When it comes to the perfect all-terrain bikes, the name Salsa Cycles stands tall, given its long line of mountain bikes, all-road bikes, and fat-tire bikes. What most people ask, however, is, are salsa bikes good?
Salsa bikes are good because they come in the most innovative suspension technologies like Suspension Kinematics, Class 5 Vibration Reduction System (VRS), Split Pivot, and Split Pivot+ which makes them super comfortable, adaptable to varying terrains, and efficient.
Note, however, that Salsa bicycles are more than just good suspensions. Their innovative designs also include ride-tuning innovations like Flip Chip and Alternator Dropout, frame protection, and on-bike storage.
But other than the innovative designs, Salsa bicycles remain among the most versatile, durable, and reliable bikes on the market today. And considering that they are available in a wide range of models, sizes, and budgets, there is so much to like about the American bike brand.
So, we’ll review all these fantastic advantages of Salsa bicycles. But to be fair, we’ll also look at the drawback they face.
Let’s get started, however, with the brand history.
In a rush? Check out our most recommended Salsa models on the hotlist below!
8 Best Salsa Bike Models
- Warbird: Best Salsa Gravel Bike
- Warroad: Best Salsa Endurance Road Bike
- Marrakesh: Best Salsa Touring Bike
- Blackthorn: Best Salsa All-Mountain Bike
- Spearfish: Best Salsa Cross Country Bike
- Rustler: Best Salsa Trail Bike
- Cassidy: Best Salsa Enduro Mountain Bike
- Beargrease: Best Salsa Fat-Tire Bike
About Salsa Cycles
Salsa Cycles is a famous American bicycle brand headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota. The bike manufacturer produces mountain, fat-tire, and all-road bikes such as gravel, touring, and endurance road bikes.
Basically, Salsa makes bikes that can take all terrains, albeit for different reasons. Quality Bicycle Products own Salsa and its sister bike brands All-City Cycles and Surly Bicycles.
Salsa was founded in the 1980s by inventor Ross Shaffer. Initially, the company concentrated on making custom bike frames and stems. But when Minnesota-based brand Quality Bicycle Products took ownership of the company in 1997, the bike brand transitioned from producing bike spare parts to making complete bikes.
Their target was to make bikes for the cold winter, and that’s what they’ve been doing. Today, Salsa Cycles makes its bike frames in Asia, mainly Taiwan, but everything else, including the design and assembly, takes place at their head offices in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Salsa is known to sponsor many riders all over the United States and beyond. They include 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Mirna Valerio and the Clarke Family from Kimberly, British Columbia.
Why Salsa Bikes Are Good
Primarily, Salsa bikes are good because of the manufacturer’s innovative designs to make them better performers. Let’s discuss them now.
1. Cutting-Edge Bike Suspension
Salsa bicycles set themselves apart from other bikes by featuring the most advanced suspension in the biking world. These suspension technologies include the following:
a) Suspension Kinematics
Suspension Kinematics is a Salsa-patented suspension that self-tunes the bikes according to the terrain and promises a more responsive feel.
Bikes employing suspension kinematics allow you to pedal more effectively while promising supple-bump performance, optimal climbing traction, and free braking.
b) Class 5 Vibration Reduction System (VRS)
Class 5 VRS Suspension, widespread on Salsa endurance road bikes, touring bikes, and gravel bikes, promises optimum absorption of road vibrations. That’s the reason Salsa all-road bikes (endurance road bikes, touring bikes, and gravel bikes) are comfortable to ride.
VRS is also the reason these bikes are faster and enduring even off-road. This suspension is present on Warbird gravel racing bike, Warroad endurance road bike, and Stormchaser gravel
c) Split Pivot
Split Pivot Suspension works by isolating the bike braking and pedaling forces to offer you the most of each world. According to Salsa, no other bicycle suspension offers such isolation.
Overall, Split Pivot promotes pedaling efficiency and responsive braking. With Split Pivot, you can fine-tune the bike however you want.
Split Pivot is present on most Salsa MTBs, such as the Rustle trail bike, Horsethief trail bike, and the Spearfish cross country bike.
d) Split Pivot+
Generally, Split Pivot+ is an advanced form of Split Pivot Suspension that allows riders to swap the suspension travels. As a result, it’s easy to adapt to different riding conditions.
You’ll find this suspension specifically on the Blackthorn all-mountain and the Cassidy enduro bike.
2. Ride-Tuning Designs
While Salsa innovative suspensions play a massive role in fine-tuning the bikes to the riding needs of the users, you can say the same about these two:
a) Flip Chip
Flip Chip is a self-adjusting technology that specifically self-adjusts the head tube angle, seat tube angle, and bottom bracket (BB) height to give you a better riding feel.
Essentially, Flip Chip makes the Cassidy enduro and the Blackthorn all-mountain bikes more adaptive to different terrains while offering you better handling.
b) Alternator Dropout
Alternator Dropout is a design technology that fine-tunes the chainstays and chain tension to allow you to have a more relaxed ride. Additionally, Alternator Dropout allows you the flexibility of fitting tires of different diameters.
This technology is prevalent on Marrakesh world-touring, Mukluk expedition fat, and Stormchaser gravel.
3. Frame Protection
Salsa understands that carbon frames and forks need additional protection to withstand the aggressive outdoors. So, they ensure they do just that using the latest technology they don’t specify but one that promises abrasive resistant weatherproof, and durable carbon bikes.
Frame protection technology is present on the Warbird gravel bike, Warroad endurance road bike, Spearfish XC bike, and Rustler trail bike.
4. On-Bike Storage
Ordinarily, gravel, endurance road bikes, and trail bikes are not supposed to carry heavy stuff. That’s, however, not the case with Salsa gravel, endurance road bike, and trail bikes.
The manufacturer expertly designs the frames to hold up to 5 hydro packs or water bottles, a few gears, and cycling accessories. They call this technology on-bike storage, and it’s pretty widespread on the Warroad endurance bike, Rustler trail bike, Journeyman 24 gravel bike, among others.
In that case, you can go on long tourers with not only Salsa touring bikes but also some of its gravel, trail, and endurance road bikes.
Other Amazing Things About Salsa Bikes that Make Them Good
In addition to their innovative designs, here are other things that make Salsa bicycles worth it:
- Bike Durability – Salsa bikes feature robust frames, wheels, seat posts, and forks to withstand aggressive riding. Their tires are equally strong to resist easy puncturing, while their brakes can withstand heavy braking.
- Bike Versatility – Salsa bikes allow you to carry extra accessories, gears, and hydration packs on the go, thanks to on-bike storage. They also allow you to mount racks and accessories. As a result, you can use them for commuting (even if they aren’t commuter bikes), touring (non-touring options), and general adventure.
- Bike Reliability – Salsa bikes are easy to maintain, and their spare parts are readily available on their website and leading retail stores. More importantly, these bikes are robust and better performers. So, if you want a reliable all-terrain adventure bike, you cannot go wrong with a salsa bicycle.
- Bike Affordability – You can get a Salsa bike from $500-$800 to about $7,000 for high-end options. So, these bikes are available for all budgets.
- Vast Choices (Broad Bike Range) – Salsa specializes in three bike categories; fat bikes, all-road bikes, and mountain bikes. Let’s discuss them briefly.
Salsa Bikes Review
1. Are Salsa Fat Bikes Good?
Salsa fat bikes are all about exploration, bike packing, and fast riding in the winter. These bikes inspire confidence and inject a new dimension to off-road cycling. They are the options to ride where you cannot go with other bikes.
The most popular fat-tire model is Beargrease – a carbon-framed fat tire trail bike groomed for off-road racing.
2. Are Salsa Mountain Bikes Good?
Salsa mountain bikes come in all-flavors ranging from cross country and trail bikes to all-mountain and enduro mountain bikes.
Here’s what to expect from the four categories:
- Cross country bikes – The most popular model is the Spearfish, a progressive cross country bike with modern geometry. It utilizes the Split Pivot suspension to fine-tune the ride to suit your comfort and off-road racing needs.
- Trail bikes – The most notable choice here is the Rustler, a playful trail bike that promises the funniest trail exploration. It also employs Split Pivot to promise optimal ride comfort.
- All-mountain bike – The Blackthorn outlines the Salsa all-mountain bike line. This 29er is designed to take on technical ascents, rugged descents, and just about anything rowdy you place on its path. It’s exceptionally stable when going over roots and rocks and during jumps and drops.
- Enduro mountain bikes – The Cassidy bike headlines the Salsa enduro bike range. This 29er is known for taking on the rowdiest descents and steepest climbs. The bike’s stability and off-road traction are unmatched by another.
With the mountain bikes, you can use this salsa bikes size chart to find your match:
|Rider’s Height (cm)||165-173cm||173-180cm||180-188cm||188cm +|
3. Are Salsa All-Road Bikes Good?
Salsa all-road bikes are designed to take on smooth paved surfaces and rough roads with the same speed, aggressiveness, and comfort. Today, Salsa stocks the following types of all-road bikes:
- Gravel bike – The Warbird gravel racing bike headlines this category. The bike promises the utmost stability, compliance, and speed when taking on different surfaces.
- Touring bikes – The Marrakesh bike headlines the Salsa touring bike line. This bike is all about strength and endurance as it can carry many roads on a long trip. It’s also quite comfortable and stable.
- Endurance road bikes – The headliner here is the Salsa Warroad. This endurance road bike promises comfort, agility, and style. It’s the perfect race bike.
The biggest downside of Salsa Cycles is its warranty policy. While leading bike brands like Trek, Cannondale, and Specialized offer lifetime frame warranties, the most you can get from Salsa is five years.
That applies to carbon, steel, and titanium frames, while aluminum frames, forks, and Salsa-branded components have a three-year warranty.
People Also Ask
1. Is Salsa A Good Bike Brand?
Salsa Cycles is reputable in the all-road, mountain bike, and fat-tire bike sectors. Their bikes employ the most advanced suspensions and designs to ensure top performance, comfort, and durability. So, yes, Salsa is a good bike brand.
2. Where Are Salsa Bikes Made?
Salsa bike frames are made in Taiwan and a few others in China. The company, nonetheless, has its head offices in Bloomington, Minnesota.
3. Are Surly And Salsa The Same Company?
Surly and Salsa are not the same company. However, the same company owns them, which is Quality Bicycle Products.
Are Salsa Bikes Good? Closing Thought:
There is no denying that Salsa is one of the most innovative bike brands today. Its utilization of advanced suspension and designs makes the bikes reliable. So, whether you are a beginner or seasoned rider, you cannot go wrong with a Salsa bike.