Recently, one of Salsa's web guys, Kris, and myself embarked on an adventure of a different kind with a few other buddies. There was no gravel, no drop bars, heck we didn't even have 29-inch wheels. What we did have was travel, bikes, foriegn currency, weird accents, and new and different terrain to ride. Sounds like an adventure to me!
Our itinerary was a week of riding in Whistler, British Columbia. More specifically, riding DH bikes in the bike park. If you've ever spent time riding in this neck of the woods, you know what I'm talking about. Whether it's in the bike park or off the mountain on the numerous killer trails in the valley, making it from A to B, while adapting to changing weather conditions and keeping yourself and your rig in one piece is always an adventure. Three flats in three consecuctive runs? Yup, that happens. Bears on the trail? Expect it. Bent hangers and munched derailleurs? Come prepared! Sudden thunderstorms? The mountains are unpredictable.
We here at Salsa are a diverse group of cyclists, and we enjoy all types of riding. We work hard to offer bikes, frames, and components that appeal to a wide range of users. In addition to the big ticket, attention grabbing frames and complete bikes we offer, we also have a variety of components to fit almost every type of adventure you can get yourself into (and hopefully out of) on a bike. I'd like to highlight four different Salsa components I used during our trip, some of which may or may not be familiar:
Salsa Chainrings: Our AL-7075-T6 general purpose chainrings are great for both SS setups and also as replacements on multi-speed cranks. I run a single 104 BCD 34T in my chain guide. I've also been experimenting with a 45T-34T combo on my 10-speed Rival equipped Vaya. We offer these rings in a variety of BCD's, tooth counts, in black and silver. Look from more BCD, tooth, and color options in the near future!
Whammy Bars: First off, these bars are NOT intended for downhill use, however, they do pass all the rigorous European testing standards. Secondly, it's my job make sure the products we design are worthy of your hard-earned cash. Rest assured, if I can rally these bars as hard as I have been over the last year, they will hold up on your all-mountain or singlespeed bike just fine. The Whammy Bar comes in both a 20mm low rise and 11-degree flat bar configurations at a ridiculous 780mm wide. Wide bars offer more control over front wheel deflecting impacts which makes holding a line in rough sections (especially at speed) easier. Around these parts, the thick woods and smooth dirt makes riding wide bars less of a necessity. However, out West in the mountains or the desert, the wide bars really shine. Whenever I head out to a riding destination with this type of terrain, I opt for a wider bar on which ever bike I happen to be taking. We make 'em extra wide with the intent that they can be trimmed down to an optimal width just for you. I find I like 740mm. Like chainrings, handlebars are another catagory in which we currently have quite a few projects in the works and we'll soon be able to show some exciting new stuff!
The third Salsa component I was using was a set of Gordo Disc rims. (Sorry no picture.) The rims I have are prototype versions we had specifically rolled into a 26-inch configuration for some intentional abuse while we were developing the Gordo 29'er Disc rim. Please note we only produce and sell the 29-inch Gordo Disc rim type. These two-six proto hoops have been going strong now for 3 years, which includes a couple Whistler trips, and shuttle runs at Bootleg Canyon, NV. If you are looking for one of the toughest 29er rims available, I suggest considering the Gordo 29'er Disc.
The last piece of Salsa componentry on my bike is a Salsa Flip-Off seat collar. It's the original adjustable height seatpost, not to mention the classic styling and various color options. No bike is complete without a Salsa collar.
So that's a quick highlight of some of the Salsa components I used during my recent excursion way out west. As I hinted at, we are currently working hard behind the scenes to expand our portfolio of component offerings to suit all types of adventures by bicycle. Stay tuned to the blog for more info in the near future.
For those that have read this far, I will offer one last bit of gear that I utilized during our trip that fits squarely in the 'adventure' product category. Over the last couple years you have seen pictures and read stories on the blog from Joe, Jason, Tim, and Kid utilizing frame bags for various adventures and races. In case you have not figured it out yet, frame bags are all the rage these days. Getting gear off you and onto the bike keeps you fresher and free to move about. Frame bags are a great alternative when traditional racks and panniers are not an option. This holds true from commuting to gravel racing to turning laps in the bike park. During past trips to Whistler I have employed either a hydration pack or my shorts pockets to hold my spare tube, tool, mini pump, etc. This year, I took a cue from the cool kids and whipped out what might be the first ever 'adventure DH frame bag'.
It sits above the BB between the DT and ST on my frame.
It is just big enough to hold a neatly rolled tube, mini pump, tool, wrench for rear wheel removal, and small patch kit. I am happy to report that it worked flawlessly. Being it was 'just' large enough to squeeze my kit into it, all the items were tightly packed and nothing rattled around. The bag held it's shape nicely and didn't move around on the frame while riding. I never even noticed it was down there. Using the frame bag allowed me to ride without a pack or stuffed pockets all week long. It was great. This freed me up to move around more and get extra rad on the bike. If you have not yet tried a frame bag on your bike, no matter what kind it is, I highly recommend you do so.
One last thing: If you've never hit up the Whistler bike park, put some serious effort into making it happen. The trails are fantastic and they've got a range of difficulty. Your skills will get a solid boost from riding at the park, and each run ends down in the village where good food and beer await! -PK
------------------ UPCOMING EVENT: NORTH CENTRAL CYCLERY, DEKALB, ILLINOIS ---------------------
On Wednesday August 18th Salsa will present a preview of some never-before-seen products at an event hosted by North Central Cyclery in Dekalb, IL. Salsa sales manager, David Gabrys will be present with the Mukluk, El Mariachi Ti, La Cruz Ti, the new steel El Mariachi and the background behind our Adventure By Bike direction. He will also be sharing some cool stuff that can only be seen by attendees of the event, so it will be worth your while to make the visit and see what’s happening for 2011.
The event begins at 7pm and will be followed by a campfire (and hopefully S'mores). There will be beer too! RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. North Central Cyclery, 534 E. Lincoln Hwy, Dekalb, IL (815) 758-2403.
This post filed under topics: Pete Koski
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Hi, I'm Pete and I am a product development engineer for Salsa. I like all kinds of riding from commuting to dirt jumping. I think flat pedals make you a better bike handler, that the thru-axle is vastly superior to the quick-release for off-road applications, and that moving through the world on bicycle allows one to see things they might not otherwise. I suffer daily from hunger-induced anger, also known as hanger. Outside of work and riding, I enjoy kiteboarding, traveling, and watching hockey.