We are pleased to introduce Cutthroat: the ultimate Tour Divide racing machine.
Cutthroat Carbon Rival 1 complete bike
A drop bar mountain bike, Cutthroat features a full carbon frame with Class 5 VRS™ (Vibration Reduction System) and Firestarter Carbon fork, the bike features front and rear thru-axles, a cavernous front triangle for extra frame bag gear space, and clearance for 29 x 2.4” tires.
Both Salsa product manager Joe Meiser and product design engineer Sean Mailen have ridden the Tour Divide route from Banff, Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico and that personal experience clearly impacted the Cutthroat’s final design. “The experience of riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route will last a lifetime,” said Mailen. “Cutthroat is a huge step forward in terms of what a fast, efficient bikepacking bike looks like. We asked ourselves; what does the racer need to finish the Tour Divide as fast as possible?”
Cutthroat Carbon X9 complete bike
During the Cutthroat design process, four key areas were of focus: Comfort, Reliability, Weight, and Efficiency. Meiser says, “The ultra-endurance off-road cyclist is constantly seeking that perfect equation of simple, light, reliable, durable, convenient, and fast because at the end of a 2,745-mile ride the right mix can mean hours saved, not just seconds.”
Cutthroat features Salsa’s proprietary Class 5 VRS™ (first introduced on the 2016 Warbird). The design reduces the millions of micro impacts that lead to rider fatigue while also creating room for large tires with plenty of mud clearance.
“Comfort is speed,” said Mailen, “especially when you are talking about riding 100 to 150 miles, or more, per day, day after day, the entire length of the country. A body receiving less punishment is one that can put more energy towards moving forward rather than reacting to impacts.”
Class 5 VRS utilizes specially shaped seatstays with a tall, thin, vertically oriented profile that promotes vertical compliance by allowing the seatstays to "flex" outwards on impacts. The horizontally oriented chainstays work to resist torque and maintain a laterally stiff rear end. The seatstays and chainstays lack bridges, furthering the full length of the stays to contribute to flexibility. And a rear thru-axle delivers precise tracking while allowing the seatstays to provide that incredible compliance.
“The beauty of Class 5 VRS is that the principles can be beefed up or paired down depending on the frame we are designing,” added Mailen. “The Cutthroat is a mountain bike, so we’ve beefed it up for this mountain bike application.”
Cutthroat also promotes rider comfort through the use of a drop handlebar. “Multiple hand positions mean multiple body positions, and those are necessary to keep the body happy,” said Mailen. “Cutthroat is spec’d with the Salsa Woodchipper bar because it offers the widest variety of hand positions,” said Meiser.
“The Tour Divide is a long ride through a variety of challenging conditions and terrain,” said Meiser. “Cutthroat is ready for the long haul because we designed for simplicity and durability and cut out complexity. The frameset is feature rich, but without extraneous or unnecessary details.”
“The bike needed to be light, but durable,” says Mailen. “High-modulus carbon fiber not only allowed us to create complex frame and tube shaping, efficient drivetrain power transfer, and the ride quality we were looking for, but the Cutthroat passes our stringent testing at a very respectable low weight.”
Explains Mailen, “To challenge a record or a personal best time, riders need to be as efficient as possible. They need to know where their gear is, access it, use it, repack it, and keep these stops as short as possible. The Cutthroat provides an extremely large front triangle, along with Three-Pack bosses for either water bottle cages or Anything Cages. It also features toptube bosses for clean, simple mounting of a new Salsa toptube bag that is currently in development. All of this offers excellent opportunity for organization. Organization means efficiency, and increased efficiency means increased speed.”
Salsa sponsored rider Jay Petervary is racing the Cutthroat in the 2015 Tour Divide. “With the nature of Tour Divide one needs equipment that is reliable, practical and useful while paying attention to bulk and weight. In the case of the bike itself, it needs to be comfortable in terms of ride quality and body position, but also needs to be very responsive in energy return. It needs to be stable for carrying a load and high speed descents.”
“The Cutthroat to me has the important traits a Tour Divide race bike should have,” he says. “In my opinion it’s the best tool for the job.”
Adds Meiser, “The Cutthroat is a bike that is ideal for 16-18 hour days in the saddle, day after day, for three weeks straight. We consider it an evolutionary step forward for Tour Divide bikepacking race rigs.”
The Cutthroat name is more than just a play on the fierceness of competition. “The Cutthroat trout, or a variation of Cutthroat trout, is the state fish for all the U.S. states that the Tour Divide (or Great Divide Mountain Bike Route) passes through,” says Salsa marketing manager Mike ‘Kid’ Riemer. “It was almost too good to be true when we learned that fact and the Cutthroat name became a keeper (pun intended).”
Cutthroat will be available in two complete bike spec’s and one frameset offering.
Cutthroat Carbon Rival 1 Complete Bike – U.S. MSRP $3999
Cutthroat Carbon X9 Complete Bike – U.S. MSRP $2999
Cutthroat Carbon Frameset – U.S. MSRP $1999
COMPLETE BIKE SPEC
This post filed under topics: Tour Divide
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I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.