A saga of two Sagas

The Soma Saga Disc.

The Soma Saga Disc.

It’s been Ride Your Own Damn Bike Week here at Mad Dog Media, and a refreshing change of pace it’s been, too.

Playing with other people’s toys is a privilege, and a hell of a lot of fun, but it’s always nice to lay hands on your own again. Consider it the bike reviewer’s version of a palate-cleanser between courses. It also gives you the chance to re-evaluate your own bikes, see whether you need to shed a few long-held biases.

Yesterday and the day before I rode the Soma Saga Disc, and I felt a little too upright, so I dropped the bars 10mm and instantly felt better.

The Soma Saga canti model.

The Soma Saga canti model.

I thought I might need to shorten the stem by an equivalent amount, too. Three consecutive review bikes have arrived sporting 80mm stems, and while those felt a tad stubby to me, a 90mm would be just about right, was my reasoning.

Then today I rode the cantilever Saga home after dropping the Subaru at an auto upholsterer and felt just fine using what I thought was an identical cockpit.

And so it was. Same amount of spacers under the stem, same extension, same 17-degree rise.

Turns out it wasn’t the cockpit. The canti’ Saga sports a straight Thomson post. The disc Saga’s Soma post has a wee bit of setback. Duh.

Meanwhile, I ain’t superstitious, but a black cat crossed my trail as I rode home. A little further along, some bozo in a big ol’ pick-’em-up truck blew through the red light at Manitoba and Tramway a full three seconds late, doing at least the posted speed limit of 50-per.

As it happens I’m one of those cyclists who doesn’t even clip in until he’s seen that everyone else has come to a full stop, so no harm, no foul.

Big ups to the fellow traveler who gave the asshole a long blast on the horn as he shot past, though.




22 Responses to “A saga of two Sagas”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    So, you decided to keep the Saga disc model. Do you think you will keep both Sagas?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I think so, Pat. For now, anyway. They’re just different enough, one having discs and an extremely compact double, while the other is the more traditional triple/canti setup. Horses for courses, don’t y’know.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Seems every time I am in the Duke City, I see motorists doing really stupid and dangerous shit.

  3. Sharon Says:

    Fun to be out on sunny, winter days. Makes life seem just that much better.

  4. mooremediaone Says:

    SOMA, my favorite subject!

    Looking at the disc pic, I like the way the front/left fender stays are attached to the upper mounting point on the fork. I will have to see if I can get that to work on my Double Cross Disc. Are those SOMA Rain Dog fenders?

    And yeah, as a commuter through DTLA (Downtown Los Angeles), assholes abound. And they come in all varieties too, like motorists, bus drivers, pedestrians and fellow “cyclists”. Most folks out there are safe and sane, though. Thankfully.

    ~Doug Moore

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Those are indeed Rain Dogs, Doug. That’s a handy way to mount fenders around discs, and a whole lot easier than trying to bend them around the caliper to the proper spot on the dropout. I did the same thing with some SKS thermoplastics on the Salsa Marrakesh.

      Putzes abound on the nation’s roads, to be sure. There’s a stop sign just up the hill at a T-intersection that most of our local road toads don’t even slow down for. Some day one of them will learn a harsh lesson about how poor an auto repellent Lycra is.

      And I almost clipped a dog walker yesterday. She and Sparky stepped right into my path without checking the road in either direction. “Sorry!” she exclaimed. “Not as sorry as you’d be if I were a texting teen herding an F-250 instead of an old dude on a two-wheeler,” I thought.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Me too Doug. Bought my Saga based on Patrick’s review in Adventure Cycling magazine. Bought the ES after riding the Saga for a while and deciding I needed two road bikes. N+1, right?

  5. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Your knees don’t remind you about the difference in setback with two different seatposts? I went through a run-around with that issue years and years ago – never again! No matter what the seattube angle or seatpost setback, I need to get the tip-o-saddle vs center of BB spindle via the old plumb-bob right or my knees get cranky. Only then do I mess with stem length or bar height.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Same here, Larry. I had patellar tendinitis in both knees in the early 1990s. That was when I decided to be a bike advocate rather than a racer. I was a terrible racer anyway. My lust for beer always outpaced my lust for first place.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Aw, everything on me hurts. That’s how I know I’m still alive.

      I really need to pay more attention to position. Grant Petersen is going to be sending some Rivendells my way and he wanted some very specific numbers — saddle height, pubic-bone height, my height and weight, and so on and so forth.

      Sheeyit, I have trouble remembering my address and phone number. The weight I strive actively to forget, along with age. I’ve decided to be 45 forever since that was my age when I won the 1999 Colorado cyclocross series.

  6. weaksides Says:

    It sounds like I better hang onto 45 while I’m still there. I’ll hang onto my saga canti a while too. N+1 indeed pat; but if I had to to one, the saga would be it. As for position, I bought into Peter White’s fit advice and it seems to work. I just logged a slow 38 today and it was mostly wonderful.

  7. bromasi Says:

    RAIN we need it but

  8. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Well, hope I don’t rain on anyone’s parade. My father-in-law returned to the source. We thought last Wednesday he might pull through, but he didn’t. So, off to Kentucky tomorrow morning.

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