My commuter bike is ready. One month after I purchased the frame, picked out all the parts. It's been awhile since I'ver purchased a custom build and I forgot how adventurous the process can be.
Back at the end of January, I bought a SOMA Fabrications Buena Vista mixte frame through a local bike shop. I was pleasantly surprised when the frame and fork arrived in two business days. Unfortunately, that's where the pleasantness ends. Turns out, the distributor for SOMA, The Merry Sales Co., sent the frame with a 650b fork. It should've been 700c. Okay, slight hiccup. Just send back the smaller fork and swap for the bigger one. Except, the only 700c forks Merry Sales had was in a slightly different color.
The Buena Vista I purchased was a 2012 model in Bacardi White, but the 2013 color is Pearl White. I bet you might be thinking, "What's the difference? White is white." To that I say, have you walked into a paint store recently? There is no less than 15 shades of white from names like ice mist to wedding veil. Also, the idea of spending a good chunk of change getting a custom build together with a mis-matched frame and fork didn't sit well with me.
Merry Sales offered to send out a chrome fork. No way. How about a Bacardi White that is slightly blemished? Not a chance. I considered calling the whole thing off and send the frame back for a refund. Or swap the mis-matched 2012 model I got for the 2013 Pearl White. After some consideration, the thought of getting the bike built with minimal delays outweighed the minor color difference.
Ultimately, I was disappointed with SOMA/Merry Sales for not providing the information about the mis-matched frames and forks for its remaining 2012 stock. As of this writing, the SOMA online store still does not have any notes to inform prospective customers about this.
For this build, I was going for a retro look and I wanted to avoid mass-produced companies like Shimano or SRAM. The headset, stem, and crank were to come from Velo Orange out on the east coast. Once again, my local bike shop placed an order during the first week of February. Wouldn't you know it, Velo Orange was in the process of moving right at that time, resulting in shipping delays during their move. The parts finally arrived, almost two-and-a-half weeks later.
This past Saturday, I finally got the call from the shop that the bike was ready. The weather had been cold and wet earlier during the week, but Saturday was clear, calm and even sunny. I couldn't have asked for a better day to going riding during the middle of winter.
The Universe sure has a funny way of balancing things out.