Salsa Cycles at Frostbike 2018

Feb 19, 2018
by Zach White  
Salsa Cycles 2018

Salsa is entering the grom's market with two new models - a 20-inch and 24-inch Timberjack. Retailing for $549 and $559, respectively, the 6061-T6 aluminum frames house 3-inch wide tires, stop with Promax mechanical 160mm/140mm disc brakes, and go with a Shimano drivetrain. WTB ST rims are tubeless ready, but the stock Chao Yang tires would need to be swapped out for tubeless tires to validate the setup.

While only the 24-inch version has bottle bosses on the downtube, both models have an abundance of fork mounting options for bottle cages, or even Salsa Anything cages, so the kids can carry their own drinks and whatnot. Rumor has it that mounting a set of water bottles on the fork also makes for great safety bumpers, at least for the things being hit. The stock forks are suspension corrected and Boost spaced, so they can be upgraded down the road without negatively affecting handling. Claimed weight for both models is in the 27-pound range.

Salsa Cycles 2018
Salsa Cycles 2018
The Timberjack will be available in both 20- and 24-inch versions, and run 3.0" wide tires.



Salsa Cycles 2018
The 150mm Salsa Redpoint.

For the bigger boys and girls, Salsa is offering an alloy version of the Deadwood, Pony Rustler, and Redpoint for 2018, which drops entry price to their full suspension trail bikes by about $1000 by comparison of last year's least expensive carbon version of each model. The Timberjack and Woodsmoke see new colors for 2018, but otherwise remain unchanged. Salsa Spearfish, Horsethief and Bucksaw all remain unchanged for 2018, though there was hint of 2019 versions being released later this year.

The 150mm travel, 27.5-inch Redpoint is now available in an aluminum version, which brings the retail price down to $2899 with a SRAM NX drivetrain, Rockshox Recon RL 150mm travel fork, and Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5's front and rear. Pictured above is the $5099 Carbon GX Eagle version with Rockshox Pike RC 160mm, Monarch RT3 rear shock, SRAM Guide R brakes, and as one would guess by the name, a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain. Somewhere in the upper middle of the two is the Carbon SLX 1x11 version which retails for $4099.


Salsa Cycles 2018
Salsa Deadwood

Salsa's 91mm 29+ Deadwood gets a 120mm fork and a new set of slimmer rubber for 2018. The 2.6-inch Maxxis Rekon tires should shed a little bit of weight where it counts and provide a livelier ride out on the trail by comparison to last year's 3.0's. The top tier Carbon Deadwood GX Eagle retails for $5099, Carbon SLX 1x11 comes in at $4099, and the new aluminum NX is $2799.


Salsa Cycles 2018
Salsa Pony Rustler.

Feedback on last year's Pony Rustler was to leave it be, so the 27-plus, 130/120mm travel bike remains unchanged, execpt for the aluminum NX addition, of course. Pricing and naming remains consistent with the Carbon GX Eagle at $5099, the Carbon SLX 1x11 at $4099, and NX at $2799.


Salsa Cycles 2018

Several new cockpit options are available from Salsa for 2018, including the Rustler bars. Available in either 800mm or 750mm widths, the 11-degree backsweep, 6-degree upsweep bar comes in carbon, Deluxe 7050-T6 alloy, and standard 6061-T6 versions. In addition to the deep backsweep, the Rustler bars also set themselves apart from the norm with a very wide 140mm cradle, which allows better compatibility with lights, bags, and arm bars. Pricing is $140 for carbon with its 15mm rise, $69 for the Deluxe with its 20mm rise, and $39 for the base model Rustler with a 20mm rise. Each version is will be available with either a 31.8mm or 35mm clamp size.


69 Comments

  • + 49
 I don't really get Salsa/Surly. When I think of these brands I just picture dudes with big grey beards riding rigid single speeds really slowly and ranting about flow trails + roost in mtb edits.
  • + 30
 Nothing wrong with old dudes riding bikes. The 2 guys I know who ride surlys are not like that, it's more about steel and simplicity.
  • + 18
 sorry disagree, they are just cool in so many ways. The stuff just works and is different in an eclectic kinda way and has its own character, my pugs is great fun and has put up with so much abuse of winter slop in the UK. They are great bikes and I for one would love a demo on a Salsa full sus, its more about smiles than seconds
  • + 9
 Sorry no beard here and my Krampus has gears and I ride at a reasonable speed. I'm on the roost fence tho. I can only speak for Surly but they are probably an acquired taste for mildly eccentrics who love cromo and simple well built bikes. Maybe it's one of those things that comes with age.
  • + 7
 Salsa and Surly make sense if you want something specific. I personally find that steel is the best material for gravel bikes as it wont crack due to rock strikes and smooths out the vibration of corrugations and hence why I have a Surly Straggler... also some people just like the look of them...
  • + 8
 young people use curse words
  • + 9
 i have a beard and i own a krampus full rigid , and a canfield epo and a nomad and a v10 the simplicity of jumping on the krampus with a water bottle and just going is awesome at times . no thing to check except tire pressure and go . full mechanical including the dropper post. works down below 0 degrees in all conditions . its not t,he lightest or the fastest but it is super funn to full on 2 wheel drift or huck a 3 footer or plow into some tech on a full rigid puckering
  • + 5
 I picked up one of the clearance 2016 bucksaws and holy f@&$ it’s made my winter so much more fun. The trails in western NY are kinda tame in the summer but a lot more exciting with some snow in the mix. The bucksaw itself is super jibby, playful, and can handle itself in the chunk. Would recommend anyone try one if they have the opportunity ride in mixed conditions.
  • + 12
 What about young dudes riding steel rigid single speeds quickly and loving flow trails and roost edits?
  • + 3
 Surlys are awesome, utilitarian, sweet bikes. I live in NYC and ride a Karate Monkey mostly as a city bike. I've seen way more Surlys than Salsas in the wild. Might be a regional thing. The thing I like with the Surly bikes I've owned is that, to me, they're awesome grown-up toys, whereas my trail and downhill bike seem more like machines. I tend to the full sussers more and get anxiety about things getting damaged on them, upkeep, etc.
  • + 4
 @Flowcheckers: yep! And some of them grey beards I've seen are in way better shape than some of these young guns!
  • + 3
 @underhillz: Dito...its a fun bike for snow days.
  • + 3
 @underhillz: Maybe my favorite bike ever. It is so much fun and comfortable that I end up riding it until late spring and leaving my HD3 in the basement.
  • + 1
 Idk, my SS ti Salsa El Mar is hanging happily next to my SC 5010 and my Ragley Piglet... and I mostly rant about Ebikes, trail sanitation, and rock stacking
  • + 1
 I get the rigid steel singlespeed thing - even when ridden quickly by clean shaven young people. But when they put out full suss frames... surely they aren’t playing to their target market
  • + 1
 I'd agree that the general readership (or should I say people who comment) of Pinkbike may not be salsa's target market but they OWN adventure/ gravel riding.
  • + 1
 There's definitely a group matching your vision, but it also seems that people who want a simple steel bike split themselves between the Salsa/Surly camp and the Chromag/Ragley/Cotic type of brands.

The guy on the SS pugsley loaded to the nuts is definitely a hard-core tourer, a grey-beard or both!
  • + 1
 I love Surly / Salsa / QBP! So great to ride something different than.

Originally I bought a $900 salsa el mariachi to "try out" the wheel size, and it totally converted me to 29. Now all my bikes are 29. Well, except my cargo bike Wink

The Redpoint is a great bike, too.
  • + 25
 Mild Salsa.
  • + 13
 I don't know, that Redpoint looks a Little Spicy.
  • + 4
 @omegalung: looks like a process
  • + 8
 @omegalung: I went with the Pony Rustler last year over the Red Point and really love the ride of the bike. So while it seems Salsa doesn't inspire a lot of fandom on Pinkbike, they are well engineered, great riding bikes. With the Bucksaws being clearanced out, lots of local riders picked up great deals and I've heard a few of them claim the Bucksaw is the best bike they've ever ridden in terms of capability and pure fun.

I'm Minnesotan and the brand is local with a great reputation for customer service and standing behind their bikes that aren't built for the weight weenie racing crowd.
  • + 0
 @SeaHag:
Only pony rustler I’ve seen was half a season old and had stress fractures on the BB right next to the iscg tab. It took salsa days to get back to the customer (to tell him to bring it to the nearest salsa retailer to confirm the damage) and then weeks to process the claim. Thankfully the owner had a hardtail to ride in the month that he was frameless. A far cry from other cracked frame warranties I’ve seen.

1/1 sample size here though
  • + 2
 @SeaHag: I love my BS...
  • + 2
 @SeaHag: I have a friend that has a Pony Rustler. Calls it his Do All Bike. Beautiful Bike.
  • + 19
 3G's for an aluminum bike with a Recon. F'in bike industry these days.
  • + 12
 Putting a kid on one of those timberjacks seems like a great way to get them to hate mountain biking. 3" wide tires and 27 lbs? yuck
  • + 2
 You've obviously never picked up the average kids bike. Most weigh upwards of 40 pounds. And 3" tires will give them plenty of traction to help avoid washouts, which kids do a lot.
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: totally agree. The plus sized tires on kids bikes are fantastic, adds extra stability and confidence going down the rougher stuff. Especially as they are still learning how to handle a bike on actual trails vs pavement. I have a couple plus sized kids bikes for mine, and they love them.
  • + 4
 My kid has an old spesh 20" 6 speed that I swapped to an air fork (Grind OS300), alum bars and "only" has 2.1" tires. It's still as heavy as my bike but he rips it.
  • + 3
 Not to mention gearing that makes climbing impossibly hard!
  • + 2
 Plus tyres as (undamped) rudimentary suspension for kids that are probably half the minimum weight required to get proper performance out of a standard fork and shock seems like a good idea.
  • + 9
 Water bottle near the front wheel of a kids bike looks like a lawyers wet dream. I mean we recently forgot how to use quick-releases. What chance does a ejectable object near a wheel have.
  • + 6
 I test rode a Bucksaw at a demo day and can say it is every bit as fun as my Slash. The only thing that held me back from a purchase was the Bluto (been waiting for a Pike version). Now that Manitou has stepped up the fork game, the Bucksaw is back on my radar.

Also, I test rode a bunch of hardtail fatbikes (Specialized, Trek, Kona, Origin8, On-one, Surly and a couple more I can't remember) and there is NOTHING that comes close to the Mukluk geo-wise. For me, I want fun, jumpy, poppy, etc. I can ride/jump/hop and huck my Mukluk over just about any obstacle with the same effort I use on my Slash.

So yeah, to the haters, try riding one first.
  • - 1
 It sounds like you aren't riding your Slash in technical terrain, otherwise this comparison would be void.
  • + 1
 I just got a alu Mukluk this winter and that thing is a blast. Never thought i'd have so much fun on a rigid bike. I am kinda bummed i cant put a Mastodon on it though
  • + 1
 @raditude: MMMM on the surface that seems insulting but after considering it for a minute I think your guess is a fair observation, so let me elaborate. Often on PB folks offer opinions without data.

My 2012 Slash (size small) was my everything bike until I started making money. Urban (yeah I still do that) DH, XC etc. I would say I am an above average technical rider. If I see a skinny or a jump I will hit it over and over until I get it right (to be damned with the Strava times!) If I try a climb and "get stuck" I can hop the rest of the way up the trail without putting my feet down. I can confidently drop around 6' (flat surface to flat surface from a complete stop or haulin' a$$) and have done bigger from time to time. My old Trials friends would say I suck. My current XC crew thinks I am a god. My wife could care less.

Let me put it this way, if I videoed my rides for the manufactures to watch, I would probably void all warrantees. The only part I have never broken in 20 years is a seat post, but it's not for lack of trying. I'm 150 lbs wet.

I'm not trying to toot my own horn, I trying to say that I put the hurtin' on my bikes and the 2015 Mukluk (extra small) totally stepped up to the plate and currently is showing no signs of slowing down.

I Bucksaw I rode was the first model year they had in aluminum (maybe oct 2016??). While I did put it through it's paces, it was not my bike so I kept the jumps under 4' or so and the drops under 2'. I hit some short techy climbs, one or two nasty climbs, a ton of wet roots and rock gardens, and some really fun downhills that had both technical switchbacks and some fast straightaways.

Lastly I just wanna say I am NOT loyal to brands. I would never say "Salsa is so great" or "Trek is wonderful". Every maker has good stuff and bad stuff that hits the market. I only speak to what I ride.... for good or bad.
  • + 1
 @da-yeti: That is a huge disappointment for me as well. I was also disappointed to find out that setting a Bluto to 80mm OR 120mm will void the frame warranty. Apparently Mukluks can only have a fork set at 100mm of travel.
  • + 9
 Who is salsa kidding? These are already sold out and not available.
  • + 9
 Bring back the El Mariachi!
  • + 2
 Truth!! I just noticed they no longer have any single speed builds in their line up. The Alternator drop out on my El Mar makes the single speed life soooo easy.
  • + 8
 Maybe in 2019 we’ll talk about something other than water bottle cages
  • + 1
 Seriously...
  • + 4
 Salsa really has never said much to me about my riding, but they make unique stuff that appeals to many. Surly on the other hand has been a favorite of mine for years. Their steel bikes (especially their trail bikes) are simple, inexpensive and mad fun. They are about as punk rock as any bike company beneath QBP's umbrella can be. I had an Instigator 1.0 for 13 years that simply ruled and I had it built in every configuration possible from street single speed commuter to freeride tank. I've only recently replaced it with a steel Honzo which has much of if not more of that same Surly attitude.
  • + 3
 I want to like Salsa. I really like their adventure by bike ethos... But man are these bikes vanilla! and they don't seem to give us much for our money either.
  • + 2
 I rolled my eyes when i saw "creative thinking" as an intended use for the Blackborow.
  • + 4
 Those 800 mm, 11-dergree backsweep bars look sweet. I like the large flat for mounting area as well.
  • + 1
 And then Trek created the full stache and all the vanilla haters complained about too radical of a machine. Everyone just go back to your stumpjumpers and let salsa unleash their 2019 lineup that will change mankind as we know it...
  • + 2
 27lbs for a kid's bike isn't the most competitive weight. Clearly meerkat is 24lbs. The commencal Ramones 24"+ is under lbs. I would think salsa would be more competitive than that.
  • + 1
 especially void of a suspension fork. It's gotta be hi-ten walmart frame tubing.
  • + 4
 Might as well change their name to pico de gallo, this lineup is boring.
  • + 7
 You shouldn't speak so poorly of Pico de gallo. Its delicious and refreshing.... But I hear ya, very mild offerings considering their heritage.
  • + 2
 The Pony Rustler and Horsethief came in alloy versions before this... may be a different kit on it, but the alloy frames are not news...
  • + 2
 Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy. I can't tell where my life ends and Tyler's begins. -Jack
  • + 3
 That Deadwood needs a 130mm fork and then it would be mighty tasty.
  • + 2
 QBP makes salsa and surly? qbp.com/brands
  • + 2
 QBP owns and distributes both brands.
  • + 1
 Yes! QBP bought Salsa in 1997. Then QBP started the Surly brand in 1998. Most or all of their other brands have been started in-house as well
  • + 1
 Looks like Salsa woke up from a coma and finally jumped on the murdered bandwagon.
  • + 1
 Man, does anyone except Chaoyang actually make 20/24+ tires?
  • + 1
 Yes, but they're re-branded Chaoyang
  • + 1
 I’d take a mongoose over this
  • + 1
 Dirty Cabling as if it is 2009.
  • + 1
 Or just distributes....their warehouses must be massive....
  • + 1
 RIP El Mariachi
  • + 0
 If the deadwood doesn't clear 3.0's, it's just a less versatile bucksaw.
  • - 1
 that's funny,i always thought salsa was one of treks labels.
  • - 1
 Silly rabbit, water bottle mounts are for kids.

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