Monday, April 30, 2012

Soma Tradesman

What you see is what you get.  Courtesy: Soma Fabrications.
Soma is offering this new-for-2012 Tradesman cargo frameset for $700.

According to Soma, the Tange chromoly frame can load 40-50 pounds of cargo. It's one-size-fits-all.  Here's a few more details:

> 22" inches wide and 68" long

> Designed for 26" rear and 20" front wheels.

> Designed for front and rear disc brakes

> Extra long 40mm oversize head tube for maximum cargo capacity

> Modular high-tensile steel rack.

> Wheelbase of 1116mm



What it looks like built up. Courtesy: Somafab Blog
 There have been a few reviews:

Urban Velo

Bike Tinker

Pushing the Pedals

Soma also has another cargo bike in the works, called the Pickup Artist, which you can read about here


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Raleigh Roper and Furley

The 2012 Raleigh Roper.  Credit: Raleigh USA
The Raleigh Roper sells for $1,500 at Revolution Cycles.

Some people look at Raleigh's new-for-2012 offerings - the Roper and the Furley (what's up with the Three's Company references?) - and conclude that Raleigh is getting serious about cyclocross.  I look at them and see bikes for the rest of us.

They're steel, take wide tires, have fender and rack mounts, and disc brakes. The components are high quality - the Roper has FSA cranks and Shimano 105 derailers.  I love what Urban Velo had to say about the Roper: "The Roper is a bike that I'd expect to see from a much smaller operation than Raleigh; it is more similar to the bikes you see bike geeks build up for themselves from some obscure frame maker than that offered by a major manufacturer."

Ha!  Bike geeks... they're so weird.

Here are the Roper specs:

Sizes: 50cm XS, 53cm SM, 55cm SM/MD, 57cm MD/LG, 59cm LG

Frame: Seamless Butted Chromoly, Integrated Headtube w/BB30

Fork: 4130 Chromoly Cross w/Disc Tabs

Cranks:  FSA Gossamer Pro BB30 34/50t

BB: FSA BB30

F.Derail: Shimano 105

R.Derail: Shimano 105

Shifter: Shimano 105 10spd STI

Br.Levers: Shimano 105/Tektro RL721

Brakes: Shimano R505 Disc, 160mm Rotors

Gear: Shimano 105 (11-28t)

Rims:Weinmann DP30 Double Wall

Tires: Kenda K1083A Happy Medium 700cx32c

Pedals: Road Pedals w/Clips and Straps

Handlebar: Avenir 200 Series 31.8 Short Drop

Stem: Avenir 200 Series, 3D Forged, 31.8

Seatpost: Avenir 200 Series 27.2x350mm

Seat: Avenir Classic Road

Headset: FSA Integrated Cartridge Bearings

Colors: Charcoal

Chain: KMC X10

Hubset: (F) Joytech Alloy Disc QR 32h (R) Joytech Alloy Disc Cassette QR 32h

Spokes: 14g Stainless MAC w/Alloy Nipples

Grips: Gel Tape

Extras: Water Bottle Mounts, Fender and Rack Mounts, Cateye Reflector Set, Clear Coat, Owner’s Manual.

The 2012 Raleigh Furley. Credit: Raleigh USA

The Furley is a single-speed with a little different set-up, but same general idea.  It goes for $820 at Revolution Cycles.  Like the Roper, the Furley has fender and rack mounts and space for wide tires.  You know what a bike geek might do with this baby?  Swap the drops for mustache bars and add an 8-speed internal gear hub for a really cool all-arounder.

I'm guessing. Who knows what bike geeks are thinking? Weirdos.

Here's the (stock) specs for the Furley:

Sizes: 50cm XS, 53cm SM, 55cm SM/MD, 57cm MD/LG, 59cm LG

Frame: Seamless Butted Chromoly, Integrated Headtube w/BB30

Fork: 4130 Chromoly Cross w/Disc Tabs

Cranks: Shimano Alfine 39t

BB: FSA BB30 Eccentric w/Sealed Bearings

Br.Levers: Tektro RL-340/Tektro RL721

Brakes: Promax 720RA Disc, 160mm Rotors

Gear: 18t w/Single Speed Spacer Kit

Rims: Weinmann DP30 Double Wall

Tires: Kenda K1083A Happy Medium 700cx32c

Pedals: Road Pedals w/Clips and Straps

Handlebar: Avenir 200 Series 31.8 Short Drop

Stem: Avenir 200 Series, 3D Forged, 31.8

Seatpost: Avenir 200 Series 27.2x350mm

Seat: Avenir Classic Road

Headset: FSA Integrated Cartridge Bearings

Colors: Orange

Chain: KMC Z99

Hubset: (F) Joytech Alloy Disc QR 32h (R) Joytech Alloy Disc Cassette QR 32h

Spokes: 14g Stainless MAC w/Alloy Nipples

Grips: Gel Tape

Extras: Water Bottle Mounts, Fender and Rack Mounts, Cateye Reflector Set, Clear Coat, Owner’s Manual
If you own a Roper or Furley, please comment and let us know how you like it.  Bike geeks can comment, too.



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Trek to Build Only Steel Bicycles Starting in 2013

Trek announced today that they will discontinue production of aluminum and carbon fiber frames after 2012. They cited the primary reason is lack of demand for aluminum and carbon fiber frames in the North American market. "US consumers just aren't concerned with lightweight frames anymore, since the difference in weight between an aluminum frame and steel one is an almost-full water bottle." said an un-named source. "Consumers are looking for steel frames that will last them a lifetime, and we're going to sell carbon frames anymore, since they don't fit that need."

Clearly this a big turn of events for Trek. For those looking for that that carbon fiber look, they will start offering special faux-fiber paint effects for fork and seat posts.