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  1. #1
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    All-City Mr. Pink vs. SOMA ES vs. Gunnar Sport?

    Just looking for some feedback here. Having a lot of trouble deciding which one to get. Are there any opinions here?

  2. #2
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    The biggest factor to consider, IMHO, is the geometry and which of these frames would fit you better. Of course, price might also be an issue. The Gunnar Sport would be the most expensive of the three frames, but also the nicest frame in terms of availability of sizes, cleanness of welds, braze-ons and probably weight. I owned and commuted on a Sport for two years and it is a very practical bike for commuting, light touring and recreational riding. It has mounts for a rear rack and fenders front and rear, as a well as a pump peg. It has a longer chain stay than the Pink and slightly longer than ES. It is available in 1 cm size increments. The welds and quality of finish on Gunnars are topnotch, and they are available in a wide range of colors and decal choices.

    The Soma ES has a similar geometry to the other two frames, but is longer and lower. That is, in comparable sizes it has a longer top tube and shorter head tube. That feature is what kept me from buying an ES because I like frames with shorter top tubes and longer head tubes. Like the Gunnar, it has mounts for a rear rack and fenders front and rear with the appropriate front fork. It's a bargain compared to the Gunnar, at half the price.

    The Mr. Pink has the tallest head tube with top tube length similar to the Gunnar. I couldn't tell from their website whether it has mounts for a rear rack, but it has "hidden" fender mounts front and rear. Like the Soma, it costs about half the price of a Gunnar Sport. Quality of finish is excellent on All City bikes, but welds are not as clean as Gunnar, and it is probably heavier. It's biggest drawback is the wide range between sizes, which may or may not be a factor.

    I have examined all of these frames up close, but only ridden and owned the Gunnar Sport. One comment I would make about the Sport is that it's a surprisingly stiff frame considering the long wheelbase, probably due to the oversized tubing. Some riders, such as heavier ones, might like that. I prefer a more compliant ride, which is one reason why I sold the Sport. Even with 28mm tires, it had a stiffer ride than I prefer.

  3. #3
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    Awesome feedback! I agree that geometry and sizing is the most important factor here (besides pricing).

    A recent addition is the Milwaukee Bicycle Co CX (https://www.benscycle.com/p-3902-mil...e-builder.aspx). I can get a pretty decent price on one which includes a MKE Cross disc fork. Size is 59 cm and would be a bit of a gamble since I can't see if it fits correctly before I buy. I know this is a cross bike, but I'll mainly be using for commuting and....it is Waterford construction.

    What are your thoughts on this new addition (pic of the frame is below)?
    20140422_173146_converted.jpg
    Last edited by ebach00; 04-24-14 at 04:16 PM. Reason: add picture

  4. #4
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    The Milwaukee's are nice frames. I have not ridden one, but saw one up close on a recent ride and it looked well constructed and finished. Being made by Waterford, that would be expected. Sizing would be the biggest issue if buying used. How tall are you, and are you long-legged or long-wasted? I am 5'11" tall and the 59 Milwaukee would be a little too large for me (top tube), but the 56 would be a little short (head tube). That is the problem with frames that have wide gaps between sizes, you often have to compromise on fit. However, you can often correct for those sizing issues with your choices of stems, spacers, etc.

    A cross frame is ideal for commuting and very versatile because you can ride on or off road, and use a wide range of tire widths. I have two cross bikes that I use for commuting and trail riding, a Gunnar Crosshairs and Ritchey Breakaway Cross. The Ritchey fits me a better as the top tube is little too long on the Gunnar, but they both ride and handle great. If I had to get one bike for commuting, recreational riding and light touring, it would probably be a cyclecross.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    I own a Mr. Pink and really enjoy it as a recreational road bike. But for a commuter bike, at least if you want to use a rack that's mounted to the frame, there are much better choices. It does have eyelets on the insides of the seatstays (these are the "hidden" fender mounts) but that's it. No rack eyelets whatsoever. Would make an excellent "fast commuter" bike if you prefer a backpack, and will even accept fenders and tires as large as 32mm wide. Beautiful paint, fork, and fairly light weight with the Columbus Zona tubeset, but for most, not the ideal commuter.

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    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Bonus points for the Milwaukee and the Gunnar: made by Waterford in USA.

    That said, I'd go with the Mr. Pink for the same reasons tarwheel outlined -- shorter tt, taller ht. That's what I like in a bike. YMMV.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    The All-City Space Horse is their model best suited for commuting and touring. Although heavier than the Mr. Pink, it has mounts for fenders and racks, room for larger tires. A friend of mine has a Space Horse and really likes it. It is a nice-looking bike.

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    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    The All-City Space Horse is their model best suited for commuting and touring. Although heavier than the Mr. Pink, it has mounts for fenders and racks, room for larger tires. A friend of mine has a Space Horse and really likes it. It is a nice-looking bike.
    +1, we've sold several Space Horse's in our shop, it's a premium commuter bike. Great looking finish, very practical and versatile, etc. We love the All-City brand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    The Soma ES has a similar geometry to the other two frames, but is longer and lower. That is, in comparable sizes it has a longer top tube and shorter head tube. That feature is what kept me from buying an ES because I like frames with shorter top tubes and longer head tubes. Like the Gunnar, it has mounts for a rear rack and fenders front and rear with the appropriate front fork. It's a bargain compared to the Gunnar, at half the price.
    Can I jump in here and ask - why do you prefer shorter top tubes/longer head tubes? I've had a SOMA ES for about six months now, and while I love the ride in general - I can't get too comfortable on it. My problem is I'm 6'6" but with kind of short arms - so while I'm good most places - arm and neck position are a problem and I've got as many spacers as I can on there to get the handlebars up. Does shorter head tube mean more agressive, hunched over riding?

    I probably still would have gotten the 64cm Soma ES - 425 vs 900 for the Gunnar Sport - dizam. Even spending 425 just for a frame gave me an ulcer. But still wondering if top tube/head tube proportion is what I'm having problems with and how to compensate.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illusiumd View Post
    Can I jump in here and ask - why do you prefer shorter top tubes/longer head tubes? I've had a SOMA ES for about six months now, and while I love the ride in general - I can't get too comfortable on it. My problem is I'm 6'6" but with kind of short arms - so while I'm good most places - arm and neck position are a problem and I've got as many spacers as I can on there to get the handlebars up. Does shorter head tube mean more agressive, hunched over riding?

    I probably still would have gotten the 64cm Soma ES - 425 vs 900 for the Gunnar Sport - dizam. Even spending 425 just for a frame gave me an ulcer. But still wondering if top tube/head tube proportion is what I'm having problems with and how to compensate.
    My preference for longer head tube and shorter top tubes is just personal fit. I had a neck injury as a child, so I cannot bend my neck easily. Thus, I need to run my handlebars about the same height as my saddle to get comfortable. For years, I rode bikes with lower handlebars and longer top tubes, and I could never get comfortable, plus I had a lot of problems with hand numbness. When I raised my handlebars (which also shortens the effective top tube), all of my fit problems went away. The absolute worst geometry for me is a bike with a short head tube and long top tube, which unfortunately describes a lot of frames, including most Surleys.

  11. #11
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    Good common sense advice here so far...

    All that aside, that Milwaukee is drop dead sexy. Im a sucker for small builders, I'd buy that for unique bike points alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    The absolute worst geometry for me is a bike with a short head tube and long top tube, which unfortunately describes a lot of frames, including most Surleys.
    Yes, this is what I've got going on to a lesser degree. I'm going to try and get a different stem to get my head up a little. If my head, neck and back are aligned on this bike - I'd be looking down. Thanks for the info!

  13. #13
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    I would love to have any of these three bikes. As a complete, the ES is the prettiest.

    <looks at website> Or it was, when it was silver. Now it's beige. Hrm.

    The Mr. Pink still isn't. "Why am I Mr. Pink? Why can't we pick our own colors?"
    Last edited by Darth Lefty; 02-02-15 at 02:19 PM.
    Genesis 49:17

  14. #14
    Senior Member JAG410's Avatar
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    The Gunnar Sport is a "lifetime" bike. The Soma and Mr. Pink are a "ride for a while then upgrade" bike.

  15. #15
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    The Soma ES looks great to me. Rack and fender mounts, and takes tires up to 32 with fenders. I think that looks like a great commuter bike. As far as the frame geometry, I know that problem of too long top tube, too short head tube-- that's how I feel about my cross check. But if you don't mind a little more steerer tube out above the frame you can still make it perfectly comfortable. The more steerer tube you leave, the more the bars come back toward you.

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    Senior Member headloss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG410 View Post
    The Gunnar Sport is a "lifetime" bike. The Soma and Mr. Pink are a "ride for a while then upgrade" bike.
    pffft as if it was that simple... sure, with the expense of a Gunnar, it may be placed on another level due to initial investment... but any of those bikes are perfectly good lifetime companions.

    Personally, I'd write off the All City Mr. Pink for the choice of a press fit bottom bracket, but it's still a great bike that will take a 32mm tire iirc, making it an option for off road as well (or a nice winter bike).
    Last edited by headloss; 02-02-15 at 05:16 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member JAG410's Avatar
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    I just sold my Mr. Pink. Great riding and looking bike, but I hate PF BB's and can not trust them. I had knobby 33's in mine when I would use it for gravel.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    I would love to have any of these three bikes. As a complete, the ES is the prettiest. Or it was, when it was silver. Now it's beige. Hrm.
    I love the look of my "Cappuccino" ES with all black - although it is a weird paint color. Sometimes in weird light it can look flesh colored, but overall I dig it. It's also a nice bike that doesn't draw attention the way other road bikes do if you build it up low key.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyTheDog View Post
    But if you don't mind a little more steerer tube out above the frame you can still make it perfectly comfortable. The more steerer tube you leave, the more the bars come back toward you.
    Can you explain this to me? Although I love this bike and "thought" I had done my homework - it's tough getting a good fit with this shorter head tube. My LBS told me that he's got as many spacers on there as he can get and that if I want a more upright I should look into getting a straight handlebar setup... which I don't want to do.

    So is a shorter head tube - does that usually equate to a more agressive riding position? The main thing I love about this bike is how versatile it is: good for commuting with a rear rack and panniers and then good to take the rack off and fly. But oui, my neck after an hour....

  20. #20
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    I'm surprised you're maxed out on spacers and the bars are still too low and far away. Was the steerer tube already cut? You can also use a steerer tube extender if you don't mind the look. Soma has two, depending on how much more rise you want:
    High Rider Stem | SOMA Fabrications
    and
    High Rider Stem Adapter (Threadless steerers) | SOMA Fabrications

    You could also just try a shorter or higher-angled stem. The bike shop will probably buy the original stem back from you.


    Quote Originally Posted by illusiumd View Post
    Can you explain this to me? Although I love this bike and "thought" I had done my homework - it's tough getting a good fit with this shorter head tube. My LBS told me that he's got as many spacers on there as he can get and that if I want a more upright I should look into getting a straight handlebar setup... which I don't want to do.

    So is a shorter head tube - does that usually equate to a more agressive riding position? The main thing I love about this bike is how versatile it is: good for commuting with a rear rack and panniers and then good to take the rack off and fly. But oui, my neck after an hour....

  21. #21
    Senior Member killian21's Avatar
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    There's a Mr. Pink being offered for 600 near me, thinking of getting it as a do it all bike. I would probably use it more as my recreational road bike for long weekend rides rather than a commuter. Think 600 is a good deal??

  22. #22
    Senior Member headloss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by killian21 View Post
    There's a Mr. Pink being offered for 600 near me, thinking of getting it as a do it all bike. I would probably use it more as my recreational road bike for long weekend rides rather than a commuter. Think 600 is a good deal??
    Complete bike? Yes.

  23. #23
    Senior Member killian21's Avatar
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    Yes, full bike.

  24. #24
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Get it. For sure.
    Twitter@theSurlyBiker

  25. #25
    Senior Member JAG410's Avatar
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    The used Mr. Pink frame alone is worth $500...make sure it's not stolen and the serial number checks out. If it's clear, buy it quick, that's a killer deal!

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