Joe Bike's own Soma Wolverine Daily Grinder housebuild features all the things we look for in an ultimate commuter bike: belt drive, internal gearing, robust tires, and disc brakes, along with an optional dynamo system, fenders, and rack.
Together these give you a weatherproof, clean, quiet, ultra-low-maintenance bike that's ideal for less-than-perfect conditions. Fully rack- and fender-friendly. Semi-sweptback handlebars give you a slightly more upright position than flat bars will, yet still lets you put your impressive strength into your pedalstroke.
The 46/22 gearing with Alfine 8 is set up for moderately high-speed riding on your typical mildly hilly Portland terrain (excluding the west hills, that is). However, if you'll be hauling some weight with you, climbing steep grades, or just wanting to take it easy, we can lighten this up by using a 24t cog...or even a 26t...at no extra charge. Just ask.
And now, we can build the Daily Grinder up with drop bars for a slightly higher price, thanks to the recent appearance of Alfine-8 bar-end/downtube shifter from MicroShift and an integrated shifter/levers from Portland's own Gevenalle. Get in touch if you're interested.
Questions people ask us about this bike:
Q: Don't I need to adjust the belt tension every time I reinstall the rear wheel, such as when I change a flat?
A: No. Soma, along with Spot, Marin, and a few others, "get" belt drive and have designed their dropouts accordingly. In this case, Soma uses Paragon sliding dropouts. The only time you should need to check and adjust belt tension is in the future, when the belt teeth gradually erode and the tension therefore gradually slackens. This adjustment is easily done on the Wolverine, and you won't have to do it for maybe the first 2,000 miles or so, although this depends on your riding style.
The Portlandistan version adds a premium dynamo system, stylish Full Metal Fenders from Portland Design Works, and a light but stiff Axiom Streamliner Disc DLX rack, which has twice the capacity of most racks.
Q: Can I make substitutions or other changes?
A: Sure, but the price will likely change. We sourced build kits at a lower cost than you'd expect, and that's reflected in the surprisingly low price of the bike. But just let us know what you have in mind (email is best).
Q: What are some upgrades I should consider?
A: A Brooks Cambium or leather saddle would be nice. Either PDW Whiskey leather ergo grips or Ergon Biokork ergo grips would make good sense. If you want to charge your smartphone, Garmin, or camera off of the dynamo system, the Busch & Mueller Luxos U headlight does that very well, although it's expensive ($258). Kickstands are highly underrated. Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires would make you the customer of our dreams.
Finally: note that most of the photos show wider tires than we're currently offering on this build.
|Frame||Tange Prestige heat-treated CrMo front triangle; butted CrMo rear end|
|Fork||Lugged flat crown fork Tange Infinity CrMo steel; double eyelets pannier rack and mini rack mounts (mini rack mounts not pictured)|
|Headset||FSA 1 1/8"|
|Rims/Wheels||Weinmann XC180 Disc|
|Hubs||Shimano Alfine 8spd CenterLock 32h rear, Shimano RM66 Center Lock 32h front|
|Tires||Kenda Kwik, 700x32|
|Crankset||Alloy Forged 2pc|
|Chainwheel||Gates 46t CenterTrack Belt Ring|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano UN26 or equivalent|
|Chain||Gates CenterTrack belt|
|Rear Cogs||22t Gates CenterTrack|
|Shifters||Shimano Alfine Rapidfire Plus 8-spd|
|Tape/Grips||Raleigh comfort grips|
|Stem||7° 3D Forged, 31.9|
|Brake Levers||Shimano BRM395|
|Brakes||Shimano BRM396 Hydraulic Disc Brakes w/160mm Center Lock Rotors|
|Pedals||Wellgo R200 Alloy Body/Steel Cage|
|Saddle||Selle Royale Shadow|
|Accessories & Extras||Portland Design Works Bar-Ista cup holder|
* Subject to change without notice.