Saturday, June 30, 2012

Salsa Cycles Demo Tour Report

Salsa Cycles Demo Tour @ Geo Wyth State Park
Friday evening was the time set for the Salsa Cycles Demo Tour to hit the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. This was a great opportunity for folks to get acquainted with the brand and for them to try out some of the products on dirt or paved trails.

It was also an opportunity that several of the shop's staff made an effort to check out as well.

I think everyone had a pretty good time, but it was touch and go there with regard to the weather. In the end, it turned out just fine.

I rode my Salsa Cycles Fargo Gen II bike over and as I arrived I saw the Sprinter van and our Salsa Cycles rep, Aaron standing outside chatting on the cell phone. After he had closed his call, I found out the guys had just arrived as well. So, Aaron, the Campy rep, and I set out to getting the demo set up and ready for folks to come and check out. As we were getting things lined up, it sprinkled on us, and although the weather looked okay, you always wonder how sketchy weather will affect things like an outdoor demo of bicycles.

Apparently, it was okay, because we had several folks start showing up and checking out bikes right away. There was some talk of getting me out on some Fulcrum wheels, but I ended up becoming so busy setting up folks with rides that I never got that chance. That's okay though.

Of all the rigs on demo, probably the most ridden were the titanium models. In an era of "carbon this" and "carbon that", I think folks are intrigued by the gray metallic frames and how they might ride.

I'm not sure about this, but however you do it, carbon fiber bikes look and feel like "plastic" many times. Their shapes, which are amazing, don't get me wrong, are "plastic" looking, not what we traditionally see as a Bicycle frame. So maybe titanium, with its decidedly "metal" look, appeals to our basic instincts as far as how we define what a bicycle is. Maybe I'm smokin' crack too. I dunno.....

Anyway.....people were jazzed about titanium Mukluks and El Mariachis that were available to ride test. The lone Fargo also got raves. Steel El Mariachis were also hot items and tested a bunch. Finally, the Horsethief and Spearfish bikes were well received and I was honestly surprised by that, seeing as how we don't really have "big" or even rough trails in the State Park. Still, some of the biggest hoots and hollers out in the woods were for these bikes. 

But for a few minutes there, it almost looked like it would get shut down. Lightning flashed, thunder pealed, and rain drops fell. However; we just kept on keepin' on, and although we got "damp", it never rained hard enough to wet the pavement, and the storms let us be.

My boss with his resto Falcon hiding from the rain.
Later on I set out with four others on my mini-adventure ride. I gave some historical back ground on some of the trails in the area while we enjoyed tacky dirt, bike trail, some gravel, and the occasional sandy spot or two.

I wasn't going to push for an epic ride, since time was limited, but we were gone over an hour, so I guess we rode a fair piece! Everyone seemed to have a good time.

Finally it was time to roll back to the demo area though. I went back at a bit higher pace to push the new Conti X-Kings I had set up on the Fargo tubeless to see how they would hold up. They actually did well, but I think I need to bump up the front tire pressure a hair. They sure are a supple feeling tire, I'll say that much right now.

When we arrived back at the demo, I noticed a co-worker's bike still sitting there. Hmm.....he had left on a demo ride before our group ride had left, so well over an hour had gone by. We made a few casual jokes about his taking the bike home, but I was a bit nervous about his whereabouts. Suddenly someone exclaimed, "There he is!". He had obviously had some issue, because he was shouldering the bike. Turns out the derailleur hangar had bent in slightly and allowed the derailleur to over shift into the spokes. No major carnage, but the chain was jammed so badly behind the cassette, he couldn't ride it. Of course, he was at his furthest point from the demo when it happened.

Other than that, things were deemed successful. The Salsa guys were happy, I was happy, and everyone that came out seemed to have a good time. Thanks Salsa Cycles for coming out to share the bikes and have some good times with us.

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