Introducing Marrakesh

We are pleased to introduce Marrakesh, our heavy-duty world-touring bike. It’s designed with all the amenities and durability needed to cycle the globe.

Marrakesh Drop Bar in Black…

Marrakesh Flat Bar in Blue…

Marrakesh will be offered in two versions: Marrakesh Flat Bar Deore and Marrakesh Drop Bar Deore. Each version features unique frame geometry. The drop bar version utilizes six frame sizes, while the flat bar is available in five frame sizes. Both frames feature a low bottom bracket for stability and better standover clearance, and Alternator Dropouts to tune wheelbase and ride characteristics. Each version is available in two color choices.

Salsa’s Pete Koski, engineer for Marrakesh, says, “A true touring bike should have a lower bottom bracket and longer chainstay/wheelbase than a similar sized road, gravel, commuting, or mountain bike. The lower BB also lowers your saddle, and therefore your body relative to the axles. This all results in a center of gravity that makes riding and steering a loaded bike easier and more predictable.”

Marrakesh Drop Bar in Green…

Constructed with our next generation, Salsa-designed Cobra Kai CroMoly, the externally and internally butted tubeset is engineered to provide an impressively strong frame. Koski adds, “Steel is tough and has a very long life span. In the unlikely event that anything will happen to damage a fine steel frame like Marrakesh, finding someone that can weld it back to a rideable state, even in distant lands, is much more likely than finding someone that can weld titanium or aluminum, or repair a composite frame.”

Marrakesh comes stock with a dedicated Alternator 135 Low Deck Rack. The frame also features three water bottle mounts, and the fork includes Three-Pack mounts for Anything Cages or additional water bottles should you choose to use them. For a traditional front pannier set up though, it also includes low rider bosses.

Marrakesh Flat Bar in Cream…

With room for 700c x 40mm tires with fenders or up to 29 x 2.0″ tires without, you can keep your description of “road” pretty broad. Marrakesh fits a disc rotor size up to 180mm for plenty of stopping power when riding big mountain passes fully loaded.

Marrakesh also includes a spare spoke mount and a kickstand plate because as Koski says, “Kickstands are highly functional and cool when touring, despite what roadies and mountain bikers might have you think.”

We’re excited to add Marrakesh to our stable of touring bikes. It’s one more way we can help get people out to explore the world, and we look forward to seeing the places they’ll go.


Marrakesh will be available in October with an MSRP of $1,599.



This post filed under topics: Explore Mark Sirek Marrakesh New Product Touring Travel

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Mark Sirek

Mark Sirek

I had to live on both coasts a couple of times to realize that maybe being born in the Midwest wasn’t just arbitrary. I’m drawn to the terrain here, and if you catch me with one of this region’s supreme IPAs in hand, I’ll talk your ear off about my favorite spots. I’ll always take every opportunity though to explore every nook and cranny anywhere I can on a bike, because that’s what makes me feel most alive.


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Doug | July 20th, 2015

Is Salsa’s Pete Koski related to the late James Koski of Syracuse, NY. He was a pioneering cyclist and civil engineer. I worked for him in the late 70’s in his bike shop in Syracuse.

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Bill H | July 20th, 2015

Any chance the Marrakesh fork on this could be put on a Vaya? The only thing missing from my Vaya is the anything cage mounts on the fork. Another great Adventure bike guys - a great lineup for 2016!

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Peter B | July 20th, 2015

I’ll 2nd the question about the Marrakesh fork for the vaya.  All the new bikes look incredible!

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Blake | July 20th, 2015

My fiance and I are headed to Marrakesh for a week during our honeymoon. We should get two for the trip!

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michael | July 21st, 2015

beautiful….every time you guys nail it! I wish I didn’t love my vaya as much as I do so I could sell it and get one of these.

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DougR | July 21st, 2015

The web page for the Alternator 135 rack says it’s maximum load capacity is 15KG. Sure this is a typo?

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Rudy | July 22nd, 2015

Que the inevitable Marrakesh v LHT debates! Do you folks have any comments on how this bike is different from Surly’s venerable machine?

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Erik Mathy | July 22nd, 2015

Hey Rudy! The Marrakesh has a significantly larger max tire size (29x2.0) than the LHT (700x45). I think they are two similar bikes, yeah, but with enough of a difference in certain niches that people can choose one or the other and be pretty happy about it.

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Gary | July 22nd, 2015

I now have a reason to look forward to October

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Ned | July 23rd, 2015

I would be interested to see the specs on the weight of it. Looks great. Hope to get one.

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Snow | July 25th, 2015

Looks like I will be a Salsa owner come October.  I want to build a touring bike using a Jones bar, which frame set up should I buy?  Seems the flat bar will be a little longer, will this cause it to ride a lot different?

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BikeNutz | July 27th, 2015

DRAT! You guys WOULD have to come out with this one AFTER I bought my Fargo!

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Dave | July 30th, 2015

I currently ride a 58cm Salsa Vaya with a 200mm headtube length and it fits me perfect. I noticed there is a 57cm Marrekesh with a similar reach to the 58 Vaya, but the headtube length is only 150mm. I am curious why such short headtubes on a touring bicycle?



PK | July 31st, 2015

It’s mainly to keep the stand over in check.  People who buy touring bikes seem to prefer the traditional look of a very flat toptube, and we agree with them for the most part. It is both visually pleasing for this style of bike and also functional as it opens up the front triangle.  Some of the original feedback thrown about the interwebs upon the Vaya’s release years ago was that it “looked like it was about to tip over backwards” due to the extreme sloping top tube design we used.  I suspect much of this sentiment came from individuals who were critiquing the Vaya through “touring bike” goggles.

Since the Marrakesh IS a touring bike, we wanted to try to achieve as flat a toptube as possible, but still keep standover manageable as it is extremely critical to get your feet squarely on the ground while still straddling a fully laden bike.  If you look at the standover for your generation of Vaya the 57 is 799.5mm and the 58 is 812mm.  The ’16 Vaya has been consolidated to six sizes and the 57 features 795.6mm of standover and the toptube has about a 15deg slope to it.  The 57 Marrakesh has a taller standover at 817.4mm even though the HT is 35mm shorter, this is because the toptube only has a 4.9deg slope to it.  Making the headtube longer on the Marrakesh means one of two things would happen: 1 - The standover will increase if the angle of the toptube is maintained or 2 – The toptube angle with have to increase.  It was fine balancing act in the Marrakesh frame design between standover and the slope of the toptube for each size. As it was, a slightly sloping toptube was still needed, but much less so than the Vaya.  For Marrakesh, keeping the standover low relative to each size was important.  Shorter headtubes were/are a key part of this solution.

Lastly, looking at stack and/or reach only tells part of the story.  Humans interface with their bicycles via the pedals, grips, and seat. To really “size” a frame, we need to look at these touch points.  The hands are a long way from the top-center of the headtube (where stack and reach, and effective toptube are measured from). Most frame sizes only vary by 20-25mm in toptube length and ~10-20mm in headtube length.  It is very easy to overcome these differences with simple changes to the amount of headset spacers, stem length, stem rise, and handlebar dimensions that are spec’d on the complete bike.  As we design frames, we take not only the hard frame geometry into account, but also these components as we lay out the sizing. This information gets passed along all the way through the component selection process to ensure that the complete bikes sitting on the floor fit as intended, and relative to our other models.  The difference in stack between a ’16 Vaya 57 and a Marrakesh 57 is only 27mm even though the Vaya has a 35mm longer head tube (185mm vs 150mm). Differences in fork length and BB drop make up most of this 8mm difference.  The remaining 27mm of height is made up for in headset spacers and a higher rise stem on the Marrakesh than on the Vaya.  Both bikes have essentially the same hand positon relative to the bottom bracket both vertically and horizontally.  If you flip the 6deg stem spec’d on the Vaya 57 upside down and run 20mm of spacers (a typical gravel setup), it is actually a half-inch lower hand position than the Marrakesh 57 with the standard 30mm of spacers and 15degree stem.

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Dave | August 1st, 2015

Thanks PK for that really detailed response.  I guess I will have to try a 57cm Marrakesh out for a test ride and she how it feels.

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Benjamin Lindner | August 3rd, 2015

How about a weight?


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Fred Heintz | August 3rd, 2015

Hi there. I,m a 70 year old rider of road bikes with a severe case of arthritis in both wrists. I have checked outhe a Salsa,liked it a lot but it would take a fair amount of modification of handle bars, seat etc. I like the new Marakesh with the drop bars. I,m 6FT 2in with long legs.
Would this new bike work for me?  Thanks for any suggestions. Fred





Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 4th, 2015

Fred Heintz - It sounds right to me, but fit is difficult via a computer. My suggestion would be to consult with your closest Salsa dealer. Comparing the geometry numbers to a bike you have previous experience is another good starting point. Thanks for your interest.

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Toni | August 4th, 2015

Also interested in a weight?

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Bob | August 4th, 2015

Is it possible that in the frame geometry table, seat tube length and effective top tube length have been switched? As it stands, a 54 cm frame has a 540 mm top tube, a dimension I would expect for the seat tube.

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Brian | August 6th, 2015

Will this take a road double crankset?


PK | August 6th, 2015

Bob - No, the geometry table is correct.  We list/size our drop bar bikes by effective (horizontal) top tube length.

Brian - No, with the desired tire capacity we were shooting for on Marrakesh (700 x 50.8 w/o Fender) it was impossible to use road touring triple or double and achieve fit of both with a reasonable chainstay length.  Marrakesh is designed for and compatible with mountain touring triples and doubles.  This also works out nicely as the rear end uses 135mm O.L.D. disc spacing, keeping the chainline between the cassette and chainrings aligned properly.

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CNB | August 7th, 2015

Hi..I’m 5’8” and ride a 54cm Vaya…Just wondering about what size i should be looking at(Flat bar version)..I know it would only be a rough guide..Thanks..


PK | August 7th, 2015


The MD Marrakesh Flat hand position splits the difference between the 54cm & 55cm Marrakesh Drop hand positions (on the hoods) with the seat and pedals being common.  Since you are currently on a 54cm Vaya, I would recommend a MD Marrakesh Flat. A slight tweak to headset spacers and/or stem length can probably get you dialed in just right.

For others who are curious about how the Drop and Flat versions of Marrkesh compare in sizing, check out the list below.  The comparison is for touch points (hands, feet, & seat - which is not shown in the geo tables).  Even though the effective top tube, headtube length, and stem size are completely different between the Drop and Flat versions, the resulting hand position relative to the feet and seat ends up being the same, due to the different handlebar shapes:

50 Drop - XS Flat

52 Drop - SM Flat

54 Drop
        |- MD Flat
55 Drop
        |- LG Flat        
57 Drop

59.5 Drop - XL Flat

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John | August 11th, 2015

I am looking at either the 54 Drop or MD Flat.  I have often thought about using either a moustache or Jones type bar on a touring bike.  I see that Salsa has done a great job in adjusting the frames so the touch points don’t change much.  But has moving the front wheel more forward affected the way the bike will handle either loaded or unloaded?

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Brent | August 11th, 2015

I too am looking at putting a Jones loop bar on one of these two bikes.  Which model Marrakesh would lend itself to the most upright position with the changing to the Jones bar? Or, would building a Fargo up from a frameset with a triple front be a better way to go, to achieve a more upright position?


PK | August 11th, 2015

John - Sure, on paper the front axle in relation to the hands for the Marrakesh Flat is slightly more forward than it is on the Marrakesh Drop, but no more so than someone who runs a flat bar on a drop bar frame design (moves hands artificially back) or someone touring on a MTB (like our El Mariachi with a Firestarter fork).  In practice, that variance in front-center does not change too much of the handling.  Changes in mechanical trail and rear-center have much more noticeable affects on handling to the average rider, and are consistent between the Flat and Drop versions.  Another way to think of this is that the Marrakesh Flat will fit and ride slightly more mountain-bike-ish than the equivalent Marrakesh Drop does due to the increase in front-center.  It’s part of the compromise in achieving proper fit with a flat handlebar.

Brent - If the absolute shortest reach and highest stack is your goal, then putting a flat bar on a drop bar frame design with a pile of spacers on the steerer and a high rise stem is the way to go.  This is the best/worst (depending on your perspective) of all the combinations.

Regarding the Fargo, it has a much longer fork than the Marrakesh and therefore an overall higher stack.  Keep in mind the Jones bar will move your hands rearward an additional amount, compounding the shortening of the horizontal cockpit space already achieved by mounting a flat bar to a Fargo (drop bar design). Compensation with a longer stem is likely.  Another thing to consider is that the El Mariachi frame with a steel Firestarter fork is essentially a flat bar Fargo. It will give you a higher starting stack height point than the Marrakesh Flat or Drop (due to the 483mm fork length), and the longer toptube makes fitting the Jones bar with modern day stem lengths easier than on a Fargo.  The Mariachi/Firestarter combination is often overlooked, but is a very solid bikepacking/touring setup for those looking to use flat bars.

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chris | August 11th, 2015


I’ve been aching for months over my Fargo fit. I’m on a medium, and I’m using the ti regulator set back post. With the seat back a fair bit the medium sized Fargo seems to be my fit. I have very long legs and a long femur. However I have reach difficulties. I’ve experimented with various stem sizes and I find that if I go shorter than 80mm I can be in some hairy feeling off-road situations sometimes.  An 80-85mm stem just cuts it, but I’m always left feeling if I should be expecting more out of my fit.

Is there any frame that comes close to an inbetween small and medium size Fargo, or should I maybe have taken more seriously a Large size Fargo? 

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Walter | August 15th, 2015

Hello, what’s the maximum disc rotor diameter for the front fork and what’s the rider weight limit / total bike+rider +luggage weight limit ?

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Toni | August 17th, 2015

Still looking for a response on any weight information?

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KLM | August 19th, 2015

I’m really intrigued by the flat bar version, but have to admit I’m a little confused by the geo.  The toptube, reach and seat tube lengths seem a little long for the size labels when compared to mtn bike frames while the stack seems about right.  Maybe it’s the low BB that drives this or possibly a shorter stem would be appropriate with the head tube angle.  Anyway, could you shed some light on rider height recommendations for the given flat bar sizes?  FWIW, I’m 5’11 with a 32” inseam so I often find myself between torn a medium and a large.

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Oliver Herdsman | August 21st, 2015

May have missed this somewhere, but is this or will this be available frame only?  thank you

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Bob | August 28th, 2015

How many teeth will the chain-rings have?

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Mirek Kierzkiewicz | September 8th, 2015

Hello everybody! I almost pulled the trigger on Specialized AWOL Comp bike when I saw Salsa Marrakesh bike coming this October. This blue flat bar looks great for my touring needs but the only question I have is if I can fit tubus rack 40kg payload. I’ve never owned bike with alternator drop outs before. Thank You!

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Christian Austin | September 11th, 2015

I just want to say I purchased mine two weeks ago.  The only problem is I have to wait until October, haha.  I am super pumped about this bike so I come here every once and a while and just look at it.  Drop bar in black.

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Tim H | October 9th, 2015

I just want to say thanks to PK for all the detailed responses to questions about these bikes! It’s really great to hear design details like those and shows just how much though Salsa puts into it’s products. I’m looking forward to checking out the drop bar version!

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Tyler | October 10th, 2015

I really like the bike. The problem I have is that the rear rack is only rated for 15KG and the heaviest rated rack Salsa makes is the Wanderlust which is only rated for 55lbs. Will Surly racks fit on this bike? Between those two racks they will hold 150lbs.

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Rudy Breteler | October 10th, 2015

Goodness Tyler, how much weight are you planning to tour with?  150lbs will be quite the burden when you hit the hills!  It may be my backpacking pedigree, but I have never considered bringing more than 40-50lbs of gear bicycle touring with me (that’s still twice what I carry ultralight backpacking, so it’s luxurious).  However, that may be why I’m on a Vaya and not a Marrakesh.  I will say that my Salsa Vaya has fit every kind of rack I’ve ever tried to put on it, and the Marrakesh has even more braze-ons, so I wouldn’t anticipate a problem mounting a Surly rack.  I will also say that unless you are touring in outer Mongolia with 150lbs, the weight limits given for racks is generally super conservative.  I have had 150lb friends ride around Dutch style on my rear aluminum rack rated for 30lbs and not had any problems.

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Tyler | October 11th, 2015

Hi Rudy, I don’t know much about touring. I hear on average that a person may carry anywhere between 50-70Ibs for a week long tour. I’m guessing that is where I will be at. I’m just one of those people who wants everything heavy duty. Thank you for reply.

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Rudy Breteler | October 11th, 2015

Tyler, if you do carry that much weight, you’ll want to distribute it between the front and back, with the heavier items in your front saddle bags and bigger bulkier lighter items in the rear. So 15kg should still be plenty.

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David H | October 21st, 2015

Any word on when the Marrakesh will be available?  I am anxious to get my hands on one!

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Christian | October 23rd, 2015

I have the same question, I actually preordered mine so I’m trying to gage when I can expect them to ship.

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Tyler | October 24th, 2015

I was told by my local bike shop that they might get them in around the 1st or 2nd week of November.

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | October 30th, 2015

David H, Christian, Tyler - I believe it will be late November. Thanks for your support.

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Christian | November 6th, 2015

What’s the hold up? This bike was announced in August. Seems silly to market a bike that comes out 4+ months later. I feel bad that I’ve bugged my local bike shop about when its arriving.

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Christian | November 6th, 2015

Also super confusing when this very page say ...“Marrakesh will be available in October with an MSRP of $1599.”
Part of the frustration

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Beth | November 13th, 2015

@Rudy - July22, 2015
Que the inevitable Marrakesh v LHT debates! Do you folks have any comments on how this bike is different from Surly’s venerable machine?

Erik Mathy | July 22nd, 2015
Hey Rudy! The Marrakesh has a significantly larger max tire size (29x2.0) than the LHT (700x45). I think they are two similar bikes, yeah, but with enough of a difference in certain niches that people can choose one or the other and be pretty happy about it.

Erik is kind of right.  “It’s available as a frameset and as a complete bike, with 26˝ wheels in 42–62cm frame sizes, and with 700c wheels in 56–64cm.” “26˝: 2.1˝ with or without fenders; 700c: 42mm with fenders, 45mm without fenders Individual tire and rim combos affect tire clearance”  (From Surly’s website.)  I happen to own the 26” wheel version and I love it. I have 2” tires on it,  AND fenders, and it positively is one of my fave bikes ever, and I’ve ridden my fair share.  I have some pretty nice tires on it and they soak up the road vibe beautifully, and the 2” sized tires are pretty awesome - makes light work of any road conditions that might effect smaller diameter tires.  I also have the canti brake version, but I also own a 700c touring bike with disc brakes - They are different enough that I don’t feel bad having two, and there are enough choices out there, that this bike will definitely be a hit.  I own a fargo and a mukluk, and really like the ability to put extra cages on the front forks - If I didn’t already have the bikes I own, I’d be in the market for the Marrakesh in blue.  :-)

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Tyler | November 18th, 2015

I see the previous post says that its available in 26” wheels for 42-62cm frame size. Looks to me that I can get 700C tires with a 54cm frame. Right? I don’t see anything about 26” wheels.

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KB | November 30th, 2015

You’ve answered many of the posted questions, but seem hesitant to answer the question regarding the 15kg (33lb) limit of the rear rack? I was very close to putting money down on a Marrakesh, but the weight limit that has been asked about by many others is leaving me uncertain, and I’m now thinking a different bike will be a better fit for my bagger/touring needs.
Why Salsa would design their first “heavy duty” touring bike with a 33lb rear rack weight limit is beyond me ... and the reason I probably won’t be buying a Salsa bike for my touring needs. The Vaya has the same 33lb limit, and is probably a much better all-around bike for most riders ... please explain the weight limitation, and why anyone would be better off with a very limited Marrakesh vs the Vaya?

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | November 30th, 2015

Tyler - The Marrakesh is ONLY available with 700c wheels. Salsa does not make a 26”-wheeled version of the Marrakesh.

KB - The 15kg limit is stated because that is the weight that we had the racks tested to. We can’t state a higher weight limit than to what we tested.  RE: differences between the Vaya and the Marrakesh there are many: geometry, some features…but you should also understand that they use very different tubesets. The Marrakesh has a MUCH STIFFER frameset so that it handles a full-load better (it tracks better, doesn’t sway under heavy load or power strokes, etc). That said, it also means that the Marrakesh is less comfortable than a Vaya when the Marrakesh is unloaded. I hope that helps.

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Dave H | December 23rd, 2015

I’ve put a few hundred miles on my Marrakesh, and so far, I love it! I went with the flat bar version and replaced the stock bar with a wrapped Jones H-Bar. I also own a 2013 Salsa Vaya, and though the Marrakesh feels a bit stiffer, does not feel any less comfortable. I ride a 55 cm Vaya, and a medium Marrakesh is dead-on for sizing. One other characteristic I have immediately noticed on this bike compared to my Vaya is that it is very stable. Another plus is the fenders I occasionally use on my Vaya fits nicely on the Marrakesh. I feel that this will be my go-to bike for everything.

The low point of the bike is the rack. I have had a failure with the minimalist rack (post-recall) and broken Salsa anything cages with no resolution. The rack that comes with the Marrakesh does not have that robust feeling compared to other racks. Unfortunately, I was unable to talk my LBS to removing the rack for a store credit or exchange with another rack.

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Bruce H | March 5th, 2016

I just purchases two Salsa Marrakesh bikes.  A drop bar for me and flat bar for my wife.  One of the features that got me to purchase these is the adjustable position of the rear wheel.  Move it in for around town and general riding.  Move it out/back for loaded touring.

We plan to do a bit of touring with them so equipped the bikes with fenders.  On my bike there is a screw hole/ mount for fenders on the part that moves the rear wheel.  So that fenders mounted will adjust when the wheel is moved.  On my wife’s flat bar no whole.  So the fenders are mounted where to lower rear rack attachment point. 

Long term,  I think both will work.  On her’s the fenders are set with extra space so the wheel can be moved.  On mine we tweak the fenders a bit when the wheel is moved. 

Should both bikes have the same set up?  Is there anything we should know about how to do this adjustment?

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Chris | May 14th, 2016

What is the minimum tire I can put on this? Can I do 770cx28 or 32?

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Skot | June 1st, 2016

I, like other Vaya owners above, would love to know about any plans for an after market Marrakesh fork. Better yet, produce a Vaya fork with anything cage mounts.

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