June 2, 2010

Bike Build Update

By Anna | 13 Comments »

I’ve been ordering parts slowly for my Soma Buena Vista Mixtie build.  I’m so excited to begin putting it together!

First, I purchased a gold chris king headset.  It’s pretty hot.  I also got some cross/touring tires so I can get a little more wild on my commute (ha!).

Next, I ordered a bunch of stuff from Velo Orange.  Handlebars, stem, seatpost, brakes, beautiful hammered fenders, and the quintessential Brooks saddle…mmmmm….

We got a nice wheel set donated to the shop because it’s missing a spoke.  I snatched those babies right up!  One day I hope to get the Chris King Cross Wheelset (which would do double duty on this bike as well as on my yet purchased cross bike), but it’s going to be a while before that wish comes true.

My future plans include gold Chris King bottom bracket, crank set, brake levers (I wasn’t too impressed with those offered from Velo Orange), Wald woody front basket and rear rack, and any other things I’m forgetting.

Any suggestions dear readers?  Something I’m missing or choosing wrongly? 


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  1. On June 2nd, 2010 Logan said:

    Congrats Anna!

    New bike builds are so much fun. If you want ideas regarding fun suggestions you may want to check out:

    1. Ecovelo: Alan and Michael have some fantastic photographs and reviews some great gear for the practical cyclist. Here is Michael’s mixte frame bike (http://www.ecovelo.info/2009/12/08/betty-foy-eye-candy/)

    2. The Epicurean cyclist: Russ and Laura review many bike related items for aesthetics and durability (http://epicureancyclist.com/).

    3. Renaissance Bicycles: This shop has some cool posts regarding building up bike frames and what to consider (http://www.renaissancebicycles.com/category/shop-talk/)

    Good luck!

  2. On June 2nd, 2010 Cyclin' Missy said:

    Congrats, Anna! I love the frame. I can’t wait to see it all put together. I bet you’ll do all or most of it yourself at Bici, right?

  3. On June 2nd, 2010 L said:

    I’m disappointed that it seems like you had to order everything online. No local bike shops you like to support?

  4. On June 2nd, 2010 Anna said:

    Cyclin’ Missy – I’m going to put on what I can at Bici tomorrow night! Unfortunately we can’t do headsets so I’ll have to take it to an LBS for that. They’ll also do the spoke repair.

    Anyone out the have a headset press they want to donate? : D

    L – I actually purchased the frame from one of our LBS. The reason I did a VO order was because most of it is their brand, and the Brooks saddle would have been a special order from our shops anyway. I plan on getting a few other items from the LBS depending on what they have in stock or can easily acquire. Things like hammered fenders are not something they’ll be able to order for me from anywhere. For me it’s a balance between special ordering, available brands, and price – not necessarily price of online vs. price at the shop, but price of what brands they carry versus a cheaper brand online (i.e., velo orange).

  5. On June 2nd, 2010 Dwainedibbly said:

    Lovely frame. If I can ever get Mrs Dibbly on a mixte, that’s one we’ll look at., for sure.

    I love the Velo-Orange kit, and have ordered from them many times, always satisfied. It seemed like half the bikes at Oregon Manifest had something from V-O. I agree with the other posts about supporting local shops and always encourage my favorite local guys to carry stuff I find online. V-O has started up a wholesale operation, btw, so local shops can get V-O gear for you.

    For brake levers, check out the DiaCompe Tech 77 Levers at Harris Cyclery. They were Sheldon Brown’s favorite and have handy little buttons that you press with the levers pulled to engage a “parking brake”. Unfortunately they only come in black, but if you were handy with a bench grinder, you could take care of that in no time. If those won’t do it for you, I have also used the Shimano BL-R550 Levers (again, from Harris but in a silver finish) and found them to be very nice as well.


    (No, I don’t work for Harris or V-O, but that sure would be some sort of dream job, wouldn’t it?)

  6. On June 2nd, 2010 Mar said:

    I just had my headset replaced- bought it offline and called around for labor prices to put it on at the local bike shops. Normally I use a different shop, but Bob’s Bikes at Homewood had the significantly cheapest price of the three main ones I called from around here (note: I don’t work there, know anyone who does, or even used the place before. Just saving you some phone calls…)

  7. On June 2nd, 2010 Logan said:

    Hello again! :)

    There are some great examples of different builds using this frame on flickr that you may find interesting: http://www.flickr.com/search/?s=int&w=all&q=soma+buena+vista&m=text

    This example in particular seems to share alot of the qualities that you are looking for: http://www.flickr.com/photos/somafab/3762818267/

    Cheers, :)

  8. On June 3rd, 2010 Brian said:

    Headset press? I’ve use a theaded rod and some washers as a poorman’s option. About $5 worth of stuff from the hardware store and you are all set.

    King headsets require a special plate to seat the fork race properly (if memory serves me right), so you may want to let the shop do this one and leave the DIY for another build.

    Enjoy and more pics of the build!!!

  9. On June 3rd, 2010 wle said:


    i have always liked that look

    very clean, logical looking

    i think in the US you kind of have to be a non-guy to pull it off though

    supposedly they are considered “unisex” but no one here seems to know that


  10. On June 6th, 2010 John_in_NH said:

    If you plan to put any weight on it in terms of groceries or other options, I would recommend looking at the Pletscher Double Kickstand

    Ecovelo has a post on it, I just got one and am pretty excited about the bike not falling over any more!

  11. On June 9th, 2010 David said:

    I can’t wait to see this bike come together!

    It’s gonna look so Coool!

    If my wife wasn’t so darn attached to her folding bike I’d seriously consider finding her a Mixte. Here in Darwin nobody seems to care if guys ride ladies/unisex bikes… It’s kinda cool here like that but I think I’d still feel a bit weird riding one all the time.

  12. On July 6th, 2010 Annalisa said:

    The Soma frame is pretty interesting. If you don’t mind, what other mixte frames did you look at before deciding on that one, and why did you pick that one?

    I am trying to decide on either this frame, the Betty Foy from Rivendell, or go for ANT’s Boston Roadster. All are pretty nice. :)

    And good luck with your build!

  13. On August 15th, 2010 James Lewis said:

    Any finished pictures of your Buena Vista? I’m in the process of building up one myself. Always looking for new ideas.,,, Thanks! James

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