Justin Steiner

What kind of cyclist are you?
I’m an opportunist. I’ll take whatever opportunity affords itself. On the mountain bike I seek flow. Otherwise, I seek exploration and finding new adventure.

How long has cycling been a part of your life? When did it become more than just “riding a bike”?
Like many folks here at Salsa, I’ve been riding since childhood. What started as a means of freedom and exploration has evolved into a hobby, career, and lifestyle. Fun fact: I’ve never worked outside of the bike industry. I feel truly fortunate to be able to say that.

The cycling accomplishment you’re proudest of to date?
Three come to mind, all for very different reasons.

Finishing Snowshoe Mountain’s Chomolungma Challenge, which involves descending 30,000 feet in one day, felt pretty epic. Who knew riding downhill all day could be so painful?

Similarly, finishing the Shenandoah 100 ranks near the top for me. Can’t say I had a lot of fun doing that, but I’m proud to have finished.

On the other end of the spectrum, doing a four-day tandem bikepacking trip in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest on the Powderkeg with my fiancée, Emily, is a highlight too. Sharing a tent and a bike for four days pushed us to communicate better and brought us closer together.

Favorite place you’ve been on a bike so far?
I’m lucky to have ridden a lot of places, but my favorites are often overshadowed by the iconic destinations. Copper Harbor, Michigan is simply amazing. It’s an awesome little community with incredible trails. You really should visit. The Warrior Creek Trails near Wilkesboro, North Carolina offer what might be the most flowing and fun trails I’ve ever ridden. Think thousands of the most well-built berms you’ve ever ridden teamed with more jumpable rollers than you can imagine.

In terms of adventure riding, Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands offer hundreds of miles of singletrack, snowmobile trails, and dirt roads that are perfect for a long weekend’s adventure.

Favorite place to daydream about that you haven’t yet ridden?
Well, I’m relocating to Minneapolis for this job, so lately I’ve been daydreaming about exploring the city and the surrounding area. After 15 years living in Pittsburgh, it’s incredibly exciting to explore and learn a new city.

How do you describe what the bicycle means to you?
At the risk of sounding too nostalgic, bicycles have shaped my path in life. For that, I’m incredibly grateful. Beyond that, bicycles bring transportation, fun, and health to my life.

How will your future as a cyclist unfold?
I’m stoked to explore the north-central United States via bicycle, both on and off road.

Who inspires you and your riding?
There’s so many amazing people doing inspiring things in the cycling world it’s hard to narrow it down to just one or even a few.

Favorite Salsa model and why?
Fargo, for its promise of capability and versatility.

Favorite pre, during, and post ride/race food and bevvies?
Pre: a hefty egg sandwich on a bagel.
During: cured meats and some hard cheese.
Post: tacos and a nice session IPA.

When you’re not cycling…
I’m learning to fly fish, which has been both a thrilling and humbling experience. It’s been a blast to tackle a new hobby and really immerse myself in learning something new. Otherwise, I’m shooting photos or riding my moto.

What don’t you leave home without on a ride?
The necessities; tool roll, pump, tube, and a rain shell. Never know when you’re going to need those items.