Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

uad782
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Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby uad782 » Fri May 27, 2016 7:04 pm

Hi everyone,

It looks like my old MTB could be broken due to LBS not being able to get old bottom bracket out. It is off the local steel engineering firm for them to have a go :(

Owing to this I am now considering a new frame and am considering a Surly Ogre, Salsa Marrakesh or a Soma Juice. I want to do heavy touring off road, such as weekends on BNT and Snowy Mtns etc.

I was considering the Marrakesh but it doesn't seem to handle Tubus racks. I am also very keen for Surly Ogre however their frames are scarce. I am not sure how Surly are meant to make a profit when they have no frames to sell. I suppose they rely on selling Saalsa bikes instead. My LBS contacted SCV (Surly importer) who advised they don't think they will have frames until October at the earliest. It appears Bike24 has them but I am worried about warranty. Is that a risk when Surly only give a three year warranty?

Based on this I am considering the Soma Juice which is around $200+ for the frame over the Surly. How does this frame go loaded with panniers, front and back?

I have read lots of reviews praising both the Marrakesh and Ogre when touring, but there is little on the Juice.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks

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RonK
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby RonK » Fri May 27, 2016 8:02 pm

uad782 wrote:It appears Bike24 has them but I am worried about warranty. Is that a risk when Surly only give a three year warranty?

Warranty? You are buying a (relatively) inexpensive steel frame. Why would you worry about warranty? In the unlikely event that it breaks you are not risking much, even if the merchant does not assist.

I have a steel Salsa frame I bought from HiBike. Warranty was the last thing on my mind when I ordered it.

Salsa bikes are no easier to source locally than Surly. The problem lies with the local distributor, SCV Imports, and has been bad ever since they took over distribution of QPB products from the previous distributor, Dirtworks.

Soma - I dunno, never seem to see them in the shops. But I don't think the frame includes a fork so likely even more $$$.

BTW - you won't be able to buy QPB products (Surly, Salsa) online in the US. So your best options are likely to be Charlie the Bikemonger, Bike24, and HiBike. At current fx rates an Ogre (inc. shipping) will cost you $895 from Bike24, $950 from HiBike. Forget Charlie, his shipping rate is outrageous.

For the kind of routes you mention, I suggest you consider bikepacking options rather than heavy duty touring. have a read through the bikepacking thread for some inspiration.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

uad782
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby uad782 » Fri May 27, 2016 9:13 pm

Thanks Ron

I suppose you are right about the warranty. Even so 900 odd dollars is a fair bit to gamble. I suppose the risk of damage is low and being steel you could get it repaired at local steel man. It is disappointing about the supplier being so hopeless. I wonder if QBP know this or even care.

I have been reading your thread about your Fargo. It looks great. I was really keen on getting a Fargo until I read about the wobble issues with panniers. It is marketed as a bike packing bike which is what you intend to use it for.

With regards to bike packing I think it looks really uncomfortable. Carrying anything more than a camelbak on my back is uncomfortable. Each to their own. As per my other threads I have toured the bush with panniers a fair bit many years ago.

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby RonK » Fri May 27, 2016 9:27 pm

uad782 wrote:I was really keen on getting a Fargo until I read about the wobble issues with panniers.

It wouldn't be hard to guess where you were reading that, but you need to take what Gunton says with a pinch of salt.

BTW - I dunno where you get the idea from, but I am not planning to use a backpack for bikepacking.

I may consider a small hydration pack if I go somewhere with limited water.
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby Aushiker » Fri May 27, 2016 10:31 pm

RonK wrote:
uad782 wrote:It appears Bike24 has them but I am worried about warranty. Is that a risk when Surly only give a three year warranty?

Warranty? You are buying a (relatively) inexpensive steel frame. Why would you worry about warranty? In the unlikely event that it breaks you are not risking much, even if the merchant does not assist.

I have a steel Salsa frame I bought from HiBike. Warranty was the last thing on my mind when I ordered it.

Salsa bikes are no easier to source locally than Surly. The problem lies with the local distributor, SCV Imports, and has been bad ever since they took over distribution of QPB products from the previous distributor, Dirtworks.

Soma - I dunno, never seem to see them in the shops. But I don't think the frame includes a fork so likely even more $$$.

BTW - you won't be able to buy QPB products (Surly, Salsa) online in the US. So your best options are likely to be Charlie the Bikemonger, Bike24, and HiBike. At current fx rates an Ogre (inc. shipping) will cost you $895 from Bike24, $950 from HiBike. Forget Charlie, his shipping rate is outrageous.

For the kind of routes you mention, I suggest you consider bikepacking options rather than heavy duty touring. have a read through the bikepacking thread for some inspiration.


+ 1 I brought my Salsa Mukluk frame from http:/bike24.com. Never gave having a warranty or not a second thought; it is simply a frame.
Andrew
~ Aushiker.com

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rifraf
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby rifraf » Fri May 27, 2016 11:03 pm

The local buying of such bikes appears to be a joke appealing to a particularly warped sense of humour.
Waiting times of 10 weeks or more seems to be de rigueur.

Stuff that.

Imagine going through that yet again for a replacement warranty frame locally.
I'd either be buying elsewhere or simply buying something else.

I've yet to read complaints of the latest Fargo being a wet noodle like some suggested of the Mk1 version.
I will point out the Ogre has more flex than I appreciate when loaded pannier laden.

Mind you, I like to haul a few luxuries though I'm starting to pare things down a bit and buying a bit of lighter gear.
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.

uad782
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby uad782 » Sat May 28, 2016 5:58 am

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your comments. Looks like I will get a frame from Bike24!

It also looks like I need to research further into bikepacking. I will reread the thread in more detail.

I would also appreciate any suggestions for wheels. I have been reading lots of posts recommending Sun CR18 rims but they seem to mostly be only 26".

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby Usernoname » Sat May 28, 2016 8:16 am

Might be out of your price range, but local Co and built for the purpose with lifetime warrenty - http://www.murucycles.com/#!bnt-tourer/c1kxd
The B.N.T. is festooned (I've been dying to use that word), with all manner of mounts. fenders, racks, multiple bottle cages. And the geometry is perfectly tweaked to work with drop flared bars. (prefer flatbars? then you should check out our Innamincka).

Tyre clearance for up to 2.5" tyres on 29er rims make this a true go anywhere adventure touring machine.

Want to go gravel grinding? the BNT is equally at home knocking out the long hard fast miles on dirt roads. Chuck on 700x32c tyres and smash it up, or fit some 700x28's and really nail some speed.

Proven in diverse situations from the Bicentennial National Trail, to remote outback Australia, to Finland to the Tour Divide, the BNT is the touring bike you have... when you don't want *just* a touring bike.

Weight

- a medium (18") frame weighs 1735 grams.

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RonK
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby RonK » Sat May 28, 2016 9:40 am

That reads like Muru marketing spiel.

I looked very closely at the BNT and agree it sounds like a good bike. But even though I already own two ti bikes, I couldn't see the value in it (or the ti Fargo, for that matter) vs the steel Fargo 2 with the carbon Firestarter fork.

Also when I contacted them about my requirements they recommended not to use their ti fork. Ah yes - here is my post about their repsonse.

I posted a pic of it on a thread here somewhere - here it is. Looks like a piccolo and apparently flexes like licorice. They suggested a cromoly fork.

Kinda makes the idea of a ti frame pointless if a steel fork is required.

All discussed in detail over in the bikepacking thread.
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Usernoname
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby Usernoname » Sat May 28, 2016 10:27 am

RonK wrote:That reads like Muru marketing spiel.

Yeah, it was just a cut and paste from the site. A local Qld guy did the Tour Divide on one last year came in about 20th, so thought it was worth a look. Troy from River City Cycles Bris set it up for him I think.

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Leaf T
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby Leaf T » Sat May 28, 2016 11:04 am

uad782 wrote:Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your comments. Looks like I will get a frame from Bike24!

It also looks like I need to research further into bikepacking. I will reread the thread in more detail.

I would also appreciate any suggestions for wheels. I have been reading lots of posts recommending Sun CR18 rims but they seem to mostly be only 26".

If you're thinking of buying other bits at the same time as the frame keep in mind that if you go over $1000AUS (including delivery) you run the risk of being slugged for tax and import duty.

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby RonK » Sat May 28, 2016 11:13 am

uad782 wrote:I would also appreciate any suggestions for wheels. I have been reading lots of posts recommending Sun CR18 rims but they seem to mostly be only 26".

For a 29er I'd be thinking about going tubeless. I have Stans Flow Ex, but there are others to consider now that tubeless 29er rubber is becoming more available.
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby Espresso_ » Sat May 28, 2016 5:46 pm

RonK wrote:
uad782 wrote:I would also appreciate any suggestions for wheels. I have been reading lots of posts recommending Sun CR18 rims but they seem to mostly be only 26".

For a 29er I'd be thinking about going tubeless. I have Stans Flow Ex, but there are others to consider now that tubeless 29er rubber is becoming more available.


I also have Stans Flow EX on my Soma Double Cross - they were a good option at the time, but I'd go with a Velocity Dually today. The Dually's are wider, and can accommodate wider tyres (like 3") but are obviously fine with more traditional width tyres. Wide rims are a tad easier to work with and keep the tyre in better shape when working with tubeless applications.

You can get Dually's in 26/27.5/29.

E

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby Espresso_ » Sat May 28, 2016 6:02 pm

RonK wrote:Warranty? You are buying a (relatively) inexpensive steel frame. Why would you worry about warranty? In the unlikely event that it breaks you are not risking much, even if the merchant does not assist.

I have a steel Salsa frame I bought from HiBike. Warranty was the last thing on my mind when I ordered it.

Salsa bikes are no easier to source locally than Surly. The problem lies with the local distributor, SCV Imports, and has been bad ever since they took over distribution of QPB products from the previous distributor, Dirtworks.

Soma - I dunno, never seem to see them in the shops. But I don't think the frame includes a fork so likely even more $$$.

BTW - you won't be able to buy QPB products (Surly, Salsa) online in the US. So your best options are likely to be Charlie the Bikemonger, Bike24, and HiBike. At current fx rates an Ogre (inc. shipping) will cost you $895 from Bike24, $950 from HiBike. Forget Charlie, his shipping rate is outrageous.

For the kind of routes you mention, I suggest you consider bikepacking options rather than heavy duty touring. have a read through the bikepacking thread for some inspiration.


I basically agree with everything RonK has said, but I'll repeat for emphasis:

1) Buy online and don't worry about a warranty.
2) Your intended use is really bikepacking, by the sounds of it.

My additional thoughts:
  • I'd be thinking a Surly ECR rather than Ogre, so you have the option of either racks or bikepacking, and wider tyres like the Knards that come as part of the complete bike that won't fit on an Ogre.
  • You can walk into a shop and see a range of Soma frames at Commuter Cycles in Melbourne. They're ace. I had my Soma Double Cross built up by them.
  • I bought my Soma Double Cross frame online at Amazon.com - if I recall correctly I could have bought any Soma frame / fork from there too.
  • Soma frames are a bit more expensive than the other two because they use branded (Tange) steel, rather than in-house CroMo. That doesn't mean they necessarily are better, though.
E

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby uad782 » Sun May 29, 2016 7:42 pm

Thanks everyone for your advice.

Now looking at the geometry of the Surly Ogre I am a bit confused. My current MTB which is supposedly 19" seems bigger than the Surly 20". I have done a lot of reading about frame sizing and realise that sizing is indicative only.

My current all purpose bike, a Merida 29" Lite 1000D has approximately a stack of 634mm, reach of 440mm and effective top tube of 610-620mm. I am 5'10". This bike has always felt a little long with me getting sore hands after about 4 hours of non stop riding. I have had it for nearly 5 years so it cant be too bad.

Based on these numbers my current bike seems to line up with the 22" XL Ogre, which is strange. I was actually contemplating the medium or large. Surly's (dodgy) sizing chart seems to recommend the medium.

Any advice/comments appreciated.

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby RonK » Sun May 29, 2016 8:02 pm

uad782 wrote:My current all purpose bike, a Merida 29" Lite 1000D has approximately a stack of 634mm, reach of 440mm and effective top tube of 610-620mm. I am 5'10". This bike has always felt a little long with me getting sore hands after about 4 hours of non stop riding.

Ignore the manufacturers size designation and the ETT and use the stack and reach, as these will allow a consistent comparison regardless of the stated size.

Since you current bike feels long it would make sense to choose a frame with a shorter reach. The large or maybe the medium makes sense for a person of your stature.

Since a higher stack effectively shortens the reach, the large may be the best choice for you (vs the medium).

The xl certain does not. The slightly lower stack will make it effectively longer than the Merida even though the (already too long) reach is the same

You can of course vary the reach with different stems and setback seatposts which are often used on these types of frames.

Ultimately it's your call...
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby uad782 » Sun May 29, 2016 9:02 pm

Thanks Ron.

Can you explain how a larger stack shortens the reach. I thought these measurements were independent of each other.

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby RonK » Sun May 29, 2016 9:54 pm

uad782 wrote:Thanks Ron.

Can you explain how a larger stack shortens the reach. I thought these measurements were independent of each other.


Discussed at length here including this article which explains the effect of a higher stack. Read this.
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby Trevtassie » Sun May 29, 2016 11:09 pm

These look interesting: https://www.bike24.com/1.php?menu=1000% ... %2C166;mid[598]=1;content=7

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby rifraf » Mon May 30, 2016 1:19 am

Trevtassie wrote:These look interesting: https://www.bike24.com/1.php?menu=1000% ... %2C166;mid[598]=1;content=7


The link doesn't appear to be working for me.
Takes me to a page with many items for sale. :?
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby uad782 » Mon May 30, 2016 6:50 am

Ron, read the article and it makes sense!

Trevtassie, the link doesn't work for me either :(
Last edited by uad782 on Mon May 30, 2016 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

uad782
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby uad782 » Mon May 30, 2016 7:34 am

Hi Ron,

I have measured my current bike's stack and reach more accurately. I did this using differences where I measured the height of the bottom bracket and height of steerer tube above ground and took the difference. Likewise did similar for reach. These numbers compare within a couple of mm of calc'd values using the theoretical geometry values published.

I now get stack = 634mm, reach = 426mm.

Based on your previous comments I am now thinking medium?

I would appreciate your thoughts.

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby RonK » Mon May 30, 2016 8:27 am

Ah, so the reach is somewhat shorter.

I think you could probably choose either medium or large with appropriate stem lengths. But yes, medium looks the right choice if you want to have a shorter reach than your present bike.

According to the Surly Bike Sizing Chart, you are a medium. :lol:
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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby Trevtassie » Mon May 30, 2016 9:19 am

Try copying and pasting this, looks like the forum software doesn't like the semi colon in the link "https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;product=70227;menu=1000,2,99,166;mid[598]=1" Shipping is 40 euros!

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Re: Surly vs Soma vs Salsa

Postby uad782 » Mon May 30, 2016 6:32 pm

Thanks Ron,

Surly's sizing chart is pretty dodgy but it seemed to have worked in my case! I think I can get a medium from SCV in Aus believe it or not.

Thanks for the link trevtassie, it looks a nice bike.

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