Introducing the NEW Blackborow!

We’re pleased to introduce the all-new Blackborow - a blank canvas for adventure, a story generator, a solution to quandaries of your design. A bike with barely-visible guardrails.

What could you do with a bike like this? That’s the whole point. Will your months-long expedition across Mongolia be 100% self-supported and require meticulous gear planning? What about fly fishing everyday along the length of the Idaho Hot Springs Route? Or, did you just get a, “We’re leaving for the lake in an hour” text from your pals and you know you can’t pass up an opportunity for a luxury beach overnighter with them. You’re the only one with a two-burner stove, and you know how they love your famous jalapeno pancakes, after all.

The concept for Blackborow had been rattling around Salsa HQ since about 2010. The new places we were able to go with our fatbikes got us thinking about how cool it would be to bring some of our other hobbies into the fold; skiing, hunting, fishing, trailbuilding, or just being able to say, “I’m REALLY not going to be able to check email for the two weeks I’m gone.” While it’s true that camping gear just keeps getting more compact and you can get an impressive amount of your needs covered within the space allotted by framebags, sometimes you just need or want more flexibility with your route choices, what you’d like to take with you, and your time off the bike.

But what would it be like to pedal a bike that allows this new flexibility? As much as possible, we didn’t want to create a bike that required us to learn an entirely new set of skills to ride it. That’s where engineer Pete Koski came in. The highly influential fatbike geometry he’d already developed for Mukluk and Beargrease could be applied to the front end. The rear end was the wide-open blue ocean. He knew a “mid-long frame” would be the best bet for the handling he wanted, and instead of counting sheep at night, he’d drift off to dream in rear rack land. The result is a four-point attachment structure that can hold four full-sized panniers with plenty of upper deck space and no concerns regarding heel clearance. It’s a beautiful sight to behold.

The aluminum Blackborow runs contemporary components. It’s spec’d with 27.5 x 4” wheels and tires but can also fit 29 x 2.2 to 3.0” and 26 x 4.0”. The rear spacing is the now common among fatbikes 197 mm, the bottom bracket is threaded, and you can run a dropper post (which is awesome not only off-roading but for getting on and off a loaded machine). Go with 1x or 2x drivetrains, find your way forward with the Bearpaw Carbon fork or throw on some suspension. Our EXP Series framebags fit up front, our Touring Panniers fit out back, and Three-Pack mounts on the fork mate up with our Anything Cages. There are two conventional two-bolt bottle mounts in the main triangle with one more in our Stowaway space behind the seattube, and a two-bolt spot on the toptube behind the stem fits our EXP Series Toptube Bag.

Not creating a bag set for the rear end was intentional. Even something as non-threatening as predetermined bag dimensions can still impose some limitations on what you might want to try, and that’s the last thing we wanted to do. We are, however, happy to share attachment points and numbers with bag makers if you’ve got something up your sleeve for the equipment you’ll soon be bringing on whatever plans you hatch. We’ve done a fair amount of testing and riding Blackborow on our own, so make sure to check out our suggestions for how to pack for optimal ride performance here. It may influence the design process.

We hope that when you see Blackborow, you get a wily smile and a head full of scheming. Its namesake certainly had his own insatiable penchant for adventure. Those of you unfamiliar with the story of Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance (perhaps the greatest survival story of all time), should consider this a homework assignment. Read about the incredible journey that Shackleton and his crew faced, and their survival against truly incredible odds. Read about Perce Blackborow, and how the young stowaway found himself in the middle of an adventure he could never, ever, have predicted.

Make your expeditions, whether planned for years or thrown together last minute, on existing routes or ones you thought of first, meaningful and memorable. This bike is your opportunity to be the captain of your own ship. Throw a leg over and cast off!

For complete information on Blackborow, click here.

U.S. MSRP Complete Bike - $2,799.00

U.S. MSRP Frameset including Rear Rack - $1,499.00

AVAILABILITY - Mid-November 2017

This post filed under topics: Bikepacking Blackborow Explore Fatbike Mark Sirek New Product Tech Touring Travel

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Mark Sirek

I had to live on both coasts a couple of times to realize that maybe being born in the Midwest wasn’t just arbitrary. I’m drawn to the terrain here, and if you catch me with one of this region’s supreme IPAs in hand, I’ll talk your ear off about my favorite spots. I’ll always take every opportunity though to explore every nook and cranny anywhere I can on a bike, because that’s what makes me feel most alive.


Jamie Stone | September 8th, 2017

Sweet! Love where you guys have gone with the line in the last few years!

Jeff Wriker | September 8th, 2017

Does this new Blackburrow support Vee2XL 5.05 tires?

Adin Maynard | September 8th, 2017

Now if only I could put on a deck, Yepp Maxi, and a stoker bar to haul my 2 kids.. this may be a burly Big Dummy replacement vehicle

INT | September 9th, 2017

So Flexible and easy to use. pure genius!

Maine Bike Works | September 9th, 2017

Damn. That bike! Those bags! Salsa Cycles you know exactly what we need for our adventuring in Maine. Excuse me while I grab my flyrod and close the shop for a little while…

Paul Kirkeminde | September 9th, 2017

What is the rear drop out spacing?

Can I use my Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 TS DB,?


Paul Kirkeminde | September 9th, 2017

Could I get the complete dimensions of the space behind the seat post.


Nauka Jazdy Gdańsk | September 10th, 2017

Useful informations. Thank you for this post.

Terry Ritter | September 12th, 2017

This bike looks perfect to do the White Rim Trail in Moab.  Has it been around a couple of years ago when I rode it, the trip probably would have been that much more epic.  Something for future White Rim riders to consider too.

Timmy | September 12th, 2017

Nice looking rig.  Im curious about that short board quad fin.  Whats the story with that?


Kid Riemer | September 13th, 2017

Jamie - Thank you.

Jeff Wriker - No, it does not.

Paul - You can find complete frame specs on the Blackborow product page on our website. But the hub dimensions are 150mm thru axle front hub and 197mm thru axle rear hub.  RE: the space behind the seat tube; we are calling that The Stowaway Space and we are currently working up a document that will share all the details for frame bag makers or folks that want to sew their own bags. It is a very useable space.

Terry - I agree completely and will hope to do that as a trip with mine next year!

Timmy - The short board rig is our engineer’s (Pete Koski) kite surfing rig. The large pannier holds two of his kites. Watch for a future film from us regarding that Blackborow experience.

Paul Kirkeminde | September 13th, 2017

I have another cargo bike with a mid drive electric motor that just might fit in that frame space….it would be a great frame for my application as a desert/NorCal prospecting tractor….

I am not happy with the one I have now because I sit right on top of the pedals…not very ergo.

I may have to do some figuring to find out if the 135mm Rohloff can be used….it is sweet…but I found I really didn’t need but 5 of the gears for what I do. I need swept back handle bars….I already have Rolling Darryls with tubeless tires I could mount.
I love the looks of this frameset.
Could it happen,???? Time will tell. :-)

Thanks for the reply!


Stryker | September 15th, 2017

Looks like a total home run ! Looks like perfect product/market placement.
‘The bad ass mid size SUV’
I am glad my dough did not go to Xtracycle.
Look forward to riding one. I have an XL Marrakesh in the stable, will the Blackborow frame come in variable sizes? -Did I not read well?- Also not too familiar with the Fat tire market, I have overviewed past few years it has taken off really, is there a non knobby ‘all-terrain’ tire fitment for this config for 90% road use?
Does anyone- Mark- answer these questions back lol?

Kid Riemer | September 15th, 2017

Stryker - Blackborow comes in Small, Medium, and Large frame sizes. See the full product info, including Geometry on the Blackborow product pages.

Fatbike tires…where once there were few, there are now many choices. Most of the available choices are designed for 26” fatbike rims, but there is a growing number of 27.5 fat choices as well.

How to read a topo map | September 21st, 2017

Great pics!

Paul Kirkeminde | September 21st, 2017

Here are the best tires I could find for my Luna cycle… These are tubeless and have not failed me yet in the desert of Yuma.

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