New toys

Soma Saga

The Soma Saga, which at present is unencumbered with fenders, racks and bags.

New technology has come to the DogHaus. The fine folks at Soma Fabrications/Merry Sales Co. have sent me a Soma Saga touring frameset to review for Adventure Cyclist, and Herself has handed me down the iPad 2 I bought her for our anniversary just last month. Her boss is a convert and ordered up iPads for the staff. My bosses order up periodic floggings and forget to file my invoices with the bean-counters. So it goes.

The Saga sports a mix of old stuff from the garage, new stuff that Soma/Merry Sales sent along with the frameset, and some fresh bits to fill in the gaps from Old Town Bike Shop, which assembles the bikes I review for Adventure Cyclist because the Irish cannot be trusted with tools.

Thus it has a beefy 36-spoke touring wheelset from Rivendell (LX hubs, Velocity Synergy rims, Vittoria Randonneur Cross tires, all stripped from my Soma Double Cross); Alpina 2 cranks (48/33/24); a Deore rear derailleur and Ultegra front, controlled by Dia-Compe/Rivendell friction bar-cons, connected with a Dura-Ace chain and driven with Shimano A520 SPD touring pedals; IRD Cafam cantis and Soma aero levers (plus Cane Creek Crosstop levers); Nitto B135 Grand Randonneur bars wrapped in Soma Thick ‘n’ Zesty tape, Origin8 stem and IRD Techno-glide headset; and finally a Ritchey WCS seat post topped with a Selle Italia Flite saddle.

Damn, this is some good Kool-Aid. Y'all want some? OK, first you got to show me a black turtleneck.

Damn, this is some good Kool-Aid. Y'all want some? OK, first you got to show me a black turtleneck.

I have about 65 miles on it so far, and I could tell you about it, but then the editor of Adventure Cyclist would have to kill us all. I will note in passing, however, that it’s interesting to go back to friction bar-cons after all these years.

And the iPad? No friction bar-cons here, my friends. Strictly disco. It does things you haven’t dreamed of, and without my prompting, too. I’ve loaded apps for word processing and photo editing and may take it and the Saga out for an extended test drive, see if I can generate a little paying copy before the Tour gets me by the plums with a downhill pull.

So if the website looks like it was composed in Cretan Linear B sometime in the near future, well, you’ll know whom to blame: Steve Fuckin’ Jobs. He’s The Man. I just work here.

12 Responses to “New toys”

  1. Sharon Says:

    ipad 2. Just last month we were all so impressed with your thoughtfulness in gifting. Now one might wonder if there were some inside information exchanged. Hmmm. We are going to have to gather a committee to look into the timeline of events to make sure of no funny stuff. I kid. Also, love the touring bike. You are living the life Patrick.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, Sharon … I’ll confess that Herself often accuses me of buying her things that I secretly want. But she uses her iPad daily, chiefly as a book reader.

      I have yet to do any serious fiddling around with my hand-me-down, but I hope to get after it here shortly. Right now the Soma Saga has first dibs on my time because a deadline looms. So many toys, so little time. …

  2. BenS Says:

    Odd that’s how I got my iPAD as well. Wife won a iPad 2 and I got the better spec’d iPad 1 I’d bought her for her birthday.

    On a bike related note, today was a fantastic day for 112 mile ride to the local Jelly Belly factory to stock up on stuff I don’t need.

    As an Adventure Cyclist member I am loving your bike reviews. Best writing in the magazine. Now if you’d just write the Complete Touring Cyclist along the lines of Colin Fletcher’s seminal hiking book, life would be close to complete.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Twin sons of different mothers are we, Ben? But I ain’t logging any 112-mile rides. Half that is a big day for me. I need to get serious about saddle time if I’m ever to catch up with you.

      Thanks for the glowing review of my reviews. I’m having big fun writing them, since it’s a fresh scene for me, with no bicycle racing involved. I think Adventure Cyclist is one of the best bike mags going, and not just because they let me play for pay. Too many magazines look like glossy catalogs for stuff you don’t need and can’t afford. AC focuses on the journey, which is the important part.

  3. Boz Says:

    Nothing like new wheels to put a little steam in a man’s stride! I’ve got a short window this early afternoon (before the monsoons commence) for a ride on my new 29er. Love the 30 speed xt/slx combo. I think it would just perfect for a touring bike. Maybe a future project?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Boz, you ain’t just a-woofin’, hoss. I’ve been riding my rigid 29er everywhere (the Voodoo Nakisi). This Jamis will take huge rubber, too — 700×47, if I recall correctly — and I’m thinking it might just be the ideal bike to ride on Gold Camp Road to Victor.

  4. Bob Says:

    “…because the Irish cannot be trusted with tools.”

    Hey, I resemble that remark!

  5. charley Says:

    Christmas in June? I’m envious as hell.

  6. Libby Says:

    New toys = Lucky you! Funny about Irish and tools.

  7. Khal Spencer Says:

    Sweet bike. Stay north of here!

  8. SteveO Says:

    // which assembles the bikes I review for Adventure Cyclist because the Irish cannot be trusted with tools.//

    Only on days were whiskey is involved … which is to say, days ending in Y.

  9. Happy Monday « Mad Blog Media Says:

    […] As I mentioned earlier I’ve been test-riding a Soma Saga touring bike for Adventure Cyclist lately, so just for giggles I broke out my Soma Double Cross for purposes of comparison. It was missing a wheelset (loaned to the Saga), so I took one off yet another bike, replaced its nine-speed cyclo-cross cassette with an eight-speed MTB jobber (the DC now sports a triple XT crankset and an XT rear derailleur), and off we went. […]

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