December 31, 1999, Berkeley

Here is the Somec, which I have often referred to. It is a twenty-year-old Italian frame. The paint is original and suffering from age, but it remains beautiful. I didn't clean it for the photos, sorry.


The Somec name is explained on the Somec website: "In the 1960's Oliviero Gallegati founded the legendary 'Societa' Meccanica', (The Mechanic's Society) to promote excellence in bicycle technology, preparation and repair. He loved this society so much that instead of calling his newly started frame company 'Gallegati,' he named it after his revered band of master builders and mechanics. Thus, SO-cieta' MEC-canica, or SO-MEC." If you are so inclined, visit the Somec website and Wikipedia.

The emblem of Somec is a tulip, still used on Somec frames today, but not with the profusion seen on my frame. This frame is from when Somecs were being introduced to the US. The detail lavished on the frame is exceptional. A few years later they were exporting very plain, unadorned frames. They don't make 'em like this anymore.

Click any photo to enlarge.

Somec head badge

The head tube logo.

Beautiful head tube lug

Beautiful lug work and a lovely OMAS headset that suits the frame.

Fork crown

Where's the tulip here? It's an odd design, but it gives the bike character.

Seat cluster, above

Another tulip cut out.

seat cluster, side

The seat stays taper at each end and the attachment at the top is as elegant as they come.

"Special" decal

It is a "special" frame.

Bottom bracket

The bottom bracket.

Underside of bottom bracket

The underside: frame number 746. Note the tulip cutout and brazed on cable guides.

Somec logo on downtube

Not a lovely logo, rather mechanical and pedestrian, but kind of cool.

bicycle leaning

Nothing to say here. Just another photo

Look down from cockpit

The view down as I ride.

Shift lever

Nice new equipment on it. Only the best Italian components.

The bike rides beautifully. It is heavier than modern frames but the geometry of frames hasn't changed much at all over the years and the Somec remains a great bicycle.