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Old 07-30-12, 01:57 PM   #1
Barrettscv 
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Replacing an old favorite

I can be very loyal to bikes. I owned my first road bike for 37 years. I also turn over bikes that lack the right mix of performance and versatility.

My Soma Double Cross DC has been my most satisfying bike. It's not particularly fast or prestigious. Just a recreation Cyclocross bike made of Tange Prestige steel tubing. It's fast enough for a 6 hour century. It's very comfortable with a relaxed fit and a plush ride quality. I can change it's purpose by switching tires and gearing. I can install fenders and racks. It's not a race bike, it's a classic sports/touring bike. It's as much fun on-road as on-trail and can be a great year-around ride.

I've had the bike for six years and the frame has 15,000 miles on it. The drivetrain has about 4000 miles and the wheelset is new-ish with about 3000 miles. However, rust is starting to peak-out of a few spots where the paint was damaged by the chain or careless handling.

So how do I replace the Soma Double Cross DC? What can I do to improve upon an almost perfect blend of qualities?

If I could improve on the Soma: it would be stiffer when climbing and accelerating. Modern materials can produce a very stiff structure unattainable in steel . A little less weight would be good, a reduction from 23 to 19 lbs should be possible.

So this is the replacement, a Carbon Fiber sports/touring based on the 2012 Pedal Force CX2;







It has a Shimano/Velocity A23 wheelset with 700x32 Vittoria Randonneur Hyper tires. It will get a Shimano 105 Triple Crankset with 50, 39 & 26 chainrings. The cassette is a 11-32 Sram ten speed.
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-30-12 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 07-30-12, 02:34 PM   #2
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IMO you can't beat a cx-frame with a triple as a doitall bike. I ended up with barends and v-brakes on mine because I didn't get the canti's to work as well as i wanted. Many happy miles on what will be a great bike !
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Old 07-30-12, 04:02 PM   #3
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I think you will like the bike.
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Old 07-30-12, 04:36 PM   #4
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Barrett, I always pay attention to your posts as you always have useful information. Also, I would judge, we have similar interests in what we look for in performance. As a retired man with only a modest interest in high performance, the type of performance you are interested in fits right in with my thinking.

My current and one and only bike is a Specialized Secteur with the lowest of low components - which work reliably and smoothly. Not only that, but if I wish to tour, the bike will accept a rear rack and ride smoothly with 25 pounds or more. By today's standards, the bike is a bit heavy at 22 pounds. I prefer to think of it as sturdy. In any case, speed is limited by the engine, not the chassis. In a word, this bike is versatile which is the characteristic most useful to a recreational rider of my age and interests.

On your suggestion, I installed a bottom 26T chain ring and a 30T biggest cog. This combination is perfect for the type of moderately loaded tours I will do. With about 25 to 30 pounds in the panniers, I can climb anything in my target area which I've already tested.

As an aside, a man I've worked with on and off for over 25 years, has been granted Italian citizenship and now that he is is retired, is hot to move to northern Italy where he has vacationed for several years. Thanks pal.
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Old 07-31-12, 07:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plodderslusk View Post
IMO you can't beat a cx-frame with a triple as a doitall bike. I ended up with barends and v-brakes on mine because I didn't get the canti's to work as well as i wanted. Many happy miles on what will be a great bike !
Thank you!, I've seen pictures of your bike with studded tires during winter. Bikes need to be versatile.

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I think you will like the bike.
[IMG][/IMG]
Brothers from a different mother. Right down to the MTB RD & the wide range cassette.

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Barrett, I always pay attention to your posts as you always have useful information. Also, I would judge, we have similar interests in what we look for in performance. As a retired man with only a modest interest in high performance, the type of performance you are interested in fits right in with my thinking.

My current and one and only bike is a Specialized Secteur with the lowest of low components - which work reliably and smoothly. Not only that, but if I wish to tour, the bike will accept a rear rack and ride smoothly with 25 pounds or more. By today's standards, the bike is a bit heavy at 22 pounds. I prefer to think of it as sturdy. In any case, speed is limited by the engine, not the chassis. In a word, this bike is versatile which is the characteristic most useful to a recreational rider of my age and interests.

On your suggestion, I installed a bottom 26T chain ring and a 30T biggest cog. This combination is perfect for the type of moderately loaded tours I will do. With about 25 to 30 pounds in the panniers, I can climb anything in my target area which I've already tested.

As an aside, a man I've worked with on and off for over 25 years, has been granted Italian citizenship and now that he is is retired, is hot to move to northern Italy where he has vacationed for several years. Thanks pal.
Thank you, Berner.

That made my day!
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Old 07-31-12, 07:47 AM   #6
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The new one looks like it will build up into a very nice ride.

Now, can I have your rusty old worn out Double Cross?????? Seems like it would be about perfect for me.
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Old 07-31-12, 10:55 AM   #7
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I doubt very much that any carbon bike will ride as nice as a steel bike.

Steel absorbs high frequency road vibration whereas Carbon just passes the vibration on to you.
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Old 07-31-12, 11:30 AM   #8
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I doubt very much that any carbon bike will ride as nice as a steel bike.

Steel absorbs high frequency road vibration whereas Carbon just passes the vibration on to you.
Carbon will also dampen vibrations effectively. I have Pedal Force carbon fiber road bike. The ride quality, on 700x24 tires @ 110 psi is very good. The CX2 will ride on supple 700x32 tires with about 90 psi. It will ride comfortably.

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Old 07-31-12, 11:42 AM   #9
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That is a very nice looking build you have done. The 105 crankset looks nice, that triple should get you through some mountains along with the SRAM cassette you mentioned. Well done, sir!

Bill
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Old 07-31-12, 12:19 PM   #10
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I would have just taken care of the rust spots, but you probably wanted a new bike,
and CF is the trendy stuff, now.

happy pedaling..

I still have the steel bike frame I built in 1976..
it got changed components and purposes over the decades,
and shares space with several subsequent purchases..
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Old 07-31-12, 12:27 PM   #11
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ooh, ahh, the Dark Knight rises! congrats on the new bike!
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Old 07-31-12, 12:52 PM   #12
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A CF Cyclocross bike with rack and fender mounts.(If I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing???) Nice score!
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Old 07-31-12, 01:01 PM   #13
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Wait, that thing has rack and fender mounts on it? That was just what I was going to say was the flaw in that (and that a stripping and powdercoating of the old frame would have been cheaper). But, if that CF frame can handle racks and fenders, it sounds great (as long as it doesn't asplode under you as CF has a tendency to do).
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Old 07-31-12, 01:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
That is a very nice looking build you have done. The 105 crankset looks nice, that triple should get you through some mountains along with the SRAM cassette you mentioned. Well done, sir!

Bill
Thanks Bill. A 105 triple with 50, 39 & 26t chainrings are on all my road bikes now. I just use different cassettes to adjust for terrain and distance. The 11-32 cassette will allow 25 pounds of racks and gear for shorter tours.

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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I would have just taken care of the rust spots, but you probably wanted a new bike,
and CF is the trendy stuff, now.

happy pedaling..

I still have the steel bike frame I built in 1976..
it got changed components and purposes over the decades,
and shares space with several subsequent purchases..
Yes, N+1 is a factor. The steel Soma had Framesaver applied, so the rust is superficial.

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ooh, ahh, the Dark Knight rises! congrats on the new bike!
Thanks!

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A CF Cyclocross bike with rack and fender mounts.(If I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing???) Nice score!

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Wait, that thing has rack and fender mounts on it? That was just what I was going to say was the flaw in that (and that a stripping and powdercoating of the old frame would have been cheaper). But, if that CF frame can handle racks and fenders, it sounds great (as long as it doesn't asplode under you as CF has a tendency to do).
Yes, maybe the only CF Cyclocross bike frame with two fender/rack mounts at the bottom of each seat stay. 99% of the time the bike will be used without racks, but having the ability to add racks will be useful. I hope it will take 20 pounds on the rear and 5 pounds in a frame pack for Credit Card touring and still feel stable.
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-31-12 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 07-31-12, 03:08 PM   #15
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Nice bike! You've got it set up similar to what I did with my (aluminum) Specialized Sequoia. It came with a low-end drivetrain that I converted to a 105 triple. I also discovered the "secret" that 700x28 or 700x32 tires (which just fit) improve the ride tremendously and give up very little if any on the real-world, real-road performance factor. The bike also came with fender & rack mounts and I put a fixed rack on it.

One innovation that I'll be trying out on a tour next week is that I changed the 30-tooth inner ring for a 24-tooth for added help on the big hills. I have to be a bit careful since I can only use that safely with the inner (larger) 3 or 4 sprockets, but then that's the only time that I expect to really need it!
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Old 08-16-12, 11:26 AM   #16
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Earlier this week I began using the new Pedal Force CX2. It's a great road bike alternative, 98% of the speed but twice the utility. The larger 700x32 tires on the CX2 allow me to enjoy the smoother trails and gravel that are common in the Midwest. I also can just ride across the pot-holed and patched suburban streets without the usual bob-and-weave that is necessary when on a smaller tire.

The added inertia of the wheelset and larger tires does slow acceleration by a small amount, the bike is a little slower to wind up. However the actual overall difference in speed on my usual route is about 2% or about 0.35 mph.

However, the ride quality is exceptional. the bike feels solid and is very responsive, but the tires provide the right amount of suppleness that is very relaxing. If I need to maximize my speed by 2%, I still have a road bike.

The bike will also take fenders and a rear rack. I expect the bike to become my #1 ride.











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Last edited by Barrettscv; 08-16-12 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 08-16-12, 05:02 PM   #17
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You have one very well built bike there, build group parts are well thought out and it looks first rate. Enjoy the ride!

Bill
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Old 08-16-12, 05:31 PM   #18
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Looks like a great ride. Enjoy and be safe.
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Old 08-17-12, 02:22 PM   #19
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You have one very well built bike there, build group parts are well thought out and it looks first rate. Enjoy the ride!

Bill
Thank you, Bill.

The gear range provided by the 50, 36 & 26t chainrings and the 11-32 ten speed cassette is as useful as any road crank and it can provide climbing ratios as as low as a touring triple. I can maintain any speed up to 28mph on the middle chainring, and don't spin-out until 36 mph (gravity assisted) on the big chainring. The small chainring provides fear-no-hill versatility.

I might need to fiddle with the fit and add a longer stem.



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Looks like a great ride. Enjoy and be safe.
Thank you, Phil. Cheers
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 08-17-12 at 03:04 PM.
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