Whether it is a cyclocross event in Portland, Providence, Louisville, Minneapolis, or Cross Vegas you are likely to see the Chili Con Crosso in action. It has developed a strong reputation among cyclocross athletes for its performance, ride quality, geometry, weight, and price. We love cross because the bikes are so versatile and capable. For many people, if they could only own one bike, it would be a cross bike. Today it is my pleasure to share the full details of the new Chili Con Crosso.
The goal with the new Chili was to add performance and features while maintaining the same proven ride geometry. In the wet and muddy elements of cyclocross, fork chatter is a perennial challenge to reduce and overcome. There are many differing opinions on the best approach to reduce fork chatter, including brake pad and front brake cable positioning. Regardless, one thing is certain: larger steerer tubes produce less flex and thereby help reduce the fore-aft movement between the brake bosses and the cable housing stop. Together, this reduces brake chatter. The new Chili Con Crosso is spec'd with a 1-1/2" tapered headtube and matching Salsa full carbon fork to help reduce fork chatter.
The full carbon steerer tube tapers from 1-1/8" to 1-1/2" where it meets the large crown. While the crown is extra bulky to increase stiffness between the brake posts and steerer, you can see that there is still plenty of tire clearance when fitted with a 35mm tire as pictured. The fork was stiff, stable and silent when I test rode it with the Avid Shorty 4 brakes and steerer-mounted cable stop as spec'd on the complete bike. For those who wish to take reducing fork chatter one step further, the crown has a drilling where a custom-fitted cable stop could be mounted. The headtube takes a standard I.S. oversized headset. Both the complete bike and frameset come with a Cane Creek IS-3 headset featuring a blue anodized top cap to match the graphics package of the frame.
Speaking of anodized parts, the complete bike comes chock-full of blue bits. The Lip-Lock seat collar, hubs, skewers, Paul Components Chain Keeper, headset and Salsa top cap are anodized blue. There is just enough ano to impress, but not so much that looking at the complete bike will send you into a dizzying out-of-body experience like what nearly happened when I first saw these things:
No, it's not Pac-Man playing chicken with Ms. Pac-Man, or looking at himself in the mirror. These are bolt-on dropouts that allow the option of running your new Chili Con Crosso as a singlespeed. While there are quite a few SS capable cross frames, there are not many high performance options.
The complete bike comes with a 1x10 SRAM Rival drivetrain and bolt-on vertical dropouts with the same hole drilling. They are held in place by T30 chainring bolts. Remove the bolts, slide the horizontal dropout in place, fasten the bolts down and you instantly have yourself a singlespeed-capable cyclocross frameset! Here is a close-up photo I took of Salsa engineer, Sean Mailen, riding on the Minnesota state championship CX course. You can see the vertical dropout held in place with chainring bolts on the non-drive side.
Also notice that the classic flattened seatstays and chainstays carry over to the new frame. These stays provide lateral stiffness while helping take the edge off, especially when riding on bumpy, firm surfaces such as gravel or pavement.
Another carry-over feature from the previous design is the flattened section of the toptube. However, the length of the flattened section on the new Chili is significantly longer to accommodate a wider range of shouldering styles that affect precisely where the toptube rests on the rider. These refinements make run-ups and staircases much less painful than traditional tubes.
Here's a side profile of the toptube to more clearly illustrate how the underside of the toptube curves. That little feature makes the bike fit perfectly on your shoulder.
This year we started working with a new aluminum supplier and were able bring more value by using EV6 (high grade 6000-series) aluminum instead of scandium. The new material has nearly identical strength properties as scandium. Additionally, we are able to now use a mixture of different tube-shaping techniques, including hydroforming, to get the exact shape and ride quality we desire. Ride geometry is the same as previous versions, with some small differences to account for other changes such as the internal headset (headtubes are slightly longer). The well-balanced and stable geometry provides a confidence inspiring ride quality suitable for elite cyclocross athletes.
The new Chili Con Crosso will be offered in 6 sizes: 51, 53, 55, 56, 58, 60cm. Please see the Geometry Chart on the Chili Con Crosso page of our website
The complete bike will come with a 1x10 SRAM Rival drivetrain, DT Swiss R450 rims, FSA Gossamer crankset w/42T Salsa ring, and Salsa bar/stem/seatpost. See complete spec on the Chili Con Crosso page of our website
Frame weight: 1520 grams (55cm)
Fork weight: 500 grams (uncut)
Availability: mid-October for bikes and framesets
MSRP: $1649 (complete bike), $799 (frame/fork/headset)
Singlespeed or geared: It can do both. You make the choice (both vertical and singlespeed dropouts included with complete bike and frameset)
While the timing of delivery is later than the first cyclocross events of the season, they will still be available in time to hit your local sandpit before the season ends! Contact your local dealer to pre-order yours today. Bring on the cow bells!