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  1. #1
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    Soma Buena Vista Mixte

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    Looks like the frame will (maybe!) be available August 1.
    http://somafab.blogspot.com/2008/04/...xte-frame.html
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  2. #2
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    Oct 2004
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    Sacramento, CA
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    My husband talked to our local Soma dealer (the Bicycle Business, Soma's current featured dealer) and they said they expected it any day. I thought about getting on the waiting list but I decided to go with the Speedster and then see what the reviews/geometry for the first run of mixtes looks like.

    I'm still pretty excited about it, though. Rivendell's mixte doesn't appeal to me personally for several reasons, and the Velo-Orange models are too similar to what I already have, and I don't know of any other mixtes being made right now.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    I am keeping my fingers cross for the Soma mixte. The bike store I am working with said 'they are tight' with Soma and have already put in place my needs. Ohhhhh, I am so hoping I get one of these. I really want a new commuter bike that has some versatility....keep your fingers crossed for me. I can't believe there will be many other there wanting the 'smallest' size they have....

  4. #4
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    The geometry is up now on the website. Scroll down to the bottom.

    That is CRAZY geometry. The size medium has a 555mm effective top tube! That is a dude's bike. I'm glad I didn't hold out for one of these because I don't think it would fit me. The proportions really do seem like they are intended to fit men more than women: shorter legs in proportion to the upper body, steep seat tube angle.

  5. #5
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    yes, and the small has a top tube length the same as my Bianchi (which was a 49cm with a 51.5cm top tube.)
    what's up with that?
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2006
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    AAAACK...

  7. #7
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    My goodness!!!!!

    what were they thinking?
    Are they assuming you'll put townie-style bars on it, to bring the reach back into humanly possible ranges?

    I'll keep riding my relatively short (!) top-tube road bikes for a while longer.

    (just measured one of my "boy" cyclocross bikes, and the top-tube is actually shorter than the comparable mixte.) I really hope my Soma LBS www.freerangecycles.com will have a couple so I can try them out. But for many reasons, I probably won't be buying one this year.
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 07-01-2008 at 05:43 AM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  8. #8
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    The initial post on the subject of the mixte said that it was intended to be more aggressive than the others on the market ... so I was thinking drop bars or bullhorns. But the reach is way too long for that, at least for me and probably for most women.

    They never marketed it as a women's bike, though. I guess they built it for the boys.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    22
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    My goodness!!!!!
    what were they thinking?
    I can tell you what they were thinking since I was thinking pretty much the same thing!

    If it's ok for me to participate (I'm clearly not neutral since I'm trying to develop and market a line of mixte bikes), I'm quite interested in this discussion.

    I looked at the Buena Vista geometry and I agree - they are not specifically targeting women, otherwise I thought the dimensions seem quite reasonable considering there are 4 sizes and only one size with 26" / 650C wheels.

    I would argue that producing a range of sizes with the top tube lengths that might be appropriate for many shorter torsoed women requires use of a different wheel size - 700C wheels are too large.

    Having a small or compact frame is not a problem usually in terms of saddle height, since long seat posts are available. The potential problem with a small frame here is if one desires say drop bars to be level or higher with the saddle without using a funky stem. It can be hard to figure out from the geometry chart the handlebar height issue.

    Most of the comments have concerned the top tube measurement, and I want to argue that top tube dimension is not that meaningful by itself, you have to consider it together with the seat tube angle. Suppose bike A) has a 53.0 cm top tube and a 75 degree seat tube angle, and bike B) has a 55.0 cm top tube and a 73 seat tube angle. For the same position of the saddle relative to the bottom bracket, the reach to the handlebars will be (almost) identical - each degree of set back of the seat tube uses up about 1 cm of horizontal length of the top tube.

    The important, but often unpublished, frame dimension in this discussion is the front center - the distance from the cranks to the center of front wheel. The front center determines the amount of toe overlap (toe hitting the front wheel) and also, in combination with rear center (chainstay length), the weight balance between the front and rear wheels.

    The "small" model Buena Vista is about as short a front center as is reasonable with 700C wheels and the chosen head tube angle.

    [/QUOTE]
    (just measured one of my "boy" cyclocross bikes, and the top-tube is actually shorter than the comparable mixte.)
    [/QUOTE]

    Again, I question this if you are properly considering seat tube angle, do you have the make and model - is the geometry published? I'd be happy to calculate the front-center with BikeCAD.

    The real issue here is that 700C wheels are just too big for many smaller frame sizes. The top tube lengths that are desirable for you and someone seeking a WSD frame would require smaller diameter wheels, and in a road bike non 700C wheels are often a hard sell, or so I've been told.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2006
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    Thank you for your input furryblue. I am worried that even the XS might be too much of a reach for me. I dream of a bike with 700c wheels, but reality speaks and I know that just won't cut it for me. I will be looking at the XS with 26" wheels (if one is in the cards for me). I really like the idea of a mixte where I don't have to worry about the top tube...

  11. #11
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    Michael Furryblue,
    I appreciate what you are saying about the crank, but being a similarly built woman, the space between my butt and my palms SEEMS to be that top tube length. Us gals have lots of leg, so distance to the crank, even for the shorter of us, is not the big issue.

    your input IS appreciated.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  12. #12
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    Sacramento, CA
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    And all of that is fine, if what you want to do is make a bike to fit a typical man. Which Soma apparently did. It is just disappointing that it's a mixte, because those generally are designed so that they fit women who have trouble with regular road bikes. I guess they saw a need to make a mixte designed for men, which is fine, but certainly not something I'm going to spend my money on.

    I'd also note that the steep seat tube angles on the Buena Vista are also going to be an issue for women with long femurs.

  13. #13
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    Michael - I'm 5'8" and have no issues with fit on any of my 4 "boys" bikes. No toe-overlap, either, so not too worried about the front-center measurements. But I will admit I was kinda hoping the Buena Vista would have a more average (or even low key) geometry, rather than an aggressive one.


    Hmmmmm.... went to the website to get the real measurements (instead of the ones I took myself) of my utility bike, and while the Buena Vista doesn't come in "my" size, I think the 50cm BV might actually do what I want. Oh, now temptation rears it's ugly head again! (I *might* even be able to work the 54cm BV) Gee, I hope Free Range Cycles gets some BV's built up! I wanna try them!
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 07-01-2008 at 06:36 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  14. #14
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    May 2008
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    [QUOTE=mimitabby;334154]Michael Furryblue,
    I appreciate what you are saying about the crank, but being a similarly built woman, the space between my butt and my palms SEEMS to be that top tube length. [/QUOTE.]

    Hi Mimi,

    My basic point was that the size "small" Buena Vista has about as short a top tube length as is possible for a 700C wheel given the constraints of front center and the head tube angle.

    The distance you are describing (butt to palms) is the "cockpit length" or something like that and it is not the same as the top tube length.

    I'm doing the best I can to explain, but I don't think I am communicating clearly.

    Let me try again.

    Let's suppose you drop a plumb line from the nose of your saddle, and you find the horizontal distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the plumb line is say 1.5 cm, meaning the nose of your saddle is 1.5 cm behind the bottom bracket's center along a horizontal plane.

    You can maintain that SAME saddle position relative to the cranks with various seat tube angles by sliding your saddle appropriately back or forth on the rails.

    If your "reference" seat tube angle is say 73 degrees, then for a 74 degree seat tube angle you would slide your saddle back, about 1 cm, so that you maintain the same 1.5 cm (example) horizontal position behind the crank center.

    So what? If your top tube length is say 53 cm with the 74 degree seat tube angle, and 54 cm with the 73 degree seat tube angle, and you adjust the position of the saddle for 74 degrees by sliding the seat back to maintain the same horizontal position relative to the crank center, then the cockpit length is the same: because you have to slide the saddle back for the 74 degree seat tube angle, you are adding an extra 1 cm in length.

    All that is to say you cannot equate cockpit with top tube length - you have to factor in the seat tube angle.


    your input IS appreciated.
    That is kind, thank you.

  15. #15
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    May 2008
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    22
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    Michael - I'm 5'8" and have no issues with fit on any of my 4 "boys" bikes.
    Let's try and make this quantitative - if it's a bike model with published dimensions (Surly, Gunnar, Soma) let me know and I can calculate and compare the dimensions with the Buena Vista. I think when you look at the geometry specs you are perhaps not properly factoring in the effects of seat tube angle. Give me some numbers and we can calculate and compare.

 

 

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