Salsa Cycles is an American company that specializes in manufacturing a variety of bike types including touring, mountain, and gravel bicycles and components. It's based in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Throughout the company's 38 years of existence, it introduced many innovative bikes for different purposes.
Salsa Bikes - Our Reviews
The Salsa Brand: A History of Setting New Standards
Salsa Cycles was founded in 1981 by Ross Shafer. The company’s main focus was to produce bicycle frames and custom stems. The company was based in California. Unfortunately, the return on investment wasn’t enough to sustain the company. Later, Salsa Cycles was acquired by QBP(Quality Bicycle Products).
The key people at QBP found it convenient to develop bike parts at a time when the popularity of mountain biking had skyrocketed. By 1983, only two years after the company was founded, the company’s revenue had already hit six figures. The secret of this huge success was mainly due to outsourcing unique bike parts from Japan.
After QBP bought Salsa Cycles in 1997, they went on to innovate new bikes that are equipped with many features and accessories that enhance the user experience. The bikes are branded under multiple names like All-City and Heller.
Following the increased popularity of cycling in general, they came up with an additional brand called Civia bike in 2007. After some time, they created a second distribution branch in Ogden, Utah.
The Unique "Alternator Dropout"
The Alternator Dropout is Salsa's very own adjustable dropout system. Based on the principle of modular design, the system consists of replaceable dropout plates and fixing hardware.
The system enables you to use geared or single-speed drivetrains on the same frame without the need for chain tensioners or adaptors. Moreover, you can adjust the location of the rear axle through a 17mm range relative to the axle of the bottom bracket.
The swinging design and fixing bolts create a slip-free system using a single fixing bolt, compared to other systems, which normally utilize two fixing bolts per side.
The alternator dropout requires minimal maintenance. It holds fast and steady, and the surfaces don’t ever need to be cleaned or greased. This means creaking and slipping are nothing to worry about.
The Alternator has completed multiple trips up and down the Tour Divide Route, a 2752-mile journey with nearly 200,000 feet of climbing that can expose any weaknesses in bike frames and components.
The Alternator has managed to survive this real-world torture test flawlessly. You can ride your back without working about bending or breaking the dropout.
The problem of single speeds with track-end style dropouts is the irritating wheel changing procedure. With the Alternator's vertical-style dropout, things are much easier. There is no brake adaptor that might loosen and no chain to re-tension. All you need to do is to pop the wheel out, then back in, and you’re good to go.
Salsa Mountain Bikes
Salsa mountain bikes are amazing for riders who like challenges and would do anything possible to do unusual and adventurous stuff.
Salsa Cycles' design philosophy is centered around producing new and efficient bikes to serve the needs of modern downhill cyclists.
The Powderkeg Salsa MTB costs $3,999. With a wheelbase of around 1847mm, it can cover thousands of miles. The wheels are designed to maintain stability and balance during long rides.
It's also suitable for single track, gravel and backcountry roads. The flat bar provides you with a reliable steering control to mitigate the effects of wind resistance.
Salsa's mountain bikes lineup include Horsethief, Spearfish, Redpoint, Deadwood, WoodsmokeTimberjack, Timberjack Kids, and Woodsmoke. Some of these models are equipped with a full suspension trail, while the others have a hardtail trail. These trails provide stability in the wavy, rocky mountain roads.
Salsa Road Bikes
In addition to the excellent mountain bikes, Salsa also designs road bikes. Salsa road bikes are made for high-stake races. They can easily climb fire roads and B-roads. They give you speed, performance and comfort.
The road bikes are further subdivided into Warbird, Vaya, Marrakesh, Fargo, Cutthroat, Journeyman 700C, Journeyman 650C, and Warroad bikes.
The Warbird Carbo Ultegra costs $4,299. It's one of the best bikes the company has to offer; it has a triple bottle holder, Warbird carbon fork and secret fender mounts. Vaya is great for gravel roads and lights touring.
Marrakesh, named after the Morrocan city of the same name, is for those wild enough to do a world tour on their bikes. Generally, it's great for rugged exploration, thanks to the Shimano Deore drivetrain components that are made to maximize performance on long roads. The bike is designed to be fully loaded.
Fargo's titanium frame and components make it an excellent choice for off-road touring and bikepacking. Cutthroat utilizes the most responsive SRAM parts of any other model.
Journeyman 700C and 650C are all-road bikes that are designed to be versatile. Finally, Warroad is built to provide comfort and performance without making sacrifices in the speed department.
Salsa Fat Bikes
The tires of a fat bike are designed to provide flotation, traction, stability, and opportunity. Fat bikes can truly achieve what no other bikes can. More than any other brand, Salsa has inspired the design of the modern fat bike.
The impressive geometry provides a great riding experience that encourages adventure. For racing, exploring, bikepacking, or riding singletrack, Salsa fat bikes are guaranteed to give you unprecedented experiences.
The current fat bike lineup includes Mukluk, Blackborow, and Beargrease. Mukluk is designed for off-road expeditions and world tours, while Blackborow gives you maximum floatation, and Beargrease is a racing machine.
The Company’s Crash Replacement Policy
If you crash your frame within the warranty period, the company offers a discounted price on a replacement frame. The customer takes the frame to their local dealer and has them contact the company to work on a solution.
Sneak Peek into 2020
Salsa is introducing a new lineup of fat bikes in 2020. New features include super neon and powder-coated frames. There are no updates to the geometry of the already excellent frame and components. Matching gear will also be released.