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Salsa introduces new touring and plus platforms

Published July 21, 2015

SNOWBASIN, Utah (BRAIN) — Is it really necessary for one brand to offer not one, not two, but THREE different drop-bar 29er bikes? Oh yeah, says Benton Hunt, global sales manager for Salsa Cycles. It’s all about the individual experience and where the bike can take a rider, he said during the Salsa 2016 model year presentation QBP’s SaddleDrive dealer event in Snowbasin. 

“We’re starting to pick the pockets where we have something for everybody, and that’s cool,” Hunt said.

So it is that Salsa’s stalwart Fargo 29er drop-bar platform gets a new sibling in the Deadwood chromoly touring bike, rolling on the 29er-plus wheel size fellow QBP brand Surly introduced at SaddleDrive 2012 with the Krampus mountain bike. With its 45-millimeter-wide rims dressed in 3-inch Schwalbes, the disc brake-equipped Deadwood is intended for the rider who wants something stable and comfortable for off-road loaded touring and bike packing, Hunt said. 

The chromoly frame — using a new double-butted tube set Salsa calls Kobra Kai — has Boost 12x148mm rear hub spacing with Alternator dropouts for rack provisions, while the Salsa Firestarter Carbon fork comes with three-pack bosses. Deadwood should be available in September at an MSRP of $2,599.

Designed for endurance racer Jay Petervary to ride in the Tour Divide, where he recently broke his own record finish, the high-modulus carbon Cutthroat features generous front-triangle space for frame bags, a toptube accessory mount, three bottle cage mounts and Salsa’s Firestarter Carbon fork with three-pack mounts. Available in two spec levels — SRAM Rival 1 at $3,999 and X9 at $2,999 — Cutthroat comes stock with 2.1x29 Schwalbes but fits tires up to 2.4x29. Availability: November.

Marrakesh is Salsa’s new world touring bike, built with the Kobra Kai tubing and coming with a stock rear rack as well as a host of additional cage and rack mounts and room for a full frame pump. Drop-bar and flat-bar versions will be available, with frames designed specifically for the particular bar type. Both come with Avid BB7 disc brakes.

Marrakesh Drop Bar gets a Brooks B17 leather saddle, bar-end shifters for easy repair, and Salsa’s Cowchipper bar wrapped in faux-leather Salsa gel tape. The flat-bar version also comes with the Brooks 17 saddle plus Microshift 3x9 thumb shifters and a Salsa 17-degree-bend flat bar. MSRP is $1,599, with availability in late October. 

At SaddleDrive, Joseph Nocella, owner of 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn, N.Y., saw the Marrakesh as a perfect fit for his commuting and touring customers. “I want go home and order 10 of those,” said Nocella, who imagines outfitting perhaps a few of the Marrakeshes in his shop with various commuter accessories for different seasons.

But the bike perhaps in highest demand at the SaddleDrive demo this week was Salsa’s new Ponyrustler full-suspension mountain rig, built around the up-and-coming 27.5-plus wheel standard. Like all of Salsa’s full-suspension mountain platforms, the 120-millimeter-travel model is designed around Dave Weagle’s Split Pivot suspension system. It gets the same front triangle as Salsa’s Horsethief 29er, but the front and rear hub spacing are both Boost standard for the 27.5x3.0 tires on WTB Scraper i45 rims. “It really makes the bike feel like every berm has a corner on it,” Salsa’s Hunt said of the wheel/tire combo. The Ponyrustler should be available in late December or early January in two carbon builds and one aluminum.

Speaking of plumper — plusser? — tires, the Horsethief the trail 29er gets updated to Boost 148 rear spacing for 2016, giving consumers the option to run faster 29er wheels or switch out to a 27.5-plus setup for added traction. Availability: late December/early January.


The Deadwood 29-plus off-road touring and bike packing model
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