Readers’ Rides: Luke’s Soma Wolverine


Readers’ Rides: Luke’s Soma Wolverine

The SOMA Wolverine is an affordable all rounder that can be built in a number of different ways. We’ve documented a number of these builds over the years and they always pull at our heartstrings. For this week’s Readers’ Rides, Luke, a longtime follower and commenter of The Radavist shares with us his stunning build…

I want to submit my Soma Wolverine to y’all! I’ve submitted my Ritchey Ascent in the past as well as my Rivendell Atlantis so wanted to be sure to add this one to the mix, too.

When I was working for Anson over at Spoke Easy SF here in the City, I kept checking out the Soma catalog since we ordered from its parent company, Merry Sales, with some regularity. I ended up meeting and befriending Jim Porter along the way (hey Jim!) and grew to both understand and appreciate Merry Sales’ place in the bike industry. I wanted to get creative and so set out to build a bike (or 85% of a bike) from just the Merry Sales/Soma catalog. And here we have it!

I started with the frame and, since I wanted a burly replacement for my much-missed Ritchey Swiss Cross that I sold off last year (idiot), I opted for the Wolverine. I wanted a zippy cx-inspired bike with better tire clearance, less of a twitchy kind of handling, and that was 100% steel. The Wolverine ticked all the boxes. Since I happen to adore the dynamo set up on my Riv, I snagged another Kasai dynamo hub along with the same Busch + Mueller taillight, but opted for the more trail-oriented Kasai Trail Beam over the more road-oriented B+M IQ-X on my Riv. I’ve since realized that both are plenty fine for on- and off-road riding so whatever.

I got jealous when I saw Russ from PLP with all of his alt bar stuff and so snagged the Hwy One bars with those Cletus extensions. Cool in theory, but less so in application (at least for me). I do like narrower bars (these are 44cm), but my hands are just too flippin’ big to make this work and I miss the space on the bars a bunch. I’d recommend them for smaller handed folks all day.

I’d heard good things about S-Ride, but didn’t realize how much it matters to me to have a well-recognized brand on my bike like SRAM or Shimano. I wanted to adhere to the limitations I’d placed on this build (as much from Merry Sales as possible) and so dove in with the long cage rear derailleur (which can handle up to an 11-50!!!) from S-Ride as well as the S-Ride chain and cassette. I noticed right away that the cassette on my Wolverine (an 11s 11-42) and on my Riv (a 7s 13-34) were of the same quality, something I hadn’t seen from other makers.

What I mean to say is that I used to chew up the garbage 7s cassettes widely available on the market within a month of hard riding. I’ve put 2,000+ miles on my current 7s cassette in the last 2 months and it’s fine, just as is my 11s cassette. I really like the consistent quality across the line without any tiered quality bs. I digress.

I like nice ass tires, too, so I figured I’d snag some of the Cazaderos. They’re fast fast fast on road and make easy work of the kinda trails we have here and also haven’t flatted even when riding like a tool. My only realllll complaint is that, like many (all) Panaracer-made tires, these puppies are smaller than the listed size. I think I measured these at 47.9mm rather than the spec’d 50mm. Not a dealbreaker.

Lastly, I got a little revved up when I saw that there was a Suzue hub that was made in collab with Steve Potts and so had my friend at Spoke Easy help me build that wheel. Okay, okay so he let me lace it and then I threw a tantrum and he built it. Sorry Artur! I ordered the DT Swiss rims off of QBP because they looked moderately okay and were $ instead of $$$$$$.
So far I really, really like this bike and have taken it up to Point Reyes with my buddy Steven who owns Slug and on a few real rowdy spins in the Headlands with some other buds of mine. I dig taking it into Golden Gate Park, too, as well as along Sutro and the trails out there by UCSF’s campus. 10/10 would recommend.



We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!