Salsa Cycles unveiled the bulk of their 2015 line-up this past weekend at Saddle Drive. With Jason Lowetz on hand to ride them, and everyone at the shop drooling over the official releases, we've slapped together the top five bikes we can't wait to ride this fall. 1. Salsa Bucksaw. We've been waiting on this one for a long, long time. Salsa has been working on a full suspension fat bike for two years, and whispers of it reached us right around when the project started. It's finally here.
As always, Salsa doesn't do anything unless it's exactly what they were going for, and they've nailed it. On one hand, it's a Mukluk. Aluminum frame, slack but efficient geometry ready for big rides and ripping singletrack. But Salsa did a great job bringing in a lot of the technology and feel of their Spearfish. The Split Pivot design is unbelievable; stand up, jump, climb like an animal and it doesn't budge. Hit some singletrack and even over the roughest stuff, you're always in touch with the trail.
The Bucksaw 1 comes as an XX1 bike, and the Bucksaw 2 will be an X7/X9 build. A big thing to note is the tire clearance. This bike will only clear 4" tires, so think a Surly Nate or 4" 45nrth Dillinger. No 4.8" Surly Bud or Lous with the full-suspension, but it's definitely a bike thats well suited for year-round riding.
2. Salsa Blackborow. Surly was a little ahead of the game when they announced their Ice Cream Truck, and I was especially excited about that, even with a hefty 38 pound stock weight. A calm voice from QBP, the company behind both Surly and Salsa in the fat bike game, said to be patient. BOOM! The Blackborow. The same idea, but lighter. Salsa goes aluminum for a non-offset bike designed to 4.8" tires, and stock with 100mm rims. This is the ultimate go-anywhere, maximum floatation bicycle. For winter riders on hardly-groomed trails and snowmobile routes, to serious dune and beach riders, you're not going to top this set-up. And for the ultimate adventurer, you can even set this up as a singlespeed for the gnarliest backwoods exploration.
3. Salsa Spearfish Carbon RS-1. First off, they did this bike in carbon. Finally! As Salsa gets more comfortable putting their famous models into carbon offerings, we're getting more and more excited to see how it works. After the 2014 Beargrease went plastic, there's no reason to doubt Salsa is doing it right. And what better way to debut the carbon Spearfish than by offering an XX1 model with Rock Shox's all-new RS1, which is their revived version of an inverted fork. What's more, they are doing the bike in official Einstein Racing black and pink. It's almost like they created it just for us.
4. Salsa Beargrease 2. It's back. The 2013 aluminum Beargrease changed fat biking forever; light, snappy, and so fast. The aluminum version disappeared as carbon took over, but Salsa wisely brought it back as yet another great option for fat bike racers and those looking for a light bike for the whole year through. It keeps a lot of its original features, but is also ready for a 100mm Rock Shox Bluto whenever you're ready for it.
This is almost certainly a race bike, but Nate now has something like 2,000 miles on his aluminum Beargrease, including countless hours rolling through two-tracks, power lines and singletrack with his dogs. It's a great platform for everything, ready to tackle anything.
5. Salsa Warbird Ti. Not much has changed in 2015 for the 'Bird, but it doesn't need to. Eric and Lowetz have had all spring and summer to try out their own Warbird Ti rigs, and both have been extremely impressed. The Ti frame is smooth and supple, but still packs a stiff sprint over the gravel roads. It goes from racer to long-range touring bike with the simple addition of a frame bag, and is the ideal set-up for the shop's infamous There Will Be Blood ride in the spring and fall. It clears up to a 40mm tire, but with 35mms, it's tough to beat the smooth ride of this bike. It's sticking with Ultegra for 2015, a tried-and-true deal for the gang.