Author Archive | msirek@qbp.com

Introducing the NEW Blackborow!

We’re pleased to introduce the all-new Blackborow -  a blank canvas for adventure, a story generator, a solution to quandaries of your design. A bike with barely-visible guardrails.

We’re pleased to introduce the all-new Blackborow -  a blank canvas for adventure, a story generator, a solution to quandaries of your design. A bike with barely-visible guardrails.

What could you do with a bike like this? That’s the whole point. Will your months-long expedition across Mongolia be 100% self-supported and require meticulous gear planning? What about fly fishing everyday along the length of the Idaho Hot Springs Route? Or, did you just get a, “We’re leaving for the lake in an hour” text from your pals and you know you can’t pass up an opportunity for a luxury beach overnighter with them. You’re the only one with a two-burner stove, and you know how they love your famous jalapeno pancakes, after all.

The concept for Blackborow had been rattling around Salsa HQ since about 2010. The new places we were able to go with our fatbikes got us thinking about how cool it would be to bring some of our other hobbies into the fold; skiing, hunting, fishing, trailbuilding, or just being able to say, “I’m REALLY not going to be able to check email for the two weeks I’m gone.” While it’s true that camping gear just keeps getting more compact and you can get an impressive amount of your needs covered within the space allotted by framebags, sometimes you just need or want more flexibility with your route choices, what you’d like to take with you, and your time off the bike.  

But what would it be like to pedal a bike that allows this new flexibility? As much as possible, we didn’t want to create a bike that required us to learn an entirely new set of skills to ride it. That’s where engineer Pete Koski came in. The highly influential fatbike geometry he’d already developed for Mukluk and Beargrease could be applied to the front end. The rear end was the wide-open blue ocean. He knew a “mid-long frame” would be the best bet for the handling he wanted, and instead of counting sheep at night, he’d drift off to dream in rear rack land. The result is a four-point attachment structure that can hold four full-sized panniers with plenty of upper deck space and no concerns regarding heel clearance. It’s a beautiful sight to behold.

The aluminum Blackborow runs contemporary components. It’s spec’d with 27.5 x 4” wheels and tires but can also fit 29 x 2.2 to 3.0” and 26 x 4.0”. The rear spacing is the now common among fatbikes 197 mm, the bottom bracket is threaded, and you can run a dropper post (which is awesome not only off-roading but for getting on and off a loaded machine). Go with 1x or 2x drivetrains, find your way forward with the Bearpaw Carbon fork or throw on some suspension. Our EXP Series framebags fit up front, our Touring Panniers fit out back, and Three-Pack mounts on the fork mate up with our Anything Cages. There are two conventional two-bolt bottle mounts in the main triangle with one more in our Stowaway space behind the seattube, and a two-bolt spot on the toptube behind the stem fits our EXP Series Toptube Bag.

Not creating a bag set for the rear end was intentional. Even something as non-threatening as predetermined bag dimensions can still impose some limitations on what you might want to try, and that’s the last thing we wanted to do. We are, however, happy to share attachment points and numbers with bag makers if you’ve got something up your sleeve for the equipment you’ll soon be bringing on whatever plans you hatch. We’ve done a fair amount of testing and riding Blackborow on our own, so make sure to check out our suggestions for how to pack for optimal ride performance here. It may influence the design process.

We hope that when you see Blackborow, you get a wily smile and a head full of scheming. Its namesake certainly had his own insatiable penchant for adventure. Those of you unfamiliar with the story of Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance (perhaps the greatest survival story of all time), should consider this a homework assignment. Read about the incredible journey that Shackleton and his crew faced, and their survival against truly incredible odds. Read about Perce Blackborow, and how the young stowaway found himself in the middle of an adventure he could never, ever, have predicted.

Make your expeditions, whether planned for years or thrown together last minute, on existing routes or ones you thought of first, meaningful and memorable. This bike is your opportunity to be the captain of your own ship. Throw a leg over and cast off!

For complete information on Blackborow, click here.

U.S. MSRP Complete Bike - $2,799.00

U.S. MSRP Frameset including Rear Rack - $1,499.00

AVAILABILITY - Mid-November 2017

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New Specs & Colors for 2018

We’re excited to introduce the new 2018 specs and colors for Vaya, Warbird, Cutthroat, Fargo, Timberjack, and Woodsmoke.

We’re excited to introduce the new 2018 specs and colors for Vaya, Warbird, Cutthroat, Fargo, Timberjack, and Woodsmoke.

Our Product Managers and Creative Designers thoughtfully appoint components and colors that enrich the rider experience and speak to the spirit of each platform.

How thoughtfully? I asked Joe Meiser and Justin Steiner from Product, and Collin Grant and Kelly MacWilliams from Design to share a little bit about what went into each model lineup and why.

Vaya

For over ten years, Vaya has kept the “road” part of road biking open to interpretation. With a comfortable and forgiving steel frame and stable geometry, Vaya is ready for a gravel race, backroad exploration, or light touring. Vaya takes the restraints off your average road bike.

Justin – “For 2018, Vaya gets wider range adventure gearing, 48/32 in front with an 11/34 in back, and a clutch rear derailleur for precise shifting on rougher terrain. We understand the need for comfort and control in these conditions, so we approach the cockpit layout with tried and true touchpoints like our short-reach, 12-degree flared Cowbell handlebar. Tubeless-ready rims and big tires also help take the edge off the ride and add to the amount of time you’ll be able to spend out.”

Collin – “A versatile machine capable of handling any road, the Vaya graphic represents the one constant of the experiences it’s designed for – the open sky.”

Vaya Apex – Charcoal or Orange - $1,799, Frame $799

Vaya Tiagra – Mint or Red - $1,399

http://salsacycles.com/bikes/vaya

Warbird

When the gravel route could include mud, wind, rain, and rocks of every size and shape, but speed is first and foremost on your mind, Warbird is always the best answer. Our Class 5 Vibration Reduction System, rough surface-friendly geometry, and tire clearance make Warbird the gravel racing leader.

Joe – “Tubeless ready wheels across the line with 40 mm MAXXIS Rambler EXO reinforced casing tires, upgraded performance wheelsets from DT Swiss and Sun Ringle, Cowbell handlebars and Guide Carbon seatposts all speak to the intent of Warbird – maximum performance and comfort over long, intense days on gravel. We’re stoked to bring in new price points too, that will allow more people to enjoy this constantly growing segment of competition.”

Kelly: “A geometric and abstracted wheat graphic is inspired by the sights viewed in the environments of so many of the renowned gravel races like Almanzo and Dirty Kanza – the windswept terrain of rolling farm fields.” 

Warbird Carbon Ultegra – Hot Red - $4,299, Frame $1,999

Warbird Carbon Rival – Raw Carbon - $3,299

Warbird Carbon Apex 1 – Matte Sand - $2,499

Warbird Apex 1 – Matte Gray - $1,999

http://salsacycles.com/bikes/warbird

Cutthroat 

Initially crafted for the Tour Divide Race, Cutthroat’s rough-stuff capability in the longest, burliest any-road events has made it a favorite amongst the endurance racing crowd. With features engineered to cover big demanding distances quickly, comfortably, and efficiently, Cutthroat is a tough bike to beat when the race might include multiple sunrises.

Joe – “Knowing the kinds of situations many Cutthroat riders will put their bikes in, we made comfort, simplicity, and reliability our top goals for spec. Tubeless-ready wheelsets with durable MAXXIS Icon EXO Casing 2.2” tires, 1x drivetrains, and our incredible Cowchipper adventure handlebars helped us get there. The Cutthroat fork has nice touches too like Three-Pack mounts for extra layers or food, and internal dynamo wire routing so riders with the grit to do so can ride long into the night.”

Kelly – “As a race endurance rig, we choose colors that carried energy, vibrancy, and the feeling of speed. Details like the Tour Divide route map on the downtube, and bar tape icons with symbols of what you’re sure to encounter while racing that route are there to help you keep the momentum up.”

Cutthroat Carbon Force 1 – Silver Fade - $4,299, Frame $1,999

Cutthroat Carbon Rival 1 – Blue/ Yellow - $3,299

Cutthroat Carbon Apex 1 – Red/Dark Orange - $2,499

http://salsacycles.com/bikes/cutthroat

Fargo

Fargo is the drop bar mountain bike for those who like to say yes to any ride whether it’s on minimum maintenance roads, rustic country byways, or high mountain singletrack. With the responsiveness of steel or Ti, off-road capable geometry, and the multiple hand positions of drop-bars, Fargo is a tool for most any cycling task.

Justin – “Versatility is the name of the game for adventure riding, and Fargo has it in spades. Multiple bikepacking or touring gear mounting options, room for 27.5” or 29” or 29+ wheels and tires, and Alternator 1.5 dropouts for a smorgasbord of drivetrain choices. Spec-wise we added clutch Rival and GX rear derailleurs for their rugged quality, tubeless-ready WTB Rangers, and as always, our ever popular Woodchipper handlebar.”

Kelly – “Fargo’s look and graphic icons are drawn from the wild; visual elements that remind you of the kind of terrain and critters you and Fargo could, and should, find yourself around.”

Fargo Ti Frame/Carbon Firestarter Fork – Raw - $2,499

Fargo Rival 1 27.5+ - Purple - $2,299, Frame $899

Fargo GX 29 – Cream or Forest Service Green - $1,799

http://salsacycles.com/bikes/fargo

Timberjack

Timberjack is our aluminum hardtail mountain bike that’s equally at home on singletrack or bikepacking to places you’ve yet to discover.  Whether you roll on 29” or 27.5+ wheels and tires, its super short chainstays give Timberjack plenty of get up and go, and Alternator Dropouts facilitate diverse drivetrain setups. Timberjack is the modern interpretation of everything that makes hardtails awesome.

Justin – “This year we focused more on dialing in the cockpit – 750 mm Salt Flat bars on XS and SM, a 750 mm Rustler on the MD, with 800 mm Rustler on the LG and XL. The long/low/slack trail geometry will appeal to new and veteran riders alike for the finesse and control it offers. Internal cable routing options, three waterbottle mounts, Alternator 1.0 dropouts, and rear rack compatibility all encourage custom tailoring to many situations. We also brought in two new price points due to popular demand – a higher-end Shimano SLX build and a SRAM NX1 build.”

Collin – “The natural look of woodgrain is integrated into the Salsa logo on the downtube as well as the rear seat stay to encourage you to go for a rip through the forest.”

Ti Frame – Raw - $2,299

Timberjack SLX 1x11 27.5+ - Lime - $1,699

Timberjack GX1 27.5+ - Silver or Matte Charcoal - $1,399, Frame $399

Timberjack NX1 27.5+ - Orange - $1,099

Timberjack NX1 29 – Blue - $999

http://salsacycles.com/bikes/timberjack

Woodsmoke

Woodsmoke is our carbon hardtail mountain bike that comes in three wheel size flavors; the punchy grip and agility of 27.5+, the XC speed of 29”, or the momentum and rollover of 29+. Fully modern trail bike geometry with ultra-short chainstays and a stiff and light chassis that features Alternator 2.0 dropouts allow for multiple drivetrain options. The large front triangle welcomes all the gear you need for backcountry trips. If you’re looking for one hardtail to accompany you on all your singletrack missions, Woodsmoke should be at the top of your list.

Joe – “As with Timberjack, we took the same approach to touchpoints with appropriate-to-size bar widths. 140 mm forks are matched up with 27.5” tires with 120 mm on the 29ers and 29+ for a great front end feel on the trail. Wide range cassettes and killer tubeless-ready tires from WTB and MAXXIS will add to the capability of Woodsmoke whether the rider is racing, bikepacking, or just getting out for some good old-fashioned mountain biking.”

Collin: “Clean graphic details and a bold color mask highlight the technical features of the frame and its unique shape.”

Woodsmoke Carbon XO1 Eagle 27.5+ - Matte Maroon/Navy - $4,299

Woodsmoke Carbon SLX 29+ - Matte Green/Gray - $3,199

Woodsmoke Carbon SLX 27.5+ - Orange-Red/Gold - $3,199

Woodsmoke NX1 29 – Black/Teal - $2,199, Frame $1,499

http://salsacycles.com/bikes/woodsmoke

Viewing the new models in person for the first time is always an exciting event here at Salsa HQ, and we hope you like what you see. Please visit the product pages via the above links for complete information. 

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Sadistic. But Still Fun. The Marji Gesick 100 MTB Race.

“We wanted to make it the toughest mountain bike race in the Midwest.” - Danny Hill, Marji Gesick 100 Course Designer.

“We wanted to make it the toughest mountain bike race in the Midwest.” - Danny Hill, Marji Gesick 100 Course Designer.

85 to 90% singletrack. 12,200 feet of climbing. 100 miles. You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure this one out. The masterminds behind this race wanted to make sure every mile to the finish line was earned, even more so if you’re after the pre-cutoff time belt buckle or the $1 first place prize. You read that right. ONE dollar.

The terrain of Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is nothing to be trifled with, and the route of the race is strewn with roots and rocks and seemingly all uphill. Despite the play-hard-to-get nature of The Marji Gesick 100, the organizers are incredibly proud of what they’ve created, and they’d love to show you their version of a good weekend. We got in touch with Race Director Todd Poquette to get some more background and details on what racers can expect.

Please introduce yourself. How long have you been a resident of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and how long have you been riding there?

POQUETTE - Todd Poquette. Husband. Father. Voice of Marji and Event Director. Born and raised in the U.P. Moved and returned too many times to count.  Riding since 2010 when I decided there was a helluva lot more to life than the corporate grind box.

The U.P. takes a little bit of work to get to. What’s your tourism pitch?

POQUETTE - If it were easy everyone would do it. Tourism pitch is one word: Adventure!

What’s the origin story of the Marji Gesick? Where does the name come from, and who are the architects behind the event?

POQUETTE - During the research phase of the race concept, I wanted to find something unique people would remember. I also hoped it would tie directly to the history and heritage of mining on the west end of Marquette County. I met Marji Gesick through a simple Google search of “iron ore mining history Ishpeming Michigan”. I love the story and welcome others to perform the same search. The history is deep and extremely interesting.

Think about how hard life had to be in the 1800’s for people. Every day must have felt like our racers do for just one day. The way I look at it, if they (our ancestors) can survive a lifetime of struggle, we sure as the hell can honor that sacrifice by doing it for a day. I’m not trying to trivialize the challenges and struggles of life in the 1800’s or the oppression Native Americans faced. I think we have much to learn from looking back, specifically, to see what a difficult and hard life really looked like. We should all do more “hard things”. This event is NOT about winning, money, and fame, it is about human struggle, overcoming adversity, pushing limits, and not accepting the excuses we make for ourselves and putting it all on the line for one day. It takes mental toughness and grit to attempt something you damn well know you probably can’t do. Too many people play it safe, find a fluffy way to justify it and stay home. There’s no growth in that.

As far as for the “architects” behind the event… I would say Danny is the trail architect and I am the voice (attitude) for the lack of a better or more impressive title.

Describe the course planning process and goals. 

POQUETTE - Course process: Link every major trail system in Marquette County to create a one-day mega event of suffering and self-exploration. We’ve been adamant from day-one about running the event UPHILL from Marquette to Ishpeming. I think we’re the only event in the country who can claim to be all uphill from beginning to end!

How much do the personality and riding styles of you and your riding cronies influence the vibe of the event? If the Marji Gesick 100 was a person, what would they be like to hang out with?

POQUETTE - This is deep! Is the personality and vibe of the event influenced by our personalities and ride styles? Hell yes. We ride long. We ride hard. We ride uphill. We drink beer. Sometimes we drink too many.

If the race was a person… that’s funny. Well, for starters, you’d probably wonder most of the time why you hang out with him. I have a racer quote from a couple of years ago I feel best articulates what it’s like to be friends with MG100. Here’s the setup: I’m at the finish line congratulating racers as they finish. Josh crosses the line visibly broken down. With a smile and far too much enthusiasm, I extended (for a handshake) and asked, “How’d it go!”. He did not shake my hand but stared me straight in the eye and said, “I don’t know if I hate you or love you right now.”

That’s what it’s like to hang out with us.

What do people need to know to register and get to the area, and what kind of bike set up do you recommended to make it to the finish line?

POQUETTE - Register at www.marjigesick100.com 

To get here: Drive north for Canada

Recommended bike setup: Full-suspension. Plus tires. #Deadwood SUS...I’ve put about 4,000 miles on one. It was built to handle this course.

Making it to the finish line: GREAT question.

  1. Set a realistic goal (Your initial goal should be to finish. Unless you’re Tinker Juarez. Which most of us are not).
  2. Find someone to ride with. Don’t let your partner quit. Ask them to do the same for you.
  3. Don’t quit.

Any closing thoughts or things I forgot to point out?

POQUETTE - 100% of the proceeds from the event go back to local trail organizations.

Know the Self-Supported Ethos.

You will be self-supported. There are no race operated aid stations. GPS is required. YES, we said required. While the course is signed from beginning to end, you will be expected to handle whatever adversity is thrown your way. This includes the possibility of a sign falling down, being blown down, or eaten by a bear. Stuff happens, and you need to be prepared for it. Road Rules apply. You will not find happy, smiling volunteers at every road crossing. In fact, there will not be any volunteers at road crossings. You are on your own. Bring proper equipment, lights, nutrition, and hydration. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. In the event of an emergency, your best bet is to call 911 and hope for the best.

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For some visuals on The Marji Gesick 100, check out this great video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LHU_tuXrbQ

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Heck Of The North Gravel Race – Found Art In Northern MN

In the increasingly populated calendar of gravel bike racing events, The Heck of the North in Northern Minnesota could present the perfect annual closer. After the rolling farmland of Almanzo, the red dirt of Land Run, and the exposure of Dirty Kanza, Heck of the North presents an entirely different, but every bit as challenging landscape at a time when Autumn is singing its last song.

In the increasingly populated calendar of gravel bike racing events, The Heck of the North in Northern Minnesota could present the perfect annual closer. After the rolling farmland of Almanzo, the red dirt of Land Run, and the exposure of Dirty Kanza, Heck of the North presents an entirely different, but every bit as challenging landscape at a time when Autumn is singing its last song.

It can be anybody’s guess which season will show up on race day, but one thing’s for sure, creator and organizer Jeremy Kershaw will, through his route, share with you everything he loves about the region. I asked him to share a little bit about himself and his unique event.

Heck promoter Jeremy Kershaw at the finish of the 2017 Tour Divide Race...

What is your connection to the Land of the Heck?

KERSHAW: I have lived in Minnesota since 1997. Seven of those years were spent guiding sled dogs at Wintergreen and co-managing the outfitting department at Piragis Northwoods in Ely, MN. The first twenty years of my life were spent in Nebraska. My family and I have been in Duluth for about 14 years. Ever since my first canoe trip as a three-year-old, Minnesota has had a special pull on me. Lake Superior is a gigantic magnet keeping us here. So, too, are the close (literally meters away) creeks and trails crisscrossing our neighborhood right in town. My wife and I walk to work, and the ability to get out of town quickly on rides would be very difficult to move away from.

To someone who hasn’t spent any time in the area, how do you describe the terrain/geography, the weather, the smells, the colors, the kind of people who live there?

KERSHAW: The Heck of the North route(s) have always been “found art” to me. I enjoy the process of piecing together these roads and trails into, what I consider, some of the most unique and beautiful routes in the country. The Heck (and Le Grand du Nord) courses feel remote to me, particularly in comparison to the southern gravel courses of Kansas and Iowa. There are no convenient stations on the route and very few homesteads. The roads weave predominately through wooded areas, crossing streams, and sometimes connect with snowmobile trails. We do not have the hills of the Driftless area, but our routes remain plenty challenging with the variety of terrain the riders see in 100 miles: gravel, two tracks, grassy snowmobile trails, and rocky logging roads.

The Heck typically lands right during the peak of Autumn color. That is always a highlight. Even for those that are dreading one last 100-mile gravel event of the season, the colors are enough to make them happy they rode. The mornings are often brisk, sometimes frosty. The coolness usually gives way to warmth either by human power or that of Fall sun. But as always, Northern Minnesota in late September can be a fickle creature. We have had cold rain along with bluebird days.

For some reason, maybe the water or the winters, the Duluth area grows some hearty, endurance driven athletes. This year alone, Duluth sent seven riders to the Tour Divide. Five of us finished. We could not find another town in the world that sent so many competitors to such an elite event. Pretty impressive if I say so myself!

What led you to create the Heck of the North? What opportunities did you see to make the race unique?

KERSHAW: I rode the Ragnarok in Red Wing and then the Almanzo in Rochester the Spring of 2009. I remember driving home from the Almanzo and feeling just blown away by the event. The level of design and care (Chris) Skogen put into the Almanzo that year rivaled that of any fancy wedding I had attended. And the Ragnarok was just simply brutal and beautiful. I thought, “Can I do something like this up here in Duluth?” I became obsessed with the project. I poured over county maps. Drove endless miles putting together rural roads and trails. And somehow, 35 people showed up that Fall to take part in the first Heck of the North.

The Heck of the North offered something that the southern Minnesota races didn’t have, and that was a sense of remoteness. And no corn stubble. I wanted to keep the same funky vibe and sense of inclusion for all types of riders. And I knew that the forested roads would offer a really different and unique feel compared to the gravel of the open farming region.

So today, the Heck of the North offers a 100-mile course as well as a 50. At first, I was reluctant to add a shorter event. But after creating a very Heck-worthy course and seeing all of the new faces being introduced to gravel cycling, I had no doubt it was the right thing to do.

How has the Heck evolved over the years, what can riders expect this year, and what is your vision for the future?

KERSHAW: The Heck started with a very naïve director and a few locals crazy enough to try it. Within a couple of years, the event grew, and we had to deal with a waiting list to get in. We continued the postcard registration and donation thing until 2014. My family and I realized that we needed the added protection of a business license and we all decided to charge an entry fee. Within the world of gravel cycling, these were two very important changes. It was a very difficult decision to add an entry fee but one that I stand behind to this day (and one of these days I will make this an entire chapter in my “History of Midwest Gravel Cycling” book.)

But the event remains one of my favorite creative outlets. I often liken it to people going to their favorite, small restaurant. The one where the owner comes out and makes sure your food is perfect and the experience all that it could be. The Heck is my place. And I want to make sure that my riders have the knowledge that I care about their gravel experience, good or bad.

Most years, I have to adjust some element of the event. Tweak the course. Find new roads. Make a connection that I thought was impossible. Bring on new sponsors. But above all, keep it personal, beautiful, challenging, and unique. That will always be my goal for the future Hecks of the North.

What do people need to know to register, get to the area, bike set up(s), and survival?

KERSHAW: I still support the premise that many styles of bikes will work in gravel cycling (mountain 29ers, touring, cyclocross, and of course gravel specific.) The main thing I remind new riders is that they need to be comfortable on their rig for at least six to eight hours. The fit of the bike is so important. And they should know enough to be able to handle the usual types of on-course repairs (flat tires, fouled chains, etc.)

Weather in northern Minnesota is a wild card in the end of September/early October. We have had crisp, bluebird days. We have had cold, rainy, and windy ones, too. Come prepared for it all.

Registration is easy via our Heck of the North website; just choose the event you are interested in riding. We are fortunate enough to have great local Two Harbors businesses offer up their land for free camping during the weekend. And of course, our registration and post-race festivities would not be complete without a stop by Castle Danger Brewery in Two Harbors. Such great beer and wonderful hosts.

Why do you believe it’s important to participate in and contribute to this style of racing? What does it mean to you, and what do you believe the experience offers people?

KERSHAW: I believe that gravel cycling is a transformative activity. It completely altered how I viewed bicycle racing and cycling in general (for the better!) It changed my world view. And it will go through growing pains. But at the core is this sense of adventure by bike. Every time I do a “route scout” of the Heck courses, I get that same feeling of pure joy. Every time I shake the hand of a finisher, and I see that sense of accomplishment on their face, and I am affirmed by the power of this type of cycling. I never take for granted how hard this type of riding is for most people. One hundred miles on gravel! That’s a long way for a majority of riders. And it brings me great happiness to provide a stage and an opportunity for cyclists to take on this challenge.

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This year's Heck of the North gravel race takes place on September 30th. Click here to learn more or register.

Salsa sponsored rider Greg Gleason gave a nice recap of his 2015 run here - http://salsacycles.com/culture/discovering_heck_of_the_north

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Introducing The 2018 Beargrease

We’re excited to announce the arrival of the 2018 Beargrease line up. Around 2010 or so, Engineer Pete Koski declared that he wanted to design, “a fatbike that ripped like a modern hardtail.” Koski meant every word, and since its introduction in 2012, Beargrease has become the standard-bearer for fatbike racing performance. In any season, on any terrain, at any staring line, it’s the fatbike to chase.

We’re excited to announce the arrival of the 2018 Beargrease line up. Around 2010 or so, Engineer Pete Koski declared that he wanted to design, “a fatbike that ripped like a modern hardtail.” Koski meant every word, and since its introduction in 2012, Beargrease has become the standard-bearer for fatbike racing performance. In any season, on any terrain, at any staring line, it’s the fatbike to chase.

For 2018, Beargrease adopts the sure-footed rollover of 27.5 x 3.8” wheels and tires. For groomed snow or dirt, the increase in diameter provides increased rollover, a longer contact patch, and the floatation of a 5” tire without the added rolling resistance.

Product Manager Justin Steiner was on board to add a little horsepower to Beargrease. “We’re excited to offer Beargrease with 27.5 x 3.8” for 2018. With the change to 27.5” fat, we’ve updated wheel spec in a big way. HED’s Big Deal Carbon wheelset is truly baller on Beargrease Carbon GX Eagle, particularly with the custom graphics. Combined with SRAM’s new GX Eagle drivetrain, this Beargrease is all about speed. But the top-tier Beargrease isn’t the only model to see upgrades. Both Beargrease Carbon SLX 1x11 and Beargrease Carbon NX1 models roll on Sun Ringle’s venerable Mulefut wheelset. With Shimano’s 11-46t cassette, the SLX 1x11 group allows us to push a wider gearing range to lower price points.”

Beargrease Carbon GX Eagle...

2018 Beargrease models offer everything you already loved about Beargrease, with new features that make it better than ever.

Point the front wheel towards groomed snow or singletrack, or pack light and take on the challenge of a big distance overnight bikepacking trip. Beargrease shines when the pressure’s on.

The 2018 Beargrease is available in three build levels and as a frameset.

BEARGREASE CARBON GX EAGLE 27.5

MSRP BIKE: $4,599.00 

FRAMESET: $1,499.00

BEARGREASE CARBON SLX 1x11 27.5

MSRP BIKE: $2,499.00

BEARGREASE CARBON NX1 27.5

MSRP BIKE: $1,999.00

Please visit the Beargrease product pages for complete information, additional product photography, and more.

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Introducing The 2018 Mukluk

We’re excited to present the 2018 family of Mukluk. Many of us here at Salsa have had the pleasure of watching Mukluk evolve over the last decade, and we believe that today, it stands as the most progressive fatbike in the industry.

We’re excited to present the 2018 family of Mukluk. Many of us here at Salsa have had the pleasure of watching Mukluk evolve over the last decade, and we believe that today, it stands as the most progressive fatbike in the industry.  

Product Manager, Joe Meiser is a big fan and proud Mukluk rider and racer, and he plays an instrumental role each year in helping to push the line up to the next level. When asked what his favorite features of the current Mukluk are, the five that immediately came to mind were:

  • The clearance for tires ranging from 26 x 3.8 – 5.0, 27.5 x 2.8 - 4.0, and 29 x 2.2 - 3.0
  • The ability to change the chainstay length from 432 – 450 mm on the Carbon model with the Alternator 2.0 dropout
  • 197 x 12 mm rear spacing and a 100 mm BB shell keeps the Q-Factor narrow and open to a wide range of drivetrain configurations, including 1x and 2x
  • The Bearpaw fork is the first carbon fatbike fork to feature Three-Pack mounts for our Salsa Anything Cages, and its suspension-corrected numbers play nice with up to 120 mm travel suspension forks if the rider chooses to go that route
  • Thoughtful and useful features like toptube mounts for our EXP Series Toptube Pack, three waterbottle mounts, and the option to run our Alternator Rack 190 with a Rack-Lock seat collar

2018 Mukluk Carbon XO1 Eagle...

Meiser put together some killer builds this time around. “In 2018, spec highlights include HED carbon wheels on Mukluk Carbon XO1 Eagle and HED aluminum rims with DT Swiss hubs for Mukluk Carbon GX Eagle. All models now roll on Maxxis 26 x 4.8” Minion FBR tires, and wider range mountain 1x drivetrains (XO1 Eagle, GX Eagle, and SLX 1x11) will add to Mukluk’s off-road prowess. We’re stoked about our new thru-axles, and new handlebar, seatpost, and stem widths and lengths will help to dial in the fit across frame sizes.” He adds, “We carefully think through every price point of our bike specification to give a great ride experience and a product that will provide riders with season after season of enjoyment.”  

Mukluk is our most versatile fatbike, engineered to excel in just about any off-road scenario you can throw at it. Meiser can attest to that. “I have ridden the Mukluk on fresh snow, perfectly groomed snow singletrack, dirt, and pavement. Using the Alternator Dropouts, I’ve come to really appreciate how it carves singletrack with 26 x 4.0” tires in the shortest wheelbase configuration, and the amount of stability that it offers with a 5.0” tire in the longer wheelbase configuration.” When he’s got the fire for some fatbike competition, he goes for his Mukluk too. “I chose it to race this year for Fatbike Birkie, and our team riders have used it for Arrowhead and Iditarod. It is incredibly capable, versatile, fast, and tons of fun. At the same time, it’s also the fatbike I choose when I want to go off-trail and do some exploring in the woods.”

On any surface, in any season, Mukluk has the chops to tackle whatever lies ahead. If your answer to, “What are your fatbike interests?” is, “All of them,” then Mukluk may be the solution you’ve been looking for.  

The 2018 Mukluk is available in three build levels and as a frameset in carbon, and one build level in aluminum.

AVAILABILITY: Some models shipping to dealers in the next few weeks. Contact your Salsa authorized dealer to order.

MUKLUK CARBON X01 EAGLE

MSRP BIKE: $5,399.00

FRAMESET: $1,999.00

MUKLUK CARBON GX EAGLE

MSRP BIKE: $3,499.00

MUKLUK CARBON SLX 1x11

MSRP BIKE: $2,699.00

MUKLUK NX1

MSRP BIKE: $1,799.00

Please visit our Mukluk product pages for complete information, detail photos, and more.

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Bikepacking Patagonia: Finding Everything in the Southern Andes

We’re excited to present our second ISSUU publication; Bikepacking Patagonia: Finding Everything in the Southern Andes. Follow Kurt Refsnider and Kaitlyn Boyle’s two-wheeled immersion in the geography, culture, and rhythm of the Southern Andes through their trip journal and photography.

We here at Salsa are excited to present our second ISSUU publication; Bikepacking Patagonia: Finding Everything in the Southern Andes. Follow Kurt Refsnider and Kaitlyn Boyle’s two-wheeled immersion in the geography, culture, and rhythm of the Southern Andes through their trip journal and photography.

Unfamiliar environments, mediocre maps, a language barrier, and resistance to a strict itinerary all played roles in how this bikepacking trip went. Though Kurt and Kaitlyn are never ones to hatch garden-variety travel plans, they faced much more than they bargained for.

When all was said and done, though, the impression this part of the world left on them was palpable. As Kurt said, “I was told there was nothing in Patagonia. But here, I found everything. In Patagonia, I found a place where modern exists with a strong retention of the timeless sense of frontier freedom.”

We hope you enjoy Bikepacking Patagonia: Finding Everything in the Southern Andes, and that it inspires you to pedal out, ready to embrace the unexpected. Some of the greatest rewards of bikepacking reveal themselves when you do.

Click the image below to check out Bikepacking Patagonia: Finding Everything in the Southern Andes...

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Course Adjustments: Greg Gleason and the Tour Divide – Part Three

With June 9th looming just around the corner, all of Gleason’s training will soon be thoroughly tested. Aspects of the TDR just can’t be replicated though. Will what he’s been imagining, and talking and reading about match up with reality once he starts turning pedals?

We conclude our series, Course Adjustments: Greg Gleason and the Tour Divide...

Click here to read Part One...

Click here to read Part Two...

Part Three

With June 9th looming just around the corner, all of Greg Gleason’s training will soon be thoroughly tested. Aspects of the Tour Divide Race just can’t be replicated though. Will what he’s been imagining, and talking and reading about match up with reality once he starts turning pedals? “I’m still trying to get my head around two-plus weeks of constant riding. How do you prepare for something like that?”

Luckily, Gleason has a lot of past experiences and successes to draw from. “I would look at races like Trans Iowa when I first got into gravel racing, and shake my head saying to myself, ‘Who would do that crazy nonsense?  320-plus miles of gravel in the cold, yucky spring weather? Crazy! But I keep reminding myself that every time I thought something would be almost impossible, I did it. Trans Iowa, seven centuries in a row, Leadville, etc.” When asked how he’s feeling now, he’s got his range of emotions covered: “Calm, excited, nervous.” But, he quickly follows with, “Can’t wait to start!”

Gleason has also thoroughly researched his bikepacking legs, bike, and mind. Turns out his region provided him with some pretty arduous testing grounds that you can read about here, here, and here. “Right now, my gear is good – light and fast, and as far as fitness, I’m in the best shape of my life. Legs are starting to feel really great.”

In terms of what he’s looking forward to most, the beginning and end rank the same. “I’m excited for Banff and meeting everyone, but experiencing the finished result will scratch an itch I’ve had for a long time. ‘My destination is no longer a place, but a new way of seeing.’ - Marcel Proust…. This…this is what I think everyone talks about after finishing.”

He continues, “The scenery will be amazing, I’m sure, as well as experiencing all the different geographical regions and ecosystems of each state. I am just excited to have the chance to ride the Divide. I will start each day with a massive grin on my face.”

Worries are to be expected for an endeavor of this magnitude, and Gleason has a few. “I think I worry most about singletrack. I have never mastered singletrack so I ride like a stiff old man. No flow going on here!” He’s also concerned about the thin air. “All the altitude! I live at 1,200 feet so altitude has always been an issue with my asthma.” And lastly, “Water crossings.  It’s mainly because I hate wet feet. I know it is part of the gig but I don’t have to like it.”

So, what does riding the TDR mean when Gleason thinks of his previous life? “Courage. When I made the decision to ride the Divide, I did it to push myself into doing something that I was terrified of doing – basically I had no clue! I picked 50 because it felt appropriate to do something epic when I reached that age. The journey has connected me with some pretty amazing people and organizations, like Salsa Cycles. This journey has enriched my life in ways I cannot explain but it has been truly special.”

We here at Salsa Cycles wish Gleason the very best for this pursuit, and we’ll be glued to his Trackleaders “dot” for the duration of his ride!

Good luck, Greg!

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