It’s on. It’s on like Donkey Kong.
Essential stats: Medium Salsa Carbon Beargrease.
Crank Brothers Eggbeater 11 (with Titanium spindles).
ENVE Carbon Seatpost.
Bontrager RXL Bottle Cages.
Salsa Carbon Bars.
Ergon SM3 Pro Carbon Saddle (with Carbon rails).
Stock wheelset (Salsa hubs, Holy Rolling Darryls), set up ghetto tubeless.
SRAM XX1 drivetrain (28T chainring, 10-42 cassette) and Avid XX Brakes.
DT Swiss RWS skewers (my favorite!!) on thru-axles front and rear.
Full Carbon frame, fork, steerer, soul, spirit.
Lotsa tire clearance.
And what’s there for seat stays, chain stays, etc., is smooth…nothing to pack with mud.
I take great pride in the shots on here. However, I’ve been a bit busy of late, and in order to get pictures of a new, clean, virgin bike, I had to take pics at night. I couldn’t bring myself to do the normal ‘garage’ shots, so I used an alternate site. I promise I’ll do daylight shots soon. The carbon and graphics deserve it.
A note on aesthetics: when I first saw the bike, I was hoping that Salsa would do a black on black scheme. I was hoping for all stealthy. I am deeply, deeply satisfied. Incredibly. The bike looks amazing. Black on black graphics, amazing matte finish. The yellow fade to green graphics are awesome. Frankly, if I was designing it, I wouldn’t have picked yellow fade to green. This is one of those times that I’m glad I’m not responsible for designing things. My design aesthetic is weak. My appreciation of others’ design aesthetic is strong. Yellow fade to green looks amazing. Also, it’s the Axletree team colors. And then there’s the little touches of green on the hubs, the seat clamp, the drivetrain…
So how does it ride?
It’s about 26 pounds as shown, with bottle cages, pedals, bottles, everything. If you wanted to go lighter, there are places to go lighter. First among them would be some nice carbon rims…if HED would ever get to market with them.
The ride quality is amazing. It’s amazingly light. The carbon has a fantastic feel–it dampens vibration better than my aluminum Mukluk did, but is incredibly responsive when you stand on it. Moreover, the geometry changes from the Mukluk are spot-on. It feels more like a mountain bike. It’s more responsive. It’s fantastic.
The XX1 is flawless and functions perfectly. The ‘type 2′ feature works as designed, preventing any annoying chain noises. It shifts perfectly, under all conditions that I’ve put it through thus far…and I look forward to putting it through more conditions this winter. The XX brakes work excellently, with progressive feel and excellent modulation.
It’s too soon to talk about how the bike rides, frankly. I don’t have enough miles on it yet. But thus far, I’m smitten.