This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Soma Buena Vista with Nuvinci Hub

   I finally got it together.  "It" being the new mixte bike.  Based on the Soma Buena Vista frame it's a mixte design made of Tange Prestige tubing.   I wanted an IGH drivetrain and found that the new lighter weight Nuvinci hub provided what I .think is the best value on the market.  Today was the first real ride I took on the finished bike and my immediate reaction is!

The combination of the sporty geomety of the Soma frame, the 650b tires and the gearless Nuvinci hub have created a responsive, fast and light city bike which promises years of pleasurable bopping around town.
The bike is a compilation of  parts I selected from Soma, Rivendell, Velo-Orange and the local LBS.  Basically, everybody got into my pocket a little bit.
The first ride was like nothing I have ever experienced.  The Nuvinci hub works so smoothly that there is never any break in pedaling cadence.  It is an entirely intuitive experience, constantly adjusting, rather than shifting to meet the needs of the pedaling resistance.  There is an indicator

which serves no real practical purpose since there are no specific gears to indicate.  I referred to it at stop signs to give me a starting point, but once moving, the adjustment is made entirely by feel.
    There are a lot of components on this bike that I have never used and the next few days will include more detailed information on those and why, after 40 years of experience on city streets, I chose them.


  1. Marc - I've been drooling over the Soma Buena Vista for a while (already have three bikes!), but the mixte would be great for riding to work when I'm wearing a skirt. Great reason to spend 2K, eh? Anyway, I'm 5'3", looking at the 42 cm version, but seeing reviews by women that the top tube makes it a long reach. I'm looking for a more laid back townie style. What are your thoughts?

  2. It would depend on the handlebars. The frame does have an aggressive and "sporty" geometry, but the Albotross bars reach back and create a more upright position. I have mine inverted to create more reach because of my long torso. I'm sure that using them in a normal position with a short stem, set higher than the saddle would be really comfortable for a "normal" person. Any reason is a good reason to spend 2k on a bike. Wear skirts more often, recover the cost faster!

  3. Marc,

    Another question about Byron... I noticed your axle is about as far forward in the dropout as possible. I take it the reason is because any farther back, and the long-reach brakes wouldn't be long enough to reach the rim, right? I ran into the same situation assembling the brakes on my wife's Soma last night. As a result, her Shimano Nexus 8 hub is positioned the same as yours. Are you at all concerned about the torque applied to the dropout by the axle? I know these hubs use anti-rotation washers torqued down really tight, but I've heard stories about dropouts opening up and bending with IGHs. Frankly, I'm a little concerned-- only because the axle is so far forward, creating more leverage to bend the dropout. Thoughts?

  4. The brake reach is a concern, but I don't expect a problem with the dropouts. I had my Shimano IGH in a similar position on the Raleigh mixte and had no problem. Those were stamped steel which are much weaker. How well does the Shimano axle fit the dropouts? The Nuvinci barely fits on the flat sides only,I was shocked but haven't stopped long enough to compare the specs.

  5. The Shimano's axle, while having flats, can still rotate within the dropout. As you know, Shimano supplies anti-rotation washers, which are keyed to the axle flats and have a tab which locks them into the dropout, and sharp teeth that really bite into the dropout. They specify torquing the axle nuts to 35 lb-ft, which is fairly tight. My only concern is that the dropout is so long that any torque placed on the lower finger of the dropout is multiplied by being so far forward. But, since you haven't had a problem with either setup, I'm not going to worry about it!

  6. I don't see that it will be a problem, especially with the forged dropout. I figured, my issue is peculiar to the Nuvinci hub, but I just haven't gotten down and measured them both to see what the difference is. I'm looking forward to seeing your build.

  7. Just saw your build. It is a head turner for sure.

  8. Thanks, as you can tell there's been some thought over that one.