We build bicycle and bicycle parts for your adventure. Every material has its place and we use scandium, aluminum, Cromoly, carbon and titanium to craft some of the finest products available. Here is our titanium story.
For many, titanium is the ultimate frame material for bicycles. Titanium is light, durable, and corrosion resistant. Titanium also has a couple of ‘magical’ qualities that are hard to quantify. Ti has a classic kind of beauty with an unparalleled terrain-smoothing ride quality. For Salsa, titanium represents not only a great frame material, but also a new direction that is a real expression of our staff and our Salsa brand.
If you’ve followed our Salsa story over the last several years, you have likely watched us make some fairly large commitments to steel, scandium and carbon. In all honesty it’s gone pretty well and we’ve built successful products around each of those materials and properties. So….why add titanium to the list? It’s a good question and one that should be asked.
In simple terms, titanium offers unique characteristics that other materials just can’t match. Some might argue that steel can offer many of the titanium qualities at a cheaper price. Others might argue that carbon can be lighter or provide specific performance qualities. Others might say that scandium or aluminum are lighter and provide a similar ride and material properties. All these statements are arguably true, but come with some sort of asterisk by the answer.
Steel is pretty much the perfect material for a bicycle. It’s affordable, workable and readily available. But, it corrodes and is heavier than titanium. Steel can be built to competing weight with titanium, but when doing so the frames and bikes become at least as expensive and just a bit less durable. Carbon offers some amazing things too. It’s highly customizable and tunable. It’s also wildly labor and tooling intensive and often times quite expensive. Scandium offer so much in terms of material properties, workability and price, but to date we have not been able to match the overall performance, durability and ride quality of titanium.
Even in the old days, Salsa dabbled with titanium. Merlin crafted a handful of titanium Ala Carte’s, some of which are still being ridden today. Sometimes good ideas come back around. This time around, we’ve taken 3 of our most loved products, the Ala Carte, the El Mariachi, and the La Cruz and added titanium to our special Salsa recipe.
These 3 models are staples in our line up and just the beginning of our titanium story. All 3 have proven Salsa geometry, providing comfort that you recognize at the end of any day on the road or trail. Some might call these our Salsa work horses. They get it done, time and time again, day after day. Titanium just makes them lighter, more responsive and more comfortable. They are sweet on the eyes too! All these things add up to bikes that span categories and could last you lifetime. We think Salsa plus titanium is the perfect combination.
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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.