Soma Double Cross equipped with a Slick Black lugged crown fork.
Price: I’ve seen the frame start around $350 and up; the fork starts around $89.00.
• Tange Prestige heat-treated butted CrMo steel front triangle; butted CrMo rear end
• Clearance for 700x38c tires with fenders
• Rear spacing fits road or mtn. hubs.
• Optional matching IRD straight blade disc fork available. If you want to run cantilevers, you can choose to use the Slick Black lugged crown fork that goes with the standard Double Cross.
• Rear disc mounts are located on the seatstay, so if you intend to use a rack in conjunction with disc brakes, you will need racks designed to work with disc brakes, which are available from Topeak, Axiom, Delta and us. Fits 160mm rotors only.
• 1-1/8″ size headtube – w/ extra height so you use less spacers.
• 7 sizes: 48cm to 60cm
• 4.2 lbs (54cm)
• Paint: Midnight Silver
When I got together with the folks of Soma Fabrications, I told them that I wanted to build a bike that could serve 2 purposes for me. The first was to be my commuter bike and second was the ability for it to be a great bike on the trails. In my local trail system, I’ve seen many riders who seem like they are always zooming past me on their cyclocross bikes. I have also seen plenty of bike commuters who use cross bikes as their “commuter bike.”
After I presented the idea to Soma Fab, they were pretty eager in wanting to help with this build project/review. They provided BikeCommuters.com a Soma Double Cross DC frame set for the build. Within a few weeks I was able to acquire all the parts that I needed. I was fortunate enough that one of my friends gave me a Trek 7.5Fx that he no longer wanted to act as the donor parts bike.
The 7.5FX had a decent parts list, but the drivetrain was worn out. . After replacing the previously enjoyed cassette, chain and rings and purchasing some Kenda Small Block Eight cross tires, I was off on my first commute. I thought about using drop bars on the Soma, but I opted for a flat bar feel. It’s more of a personal preference than anything.
After spending a few hundred miles on the bike — mind you this was a combination of street (commuting) and trail riding — I was felt very confident and comfortable on the Double Cross. On the road, the bike as a whole is an absolute joy to ride. It’s very light weight; the frame itself only weighed in about 4.2 lbs, but as complete bike I had it down to 21lbs. The bike handles nicely and it feels very stable and responsive. Since I had a flat bar on the Soma, the bike felt more familiar to me since I spend most of my time mountain biking. This made riding down singletrack a bit easier. I can only assume that riding on drops on some of the dirt trails I’ve been on would have proved to be more challenging.
What I fell in love with on the Soma Double Cross DC is the fact that it rode much like a road bike. Fast, nimble and downright fun. Personally I’ve always been a fan of 700c commuter bikes, I just think they ride better on the street.
To test the durability of the Soma Double Cross, the obvious way to do that was to ride it on dirt. I rode this bike through a number of mountain bike trails in Southern California. The Soma went to places where I’d normally ride my 5″ travel mountain bike. One trail I frequent with the Double Cross is the Fullerton Loop. I hit that up at least once a week with this bike. I’ve also been to Whiting Ranch, Woods Canyon, Cholla, Top of the World and Meadows.
If you’re familiar at all with any of these trails, then you’d understand that certain parts of them could really do some damage to a skinny-tired bike like the Soma. But through many rides and even a few crashes with the Soma, I have found that this frame is STRONG. I know that strong is a pretty generic term, but that’s the best way to describe it. It literally has been a strong frame from the get go. I weigh 210lbs and I have not seen or experienced any frame/fork issues with the Soma Double Cross. I actually inspect the frame and fork thoroughly before, during and after each ride to make sure there are no compromises with the set.
Lets delve into the ride qualities of the frame set.
Due to the light weight build (21lbs-light for me), climbing and sprinting on this bike has been nice. On occasion I’ll sprint out of a red light just so I can make it across the intersection and during this process it looks pretty violent. I’m tossing the bike side to side and there hasn’t been any noticeable flexing of any type.
Under heavy “off-road” braking the fork does chatter a bit. But on the road, no chatter could be felt.
-Smooth or Rough?
On the road this ranks up there as one of the smoother riding bikes I’ve tested. Perhaps its the characteristics of the steel that smoothed out some of the imperfections of the road, but whatever it was, the Soma Double Cross is very forgiving. I wish I could say the same thing about my off-road experience. Granted this is basically a rigid bike that I’m riding through mountain bike trails, and I didn’t have the luxury of high-volume tires and a front suspension fork to absorb the bumps. But where I’d have to slow down on descents, I could easily make up time during the flats. The Soma can fly like a mofo!
Bike Commuter Friendly Features: Eyelets on frame and fork to mount racks and fenders.
I’d also like to point out that the UCI recently allowed discs brakes for cyclocross racing. So if you’re into ‘cross racing, the frame could be a formidable machine against more expensive ‘cross bikes on the course.
I’ve been REALLY happy with this frame set. The Soma Double Cross has proved to be a reliable, and fun commuter/cyclocross bike. I think what makes this build/project awesome is that I can have the same speed and efficiency as a road bike, yet similar functionality of a rigid mountain bike. The people that I ride with the most — especially my wife — can attest that I am pretty harsh to this bike to make sure I put it through the paces. One of our other riding buddies is always giving me a hard time stating that I am going to break the frameset in half. He’s seen how I ride and he’s been surprised to see lifespan on the Soma Double Cross DC.
So if you’re looking to build up a 2 in 1 bike, then you may want to consider the Soma Double Cross DC. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
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