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  1. #1
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Soma Grand Randonneur

    "Our Grand Randonneur is a true low trail geometry randonneuring frame set, which means it rides better with a front load than other touring and road bikes. Co-designed with Mike Kone of Rene Herse/Boulder Bicycles. It will fit all the gadgets a good rando bike should have. The traditional diameter tubes lend a smooth comfortable ride."

    http://www.somafab.com/archives/prod...neur-frame-set

    Interesting, the quality of my Soma Stanyan is very good. I'd but another Soma without qualms.
    A relatively inexpensive frameset to see what all the 650B shouting is about.

    -Bandera
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    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I am seriously considering this frame, it looks like a great option.
    2013 CAAD 10

  3. #3
    Senior Member carfart's Avatar
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    I ordered the smallest and should get it in a couple weeks. I wavered for a while between choosing the 49.5 and 52, since I normally ride 51cm frames, so I hope the fit will be alright. My biggest issue with going smaller is that the head tube gets too short for taller stems, so I'm glad they designed this with the sloping top tube.

  4. #4
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carfart View Post
    I ordered the smallest and should get it in a couple weeks.
    Cool, post pics of the build please.
    What wheels are you going with?

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  5. #5
    Senior Member carfart's Avatar
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    Velocity A23 rims with a Son dynamo hub and WI rear hub, the same wheelset that I've been using on my Polyvalent build.

  6. #6
    Senior Member john hawrylak's Avatar
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    I understand there was a problem with the crown race seat requiring a JIS crown race(27.0mm) instead of a ISO seat which takes a 26.4 ISO crown race. Go to their STORE, then go to frames and pickt he GR and read
    "NOTE: First production has a error with the fork's crown race interface. It fits JIS(27.0) 1" threaded headsets, not the more popular ISO (26.4mm). If you think you are OK with a JIS headset (http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/heads...eaded-jis.html) go ahead and purchase, but if not please wait for the next batch. Thanks.

    I do not believe there is a JIS roller bearing HS in production. Crown seat facing is possible to convert the seat to ISO. Reaming the head tube to open up to ISO 30.0 +/-0.1 mm dimension is possible.
    John Hawrylak
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    1975 Schwinn Voyageur II
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  7. #7
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john hawrylak View Post
    If you think you are OK with a JIS headset (http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/heads...eaded-jis.html) go ahead and purchase, but if not please wait for the next batch.
    Thank you, No.

    As an old PMP I've seen failures in project management, asking customers to purchase the result of one "If you think you are OK" or "please wait for the next batch" is simply appalling.

    I've been a satisfied Soma customer, not anymore if their process is out of control.

    -Bandera
    Last edited by Bandera; 11-02-13 at 07:30 PM.
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  8. #8
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    I would not fool around with one of these if no roller bearing HSs are available. Having the option to install a roller bearing hs is one of the essential anti-shimmy voodoo techniques.

    I'm still waiting for a cheap, good low trail frame to come out... until then I'm dreaming of the day i can afford a boulder or custom Elephant. : )

  9. #9
    This is Shangri La MTBMaven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mander View Post
    I'm still waiting for a cheap, good low trail frame to come out... until then I'm dreaming of the day i can afford a boulder or custom Elephant. : )
    What about Rawlands? I've been spending a good bit of time checking out Sean's stuff lately. $725 for frame and fork. Not sure if that equals cheap for you but the other criteria are met (i.e. good and low trail).
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  10. #10
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    The Rawlands do look fairly nice, although from what i hear, Rawland has the same kind of problems as Soma with iffy tolerances on things like brake bridges (basically because the offshore framebuilder aims for +-5 mm tolerances the 57mm reach brakes are not maxed out on some of their frames, leading to less-than-superduper fender and tire clearance). And an angry bike nerd i know complained a lot about the rear drivside dropout design being breakable. Finally, I am not wild about the celtic tramp stamp on the seat tube. I'd ride one for sure and get a used one if the price was right but am still holding out for a boulder.

    Take this for what it is though---2nd or third hand hearsay---do your own research and make your own decisions. I'm only saying it because you asked.
    Last edited by mander; 11-03-13 at 12:10 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member john hawrylak's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if the headtube is bored to ISO standard (29.9 to 30.1mm) or the JIS stnadard (29.75 to 29.9). The Harris Cycley reference states Harris has never had a problem pressing ISO cups into a Head Tube bored to smaller ID JIS standard. I can see pressing the larger OD cup into the head tube. However, pressing a ISO crown race on a JIS seat wuld likley fracture the crown race by over expanding hardened steel.

    It would be nice if Soma stated if the entire steerer/headtube was JIS or just the crown race seat.
    John Hawrylak
    Woodstown NJ

    1975 Schwinn Voyageur II
    1988 Schwinn Voyageur

  12. #12
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    This may be a silly question but, why would anyone bother with something that wasn't manufactured correctly (or they way you want it) in the first place? I'd save my pennies and buy something made right. Are they giving a discount or do some of you just like to tinker? There are so many good frames out there, I don't see the point.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  13. #13
    Randomhead
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    I think none of the smaller importers of frames really can ever have their processes under control. Quality had at least one fork recall due to incorrect fork blades being used. Wonder if that's why they are talking about making some of their own frames

  14. #14
    Senior Member john hawrylak's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Homeyba;16216566]This may be a silly question but, why would anyone bother with something that wasn't manufactured correctly ..."

    Homeyba has a good point. However, the crown race seat on the steerer can be faced (metal removed) to accept an ISO crown race (smaller inner diameter) using a standard Park tool. The head tube ends can be reamed (enlarged) to accept the larger diameter ISO cups again using a standard Park tool. The cost is minimal, less than $75 at a knowledgeable bike shop, so modifying the existing frame is reasonable.
    John Hawrylak
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    1975 Schwinn Voyageur II
    1988 Schwinn Voyageur

  15. #15
    Senior Member john hawrylak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I think none of the smaller importers of frames really can ever have their processes under control. Quality had at least one fork recall due to incorrect fork blades being used. Wonder if that's why they are talking about making some of their own frames
    One also wonders why Soma did NOT see this problem when they prototyped the frames and hopefully built them up.

    Unterhausen, your concern on QC echoes to the Kogswell problem with incorrect tubing being used by the frame builder.
    John Hawrylak
    Woodstown NJ

    1975 Schwinn Voyageur II
    1988 Schwinn Voyageur

  16. #16
    Randomhead
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    I don't remember anything about the Kogswell regarding tubing, but I do remember them getting forks that were 1" too long. It seems like a good idea to go to Taiwanese vendors and buy a container of frames until it bites you. I didn't know anyone still used the JIS headset standard, that was always annoying to work with

  17. #17
    Senior Member carfart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    This may be a silly question but, why would anyone bother with something that wasn't manufactured correctly (or they way you want it) in the first place? I'd save my pennies and buy something made right. Are they giving a discount or do some of you just like to tinker? There are so many good frames out there, I don't see the point.
    I pre-ordered through a shop and had no idea until I received the frame along with the extra crown race. I'm using a 1" Tange headset with cage bearings.

    I keep running into problems with my component selection so I haven't had a chance to actually ride it yet. Really my biggest gripe so far is that it doesn't have a mounting plate for fenders on the underside of the fork. I really ****ing hate having to use a daruma. I'm going to have find someone who can cut it down to the right length so that it doesn't stick out under the fender to within a few mm from my tire tread. I don't know why they'd leave such a detail out on bike that's supposed to fender friendly.

  18. #18
    Randomhead
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    they gotta screw up something so that custom builders still have a chance. Actually, my bike doesn't have a plate there either. I was in a hurry and didn't get around to it in time. Not sure I would expect it on a production bike, are there any similar bikes with a plate there?

  19. #19
    Senior Member carfart's Avatar
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    The VO Polyvalent and Campeur forks have fender bosses.

    Edit: I think I'll see if I can get a 1" star nut in there.
    Last edited by carfart; 11-04-13 at 08:24 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carfart View Post
    I pre-ordered through a shop and had no idea until I received the frame along with the extra crown race. I'm using a 1" Tange headset with cage bearings.

    I keep running into problems with my component selection so I haven't had a chance to actually ride it yet....
    I think I would have just sent the thing back. Anyway, you got it now I suppose so I wish you the best of luck with it.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by carfart View Post
    I'm going to have find someone who can cut it down to the right length so that it doesn't stick out under the fender to within a few mm from my tire tread. .
    You can do this yourself. It's very easy to cut a few mm off the end of a bolt. You need a hack saw for the messy stuff and a die (m6, Id guess, but do check---or just spring for a cheap metric tap and die set) to clean up the threads. The die might cost $8-15 depending on where you shop and how nice of one you get. In general a tap and die set is a very empowering thing.

  22. #22
    Senior Member carfart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    I think I would have just sent the thing back. Anyway, you got it now I suppose so I wish you the best of luck with it.
    Maybe I should. I can't even fit 52mm fenders between the seat stays. If as a 650b frame it doesn't solve the inconveniences of my other frames then I have no reason to keep it. I could instead just do a 650B build on my '83 Trek 700 frame. Really the only reason I've been on the hunt for a new one is to get something that feels a bit sportier than my Polyvalent while keeping a lot of the build conveniences. I think I'd like get that $500 back and just pay more for a custom frame with all the features that I want.

  23. #23
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm too much of a DIYer, but I don't see what the big deal is about the headset -- they freely admit the goof on their website, and suitable parts are available and cheap.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  24. #24
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    Maybe I'm too much of a DIYer, but I don't see what the big deal is about the headset -- they freely admit the goof on their website, and suitable parts are available and cheap.
    I'm a "DIYer" myself but if I spend $500 on a frame I expect it to be right. If I bought a frame knowing it had those issues, that'd be something different. Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  25. #25
    Randomhead
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    I looked up the dimensions, and it looks like it could be modified to fit a real headset, so Soma should just have that done. I guess paying a shop rat what it's worth is too much of an investment.

    You don't have to have a die to cut a bolt down to size, just run the nut past where you want to cut it. After you cut, the nut straightens out the thread. Of course, you can use a rotary tool to grind the end of the threads back to shape, that's what gets distorted.

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