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Soma Riff for gravel / commute bike?

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Soma Riff for gravel / commute bike?

Old 02-02-20, 12:41 PM
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cormacf
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Soma Riff for gravel / commute bike?

Hi, folks. I'm trying to recreate that 1980s rigid MTB feel while building my all-weather, go anywhere, flat bar commuting/touring, bike to complement my Lynskey Sportive, which is now trying to do too many things.

Requirements:
  • 650b (standardizing across all bikes), but NOT plus tires for my commutes. Probably 47mm.
  • 12mm TA fork with rack mounts (I have a dynamo 12mm wheel already)
  • Standover clearance
  • Steel
  • Fenders
  • Probably a rear rack
  • Hydros
  • Will work with either Jones or trekking/butterfly bars
Budget is important, and I also have a 2016 Ghost Kato X6 with a 10-speed XT drivetrain I can cannibalize.

So far, the Soma Riff is the only frame I've found that checks all of these boxes. Lots of things that are close but + only, come with forks but they're 15, are perfect but don't have fender mounts, are designed around drops (which limits a lot of things, like upgrading drive trains and brakes separately, as well as the fact that I miss flat bars for that childhood feel), etc.

I can get a Riff frame for under $500, and a CrMo fork and headset for another $150. I was thinking I could swap over just about everything else to start, then maybe go with a schmany-pants carbon fork with dedicated dynamo routing or a slightly higher-geared crankset or whatever if I ever felt like it, but I don't want this to turn into another "I got a frame for cheap and hung $2000 of new parts on it!" project. This won't be a bar bike, but it will be a Toyota Tacoma through crappy Seattle winters.

Any other suggestions?

Anything terribly wrong with this plan?

Last edited by cormacf; 02-02-20 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 02-03-20, 08:38 AM
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Is the Soma Wolverine's standover too high?
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Old 02-09-20, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by grubetown View Post
Is the Soma Wolverine's standover too high?
No, but I think the top tube is a little short for flat bars (especially trekking bars), so I'd have to put a really long stem on it. If I go with drops, it's pretty similar to my Lynskey, plus I can't swap over the brakes and shifters from my hardtail.
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Old 02-10-20, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cormacf View Post
No, but I think the top tube is a little short for flat bars (especially trekking bars), so I'd have to put a really long stem on it.
True, but.....

Originally Posted by cormacf View Post
I'm trying to recreate that 1980s rigid MTB feel
Up until the late 90s, it was not uncommon to see 135mm stems. Early mtb top tubes were much shorter than modern top tubes.

I think older mtbs actually make better street bikes then modern mtbs due to the more road-like geo. I don’t see the point in a short stem, wide bars, and slacked out head tube angle on a street bike. I would not be surprised if the Wolverine has a geo closer to a 80s-90s rigid mtb than the Riff does.

Edit:looking that the numbers of the Wolverine and some bikes from the 90's, A 54cm Wolveriine has a top tube that was typical of a 17" (Medium) from the 90s.

Last edited by Kapusta; 02-10-20 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 02-14-20, 08:30 AM
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How about a Surly Midnight Special?

The Riff has a very low stack, so you're going to end up with a lot of spacers.
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