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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-14-14, 09:37 AM   #1
nstone
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Alternative to Surly Steamroller?

I built up a steamroller as a warm weather commuter and foul weather training bike about a year ago and I've never been satisfied with the ride quality, handling or fit. I found it twitchy with upright bars and a small load up front (I know it's not really designed for this), sluggish with drops and a fixed cog and far too long in the top tube.

Planning on selling it and switching to something a bit nicer that would fit me better. Any suggestions?

Right now I'm considering the all city nature boy, wabi classic/special or the new soma rush. Anyone have experience with these framesets?

Thanks for the input.
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Old 07-14-14, 02:47 PM   #2
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I built up an On-One Pompino and am pretty happy with the ride. i have not ridden a steamroller though so I can't compare. It does have pretty tight geo though. I get a little toe overlap on a medium
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Old 07-14-14, 02:52 PM   #3
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I'd think the all city big block would be closer than the rush
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Old 07-14-14, 03:00 PM   #4
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How can a bike be both twitchy and sluggish ?
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Old 07-14-14, 03:55 PM   #5
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How can a bike be both twitchy and sluggish ?
Fair question. the bike's handling is twitchy, its response to input is sluggish. With a light load up front, it takes some effort to make the bike hold a line at low speed. This is probably partly because of the bike's steep geometry, and partly because I'm too stretched out on it. As for the sluggishness, at higher speeds, the bike feels soft, resistant to acceleration and heavy. Obviously, this could be a problem with the rider, but I don't have the same issues with my road bike. I'll admit it's an odd combination of characteristics, but I suppose it's a predictable result from building a track bike out of very cheap steel.
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Old 07-14-14, 04:19 PM   #6
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Just built up a Soma Rush off one of the older versions of the frame (don't think geometry has changed much over the years).

Really like it. I was coming off a Redline 925 with too long of a top tube for me and really appreciate the Soma's quicker handling. Wouldn't call it twitchy but definitely quick. It rides really well and the frame has a nice feel to it. I attribute this the better quality, lighter steel but who knows, the geometry is very different.
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Old 07-14-14, 06:50 PM   #7
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Just built up a Soma Rush off one of the older versions of the frame (don't think geometry has changed much over the years).

Really like it. I was coming off a Redline 925 with too long of a top tube for me and really appreciate the Soma's quicker handling. Wouldn't call it twitchy but definitely quick. It rides really well and the frame has a nice feel to it. I attribute this the better quality, lighter steel but who knows, the geometry is very different.

Arent both the rush and surly 4130 chromo?
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Old 07-14-14, 07:02 PM   #8
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Arent both the rush and surly 4130 chromo?
The Surly's 4130, the Rush is Tange Infinity, if memory serves.
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Old 07-14-14, 07:07 PM   #9
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Damn son, I love mine. I would go with the All City Nature Boy though, it seem's like it will suit your needs way better than a Soma Rush.
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Old 07-14-14, 07:32 PM   #10
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The Surly's 4130, the Rush is Tange Infinity, if memory serves.
The Rush frame is Tange Prestige; the forks are Tange Infinity, which is basically ordinary chromoly steel.
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Old 07-14-14, 07:38 PM   #11
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The Rush frame is Tange Prestige; the forks are Tange Infinity, which is basically ordinary chromoly steel.
Prestige, that's it - thank you.

Point being, it's nicer than the steamroller.
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Old 07-14-14, 08:21 PM   #12
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Sounds like you didn't get fitted and needed a size smaller if not minor adjustments made to make it fit, aka stem length, seatpost height and saddle position. A bike(tandems excluded) that is too long could provide that twitchy feeling when on risers due to not having enough weight on the bars. As for the sluggishness while on road drops while running fixed could be as simple as pedal stroke or again fit issues.

If the rush would have been available when I was replacing the 930, I'd be on a rush now instead of a steam roller.
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Old 07-15-14, 08:27 AM   #13
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I find nstone's comments interesting. I'm 6'-0" on a 56cm Steamroller and the bike seemed 'sluggish' to me (just like nstone clarified) until I put a super short (55mm) stem on it and suddenly all was well. I never felt too stretched out with a longer stem but switching from a 90mm to a 55mm stem felt incredible in terms of handling. The standover was fine, and I have a good 5 inches or more of seat post out of the frame. Bike fit is weird sometimes.
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Old 07-16-14, 09:02 PM   #14
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I am 6'1 and ride a 58 cm steam roller with Soma sparrow bars and a 90 mm stem
The bike is heavy but super stable. I can ride with hands for a while.
Bike fit maybe the issue. I have about 20k miles on mine.
Good luck
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Old 07-17-14, 08:18 AM   #15
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I am 6'1 and ride a 58 cm steam roller with Soma sparrow bars and a 90 mm stem
The bike is heavy but super stable. I can ride with hands for a while.
Bike fit maybe the issue. I have about 20k miles on mine.
Good luck
Yeah, the bike definitely doesn't fit me. I'm riding a 59cm and the reach is just too long without a very short stem (which has made handling more of an issue). However, I just don't like the bike enough to buy a 56cm, which I think would be too small for me anyway. I'd rather just find something with a similar seat tube, but a shorter top tube and, ideally, a taller head tube as well.


Anyone know about or ride a Wabi? Would be the cheapest option, but less versatile than the nature boy and less stylish than the rush.
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Old 07-17-14, 07:10 PM   #16
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Be aware of the toe overlap, the shorter the top tube the more toe overlap. There is some on the steam roller that shows up at very slow sharp turns.
scary if don't pay attention.
One of my good friends rides a Wabi classic and loves it. lighter than the roller for sure but less tire clearance.
I think you can only fit 28 mm on it.
Good luck
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