New Salsa Rack Prototypes

We like to carry stuff on our bikes.   From what we hear and see, so do a lot of other folks.   Sometimes it's a lot of stuff.  Other times it's not so much stuff.    We also get a lot of questions about what racks work on the Fargo and the Vaya?    While lot's of racks can work, we set out to build our own racks that ideally work with our bikes and retain all the features we built into both the Fargo and Vaya.   Our new racks are versatile and lightweight for their respective categories and they are designed to be an integrated or scalable system.  

Before I get too far, let me remind you that these are prototypes and works in progress.  We are looking for a mid summer in stock date....And yes, we know some of you want them sooner than that.  We are sorry.   We just want to make them right.  

The racks above shown on the Fargo don't have a name yet.   They are small racks with some very unique features.   Check out these features.  

- Light and durable tubular aluminum alloy

- Front or rear use 

- Optional custom Salsa Lip Lock seat clamp with integrated rack mount for seat tube mounting (look closely at the Fargo pic above)

- Black or Silver

- The deck is cupped ever so slightly to perfectly fit and hold a dry bag or compression sack

- Two strap tie down loops to securely hold your cargo

- Struts can also go upward making mounting to other things such as bars, saddle or seat post

- Has 2 little threaded barrels on the end of the deck for attaching things.   We plan to make a light bracket here but the DIY folks will likely come up with lots of things to do with these.

- Estimated 5 Kilo (11lbs) weight limit.  In the pick above I put my sleeping bag and pad in the rear stuff sack and my overnight clothes in the front.  

- $75 MSRP


Next up is our new front lorider.  It does not have a name yet either.    Check out the features.

- Light and durable tubular aluminum alloy

- Black or Silver

- No wheel hoop so they work with fat 29" wheels or even 4" Surly Endomorphs

- Mounts to mid blade eyelets and fork/drop out eyelet.  Note:  Requires mid blade eyelets on both the inside & outside of fork blade 

- Retains full use of Fargo fork leg mounted water bottle positions

- Has a threaded boss on the top of the hoop to attach the strut from the above front rack, making a really functional and strong front rack system

- Designed to work well with disc brakes, meaning they mount easily on bikes with disc brakes and are forward positioned to allow full access to the front brake

- The two threaded barrels at the bottom will likely be removed.   Most front loriders have little pegs there to hold the lower pannier hook in place.   We may just switch to 2 smaller posts.   

- $65 MSRP

Last but not least is our new rear rack shown here on our Vaya.   Again, no name yet.    Check out it's features.

- Light and durable tubular aluminum alloy

- Black or Silver

- Extra long deck.  It's slighly cupped to assist in holding bags, sleeping pads or whatever you strap to the top deck.   

- Extra long struts for mounting, even to small frames and small rear triangles

- Universal mounting system allowing movement of struts in any direction

- Depending on pannier size, brand and attachment method, you may be able to use a lower mounting position to further lower your center of gravity

- Two threaded barrels for light and reflector mounting

- $100 MSRP

Wow, that's a lot of rack talk.   I'm sure I missed something.   Let us know what you think?   We are still tinkering with these.   Again, these are prototypes with an anticipated mid summer in stock date. 

This post filed under topics: Fargo New Product Vaya

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Jason Boucher

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.


Outsider | March 4th, 2010

Looks really nice. I’ll take a light front rack for my Fargo immediately when it is available. Hopefully there is room for the Cascadia 29er fenders as well.


Gnat | March 4th, 2010

Thanks Outsider.  Regarding the clearance for fenders.  There are a couple of different mounting options that will be included with the rack.  The different options will provide more or less clearance depending on your needs.

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retroscool | March 4th, 2010

Why not make the rear small rack mount kinda like a cx style front cable hanger? It would sit around the seatpost above the collar. You would need to have spacers to accommodate different seatpost diameters but then this would allow it to be used on different bikes. Just a thought.


Gnat | March 4th, 2010

Retroscool - Our new Lip Lock with integrated rack mounts will allow for different bikes.  We are tentatively doing the seatpost clamps in mulitple sizes to fit many/most bikes.    Does that make sense?

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retroscool | March 4th, 2010

Yep, makes sense but would require buying multiple lip locks. If you had a seperate seatpost mount I could move the rack from my Fargo (planning on getting a rack) to my CX bike which has the seat stay mounting holes but an integrated seatpost clamp. A seperate clamp with spacers would allow an easy swap and maybe the ability to use the racks on a wider variety of bikes.

Love the new products, keep up the good work!

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Ryan | March 4th, 2010

Will the small front version of the rack mount to bikes with caliper brakes?  I can’t see how its attached to the fargo fork clearly.


Gnat | March 4th, 2010

Retroscool - I get what you are saying.  No response here yet, but I understand it. 

Ryan - Yes, it will include a single caliper strut that will mount behind a brake caliper.

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retroscool | March 4th, 2010

After putting some thought into it if you had a larger diameter lip lock collar without the actual lip and some rubber spacers that would work and be an easy solution. Or a 27.2 one with no lip because all my bikes that I would use it on are all that diameter ;)

S.Fuller | March 4th, 2010

I am hoping beyond hope that these are ready before Trans-Wisconsin in June, but I’m not going to hold my breath. The sad thing is that I may end up with as big of a collection of racks as I have panniers before too long.

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GM | March 4th, 2010

I just ordered a Salsa Vaya 55cm from my LBS and was just figuring out which racks to use…
  My current bicycle has a Bontrager/Trek “Back Rack” with the “Interchange System”.  I find the Interchange system easy to use and very versatile. There are many different types of bags you can choose from depending on the task at hand.
  Are there bags in the works to offer a complete system?  Perhaps you can license the Interchange system?


Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | March 5th, 2010

Testing comment function. This is just a test. No need to comment. Thanks.

Dylster | March 5th, 2010

Credit card in hand, waiting for those little racks. Would love to slap a front and rear set on my new Pugsley.

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Joseph | March 5th, 2010

I know that you are designing these racks to work around your Vaya and Fargo frames but one feature of the rack that I could see being problematic for people who use cantilever brakes is the lack of a hoop on the front of the rack that prevents your load from contacting your brake cables.  I do not know the technical name for the “hoop,” but they are seen on racks such as the Nitto M-12. 

As previously mentioned, this is not going to be a probelm for the Vaya or Fargo, but is more than likely a crucial feature for someone who has cantis.  I think that not having this feature is going to greatly reduce your product market, considering many (but definately not all) people in the market for a rack like this are touring with cantis and not disk brakes.

It would be interesting to have a removable piece available so people using cantis could use the rack and people with disks could utilize the space of the rack more without having the “hoop” in the way.

MG | March 5th, 2010

Those look great… Hope to get a chance to try several of them out, particularly the smaller ones.

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Shon | March 5th, 2010

Sweet!!  I tried to make the switch from a backpack to racks and panniers for commuting (not on a Salsa) this winter and finally gave up on it due to disc brake clearance issues.  No Bueno.  I am planning on setting up a Vaya for my commuting needs and I have a not so related question:

Am I going to have to be bending fender stays when I install sks chromoplastics? 


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Fork it Over! | March 5th, 2010

Now that Alpha Q forks are no more, what carbon forks (if any) is Salsa planning to use in the future?

Mark | March 8th, 2010

Great to see you guys making some quality racks.
The one item I would question is the rear rack not having a “dog leg” that sticks out towards the back of the bike on each side.
On the racks that I’ve used that are triangle shaped such as the ones in your photo, I’ve actually had the rear of the panniers lean into the wheel and buzz the spokes.

This is when my panniers were filled with mild items used for a daily commute of about 16 miles each way. All of the “better” racks that I’ve seen have some kind of tube / strut / dog leg / whatever you want to call it to ensure that the pannier has full support along the bottom.

Have any of you experienced the situation I’m describing?

OlyBikes | March 8th, 2010

Two things:
1. The phrase “lightweight tubular alloy” is pretty vague. Is this a steel alloy, or an aluminum alloy? I hope it’s steel for durability. I was touring in Death Valley (wishing I was on a Fargo) and my touring pal (wishing he was on anything but his “Hoop-D Cross”) went _right through his aluminum rack_—the rough roads caused pannier hooks to gouge the heck outa the rack. Also, the rack broke at a weld due to flexing. If you were thinking of going ALUMINUM, then please either reconsider or consider a second version in steel and see how the adventure tour crowd responds. I know what my dollar-vote will be!

2. It isn’t apparent if the rear rack is triangulated, or if the vertical members are all in one plane. Please clarify, and, if it’s not too late, please try to add triangulation—it makes racks stiffer laterally, which really matters on the rough stuff. Worth a few extra dollars, and worth of the Salsa name!


gnat | March 9th, 2010

Hey folks, just wanted to try to answer some of the questions here. 

Joseph - Regarding Canti brakes.  These racks are designed for a specific purpose (dry bags) with good fit on others.  When properly secured, the bags do not move.  Canti brakes were not a criteria for these.  That said, we understand and hear you and we will likely have another product in the future to address this specific need. 

Shon - Vaya fenders.  Just like the Fargo, the Vaya drop outs and disc brake mounting location make mounting racks and fenders easy. 

Mark - Pannier wobble.  Good observation.  It is a bit hard to explain via text, but I will try.  These are long racks, meaning the triangle is quite big and has good support for panniers.  Many of the triangle style racks are small, thus having a smaller triangle to support the panniers. 

Oly Bikes - I updated the description.  These are tubular aluminum alloy.  Regarding the triangulation - The upper platform is a bit narrower than the lower drop out mounts.  This means there is triangulation.  Also, their is additional triangulation in the upper, smaller, upside down triangle support piece (inside the big triangle).

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HugoFar | March 10th, 2010

I’m with Olybikes with the rack material. Aluminum(or Aluminium as the rest of the world outside the USA knows it)is light,but not really the best for strength.Tubular steel tubing is heavier but will survive longer and be repaired(if ever needed)in any small town in the world. When your aluninium rack breaks,which they seem to do, better hope you’re in a large western city,or have a lot of zip ties until you can buy a replacement.This is known from personal experience.
The rack designs look good.They’d be a far better product if made of light weight tubular steel tho.
Off topic now;Still looking forward to news of the Enabler Fork.

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kvnsd | March 11th, 2010

Hey gnat if I wanted to paint the Vaya rear rack to match my Vaya frame is the paint commercially available?

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Brian | March 12th, 2010

Hey will the small racks be available in silver as well as black?

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joel | March 12th, 2010

Looks good!
I’ll be waiting for these.
I assume the rear rack will also work for an 07 el Mariachi??

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Steve | March 13th, 2010

These look fantastic!  I especially like the liplock collar with rack mounts - opens up options on frames without eyelets.

Any ideas on the load capacity of the large rear rack?


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TD | March 16th, 2010

Are you still moving forward with the dry bag cargo holder as seen on Milltown Cycles Feb. 24th? I like the idea of two bags on the forks, one bag on each rack and water bottles in the frame. Please keep the threaded barrels on the rack with no name. I would make a light bracket, bolt on basket for trips to the grocery store, and a light weight cage to hold a 12 pack. A 12 pack is about 11 pounds-Perfect! The lorider that works with the bottle cages is a must. Fantastic options!

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Steve | March 20th, 2010

I just thought of a possible name for these racks: 

The Tripper Series - The Lil’ Tripper (Front or Rear compatible), The Low Tripper (Front), and the Big Tripper (Rear)...

Keep up the great work fellas!


steve | May 2nd, 2010

racks look great,cant wait to get rid of the day pack.just what im looking for,ride and smile seaya steve

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Jared | May 19th, 2010

Taking delivery of my Vaya in early June (once they’re back in stock…) the mid-Summer ETA of these racks still probable?

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Mat Long | May 30th, 2010

What exactly is midsummer? And is that still the plan?

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Josh | July 30th, 2010

Any update on when these will be available?


Gnat | August 2nd, 2010

Thanks for the comments folks.  Here are the updates.  We’ll do a larger post in the next week or so with official names, spec, price, etc.

Rear Rack = Now in production.  Arrival in October.
Lo Rider rack = Now in production.  Arrival in October.
Mini rack shown above on the Fargo = Still in testing for compliance

Yes….We know these are late.  We are sad, but as a result, the racks are better.

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Dan Ellerkamp | August 5th, 2010

Yes!  The racks will be available for my tour next Spring on my brand new Vaya!!!  I really like how nicely they look and appear to work with that bike.

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GM | August 5th, 2010

Hello Gnat,

Will all the of the proposed racks be available in both black and silver?  I custom built my Salsa Vaya and blacked-out most of the silver parts…would love the racks to match.



Gnat | August 5th, 2010

Tomorrow I will be posting a new post about racks on the Salsa blog.  Check it out. 

GM - Currently, both colors are the plan for all models.

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Caroline | August 17th, 2010

Another rack which works great on the Salsa Fargo is the Hebie Expedition 190 rack:

I found it by accident today and couldn’t be more pleased. Mounts with the 240mm curved fixing arms (sold separately by Hebie).

Tons of room for fenders even with fat tires, 40k max load, low-rider rail, light mount, Hebie luggage (optional) mount, optional spring clamp, double strut, silver or black, 750g, $85. Hard to beat.

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Caroline | August 29th, 2010

Follow-up to my prior comment about the Hebie Expedition 190 rack:
420 miles on the Hebie rack, loaded with two full, regular-sized panniers and camping gear. Over 20,000 feet of climbing, and plenty of each concrete, gravel, singletrack, and sand. Solid, awesome. Absolutely no clearance issues, either with heels or with drivetrain, disc brake, or skewer (BOB skewer won’t damage my panniers any longer). It’s a keeper!

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Caroline | August 29th, 2010

Oh, and the Salsa Fargo wasn’t bad, either!

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Robin | April 20th, 2012

I put an Old Man Mountain platform rack on the front of my Fargo. I found that with the weight up high like that I had a lot of vibration and wheel wobble at speed. I’m thinking a lowrider would stabilize it some. Any suggestions from Salsa?

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Roger | June 16th, 2012

I ditto Robin’s question.  I’m going to do the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with my Fargo and am going to ride with front racks and an Ibex trailer.  What front low-rider rack would be best with the Fargo with fenders?

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HugoFar | June 17th, 2012

Re Roger. With regard the Bob Ibex,if you already own it,great,use it. If you haven’t bought it yet I’d suggest that for the Great Divide Ride the suspension in the trailer is unnecessary.It also ads weight and is one more item to break. I toured the Tour Divide Route(from Banff) with the standard Bob Yak and found my trailer bounced no more or less than an Ibex I rode beside for a while.It also rode a little lower which helps.
Also,for racks,Salsa have some great designs,but the Tubus or Nitto steel racks will out-last any aluminium rack.If you talk to any world cycle tourers they’ll recommend steel,not aluminium racks.
Lastly,if you have a trailer,you don’t need more stuff.(ie;front panniers)Take less guff and enjoy the ride more.Often,less is more!!
Enjoy the adventure.It’s an incredible experience. H

Robin | June 18th, 2012

Ditto, ditto Roger Roger. Yes, less is definately more! I am becoming one of those around the world touring cyclists and although I think the Fargo is overall just too much bike for me 5’4” self, it’s a great bike…I currently have a Mountain man front platform rack on it. The front vibrates a lot with the weight that high. I am going to a Tubus lowrider similar to the Salsa. I am going to start with empty racks and decide later if I need to add front bags. In the mantime, I am experimenting with a prototype handlebar bag. Works well on “Tramp” my dumpster bike but it’s got 26” inch wheels and a bent crank so I don’t go fast. It’s hard to say if the front will vibrate with a handlebar bag…
Anyway, have fun and keep the rubber side down…

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