Soma Fabrications Juice 29er Hardtail

4.43/5 (35 Reviews)


Product Description

Soma juice in old Hindu scripture is an intoxicating drink, a drink of the gods. And since its introduction, it has intoxicated many new riders into loving the 29" wheel platform. Big wheels let you flow over terrain that used to make you squirm. The Juice balances nimbleness and stability that other 29ers hope to match. Run it as a single-speed or geared. Get "juiced" today.
  • Reynolds 631 air hardened steel front triangle; butted CrMo rear end
  • IRD CrMo steel 29er fork for disc and V-brakes optional
  • Geometry designed to accomadate a 80mm travel fork
  • 1-1/8" size headtube


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Reviews 1 - 15 (35 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bill Winnenberg a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2012

Strengths:    The Juice is by far the best handling 29er I have ridden. It handles fast sweeping downhills and tight cornering with the feel of a BMX bike, just a lot more comfortably. I think that a lot of the sweet handling comes from the suppleness of the frame which makes you wonder why but in the most extreme conditions you would ever need suspension. Climbing is amazing as it is with most steel single speeds. The ability to run single speed or geared with the sliding dropouts lends to it's flexibility and value. I have only ridden as a single speed. I also have a Singular Swift, which I love, but most days would choose the Juice due to it's comfort and more predictable handling. For a race though, it would be a tough call as the Swift is much stiffer and therefore more responsive to rider input. It is nice to have the choice...

Weaknesses:    Not a serious weakness, but the Juice is not as stiff in the bottom bracket as many single speeds. You get used to it though and in reality you go just as fast, it just doesn't feel as efficient. Weight is in the acceptable range but it is not a fly weight.

Bottom Line:   
Set up with Stan's ZTR Crest wheels, Salsa carbon bars and post, Salsa steel fork and a Stylo crankset, this is the most fun mountain bike I have ever had. The ride and handling puts a constant smile on your face and you always know you are having more fun than you could on aluminum or carbon rides. This is a 2012 model that I have around 30 hours of riding time on over the past 4 weeks. So far, I love it...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Phil's Trail System, Bend, Orrgon

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper, GT steel 29er, Rocky Mountain aluminum 29er, Salsa Spearfish.

Bike Setup:   Stan's Crest, Salsa carbon bar and post, Salsa steel fork, Knobby Nics, Stylo crankset

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by gearjunkie88 a Racer from San antonio TX

Date Reviewed: July 24, 2011

Strengths:    Lots of options on the frame. Geared or single speed. Disc or rim brakes. Different size rear hub options.

Weaknesses:    Sliding drop outs are a hassle if you're running gears. The rear wheel kept sliding around regardless of how much torque I put on it.

Bottom Line:   
This bike was my first entry into the 29er world. I'm used to 26" full suspension bikes and was assured that a 29er steel bike would be just as forgiving. That is total B.S. The sliding drop outs are a horrible idea if you're riding geared.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Niner MCR, Titus Rockstar


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ajdemo76 a Downhiller from Dillon, CO

Date Reviewed: May 14, 2011

Strengths:    light for steel, toptube clearance, slotted dropouts giving you the option for single or geared, simple graphics, rides great, the green color is awesome

Weaknesses:    I'd prefer the derailleur cable braze-on's let you run the full cable through instead of naked in spots, could do without the brake bosses but I'm just being picky now.

Bottom Line:   
This bike has exceeded my expectations. Light, flickable bike, comfortable ride. I've had this on long, technical climbs and challenging descents and I've been impressed. Hard to beat for the price.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anywhere Fruita, Keystone, Apex

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Creekside Bikes, Par

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29er

Bike Setup:   Easton EA90 XC wheelset, EA90 stem, EC70 bars and seatpost, Manitou Tower Pro fork, X9 derailleur and shifter, E13 SS crankset and XCX chainguide

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by CB2 a Racer from West Hartford

Date Reviewed: May 14, 2011

Strengths:    price

Weaknesses:    kinda blah

Bottom Line:   
The Juice was my entry into 29'ers and showed me the advantages that the format had for me. The frame was quite versatile with many eyelets. I did have higher expectations from the frame due to my previous experience with Tange Prestige, but it didn't live up to the reputation. It rode okay, but didn't really light my fire.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   TdT

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   used

Similar Products Used:   Singular Swift, Surly Karate Monkey, Specialized Stumpjumper (Tange Prestige tubed).

Bike Setup:   rigid singlespeed

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by inlikeflynt1956 a Cross Country Rider from The Table, CA

Date Reviewed: October 17, 2010

Strengths:    Stand-over height has been one of the reasons I have passed on 29ers. Not anymore. The bent top tube was just the ticket and the price was a bonus!
All my bikes have been and will continue to be STEEL. I have the Presitige version Juice, and it's strong, forgiving and a lively ride.


Weaknesses:    Wheel removal with disc setup as SS a minor niggle. . .


Bottom Line:   
This bike is a hoot to ride, and I am totally bitten by the 29er bug.
I love riding a completely rigid bike. It's a thinking mans game.
You are totally dependent on your skills as a rider and less on technology.
The larger wheels provide comfort as well as confidence.
The single gear took some getting use to, and I dig the simplicity.
The Juice 29 is the perfect vehicle into a whole new cycling experience.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Dirty Ones

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   CL

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Single speed build with a niner 853 fork, Avid BB7s, WTB Nano 2.1s, custom wheel build

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jacob a Cross Country Rider from St Paul, MN, USA

Date Reviewed: October 12, 2010

Strengths:    Incredible ride quality for the price, I set mine up SS and sold my Enduro Pro within the week after trying to ride 26 inch tires again... Never going back!

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
I love it, went out today and again was moved by how great it rides, how much fun I have on it and how little i miss full suspension and gears. I hope this one lasts a long time because I have no desire to get anything else.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lebanon HIlls

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Swap

Similar Products Used:   karate monkey

Bike Setup:   SS with with steel rigid or white brother's magic depending on mood. White industries free hub and xt cranks. 32x18 ratio.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Penderho a Cross Country Rider from Magalia, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2010

Strengths:    Cost. The other has to be versatility. Disc, V-brake, Single, Geared or even Touring . . . whatever way you want to set it up.


Weaknesses:    Considering this frame has to have Horizontal drop outs to make a true Single Speed this does cause a bit of a problem removing and reinstalling the rear wheel when the bike is setup for disc brakes. But one does adapt. I would have also liked rack eyelets on the seat stays but I'm nit picking.


Bottom Line:   
I got into the Juice to experiment with the 29er wheels. This bike/frame has been a revelation for the price. Tracks extremely straight and truly aids in climbing. The bike simply hooks up. Carves corners like a downhill skier and has an uncanny fluidity as it rolls over anything, which I attribute to the tall wheels. Some of this might also be because of the flexible Fetish Fork. The movement seems to help the wheels do their job yet does not get in the way of turning/carving. It was my plan that if it worked out I'd then invest in a top of the line expensive 29er frame. No need now. I'm getting rid of all my 26" stuff. I found nirvana. I would recommend this to anyone.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Paradise Lake to Desabla Lake

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $375.00

Purchased At:   Mail-order

Similar Products Used:   My Best friends Karate Monkey


Bike Setup:   I am a 5'9" pseudo senior and I love torque to do my work. Raceface 180mm cranks, Avid Mechanical disc's, Shimano derailleur's, SRAM Rocket 9 Grip shifters, XRP Pro wheels and for the sake of difference a Fetish Carbon Fiber rigid fork.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dkbobxc a Cross Country Rider from San Bruno, CA

Date Reviewed: April 22, 2010

Strengths:    The bike is very fast on turns, lots of traction so I don't have to worry about sliding and what not. Its fairly cheap. It just rolls over stuff. I realized I have more control going downhill on the Soma than my 26 Stumpy, so I'm actually faster because I just pedal like hell.

Weaknesses:    I have the older Reynolds frame so no V-brake bosses and there's that overlap with suspension forks by the head tube.

Bottom Line:   
If you want a custom build 29er at a low price and good quality, get it. With all the fixes with the frame like the head tube gusset for the clearance and v brake bosss. When I worked there, the head frame designer was experimenting with sliding dropouts. I don't know if they'll ever put those in newer frames in the future but I'd like to leak out the possibility. I do think it's a hassle to use bolt on wheels for SS bcause QR always slips on me no matter how tight I lock it in. So I hope STANLEY actually follows through with that.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Waterdog Lake

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $600.00

Similar Products Used:   Some nameless SS 29er frame with EBB fully rigid

Bike Setup:   I have the exact same bike that MTB Action reviewed. I'm not lying, I got it straight from the distributor in South San Francisco where I worked for a while. It was SS but I turned it into 1X9. It has Marzocchi MX Comp forks, LX cranks and derailleur, deore shifters, WTB Laserdisc lite wheelset, and crappy IRD mech discs.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by geekrunner a Cross Country Rider from Indianapolis, IN USA

Date Reviewed: March 18, 2010

Strengths:    Looks great, versatility of using 130mm or 135mm spaced rear wheels, derailleur hanger

Weaknesses:    In this day and age, ditch the cantilever bosses

Bottom Line:   
Honestly, I haven't ridden it yet, but I'm having a blast setting it up! It looks great. I have an Astrix Rook which geometrically is identical, and if it rides and performs as well as the Rook, I'll be a happy camper! I liked the price as well. The Rook is set up with a Reba Race 80mm, and 2x9 SRAM drivetrain, but I wanted to use the Juice as my experiment in full rigid single speed. The e-Bay seller I got it from described it as a Blood Red, but it looks more like a burnt orange. I'm still happy with it so far. I'm waiting fo rour trails to dry out a little more before I take it out for its first trail ride!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Southwestway Park

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   e-Bay

Similar Products Used:   Astrix Rook, Gary Fisher Hi-Fi 29er

Bike Setup:   Single speed 32/20 with FSA crank, Salsa Shaft seatpost & Fliplock collar, Salsa moto riser bar & stem, Salsa rigid fork corrected to 85mm, Cane Creek S6 headset, Shimano M485 hydraulic brakes, WTB SS wheelset, 20T titanuim rear cog, Kenda Klaw tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by creedence a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA

Date Reviewed: January 7, 2010

Strengths:    Adaptability. Price point.

Weaknesses:    Extra braze-ons.

Bottom Line:   
The bike is a great price point. There aren't a lot of 29er frames to be had at a low price if you want to do a custom build. This one is very adaptable. When I got mine it was pretty much either soma or surly. I've been happy with my choice. It's one of the original limited ones with no V-brake mounts. No cracks yet and I'm riding rigid weighing 230lbs.

Mine climbs pretty well. It's a single speed so I spin out from time to time but it's to be expected.

It descends solidly. I've passed friends on rocky downhills with it.

On flats its butter, I rail the turns pretty much don't have to worry about anything in my way.

It can be a bit awkward in tight spaces, but I think that's a general 29'er thing.

As far as finish goes, my only real issue is my foot rubs the chain stay where it bulges for the disc brake and rubbed the paint right off within a few weeks of owning it. No rust issues though. I used the T9 aerosol in the tubes before building it and store it indoors.

I see people complaining about the narrow drop-outs. They are 132.5mm spaced, so you can choose to use a road wheel/hub(130mm, since 29'er is just mtb's name for 700c) or a mtn wheel/hub(135) and bend them accordingly. It's steel it's ok.

I consider this a mid-range versatile frame and I feel 100% satisfied with what I got. It's pretty dang lightweight too, even with that brooks saddle.

A quick side note, this thing handles the streets like a pro as well. I was swapping cogs and tires for a bit and using it for commuting as well. The larger tires I could fit on there made the ride smooth. Mine however doesn't have upper rack braze-ons, which if it were a true commuter, I might be upset about.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The horse park in atlanta

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $375.00

Purchased At:   Soma

Bike Setup:   Single speed, salsa c-ring, Endless Cog, SRAM chain, King Hset, Surly Karate Monkey fork, DT340 hubs to Velocity Dyad rims, XT Cranks, Avid Brakes, Easton Carbon Bars, Race Face Stem, Thompson lay-back post, brooks b-17 narrow saddle, panaracer firecross 700x45 tires, egg beaters

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BQ a Cross Country Rider from Atlanta Ga USA

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2009

Strengths:    The revised design is great for single track and climbing.

Weaknesses:    The old frame design was scary and broke after the first ride. I think it is a road bike frame.

Bottom Line:   
Make sure you get the the newly designed frame from 08' and on. It has a gusset at the headtube, and the seat and chain stays are more robust. Some warehouses will send out the old frames until they are gone. The old design was poorly built and too flimsy for off road, you have to spread the dropouts to get the rear wheel on because it was designed for road bike wheels. The new design is 100% better for off road. 29 is the way to go, the ride is sooo smooth. Rating is for revised frame design..Cheers.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $325.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   none, this is my first 29er (well, second if you count the first frame)

Bike Setup:   White rigit carbon fork, king headset, Mavic wheels, xtr brakes, raceface crank, thomson post.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by backwoods a Cross Country Rider from Eastern USA

Date Reviewed: July 25, 2009

Strengths:    Nice handling frame, very compliant in all terrains. Geometry is ideal for a cross country ride.

Weaknesses:    Frame cracked at the rear triangle after 3 months of riding. Paint in areas of fasteners. Rear hub clearance is very tight (maybe just this frame???). Cable tie areas have excessive paint that do not allow cable tie usage.

Bottom Line:   
Will send a follow up review after the warranty process is complete. However, a frame should not crack within reasonable mountain biking (singletrack, climbs, some technical, etc. --- no drops, etc.)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $479.00

Similar Products Used:   Several 26ers and 29ers.

Bike Setup:   High end.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by jonecat@hotmail.com a Cross Country Rider from santa barbara, california, usa

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2009

Strengths:    Nice geometry and great handling.

Weaknesses:    Frame fabrication is crap!!! Where do I start? This is the second juice frame that has broken after only a year of use. The first frame broke between the top rear triangle and the seatstay. The second frame broke on the down tube between the bottle cage screws. I ride the hell out of my bikes and I have 3 currently. I don't understand why the braze-ons rust out soo fast. This frame has the worst paint finish/strength of any bike I've ever owned over the past 10 years. I've had 1 specialized frame break after 5 years of extreme abuse, but 2 juice frames broken after about a year of use? I'm disappointed to say the least! I suppose this what I get for purchasing something made in some backhole childrun sweatshop overseas.

Bottom Line:   
Don't buy this piece of crap if you live close to the ocean because of extreme rusting of all the braze-ons. Don't buy this frame if you are a larger rider because the frame will break. I'm 6'4" 210lbs.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   19 oaks/camuesa connector

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   warranty frame

Bike Setup:   XTR shifters/brakes, XTR rear d., Xt front d, Xt cranks, Marzzochii bomber fork, Salsa delgado rims laced with Hadley hubs, Hellbent bar, Thompson stem and seatpost, Chris King headset, etc etc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mono_vs_stereo a Cross Country Rider from louisville, ky, usa

Date Reviewed: January 19, 2009

Strengths:    Light weight, especially for the size. Extremely manageable on tight trails. Very adaptable.

Weaknesses:    None I have noticed.

Bottom Line:   
I ride a lot of tight tech singletrack and was apprehensive at first, but this bike the way it was set up was way too good of a deal to pass up.

A year after purchasing it I am pleased to say that it consistently outperforms my 26" bikes on nearly every trail I ride. Sometimes the rigid fork is a bit of a hassle but I'm running 2.55" tires and keep around 35-40psi in them so it's not that bad. I'm not doing massive drops on this bike, but then again my setup isn't built around that anyway- that's why I have my P3 with the 888 fork. I love hardtails.

If you are interested in finding out why the 29er movement is taking off, and has been for a few years now, get this frame, a decent fork, and a good set of wheels- you can take the rest of the parts of the 26" bike you won't be riding for much longer.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   dirt rag forums

Similar Products Used:   Redline, Bianchi SS29ers.

Bike Setup:   Wily Cycles rigid fork, Salsa bars and stem, FSA carbon cranks, MoFab rock ring/bash guard, Surly SS hubs laced to Sun rims handbuilt by Mike Curiak, Avid mech discs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rangerdave1 a Weekend Warrior from Cambridge, ON, Canada

Date Reviewed: July 16, 2008

Strengths:    ride quality
build quality
Versatility
price


Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Out of the last 10 years, the Soma has been the best trail/xc bike I have ever owned. It is extremely smooth, flickable and light enough. It rides the way a bike should. It's predictable, it's stable (at speed and in the air), and corners like it's on rails. I'm very happy with it. And to top it off, it looks good and you're not likely to see another one around, at least not built the way yours is.

I rode a GF Paragon for the last year and found it be a decent ride but 1 ride on the Soma was all it took for me to realize how bad the Paragon really was.

Get the Soma, build up with nice parts and jump on and ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   hydro cut

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $325.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Paragon

Bike Setup:   Soma Juice 18", Reba race fork, Hope, Thomson, Chris king goodies:) and X9 drive train

Reviews 1 - 15 (35 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Soma Juice....any clydesdales ride this frame

I am working on getting a new AM 29er hardtail. Any big guys ride the Juice. I am 6'3" and 215 lbs so looking at the XXL. I would go with a 120mm fork to get the geo closer to 68 degrees and a double chain ring up front. I like to ride up about as much as I like to bomb down ..... My other s ... Read More »

Paul cranks / Phil BB on Soma Juice SS build - confusion...

Hey everybody, I've been searching all over trying to figure out how to make this setup run properly. I'm probably over thinking this, Idk... So I'm building up a Soma Juice SS and plan to go with a set of Paul mountain cranks and a Phil bottom bracket. I understand that it'll have to be a 73mm/C ... Read More »

Some Juice, Brownstone. Build, ride, review, etc.

This is sort of just a heads up thread for now. I pulled the trigger on a Soma Juice yesterday afternoon. It will replace my old single speed frame. I'll get some pictures when it comes in, and comment a little on how looks, build it up, ride and and review it. I've seen a few builds on this bike, ... Read More »

2014 Soma Juice ride impressions?

I'm looking into a new single speed frame and am considering the new Soma Juice [url=http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/juice]Juice (29er) | SOMA Fabrications[/url] and wanted to get some feedback from others who have one of these built. I currently have a 2014 Kona Unit and am not really feel ... Read More »

2014 Juice Pics

If anyone is interested in what one looks like assembled...a 1x10 XC special: Carver moustache Ti Spank grips Avid BB7's Crank bros stem Reba SL fork Race Face XC cranks ShimanoXT shift; SLX der XT cassette; Oneup 42t granny cog Vuelta XC wheel set Maxxis igniters 2.1 Truvativ carbon post, Speciali ... Read More »

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