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Advice on upgrading my Soma Rush?

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Advice on upgrading my Soma Rush?

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Old 12-10-08, 04:05 PM
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palladio
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Advice on upgrading my Soma Rush?

I'm a newbie to the fixed gear world. I usually ride a Specialized S-works CX but recently saw a great deal on a Soma Rush in my size on Craigslist. It was a custom build, practically new, and I was able to pick it up for $400. It's a lot of fun and I'm enjoying riding fixed for a change.

The bike is great overall, but I am getting the "upgrade itch" and wondering what the most cost effective upgrades might be to reduce weight (the bike weighs about 19.5 lbs currently), or improve the ride.

I've thought about adding a carbon fork to reduce weight and improve ride quality, and am considering the Wound Up carbon fork as it seems be one of the only 1" carbon forks with a rake similar to the stock Soma steel fork. This would shave about a pound off the bike, but I'm not sure if carbon would make that big a difference over steel in terms of ride quality.

Are there any upgrades more experienced riders here might recommend? Here's what I have right now:

Soma Rush frame and fork, 58cm
Aheadset C4 headset
Origin 8 pro-fit alloy stem
Nitto alloy risers
Oury grips
Shimano tiagra front brake
Sugino TL crankset, 170mm
SSK Chain
Surly rear cog
Novatec track hubs
Mavic Open Sport rims
Maxxis Re-fuse tires 25cm
MKS track pedals
Alloy seat post (not sure what brand)
Specialized sonoma gel 155 seat

I know it's a slippery slope, but I'm curious what others might upgrade first, if at all. FYI, I'm using the bike for NYC streets and blasts around the park. It's more of a second "fun" bike (The CX is my commuter), so I don't usually ride more than 15-20 miles at a time on it.
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Old 12-10-08, 04:15 PM
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wheels are the first thing i'd upgrade. I've never ridden open sports, but from what I understand they aren't the greatest.
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Old 12-10-08, 04:19 PM
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i just got a rush also. i used to ride on a carbon fork, but i actually find myself preferring the steel fork my rush has right now. i don't think i'm going to switch it out.

19.5 lbs is about right though. i also agree with the above...there's a noticeable difference in ride between heavy, low-end rims and lighter higher-end rims. unfortunately, wheels are also usually the second-most expensive component on your bike. choice is yours.
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Old 12-10-08, 04:29 PM
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we need some photos
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Old 12-10-08, 04:45 PM
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you need some hpsons and some sheriff stars hoshi bladed spokes radial front and nds rear, 2x rear ds.
crecord cranks.
yellow turbo.
mks custom nuevo track pedals.
kashimax doubel straps.
some kind of pursuit bar with drop or some narro risers or ***** bar.
ummm, hmm. lets see what else.
thomspson seatpost with saddle slid all the way forward on the rails and tilted far down.
oh yeha, izumi chain. the expensive one.
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Old 12-10-08, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by DARTHVADER View Post
you need some hpsons and some sheriff stars hoshi bladed spokes radial front and nds rear, 2x rear ds.
crecord cranks.
yellow turbo.
mks custom nuevo track pedals.
kashimax doubel straps.
some kind of pursuit bar with drop or some narro risers or ***** bar.
ummm, hmm. lets see what else.
thomspson seatpost with saddle slid all the way forward on the rails and tilted far down.
oh yeha, izumi chain. the expensive one.

You're a moron!
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Old 12-10-08, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ZiP0082 View Post
we need some photos
Don't have my digital camera with me.
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Old 12-10-08, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DARTHVADER View Post
you need some hpsons and some sheriff stars hoshi bladed spokes radial front and nds rear, 2x rear ds.
crecord cranks.
yellow turbo.
mks custom nuevo track pedals.
kashimax doubel straps.
some kind of pursuit bar with drop or some narro risers or ***** bar.
ummm, hmm. lets see what else.
thomspson seatpost with saddle slid all the way forward on the rails and tilted far down.
oh yeha, izumi chain. the expensive one.
Thanks Darthvader. One question, where can I find a ***** bar? Perhaps you have an extra one in the nightstand next to your bed that you might be willing to sell when you're done with it?
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Old 12-10-08, 05:25 PM
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First, realize that you aren't going to get very much weight off the bike unless you spend a lot and its not going to make a lot of difference anyway.

But, if you have money to burn, I'd start with the wheels. Get some handbuilts, using a low-flange road front hub (with bolt-on skewer if you ride track) butted spokes, and a light/semi-aero rim such as Kinlin (IRD, Speedcific) Niobium 30. Open Pros or Aeroheads are other good options for rims...they are lighter but less aero.

Put fewer spokes in the front (20-28) and more in the rear (24-32), depending on your weight and riding style. Track front hubs are absurdly heavy. The road front hub alone will probably save you more weight than just about any other single component on the bike, other than the frame and fork itself.
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Old 12-10-08, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
First, realize that you aren't going to get very much weight off the bike unless you spend a lot and its not going to make a lot of difference anyway.

But, if you have money to burn, I'd start with the wheels. Get some handbuilts, using a low-flange road front hub (with bolt-on skewer if you ride track) butted spokes, and a light/semi-aero rim such as Kinlin (IRD, Speedcific) Niobium 30. Open Pros or Aeroheads are other good options for rims...they are lighter but less aero.

Put fewer spokes in the front (20-28) and more in the rear (24-32), depending on your weight and riding style. Track front hubs are absurdly heavy. The road front hub alone will probably save you more weight than just about any other single component on the bike, other than the frame and fork itself.
Thanks for the advice. I don't want to burn money and realize that my bike is already pretty light, just wondering if there are any reasonable changes that would make a difference. Sounds like there may not be. My wheels have to be fairly durable as I ride in the city and have to hob curbs, deal with cobblestones, etc. FYI I weigh 185lbs. What if I decided to start by just building a lighter front wheel with better components. Could I do much better and still have a strong enough wheel for curb hopping? Assuming I could, what sort of weight savings per wheel are we talking about?
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Old 12-10-08, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jlin View Post
i just got a rush also. i used to ride on a carbon fork, but i actually find myself preferring the steel fork my rush has right now. i don't think i'm going to switch it out.

19.5 lbs is about right though. i also agree with the above...there's a noticeable difference in ride between heavy, low-end rims and lighter higher-end rims. unfortunately, wheels are also usually the second-most expensive component on your bike. choice is yours.
Why do you prefer the steel fork? Better ride than carbon? From what I can find online, the soma fork is about a pound heavier than a decent carbon fork.
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Old 12-10-08, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by palladio View Post
Thanks for the advice. I don't want to burn money and realize that my bike is already pretty light, just wondering if there are any reasonable changes that would make a difference. Sounds like there may not be. My wheels have to be fairly durable as I ride in the city and have to hob curbs, deal with cobblestones, etc. FYI I weigh 185lbs. What if I decided to start by just building a lighter front wheel with better components. Could I do much better and still have a strong enough wheel for curb hopping? Assuming I could, what sort of weight savings per wheel are we talking about?
You could remove close to a pound with a lighter handbuilt wheel set. I'm 205 and I ride 24 spokes up front and 28 in the rear with no problems and could probably get away with 20/24. Taking out a few spokes doesn't really add up to much, however, so there's no need to skimp. The big weight savings will be in the rims and front hub.

A carbon fork is also a good idea, if its the right geometry for your frame.

The best advice is to research before you buy. Component weight and other specs are readily available on the web. I used to buy parts without really researching. But now I research every part before I buy it...looking at weight and many other factors. Take you time...ride and read a lot, until you develop a good understanding of what sort of upgrades will really improve your ride.

Slowly upgrading a bike is rewarding if done with careful thought, and it doesn't necessarily have to be expensive. If you keep the old parts, you will soon realize that you have enough laying around to build up a beater.
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Old 12-10-08, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
You could remove close to a pound with a lighter handbuilt wheel set. I'm 205 and I ride 24 spokes up front and 28 in the rear with no problems and could probably get away with 20/24. Taking out a few spokes doesn't really add up to much, however, so there's no need to skimp. The big weight savings will be in the rims and front hub.

A carbon fork is also a good idea, if its the right geometry for your frame.

The best advice is to research before you buy. Component weight and other specs are readily available on the web. I used to buy parts without really researching. But now I research every part before I buy it...looking at weight and many other factors. Take you time...ride and read a lot, until you develop a good understanding of what sort of upgrades will really improve your ride.

Slowly upgrading a bike is rewarding if done with careful thought, and it doesn't necessarily have to be expensive. If you keep the old parts, you will soon realize that you have enough laying around to build up a beater.
I'm with you on the research thing. A good idea and part of the fun of it all - doing things bit by bit and learning in the process. I worked in a bike shop as a kid and built lots of custom BMX and Mountain Bikes back in the 80's. I stopped riding for about 15 years so am a complete newbie when it comes to the products that are out there now. I am also totally new to fixed gear, but enjoying getting back into bikes.

So would your wheelset be strong enough to hop curbs (no tricks or anything, just city riding). What wheelset are you running and do you mind if I ask an approximate price for something similar?
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Old 12-10-08, 07:09 PM
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I put a lot of thought into my current wheels before building them, and thinking only of function/cost rather than fashion, this is about the best custom wheelset I can conceive of without blowing wads of cash. I'd be interested in hearing if anyone can build a better pair of FG wheels (intended for road riding) for less money.

Heres the breakdown:

Niobium 30 rims (these are rebranded as IRD, Speedcific and others)
Sapim CX ray spokes (a strongly butted, ovalized spoke) with brass nips in the rear and alu in front
Formula rear track hub (28h) (Stock bearings are super smooth!)
Speedcific Perception front road hub (24h) (made by Formula), with bolt-on skewer

The rear wheel is laced 2x and front is radial. The total weight is just over 1550 grams, and about 500 grams less than my previous wheelset which was based on Surly Hubs (32h-32h) and Mavix CXP rims with straight gauge spokes. In addition to being lighter, these wheels are more aero and feel stiffer.

The cost of parts was close to $320 (bought from oddsandendos.com), but I built them myself, so factor in a little more for labor if you can't build them yourself.

Niobium 30 rims are as deep as a Deep V, but way lighter and have an excellent reputation among roadies for durability. You can take about 100 more grams off the wheelset by using a shallower rim, such as an aerohead or IRD cadence, but the wheel will be slightly less aero and slightly less stiff.

Sapim CX ray spokes are the best spokes you can buy, but you can shave at least $60 off the cost by going with a good butted round spoke such as a Wheelsmith DB14. These will weigh slightly more but will result in a wheel this is as durable.

Most of my riding is fast road riding, and these wheels have taken plenty of curbs, speedbumps potholes etc. I've never had to retrue them. I have a similar pair of roadbike wheels with the same rims and spokes that have held up as well. If you ride really harshly, adding a few more spokes (say 28 in front and 32 in the rear) isn't a huge weight penalty.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-10-08, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
I put a lot of thought into my current wheels before building them, and thinking only of function/cost rather than fashion, this is about the best custom wheelset I can conceive of without blowing wads of cash. I'd be interested in hearing if anyone can build a better pair of FG wheels (intended for road riding) for less money.

Heres the breakdown:

Niobium 30 rims (these are rebranded as IRD, Speedcific and others)
Sapim CX ray spokes (a strongly butted, ovalized spoke) with brass nips in the rear and alu in front
Formula rear track hub (28h) (Stock bearings are super smooth!)
Speedcific Perception front road hub (24h) (made by Formula), with bolt-on skewer

The rear wheel is laced 2x and front is radial. The total weight is just over 1550 grams, and about 500 grams less than my previous wheelset which was based on Surly Hubs (32h-32h) and Mavix CXP rims with straight gauge spokes. In addition to being lighter, these wheels are more aero and feel stiffer.

The cost of parts was close to $320 (bought from oddsandendos.com), but I built them myself, so factor in a little more for labor if you can't build them yourself.

Niobium 30 rims are as deep as a Deep V, but way lighter and have an excellent reputation among roadies for durability. You can take about 100 more grams off the wheelset by using a shallower rim, such as an aerohead or IRD cadence, but the wheel will be slightly less aero and slightly less stiff.

Sapim CX ray spokes are the best spokes you can buy, but you can shave at least $60 off the cost by going with a good butted round spoke such as a Wheelsmith DB14. These will weigh slightly more but will result in a wheel this is as durable.

Most of my riding is fast road riding, and these wheels have taken plenty of curbs, speedbumps potholes etc. I've never had to retrue them. I have a similar pair of roadbike wheels with the same rims and spokes that have held up as well. If you ride really harshly, adding a few more spokes (say 28 in front and 32 in the rear) isn't a huge weight penalty.

Good Luck!
Thanks for the thorough reply. I really appreciate it. One more question since you have done so much research. What tires/tubes are you running or do you recommend for city use and why?
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Old 12-10-08, 07:33 PM
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I've had good luck with Gatorskins. You'll get a lot of flat free miles, without sacrificing too much performance. Most of the other tires I've used are heavy commuter tires, or ultra-thin race tires. Gatorskins are the best compromise and work well in the city. Note that I don't skid (anymore). After 25,000 miles riding fixed and SS, skidding seems silly. People who skid a lot may have other opinions about tires.
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Old 12-10-08, 07:38 PM
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I would upgrade the saddle first.
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Old 12-10-08, 08:03 PM
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Why do people not like Mavic Open Sports?

I have a set on my rush -- handbuilt wheelsets and they are great -- medium-light weight and strong -- Surly hubs, dt swiss competition spokes and Schwalbe Ultremo R tires -- great for city riding.
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Old 12-10-08, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Prudy View Post
Why do people not like Mavic Open Sports?
They are perfectly fine...just not the among the best. Nobody hates then, but they certainly aren't worth getting too excited about.
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Old 12-10-08, 08:47 PM
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I have a Waterford track bike (a cheapo CroMo production bike of theirs that they sell for others to rebrand), and it is very similar to the Rush. Considering I have a similar bike, the only advice I can give to you for upgrades would be a decent hubset, with some bullet-proof rims, and a decent crankset, although the set you have seem fine. A saddle upgrade would be considered a fitting requirement, sorta like adjusting the seat height or bar angle.

I have a Phil Wood low flange road hub (same as their lf track hub), laced to a Deep V for the front, and a high flange Phil in the rear. I would definetely rock this but would consider a slighty lower profile rim, or a nice box rim, to save weight and be a little more practical. Definetely go with a 3x front wheel, its much less stiff than radial and more comfortable on the streets.

Other than this, just replace stuff as it wears, like headset/BB, etc. Although with proper maintenance, these things should last a while. It did take me a while to get used the really low rake fork, its heavy and stiff, so it transmits A LOT of harsh vibration to the hands/wrists, but nothing that some padded gloves won't cure. The tight handling makes up for it.
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Old 12-11-08, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by palladio View Post
Thanks Darthvader. One question, where can I find a ***** bar? Perhaps you have an extra one in the nightstand next to your bed that you might be willing to sell when you're done with it?
actually that's a vibrator.

here is your ***** bar.
http://cgi.ebay.com/NITTO-B200-Stain...3A1%7C294%3A50
your welcome. i'm here to help.
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Old 12-11-08, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by DARTHVADER View Post
actually that's a vibrator.

here is your ***** bar.
http://cgi.ebay.com/NITTO-B200-Stain...3A1%7C294%3A50
your welcome. i'm here to help.
Never heard of ***** bars before, but now I have been enlightened by the dark side of the Force! So, Jedi Master, don't foresake me now. Is this called a ***** bar because of its general shape or due to the types of people seen riding with them?
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Old 12-11-08, 09:21 AM
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OK i want a Soma Rush frameset for my next build. I have priced them out and pricepoint.com seems to have the best price. i have only heard negative talk about them from one person: my wheel/bike builder at my LBS. He swears that the Soma Rush frame is very weak and he has seen a Soma frame break at the welds very easily. Can anyone comment on it's strength?

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Old 12-11-08, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by palladio View Post
Never heard of ***** bars before, but now I have been enlightened by the dark side of the Force! So, Jedi Master, don't foresake me now. Is this called a ***** bar because of its general shape or due to the types of people seen riding with them?
probably general shape but maybe the other also.
see...




i might be making fun of his bars but i gotta hand it to him. his bike has good geos and the post and stem length seem to hint that it fits him well too.

Last edited by DARTHVADER; 12-11-08 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 12-11-08, 09:42 AM
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[QUOTE=DARTHVADER;8002863]probably general shape but maybe the other also.
see...




QUOTE]

Maybe the color too....

Seriously, is there a purpose to these bars other than style? Good for some kind of tricks maybe?
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