Soma Fabrications: beyond OEM or just a paint job
I'm new to this forum so an answer to this query may be in the archives (I have not searched it very deeply). So, apologies in advance for any waste of bandwidth.
For heavy-load touring and "grocery commuting", I'm looking for something both durable and reliable. I'll probably have to DIY the thing a bit because none of the pre-built commercial bikes I've found fits these criteria AND are cost effective.
With these criteria in mind, I went Internetting ... I've, hence, seen several refs to Soma Fabr. frames and forks. A quick browse thru their web site yields the fact that Soma sources its frame tubing/componenets -- maybe even pre-built frames and forks -- from East Asian OEM manuf. Tange.
A quick look at Tange frames/forks and those put out by Soma reveal close similarities. In fact, often, I can't really tell them apart, other than by paint and graphics. This prompts one to ask ... is Soma really putting out their OWN (in-house designed) frames/forks using Tange tubes and frame/fork components (maybe custom-built to Soma "specs") ... or is it just Tange OEM with a unique, but unspectacular, paint/graphics job?