Tuesday, July 23, 2013

News Season: Part 6- Fat Bikes

Okay, here are some of Salsa Cycles fat bike offerings, (besides the carbon Beargrease models), for 2014, as photographed at Saddledrive. (Credits given where known)

Muluk Titanium (Image courtesy of Cycle Haven)
For 2014, Salsa Cycles has decided to change the look of their titanium bikes by painting parts of the frame on the different titanium offerings they have. The Mukluk Titanium gets this awesome looking lime green front end with some green ano accents. This is offered as a complete and as a frame set.

You'll notice that the fork features the Anything Cage mounts on the front facing side of the fork instead of the rear. This was done to help make the things mounted to these bosses not want to rip the cages apart that hold your bottles, or cargo. If the cages are mounted to the front side, inertia created by the objects being carried will want to push back against the fork,instead of pull away from the fork if the cages used are mounted on the back side of a fork. It also has the benefit of cargo not smacking your down tube in the event of a crash or accidental release of the handlebar. (No word yet on the redesigned Anything Cages yet, by the way.)

Of course, the Mukluk Titanium continues with the overseas manufactured, formed, triple butted titanium tubes and Alternator drop outs. These drop outs should allow single speed set ups or use of Surly's biggest rubber on 82mm rims. The bike will feature a 2X10 drive train,and if you do use the really big rubber, you may have to modify the cassette for full use of both rings up front. It'll be close, from what I've read, but doable. Good to know you can do that, since this is the ultimate expedition fat bike from Salsa.

Salsa Cycles' Mukluk 2 (Image courtesy of Cycle Haven)
Salsa comes back with the Mukluk 2 in a Metallic gold this year. The bike retains the basic layout from last year with the exception of the fork. This is the aluminum Beargrease fork with Anything Cage mounts, which should cut a lot of weight out of the front end of the bike for 2014. The Muk 2 is also available as a frame set.

The Mukluk 3 in red
The Mukluk 3 continues on and will come in this brilliant red or with a matte black scheme with white rims. Both come in aluminum and will feature the Alternator drop outs.

There will be no frame sets with the Muk 3 color schemes. Big size range available here though, from XS to an XL, so the bike can fit a wide range of folks.

All Mukluks feature trigger shifters now and will come shod with Surly Nate tires. The Mukluk 2 gets Holy Rolling Darryls while the Mukluk 3 gets the non drilled Darryls.

So, with the new Beargrease carbon bikes, Salsa has moved into the upper end of the fat bike market and have the widest range of fat bikes available in several price points. The low end has "risen" a bit. Expect MSRP on the Muk 3's to be a tick higher than last year's prices, but that still represents a heck of a deal when you get Alternators and a proven package.

Fargo bikes for 2014: Alternators! (Image courtesy of Bike World)
Big news on the Fargo. It finally gets the Alternator drop out! This, in my opinion, was one of the only weak spots on a solid drop bar adventure bike. But that isn't all here. The blue Fargo is a Fargo 2, and it sports Salsa Cycles new carbon Fargo fork. Featuring a suspension corrected for 100mm fork in carbon with Anything Cage mounts in the new forward position for better load stability and durability, this brings the Fargo up to snuff. Salsa also tweaked the rear stay length to be a bit shorter to pep up the handling a bit as well, but you can still get that longer, stabler rear with a move on the Alternator drop rearward. Of course, your IGH and single speed talk is all welcome here as well.

Also, there are more Shimano bits, and no bar end shifters on the Fargo 3, (shown in Mustard here), which should please a few folks. All STI style now!

El Mariachi Titanium (from QBP's feed)
El Mariachi SS Limited (Image courtesy of  North Central Cyclery)
El Mar Ti, foreground- and other El Mar variants- (Image courtesy of Bike World)
The El Mariachi line up reflects Salsa Cycles move to cover more of the high end market with two offerings in titanium. Both will feature the partially painted titanium triple butted and formed frames made overseas. The top of the line El Mariachi will come with Shimano XTR and features top tier racing equipment. Of course, the Alternator drop outs are featured throughout the El Mariachi line up.

Salsa is maybe one of the only remaining companies, ( Specialized, and Raleigh as well), that retain a nice single speed 29"er in the line up. The Limited Edition El Mariachi SS comes in a white with tri-color top tube color scheme and a nice parts spec. You'll note the slight bend in the seat tube, which reflects Salsa's shortened stays on the El Mariachis for 2014.

That's pretty much a wrap from Saddledrive since the show ends today, but never fear! Dealer Camp starts tomorrow....

2014 Raleigh Talus Carbon (Image from Raleigh's feed)


Fargonaught said...

Any pics of the Ti Fargo that looks like it was above the steel variants?

Dave said...

My kid would LOVE this thing. He's about the same age as your boy.


Mike Grant Fitness said...

So is Salsa having there Ti frames built overseas now?

Guitar Ted said...

@Fargonaught: No- sorry!

@Dave: Yeah, I think my boy is almost too big for that already though.

@Mike Grant Fitness: The titanium product was taken overseas for a better factory, (they could do triple butting and forming that wasn't possible with Lynskey), at the beginning of the 2013 model year. So all 2013 Titanium and beyond has been and will be Taiwanese sourced for Salsa.

Unknown said...

Any changes to the warbird and/or colossal for 2014?

Steve Fuller said...

GT - Does that new carbon Fargo fork have a tapered steerer? Looks like it from the photos. It is nice to see that they included cage mounts on it.

ckyhl said...

Can you please share the component spec's of the Fargo 2 and 3?

Guitar Ted said...

@Ben Singleton: Only minor component specs. Nothing major.

@Steve Fuller: Yes- tapered.

@ckyhl: I don't have the complete specs, but again- expect more Shimano parts, and no bar end shifters on the Fargo 3.

Unknown said...

Very excited about the Alternator dropouts. Will there be any change to the Fargo frame or fork geometry? What color will the steel Fargo frame set come in? Will there still be a Ti Fargo frame set available?

Guitar Ted said...

@Scot Bruton: The Fargo steel frame set will be Bomb Pop Blue. The Titanium Fargo frame set will also be available in Ti/Dark Blue.

Fargos are now set up to work with 100mm suspension forks or 100mm sus corrected rigid forks. The Alternator drops allow for a shorter chain stay length than previous Fargos or you can swing them back for a chain stay length like the older Fargos if you wish.

Joel said...

What?! No pictures of the Warbird Ti?

Zeno said...

Cool. Any idea if the tube spec on the Fargo will change? If I recall correctly, one of your observations in the Fargo vs Gryphon piece you did was that the Fargo rides relatively dead unloaded, as the tube set is beefier and designed for touring. I suppose the new fork and shorter stays will go some way towards livening it up.

Guitar Ted said...

@Zeno: I can not say that the tubing has changed or not for 2014, but I will see if I can find out anything about that. Salsa Cycles has their own designed CroMo tubing now, and for the last two years it has been featured on the Fargo. Whether they changed the butting or no, I can not say, but it is a different tube set than what I compared to the Gryphon previously.

Zeno said...

Thanks, I'd be very interested to hear if you find out anything more.

Apropos of nothing really, I think I read somewhere that Salsa, Surly and Singular are all manufactured by the same Taiwanese company, MaxWay - but, they all spec there own tubing.

Guitar Ted said...

@Zeno: Maxway is held up as being the best steel frame manufacturer in Taiwan for bigger orders. It would not surprise me at all if what you are saying isn the case.

Dave D said...

I saw a preview of the 2014 specs for Salsa. I was looking at the large 2014 Fargo and noticed the stand over height is 864.2mm vs the 2013 Fargo in large at 812.8mm. That is quite an increase for an off road bicycle. I normally ride a large, but I am not sure I would have any clearance with the new top tube stand over height.
Any thoughts on what is going on?

Guitar Ted said...

@Dave D: They are not to be believed, I'll say that. (Look at the stack and reach #'s for the XL compared to L as an example) This is something I've criticized Salsa for years on- Their specs from year to year catalogs disagree and are immensely confusing, wrong, or all three at the same time.

I would wait for actual Bikes to be proffered and measured. In fact, I will be building a Size Large this coming week at the shop where I work, so I'll have to check this out and report back.

It "could" be that the longer fork's axle to crowm measurement has jacked up the front that much, but here you would think that the design of the frame would have been compensated for a longer fork. We'll see......

Dave D said...

Can't wait to hear about your build.