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Soma Double Cross?

Old 12-11-07, 01:44 AM
  #1  
Fernankd
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Soma Double Cross?

Hi, Im in the market to buy a new touring bike for a cross country trip. Ive been looking at the Trek 520, Jamis Aurora, and I recently tried the Soma Double Cross. I really liked the fit and feel of the double cross and was wondering what people think of it as a long trip touring bike. I have heard that it cant bear as much weight as some of the standards like the trek 520, but was also told that since Im smaller, I could get away with fully loading it up with out a problem. I havent been able to find much about the double cross and even less about it with regards to using it as a touring bike. I would appreciate any input.
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Old 12-11-07, 02:50 PM
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SOMA had a link to a site for someone they were sponsoring who was touring on the doublecross. I couldn't find it but it doesn't mean it isn't there. Do a search for it on this forum and you should get several hits. If SOMA didn't want people touring on it, they wouldn't have placed rack eyelets on the fork. I almost bought one for loaded touring but ended up getting a different bike but not because I didn't like the doublecross. It might not be the "perfect" loaded tourer like a LHT, but it will be more fun to ride when it isn't loaded.
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Old 12-11-07, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by aroundoz View Post
It might not be the "perfect" loaded tourer like a LHT, but it will be more fun to ride when it isn't loaded.
I have plenty of fun on my LHT unloaded.
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Old 12-11-07, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sprintcarblue View Post
I have plenty of fun on my LHT unloaded.
I didn't say a LHT wasn't fun. I have owned a LHT and ridden both. You will have more fun on a doublecross.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:25 PM
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I've had a Soma Double Cross for about 7 years and have done six tours lasting from a week or so to over three months. It's been a very solid bike, both for touring and for rides around town. I like the fact that I can bash down single track if I feel the urge. The main thing that sold me on the frame was the fit. I'm about 5'5", so my choices in frames that had 27" wheels were limited. I did a Serrota bike fit, then set down and chose an off the shelf frame that I could use for touring. The geometry of the Soma was an almost perfect match. I also like the fact that the tubing on the Soma is a bit stiffer than some other touring frames. I've never had numb spots, sore wrists, shoulders, knees, or any other physical problems related to the bike. Someone who really knows about bike fits are worth hunting down, and some bike shops will comp the cost of the fit if you buy a bike from them.

This in mind, fit should be a top priority. A lot of people in this forum want to argue or pontificate over the "best" frame (LHT being a flavor of the month sort of thing), drive train, etc. It's all for nothing if the frame dosen't fit, or isn't suited for what you want to use the bike for! I also disagree that the statement that the Soma frame can't support a heavy load, as before I learned what I could do without, I use to carry some stupidly heavy loads.

Bonne chance!
Steve
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Old 12-12-07, 05:17 AM
  #6  
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I think that Steve has hit several nails pretty squairly on the head. I have had a LHT for about a year and a half, it is the best tourilng bike i'v ever had. I have also had a volpe for 3 years, I know the volpe and double cross are not the same bike but the volpe is sold as a cross bike, with shorter chain stays and higher botum bracket. a rack like JANDD expadition lets you move the bags back about 3 in. much more than the chain stay difference. the only thing to me different between the two in that I have toe overlap with fenders with the volpe, I have size 13 feet so this would probably not affect 9o % of the people. At 61 the toe overlap is more concern than it once was. I was talking to the LBS owner yesterday, we thought that about the time we had collected a truck load of bike stuff we realized we could have done every thing with a wheelbarol full. This would mean getting fit for a bike insted of buying 5 to see what worked! The volpe is more fun.
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Old 12-12-07, 09:59 PM
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thank you for all of your responses. I really appreciate the input. For anyone who owns a double cross or has had experience with the nbike, I read somewhere that you have to specially fit the panniers to the rear part of the bike in order for your foot not to hit while riding. Have any of you noticed any problems with this?
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Old 12-12-07, 11:09 PM
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Doublecross and panniers

Hello,

I have used my 60cm Doublecross with REI Transfer and Ortlieb Roller racks. My shoes are size 11 1/2 and I have plenty of clearance. I use an Old-Man-Mountain rack on the back with no special setup.

The bike is very solid. I run Mavic Open Pros with 32mm tires for most riding. I switch a lighter set of rims with narrower tires when I want to keep up with my road pack buddies. My friends like to call my Doublecross a "hybrid" which is fine with me.

My road pack buddies run Ti and Carbon bikes and I can keep up with them just fine. None of them are heavy duty racers - mostly just weekend rider types.

I have also ridden my Doublecross through plenty of tough dirt trails and if you run wider tires maybe down to 60 psi you can get a pretty decent ride on most dirt.

My bike is setup with XT hubs, XT rear der, 105 front der, Ultegra triple crank and 105 sti shifters. Its a very robust setup and I have been very happy with it. I run XTR canti brakes front and back.

One thing - initially I had the bike built with Avid Shorties and they squeeked like crazy so I switched to the XTR Cantis which have been fantastic. The front Avid was so loud that it worked well as a horn - I was happy to get rid of it!

Out the door with the rack my bike cost just over 2k - custom built from an LBS that I like here in San Diego. In terms of price you would like be better off with a non-custom build!!

I have also done a few short tours on the bike with front and rear racks - carrying around 45 lbs in "freight" I would guess.

The Doublecross has been a very versatile setup for me. Of course there are alot of great bikes out there - the DC is just one of them.

I leave early next week on a 200 mi tour in AZ. I will be taking the Doublecross - definately looking forward to it.

Chris
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Old 12-12-07, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Fernankd View Post
thank you for all of your responses. I really appreciate the input. For anyone who owns a double cross or has had experience with the nbike, I read somewhere that you have to specially fit the panniers to the rear part of the bike in order for your foot not to hit while riding. Have any of you noticed any problems with this?
I haven't had that problem with the rear panniers on the double cross. I use to use some Madden (AKA Adventure Cycling) panniers, and recently upgraded to Ortlieb's. No "heel strike" with either panniers. This might be different for people with big feet/large shoe size. It you are buying from a shop, maybe they could mount a rack, and put a set of panniers on to see if it will be an issue.

Cheers,
Steve L.
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Old 12-13-07, 10:40 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Fernankd View Post
I read somewhere that you have to specially fit the panniers to the rear part of the bike in order for your foot not to hit while riding. Have any of you noticed any problems with this?
I have a little bit of heel strike if I'm running the shorter light duty commuter Blackburn Crossrack with grocery bag panniers. My bigger heavier duty rack allows me to mount them an inch or so further back and takes care of the problem. I also have no problem running Delta Compact panniers on the commuter rack. The chainstays on my Double Cross are only 420mm long, most "touring" bikes have longer ones.

I won't use the Double Cross for touring with more than 35 lbs. or so because the 28/32-spoke road wheels I built for it just don't feel laterally stiff enough to handle more. It is a gas to take out with lighter loads for a weekend though. It's also a gas to take out on the trails from time to time. I recently mounted the bigger rack on a Jamis Aurora which is set up to handle heavier loads. I don't like being without a commuter when I remove the rack and mount knobbies for cyclocross season.

Last edited by cachehiker; 12-13-07 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 12-13-07, 01:08 PM
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Thanks again for the all the feedback. I have one more question regarding the soma double cross. I was told that I am not going to have as much contol over this bike when it is loaded as I would with a touring bike because it will not have as low of a center of gravity. Also, I was told that specifically because I am smaller it may be even more difficult to control a non touring specific bike loaded up. Anyways, that made me nervous, since safety is definitely a primary concern. Any comments on this? How concerned should I be?
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Old 12-13-07, 02:33 PM
  #12  
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How much do you intend to carry? I would tend to agree with the local shop's assessment if you're really looking to go fully loaded. I think the wheelbase is just a little too short and the head tube is a little too steep to carry more than about 50 lbs. On the other hand, as an ultralight backpacker, I don't need to carry more than 35 lbs. for two consecutive nights in campgrounds with running water.

I stand just a hair under 5'7" with short legs and ride a 48cm Double Cross built up at just under 23 lbs. without the rack, pedals, cages, etc. I find the bike is rock solid stable with the typical 20 lb. commuting loads. The lightweight rack starts to get scary wobbley at 30 lbs. which is above it's rated capacity. If I mount the heavier duty rack on there, I swear I can feel the rear wheel flexing at about 40 lbs. It's a 32-hole Open Pro laced to an Ultegra hub and it didn't stay true for long with me going up and down curbs with multiple bags of groceries.

I figure if I had a 32/36-spoke wheelset with tougher rims I could carry another 10 lbs. or so before the geometry as well as frame itself started to get hard to handle. I'll bet I could get by but would just as soon have another bike dedicated to such duty. My Aurora has 36-spoke Bontrager Mavericks, a 20mm longer wheelbase, and is noticeably easier to handle with a good load of groceries. Unlike the Double Cross though, it feels like a bit of a tank without a load. Losing that extra mph also makes it much tougher to hang in with roadies.
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Old 12-13-07, 11:40 PM
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thanks everyone, for all of the feedback. It has been very helpful!
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Old 08-07-08, 01:56 PM
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Great thread!
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When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
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Old 08-07-08, 02:33 PM
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I just built my brother a 62cm DC for road riding and commuting. The frame seems quite stout, has the eyelets for racks and slack geometry. The ride is very stable and predictable Neither of us could probably use this frame with panniers without some extra modifications, since we both have big feet (14 & 15). But for someone with normal-size feet, this frame seems great for touring. A DC in black or green with the black Surly Long Haul Trucker fork or the IRD lugged cross fork would make a sweet setup.
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Old 08-07-08, 03:35 PM
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habcup,
thanks for the review, any reason why you didn't just use the Soma DC matching fork? I really liked the look of this frame and have considered building one up. Could even run discs on this bad boy

Last edited by robow; 08-07-08 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 08-07-08, 06:41 PM
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I used the Nashbar carbon cross fork to keep the weight down. The price with the 20% coupon is pretty close to the steel fork options. The Nashbar fork has disk mounts, but I bought the traditional frame and installed canti's.

I believe the matching fork that Soma offers on their website is built by IRD. The disk version does not have rack mounts on the blades, but that might not be important to you.
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Old 08-07-08, 07:08 PM
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Also- the Long Haul Trucker fork has a long steerer (320 vs the typical 300) and might be cheaper. Bikeparts.com has the LHT fork in stock for $96. I'm not sure how long the steerer is on the IRD fork.
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Old 04-19-13, 11:39 AM
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I have an older cyclocross bike I'd like to refurbish with a new frame. I'd like to replace the road cranks with mountain bike cranks, probably LX and a 44-32-22 chain ring. If I read the Soma web site correctly, it seems the double cross will only take road cranks - is this correct? Does anyone know if it's possible to set it up with 44-32-22 chain rings?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-19-13, 12:09 PM
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You should have no trouble using that crank whatsoever, but just curious if you could point to where on their site they claim it will only accept road cranks? Thanks.
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Old 04-19-13, 03:18 PM
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Check out the soma saga too.
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Old 04-21-13, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
You should have no trouble using that crank whatsoever, but just curious if you could point to where on their site they claim it will only accept road cranks? Thanks.
I must've misread the web site. I thought it stated it would take any road crank. They got back with me, and indeed it will take both mountain and road cranks.

My bad.
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Old 04-21-13, 06:14 AM
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I have had a double cross since '06 and love it, but it does feel a little flexy when really loaded with a lot (mine is 60cm - maybe smaller is stiffer?). BUT I really only noticed it on a tour my wife and I did in 2007 when she was pregnant and I was carrying much more of the total gear that I otherwise would have to make things easier on her. I got it because I had had a Cannondale t2000 that was great for loaded riding, but rode like a tank for unloaded riding. The Soma is a nice lively ride under loaded and un-. It's now my main road bike since it fits better than my old racing bike. OTOH - my wife has a long haul trucker and loves it too, so look at that one perhaps. In fact we did a ride yesterday on some rough gravel and dirt/mud roads that the LHT handled well (with a 2 year old in the kid seat too)

KES
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Old 04-21-13, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post

My bad.
No biggie, in today's world, there is a large over lap of what is considered a mountain and a road crank and they're most always interchangeable and that's why I asked. I rode with a fellow that had a double cross but he pulled a trailer just because he liked trailers. I only wish Soma didn't use such long effective top tubes on most of their frames which makes it tough on guys like me who have longer legs and shorter upper torsos and arms. And yea I know, break out the short stems.
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Old 04-24-13, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kesroberts View Post
I have had a double cross since '06 and love it, but it does feel a little flexy when really loaded with a lot (mine is 60cm - maybe smaller is stiffer?). BUT I really only noticed it on a tour my wife and I did in 2007 when she was pregnant and I was carrying much more of the total gear that I otherwise would have to make things easier on her. I got it because I had had a Cannondale t2000 that was great for loaded riding, but rode like a tank for unloaded riding. The Soma is a nice lively ride under loaded and un-. It's now my main road bike since it fits better than my old racing bike. OTOH - my wife has a long haul trucker and loves it too, so look at that one perhaps. In fact we did a ride yesterday on some rough gravel and dirt/mud roads that the LHT handled well (with a 2 year old in the kid seat too)

KES
I took a look at the LHT. Unfortunately the size 54 is too small and the size 56 is too big. The 54 would work it had 700c wheels. It's a great dedicated touring rig, but a serious tank for commuting and general riding. I'll 5'9", 155 pds, so I'm not that concerned about frame flex; even with 40 pds of gear the X check for dbl X would probably be fine.

I'll also take a look at the Novara Randonee and Safari. I like the Safari frame a bit more, but Randonee has better components. They're both such great deals though...
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