|2918 Salsa Cutthroat Rival 1|
NOTE: Large doses of "my opinion" will be handed out in gloppy dollops today. You've been forewarned.....
Okay, so here's the deal. It is just color and spec changes. That's all folks. No news here. But that said, the colors do make a difference and all you have to do to see this is to check out the social media reposts of Salsa's press release. Now, I am not saying people are blind to details and all focused on just the colors, but again- colors make a difference. Always have with regard to bicycles. So, with no real meat to chew on here, all we can do is focus on what Salsa brought to the table in terms of the looks and in passing there will be a few comments about spec.
|Top of the line Cutthroat Force 1|
|Cutthroat Apex 1|
I have ridden a couple of these and they are fantastic machines. I like them. I will never own one though. In my mind, a titanium frame for this sort of rig makes way more sense to me. The expense of the bike is also a bit much, and really, the price is in titanium territory. If I were to get one, that orange one here has my vote. Orange is fast, plus it doesn't have hydraulic brakes, which in the case of a bike like this, I feel is the smart set up choice.
|The titanium frame and carbon fork carries over for 2018, which indicates that there will be more of these.|
The titanium Fargo is coming back in to stock at some point since it appears on the website. That seems like a smart move on Salsa's part since the frame became vaporware almost as soon as it was announced. I expect another small run again, so if you were to be wanting one, I'd put a pre-order in now. They won't be making a lot of these, I would guess.
Then we have two other Fargo models. Basically, you get one with a steel fork or one with a carbon fork, but the steel one only comes with 29"er wheels and the carbon Firestarter fork Fargo comes with 27.5+ wheels only. Bah! Why not allow some choice here? To be fair, you can get the "Purple" frame and fork and build up your own rig. Which is what I would do.
|Fargo GX 29- What's that?! A 2X drive train? Whoa!|
|Fargo Rival 1- Okay, ditch the hydro brakes, take off those bulbous doughnuts, and slap on some 29"er skinwalls.|
But do I really need a purple Fargo? No, I don't. It isn't compelling enough to buy it as a complete for me and if a frame and fork came around and I could get that, I might. But if I am honest with myself, a titanium Fargo makes far more sense for me and I wonder if there is a ten year anniversary Fargo on the horizon. If there is, well.........
|Warbird Carbon Ultegra|
Personally, I don't think the chain line 1X presents is ideal, nor do I think that the cadence altering jumps between gears are beneficial to gravel riders, but maybe I am just an old fuddy-duddy. 2X makes a lot of sense and I am glad to see it spec'ed on the Bird Of War machines.
|The Vaya basically just changes colors for 2018.|
This model is maybe the most under rated gravel machine available. It really rides well on gravel roads. I am constantly surprised that more folks don't use this rig as their gravel bike.
Mountain Bikes: Oddly enough, there was no mention of any dual suspension bikes. Other than that, the Woodsmoke carries forward with new colors and the Timberjack expands to four models all under $1600.00. I suspect at some point that there will be another unveiling of FS mtb product in the future. By the way, the scuttlebutt I hear is that the full suspension fat bike is no more. Now for the BIG news that happened.........
|The Blackborow- now with 27.5 hoops and all that extra frame action behind the saddle.|
I wanted to see a 2XL compatible Blackborow in Titanium. Not another take on a Big Fat Dummy. But maybe I am the oddball in the room.
Okay, my take. If you were really going waaaaay back country, needed flotation, and needed a ton of supplies, then maybe this makes sense. Barring the aforementioned, my Big Dummy can do everything else this can. This is also why I did not buy a Big Fat Dummy. The second thing is more about a principle I have noted in life more than anything. That is, no matter the size of the purse or the size of the garage, one fiinds a way to stuff it to capacity. I like bike packing set ups on typical bicycles since it forces you to make decisions and simplify. The Blackborow allows for excess. My opinion. YMMV
Finally, I've followed fat bike devotees and development for years and this longer back end, unless it is loaded, doesn't fare so well on deeper, looser snow and mud. Think unloaded pick-up truck. My Big Dummy does similar gymnastics in sand, especially when not loaded. Also, it will be far more difficult to get the front wheel unweighted for deep snow travel, which I do occasionally with my fat bikes when the snow hits. The "mid-tail" Blackborow may be for you, but it is not at all a compelling choice for me, since I already have a cargo bike that is very capable.
Okay, so a lot of bikes with not much new here. I get that. Salsa isn't big enough and the market is to weak to be bringing innovations that may fall flat on their face. (Well........there is the Blackborow, okay......I get that.) So, a lateral move in terms of another model year, unless...... As I say, it was odd that there was no public acknowledgement in the press release about FS mtb product and if there was going to be any news forthcoming in that arena. We'll have to wait and see. I suspect Sea Otter 2018 would be when that would make sense to have it announced.