Soma Saga Loaded Touring

Here at Brazen Bicycles, there is a lot of pride in bringing vintage and neglected frames back to life. That being said, there are some projects that are just too interesting to pass up. This particular build, based on the Soma Saga frame set, was a no-expense-spared, built-to-last, ride-forever loaded tourer, capable of traversing any continent, self-supported. The Saga features Tange Prestige tubing, over-sized, with a reinforced extended head tube. The Saga rides especially well with a heavy load, which is an important design element for a worldly touring bike.

Strong racks, a quality drivetrain, and hand built wheels are the hallmarks of a high end touring bike. The Saga features robust, high capacity touring racks made by Nitto. Nitto Campee racks are widely considered to be the best racks in the world for touring. Filet-brazed by Japanese hands with tubular steel, these racks are both beautiful and bomb-proof. The drivetrain features XT derailleurs, a Sugino bottom bracket and XD600 crank set, and Dura-Ace bar end shifters. The back end of the drive train hooks up with a freewheel mounted on a Phil Wood double touring hub; the hub is threaded on both sides, one for a 5-speed freewheel and the other for an emergency single speed freewheel. This 40-hole hub is built into a wheel using Wheelsmith butted spokes, and a Velocity Dyad touring rim. The front wheel features a Dyad touring rim as well in a 36-hole drilling. A Schimdt SON28 dynamo hub, the best on the market, provides a sturdy touring hub that doubles as a power source for both lights and a USB charging device.

Tout la Terrain is a German company that designs touring specific products. One of their nicest and most thoughtful designs is a USB-charging device that runs off of a dynamo hub and mounts elegantly as a headset top cap. It is possible to run both this and the ultra-bright Schmidt Edelux lighting in tandem, though the system works best with one load at a time. These provisions make it possible to power GPS devices and cell phones while lighting the way on the lonesome trail, totally necessary on a self-supported tour.

This build is rounded out with some other nice Japanese bits; a Tange Technoglide headset, heat treated Nitto Mustache bars, and Panaracer "New Express" 35c touring tires. The Brooks Team Pro saddle will provide endless miles of comfortable riding, especially in combination with the long top tube and multiple positions provided by the Mustache bars. Brooks full-grain leather bar tape matches the saddle, and provides a great hand surface that is naturally cooled via perforation. Velo-Orange hammered aluminum fenders complete a classic look and provide full coverage in the most dire and torrential conditions.

Component List:

  • Headset: IRD Technoglide
  • Stem: IRD Threadless
  • Bars: Nitto Mustache, heat-treated
  • Brakes: IRD "Cafam" cantilever
  • Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace bar end
  • Cranks: Sugino XD600 triple
  • Front Derailleur: Deore XT
  • Rear Derailleur: Deore XT
  • Bottom Bracket: Sugino sealed cartridge
  • Brake Levers: Soma Aero
  • Pedals: Crank Brothers Candy
  • Seatpost: Soma
  • Front wheel: Schmidt SON28 dynamo hub to Velocity Dyad, 36h
  • Rear wheel: Phil Wood double freewheel to Velocity Dyad, 40h
  • Tires: Soma New Express 700 x 35c
  • Fenders: Velo Orange Hammered
  • Saddle: Brooks Team Pro
  • Rear rack: Nitto Campee large
  • Front rack: Nitto Campee large
  • Bar Wrap: Brooks brown full-grain leather
  • Light: SON Edlux Halogen