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Old 04-20-11, 08:55 PM   #1
southpawboston 
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Another 650B conversion, this time a new Soma mixte (pic warning!)

This was my wife's birthday present this year. We built it up together. She had wanted a mixte, but finding a 58cm vintage mixte is difficult. Finding a 58cm vintage mixte with room for wide tires is impossible. So we went with a new Soma mixte frame, which lends itself very nicely to 650B conversion, and has everything we wanted in a frame (except lugs, but that's okay). The bike is built up as a comfortable, all-purpose city bike that's capable of pulling our Burley Piccolo trailercycle, as well as being able to have a little fun off the beaten path. Everything is new (or new-ish) except the crankset, BB and brake levers, which are vintage.

Full build list:

Rims: Velo Orange Diagonale 650B, 32H front/36H rear
Hubs: Shimano 105 front/Shimano Nexus "Red band" 8 IGH rear
Tires: Grand Bois Hetre, 650 x 42B
Crankset: Takagi AR-T, 170mm; Q = 164mm
Pedals: MKS Touring
BB: Tange ALU124, 124.5mm
Gearing: 45/21 with Nexus 8 IGH (29-90 gear inches)
Brakes: Tektro R589; Shimano BL-MT62 levers
Saddle: Brooks B17
Seatpost: Kalloy Uno, 27.2
Stem: Velo Orange 1-1/8" threadless, 80mm, 6o rise, 25.4mm clamp
Headset: Velo Orange 1-1/8" threadless
Bars: Nitto Albatross
Lighting: Cateye HL-EL540 headlight, custom fork mount, Spanninga Pixeo taillight, fender-mounted

Extras:

Velo Orange fluted fenders, 58mm
Velo Orange bottle cage
Axiom Seymour panniers
Brass bell
Burley "Moosehead" rear rack (for Burley Piccolo trailercycle)
Pletscher double-leg kickstand

On to the pics!













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Old 04-20-11, 09:15 PM   #2
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Nice build! Took a minute or two to understand the purpose of the bell position, but now I got it Slick idea! Your wife shold be very happy!
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Old 04-20-11, 09:34 PM   #3
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nice.
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Old 04-20-11, 09:37 PM   #4
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^ Two gnomes posting consecutively, neat. You gnomes know each other?
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Old 04-20-11, 10:30 PM   #5
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^ Two gnomes posting consecutively, neat. You gnomes know each other?
Not that I'm aware of. velognome is half a world away from me.
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Old 04-20-11, 10:41 PM   #6
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Nice Southpaw. I reckon the fixie crew should now start putting bells on all their empty brazeons! ha ha

Whats the finish on the handlebars looks a bit bluish? Bill P
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Old 04-20-11, 10:44 PM   #7
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Info on the fork light mount?
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Old 04-20-11, 10:45 PM   #8
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Very pretty. When are you building mine?
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Old 04-21-11, 07:24 AM   #9
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Whats the finish on the handlebars looks a bit bluish? Bill P
They're not blue, but maybe the lighting is showing the anodizing in a peculiar way. They're silver anodized chromoly bars from Nitto, and the finish is more satiny than the highly polished stem.

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Info on the fork light mount?
I made it out of handlebar stock! Threads into the low-rider boss.

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Very pretty. When are you building mine?
Ha! As soon as you order the parts.
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Old 04-21-11, 08:01 AM   #10
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Very beautiful. I simply have to get a nice Mixte
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Old 04-21-11, 10:38 AM   #11
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very creative bell position
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Old 04-21-11, 11:05 AM   #12
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very creative bell position
Yeah, I just didn't know what else to do with that unused shifter boss. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-21-11, 11:53 AM   #13
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Anton, that is one sweet build! Top notch as usual. Where'd you get the super tall headset spacers?
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Old 04-21-11, 12:01 PM   #14
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I'm guessing Ms. SouthPawBoston is a lefty - as well as tall.
Nice build.

58cm Soma mixte - good to know.
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Old 04-21-11, 01:43 PM   #15
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Anton...Looks great...That's a lot of spacer(s) though! I'm assuming you (or her) are opposed to a riser stem???

I think the bell location is cool...not very convenient, but cool.
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Old 04-21-11, 02:12 PM   #16
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Anton, that is one sweet build! Top notch as usual. Where'd you get the super tall headset spacers?
Thanks. I went to my LBS to pick up 8 or 9 10cm spacers, and they were all out... but they told me they had these 40mm spacers... so what the heck, I thought...

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I'm guessing Ms. SouthPawBoston is a lefty - as well as tall.

58cm Soma mixte - good to know.
Ha, that was me who placed the headlight and bell on the left side. The bell, I had no other choice. The headlight, I guess that was my own left-centric influence. Mrs. SPB is right-handed.

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Anton...Looks great...That's a lot of spacer(s) though! I'm assuming you (or her) are opposed to a riser stem???

I think the bell location is cool...not very convenient, but cool.
Mrs. SPB wants to make sure the bars are high enough before cutting down the stem. That's the thing about threadless-- once that stem is cut, there's no undoing it! Chances are it will stay as is, or the one 10mm spacer will get moved above the stem. But I don't think the stem's going to get cut down. The bars work well at this height, and NO, NO RISER STEM.
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Old 06-05-12, 09:12 AM   #17
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I thought I'd provide a one-year update on Mrs. SPB's Soma 650B mixte.

Since this first posting, we made a few changes, mostly to resolve some knee pain and foot numbness that Mrs. SPB was reporting. These changes included:
  • Brooks B67 saddle (to replace the B17)
  • narrower BB (118 vs. 124)
  • Wellgo cruiser pedals (in place of the MKS touring)

Mrs. SPB also reported that the front end felt very light (no doubt in part because of the upright seating position, heavy duty rear rack and anchor-quality Nexus IGH). So I added a front basket with a novel support mechanism: a combination of VO headset decaleur and an extra fender stay. The decaleur supports the basket from above, while the stay supports the basket from the bottom while also triangulating the front fender. I terminated the stay at the low-rider bosses instead of running them all the way down to the dropouts. It's rock-solid and solves the weight distribution issue.

It is Mrs. SPB's daily rider, she loves it. And she claims she'll never live without a basketed bike again! And now that our kids ride their own bikes and no longer need the trailercycle, we'll eventually replace the proprietary Burley rack (about 3 lb alone!) with a lighter (and nicer) VO constructeur rack.







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Old 06-05-12, 10:18 AM   #18
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Super-clever basket support system! Well done, as usual.

How are those Axiom bags working out?
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Old 06-05-12, 11:06 AM   #19
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Nice updates!
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Old 06-05-12, 12:21 PM   #20
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What measurements should one look for when considering not only a 650b conversion but also clearance for hetres?
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Old 06-05-12, 02:01 PM   #21
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Super-clever basket support system! Well done, as usual.

How are those Axiom bags working out?
They're cheap bags. The tops are fading, and the hardware needs fortifying, but if they hold up one or two more years they will have been worth it.

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What measurements should one look for when considering not only a 650b conversion but also clearance for hetres?
Look for a high BB, preferably less than 70mm drop. The mixte above has 74mm BB drop, so less than ideal. If this were a road bike, I wouldn't have done the conversion for risk of pedal strike. But as an around-town cruiser, it's fine. Also check with a caliper the width between the fork blades and the chain stays, measured at 320mm from the axle center. That's where the widest part of a 650B tire will be. Lastly, measure for brake reach. On the Soma, the Tektro R559 "extra long reach" calipers just barely reach in the rear at 73mm; if the wheel was any farther back in the dropout, it wouldn't reach.

Figure, whatever caliper works for 700C, add 19mm and that's the extra reach you need for 650B.
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Old 06-05-12, 02:34 PM   #22
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I made it out of handlebar stock! Threads into the low-rider boss.
I made one out of a 1 inch pvc end cap, and drilled a hole in the end to thread in a rack bolt. It works rather well!
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Old 06-05-12, 04:13 PM   #23
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You're really getting your money's worth out of those calipers, they just barely make it. I guess all that matters, though, is that they do at all.

Beautiful bike and some great inspiration for the people at the coop who keep asking about a utility build.
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Old 06-05-12, 04:33 PM   #24
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Nice! I'd like to do something like this for my wife's bike.
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Old 06-05-12, 05:10 PM   #25
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I made one out of a 1 inch pvc end cap, and drilled a hole in the end to thread in a rack bolt. It works rather well!
I like your idea better. I would think it's lighter. Can you post a pic?
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