankset with a 22/32/44, and an Ultegra 6503 triple FD.
    When I put it all together, I found that the FD's cage was so long, that the bottom of the cage hit the chainstay when the FD was still 3/8" above the large ring. Shifting onto the large ring was poor.

    I just happened to have an XT "trekking" chainring set on hand, (26, 36, 48).
    I swapped the 44 with the 48, and got better shifting *and* a higher top gear.
    It also makes small->medium, and medium->large FD shifts nearly the same, (~1.5 X ratio change).

  13. #13
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    Wow, I didn't notice until now that this thread had been resurrected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meek View Post
    Which size did you get? Right decision? Thoughts...
    I didn't get the Smoothie ES. I decided the head & seat tube angles, while relaxed compared to a race bike, were still not relaxed enough for me. That and the head tube length was a bit short in my size, the 58.

    Also, the more I read about the frame's lack of fender eyelets and room for 700x32's with fenders, the less favorable it sounded.

    Instead, I got a Specialized Tricross Sport which has more relaxed geometry, more than enough room for 700x32's with fenders and all the fender eyelets I could want.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    ...44 X 12 is actually a pretty small top gear... You may find it very easy to spin out going down the slightest of incline.
    I've got a 46x12 right now and I actually have outspun it on a decline, which I can live with.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    If you go with a road crankset, which generally come with a 50 - 53 big ring, this will not be an issue.
    Here's the thing, when I run road tires on the Tricross, the 34T ends up being too small for sprinting so I use the 46T for sprinting and I think the 50+ would be a bit big for my sprinting abilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    ...I found that the FD's cage was so long, that the bottom of the cage hit the chainstay when the FD was still 3/8" above the large ring. Shifting onto the large ring was poor.
    My 4503 front derailleur clears my chainstay with my cage set up about 1mm above my big ring. I got lucky as I hadn't even thought about chainstay clearance until I had installed the crankset and was adjusting my derailleur to its ring sizes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    I just happened to have an XT "trekking" chainring set on hand, (26, 36, 48).
    I swapped the 44 with the 48, and got better shifting *and* a higher top gear.
    It also makes small->medium, and medium->large FD shifts nearly the same, (~1.5 X ratio change).
    Is this crankset one with external bearings? Does it work with a road 130mm rear hub?

    I have a Stronglight 46/34/24 square taper crankset on there now and I don't like how torsionally flexible it is. When I get out of saddle, and I weigh about #180, I regularly get chain rub on the front derailleur, even if I trim my front derailleur toward my big ring.

    I'm thinking about going to a 4550 (Tiagra) 50/34 crankset just to get an external bearing bb.

    For riding in hilly terrain, I would have to use a 11-32 or 11-34 to get about a 29 or 27" low gear.

    Not excited about going to such a combination.

    I'm running a 12-26 cassette in combination with the 46/34/24 and that gives me about a 25" low gear with close ratios which was my goal at the outset.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
    Is this crankset one with external bearings? Does it work with a road 130mm rear hub?
    External bearings.
    I'm running it with 135mm hub.

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