June 13, 2009

Soma B-Side in House

650B Palace has taken delivery of Soma's B Side. This is Soma's first offering of a 650B formatted bike. It was teased at the BTI booth in 2007, and in 2009 Soma delivered! They sent us a making IRD fork as well. This is a production model fork, but they only had a small amount painted to match the B Side butterscotch color. Stock color is black, same fork, just black.
I must say that this bike yields a very different ride than my other MTB bikes. Typically, I am fond of a shorter stem and longer toptube. Soma has taken the XC road with this frame design. With a 71deg head tube angle and 73deg seat tube, my 577mm effective top tube length left me feeling short in the cockpit. My only option was a hideous 120mm stem in my parts bin. This length has put me a very racey position, but I still very comfortable and stable. I chose the Medium frame with the tip I would need a longer post. This info instantly reminded me of Niner's design, which helps with standover height. SO is typically not an issue for 650B wheels.
Soma shipped the frameset along with a Ensho Limited black sparkle saddle, as well as their ultra wide Odin Bar.
I capped off the bars with some Thick and Zesty cork tape. I figured some 'alt-bars' deserved some an 'alt-grip'. This is my first experience with bars tape for and MTB. We'll see how it holds up for me.
I'll report back once I have logged some decent trail time on this production 650B frameset.
Kudos to Soma for jumping on board so avidly!
Lovely double butted Prestige Tubing from Tange.
Awesomely easy horizontal dropouts with a derailleur hanger for the gearies.
Testing the Kenda Nevegals in 2.1" for this ride.
"S" bent stays will add some cush, but deliver the push.
Nicely chosen H2O boss reinforcements for the 2 sets on the frame.
Both sets are on the downtube, one on top, one on the underside.

Children of the Revolution 650B Rim
  • 32 Hole
  • Eyeletted
  • Disc Specific
  • Retail at $40

I purchased 5 of these rims before seeing them. Carl at Vicious gave me a heads up when he was on his way to NAHBS, and I placed my pre-order with him on his cell phone and in his van packed with Vicious gear. The link above shows a cross section of the rim. This isn't a relabeled Alex rim, or a Sun rim with a different name. I haven't seen this design rolled in a 27.5" version. I'm not sure who is making these for Vicious, but they have chosen a nice rim to call their own. It is nicely priced for home wheelbuilders out there. I have built 4 of the rims so far, and they build nice: round and true, very easily. The seams aren't perfect, but most aren't. It's almost not mentioning since it is a disc specific rim.


MMcG said...

It almost seems Soma Overcompensated with the B-Side geometry to me.

Cracked Headtube said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cracked Headtube said...

Quite possibly. But, if you compare the B Side's angles to Soma's Groove or 4One5, it is EXTREMELY close... Even still, I'm giving it a shot. Any attempt helps the cause. Every company has a little-bit different theory for geometry. Soma used a more compact MTB in mind for the B Side. This will be a nice rigid, single speed, XC machine. Keep checking back for trail side images.

umarth said...

That 2.1 looks like there isn't a ton of room back there- though I realize that the wheel pretty far forward in the drop outs. I think the bike looks really great, if one can look past the color matched fork. I'll be really interested in what you have to say about it and hear a few comments on the nevegals, as I like mine.

MMcG said...

Maybe they didnt overcompensate - just a different scheme of sizing.

I'd rate their large as most other brands medium size frame if going by effective top tube lengths.

I'd like to see a frame similar to this price point with vertical droputs. That'd be money for me.

umarth said...

Might be a good bike for drop bars then?

I forgot to ask how much the bike weighs in at...

Anonymous said...

This might be a dumb question, but what about 650b tubes?

mMullins said...

26" tubes work just fine...little tight, but they stretch and do the job without issue.

More importantly, how's the Soma B-side ride?

Anonymous said...

you really need to start using a spell check dude