If there’s one good thing about lockdown it’s that it breeds big ideas.
If you’ve ever even mentioned the word Fargo to us on the phone or in-store you’ll understand that at Commuter we love this bike. LOVE IT!
Is tell EVERYONE about Bridge Club! If you’ve dropped into the store, or kept an eye on our social media, over the last twelve months you’ll have noticed a growing number of Surly Bridge Clubs getting around. And with good reason. After initially being underwhelmed by it on paper prior to it’s release, the Bridge Club really has proved itself as an extremely versatile, great value and super fun option for so many different kinds of riding.
At Commuter we’re very lucky to have been able to forge relationships with some great brands and offer some of the industry’s leading commuting, touring and adventure bikes. Within this range though, there are a few that really shine, like the Tumbleweed Prospector we featured recently. To be fair though there is a solid standout for us when it comes to versatility of setup and mixed terrain capability. The Wolverine from Soma Fabrications.
We’ll start our series of deeper introductions to our range with what is definitely the least well known member of the Commuter family, the Tumbleweed Prospector
Now that he’s back on home turf and running out of continents to ride across, he has decided to trade in the Ogre for something at bit more capable for everyday trail riding. This custom built Karate Monkey should be tough enough to take on the burliest of trails in his home state of Tasmania.
Sometimes during the process of tailoring a bike to suit a customers needs all elements come together to create something truly special. In this case Cjell Mone created one of the sweetest brazed frames known to man, then David walked in and fell in love that gold braze on raw steel. We complimented the frame with some parts from the best in the business.
We had first met Ben via email when he was gearing up to take on the inaugural Indian Pacific Wheel race in 2017. We helped deck him out with some Apidura kit and Dynamo power for the long stretches in the dark.
We already knew that the Soma Wolverine was a versatile bike — it can take any gearing, chain or belt drive, wide 700c tyres with fenders and almost any combination of racks and bags — but in this build we discovered it can be set up as a more rugged off–road tourer visually reminiscent of early mountain bikes. We squeezed in 2.1″ tyres on 650b rims, fit the brand new through–axle fork, set it up with a swept flat bar and added a bit of character with pink anodised hubs, seat clamp and headset.
This new offering from Soma blends the best features of the Smoothie road bike and the Double cross disc into a versatile Road Disc package with generous tyre clearance. We recently received a frameset courtesy of Soma fabrications to build up. We’ve kept it more road centric than a lot of our Wolverine builds as the carbon fork and tighter geometry are screaming out for a build that is both fast and comfortable for all day rides.
We’ve been building tried and tested commuting, touring and adventure bikes for a while now so we have a great understanding of what people want in a bike. This had led us to creating some off the shelf custom builds. Thus allowing us to hand pick parts and QC the entire build process. Some of the bikes we love such as the Soma Wolverine, Soma Juice and Saga disc are only available as frame-sets so we wanted to give customers a feel for how great these bikes really are. We’ll be adding more bikes to the website in the coming weeks so stay tuned and in the mean time call in for a test ride!
Adam didn’t realise he needed a SOMA Wolverine, until he saw mine. “I saw an orange bike on your Instagram feed” said the man as he wandered around the workshop, “I am on the lookout for a new bike, and had been thinking about an internal gear hub town bike, but that bike looks like fun”. The seed had been sown, and a test ride of my Wolverine and six months later, Adam is the proud owner of a SRAM Rival1 Wolverine.
Albert was looking for a tough bike to take on the rough roads near his home town of Deniliquin. He was finding his cross bike just wasn’t cutting it. The Surly ECR grabbed his attention and we worked on a build that would be good for long day rides and also longer trips into the outback.
Our mate John loves a single speed. He’s got an enviable collection of bikes and had a gap between the cross bike and the SS hardtail that needed filling. Despite being the biggest frame size we’ve built, John’s is the lightest Wolverine that’s been through the shop.
This bike is a niche filler. There aren’t many options for touring bikes that can tackle the sort of trails and fire roads that you’d usually need a mountain bike for. Velo Orange has just started producing one and they’ve called it the Piolet.
Riley has been commuting on a Paconi steel road bike for years. He came to us looking for something more suited to the daily grind of poor roads, all weather conditions and emergency braking. He also wanted a bike that he would be able to take on dirt road adventures on the weekend. It had to be fast, and black too.
Belinda’s bike was a bit of an enigma. She came to us with a brief that didn’t at first make a lot of sense. She wanted a lightweight build on an old favourite of ours, the Surly Long Haul Trucker. During the build we affectionately nick-named it the Light Haul Trucker. Needless to say, by the end we were all convinced and pleasantly surprised with the result.
Erle’s M.A.P. Randonneur is one of the blingiest bikes we’ve put together. The frame and fork were custom made by Mitch Prior in Chico, California.
Mischa came to us for a dream build. After many hours of careful consideration we arrived at the custom Soma Double Cross build you see documented here.