Bike Forums - View Single Post - Searching my ultimate all year fast commuter bike. Soma Wolverine?
Old 08-05-19, 03:01 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 51

Bikes: 1988 Ross Centaur, 2010 Fuji Connoisseur, 2015 Raleigh Tamland 1, 2016 Soma Wolverine, 2017 Raleigh Carlton, 1987 Team Miyata, 2012 Soma Stanyan, 2015 Cinelli Supercorsa, [2009 Scattante SSR], [1988 Falcon Competitor 105]

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My $0.02 worth:

I ran cable actuated discs (TRP Spyre, to be exact) on my Wolverine through Chicago winters with zero problems - they consistently offered the same level of feel and always immediately returned when I released the lever. By contrast I have a Raleigh Tamland that originally had the exact same brake setup but constantly had the rear brake cable freeze up, necessitating a switch to hydraulic brakes. The only effective difference between the two bikes was how the rear brake gets mounted: on the Wolverine the cable exit of the housing points down, whereas on the Tamland the cable exit of the housing points up. After some troubleshooting and experimentation with my LBS we surmised that any moisture getting into the cable housing on the Wolverine was able to drain out, but the same moisture getting into the cable housing on the Tamland wasn't able to draiin or evaporate and would freeze within a couple of minutes.

As for tire sizes, I ran 38mm Soma Shikoros then 37mm Panaracer GravelKings with fenders and that was about as wide a tire as I could fit with; the fenders fit pretty close and had no problem shedding water and small road debris, but I wouldn't trust them not to get packed up with slush and snow (I removed the fenders every winter for this reason). As you are anticipating the wider sizes smoothed out the roads very well, with little sacrifice in feel.

Finally, if you are going to use drop bars I would recommend buying used stems and experimenting with overall length before settling on one; on my build I thought I wanted a 90mm stem, but eventually swapped it for a 100mm stem and was much more comfortable. (Of course, that is good advice for any bike build...)
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