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Somecs

Old 11-01-08, 09:20 PM
  #1  
dealingwithit
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Somecs

Does anyone know where somec frames fall in terms of quality italian bikes?
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Old 11-01-08, 09:31 PM
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top notch. somec is one of my favorite builders.
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Old 11-01-08, 10:46 PM
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they made some frames with lower-end tubing. i have one. it's still a great bike, just heavy.
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Old 11-01-08, 11:12 PM
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Lower? as in non-columbus? Or low-end columbus, if that even exists.
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Old 11-01-08, 11:25 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by dealingwithit View Post
Lower? as in non-columbus? Or low-end columbus, if that even exists.
Oh it exists. See the original Schwinn Madison with Columbus Tenax. I'd also rank Aelle, Gara, and Thron as part of Columbus' "economical" offerings.

Last edited by TNCLR; 11-01-08 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 11-01-08, 11:46 PM
  #6  
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Does this mean anything to anyone?

Low end?
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Old 11-01-08, 11:46 PM
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Should I be bummed that I have a Schwinn with Tenax tubes?
It rides good and seems pretty light, about 4 3/4 pounds for the frame alone.
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Old 11-01-08, 11:49 PM
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PS. This guy was selling a Somec frame on CL. He wanted $350 for it. Seems way high to me.
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Old 11-02-08, 12:29 AM
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SOMEC is the real deal.

Badass machines.
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Old 11-02-08, 10:52 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by tmh657 View Post
PS. This guy was selling a Somec frame on CL. He wanted $350 for it. Seems way high to me.
In the Bay Area, $350 for a Somec is a good deal.
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Old 11-02-08, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TNCLR View Post
In the Bay Area, $350 for a Somec is a good deal.
Hmmm, I was going on my experience of buying a early nineties Pinarello frame with head set and crank for $250 so $350 seemed high considering paint condition.
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Old 11-02-08, 11:09 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by tmh657 View Post
Should I be bummed that I have a Schwinn with Tenax tubes?
It rides good and seems pretty light, about 4 3/4 pounds for the frame alone.
No, not necessarily. Tenax was made from the factory seconds of the heavy duty PS(?) tubing. Definitely not the lightest tubing Columbus ever made, but certainly good for an entry level track bike like the Madison.
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Old 11-02-08, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by TNCLR View Post
No, not necessarily. Tenax was made from the factory seconds of the heavy duty PS(?) tubing. Definitely not the lightest tubing Columbus ever made, but certainly good for an entry level track bike like the Madison.
That's good to hear. This is the work in progress '88 Schwinn
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Old 11-02-08, 12:45 PM
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I had a SOMEC for a minute. I bought it on an impulse because it was very cheap. I sold it because it didn't quite fit me, and because I wanted an aluminum track bike for the track season. The tubing was probably Columbus Aelle, which, as TNCLR said, was on the low end of Columbus's spectrum of tubing. It doesn't mean it makes for a bad or low-quality frame, however. My SOMEC was a lovely bike - fully chromed beneath the paint, lots of nice little flourishes here and there, those sweet pencil seatstays, the pantographed fork crown, and with a curious full-Miche group possibly from the early nineties. The prior owner had touched up scratches and chips in the paint with nailpolish, which I didn't like - I would have preferred the spots of chrome shining through. The PO also hung it on his wall for about twelve years where it accumulated dust, crap and crud, thickened black grease - you know, the result of a decade and more of constant indoor cigar smoking. I spent hours cleaning it - you wouldn't believe how much effort it took. Even after a lot of scrubbing, cleaning, polishing, wiping, et cetera, it still smelled like twelve year old cigar smoke. The metal smelled like smoke. Anyway, I got it nice and clean and then got it damn messy doing reconnaissance for Sludgement Day. It was effin' great.

I recently saw it sitting in a local bike shop - the new owner was waiting on some new drop bars, a cross lever, and new pedals. It was nice to see it. I was fond of that thing for the few weeks I had it.

BEFORE:


AFTER:



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Old 11-02-08, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TNCLR View Post
Oh it exists. See the original Schwinn Madison with Columbus Tenax. I'd also rank Aelle, Gara, and Thron as part of Columbus' "economical" offerings.
true that. gara and aelle aren't even butted..
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Old 11-02-08, 02:02 PM
  #16  
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Ultimate Somec:

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Old 11-02-08, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dealingwithit View Post
Lower? as in non-columbus? Or low-end columbus, if that even exists.
mine is columbus aelle (straight gauge).

queerpunk, mine has the same pantographed fork crown. do you have any pictures of the lug cutouts from that bike? mine has a different shape than the somec cutouts i've seen in pictures online. mine is also chromed under the paint and looks similar to yours, though it's a road bike.
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Old 11-02-08, 03:57 PM
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yup - cute little hearts. When I got the bike they were filled with black grit and grime. It was so much work cleaning them out. Toothpicks, q-tips, and various brushes couldn't do the trick. Just plain old tenacity got all that crap out.



I like this picture cause you can see the chrome shining through a chip in the paint, where the PO's brake cable wore it away. You can also see spots that were poorly touched up. I thought about trying to remove the nailpolish touchups and have lots of lovely little paintchips with the chrome shining from underneath. Alas.

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Old 11-02-08, 10:52 PM
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yeah, my bike has the same lug cutouts. here's a picture (most of the components are obviously not original):

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Old 11-03-08, 12:58 AM
  #20  
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At what point did they stop doing the tulip cut-outs and start doing the heart cut-outs.
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Old 11-03-08, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by dealingwithit View Post
At what point did they stop doing the tulip cut-outs and start doing the heart cut-outs.
They've always done the tulip cut-outs AFAIK. Those lugs with the "hearts" were used by many different builders.
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Old 11-03-08, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by TNCLR View Post
They've always done the tulip cut-outs AFAIK. Those lugs with the "hearts" were used by many different builders.
Queerpunk's somec confused me.
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Old 11-03-08, 08:16 AM
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SOMEC isn't so much a single builder as it is a collective/cooperative of builders operating under a common brand and to a set standard. That was much moreso true back when all their bikes were steel as opposed to nowadays in the age of carbon fiber made by a Taiwanese factory to SOMEC's spec.

Every SOMEC from that era is different. All were made to order. Some SOMEC members were a little more ornately-inclined than others, which is why some have cutouts in every lug, with every lug point thinned down; and others were more "form over function" guys and didn't bother with outrageous paint jobs and cosmetic touches. The last factor, of course, was the wishes of the customer himself.

What all SOMECs do have in common is a construction quality second to none. A that time, when an Italian bike was not only being gorgeous and gave a great ride, but also usually had poorly applied paint and decals, obvious file marks, gaps in the brazing, and its frame was delivered terribly misaligned. SOMEC decided to forcibly buck that trend by having all the things the Italians were known and beloved for, but also be perfect in their execution.

Now, track frames would probably have been built with something from the "lower" or heavier end of Columbus' spectrum anyway, because the top-end superlight Columbus tubesets of that time were not really strong enough to make for good sprinters' bikes.
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Old 11-03-08, 09:20 AM
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trelhak, post yours
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Old 11-03-08, 11:04 AM
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pics or it didn't happen, eh?
Mine's a roadbike so inappropriate for this subforum, but here you go. Yellow is how I found it. Red and black is how I brought it back to life. Columbus EL tubing. 18 pounds even with the steel fork and the boat anchor saddle.
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