|The Cutthroat (Cropped image from Facebook, original courtesy of The Radavist)|
Salsa Cycles has been pretty adamant in that assertion. However; one cannot deny the lines cut by this bike are very similar to those cut by the Fargo. Drop bars, room for up to 2.4" tires, Anything Cage mounting points, and a 100mm suspension corrected fork. All that is missing are the Alternator drop outs. Then it hit me. Salsa has done something like this before!
The Mukluks were Salsa Cycles only fat bike at first. The line up had aluminum models and a titanium model. Everyone was thinking that a carbon Mukluk was a given, since many other fat bike companies were doing a carbon model. However; as we all know now, Salsa did not produce a Carbon Mukluk. They did do a carbon fat bike, but it was a stripped down, all out performance machine they dubbed the Beargrease. I see what they have done with this Cutthroat Carbon drop bar mountain bike in much the same light as the Beargrease vs Mukluk models.
While the Fargo-Cutthroat comparison is obvious, what might get lost in the hoopla is that this bike actually has a close relationship to the just released Warbird line up. The Cutthroat features what Salsa Cycles has dubbed as the "VRS" rear triangle. (Vibration Reduction System) The stays are thinned out in the vertical plane and the chainstays are flattened horizontally which makes for stiffer chain stays in the lateral plane and flexier seat stays in that same lateral plane. That may not make much sense when you think about how many companies have tried to flatten out or thin out seat stays to get them to flex in the vertical plane.
|Note how the seat stays bow outward. (Image courtesy of Salsa Cycles)|
The next thing that is maybe getting lost here is how Salsa Cycles has fine tuned the bikepacking aspect of this bike here. Dedicated to frame bag type loads, the front triangle is shaped in such a way to accept a massive, wide frame bag, which will be custom made for this bike and available through Salsa Cycles. It will hard mount to the braze ons, which you can see some of in the lower image, and eschew straps, lending a cleaner look, and I suspect will be less apt to cause abrasion damage, which could be an issue with carbon fiber down the road. At any rate, it would seem this is the way bikepacking bags are turning in terms of design and mounting type.
My take on this rig is that it is a curious type of bicycle for anyone, let alone Salsa Cycles, to produce. It would seem that, on the surface of it anyway, that there just are not a whole lot of folks willing to bicycle in the manner to which this bicycle is intended to be used, and maybe even less that would want this type of bike made out of carbon fiber. Yes- the overall weight is tantalizing, (21-23lbs, depending on model spec), but carbon fiber is a pretty expensive material and maybe doesn't imbue a sense of impervious, robustness that a metallic frame maybe does for some riders. On one hand, this rig, even loaded like my Fat Fargo was for the DK200, would weigh in a good 5-7lbs less than that bike. That's very, very tempting, but again, the cost of entry is quite a bit higher as well.
I like that it can handle the bigger, wider tires, and one could use a suspension device, I would assume, which also broadens its appeal here. That said, time will tell how it is accepted. It definitely is an interesting rig, and I will be looking forward to checking one out at some point. Whether or not it may become a replacement for one of my Fargos. that is yet to be seen.