Carrying me about 4,000 miles is the 2014 Soma Saga. It’s a 54 cm, 700C rig. Most touring bike manufacturers, such as Surly and Salsa, offer a 700C wheelset in a 56 cm frame and above. Below that, the wheel size drops to a 26″ rim, found mostly on mountain bikes and some cruisers, because toe overlap becomes an issue with larger wheels on smaller frames. Toe overlap occurs when your foot bumps the front tire or fender when turning the handlebars and pedals. Not a huge deal, but annoying when handling the heavier load of a touring bike.
Soma Fabrications is one of the few manufacturers that makes a 54 cm frame with a 700C wheel set. That made the buying decision easy.
Full specifications (with help from Soma Fab):
Frame: Tange Prestige heat-treated CrMo
Fork: Lugged crown Infinity CrMo
Front wheel: Shutter Precision PV8 dynohub hubs w/alloy rims 36h
Rear wheel: Suzue hub w/alloy rims 36h
Lights: Busch and Muller Lumotec IQ Cyo (front), BM Toplight Line Plus (rear)
Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700x35C
Drivetrain: Shimano Deore rear derailleur & Rivendell bar end shifters, Sugino XD 48-36-24t crankset, 11-34t 9-spd cassette
Brake Set: Tektro CR-720 canti brakes, Soma Aero brake levers
Cockpit: Soma Roundwise bar, Soma Shotwell Stem, layback alloy post
Saddle: Brooks B17 Narrow
Pedals: Shimano M324
Tape: Brooks Cambium
Racks: Tubus Cargo Evo (rear), Arkel Low Rider (front)
Panniers: Two Ortlieb Classic Roll Down (front), two Arkel T-28 (rear), Ortlieb Ultimate 6 handlebar bag
Charger: Sinewave Cycles Reactor USB headset cap.
Bell: Crane copper Suzu Mini Lever Strike Bell w/headset spacer
Paint: British Racing Green