Reviews By Sydney Garrison - Soma Smoothie Road Bike

Published: 16th April 2010
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Carbon fiber road bike were not designed for everyone. Considering the price, and durability of these bikes, sometimes an steel bike is a better choice. If you've owned a bike while you will remember how well steel frame feels to rides. The Soma Smoothie is a modern version of that classic steel road bike.

Soma Fabrications is a family owned business in San Fransisco that started with the goal of providing high quality steel frames for road, mountain and cyclocross. They also have a wide selection of accessories and components available as well but their focus remains on offering good frames to serious cyclists. Their frames are made from Tange Prestige heat treated double butted tubes. This was the best source of tubing for many years but now it lets them offer a great quality frame at a reasonable price.

Soma doesn't make complete bikes, so you want Soma Smoothie you will start with a frames and build it up to fit your needs. At our shop we do a lot of custom road bike builds on Soma frames. What I like about them is that they are high quality but not very common so you get a bike that isn't just another cookie cutter model from a big box bike manufacturer. I'm not against the big companies but there is something cool about having a bike designed specifically for you.

The Soma Smoothie that I tested was built up very middle of the road with an ITM Basic carbon fork, Shimano 105 components and a set of hand build wheels with Alex Pro 28 rims. The weight of the complete bike without pedals came in at 19.7 lbs with a 54 cm frame. Not a featherweight but reasonable for the price and quality

Not to sound cliche, but the Smoothie lives up to it's name. The ride is very smooth, comfortable and enjoyable. It gives good road feel but the bumps are tamed. Because of this you maybe a tad slower in the first half of a ride compared to people on race bikes but faster in the second half as you haven't used as much energy.

During peak power efforts like sprints and out of the saddle climbs there is a little more flex than my carbon race bike but not enough to cause the rim to rub against the brake. Just a gentle give the returns the energy with the next pedal stroke. The subtle give in the frame has combined with a balanced geometry make this an awesome cornering bike. Downhill corners feel like you sling shot out of them. Unlike stiff bikes, the Soma Smoothie holds a line without slipping out when pushed to the max.

The goal of the Smoothie isn't an all out race bike but a comfortable riding bike that will let you ride strong and long . It will still let you hold your own on the local group ride as long as you have the legs but don't think about racing with it.

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