|Salsa Cycles Warbird Ti: Image by Ben Witt|
While all the nitty-gritty details are not widely known at this point, here is what I do know: This will be offered in two levels. A titanium bike with mostly an Ultegra build, and an aluminum version with a mostly 105 spec. At the least, a titanium frame only option is to be made available as well. The fork is a
Okay, here is my take on this: Leaving aside whether disc brakes are good or no, I have had a close look at a prototype Warbird in titanium. It is an impressive rig. I actually got a very short spin on it, and I can say that the magical titanium feel was there. I bet it would make for a nice platform for long gravel assaults.
That said, this is a racer's rig. There are certain things I can see this bike will do well at, but there are certain things it makes compromises on due to its racing bent. It has the roadie position spot on, and makes no concessions for bigger rubber. (Claimed clearance is for up to 38mm tires) To my mind it cuts a line and leaves the explorer/tourer/, and yes- the adventure rider, on the other side of that line. Of course, there is the Vaya for those folks.
But there is no more Vaya titanium for 2013. That said, the Fargo is still offered as a titanium frame, and that bike makes a great, versatile platform that can not only race, but be an adventure rig, fat tired friend, and stay reasonably lightweight.
It's not that I am knocking the Warbird, but like it's namesake, these bikes will be for dog-fighting other gravel road racers on courses that most gravel races are held on. Most non-militaristic pilots will be better served with a more versatile rig. I'd like one, but then again, it doesn't really do anything my BMC already does so well, and doesn't do other things that BMC can do. Well......other than the Warbird's titanium material, which I have to say, almost makes it worth it right there.
I'll reserve final judgement until I see some more specs, but if you are looking to go fast on gravel and need a great weapon for that two wheeled pursuit, this looks mighty tasty.
Updated 7/27/12: I would like to underscore that the above verbiage is only my opinion. To address the concerns put forth on Facebook and on this blog that I received about tire clearances, I would like to point you to my "News and Views" post from 7/27/12. Click this link to see this.