2015: Introducing Blackborow

For model year 2015 we are proud to add the Blackborow to our fatbike lineup. Blackborow is our plus-size tire fatbike. Designed specifically for five-inch tires mounted on 100mm rims, Blackborow maximizes flotation without sacrificing fantastic handling characteristics. Beaches, dunes, blazing trail in a fresh snow fall, or bushwhacking from point A to point B; Blackborow’s combination of flotation, traction and handling makes riding across extremely soft surfaces possible.

2015 Blackborow 1...

Blackborow benefits from our experience with its older and slightly skinnier siblings; Mukluk and Beargrease. Blackborow takes an approach similar to Beargrease; a super-short 440mm rear center paired to longer front center, thanks to a 51mm offset fork. This allows for Blackborow to have snappy, mountain bike-like handling characteristics, while still maintaining an overall stable wheelbase. This also puts the rider’s weight in an optimal position between the front and rear wheels without needing to make the front end artificially tall.

Like the Mukluk, Blackborow features our super-versatile Alternator dropouts, which allow the chainstay to be lengthened to as much as 457mm for extra stability when loaded down with racks and bags for deep backcountry expeditions. The head tube angle is set to 69.5 degrees, which combined with the 51mm offset, maintains the steering feel to our other fatbike models despite the addition of the much larger five-inch tire and wider rims.

The bottom bracket height of Blackborow is slightly higher than both the Mukluk and Beargrease. This increases ground clearance and reduces pedal strikes, perfect for riding over logs and rocks, through deep snow, or in a trough of a rutted-out jeep road. Larger diameter tires and a higher BB height would typically raise standover height, so we lengthened the seat tube by an inch per size, then dropped the toptube drastically and added a jump brace. This actually results in Blackborow having the lowest standover of all of our fatbike models; another great attribute for a bike you intend to ride in places where riding might actually be difficult. Dabbing and dismount/remount are easier on the Blackborow.

At the heart of the Blackborow model is a heat-treated alloy frame made from 6066 tubing. This top-shelf grade of aluminum offers higher yield strength and fatigue properties than 7000-series and 6061 tubing, which allows us to build a very light and strong frame. Aluminum is also very corrosion resistant, which makes it a great choice for a fatbike like Blackborow and the conditions it will likely be ridden in (or hauled through). Mechanically formed triple- and double-butted tubing is used throughout the frame. These specifically engineered internal thickness changes and external shaping combine to create a frame that is strong in the areas needed and stiff in the directions that matter.

An offset 132mm wide PF41 BB shell creates a lot of welding space for the chainstays, which allows them to have more relaxed bending and tire clearance dimpling as they pass around the massive tire. When compared to a chainstay that is heavily dimpled and bent to pass around the same size tire to a 100mm wide BB shell, the straighter Blackborow chainstays are stronger and can be made using thinner tubing (for weight savings), while also yielding a more laterally stiff frame that is less prone to fatigue failure though the heavily manipulated area.

The BB shell and chainstay are matched to a 12 x 197mm thru-axle set of Alternator dropouts. This creates a tire cavity in the frame with clearance for five-inch fat tires mounted on 100mm rims while also properly aligning the drivetrain for optimum shifting performance and no chain rub with either 1x or 2x setups. The 132mm offset PF41 BB shell is designed to fit Surly’s OD Moonlander crankset, the only production crankset with a 76mm chainline that uses fully outboard bearing positions on the crank spindle. This bearing placement creates the best loading scenario for the bearings and spindle, which means longer bearing life. 197mm thru-axle spacing at the rear dropouts is used in favor of a 190mm quick-release due to the stiffer and more secure wheel connection the 12mm axle offers compared to an ultra-long 5mm diameter QR rod.

2015 Blackborow DS...

Up front the Blackborow frame and front wheel is fully compatible with a RockShox Bluto suspension fork set at 100mm of travel, but comes stock with our new Bearpaw 150 fork. This 15 x 150mm thru-axle, tapered steerer, alloy fork uses a Salsa Fat Conversion 150 hub which shares the Bluto-standard front hub spacing and the same RockShox Maxle. The fork also features our Three-Pack boss configuration on both fork legs for mounting of Anything cages and water bottles. This allows for up to five bottles total on the bike (4 on the XS).

Speaking of sizing, Blackborow will be available in five sizes; XS/16”, SM/16”, MD/18”, LG/20”, XL/22”. A frameset option at $999 MSRP will include the Bearpaw 150 fork, front and rear thru-axles, and front and rear Salsa Fat Conversion hubs. For complete bikes, Blackborow will be offered in two spec options:

Blackborow 1 has an MSRP of $2,799. It features Salsa Fat Conversion hubs laced to 100mm-wide Surly Clownshoe rims, 4.8-inch wide Surly Lou tires matched up to SRAM X9 2 x 10 drivetrain using a 36/22T Surly OD crankset.

2015 Blackborow 1...

Blackborow DS (aka Dinglespeed) has a MSRP of $2,299. This build features a really cool double singlespeed (dinglespeed) drivetrain. It utilizes the same rims, tires and cranks, but comes with two stainless steel chainrings and bolts, two rear singlespeed cogs and a KMC RustBuster chain. The gearing featured on the Blackborow DS is set up for beach riding and exploration. The inside low gear is 26 x 22 (1.18) which is nice and low for riding on sand or other slow moving terrain. The high gear is 30 x 18 (1.67) and is great for spinning back to town for supplies or hitting some singletrack.

2015 Blackborow DS...

These gearing combinations each add up to 48 total teeth, meaning the rear-center and chain length for both singlespeed gearings stays the same. A manual gear change is quickly performed by removing the rear axle, dropping the wheel, sliding the chain over to the other ring/cog combo, and reinstalling the wheel/axle. Re-tensioning the chain is not needed due to the similar rear center lengths. 
Keep scrolling for more Blackborow details. We hope you’re as excited about this new offering as we are.

2015 Blackborow Build Specs

Blackborow Geometry

This post filed under topics: Blackborow Explore Fatbike Mountain Biking New Product Pete Koski Snow Biking

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Pete Koski

Pete Koski

Hi, I'm Pete and I am a product development engineer for Salsa. I like all kinds of riding from commuting to dirt jumping. I think flat pedals make you a better bike handler, that the thru-axle is vastly superior to the quick-release for off-road applications, and that moving through the world on bicycle allows one to see things they might not otherwise. I suffer daily from hunger-induced anger, also known as hanger. Outside of work and riding, I enjoy kiteboarding, traveling, and watching hockey.


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willy | July 21st, 2014

The article says that the frame will be 999, but in the official Salsa breakdown of specs says it will 950 msrp? is this with a different fork?

THanks! Looks awesome!!!!

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Jason | July 22nd, 2014

Looks wonderful. Expected shipping dates to Winterpeg, CN??

Hans Erdman | July 22nd, 2014

Would a Rohloff hub work on the single speed model? I love the color!

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | July 24th, 2014

Willy - I will doublecheck the MSRP and post a comment.

Hans Erdman - Rohloff has releases their fatbike hub as a 170mm spaced hub so no, it will not work on the much wider spaced Blackborow. It will work on the Mukluk frame however.

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Jason | July 25th, 2014

BB is 6066 but Muk is 7005- is that correct?  What’s the difference?  Will 6066 be lighter for XL?  Any pics on rear triangle clearance (even upside down) with Lou and both far out and far in alternator positions?

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | July 29th, 2014

Jason - 6066 Aluminum is a higher grade aluminum than 7005 Aluminum, that means we can build a lighter final product at the same strength.

We haven’t taken any detail photos but I will try to make that happen in the next couple weeks and will post them to our blog when we do. I’m just back from a short vacation and have some catching up to do. Thanks for your interest in Blackborow.

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Darren | August 1st, 2014

Looks awesome. I’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on another fattie until something like this came along. Looks perfect. 2 questions. 1 - can the DS be configured to run a rear derailleur later? I love the concept but would like the safety/flexibility of fitting a derailleur. 2 - any idea of when we might see these in the UK? Keep up the good work!

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 5th, 2014

Darren - Yes, the Blackborow DS has all the cable bosses for running gears if you prefer.

RE: Arrival in the UK? We are working on that now. We are looking for a Distribution Partner, but are also looking into possibly shipping direct to shops there.

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Pekka | August 7th, 2014

Nice bikes! XS standover is 691.4 and 682.0 on S frame. Is that correct or should it be vice versa? When might we have these available in Finland?

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Ryan | August 8th, 2014

When will this be available and any distribution in Japan?

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Dan | August 11th, 2014

I would dearly love to see the DS version make it to Grand Rapids MI for the Salsa Demo Days this month! (XL size, plz). :D

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Alex Brookes | August 13th, 2014

Blackbarow looks phenomenal..
How much will total bike weigh in large?
Any areas to save weight and still keeping 5” tires?
Any chance to build out the DS frame in the higher spec?  I think I like the green color better than the gunmetal as it’‘s different.
With this different geometry, will it still feel mountain bikey in terms of ride quality?


Hans Erdman | August 13th, 2014

I have to agree with Alex, I would really, really be interested in the BB1 in Forest Service Green, 1.) Because it’s one of my favorite colors, and 2.) Because I am a volunteer bike patroller on both the Chequamegon and Chippewa National Forests. It would be a cool matchup. (My MTB already sports the same colors as USFS LEO rigs.)

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 18th, 2014

Ryan - My ETA for US availability shows Mid-November for Blackborow 1 and December for Blackborow DS.

We do have a distributor in Japan: Motocross International. You may wish to connect with them if interested in Blackborow.


Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 18th, 2014

Alex Brookes - I only have these two weights right now:

Blackborow 1 size Large - 33 lbs 12 oz

Blackborow DS size Medium - 31 lbs 9 oz

Making them lighter: Absolutely, there are plenty of ways to cut weight on either of them.

How does Blackborow ride? I’m lucky enough to have one of the DS models. Pete did an incredible job with the geometry in my opinion. It might sound ridiculous to call this bike nimble, but that is the feeling you get. There is no strange ‘funky’ feel to it. It feels very much like a good mountain bike. Keep in mind that those are big tires and rims and there is mass to them, but I feel almost no ‘auto steer’ in this bike.

I hope that helps. Thanks for your interest.

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Jason | August 18th, 2014

I just got back from a Salsa demo day. I had really wanted to try the mukluk 2 but it was not available so I took the blackborow 1 out instead. It was my first fatbike ride and I can attest to the fact that this handles VERY well. Once I stopped staring at the front wheel it really did not feel like it handled any differently than any other mountain bike. It was like riding on a ribbon of brown Velcro winding through the woods. I still want to try the mukluk but this bike is a strong blip on my radar after today.

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Mark | August 19th, 2014

Is it possible the blackborrow 1 will be available in the FS Green color?

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 20th, 2014

Mark - Sorry, but the FS Green color will only be built as the Blackborow DS model. That said…keep this in mind: You could add shifters, derailleurs, and a cassette to the Blackborow DS model if that’s the color you are really after. Thanks for your interest.

Harold | August 22nd, 2014

Will it be on show at Eurobike next week? Any chance of riding an XL there if so? I’ll be there on Thursday and Friday, would be awesome to at least have a look at it!

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 25th, 2014

Harold - We will have a Blackborow on display in our EuroBike booth. I honestly can’t remember if it is a Blackborow 1 or a Blackborow DS. I believe we also have some Blackborow’s in the demo fleet for EuroBike, unfortunately their Dirt Demo runs today (Sunday & Monday) I believe.

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Josh Blackborow | September 5th, 2014

Where does the name Blackborow come from?  Its very exciting to have something with the same name as me.

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suchanpark | September 22nd, 2014

i am Really Want to buy Blackborow in korea

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | September 23rd, 2014

Josh Blackborow - Thanks for the question. We chose the name to celebrate Shackleton’s famous Endurance expedition in the Antarctic. During our brainstorm we were talking about some of that incredible history and started looking at the names of some of the crew members when we came upon the story of Perce Blackborow, stowaway on what (in my opinion) serves as the one of the greatest survival stories of all time. That’s how we chose the name. I’m guessing you may be a relative of Perce himself?

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David Snow | September 25th, 2014

Awesome. I have a Blackborow on order.

One question - what’s the ETA on matching Revalate frame bags for this beast? Do the existing Salsa bags for other models fit, or will I have to wait for a new one to be made? TIA!

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Josh Blackborow | September 25th, 2014

kid reimer - were not sure exactly if were related to Perce but there are so few Blackborows in the world that we are sure we must be distantly related.  We are well acquainted with Peirce’s story though as he is the only famous Blackborow :)

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Matt F. | September 29th, 2014

Rumor has it that Perce Blackborow had his toes amputated. You could have called the bike “The Amputator”. But I think the “Blackborow” was the logical choice.

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | October 1st, 2014

Josh Blackborow - If there is ever a Blackborow Family Reunion, please let us know in advance!

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Thor | December 1st, 2014

Is the Makwa Carbon fork compatible with the Blackborow frame?

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | December 5th, 2014

Thor - You could run that fork, but you would need to use a different wheel than the wheel that comes stock on the Blackborow, because the Blackborow front wheel uses a 150 thru-axle design, like the Bluto suspension fork.

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John Blackborow | December 8th, 2014

I posted a comment last night but can’t see it on your list.
Came across this advert by chance and our family are honored to have one of your models
named after my Grandfather Perce Blackborow. Shackletons trip is again the talking point of survival and hardship being 100yrs ago they set off.
The bike certainly looks the part tough enough to survive and endure as the men on that expedition

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Rick Rohwer | December 8th, 2014

I like the DS.  Is the gearing set, or are there other options that work as dinglespeed?  Are there any of these in the NW that I could go ride to evaluate size?  Large or Xlarge?

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Luther | December 9th, 2014

Are the front chainrings on the DS derailleur compatible or would they have to be switched in order to add a front derailleur?

Derek Reynolds | December 10th, 2014

Hi! I’m not finding a clear picture of what the Fat Conversion Hub in the rear of the Dingle Speed model looks like?  My guess is that it’s two single speed rings on a freehub with a spacer kit?  Or are we looking at a thread-on dingle cog?  If the latter, I’m not seeing how to get my hands on such a hub.  Thanks for filling me in!

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | December 10th, 2014

Hello Derek, the dinglespeed uses two singlespeed cogs with a spacer kit, instead of a thread on dinglespeed cog. This make the bike more friendly for someone to add a full drivetrain in the future should they wish to. Enjoy a beach ride for me.

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | December 10th, 2014

Luther - The stainless steel chainrings on the Blackborow DS are not ramped or pinned for shifting assistance, so shifting will be a bit slower if using these with a front derailleur. But, yes you can use them with a front derailleur. Thanks for the question.

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | December 10th, 2014

Rick Rowher - You could put together a different Dinglespeed gear ration setup. The goal to keep in mind is making the each chainring/cog combo add up to the same amount of total teeth. The chainrings and cogs we spec on the Blackborow DS are stainless models from Surly, and you can look into their offerings at surlybikes.com.

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | December 10th, 2014

John Blackborow - Nice to meet you. We’ve had a few comments from members of the Blackborow family, from all around the world! If you ever have a Blackborow family reunion please let me know.

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rick Rohwer | December 13th, 2014

sooooo, are there any in the NW USA to look at and possibly ride. or do I fly down to Chickow?

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Josh Blackborow | December 14th, 2014

John Blackborow - My grandmother has done extensive work to fill out a Blackborow family tree, she’s traced it back almost a thousand years, but we’ve never found a definitive connection from Perce Blackborow to our branch.  If you could send me an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) I would love to see if we can try to figure out a connection! There are so few of us there MUST be a link!

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