The San Francisco-based Soma Fabrications is a benefactor of The Spoken, for which we are very grateful. The inspiration for their brand is the Bay Area neighborhood South of Market, but the name on this porteur, built up by Joey Celis, might refer to Sōma, a prefecture in Fukushima, Japan.
SomaFab has been creating bikes and accessories for the ‘Everyday Cyclist’ since 2001, but this Soma Prestige dates back to 1977. They were manufactured by the Kuwuhara Company and sold in the states under the Soma Sport brand.
Joey Celis is a photographer who lives in the Bay Area and already owns a Kagero track bike and a vintage Fantini road bike, but built up the Prestige as a porteur because, he tells us, “…sometimes I just don’t want to look like I’m delivering parcels or racing in a lonely one man tour”.
There were a few technical hitches, however. “These bicycles originally used stem mounted shifters and lacked any bottom bracket cable guides. I installed a set of SunRace clamp-on downtube index shifters, tapped the bottom bracket shell and installed a Shimano cable guide.”
“The front crankset is Shimano 600 with a 52T Biopace chain ring. The combination of 52×22 gives it an easy gearing in either of the 3 gears. I won’t be breaking any land speed records nor will I be breaking much of sweat in full office clothing either. It’s a win/win, I say!”
It sure looks, and works, a treat. Special thanks to Joey Celis for the words and photos. Check out more of his exquisite portfolio on his blog and website.