Join Date: May 2011
Location: SF Bay Area + Surrounding Planet
Bikes: Bike Friday, Soma, Fuji, Haro, No_Name...
One Month or so with the SOMA Mini-Velo
I like this bike a lot for city (central San Francisco) traffic. The narrow wheelbase makes it especially agile. And it's fun. Took me a while to dial-in the Shimano Tiagra derailleurs just right, which is probably just due to my own awkwardness with a screwdriver.
A few issues:
- No barrel adjuster on the rear brake (I'm adding an IRD one at the recommendation of SOMA)
- Low pedal clearance is not a big deal unless you have toe clips. Switching to SPD dual pedals. (the bike doesn't come with pedals, but I found my first choice -- toe clips -- had issues)
- The tires... they are 451 Kenda's @65psi. The rims are drilled for Schrader, so I can't share tube supply with my Bike Friday. I have had one flat after another with these tires (doesn't seem to be the rim -- I find side and outer-surface punctures) so am switching to 110psi Duranos, which have been great on the Friday. I'm guessing the designers' intent was more leisurely riding than my 26 mi commute (hence the tour-style Cardiff saddle, too -- which I'm leaving for now).
- The short wheelbase has a downside: the bike can feel a bit front-heavy. If you come off a corner and lean down hard to the front the rear wheel may lift off the ground.