There’s something special about a custom build. Primarily because you get a bike that’s tailored to you, and you also get something unique. Something that catches people’s eye as they are waiting at the lights, as they’ve never seen bike parts assembled together in this particular manner. For Holly, this build was about upgrading her road bike, and also giving her more flexibility than a 23c tyre grants, but ultimately aesthetics would be the deal breaker. Luckily, the Soma Fog Cutter provided the all-road platform that Holly was looking for, and presenting it in a stunning ‘Rosso Red’ colourway.
Once the Soma Fog Cutter frame had been selected, it was then about choosing the parts to go along with it. As Holly is on the shorter side, it was important that the components selected reflected and complemented her stature. Happily the Fog Cutter offers two different forks, both with different rake, which allows for no toe overlap on the smaller frames. The groupset chosen was Sram Rival 22, as the shift ergonomics are wonderful, particularly for those with smaller hands.
Regarding wheels, the idea of a 650b x 47c was floated and debated, but eventually we decided on sticking with 700c. As the bike is going to be used predominantly as a road bike, the efficiency of a 700c tyre prevailed over higher volume. The fog cutter can clear up to 42c tyres anyhow, so gravel will be no problem even on a 700c tyre. The wheels are the ever popular H+Son Archetype laced to shimano CX75 hubs.
A Note on Disc Brakes
As disc brakes proliferate the market, the debate between hydraulic and cable actuated heats up. We don’t deny the power and superior feel of hydraulic brakes, however cable actuated brakes still hold an important place in the market and in our hearts. With Holly’s bike, the ergonomics of SRAM mechanical shifters was preferred over the larger hydraulic shifters. We spec’d our prefered TRP Spyre disc brakes with the rest of the groupset, as this dual-pivot brake offers improved braking and adjustment over single pivot offerings from Shimano, Avid, and Hayes.
However – something we feel often gets overlooked is cabling. Having good quality cabling, and keeping it in good health greatly improves the feeling of braking and shifting. To seriously improve braking performance, compressionless housing is the obvious route. On mechanical disc brakes it makes a world of difference, improving the modulation to almost hydraulic levels, yet you still get the benefit of cable actuated brakes, namely price, ease of service, and more shifter options.
We’re very pleased with how the bike has turned out, the colour and finish on the frame is striking, and the shifting and braking are what you’d expect from a high quality groupset. We’re sure that Holly will enjoy her new Soma Fog Cutter, and it will take her on many adventures!
Frame: Soma Fog Cutter 48cm
Groupset: SRAM rival 22 – 50/34, 11-32, w/ TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes
Wheels: H+Son Archtype laced to Shimano Cx75 Hubs w/ DT Competition spokes
Finishing Kit: Velo Orange w/ Brooks Cambium C17
Tyres: Clement Strada 32c
Cabling: Yokozuna Reaction compressionless