Category: Custom Builds

Soma and Surly house builds

We've been building tried and tested commuting, touring and adventure bikes for a while now so we have a great understanding of what people want in a bike. This had led us to creating some off the shelf custom builds. Thus allowing us to hand pick parts and QC the entire build process. Some of the bikes we love such as the Soma Wolverine, Soma Juice and Saga disc are only available as frame-sets so we wanted to give customers a feel for how great these bikes really are. We'll be adding more bikes to the website in the coming weeks so stay tuned and in the mean time call in for a test ride!

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Adam’s SRAM Rival1 Wolverine

Adam didn't realise he needed a SOMA Wolverine, until he saw mine. "I saw an orange bike on your Instagram feed" said the man as he wandered around the workshop, "I am on the lookout for a new bike, and had been thinking about an internal gear hub town bike, but that bike looks like fun". The seed had been sown, and a test ride of my Wolverine and six months later, Adam is the proud owner of a SRAM Rival1 Wolverine.

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JR’s Single Speed Wolverine

Our mate John loves a single speed. He's got an enviable collection of bikes and had a gap between the cross bike and the SS hardtail that needed filling. Despite being the biggest frame size we've built, John's is the lightest Wolverine that's been through the shop.

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Velo Orange Piolet

This bike is a niche filler. There aren't many options for touring bikes that can tackle the sort of trails and fire roads that you'd usually need a mountain bike for. Velo Orange has just started producing one and they've called it the Piolet.

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Riley’s SOMA Double Cross Gravel Commuter

Riley has been commuting on a Paconi steel road bike for years. He came to us looking for something more suited to the daily grind of poor roads, all weather conditions and emergency braking. He also wanted a bike that he would be able to take on dirt road adventures on the weekend. It had to be fast, and black too.

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Belinda’s Surly Light Haul Trucker

Belinda's bike was a bit of an enigma. She came to us with a brief that didn't at first make a lot of sense. She wanted a lightweight build on an old favourite of ours, the Surly Long Haul Trucker. During the build we affectionately nick-named it the Light Haul Trucker. Needless to say, by the end we were all convinced and pleasantly surprised with the result.

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SOMA Wolverine

Jan 2015 Update - We've just received stock from the second production run! Most are presold, but we have a few left in sizes 52cm, 56cm, (maybe a 58cm) and a 60cm. With the deteriorating Australian dollar vs the USD the price for the frameset is now $950. This is all the stock we could get for Australia so be quick if you want one.

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SOMA Grand Randonneur Frames

We have just received our second batch of SOMA Grand Randonneur framesets. These are a fantastic multi use bike, just at home on gravel as on the road. Designed around 650b wheels, the front end geometry is low trail to handle front loads, the tubing is light and supple to lend a smooth ride, and it has all the bottle mounts and braze-ons for building up a 'proper' randonneur. This frame was designed in conjunction with Mike Kone from Boulder Bikes who have been building fine randonneur frames for many years and still builds under the Rene Herse moniker. At $700 for the frame and fork, we think it is the best value 650b Randonneur bike available today.

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Rohloff LHTs

We recently built a pair of custom Long Haul Truckers around Rohloffs. Rolhoffs are great for touring and commuting bikes because they offer a wide range of gears in even increments, they can shift gears while the pedals are not being turned, and because all the shifting takes place in the rear hub there are no gear combinations and so no combinations to avoid. They are unbelievably robust and reliable too, needing an infrequent oil change and not much else by way of maintenance.

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LHT with Butterfly Bars

We don't do a lot of Butterfly bars, but for some people they are just what the doctor ordered.  This is a Long Haul Trucker build we did using butterfly bars to shorten the cockpit to make a second-hand slightly-too-big frame work for one of customers who doesn't like drop bars.  She's going to use it as a commuter and do some touring on it.

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Beautiful Custom Bikes

We get a lot of nice bikes coming through the workshop, but every now and again one really stands out.  A customer of ours who has just moved to Adelaide has brought in two of the stand-out bikes of the last year or so - both beautiful Jack Taylors.  The latest was his last project before leaving Melbourne.  In the end he didn't get all the parts that were needed to finish it before he left, but we were able to get it partially assembled and shoot some pictures of it, and that was enough to give a sense of what a beautiful bike it will wind up being.

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Customer in Canberra

A customer called from Canberra the other day and ordered Nitto Noodles, a Porteur rack, fender parts and Brooks tape.  he just emailed us a to thank us when they arrived and included a few photos of his bike.

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The Many Faces of the Long Haul Trucker

Surly's Long Haul Trucker (LHT) is our reference point for touring bikes and they make excellent commuters as well. As a general rule the requirements of commuters and tourists are similar -  the bike should be comfortable, should be able to carry a reasonable load, should be robust and reliable, should fit moderately wide tyres and mudguards and should be fast and efficient enough to cover large distances at a decent clip.  The LHT does all of these things and is versatile enough to be set up to match the needs of a lot of cyclists.  We build, and sell, more of them than any other bike.  We've mentioned them a number of times in this blog, but we thought it was time to write more comprehensively about our thoughts on them, and where they sit in our line-up.

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Velo Orange Polyvalent

We've just finished an exciting build. We used a 650B randonneur/porteur frame made by Velo Orange, called the Polyvalent. Ours might be the first in Australia. We've built it up as a showcase for some of the VO gear we stock (and as a great bike in its own right). It has a big VO Porteur front rack, VO cantilever brakes, headset, saddle, rims, etc. It has a dynamo hub, is shod with Grand Bois Hetres and stays upright while stationary thanks to a Pletscher bipod kickstand. It will soon have a VO chain guard.  We installed a B+M Lumotec IQ Cyo just under the floor of the rack, and a B+M tail light on the rear mud guard.

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Custom Surly Bikes

In the last few months we've done quite a few Surly custom builds.  We really like the Surly bikes, and from early on have built Long Haul Truckers (LHTs) for a lot of customers, as well as Crosschecks. Recently we've had a Big Dummy build and a Karate Monkey. But definitely the most exciting builds are the customized ones.

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