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Old 06-13-10, 11:37 AM   #101
napoleoninrags
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Wow, that looks great. I like the V-O stem and the Cosmo(?) rack. Black bar tape actually looks good with the rest of the colour scheme.
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Old 06-13-10, 02:32 PM   #102
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Wow, that looks great. I like the V-O stem and the Cosmo(?) rack. Black bar tape actually looks good with the rest of the colour scheme.
Thanks. Yup, that's a Cosmo. Perfect match for the Andrews/King bottle cages (also stainless steel). I'd planned on going with tan/creme bar tape, but the down tube panel was a much different color than I expected. I figured that with all the silver components, black tape would look good. Plus, that particular tape (Bontrager cork gel) is really comfy (and long enough for 44-46cm bars).
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Old 06-14-10, 09:45 PM   #103
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I've been following your post and have come to the conclusion that I'd like to build my own Saga. I skimmed through the post looking for discussions about sizing. Maybe I missed it. The geometry of this bike is way different from the LHT as far as I can tell. At 6', I've found a 57cm TT works well for me. To get that in the Saga would mean getting the 60cm model. How do you find the fit of yours?
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Old 06-14-10, 11:22 PM   #104
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I've been following your post and have come to the conclusion that I'd like to build my own Saga. I skimmed through the post looking for discussions about sizing. Maybe I missed it. The geometry of this bike is way different from the LHT as far as I can tell. At 6', I've found a 57cm TT works well for me. To get that in the Saga would mean getting the 60cm model. How do you find the fit of yours?
I think you may be mis-reading the geometry chart for the Saga. The effective (i.e., imaginary horizontal) top tube lengths are longer than the actual top tube lengths. For example, what SOMA calls the 58cm size has an actual seat tube length of 55.5cm, an actual top tube length of 56.25cm, and an effective top tube length of 58cm.
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Old 06-15-10, 09:13 AM   #105
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My bad, you are correct, I did confuse the actual and effective TT lengths. Do you feel that the Saga runs bigger or smaller than other bikes you have ridden?
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Old 06-15-10, 10:17 AM   #106
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My bad, you are correct, I did confuse the actual and effective TT lengths. Do you feel that the Saga runs bigger or smaller than other bikes you have ridden?
The last non-MTB that I owned was a custom Mercian King of Mercia (Touring). It was 57.5cm x 57.5cm. Level top tube, but with a head tube that was extended 15 or 20mm (I don't remember the exact amount). The Saga feels a little longer because the seat tube angle is steep enough that I have to push my saddle pretty far back (which is how I set up all my bikes).

If the Saga was not a "compact" style frame, it would be pretty "square," which is pretty normal.
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Old 06-17-10, 07:09 PM   #107
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I'd love to see a photo of your King of Mercia!, but that's another thread. I have a lugged Bianchi 57cm x 57cm that fits me great so maybe we are about the same size. I'm 6', what size Saga did you get. I may have missed it, but I'm really getting close to buying a frame, especially after seeing your post.
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Old 06-18-10, 08:50 AM   #108
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I'd love to see a photo of your King of Mercia!, but that's another thread. I have a lugged Bianchi 57cm x 57cm that fits me great so maybe we are about the same size. I'm 6', what size Saga did you get. I may have missed it, but I'm really getting close to buying a frame, especially after seeing your post.
I have a 58cm Saga. I'm 5'11", and it's a good fit. I'm still experimenting with stem length and height, but we're only talking 10mm difference in length and 5mm-10mm adjustment in height.
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Old 06-21-10, 11:26 AM   #109
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I rode to/from work a couple of times (23 miles round-trip), and I'm definitely getting a better feel for the Saga's handling, etc.

SOMA ethat the Saga is designed for rear-biased loads, but with two small (Ortlieb) panniers, the Saga's front end feels very "light." This is probably exacerbated by my high handlebars (tops 1" above saddle), but even without the panniers, the front end doesn't feel all that "planted." I'm considering installing Tubus Tara lowriders, and moving the panniers to the front (and using a small rack-top bag in back).

The Vittoria Randonneur Hyper tires are really plush at low(er) pressures. If I wasn't concerned about tire roll, I would probably run the front at 35psi (w/o front panniers). With SKS P45 fenders installed, I have to deflate the tire to remove the rear wheel. Part of that may be due to the small (5mm) spacer I have between the fender and chainstay bridge. The 36.5mm (35mm marked size) Hypers are very tall, however, and I could probably drop down to the next smaller size (32mm).

I replaced the stock Shimano brake pads/inserts with Kool Stop dual-compound pads, and the brakes' feel/performance improved noticeably. I think "plow tip" makes the pads feel a little softer, so I may grind off that portion so they contact the rims more squarely. Even though I only used the stock pads for a very short while, I was surprised at how much grit/medal they had picked up.
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Old 07-01-10, 02:35 PM   #110
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Speaking of light front end, I also found this out during a 3 day camping trip over the weekend. I had a pair of Arkel GT-54s without too much load (I think) - about 30lbs - and an Arkel Tailrider on the Tubus Logo rack. The GT-54s were put on the low rider rail of the rack kind of towards the rear of the rack. With ~35lbs of load in the rear with no front rack or front panniers, the bike was scarily light in the front. Is it usual for touring bikes to be this way?

Even with just the Tailrider on, going up somewhat steep grades (couple of 15% grades both gravel and road, and one 20% road) I had to lean forward so that I won't be lifting up the front during every pedal stroke.

If I were to put only two panniers on, I think I'd rather put them on the front than the rear. I will have to test this out once I get my front (Tubus Ergo) installed.
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Old 07-01-10, 03:15 PM   #111
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Report on the Saga's first hundred miles:

http://mile-high-mark.blogspot.com/2...100-miles.html
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Old 07-06-10, 07:27 AM   #112
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Great review, Mark!
I too just finished my Saga build-up on Friday.
I've already got about 50 miles on it, but I'm not quite as wordy (or experienced of a rider) as you are!
Needless to say, I love the Saga!
I'll have a few pics to post in the next few days, I hope..
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Old 07-06-10, 08:59 AM   #113
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I installed a Tubus Nova low-rider rack, and moved the panniers to the front. Handles better than with the bags on the rear rack.

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Old 07-06-10, 09:50 AM   #114
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Part of the problem with the poor handling of your bike when loaded on the rear may be that your bike is set-up so that the riders center-of-gravity is biased towards the rear already with the saddle pushed back on a set-back seat post and a short stem. You might try pushing the saddle all the way forward and/or use a zero set-back seat post in combination with a longer stem. This will move your body weight towards the front wheel to off-set the rear load.
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Old 07-06-10, 10:20 AM   #115
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Part of the problem with the poor handling of your bike when loaded on the rear may be that your bike is set-up so that the riders center-of-gravity is biased towards the rear already with the saddle pushed back on a set-back seat post and a short stem. You might try pushing the saddle all the way forward and/or use a zero set-back seat post in combination with a longer stem. This will move your body weight towards the front wheel to off-set the rear load.
Been there, done that. Felt like I was putting out ZERO power. I have very long femurs, and pedal heels-down, so I can only move my saddle forward so much before it has a negative impact.
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Old 11-07-10, 11:36 PM   #116
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Hey Guys, I just bought a Saga frameset and I have a few questions for those of you out there who may know the answer or who may also be wondering the same thing. I see most of you, or I guess all of you for that matter, have gone with bar-end shifters. I was thinking about putting STI brake/shift levers on my Soma, but am wondering why no one else has. I have looked into brake calipers, because the pull is different on the STI lever, and found a pair of tektro R556 long reach calipers that should accommodate up to a 35c tire, and fenders if you slim down to a 32c (don't know how accurate the fender part of it is). Will these brakes work on the Saga? And if they do does anybody have any experience with these brakes? Are they worth getting? How's the stopping power? Next I'll look at handlebars, any suggestions on a low-reach bar?
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Old 11-08-10, 10:12 AM   #117
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Hey Guys, I just bought a Saga frameset and I have a few questions for those of you out there who may know the answer or who may also be wondering the same thing. I see most of you, or I guess all of you for that matter, have gone with bar-end shifters. I was thinking about putting STI brake/shift levers on my Soma, but am wondering why no one else has. I have looked into brake calipers, because the pull is different on the STI lever, and found a pair of tektro R556 long reach calipers that should accommodate up to a 35c tire, and fenders if you slim down to a 32c (don't know how accurate the fender part of it is). Will these brakes work on the Saga? And if they do does anybody have any experience with these brakes? Are they worth getting? How's the stopping power? Next I'll look at handlebars, any suggestions on a low-reach bar?
You may be able to use long reach calipers on your Saga, but you can also use cantilever brakes with STI levers and run whatever tire size the Saga has room for. You wouldn't be able to use v-brakes with STI levers without a Travel Agent. I use downtube shifters. They're reliable and cheap and you don't have to mess with a lot of cable housing, which is commonly the cause of poor shifting performance.
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Old 11-08-10, 12:37 PM   #118
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You may be able to use long reach calipers on your Saga, but you can also use cantilever brakes with STI levers and run whatever tire size the Saga has room for. You wouldn't be able to use v-brakes with STI levers without a Travel Agent. I use downtube shifters. They're reliable and cheap and you don't have to mess with a lot of cable housing, which is commonly the cause of poor shifting performance.
A friend of mine uses cantilever brakes with his Soma cross bike with SRAM Rival shift/brake levers, but the problem he has with his brakes is that in order for the lever pull to be just right, he has to tighten the cable on the brake to the point where he can't use the quick-release on the brake. I suppose I can bypass this problem by putting in a barrel adjuster somewhere in the line. What is you're opinion on the stopping power of cantilever vs V-brake on a road bike? I know that with a lot of weight on the bike it is important to have good brakes, and I am just not sure that the cantilevers are powerful enough. To be honest though, I am more and more moving over to the side of using V-brakes with brake-only levers and bar end shifters. It seems like it would be a better match for the bike.
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Old 11-08-10, 11:26 PM   #119
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A friend of mine uses cantilever brakes with his Soma cross bike with SRAM Rival shift/brake levers, but the problem he has with his brakes is that in order for the lever pull to be just right, he has to tighten the cable on the brake to the point where he can't use the quick-release on the brake. I suppose I can bypass this problem by putting in a barrel adjuster somewhere in the line. What is you're opinion on the stopping power of cantilever vs V-brake on a road bike? I know that with a lot of weight on the bike it is important to have good brakes, and I am just not sure that the cantilevers are powerful enough. To be honest though, I am more and more moving over to the side of using V-brakes with brake-only levers and bar end shifters. It seems like it would be a better match for the bike.
The Tektro r200a brake levers have this nifty pin that you press when you need to give your cantis more cable to remove a wheel. No need for a barrel adjuster. If you're determined to use v-brakes, there are road bike levers (Tektro RL520) you can buy that will pull the extra cable. V-brakes will definitely give you the most stopping power, followed by the long reach sidepulls (if they're dual pivot), and then the cantis, which have nice modulation but aren't going to stop you on a dime.

If I were to start all over with my Saga, I'd probably run v-brakes and Tektro RL520s. My wife uses Avid Single Digit 7 v-brakes, which are a great bargain. Hmmm, maybe I should switch
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Old 11-10-10, 05:32 PM   #120
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Sweet, my 56cm frame came today. I'll be building it up over the next couple weeks as parts trickle in. I wanted to put on the fork today, but I found out that my race for the headset was wallowed out. Got one coming that should be here Friday though. Also found out that a deraillure I wanted to use has some play in it that makes me question it's reliability. Anyway, the headset cups are in now, rear fender and rack are on, got the front deraillure in place, same seatpost and seat off my old bike, and I've got some other parts that are lying around that will go on once my latest parts order comes in. I'll post a picture once I've got it all built up.
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Old 11-13-10, 05:47 PM   #121
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Current incarnation of my Saga:



Took it on some mild singletrack today, and it was a blast.
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Old 11-13-10, 08:26 PM   #122
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Awesome. Good looking rig MileHighMark.

That's what I'd call a "country bicycle" - good for anything but hot doggin'.
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Old 11-17-10, 06:55 PM   #123
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Finally got around to photographing my bike.
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Old 11-17-10, 08:55 PM   #124
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Finally got around to photographing my bike.
Cool build!

Paul canti's?
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Old 11-18-10, 08:49 PM   #125
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Yeah, they're Pauls. Truthfully, though, they perform no better than many cheaper options out there. The key is getting quality brake pads and setting them up right.
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