Found: SOMA FAB Monster Cross Prototype – the Wolverine

SomaFab Wolverine Prototype

My recent visit to the SOMA Fabrications blog was rewarded with an image of their new test mule dubbed the Wolverine. This orange painted beauty looks to be of the monster cross variety. The details are light, but from the photo we can assume it’s constructed from steel tubing, has sliding dropouts, a belt drive with internally geared hub, microshift brifter, and mechanical disc brakes. Tire clearance is plentiful, as this one is set up with 45c Panaracer Fire Cross tires. Rack mounts appear to be present, and there should be no issue mounting up fenders. Lets hope to see more of this rig soon!

Comments

Alex - 12/20/13 - 9:01pm

Wow! I am the first person to comment on the unbelievably tall head set spacer. I feel like I just won the opening stage of the Tour! It is actually a pretty cool bike, however – anybody know what hub they are using that happens to have a cable pull to match the Microshift shifter?

Superstantial - 12/20/13 - 9:11pm

That looks really cool. Thanks bikerumor!

Alex – that looks like a Versa shifter to me, maybe it’s an alfine hub.

Nick Burklow - 12/20/13 - 9:12pm

@Alex, the microshift works with the Alfine 8 speed hub if I remember correctly. That would be my guess. And yes, there are a lot of spacers on the bike, but keep in mind it’s a prototype and I would assume they have several riders testing the bike.

Paul in VA - 12/20/13 - 9:41pm

WTH is monster cross?

filibuster cash - 12/20/13 - 9:51pm

I’m not real sure people actually know what “monster cross” really is–I certainly don’t–but there are some very cool bikes bearing that heading. Present example especially. Go Soma!

Nick Burklow - 12/20/13 - 9:53pm

@Paul in VA – Monster Cross is basically a cyclocross bike that will fit a much larger tire. Think of it as sort of a cross between a cross bike and a 29er with drop bars. With the addition of braze ons for fenders and a rack, they can make a great all-rounder for commuting, adventure riding, dirt road touring, and with fat slicks, even a great endurance roadie as long as you aren’t in a huge hurry.

Paul in VA - 12/20/13 - 9:55pm

Noice! Thx Nick!

Evan - 12/20/13 - 10:04pm

The shifter is a Versus (http://www.sussex.com.tw/versa.html) with a Alfine 8. They have an 11spd version but I haven’t tried it. Just my 2 cents, but I would also like to see how it handles a Rohloff.

Ghost Rider - 12/20/13 - 10:28pm

As Superstantial said, it’s a Versa shifter…made by Sussex Enterprises. Microshift supplies some of the external parts, as best I can remember, and may do some of the machining, but it’s NOT a “Microshift” shifter. Or maybe I misunderstood the origins of these levers when they first came out on the Dynamic Bicycles “Synergy” road model.

Sevo - 12/20/13 - 11:27pm

Sweet rig.

Definitive place for all things Monstercross online. Sites been up 5-6 years. Only site really dedicated to the genre:

Facebook.com/monstercrosser

mike - 12/21/13 - 1:13am

steel fork….. use as many spacers as you need!

Alb - 12/21/13 - 6:16am

The Versa shifters are overpriced junk. Too much lever throw and v. poor quality internals. J-Tek bar con shifter knocks spots off it in the value/performance stakes.

satisFACTORYrider - 12/21/13 - 7:52am

Reminds me of Soulcraft’s Dirtbomb from 10 yrs ago

Dawn Hill - 12/21/13 - 8:02am

Frame looks super. Love the short headtube and classic geometry, compared to, say Spec AWOL. This way everyone can run the bars as high (or low) as they want.

Tinsloth - 12/21/13 - 12:24pm

satisFACTORYrider Yup. I was thinking that too, or the Bruce Gordon Rock N Road from 10 years before that! Everything old is new again, but now with more betterness.

I think these bikes are rad. I’ve had my ‘cross bike set up with 42s for the last few months and I doubt I’ll ever go back to narrower tires on that bike. I’m not racing it, and it’s been my main fire road/mellow singletrack ripper for the last year or so.

skipdapbaddamarangdoo - 12/21/13 - 12:39pm

Monster Cross is a click shy on the category spectrum of xc trail, and any # of clicks shy of categories such as: cyclocross, gravel grinder, all road, endurance road, touring, sport touring, sport touring light, recreational sport touring, commuter, commuter urban, commuter city, commuter city-sport touring light, hybrid commuter city sport touring-so many categories-touring penny farthing light, kids bikes, fat kids bikes, fat kids bikes carbon fiber trikes, and road.

COMonstercross - 12/21/13 - 2:04pm

Yep. Perfect middle ground between a CX bike and a 29er. Nice to see Soma getting it. Good tire spec too….Panaracer has quietly offered the FireXCPro as the FireCross for years now. Leans the bike to being a bit sweeter in the rough.

I keep a running tally of tires and such as they pop up as well as builds on the FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/Monstercrosser

Website coming in February

hollywood - 12/22/13 - 12:03am

Ok, this is ridiculous- are all the haters on vacation? So much love for a stinker that looks like an original stumpjumper (TM)??? Fugly geometry, boring spec., horsey cockpit set up, and the only dis is for the spacer? Yet, anything that is vaguely race specific, or carbon, or…is skewered and dowsed in lighter fluid. Really? Where’s the hate?!

Nick - 12/22/13 - 11:33am

Bro- (Hollywood), take a chill pill, this things just your average rad proto.

Tim - 12/22/13 - 12:41pm

I’d like to see it with a sloping TT.

elsid - 12/22/13 - 4:24pm

No more sloping top tubes! Even this thing has a slightly backwards slope. Keep it level.

Sevo - 12/23/13 - 11:28am

Slopping top tube’s are quiet nice on a monstercross actually. I have a fairly radically slopping TT on my custom frame I designed and wouldn’t do it any other way. Gives me some stand over clearance when I ride off road and I run a long 30.9 ti seat post (Generic Bikes to post is my choice). It flexes just enough to take the edge off rough roads as well.

As far as the spacers issue…..that’s a love/hate issue. Some love it, some hate it. But here is the point…unlike a cross/road bike you actually set up your dirt drops to ride in the drops….not on the hoods. So complain that dirt drops cant the levers out which is a sign someone set them up wrong to begin with. Not supposed to spend hardly any time on the hoods. All in the drops so you pop the drops up so they’re about where you’d have your flat bars on such a bike.

Timothy - 06/11/14 - 12:25pm

Not sure what there is to hate. Finally someone took all the desire-ables for an “all arounder” and put them into one frame…….takes a 45mm tire AND fenders, has full rack mounts, has a reasonably sporty chain stay length and wheel base, a “roady” 70mm BB drop and sliding dropouts AND can take belt drive as well. AND its disc so you can slap on a 650B randonneur set up with GB Hetre’s for fast cushy long distance rides. And its steel. Problem is, I’d spend so much time morphing this bike into different uses, I might not ever have time to ride. If it was titanium, I’d probably never own another bike and would sell off the 7 in my garage.

Chris - 08/14/14 - 8:32pm

I agree. Waiting on the frame to be delivered as I type. Ive already sold off 2 of my cross bikes (disc and non-disc) to make this my “Swiss+Army Bike”. May sell off the touring bike too, but I’ll scavenge the wheels (dyno hub and alfine 8) to build up the gates option. I already have the SS and geared setup. Love those Paragon Sliding dropout inserts…

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