Head on over to Salsa's website to check out the new 2016 line. A few new bikes and some upgrades to the current stable. Our favorites: the Marrakesh, the Deadwood, new colors on the Vaya, and the Cutthroat!
Road bikes are in a state of evolution. Sure, you can still buy your run of the mill purpose-built race bikes, but manufacturers are beginning to broaden their road lines. With the advent of disc brakes in the road market we've begun to see road bikes with more tire clearance. More tire clearance means more possibilities for where you might end up on your daily adventures.
Among some of the first multi-surface road bikes was the Salsa Colossal. The Colossal is a steel framed, carbon thru-axle forked, do everything road steed that comes with 700x28c tires. 28's are great for road rides in the Winter when the roads deteriorate from the constant freeze-thaw that we see in Missouri. But what about when you want to take a left onto Howard Orchard Rd or head out on the Katy?
We mounted up some of our favorite gravel tires including the Clement X'Plor MSO (700x32), the new Bontrager CX0 TLR (700x33), and the official BoCoMO gravel tire: the Clement X'Plor USH (700x35). Each one fits perfectly in the frame with a little bit of room to spare.
Salsa still bills the Colossal as a pavement bike, but they don't say anything about it being ONLY pavement. With that much tire clearance, there's no reason why you couldn't roll an occasional gravel road. Maybe even more!
Tyler and I are sitting in the Denver airport waiting for our connecting flight to Kansas City after a few days in Utah at Quality Bicycle Product's Saddle Drive event. We've ridden the latest and greatest from Salsa, Surly, All City, and Foundry on some awesome trails out of the Snowbasin Resort just East of Ogden, UT. After spending time with the bikes and the people that created them I think it's safe to say that 2015 is going to be a great year for bikes!
I'll save time and let the actual companies give a detailed line description.
We definitely had some favorites this year. Among them were the new Salsa Mukluk with the Rockshox Bluto suspension fork and Salsa's Bucksaw full suspension fatbike. Adding suspension to the already fun fatbike category just expands what these bikes are capable of. They've now gone from flotation oriented mixed terrain crawlers to full on trail machines. Suspension isn't needed on all fatbikes though. In 2015 Salsa will still offer their popular Mukluk in a traditional rigid design as well as the new Blackborow line with close to five inch tires. The Beargrease also returns with a carbon or aluminum frame. Look forward to seeing some of the above in the shop come Fall!
Besides the ever popular fatbike category, Salsa had their entire mountain fleet on hand. While there weren't many technical changes in the line, the Spearfish and El Mariachi return in 2015. The Spearfish is probably one of the more perfect bikes for Missouri. With 80mm rear travel and 100mm front, the all-day-cross-country-race-bike or I-just-want-to-ride-mountain-bikes steed couldn't be more appropriate for our trails.
It's hard to truly understand how much fun these bikes are without actually being able to ride them on our own trails. Fortunately we'll get that chance come October! The Salsa demo truck will be making it down to our neck of the woods so we can all spend some time on all of their bikes on trails we know and love. Stay tuned for dates and details.
If you missed out on our day to day coverage of the event be sure to follow us on Instagram!
We just received our new Indy Fab Gravel Royale frameset for display in the shop! The steel beauty is complete with disc tabs and a custom painted Enve disc fork. Right now we're planning on building it up with Shimano's Ultegra 6800 mechanical groupo with the new hydraulic disc brake shift/brake levers once they're available. Keep an eye on social media as we'll be posting up photos of the build as it happens!
It's that time of year again. The leaves have moved from vibrant reds and oranges to brown, now covering most trails. It always takes me a couple of rides to get used to the cooler temperatures, but I eventually get my layering system dialed. Having the proper clothing and equipment in the Winter is key in Missouri, and it makes riding throughout the year much more bearable. What you wear completely depends on what you're doing. Are you commuting to work, going on a training ride, just going for a leisurely ride on the trail, or maybe even racing? Many of the different items you can buy can be used for most of these things, so you don't need to buy four different types of jackets. Figure out what you'll be using each piece for to help make the best decision.
Before we move on it's important to note that everyone is a little different, so figure out what works for you and stick with it.
There are two main items needed for commuting: a jacket and a good pair of gloves. Sure, it's probably a good idea to have a warm hat on underneath your helmet and maybe some waterproof pants on the rainier days, but keeping your core and hands warm should be most people's first priority. The jacket should be windproof or at least resistant and maybe even have some insulating properties. By no means does your jacket need to be cycling specific, though they usually have some nice features. A Patagonia or North Face rain jacket would do a good job as an outer layer as well. Layering underneath is a good idea; we'll touch on that later.
Visibility is always important when you're riding around town. Most companies now offer a variety of clothing and accessories in hi-viz colors. Hi-viz not really your thing? Most cycling specific wear usually has some sort of reflectivity, so look for that when making a purchase.
Layering is always key in colder temperatures, but extremely important when you're on a longer training ride or at a race.
Let's start with the baselayer. Have a variety of baselayers to choose from. Long sleeve, short sleeve, no sleeves, synthetic, wool, maybe even windproof. From there, figure out when to use each type. Wool retains its heat when wet, so reserve that for the colder days. Most synthetic baselayers are great at moving moisture off of your skin and are quick to dry, so they'll keep you from overheating when the effort starts to increase. Patagonia's capilene and wool baselayers are perfect, and they make several different weights and types.
Moving outwards, a good thermal layer may be needed if it's really cold or the effort you'll be exerting will be lower. Any sort of heavier jersey or light fleece will work here.
Your outer layer should be windproof. A decent jacket or a vest to keep your core warm that's easy to unzip in case you start to sweat too much. Softshell jackets are another good option as they are generally windproof and have some sort of fleece lining. If you're using a softshell it's probably a good idea to not layer as much underneath.
Leg coverage is another thing to consider and many people differ on temperature range here. Knee warmers, leg warmers, thermal tights, and windproof tights offer options for a multitude of situations. A good pair of knee or leg warmers should be in everyone's closet as they're relatively inexpensive and easy to put on/take off.
Keeping the feet warm can be one of the more difficult tasks this time of year. A good pair of wool socks and a pair of shoe covers goes a long way. Again, wind protection is the name of the game here. There are lots of different types of shoe covers for road and mountain shoes. Most of them offer wind protection and some even have insulating properties.
Finally, a couple different types of cold weather gloves that you can pair up with a lightweight liner glove should take you through a multitude of cold weather scenarios. One pair of light windproof gloves that you can wear with a liner (if needed) and a pair of insulated windproof gloves are what I usually recommend. Proper glove choice is something you'll learn quickly after you loose the feeling in your fingers the first couple of times.
Riding outside in the Winter can be really fun if you're able to keep yourself warm. It doesn't take long before you know exactly what to wear and we have everything you'll need to get your layering systems in order. Always feel free to give us a call or stop by the shop if you have any other questions!
In stock now; Bern helmets seamlessly combine style and function. There's plenty of attractive colors to choose from as well as an All Season Liner to keep your head warm in the Winter months. Come check them out!
Andy spent a few days out West at QBP's Ogden, UT headquarters to take a look at the latest from Salsa Cycles. Along with the rest of the line, he spent some time on the newly re-designed full suspension mountain bike, the Salsa Spearfish. Here's what he had to say:
For 2014 Salsa has upped their game to compete with the big boys in the mountain bike market. Gone are the outdated single pivot designs of the past and in comes a split pivot design by one of the sports true gurus, Dave Weigle. The split pivot makes for a much more active and supple ride than that of the previous generation models from Salsa. With the split pivot separating brake forces from the suspension movement the suspension can move freely through its travel without hindrance, allowing the rider to keep the tires on the ground and maintaining traction even when the going gets rough.
Salsa has also made the bikes look wholly different from previous versions by hiring new graphic designers to make the bikes really stand out from the other manufacturers. Salsa has 100% succeeded on that front. The paint this year is unreal and everyone will be blown away by how different they look.
After having the chance to get out on a long ride on the new Spearfish that included 2000 feet of elevation gain, I can definitely recommend the bike to the Columbia crowd. There isn’t too much travel to make the bike a burden uphill, but there is just enough to keep the bike fun and add comfort to all day rides. The bike makes short work of rough descents but allows for an agile ride when the climbs get steep. Salsa has wisely included Fox Racing Shox’s new CTD suspension that really lets you dial in what you need the bike to do in a given terrain.
All in all I for one can’t wait for the bikes to get into the store so everyone can see the big gains Salsa has made for 2014.
When Trek released the Trek Domane this spring, it upped the ante for any bike company that claimed to make a comfortable racing platform. Through clever design Trek has made a bike that can smooth out even the harshest roads while still accelerating like only a pure-bred racing machine can. Designed to take aim at the mythical cobbled classics; Gent-Wevelgem, Ronde Van Vlaanderen, and Paris-Roubaix, the Domane is the first bike that can truly claim to deliver a vertically complaint/laterally stiff frame.
On first inspection the Domane appears to be no different from any other high performance carbon frame that is being produced these days. Swoopy lines, futuristic shapes, and over sized tubes have come to define carbon bikes in the modern era. Over two years ago Trek went to the drawing board to create the "best in class" endurance road bike. Trek was looking for the magical blend of comfort that would lend itself to the type of ride that went a couple of hours longer than intended, and the race performance that would allow the best athletes in the world to tear the legs off their competitors. To achieve this, Trek designed the Domane around the all new IsoZone dampening platform. IsoZone effectively separates the top tube/seatstay assembly from the seat tube, while not permitting any excess play or lateral flex. This allows the seat tube to flex up to 30mm vertically, smoothing out any road imperfections to the rider while enabling the lateral stiffness to deliver a world-class sprint on demand.
After spending a bit of time on the Domane 6 series on the road Trek has produced a bike that delivers every one of its performance claims. A ride that would have normally left me beat up, instead left me fresh and ready for more. The Domane is so supple and smooth in the saddle but when I stood up to climb or throw in a hard acceleration it leapt forward without any hesitation or mushiness that comes from other endurance road bikes. Without seeing actual numbers to back up my claim, the Domane even seems to rival if not completely out perform the Madone in lateral stiffness.
Bottom line is that if you are looking for a versatile road bike that loves to go longer and farther than look no further. This bike was even raced to great success for the win at the Unofficial Gravel World Championships this season. The only rider who will be a little put off by this bike is the "slam that stem" crowd who can't get over a more upright headtube. The Domane will surely be the star of the year and with models ranging from $1400- 10000+ there will be a price point for every rider as well. Look to see this bike on the top step of the podium for a while.
Cycling is an ever evolving sport. It seems like every year there is a new discipline with a new type of bike with something unique that sets it apart from its predecessors. While gravel riding is in no way new (especially to Boone County) more people are starting to explore beyond their regular paved routes. Recently gravel has gained the status that, in my opinion, it deserves. With races like the Dirty Kanza 200, the Almanzo 100 and the Trans Iowa seeing huge participation numbers (the Kanza filled up 450 spots in under 3 hours this past year) it's clear that gravel roads are becoming more than just a means for putting in off-season miles. Last year in Missouri we saw the invention of The Cedar Cross, a 100 mile race taking place on a mix of trails and gravel just southeast of Columbia. Bob Jenkins, the event's promoter, had the idea for the race and expected just a few participants. What he got was a full-blown gravel peloton with 120 racers on a wide range of bikes. The Cedar Cross returns May 4th, 2013. Making sure you have an appropriate bike to handle the rigors of Boone County gravel is paramount. Road bikes are fairly limited in choice of tire. Mountain bikes work well, but can be much slower than a more appropriate dedicated gravel bike. So what exactly is a dedicated gravel bike?
Introducing the 2013 Salsa Warbird.
One of the first in its class, the Warbird is a purpose-built gravel racing machine. With a lightweight aluminum frame that forgoes the usual rack mounts found on similar bikes, the Warbird is quick without sacrificing comfort. Salsa also offers the Warbird in a beautiful titanium frameset and complete bike. At the front end you'll find an ENVE CX carbon fork with superior tracking and stiffness. Avid mechanical disc brakes add a considerable amount of braking power that won't falter on those muddier days and a Shimano drive train offers smooth dependability.
The first thing you notice riding this bike is the wheelbase. The Warbird has a much longer wheelbase than your typical cyclocross bike which translates to a more stable feel over rougher terrain. Andy and I spent some time on Salsa's latest this past Summer in Utah. The bike was a blast on the fire roads and we even jumped onto some single track for a bit. The first time I swung my leg over the bike I was expecting the same feel as your everyday touring bike, but what I found was an awesome blend of comfort and speed.
One thing that I've always loved about Salsa is that almost all of their bikes can be used efficiently in a multitude of situations. The Warbird is a perfect gravel bike, a decent cyclocross bike and an ok commuter. I really think the bike could hold its own between the tape and over the barriers, but if you want to be a competitive cyclocross racer you'll be much happier on a more traditional cross frame. As a commuter, the lack of rack and fender mounts may have you getting to work in the morning wishing for something more along the lines of a Trek 520, Salsa Vaya or a more traditional hybrid.
Maybe you're a roadie that's used to long days in the saddle and would love some new roads to explore. Maybe you're a regular at Rock Bridge and Cosmo and want to jump in on some group rides when the trails are wet. Maybe you've got a training schedule that has you peaking for the Dirty Kanza. This bike was developed and tested in gravel races throughout the midwest, so what are you waiting for?
A custom R-33 frameset with perfectly tig welded steel tubing built up with SRAM Apex and a Bontrager RXL wheelset. This build offers up a reliable, smooth and high performing steel road bike. If you've ever been interested in high quality steel you should definitely come have a look.