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  1. #1
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Feedback on Soma CX forks?

    I'm looking for feedback on the Soma steel cyclocross forks from those with them on a Soma Doublecross or other cross bikes. I recently bought a used Ritchey Breakaway Cross frame that came without the fork, so I need to pick one up. The bike comes standard with a Ritchey Comp Carbon Cross fork, but I generally prefer steel over carbon forks for durability as well as more options for attaching racks, fenders, etc. Plus the steel fork would cost at least half and only weighs a little more.

    http://www.somafab.com/parts/forks

    Soma makes several steel CX forks -- including a lugged CrMO model with slight curve, a straight-blade model and a "classic curve" model. I am leaning toward the lugged CrMO model because I like the way it looks and it has mounts for a front rack. I also like the straight blade model, but it doesn't have mounts for a rack. I'm just wondering if anyone here has any of these forks on their CX bikes, and how well they ride, quality of finish, etc.

    I will be using the bike for commuting, riding on paved and unpaved trails and light touring. No racing.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member yochris's Avatar
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    They are made by Tange so the quality is there. Not the lightest fork on the market but doesn't sound like that matters to you. I had one on my Double Cross before I swapped a it out for a carbon fork for racing. No issue to speak of so I'm sure it would work just fine for you.

    Youd probably be hard pressed to find a better one for 130 bucks.

  3. #3
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Thanks. I went ahead and ordered the Soma lugged fork.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Here's a shot of the Soma steel lugged cross fork on my Ritchey Breakaway Cross. It's a nice riding fork, just what I was looking for, and a great value at $100.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    Here's a shot of the Soma steel lugged cross fork on my Ritchey Breakaway Cross. It's a nice riding fork, just what I was looking for, and a great value at $100.
    Looks really nice.

    Of course, I think it's more than just a "little" bit heavier than the Ritchey fork...
    Good night...and good luck

  6. #6
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
    Looks really nice.

    Of course, I think it's more than just a "little" bit heavier than the Ritchey fork...
    My conception of the importance of component weights changed dramatically after I lost 30 lbs. Suddenly a few grams here and there make no difference in the world to me.

  7. #7
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    My conception of the importance of component weights changed dramatically after I lost 30 lbs. Suddenly a few grams here and there make no difference in the world to me.
    I think I should have put a after my comment. Wasn't meaning anything bad...just that it is more than a "little" heavier.

    Out of curiosity, how much more? The Ritchey is a fairly beefy CF fork at 650 grams.
    Good night...and good luck

  8. #8
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Soma doesn't post the weight of the fork on its website, so I'm not sure. It couldn't be too heavy though since the entire bike as built weighed just at 22 lbs., including pedals, cages, computer, etc. That's right on par with my road bikes with steel forks.

  9. #9
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    I recently bought Ritchey Breakaway cross bikes for myself and my wife. Love the way it rides.
    We too are looking at steel forks, with low rider mounts too so we could mount front panniers for some touring. I'm looking at the Surly Long Haul trucker fork (about $90-100) . It has almost the exact specs as the Ritchey Carbon Comp fork the bikes come with. The stock fork is 391mm axle to crown and 45mm rake. The 700c Surly Long Haul Trucker fork is 390mm axle to crown and 45mm rake. The only bad thing I see is the weight of the steel fork is over 2 lbs (about 1000 grams) but I guess there's no way around that? Anyone else ever mount a steel fork to their Ritchey Breakaway Cross and do some touring? Any adverse effects of the steel fork?

    What I want to do is cut the new fork the same length as the carbon fork, buy another crown race to install on the steel fork, then switch out the stock carbon fork for the steel fork only when we'll be touring.
    Last edited by ct-vt-trekker; 12-05-13 at 08:52 AM.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Soma/Merry Sales and Surly /QBP ,their customer contract, ordering them,
    Taiwan imports, the specs on the Order by the importer would be needed for real details..

    The way around it is of course hiring someone to build, you forks with a thinner wall blade tube,
    and a lighter fork crown..

    then you are the customer and the details can be discussed ..



    back to the common 'which low cost fork to buy' topic..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-06-13 at 12:15 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Number400's Avatar
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    I bought the SOMA CX straight version for a project. The fit and finish is great but it is heavy and heavy duty. I wound up using a different fork so mine is for sale if anyone wants a new but cut one. I put a Cane Creek series 40 crown race on and installed a star nut. I left lots of stem. Sorry to threadjack, contact me via pm if interested.

    Here is a pic of it mounted on an old GT. GTrebuilt.jpg

  12. #12
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    After 6 months of use, I have no regrets about installing the Soma steel lugged cross fork on my Ritchey. It rides and handles really nice, has plenty of clearance for tires and fenders, and has mounts for fenders and a rack. I actually thought about buying another one for a used frame I was considering buying, but the frame required a 1" fork and the Soma is only available in 1-1/8 -- although they have a chrome fork with flat crowns that is available in 1"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    After 6 months of use, I have no regrets about installing the Soma steel lugged cross fork on my Ritchey. It rides and handles really nice, has plenty of clearance for tires and fenders, and has mounts for fenders and a rack. I actually thought about buying another one for a used frame I was considering buying, but the frame required a 1" fork and the Soma is only available in 1-1/8 -- although they have a chrome fork with flat crowns that is available in 1"
    Thanks for the feedback- I bought the Surly Long Haul Trucker fork because it was more readily available and cheaper than the Soma fork. I couldn't find the Soma fork in stock at a good price. Some had only the blue and /or Ivory color but not black.
    When I get it in and have a chance to try it I'll post a review.

    Edit- I received the forks, they look great. Excellent quality and paint! They are loaded with mounting points/threaded eyelet. Two on each dropout, mid fork both sides and a pair on the crown too. I haven't installed them yet. One reason they're heavy is the extreme length of the steering tube, I'll probably take about 5"-6" off.
    Last edited by ct-vt-trekker; 12-09-13 at 06:17 AM.
    2013 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Expert, 2009 Ritchey Breakaway Cross, 2008 Trek T1000 Tandem, 2010 Specialized Tricross Sport, 2006 Trek Madone 5.2, 1995 Specialized Rockhopper A1 FS

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