Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Framebuilders
Reload this Page >

Soma Buena Vista vs. Rivendell Betty Foy

Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

Soma Buena Vista vs. Rivendell Betty Foy

Old 05-08-13, 02:54 PM
  #1  
Amazonia
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Soma Buena Vista vs. Rivendell Betty Foy

I really didn't know what other forum to post this question so I thought the folk who make frames would know best...

I posted parts of this in General but it was more directed at component questions and less about frames. My style of riding - to use walking as an analogy - would be that I walk with purpose. I do not amble, and I do not run (I used to ride drops on the roads for competitive 'fun' so I know what that is like; I am just not there anymore). I can walk pretty fast and pretty far but it is for a purpose, not just 'cause. I occasionally take scenic rides) but I mostly bike for transportation for errands and to visit friends, go to the movies, etc.

I am craving a mixte frame bike. I currently have a Terry Valkyrie Commute but I am tall (5'10" 35" inseam), so the seat is pretty high up and I would like the option of not swinging my leg over it all the time so if I put my dog on the back, I don't behead him.

I found the Buena Vista and Betty Foy online and they look like possibilities but I have no idea how their different geometries will manifest in a finished bike. Are their other options? Since I am tall the frame needs to come in a large enough size. The difference is not insignificant.

My wish list:

1. Shifters that have numbers. I am dyslexic so gears have always been confusing for me as my brain processes things like that in reverse but my mind sees things frontwards (hard to explain if you haven't lived it). I am drawn to the twist shifters but am not opposed to other ideas. I would think 8 speeds would be sufficient and I would shy away from more as it only makes it more complicated.
2. I love steel frames. Ideas on other bikes or frames?
3. I know it is a potentially controversial topic but what manufacturers are known for what? SRAM, Shimano, Suntour, etc.
4. I had a bike with disc brakes before and liked them. Is it possible to convert to them afterwards?
5. I love the idea of internal hubs.

I would love a resource that explains how bikes go together and what variations in the parts do and why someone who select one over the other. I have always loved bikes and owned a ridiculous number of them in my life but have never really understood the relationship between certain aspects of geometry, what benefit component variations have, etc. I would love to build a bike up with a shop. Kind of learn as you go. Are there places that do this with customers? I am in Silicon Valley.

BTW, I love bikes and bike frame builders are to me very.... interesting. It is the intersection of creativity, engineering, and artistry to a practical end.
Amazonia is offline  
Old 05-08-13, 04:28 PM
  #2  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 6,058

Bikes: 90/91 De Rosa, '84 Team Miyata, '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
here is my quick take in general, as always with forums my opinions, ymmv

I am not expert in geometry, but eyeball says both are similar.

check out http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/ you will like

Both of these are nice steel frame/fork bikes. Good quality steel and builds, both companies have good reps

Rivendell is 'fancier' with really nice lugs

$500 or so for the buena vista frame $1225

Buena vista is more traditional mixte with twin top tubes

Rivendell will take up to 40 mm tires Buena Vista 32 mm or so

The Buena Vistas is 1 1/8 threadless stem and the betty Foy is classic Quill stem....if the aesthetics of stems are a concern

Disc brake, possible to retrofit, but really expensive ..... just get good dual piviot brakes.


don't worry about numbers on shifters...grip shifters just die anway. Just listen to your body...if you are pushing hard shift so that your are not pushing as hard

I reccomend going retro, especially with a 1x8/9 setup (which is a great setup) and use a friction thumbshifter. Shifts are smooth and effortless with a modern ramp tooth cassette. If you are not sure where you are you look at the chain on the cassette, but you legs will tell you soon once you pedal

IGH looks possible with the buena Vista based on the type of rear dropout it has. Betty foy would need a tensioner.

Both look to have all the needed eyelets/attachment points etc. for fenders, racks etc so you can be very purposeful.

You can look at Rivendell www.rivbike.com for an idea of about how to build the bike and Velo Orange is a good source http://store.velo-orange.com/


sounds like a really fun project.

also check out classic and vintage for ideas input
__________________
Looking for Team Miyata F&F 58cm
squirtdad is offline  
Old 05-08-13, 07:39 PM
  #3  
Amazonia
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks, I actually got both of the frames from Lovely Bike;-). I asked on her blog the difference but did not hear back. I can drive to both Soma and Rivendell so I am pretty lucky. I am trying not to go look because then it will all be downhill for me;-). But I think I will go in the next week or so.

I appreciate your suggestions about gear shifting but it doesn't work that way for me. I have ridden bikes for 35+ years and still have the problem. In fact, as I get older, it is getting worse because my coping skills are not as elastic as they were when I was younger. Looking at the gear and cranks doesn't help. Suffice to say, I need numbers. I don't care how many slashes or lines something has, it has to have numbers. Sure, I know WHEN to shift, I will just shift the wrong way first 80% of the time. You'd think it's be close to 50/50 but it's not!

Thanks for the suggestion to get over disc brakes. I like Rivendell's frame, I just don't understand why it is made in Taiwan and Soma's is made in USA. Is there any advantage/disadvantage to the twin top tubes? The Betty Foy seems like it might be a bit more flexible? I want a ride that is fun, fast for what it is, reasonably nimble, and practical. Pavement and some dirt roads.
Amazonia is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 09:00 AM
  #4  
tuz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Toronto/Montréal
Posts: 1,193

Bikes: Homemade mixte, track, commuter and road, Ryffranck road

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The Betty Foy mixte design is stronger and more rigid (a single 1" top tube is stronger than twin 1/2" laterals). I doubt the Soma is made in the US? The geometries are quite different. The Rivendell has slacker angles, a longer top tube and 650b wheels.

The longer top tube is better if you want to use swept-back or flat bars. The 650b wheel size allows for bigger tires that can be harder to source but are more comfy. Conversely, you can use drop bars on a shorter TT without a stubby stem.

Rapid-fire shifters have numbers, but the triggers' movement might not be consistent (I don't remember). Some old (7sp) thumbshifters have marks for the rear gears, but no numbers. That leaves only grip-shifts I think. There are some adapters to use thumshifters on drops but not the others.

Last edited by tuz; 05-09-13 at 09:50 AM.
tuz is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 09:39 AM
  #5  
ksisler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,720
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Recommend a careful review of this thread.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ilding-a-Mixte

I took a short ride along last week with a gent passing through from Kansas City heading to the East coast. He had a mixte that was huge... probably equivalent to a 25 inch frame. It had every imaginable braze-on, 650B tires, tan leather bags, cantilevers, etc. He was running an IGH 8 speed with a twist grip that had real numbers on it, so they must exist. He also had a dynohub up front w/ really nice LED lighting from L&M with a battery system for USB and 1/8" power jacks to plug in his GPS and i-Phone. It all looked way beyond awesome, sort of what a well heeled Brit might have custom build for him. Unfortunately in the 30 minutes riding along, spent most of the time talking about the BBQ joints in KC rather than get enough detail from him on the bike so I could order one... apologies there.

The reason I first referred you to the URL above is that it covers a build that is very close to the bike I witnessed. If you could get that builder to torch you up a similar frame, you would be in a very good place indeed.

/K
ksisler is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 09:44 AM
  #6  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 6,058

Bikes: 90/91 De Rosa, '84 Team Miyata, '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Soma frames are made in Taiwan also. The twin top tubes are a traditional look. The Betty Foy is a much 'nicer' frame in terms of lugs and details, if that is something you care about. It is also more expensive. Calling or taking a visit is probably long term a good thing, if a temptation can be controlled

I understand what you are saying about the shifting, you know what works for you.....but because I am curious let me ask a question: Would a graphic indicator like an arrow on the handle bar pointing to harder/faster or easir/slower work? or mental image ...ie push forward to go uphill pull back go down hill work? It appears you are in the bay area....if you are any where close to San Jose, you could try a 1x8 thumbshifter set up that I have on my commuter.
__________________
Looking for Team Miyata F&F 58cm
squirtdad is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 12:04 PM
  #7  
Amazonia
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
Soma frames are made in Taiwan also.

As soon as I posted that, I knew it was wrong. I have no idea where that thought came from. My Terry has a Waterford frame and I dearly respect Made in USA.

I understand what you are saying about the shifting, you know what works for you.....but because I am curious let me ask a question: Would a graphic indicator like an arrow on the handle bar pointing to harder/faster or easir/slower work? or mental image ...ie push forward to go uphill pull back go down hill work? It appears you are in the bay area....if you are any where close to San Jose, you could try a 1x8 thumbshifter set up that I have on my commuter.
Yes, arrows would help. On my current bike, I have whatever the sort of shifter you climb with your thumb and slacken with your forefinger is called. The mnemonic I use is that the thumb is the strong finger so it is for the 'heavy lifting=harder pedaling'. But with three gears on one side and 7 or 8 or 9 on the other, it is too much. When I used to take dance classes, my teacher took a sharpie pen and wrote a big 'R' and 'L' on the toes of pretty white jazz shoes. And so it goes.

Yup, I am in Cupertino and in SJ a lot! In fact, Willow Glen Bicycles is a place I want to poke my head to see if that is a place for some build work.

I like 'nice' but I am not all squiggles and giggles. I like practical done well. Thoughtful design with perfect execution but not into frills (I don't consider a charging mechanism for an iPhone a frill;-)).
Amazonia is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 12:05 PM
  #8  
Amazonia
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
Recommend a careful review of this thread.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ilding-a-Mixte

I took a short ride along last week with a gent passing through from Kansas City heading to the East coast. He had a mixte that was huge... probably equivalent to a 25 inch frame. It had every imaginable braze-on, 650B tires, tan leather bags, cantilevers, etc. He was running an IGH 8 speed with a twist grip that had real numbers on it, so they must exist. He also had a dynohub up front w/ really nice LED lighting from L&M with a battery system for USB and 1/8" power jacks to plug in his GPS and i-Phone. It all looked way beyond awesome, sort of what a well heeled Brit might have custom build for him. Unfortunately in the 30 minutes riding along, spent most of the time talking about the BBQ joints in KC rather than get enough detail from him on the bike so I could order one... apologies there.

The reason I first referred you to the URL above is that it covers a build that is very close to the bike I witnessed. If you could get that builder to torch you up a similar frame, you would be in a very good place indeed.

/K
Sounds like the holy grail in my bike dreams! Why 650 tires instead of 700?
Amazonia is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 12:18 PM
  #9  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 6,058

Bikes: 90/91 De Rosa, '84 Team Miyata, '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Amazonia View Post
Yes, arrows would help. On my current bike, I have whatever the sort of shifter you climb with your thumb and slacken with your forefinger is called. The mnemonic I use is that the thumb is the strong finger so it is for the 'heavy lifting=harder pedaling'. But with three gears on one side and 7 or 8 or 9 on the other, it is too much. When I used to take dance classes, my teacher took a sharpie pen and wrote a big 'R' and 'L' on the toes of pretty white jazz shoes. And so it goes.

Yup, I am in Cupertino and in SJ a lot! In fact, Willow Glen Bicycles is a place I want to poke my head to see if that is a place for some build work.

I like 'nice' but I am not all squiggles and giggles. I like practical done well. Thoughtful design with perfect execution but not into frills (I don't consider a charging mechanism for an iPhone a frill;-)).
If you go to a 1x8/9 setup you have eliminated the left side (front derailer) of the equation and minimized confustion as the left side works in reverse of the right....

Willow glen bikes is a great shop. What you are trying to do something they would be really helpful with. I bring them Fat Tire ale every Christmas.

work at union/85 so not far from cupertino
__________________
Looking for Team Miyata F&F 58cm
squirtdad is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 12:19 PM
  #10  
Amazonia
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tuz View Post
The Betty Foy mixte design is stronger and more rigid (a single 1" top tube is stronger than twin 1/2" laterals). I doubt the Soma is made in the US? The geometries are quite different. The Rivendell has slacker angles, a longer top tube and 650b wheels.

The longer top tube is better if you want to use swept-back or flat bars. The 650b wheel size allows for bigger tires that can be harder to source but are more comfy. Conversely, you can use drop bars on a shorter TT without a stubby stem.

Rapid-fire shifters have numbers, but the triggers' movement might not be consistent (I don't remember). Some old (7sp) thumbshifters have marks for the rear gears, but no numbers. That leaves only grip-shifts I think. There are some adapters to use thumshifters on drops but not the others.
This is great info! What do slacker angles translate into as far as the feel/ride goes? Yes, I have no idea where I got the idea that the BV was made here but I was questioning it right away but did not locate the information immediately and it annoys me no end when company's are not upfront and obvious about country of origin. Riv is very good about that and my one conversation with the owner Grant was really nice. Why 650 not 700 tires?

The biggest problem I tend to have with bike set up is having to adjust for having long legs, especially long thighs but an average body length and average long arms. The seat tends to be too high for the handlebars so then I get into mickey fickey adjustments. Since there is so much length in my thigh, the seat has to be really far back and then my arms can't reach comfortably. My ideal at this stage is to have a fairly upright posture and has handlebars that can work with that. I know there are some handling considerations around not having too long of a handlebar stem. The one bike I had that fit really well was a Trek Pilot 5.0 in the days when they made a 57cm frame. But that was a drop bar road bike so everything was different. It was my first women's bike. The other issue with needing a bike that is tall and short (relatively speaking) is that then you get toe overlap. I would love not have that....

Last edited by Amazonia; 05-09-13 at 12:22 PM. Reason: wording issue
Amazonia is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 12:32 PM
  #11  
Amazonia
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
Recommend a careful review of this thread.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ilding-a-Mixte


/K
Yes, I saw this thread. I couldn't read through it right away because I am the woman who would love to have had a frame builder kinda guy;-). I would never have said anything about wasting time or money on bicycles! Don't get me wrong, love my beau but he is still riding - extremely rarely - his 1980-something Trek bike and while his father was a mechanical engineer, he is a quantum physicist who teaches business and I can't be around him if he tries to fix anything. Not a pretty site. I'll follow the thread as an education for my bike-to-be.
Amazonia is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 12:41 PM
  #12  
tuz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Toronto/Montréal
Posts: 1,193

Bikes: Homemade mixte, track, commuter and road, Ryffranck road

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's hard to give fitting advice over the internet, sorry. I have no experience with either businesses but Rivendell has a distinct philosophy on fitting which may or may not suit you, but they are honest about it (just like the manufacturing origin of their products). It would be worthwhile to discuss with them. Both frames can accept an upright position (i.e. back-sweeping bars), but personally I'd go with a longer top tube. You can always adjust the stem length, but with swept-back bars you can quickly get to a cramped position. There is also less toe-overlap. It think the head angle of the Rivendell is a bit slack (70*), but I'm sure it's fine. The seat angle of the Riv. makes more sense to me (72*). The Soma is 72x74 head x seat.

PS. I just finished building a mixte, it's 56x60, 72x72*, with large (26") tires... a bit like the Betty Foy! Unknowingly...

Last edited by tuz; 05-09-13 at 12:47 PM.
tuz is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 01:45 PM
  #13  
ksisler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,720
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Amazonia View Post
Yes, I saw this thread. I couldn't read through it right away because I am the woman who would love to have had a frame builder kinda guy;-). I would never have said anything about wasting time or money on bicycles! Don't get me wrong, love my beau but he is still riding - extremely rarely - his 1980-something Trek bike and while his father was a mechanical engineer, he is a quantum physicist who teaches business and I can't be around him if he tries to fix anything. Not a pretty site. I'll follow the thread as an education for my bike-to-be.
Amazonia; Maybe time for a tandem in your life? ...ah, didn't mean that to sound creepy. Was meaning a two seat bike! It might not end up being the right answer for you, but as some famous riders have quoted "riding a tandem together will get your relationship to where it is headed anyway faster than any other method" or something like that. If you can bring the wrenching skills then there is hope!

/K
ksisler is offline  
Old 05-09-13, 02:05 PM
  #14  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,481

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6725 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 141 Times in 119 Posts
Set up a Mercian Mixte , built with 531 tube, thing was absolutely noodly. not too tough to torque the headtube
sideways from pulling up on one end of the handlebars .

She had a cheaper one, the bikes tube-set; the tube thicker wall , and it handled that so much better.
but the Mercian was , lighter of course.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-10-13, 11:14 AM
  #15  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 6,058

Bikes: 90/91 De Rosa, '84 Team Miyata, '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
One possible, but expensive solution to the shifting dilemma would be looking into electronic shifting..... ultegra Di2 or possibly shimano Alfine IGH with Di2 shifter.
__________________
Looking for Team Miyata F&F 58cm
squirtdad is offline  
Old 05-10-13, 06:04 PM
  #16  
Smudgemo
Member
 
Smudgemo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rivendell is only a block from my work. Call and ask for Keven. He is one of the nicest guys around, and he has spent plenty of time riding a mixte. I doubt he'll push Riv if something else works better for you. I didn't read all of the replies, but with regards to any special needs, ask him. He's got a lot of great ideas on making bikes useful.
-Ryan
Smudgemo is offline  
Old 05-17-13, 09:22 AM
  #17  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 6,058

Bikes: 90/91 De Rosa, '84 Team Miyata, '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
not a mixte...but maybe the sloping top tube would give enough clearances otherwise steel frame, 11 speed igh with di2 (electric shift with digital gear indicator), disc brakes http://www.joe-bike.com/commuter-bik...op-alfine-di2/
__________________
Looking for Team Miyata F&F 58cm
squirtdad is offline  
Old 05-20-13, 09:27 AM
  #18  
Amazonia
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks; it's a nice bike, reminds me of the cross bike I had for a short while until I realized that ship had sailed for me. Age had made me cautious and less confident (not to mention a dulling of reaction times and few other key factors) and that was a huge hinderance. I have decided (or rather my budget has decided) that I will have to approach this piece meal and I will first 'redress' my Terry bike in components I like (handlebars, brakes and shifters) and then in time I will spring for a custom frame and transfer the components. I still plan to go to Rivendell and ride a Betty Foy, I just haven't had the time. Those may be the components I put on the Terry and I really want to try bar end shifters. I figured out I couldn't use twist shifters on swept back bars (duh) which is what I really need to accommodate overly long thighs (seat is back the maximum allowable) and average arms. Even on woman's bike I have too much forward lean. That is why my Terry is uncomfortable. I have a few more years before a mixte frame becomes a requirement.
Amazonia is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.