Salsa Journeyman: One Bike For Many Riders

All-road explorer. Gravel bike. Bikepacking rig. Reliable commuter. Since its release in March of 2018, we’ve seen thousands of riders use the Journeyman for just about everything—and that’s exactly how we planned it.

A Journeyman loaded with bikepacking gear leans against a bright yellow door

The versatility designed into the Journeyman frame and fork allows riders an incredible amount of flexibility when choosing their journey, but the sheer number of options for Journeyman riders is no accident. The Salsa product team was fresh off the release of Timberjack, our feature-packed trail hardtail, and its success sparked the idea that a similar approach could serve the all-road crowd. “With Timberjack, people were able to experience a fully-engineered, complete thought that was available at a more accessible price point,” said Salsa Brand Manager Justin Steiner.

Salsa engineer Sean Mailen worked on the Timberjack project before taking on Journeyman, so he came in with a mindset of developing a quality bike that was accessible to more people. “Just because it’s a lower-cost frame doesn’t mean you can’t use modern geometry and features to develop a great foundation,” he said.

With that in mind, the team set out to apply the magic formula to an all-road platform. For inspiration, Mailen looked to Warbird, our gravel race bike. The design and engineering team wanted to design and build a quality bike from the ground up, rather than trim features from an existing platform to lower the cost. The goal was to deliver the features that a Warbird customer might expect but at a more accessible price point.

“We borrowed the tubeset from our previous Warbird aluminum model and were able to design a bike around it that gave people a similar experience, yet was attainable enough to welcome new riders into the Salsa brand. That was really important to us,” he said.

Journeyman’s origin means it can handle any gravel ride or race, but it’s designed to do much more.

“We knew that many of the people buying a Journeyman may not have other bikes, so we wanted Journeyman to be a capable daily driver in addition to its other qualities. We incorporated features for riders who would use Journeyman for more than one kind of riding,” said Steiner.

The result of all this studying, thinking and designing was one accessible bike that can effectively carry out a wide variety of riding duties. Journeyman’s appeal is in the number of ways that riders can truly make the bike their own.

For starters, Journeyman riders can choose between 700c x 32–51 mm wheels and tires for a fast-rolling setup or 650b x 47–57 mm wheels and tires for the ability to roll on higher-volume rubber when terrain or ride conditions are a bit more challenging.

Journeyman is also available in drop-bar or flat-bar configurations. The drop bar creates an aggressive riding position, while the flat handlebar suits riders seeking a more relaxed, upright ride.

And because every journey has a different purpose, Journeyman is loaded with cargo-carrying options. Haul your camping gear, groceries, laptop, extra food and water, or get creative. Here are a few examples of what’s possible with Journeyman:


A Journeyman is sitting at the edge of a gravel road with green farm fields behind it.

Keep it light and fast with for gravel rides and races with a few bottles and the Salsa EXP Top Tube Bag.


A bright blue Journeyman sits against a chain fence on a highway overpass. Traffic goes by on the highway below.

Spend all day exploring local paths and trails with a bottle, Salsa EXP Top Tube Bag and handlebar bag for your lock, layers and snacks.


A bright blue Journeyman is leaned against bright blue stools on a bar patio.

Cruise over to your favorite local watering hole with a top tube bag for your lock.


A white Journeyman leans against a building wall that is painted with a multi-color mural. The bike is loaded with panniers.

Head out for an overnighter at a nearby campground with a rack and panniers for your sleeping gear and cook kit.


A dark green Journeyman loaded with gear leans against brightly painted wooden doors.

Take on the farmer’s market and come home fully-loaded with a rack and pannier setup, Salsa EXP Series Half Frame Pack, Top Tube Bag, and Anything Cage HD.


A white Journeyman stands in a shallow stream or river.

Ride through the long, hot days of summer with plenty of water and snacks, plus your tools and tube in a Salsa EXP Series Rescue Roll.


Journeyman’s possibilities make it an ideal ride for anyone—including its engineer. Mailen often rides his Journeyman to work and to take his daughter to childcare. “It’s one of my favorite bikes that we’ve done for its ability to do everything—it’s just a jack of all trades.”

Show us how you use your Journeyman! Tag your photos with #ChooseYourJourney to share your Journeyman adventures with the world.

This post filed under topics: Bikepacking Explore Greg Gleason Harrison Maddox Journeyman Salsa Crew Sean Mailen Touring Travel Ultra Racing

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Harrison Maddox

Harrison Maddox

I’m a jack-of-all, master-of-none sort when it comes to the outdoors. Riding, climbing, paddling, skiing or hiking—everything has its own appeal. All that matters are the effort and the solitude. I’m not competitive but I enjoy a good challenge, and I’ll say “yes” to anything that puts me in over my head or involves type 2 fun, as that’s where life’s spicier moments seem to live.


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