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.