Dirt Rag Magazine

Inside Line: First ride on new 2016 Salsa models


Ponyrustler

Spotted as a prototype at Sea Otter, the new 27plus full suspension bike from Salsa made its official debut today with two carbon fiber models and an aluminum model built around the excellent Split Pivot suspension.

2016-salsa-10

If you’re ridden the Horsethief 29er and enjoyed it, you’re likely to feel right at home on the Ponyrustler, as they share geometry figures. In fact, the 2016 Horsetheif is the exact same frame and each model can swap wheels thanks to the Boost hub spacing front and rear. Salsa will continue to offer them as two distinct models though, and the ride experience is quite different.

2016-salsa-14

A quick demo ride largely confirmed that the ride experience somewhat splits the difference between a normal 29er and a full suspension fat bike. Compared to the Bucksaw full suspension fat bike the Ponyrustler feels much faster and more like a “normal” bike while still offering the extra traction and compliance of the larger tires.

2016-salsa-16

The frame offers 120 mm of travel the complete bikes ship with 130 mm forks, all with 110 mm Boost spacing. The Carbon XO1 model ships with the Pike and SRAM XO1, of course, for $5,499. The Carbon GX1 model has the Fox fork and a 1×11 GX build for $4,499. Finally, the aluminum Ponyrustler has a Fox fork and 2×10 GX build for $3,499. All three models ship with SRAM hubs laced to WTB Scraper rims with WTB’s new Bridger 27.5×3.0 tires. The carbon frame will also be available on its own for $2,499.

 

Pony_Rustler_Carbon_XO1_3quarter

Are 27plus bikes going to be the new normal in a few years time? Don’t be surprised if they are.

Deadwood

Somewhat surprising is this 29plus touring bike that Salsa says will be produced in somewhat limited numbers. More evolutionary than revolutionary, it’s kind of like what you’d expect to get if a Fargo and a Mukluk enjoyed a little too much bourbon around the campfire before snuggling into a sleeping bag together.

2016-salsa-2

It’s built with Salsa’s more heavy duty Cobra Kai steel tubing also found on the Powderkeg tandem and Marrakesh touring bike. Here you’ll find all the features and mounts from a Fargo but with the Boost 148 spacing on the Alternator rear end to accommodate the 29×3 Surly Knard tires on WTB Scraper rims. The fork is identical to the standard Fargo model though.

2016-salsa-1

The deep copper paint is lovely in person, and subtle touches like the special logo treatment and subdued graphics are really eye-catching.

2016-salsa-4

I had a chance to take it for a quick spin and I think it could really be the perfect vehicle for riders who want to tackle touring/bikepacking routes at a more casual pace and are willing to trade some speed for comfort. The huge tires soak up the bumps without creating excess rolling resistance. My guess is it’s the kind of bike that will leave customers either salivating or scratching their heads.

2016-salsa-5 2016-salsa-6

The Deadwood will retail for $2,599 or $1,099 for a frame/fork.

Cutthroat

Salsa says the Tour Divide race was the inspiration for the Fargo model, but in the ensuing years the bar for speed has been raised (or lowered?) and top gravel racers are looking for something even lighter and more aggressive. The full carbon fiber Cutthroat is the result.

Cutthroat_Rival_iso

An even more streamlined vision of what the perfect Tour Divide race bike could be, the Cutthroat does away with some of the practicality found on the Fargo such as the Alternator dropouts and rack and fender mounts. The triple cage mounts on the fork are still there though, as it shares the Firestarter carbon fork with the high-end Fargo model.

In the back is the new “Class 5 Vibration Reduction System” that made its debut on the Warbird gravel bike. In an effort to absorb impacts and vibrations the seatstays bow outward considerably to flex. When you’re racing 2,800 miles in two weeks on unpaved roads and trails, any bit helps.

The Cutthroat with a SRAM Rival 1×11 build is $3,999 and the SRAM Apex/X7 2×10 build is $2,999. The frame/fork can also be had for $1,999.

 

Marrakesh

While the Vaya has been carrying the “light touring” torch in the Salsa lineup for a few years, the brand admits it can be a bit overwhelmed when carting heavy loads. The Marrakesh was built from from Salsa’s Cobra Kai steel tubing to carry you and ALL your gear to its namesake exotic lands.

Marrakesh_Drop_Green_3quarter

A touring bike in the classic sense, it has a 3×9 drivetrain and bar-end shifters on the drop-bar model. The flat-bar model is an entirely different frame geometry to achieve proper fit, but is otherwise identical. Each version is available in two colors with a Shimano Deore kit, SRAM BB7 disc brakes, a rear rack and a Brooks saddle. The Alternator dropouts allow you to rig a singlespeed setup if you destroy a derailleur or to built one with an internal-gear hub.

Marrakesh_Flat_Cream_3quarter

The Marrakesh will retail for $1,599 or $650 for the frame/fork.

 

2016-salsa-8

Other changes in the Salsa line

Aside from spec and color changes, some notable tweaks:

  • The carbon Beargrease gets one of the coolest fade paint jobs ever. (Pictured above)
  • All of Salsa’s fat bikes now come with 150 mm spacing on the forks so they can be swapped with a RockShox Bluto if desired. Each of the hardtail fat bikes (Mukluk, Beargrease and Blackbarrow) is also available with one stock.
  • The Mukluk frame geometry changes to match that of the Blackbarrow.
  • The Spearfish is now available in carbon only, with two spec levels or a frame option.
  • The Fargo Ti rides off into the sunset, mostly supplanted by the Cutthroat.
  • The new carbon and aluminum Warbirds were unveiled earlier this year.
  • The Vaya Ti remains in the lineup as a complete bike or frameset.
  • The smallest Vaya models now use 700c wheels instead of 26-inch, and there are only six total sizes instead of eight.
  • The Colossal Ti rolls away, and the single steel model is offered with SRAM Apex or as a frameset.

 

Print

Salsa introduces Powderkeg tandem 29er, plus redesigned Warbird gravel bike


Salsa's Mike Riemer introduces the new bikes to the audience.

Salsa’s Mike Riemer introduces the new bikes to the audience.

Each year, Quality Bicycle Products, the parent company of Salsa (as well as Surly, All-City and others) hosts a dealer show at is Minnesota headquarters. Salsa took the opportunity to announce it would be officially offering a production version of the Powderkeg tandem that has been floating around in prototype form for years.

dr-salsa-powderkeg-warbird-frostbike-13

Powderkeg

dr-salsa-powderkeg-warbird-frostbike-12Not just an extended version of the El Mariachi 29er, the Powderkeg is built from Salsa’s new 4130 Cobra Kai tubing, a riff on the Kung Fu tubing in the El Mariachi. The fork is new as well, with a tapered, steel steerer and massive legs—as big as some steel bikes’ down tubes. It’s naturally equipped with a thru axle, or can be swapped with a 100mm suspension fork, if you’re brave enough to tackle singletrack. The timing chain is tensioned with a classic pinch-bolt eccentric bottom bracket.

While it’s stout enough for off-road, Salsa says it sees many of its customers using the Powderkeg for gravel riding/racing and adventure touring. A prototype was put to the test in the Tour Divide race in 2012. As such it’s equipped with rack mounts, and the fork uses the three-bolt bosses for Salsa’s Anything Cages. It also sets a record for Salsa with no less than nine water bottle mount positions.

dr-salsa-powderkeg-warbird-frostbike-11

The Powderkeg will go on sale this summer for $3,999 complete or $1,999 as a frameset. It will be available in three sizes: medium captain/small stoker, large captain/small stoker, and large captain/medium stoker.


dr-salsa-powderkeg-warbird-frostbike-1

Warbird

Salsa is proud to state that it “owns gravel”, and the brand has supported the growing gravel ride/race scene since it began to gain popularity in the past five or six years. From events like the Dirty Kanza 200 to shorter ultracross races across the country, the Warbird separates itself from cyclocross bikes with a longer wheelbase, lower bottom bracket and larger tire clearance.

dr-salsa-powderkeg-warbird-frostbike-9 dr-salsa-powderkeg-warbird-frostbike-10

The second generation of Warbird bikes retain much of the same geometry of the first, but with a slightly lower stack height for a more aggressive position. The biggest visual difference is the bowed seatstays, which Salsa calls Class 5 Vibration Reduction System—class 5 referring to the gauge of gravel used on roads. The stays have a thin, flat profile that allows them to offer a small amount of give over impacts, a small amount that can add up quick over long rides. By mounting the disc brake caliper on the chainstay Salsa is able to allow both stays to function this way without having to support braking forces.

dr-salsa-powderkeg-warbird-frostbike-3

Offered in both aluminum and carbon fiber versions, both models use the carbon Warbird fork with 15mm thru axle and tapered, carbon steerer tube. Salsa claims the carbon frame and fork reduce vibrations nine percent over the previous generation titanium model, and six percent for the aluminum frame and carbon fork.

dr-salsa-powderkeg-warbird-frostbike-4

All that space in the stays means the Warbird can pack a big tire: 44c in the carbon model and 42c for the aluminum. Both models use PF30 bottom bracket shells and internal cable routing for mechanical or electronic drivetrains. Because gravel rides are often pretty long, it also has a third water bottle cage under the down tube.

dr-salsa-powderkeg-warbird-frostbike-5

The carbon Warbird will be available this summer for $1,999 for the frameset or $3,499 with a SRAM Rival 22 build and hydraulic brakes. The aluminum models are in stock now for $999 for the frame set and $2,499 for a Shimano 105 11-speed build or $1,999 for a 10-speed Tiagra build.

Print

Salsa launches carbon Bucksaw full-suspension fat bike


salsa-bucksaw-carbon-1

Can’t say we didn’t see this coming. With the stratospheric boom in popularity of fat bikes and the positive reaction to the aluminum version of the Bucksaw, Salsa has just let loose that a carbon fiber version will be joining it on the trails in the near future.

salsa-bucksaw-carbon-2

Still built around 100mm of travel through the excellent Split Pivot suspension design, the carbon Bucksaw promises to be lighter and stiffer for even more performance. Salsa says the frame weighs 300 grams less than the aluminum version.

A carbon Bucksaw frame will set you back $2,699 and a complete bike will retail for $6,499.

salsa-bucksaw-carbon-3

The aluminum Bucksaw begins shipping to dealers until next week,  and the carbon fiber version will arrive in the spring. If you’re lamenting the fact that winter will be over, rest assured a bike like this will be fun all year long. I rode one on the dry and rocky trails in Utah and was blown away by its capabilities and even named it one of my Editor’s Choice products in the current issue of Dirt Rag.

salsa-bucksaw-carbon-4

Stay tuned for more details of the carbon Bucksaw as they become available.

 

Print

First Impression: Riding Salsa’s full-suspension fat bike, the Bucksaw


2015-salsa-bucksaw-7

We had seen it coming. There were spy shots and rumors tossed around about a full-suspension fat bike. In fact, the Bucksaw isn’t even the first one—several smaller brands have built bikes that qualified as “full-suspension”, but this one is different. This is a major brand making a big commitment to a new product segment, and bringing an advanced suspension design with it. Mike Riemer, Salsa’s Marketing Manager, said that Dave Weagle, the creator of the Bucksaw’s Split Pivot suspension, told him it was the most complex project he had ever worked on.

One thing is for sure, this is not a “stealthy” bike. From the big tires to the candy-colored paint, the Bucksaw is breaking a new trail in mountain biking. But how does it ride?

Click here to find out.

Print

‘The Push’ – a short film from Salsa Cycles


The Arrowhead Ultra 135, the coldest bike race in the Lower 48, begins one week from today in International Falls, Minnesota. Traversing the 135-mile Arrowhead Trail, it promises promises near-Arctic conditions and nearly always delivers. To finish, let alone win, is a triumph of man and machine over nature. Salsa Cycles‘ Mike “Kid” Riemer has put together this wonderful tribute to an event that is close to his heart.

Print

Cold Rolled – Marquette, Michigan’s Fat Bike Route – Chapter 5


Chapter Five is the final chapter in the “Cold Rolled” series and showcases the fast and fun riding potential of a maintained snow singletrack trail.

Marquette’s Noquemanon Trails Network has nearly perfected equipment and techniques used to launch its Snow Bike Route (SBR), a 15-mile winter singletrack developed for fat tire bikes. The fast narrow trail features flowy terrain, steep descents and large bermed turns. It’s believed to be the first trail of its kind—but more importantly, it’s pretty fun.

See all episodes of “Cold Rolled” here.

Print

Review: 2013 Salsa Beargrease


salsa-beargrease-review-3

The Beargrease, one of two fat bike platforms from Salsa, is billed as a soft conditions racing bike. It’s designed for maximum performance when floatation and stability are necessary. As spec’d, it’s ready to take on frosty winter races or weekend fun on pretty much any terrain.

Made EV6 Xtrolite aluminum, the Beargrease has size-specific, double- butted tubing. For stiffness there’s a tapered head tube and hydro- formed top and down tubes. Full-length cable housing helps to inhibit contamination and the durable matte anodized finish saves weight over paint. Geometry is designed for stability at slow speeds with plenty of clearance to stuff those fat tires into the frame and fork. A 170mm spaced rear accommodates a 26-inch x 4.0-inch tire while the 135mm fork can fit a 4.8-inch fatty. Its relaxed 69.5-degree head tube adds stability and helps control the heavy front wheel, while the 45-inch wheelbase increases stability in soft conditions.

Read on to see how this fatty rolled…

Print

Cold Rolled – Marquette, Michigan’s Fat Bike Route – Chapter 4


Cold Rolled is an action documentary from Clear & Cold CinemaSalsa Cycles and TravelMarquetteMichigan.com that will explore the history and progression of winter cycling culture in the adventure-loving Lake Superior harbor town of Marquette, Michigan.

Marquette’s Noquemanon Trails Network has nearly perfected equipment and techniques used to launch its Snow Bike Route, a 15-mile winter singletrack developed for fat tire bikes. The fast narrow trail features flowy terrain, steep descents and large bermed turns. It’s believed to be the first trail of its kind–but more importantly, it’s pretty fun.

Chapter Four is a humorous documentary segment featuring Noquemanon Trails Network lead trailbuilders Mike Brunet and Matt Belic that traces the thought process behind creating dedicated snow singletrack and the physical process of fabricating a special groomer to keep Marquette’s abundant snowfall ridable.

See all episodes of “Cold Rolled” here.

Print

Cold Rolled – Marquette, Michigan’s Fat Bike Route – Chapter 3


Cold Rolled is an action documentary from Clear & Cold CinemaSalsa Cycles and TravelMarquetteMichigan.com that will explore the history and progression of winter cycling culture in the adventure-loving Lake Superior harbor town of Marquette, Michigan.

Marquette’s Noquemanon Trails Network has nearly perfected equipment and techniques used to launch its Snow Bike Route, a 15-mile winter singletrack developed for fat tire bikes. The fast narrow trail features flowy terrain, steep descents and large bermed turns. It’s believed to be the first trail of its kind–but more importantly, it’s pretty fun.

Chapter Three explores the ever-shifting moonscape of the frozen shoreline of the world’s largest body of freshwater, Lake Superior. This segment was shot over two days in late March 2013 about a half mile offshore within the city limits of Marquette. Over the course of the long winter Lake Superior’s legendary storms create an otherworldly landscape of ice and snow that shifts with each gale. The ice formations, created by wave action and freezing temps, are usually anchored on the lake bottom and can rise from the water up to 30 feet in some locations. Lake Superior’s water temperature hovers right around freezing, and is the leading factor in the region’s high snowfall totals that have influenced the winter cycling culture in this adventure-loving town on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

See all episodes of “Cold Rolled” here.

Print

Review: 2013 Salsa Fargo 2


dr-salsafargo-1

Rather than a beefed-up touring bike, the Fargo 2 is actually a drop-bar mountain bike, with a lighter compact frame, 2×10 drivetrain, tubeless wheels, and slacker geometry than you would find on a road-going touring bike. A tall, 44mm head tube means a higher handlebar for comfort off-road, and suspension-corrected geometry allows a suspension fork upgrade. 

Click here to read the full, long-term review.

Print

Cold Rolled – Marquette, Michigan’s Fat Bike Route – Chapter 2


This is Chapter Two of the five-part short film “Cold Rolled: Marquette Michigan’s Snow Bike Route”, an action documentary from Clear & Cold CinemaSalsa Cycles and TravelMarquetteMichigan.com that will explore the history and progression of winter cycling culture in the adventure-loving Lake Superior harbor town of Marquette, Michigan.

Marquette’s Noquemanon Trails Network has nearly perfected equipment and techniques used to launch its Snow Bike Route, a 15-mile winter singletrack developed for fat tire bikes. The fast narrow trail features flowy terrain, steep descents and large bermed turns. It’s believed to be the first trail of its kind–but more importantly, it’s pretty fun.

Chapter Two features an interview with Marquette, Michigan native and Noquemanon Trails Network volunteer Mike Brunet who led development of the new Snow Bike Route. Archival newscasts, photos and home video demonstrate the long history of winter riding in Marquette that led to development of the new SBR.

See all episodes of “Cold Rolled” here.

Print

Cold Rolled – Marquette Michigan’s Fat Bike Route – Chapter 1


Chapter One of the five-part short film “Cold Rolled: Marquette Michigan’s Snow Bike Route”, an action documentary from Clear & Cold Cinema, Salsa Cycles and TravelMarquetteMichigan.com that will explore the history and progression of winter cycling culture in the adventure-loving Lake Superior harbor town of Marquette, Michigan.

Marquette’s Noquemanon Trails Network has nearly perfected equipment and techniques used to launch its Snow Bike Route, a 15-mile winter singletrack developed for fat tire bikes. The fast narrow trail features flowy terrain, steep descents and large bermed turns. It’s believed to be the first trail of its kind–but more importantly, it’s pretty fun.

Chapter One features riding along an ungroomed section of trail that is often packed by foot traffic from Marquette’s active population. This section of trail follows the Dead River and passes under a leaky water pipe that forms curtains of ice in the winter months.

See all episodes of “Cold Rolled here.

Print
Back to Top