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ADVENTURE BY BIKE®

Roadies Rejoice!

It has been a while since we had a discussion specific to road products. I didn't realize this until a couple of persistent anonymous posters reminded me again and again. It certainly isn't intentional. So, I thought it was time to share a little bit about Salsa and our direction with road bikes and products. Here is the first picture of one of our 2009 road offerings.

As you can see, we are taking a very high tech approach. The material is soft to touch. You can't really scratch it. It comes with its own protective wrap to prevent UPS shipping damage. It's wildly expensive despite being relatively easy to produce. It's very light. It's one sweet frame. It's revolutionary.

On a more serious note, I do want to tell you that we will be showing 2 new road bikes at Eurobike. Because our distributor in Germany will likely spec them for Eurobike, they'll be a bit different than the bikes we intend to show at Interbike 2008. Regardless, we will show 2 new really nice road bikes soon.

I think it is easy to view Salsa as a non traditional road racing brand. We are not out in force during "The Tour". We don't sponsor a US based road team. Some folks are even calling Salsa a mountain brand. However, I know the facts about our product and our sales. Here are a few facts that sometime surprise people who think of us just as a mountain or even a 29" brand.

1) Our number one selling bike model is the Casseroll. No it's not a road racing bike, but it is clearly a very nice road bike that is beautiful, comfortable, reliable and versatile.

2) Our number two selling bike model is the La Cruz. No it's not a road bike, but it does have 700c wheels. Yeah, that's a stretch, but my point is its not a mtn product and it can serve as a pretty darn good road bike for all but the racing crowd.

3) Salsa is QBP's #1 selling road bar brand. Wow. Think about that.

We know we've been pretty tight lipped about our road stuff. We also know that on the surface it looks like we are exiting road. The beautiful Primero went away last year after 2 years. The historic and classic La Raza went away this year. We understand that this looks like we are not committed to road bikes. I just need to tell you, this is not true. Far from it. We may be down in model numbers, but we are not out.

We also know that when we do show them, they won't please everyone. We've said it before, but that is OK. I still think that even the folks that don't like our approach or offerings will appreciate at least one or two of the design features of these bikes.

I know this won't please everyone, but sadly, I've already said too much. That's all I've got today on the subject of road.

Now go ride some pavement and Ride & Smile!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

COMMENTS (33)

 Anonymous |

Steel IS real. Just build a road bike as sweet as my new El Mariachi and I’ll buy it.

 Anonymous |

Looks like the frame in the picture is either carbon or AL/SC. The replaceable derailleur hanger gives it away. I suspect carbon, given the diameter of the protective pading and the carbon demand in the road market. Anxious to find out.

 BigSprinter |

Talk to any fit expert and they’ll tell you that the short head tubes that give the 10-12 cm of drop (from saddle to bars) the pros love just won’t work for the average consumer. (Think Giant, Cervelo, Blue, etc.) And with integrated headsets, and carbon, threadless steerers, there isn’t as much wiggle room as their used to be to bring the bars up to minimize that drop. Salsa actually likely fits more people better than most brands because of their extended head tube—But unfortunately, sounds like your proportions or perhaps exceptional flexibility makes you the exception rather than the norm.

 Jason |

A taller head tube is the number one reason why I’m looking to replace my La Raza—my longer legs and shorter torso and arms require a lot of spacers and a high-rise stem to get comfy on my 56 cm.<BR><BR>I won’t get into the materials debate because I’ve only ever had one road bike (the La Raza) and I’ve never had a professional fitting, so I don’t know what different materials and proper fit would do for me.<BR><BR>That said, I’m just not sure I want the racier geometry of the Campeon, because I really enjoy riding my La Raza. But I do want something a little sportier—preferably with a Salsa sticker on the down tube….

 Anonymous |

Personally, I’m a fan of tall head tubes.  Makes for more comfortable, hours-long riding.  I also like to take in the scenery, even when going fast, rather than look just at pavement.  Negative rise stems, as you’ve pointed out, are always a possibility for more aggressive-minded riders.

 Anonymous |

OMG!  I can’t wait for the new road bikes at Eurobike!  Tausen dank, Salsa!

 BluesDawg |

Glad to see there will be some new road bikes offered. Looking forward to seeing the new designs.<BR><BR>One simple request. PLEASE don’t make them available only in orange.

 Captain Bob |

I love it.  BUT!  What are you “packing” for a weapon?  Weapon being a fork.  <BR><BR>I’m not really asking.  But, I did sit here for 10 minutes thinking of a good pun.  Maybe, I should have sat here longer….<BR><BR>Ok.  Here is a good pun.  Oh, wait.  It’s sort of nasty and not all that funny.  Nevermind.<BR><BR>Keep up the good work folks.

 Captain Bob |

No orange?  Come on man!<BR><BR>What about tangerine, mango, muskmelon, carrot, sweet potato.  <BR><BR>Yams anyone?  <BR><BR>Oh wait!  How about Pumpkin?<BR><BR>Ok.  I’m done for the day.  :-)

 Anonymous |

Question: just to clarify, are these two new complete road bikes, or two new road frames?<BR><BR>Can’t wait to see them.  Will start putting aside a little more money in the bank account.<BR><BR>Thank you for listening to your customers!

 Butcher |

Anonymous - I’ve said too much already, but….If you want a road frame you’ll be OK.  If want to buy a complete road bike you should be OK too.

 Jason |

Cool deal. I’ll be anxious to see what’s cookin’. I have to say that when I was looking for a road bike about 4 years ago I really didn’t even look at Salsa. Just wasn’t on my radar. One reason could have been the lack of a complete bike being offered. <BR><BR>Since then, two things have happened. 1. I got on on a Campeon frame last spring (thanks!). The fit and ride is freaking sweet. I am by no means a full fledged, white sock wearing roadie, BUT I DO put thousands of training miles on my road bike every year. The frame has just been outstanding. Fit, adjustability (I now believe in the compact frame now and did not before), ride, etc., So even though Salsa may not be thought of as a ‘“road” brand they clearly produce some killer road bikes and bike parts. So folks should REALLY pay attention to what’s coming out.<BR><BR>The second thing that has happened is that Salsa has started offering some complete bikes. I’d have to believe/hope that the new road frames will be offered as complete bikes. I see no need for full fledged carbon/hoochie mama Dura Ace level components, but I would think that a nice blend of Salsa/105/Ultegra components could/would really have people looking at Salsa for their next road bike.<BR><BR>Sorry to blather on. Just bored at work. Thanks again. Look forward to seeing the Eurobike coverage in the future.

 Anonymous |

I’d be happy with a high-end steel Salsa road bike with Ultegra, but I’d be ECSTATIC with a carbon Salsa road bike with Dura Ace!

 Smitty |

Boucher, you are such a tease.  OK, let’s assume that is actually a 2009 frame under those foam wraps, and not a Campeon.  Looks compact.  Gonna guess it is not a Primero Redux - for some reason Primero did not catch on, I don’t see it coming back.  Thus, if it is a compact frame, then it must be tricker, more tech than Campeon.  Mucho de carbono.

 MG |

Smitty, you beat me to the punch line on that one.  ‘Ol Cagey Cagemeister strikes again, ‘eh?  I think it’s super sweet though, because if you read between the lines, and you know Jason, he basically told us what they’re introducing, I suspect.<BR><BR>Then again, maybe it’s just me, and the fact that I just got back from a ride on my La Cruz…<BR><BR>Whatever it is, I think it’ll be sweet, based on what I saw this past weekend at Guitar Ted’s Death Ride Invitational!  Hoowee!!<BR><BR>Ridin’ and smilin’,<BR>MG

 Anonymous |

Salsa ultralite steel with Ultegra/Rival—Hapiness.<BR><BR>Salsa scandium with Ultegra SL/Force—Bliss.<BR><BR>Salsa carbon with Dura Ace/Red—Nirvana!

 MG |

Yeah, a carbon Salsa would be sweet, wouldn’t it???  It’d be one of the few black material bikes I’d seriously consider.

 Dan |

Please tell me that you’ll be continuing to make scandium road frames for the foreseeable future.  I bought and built-up a Campeon frame last year and love it so much that I was going to buy a spare frame from you this year to keep in storage for the day I finally zorch the current one…<BR><BR>(For the record, I bought a carbon TT/tri bike instead.)

 Anonymous |

That hurts. He’s going out to ride some pavement on a bike we can’t have yet! Problem is, I’m gonna buy one regardless. I can’t wait.

 John |

I’m predicting a carbon fiber Salsa and another steel model for the go fast crowd…they are both going to have to be pretty special to top my Primero. It will be interesting to see if they are dope enough for me to want to tuck the Primero away and build up a new frame with my trusty old Centaur Groupo…

 BluesDawg |

Ti or steel and carbon with Rival and wheels with a reasonable number of spokes would be wonderful.<BR><BR>I don’t mind if they are offered in arnge as long as they are also offered in a respecatble color. ;)<BR><BR>BluesDawg

 Anonymous |

When I bought a road bike last year I considered Salsa and loved the frames but just couldn’t justify the expense of building up a frame over buying a complete bike. If you offer up a complete bike with sensible yet decent components as you have with the off road models i think it should help win over some riders.

 Smitty |

C’mon, Salsa bloggers…you’re not keeping up.  We check this thing daily you know.<BR><BR>If you got nothing by Friday afternoon, you better at least tell us how the breakfast at Colossal went down…ha.

 Anonymous |

On my holiday wish list for this year:<BR><BR>1. Salsa El Kaboing<BR><BR>2. Salsa new, carbon complete road bike (to debut at Eurobike?)<BR><BR>3. Salsa Casseroll triple complete (with new TTOXP frame?) in Spicy Mustard color (to debut at Eurobike?).<BR><BR>#1 to do anything on the mountain or off road. #2 to keep up with my go-fast bike club buddies.  #3 to do everything else in between (light touring, commute, sightseeing, etc).<BR><BR>I promise to be good.  REALLY good.  Promise!

 Rico |

Don’t know if the ‘smart money’ would bet on another steel frame, but I reckon so.  Somethin’ betwix a Primaro and a La Raza?  A ‘semi-compact’ with sort of stage-race geo?  Maybe with a CF chainstay?  Just don’t make another steel fully-compact frame—buyers can’t handle it, and won’t buy it.  The compact design prolly contributed to the demise of the primero…which is a damn shame, as it’s a great-riding bike.  I’ll be riding mine for many years, fo sho.  Here’s an intereting tidbit, the original, made in CA, La Raza was a compct frame.  Funny how ascetics change, eh?

 BG |

Two beefs:<BR><BR>1. I never received my Salsa decals that one of your employees promised me last year.<BR>2. My phones messages and emails were ignored as well. (now I’ve a new email address).<BR><BR>Anyway, I bear no grudges, just wonder what happened. Life goes on. Besides, I sold my La Raza on eBay. You Salsa people could make a living alone on all the Salsa stuff I’ve bought over the years (in skewers and garments alone).<BR><BR>Now, about the road bike news:<BR><BR>I’m guessing at least one Salsa branded carbon fiber frame is on the horizon. While those S3 tube sets were sexy sounding to many enthusiasts, many of us read that S3 wore cutting tools down faster, and the weight difference between S3 and the O/X Platinum tubing was insignificant. A carbon fiber frame can be a good bit lighter than an O/X frame though. Carbon fiber is going to be around a while and since so many riders are trying it, buying it, liking it - I think Salsa can’t ignore this part of the market.

 Anonymous |

Yeah, never buy a frame made from steel that wore down cutting tools—that’s one step over the line(?)  S3 frames were 8-12 oz lighter, BTW.  And it’s got to be CF, for sure.  It’s, er, really unique.  There nothing like it on the market.  C’mon just name 1, or 10, or 100, companies that make a CF…oh, just forget I said anything.

 more-Ron |

Dunno where all this carbon talk is coming from. If I wanted carbon I’d go to every/any other souless manufacturer out there. If I wanted Salsa I’d be looking for something a little sweeter… come on how many are doing steel/alu outside the NAHBS set?

 Anonymous |

Bike branding, design and quality is more than just about frame material.  Whatever the material of Salsa’s new road frames, I’m sure they’ll be well designed and they’ll ride great.  If it happens to be carbon fiber, I’ll welcome it with open arms, and wallet.<BR><BR>Technologies evolve, and designers must, and do, evolve with them.  The truth is, as far as fast road riding/racing is concerned, carbon fiber is presently unbeatable. Technology and design inevitably finds its way from the professional circuit to the retail market.  That’s the way it’s always been, since the days of Reynolds 531.<BR><BR>That said, there are still worthwhile applications for steel and aluminum in certain types of frames.  For instance, the Casseroll naturally calls for steel, not carbon fiber.  Meanwhile, full-suss non-racing mountain bikes such as El Kaboing can be acceptably light and comfy with aluminum.  <BR><BR>Frame materials can’t have souls, but if they could then I’d only buy frames made from bamboo wood, currently the frame material with the most ‘soul’ (they’ve been shown at NAHBS by Calfee, who also make outstanding carbon fiber frames).<BR><BR>Salsa, bring us the black magic!

 BG |

“Yeah, never buy a frame made from steel that wore down cutting tools—that’s one step over the line(?) S3 frames were 8-12 oz lighter, BTW. And it’s got to be CF, for sure. It’s, er, really unique. There nothing like it on the market. C’mon just name 1, or 10, or 100, companies that make a CF…oh, just forget I said anything.”<BR><BR>I believe your sarcasm misses the mark.<BR> <BR>1. I think you overstate the weight difference between S3 and O/X.<BR><BR>2.“And it’s got to be CF, for sure. It’s, er, really unique. There nothing like it on the market. ” Huh!? Who said that?<BR><BR>3. I differentiated S3 from O/X tubing, and while both “air-hardened”, S3 tubing does have a record of higher rate of wear on cutting tools (and sharpening/replacing these tools raises costs to the manufacturer that must be passed on to wholesalers/consumers.)<BR>If a company wants to brand a carbon fiber frame with their moniker, and they succeed in good sales numbers in a competitive field, good for them. <BR><BR>FYI - All my bikes, past and present, have been steel-framed (but I’m open to trying different materials). I have been riding actively in excess of fifty years (I have seen changes big and small). I have rode, but not owned CF, Ti, Aluminum. It is no coincidence that many cyclists have gravitated toward CF frames/forks - it’s more than fad or fancy. That said, I still ride steel. Safe riding to all!

 Anonymous |

When I ask many of the younger people I’ve met who disdain CF why they do so, they’re not sure.  When I press them, they give me some clich? or myth, such as “it feels dead” or “because steel is real”.  When I ask them if they’ve ever ridden a CF frame, the answer is almost invariably “never”.  <BR><BR>Takeaway: rely on your own personal experience when deciding what frame material is best for you, and be sure to try different materials before making up your own mind.<BR><BR>I grew up riding Reynolds 631 and, while I have fond memories of it, I never went back to steel for my regular road riding after having tried CF (though I still have a steel touring/commuting bike).

 Smitty |

No posts this week.  I’M DISAPPOINTED…at least we’ve got a relatively intelligent and reasoned debate about materials going on here.  Nice work you commentators.  That’s a big part of the attraction of this blog.  Carry on with your debate…

 monkey boy |

Okay, let’s switch from materials to geometry. I’ve been riding a 47cm Campeon with SRAM Force since December. Overall I’m happy with it but the head tube is just too long. I have zero spacers and a no rise stem and it’s still too tall. Don’t really want to go to a negative rise stem. My past few bikes have all been compact frames like Giants, DeRosa and Fondriest. They all fit better. I’m an average sized human with average sized appendages but the Salsa head tube is much longer than on these other frames. Any changes to the geometry for the 09 bikes? Anybody else think the head tube on the Campeon is too long?

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