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!


  1. 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?

  2. @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.

  3. 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!

  4. @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.

  5. 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.

  6. Sweet rig.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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:

    Website coming in February

  12. 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?!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

What do you think?