OK, lets get this bike build going. Today we'll be discussing which component system will be the core of the build? Before we get down to details, you are probably wondering just what frame model will we install this component group? Read on.

Before we get started, I want to clear something up that came up yesterday. Someone asked Salsa if the specifications we pick here on the blog will end up being the complete bicycle specification for production? Good question. The answer is that this is unlikely considering I rode the bike into work today in near final specification...It's sweet by the way. It is possible if we ended up picking the exact same components, but that is unlikely. This build up through the blog is just a fun game and a good excuse to talk about bicycle parts. I also expect Salsa will learn a few things. Who knows, you might too.

So, what are we going to mount these components too? This bike I have in mind is built as an all day high end road riding bike. Could you race it? Without a doubt, that's just not the intent of this build. My idea for this bike, and it is likely I'll ride this exact bike a bit after completing it, is that it will be the FIRST bike I'd choose for endless miles of pavement on a perfect and sunny 80 degree day with little or no humidity.

Salsa is not interested in piecing together odd, old, nostalgic, and retro parts in 5,6,7, or 8 speed. We love that too, but its not right for this project. We are also not interested, nor could we get, a new Campy Super Record 11spd group for this build.

The question at hand today is SRAM-Shimano-Campagnolo and which group to base the build around?

Post a comment with your choice of brand and desired component group. If you want to tell us why, do that too.

Remember the rules. The most important being don't put down other people or other people's ideas. Keep the discussion limited to your choice and the reasons why you would make that choice.

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Jason Boucher

Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.


 Rico |

Shimano Ultegra SL…and it’s killin’ me to say it, since there’s no love-loss for me and the ‘big S’.  My Primero is outfitted w/ Rival, and I’ve got 2000 or so miles on it.  The shifting just isn’t as fast as Ultegra when more than one gear is called for (often, with 10 spd), and it’s far more finnicky about lubrication and adjustment. Ultegra is much more ‘set and forget’.  Sram Rival reminds me of Suntour components in the late 80s; very clever and light, but Shimano consistency trumps.  For my use, Rival works just fine…but no way I’d spec it as a product manager.  Campy?  Not sure.

 Butcher |

This is good stuff.  A little daunting, but I’ll tally this up in the morning, report my findings and move onto question #2.

 Jason |

For an all day riding bike, I like Force brifters and rear derailleur with Rival front derailleur, chain, cassette, compact crank and brakes.

 Dan Bailey |

I gotta go with Ultegra SL—excellent balance on the three-axis graph when considering price/weight/performance.

 Anonymous |

I vote a SRAM Rival or Force build with FSA bar, stem, handlebar, seatpost etc. The SRAM road kits work great, are light weight, look great and are the best value of the bunch, which include Shimano and Campagnolo. Shimano being the technical brand and Campy being the prestige and performance brand. Salsa frames are a great value, it makes sense to go with SRAM! The new Rival rocks!

 MG |

Try that again…<BR><BR>Guitar Ted, I like your comments.  That new Rival stuff is super good, from what I hear.  That said, the good ‘ol 105 10-speed that came stock on my La Cruz complete has been stone reliable, and aside from changing the chain twice (Dura Ace, of course), it’s required nothing in parts.<BR><BR>If you could afford ceramic bearings, great, but don’t sacrifice the whole of the group just to get grey bearings on the bike.  Get good metal bearings and decent parts, offer good value and let people upgrade to ceramics if they want to.  Heck, ceramic balls drop right into Shimano hubs, make ‘em fast as heck with light grease, and don’t cost and arm and a leg.  Plus, you can do it at home if you don’t mind getting a little grease on your hands.  But I digress…<BR><BR>Cheers,<BR>MG

 Anonymous |

I thought the Casseroll triple was Salsa’s “all day” bike.  What will the new offering offer for all day riders that the Casseroll already doesn’t?  A bit less weight?  A bit higher end parts?  Compact double instead of triple?  Assuming Salsa is launching an even higher end, raceable (carbon?) complete road bike this year as well, I’m curious to see what niche this bike will address in between the Casseroll and the new raceable raod bike.  In other words, why would one want to buy this new all day (steel?) bike vs. one (or both) of the other two?  Sorry to ask these questions, but I know I’ll be buying at least one of these new offerings and I’m trying to make sense of it all.

 Bobby |

Dude MG…I’m with ya on that.  Even I actually put in a 40 mile road jaunt this weekend.  For all you roadies I know that aint sayin’ much but for this Dirt hound that was quite a feat! <BR><BR>Oh…And I’m not sure if I’m allowed to participate but I vote for Campy Centaur.  Second choice would be Sram Rival.  I am also a fan of brake lever blades that dont move.  <BR><BR>Thanks for everyone’s comments by the way.  This is fun! <BR><BR>Bobby<BR>Salsa Cycles

 MG |

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 Anonymous |

Parts being available everywhere is a GOOD thing if you have ever ridden more than just a loop back to your car or to your house.

 Anonymous |

Sram<BR><BR>50-34<BR><BR>12-28<BR><BR>‘nuff said

 Guitar Ted |

SRAM Rival, the new stuff. Why? Because we had a gal in the shop the other day that couldn’t shift the Ultegra levers. Too long a throw for small hands. This bike has to fit a wide range of people, no? Add in the reach adjust feature and the front derailluer trim feature from the Red gruppo and it’s a winner, hands down. <BR><BR>Shimano is available everywhere. That’s reason enough for me not to want it on a Salsa. <BR><BR>Campy’s new Record, Chorus, and Super Record are all 11 speed for ‘09. I ain’t buyin’ what they’re sellin’ there. Veloce is too far down the scale for this rig.

 Anonymous |

I would go 2009 SRAM Rival with 2009 FSA SLK-Light Compact Crank and Shimano 11/25 cassette.  Light and affordable.  A little bling but not over the top.  Able to handle any all day ride or race.

 Butcher |

Nice one Smitty.  Bobby and I got a good laugh out of that one.  Thank you.<BR><BR>Keep it coming.

 Smitty |

Oops…shame on me, I hope I was not overly critical my fellow Pepperhead’s sensitivity to saving the big Q’s money…I kinda forgot the rules of the game, I’ll be nicer tomorrow, I promise!  Nice work, BTW Jason.  I think my belyakin for new blog material has been rewarded beyond my imagination!

 Smitty |

I personally have a Campy mix on my Primero.  Who doesn’t appreciate Campy?  But…<BR>I think Shimano just works better.  And you people throwing out Ultegra/105, mentioning that it is affordable - what’re you thinking?  We are not paying the bill, Jason is.  So I say Dura Ace.

 Chequamagon |

Sram Rival.  Ive been riding it since it came out and it has been the most flawless and affordable group I have ever seen.  Plus it looks good and is really light.

 Anonymous |

In no particular order: SRAM Force, Ultegra SL, Campy Centaur.  Doesn’t make much difference to me.  They’re all great, and they’re all sufficienetly high end for what has been described by Salsa as a high end all-day road bike.  I’m also assuming this new road frame will be steel, which comes with a weight penalty over carbon or alu, so the group shouldn’t be any heavier than these.  However, if the bike is not primarily intended for racing, I’d insist on compact, and I’d insist on the largest road cassette available (a 28 or a even a 29 on the largest cog).  The lower gears are great when doing, say, an eight-hour ride with some steep hills.<BR><BR>Now, if we were talking about a new carbon frame, then I’d choose…

 Ben |

Chorus would have my vote.  It’s upscale, yet halfway affordable, and says performance without opulence.  Compliment that with a smattering of Salsa carbon goodies, and match it with a set of hand built carbon wheels from Wheelbuilder on Record hubs.  It would have money where it should be spent, new 11 spd goodness (debate able I know,) all surrounding your new go fast chassis and other performance parts.

 Anonymous |

Centaur, Compact, 13-29. Hee hee, that is really a triple:> Does Campy have a 12-28?

 Anonymous |

campy is the first choice. wouldn’t that be fantastic on a salsa? as for the compact crank.. i like to push a 53 and if it is going to be suitable for racing then the 53 is important. otherwise the SL would be fantastic too. no sram though

 Got Chili |

I have Centaur on my Chili, but on this bike I would go with Chorus. Something a little nicer for a road bike that I would ride for several years.

 Head Honcho |

As a Campy guy, I have to side with the Italian masters! For an all day, comfortable, but speedy affair, go with Centaur. Why not Chorus? IMO, Chorus is no Ultegra, its more akin to D/A on the bling factor. And I’m not one to have bling on the bike. I like subtlety. You still get your carbon fix, but its all still very affordable. <BR><BR>That or SRAM Rival. No shimano. So what if its available everywhere? With campy, hardly anything ever goes wrong with it.

 Anonymous |

I’d also pick SRAM Force compact 50/34 with 11-28 cassette….In a tight close 2nd would be UltegraSL for sure….

 Anonymous |

Sram Rival. With the ‘09 stuff inheriting reach adjust and no-loss, I don’t see the need to spend any extra for Force or Red. I’ve ridden all three, and they’re functionally indistinguishable. <BR><BR>Plus, this year’s Ultegra SL gruppo is likely to be incompatible with next year’s, as the new DA features trickle down Shimano’s line.

 Jason |

Shimano Ultegra/105 Mix. I’ve used this mix for years and think it’s tops. Ultegra Crank/Rear D., 105 front D. 105 shifters and 105 brakes. Affordable(ish) and has always been reliable for me. SRAM Force might be good too.

 daniel |

I’d go with SRAM Force compact except possibly the cassette where I might go with the 11-28 Red cluster for just a bit more hill relief…

 BluesDawg |

SRAM Red. I really like the double tap shifters and the fact that the brake levers are not shift levers. For a mid-level build I would choose Rival, but the order was for high end. Force would be a good choice as well, but Red has all the top features, so bling it out.

 Anonymous |

Lots of good choices between Campy, Sram and Shimano<BR><BR>Campy has the history and solicits passion in many people.<BR><BR>Sram has created a big splash in the marketplace, and seems to be backing it up with performance. <BR><BR>But my choice would be Ultegra SL. Raceable weight and performance, and perfect for endless miles. Parts avaiable almost anywhere.

 Anonymous |

Shimano Ultegra/105 mix.  Reasonable-Reliable-Raceable-Readily available.  Campy’s a bit to nose in the air for Salsa (in my view).  Sram would’ve been the non-conformist view a few years ago - but it getting to be pretty mainstream now.

 Anonymous |

There’s a lot of great stuff out there, but I dig the campy. A chorus set would be sweet.

 Anonymous |

For a high end, non-race (but more ‘performance’ than Casseroll) road bike: Shimano Ultegra SL 10-speed group, with 12-28 cassette and 50/34 compact crankset.

 Anonymous |

I saw campy.  It’s classic, cool and works wonderfully.  I think Centaur or Chorus, my two cents.

 Butcher |

Sweet.  1 vote each brand.  Bring on the comments!

 Tom |

SRAM Force with Red shifter’s. Cermic BB. |

Sram Force group, maybe the new 09 Rival. Red is to much bling and I don’t think red goes with your description of what you would use the bike for.

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