2013 Salsa Vaya 2 Pic…

I can’t tell if it’s the one we’ve been seeing bits of…

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that this one is white, while the other one we saw was more cream colored.  This does look tasty, though.  Looks like Sram X9 in rear, possibly X7 in front with a ??? chainring?  Pic came from MTBR, but there’s no details yet.  Clement X’Plor MSO tires are new, but still sporting the DT Swiss X470 rims.  Also still looks like BB7 brakes.

EDIT:  Updated info on MTBR:

Vaya 2 Spec – Vanilla

2013 Spec
Frame Vaya steel
Fork Vaya steel
Rear shock nil
Headset CC 40 EC34
Stem Salsa Pro Moto 2
Handlebar Salsa Cowbell 2
Grips Salsa gel tape
Shifter Sram Apex 
Front Brake Avid BB7
Rear Brake Avid BB7
Brake Lever Sram Apex 
Rotors 160/160
Seatpost Salsa Pro Moto 2 
Saddle WTB Pure V
Front Der Sram Apex 
Rear Der Sram Apex 
Front Hub Salsa 2 by Formula
Rear Hub Salsa 2 by Formula
Spokes DT Swiss Competition
Rims DT Swiss X470
Tires Clement 40c Adventure tire
Cassette Shimano Tiagra 11-32 10 speed
Chain KMC X10
Crankset Sram Apex 34-46

Vaya 3 Spec – Ruby Red

2013 Spec
Frame Vaya steel
Fork Vaya steel
Headset CC 10 EC34
Stem Salsa Pro Moto 3 
Handlebar Salsa Cowbell 3
Grips Salsa gel tape
Shifter Microshift 9 speed bar-end
Front Brake Avid BB7
Rear Brake Avid BB7
Brake Lever Tektro
Rotors 160/160
Seatpost Salsa Pro Moto 3 
Saddle WTB Pure V
Front Der Shimano Sora Triple
Rear Der Shimano Deore
Front Hub Salsa 3 by Formula
Rear Hub Salsa 3 by Formula
Spokes DT Swiss Champion
Rims Sun 32 hole
Tires Continental TourRide
Cassette Shimano 9 speed 11-32
Chain KMC X10
Crankset Shimano Sora Triple

That updated spec is weird, as it clearly doesn’t match some of the kit shown in the picture…for example, the picture clearly shows an X-9 rear derailleur, and the spec shows SRAM Apex…


Axletree Trip No. 2: Kettle Moraine. Ermahgerd, it’s good.

Sunday saw the second ever Axletree / North Central Cyclery Get Off The Road trip, to Kettle Moraine, in Wisconsin.

It was an eclectic combination of riders and bikes.  Nevdal was there, looking all steely-faced, on his beautiful 1×9 Ti El Mariachi.  (Please recall that Nevdal is the origin of “to Nevdal”, a verb meaning to ride on the gravel shoulder of a paved road, just because you’re hardcore).

(Note to self: if you ever build a hardtail, install a chain keeper).

The Spearfusion came out for its baptism by dirt.

The Fantastic Feller was there sporting an aluminum hardtail.

“Super-Gore Gecik” was rocking the Pivot Mach 429 and Tobie brought out a 20″ Spearfish 2.

Chad Ament, of “Salsa Titanium Seatpost Thigh” fame was there, sporting the Bonkers Bianchers.

Note that he was the only sponsored rider on the trip, having been picked up by Schwalabes, Stan’s No Noobs, and Fizzzzzzzzik.  If you’re not familiar with Salsa Titanium Seatpost Thigh, click here.

There were a bunch of other riders as well, most of whom I did not capture pictures of.  In keeping with my practices of late, I focused more on riding, and less on picture taking.  The group I was with rocked a Full Monty, and is seen here at the end of the Emma, in the parking lot.

Special guest appearance by Tom Boonen:

It may have been slightly hot, I may have been sweating, and my camera lens may have been obscured by moisture.  Maybe.

Trail-monster Dang Eiten was on the scene, sporting his hardtail Trek Carbon 29er

He was riding so fast, it was almost like he didn’t even ride with our group.

What can I say about the ride?  It was awesome.  A pleasant mix between challenging and fun.  A little bit of technical, a little bit of hammerfest, a lot of smiling.  As Axletree starts getting more active, there will be a lot of areas where we have issues to work on…but the group ethos and culture are not in need of improvement.

And the Spearfusion?  Reeeeeeeeeeee-donk-ulous.  I’ll do a full writeup on the build spec soon, and a detailed review after I have some more saddle time on it.  For now, I’ll throw out a few tidbits:

1)  The wheels are amazing.  They spin up like road wheels.  There is no other word for it–they’re amazing.

2)  The rear suspension is perfect for my riding.  80mm of travel takes the hard edge off of bumps, and climbs like the dickens.

3)  The 18″ frame is definitely the right size for me…even at a shade over 6′ tall.  On the sharp, steep, technical switchbacks, I had no problem maintaining traction and crawling up the hill.  I felt like I could throw the bike around at will.

4)  Lighter = more betterer.  Bike control was improved, speed increased, handling confidence was off the charts.

5) One of my favorite features of my old Rumblefish (the Spearfusion predecessor) was the ABP active brake pivot rear end, which worked to lessen rear wheel lockup and keep rear brake activation from jacking the suspension up.  I was a bit worried about the loss of that feature.  I should not have worried–the Spearfish simply and flatly works.  Equally as nice, if you overcook a corner and come in a little hot, a hard dab of rear brake produces a completely predictable rear wheel slide that helps you pivot through the corner, rather than pivoting through a tree.

Again, I’ll have more details later, but for now, she’s ta-ta-ta-tasty.

Get off the road.  Go ride.


Reblog #2 of the day…an amazing trip with a Big Dummy!


The Big Dummy as an urban hauling and carting machine is well noted.  There are also a few others who’ve taken it along ways less smooth.  These latter caught my attention a while before the Americas trip, aiding the genesis thereof.  Although I’m aware that many will consider detail excessive, I thought a few might like to see what 28,000km does to a bicycle and how it performed.  Apologies to the masses!

The Xtracycle didn’t go on the Americas Trip as I was concerned that the attachment points between the main bike frame and the Xtracycle extension wouldn’t stand up to the hammering I intended to put the bike through.  In the end, the Big Dummy did me proud, though I do agree with Sarah’s main objection – it’s not the easiest bike to get over a fence to a promising campsite…

To get the technical stuff out early, here’s…

View original post 481 more words

Salsa Colossal and Salsa Beargrease: Tire Clearance?

MTBR just put up a set of great pics of some of the new Salsa rides.  Two of the pics really intrigue me:

Colossal chainstay clearance.  I’m assuming those are Clement’s Strada LLG Road tires, which are available in 23, 25 and 28c sizing.  Not a lot of clearance at the chain stays for anything larger…

Perhaps even more interesting:

The new Beargrease.  Looks like Rolling Darryl wheels, which are 82mm wide…and Husker Dü tires, which are 4″ wide.  Look at the clearance, particularly at the seat stay.  The seat stay is obviously different from the regular mukluk–no fender mounts.  (Comparison shot:)

I don’t have a shot that shows exactly what I want to show, but here’s a Mukluk 2 with a Big Fat Larry 4.7″ rear tire, caked in snow, that still has extra clearance to the stays.

Compare that to the Beargrease with 4.0″ tires on it, above.  My guess: the Beargrease will likely not clear 4.7″ or 4.8″ tires.  Just a guess, I could be wrong…but it looks to have less tire clearance than current Mukluks.  Of course for racing, 4″ may be all you need…

Update:  See comment below…BFLs will clear on a stock Beargrease.  4.8″ tires MAY NOT.