Monday, February 15, 2010
Introducing Matt Gersib: Salsa Sponsored Rider for 2010
We're pleased to introduce Matt Gersib as a Salsa sponsored rider for 2010.
Matt hails from Lincoln, Nebraska and is pretty darn passionate about bicycles. He's also got some mad skills on the bike to match up with that passion. You'll get a chance to hear from him from time to time on our blog, but he also maintains his own: The Dirtblog
Matt had already put together an impressive collection of Salsa's before this sponsorship was put together so he'll have an impressive arsenal to choose from this season. With that, here's a bit more about Matt.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Matt.
I guess if I was going to define myself in three words, I'd say that 'I like dirt.' My beautiful wife Laura and I live in Lincoln, Nebraska with our two pets (a beautiful Shar Pei/Lab mutt named Amy and a big, red longhair cat named Lucky that I found on a ride in 2004). I guess you could say I have a 'normal job' too, if you call working as the public relations manager at an advertising agency 'normal.' 2010 will be my 20th consecutive season racing a mountain bike. When I started racing, I wasn't even 20 years old! And when we moved back from Boulder at the end of 2000, I was actually thinking about 'retiring' from racing at the tender age of 28. My wife still occasionally asks me how I'm doing on my retirement.
What keeps bringing you back to the start line?
I love adventure and long, hard bike rides and I'm fortunate to have a great group of friends who are similarly inclined. The rising popularity of gravel grinders has definitely helped keep my head in the game during the past four or five years. Since we don't have a ton of singletrack that stretches on for vast distances, our gravel roads are the hot ticket. That's why I'm so fired up for the new Salsa Vaya. That bike is perfect for the type of riding a lot of riders around here do day-in and day-out.
What do you have on tap for 2010?
Similar to the past couple of seasons, I'll split my time between endurance mountain bike and gravel grinder events, mostly based in the Midwest. Some key gravel events I'll be focusing on include TransIowa v.6 in late-April, the Dirty Kanza 200-mile gravel grinder in May, and the Gravel Worlds/Good Life Gravel Adventure here in Lincoln on August 21. I'll once again be going after the Enduro crown in Nebraska's Psycowpath series, and hopefully I'll be able to ascend to the top step of the podium this season. I'd also really like to try my hand at the Chequamegon 40 this year. I haven't ever toed the line at the 40, but love the riding up there.
Do you have any thoughts for a rider that wants to get out and try racing, perhaps for the first time?
It's funny you ask, because I was just talking about this last night to a friend who wants to get out and give racing a try, and my advice is very simple – just do it! Racing bicycles is a fun, unique, and yes, at times gut wrenchingly hard experience, but the satisfaction you get from a race well-ridden is one of the things in life that is truly priceless. I have experienced the highest highs as well as the lowest lows imaginable, both due to the events and circumstances at bicycle races. It's these experiences that make me who I am today - a stronger, more persistent, more compassionate and overall better person than I would have been without bicycles or bicycle racing. That's why I'm an advocate for bicycle racing. A little pain is good for the soul.
Labels: Matt Gersib, Salsa Team
Posted by Kid Riemer : 2/15/2010 08:33:00 AM
Friday, February 12, 2010
Let The Games Begin
My suspicion is that some of you read that title and groaned. The Olympics! Here, on the Salsa Amigos blog! Can't I escape from it anywhere! Groan, moan, groan some more!!! Others read it and look forward to watching the Winter Games. Perhaps some of you even feel a twinge of excitement.
The Olympics have in many ways become another of the love it or hate it things in this world. Much like the Superbowl perhaps, except that the Olympics goes on much longer. I think perhaps it is partly due to the increased cynicism in our society today. And partly due to the fact that many people are just not willing to accept something and enjoy it.
Now for me...well I guess I love it.
In 1988, the Summer Games were held in Korea. I happen to have grown up there (my parents were Lutheran missionaries there) and I graduated from college that same summer. I wound up working the games for NBC. Actually, I worked for them for 3 months leading up to the games, and then one month after the games as well.
The crew I worked with put in all the audio and video cables for the television coverage at each venue. We had passes that allowed us to get in to the venues during the Games.
That opening ceremony in '88 was a highlight for me. I stood and watched and had to fight back the tears actually because I was so proud of Korea. So proud of that opening ceremony. It celebrated their culture, their history, and their people. It was an incredibly emotional experience for me.
So when the opening ceremony for the Vancouver Winter Olympics takes place tonight, I'll be watching. I'm hoping to see Canadians take pride in their country and display it for the world to see.
Then, during the next couple weeks, I'll watch great athletes compete on a worldwide stage. Some of those athletes are living large all year long. Others are truly just regular folks who are the best at their somewhat freaky, oddball sport. That is the beauty of it in a nutshell for me.
I'll take the good and the bad of this Winter Games and take it for what it's worth: a chance to see some of the world's best athletes put on one hell of a show. Money, sponsorship, corruption, and green-ness be damned. Let me see the best compete in the sport that they love.
Enjoy the Games. -Kid
Posted by Kid Riemer : 2/12/2010 09:47:00 AM
Monday, February 8, 2010
Introducing La Cruz Titanium
Today we introduce you all to the new La Cruz titanium cyclocross bike. Another product introduction? Yep, we've been busy up here in our snowy paradise. So, grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and read on.
Cyclocross bikes are the original adventure seekers. Capable of killing it on the cross course, the versatile La Cruz Ti grinds gravel, tramples dirt, tackles mud and rolls over potholed pavement. The steel La Cruz has always been near and dear to our heart and with titanium, it's even better. We took our proven La Cruz geometry and tweaked it ever so slightly to optimize the material. The end result is true cross bike that can take a lifetime of pounding without pounding your body.
- $1800 MSRP for frame and seat clamp
- 42 mm tire clearance
- 130mm rear spacing
- canti brakes
- designed for cross forks with 395mm axle to crown with a 45-47mm rake
Geometry: We took our proven La Cruz geometry and added a few additional sizes to match our cross racing bike, the Chili Con Crosso. This geometry will be live on our new website in about another week or so, so until then, here are a few of the more important details.
SIZE & STANDOVER: The frame size matches the effective top tube length. (Note: This is our new sizing scheme based on top tube length. If you already own a La Cruz or Chili Con Crosso, please match your effective top tube lengths when ordering.)
51.5 cm - 724mm standover
53 - 748mm
54 - 769mm
55.5 - 788mm
57 - 807mm
58 - 826mm
59.5 - 843mm
60.6 - 860mm
SIZE & SEAT TUBE LENGTH
51.5 - 485mm seat tube
53 - 515mm
54 - 535mm
55.5 - 55.5mm
57 - 57.5mm
58 - 595mm
59.5 - 615mm
60.5 - 635mm
HEAD TUBE LENGTH
51.5 - 85mm
53 - 100mm
54 - 120mm
55.5 - 140mm
57 - 160mm
58 - 180mm
59.5 - 195mm
60.5 - 210mm
SIZE - HEAD ANGLE, SEAT ANGLE
51.5 - 71, 75
53 - 71, 74
54 - 71.5, 73
55.5 - 71.5, 73
57 - 71.5, 73
58 - 72, 73
59.5 - 72, 72
60.5 - 72, 72
Our first order deadline from our dealers is due back to Salsa March 1st. This will guarantee a mid year delivery to our dealers and insure you have lots of miles going into the 2010 cross season. We recommend you take a look at our dealer list and call one of them. They have the correct information and can work with you to get you your dream Salsa cross bike for the coming season.
Over the course of the week, we will post up more details on the La Cruz Ti and the development process. Stay tuned!
Labels: La Cruz Ti, new product
Posted by Butcher : 2/08/2010 07:27:00 AM
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Vaya Frame Geometry
Vaya Framesets and Complete Bikes are close to becoming available. Our new website is two weeks away so we are providing this information now to help those considering the Vaya. Hope this helps. -Kid
50 & 52cm sizes use 26" wheels (Geometry is shown using a 654mm diameter tire)
54,55,56,57,58,60cm sizes use 700c wheels (Geometry is shown using a 709mm diameter tire)
Seat Tube Length
Top Tube Effective
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Head Tube Length
Posted by Kid Riemer : 2/03/2010 12:21:00 PM
Vaya Complete Bike Specs
As we've got a new website being built for launch in two weeks, we won't have the Vaya on our regular site pages until then. But frames and bikes are soon to become available so we want to get some of the details out to folks that might be interested in them. -Kid
Below you'll find the specs for the Vaya complete bike.
Frame Vaya, Road Adventure, Salsa Classico CroMoly
Fork Vaya, Salsa Classico CroMoly, 1-1/8", Disc Only
Headset FSA Orbit DL Alloy, 1-1/8", Silver
Handlebar Salsa Moto Ace Bell Lap, 26.0mm, Silver, 50/52cm=42cm, 54/55/56/57cm=44cm, 58/60cm=46cm
Stem Kalloy AS-009, 26.0mm, 50/52/54cm=80mm, 55/56cm=90mm, 57/58cm=100mm, 60cm=110mm
Handlebar Tape Salsa Gel Cork, Dark Brown
Front Brake SRAM BB5 Road, 160mm Rotor, 6-Bolt
Rear Brake SRAM BB5 Road, 160mm Rotor, 6-Bolt
Brake Levers Shimano Tiagra STI
Crankset Shimano FC-4550-S, 50cm=165mm, 52,54,55,56cm=170mm, 57,58,60cm= 175mm, Silver
Chainring Shimano 34/50T, Compact Double, Silver
Bottom Bracket Shimano Tiagra Hollowtech II BB
Chain Shimano HG-53
Front Hub Formula, 32H, 6-Bolt, Silver
Rear Hub Formula, 32H, 6-Bolt, Silver
Quick Release Formula
Cassette Shimano CS-HG61, 9-Speed, 11-32T
Spokes DT Swiss Competition, Double-Butted, 2.0/1.8mm, Silver
Nipples DT Swiss Brass, Black
Rims 50/52cm=DT Swiss X430, 26", 32H, Black. 54,55,56,57,58,60cm=DT Swiss X470, 700c, 32H, Black
Tires 50/52cm=Continental Town Ride, 26x1.75" Wire Bead, Black. 54/55/56/57/58/60cm=Continental Tour Ride, 700c x1.6" Wire Bead, Black
Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra, Silver
Rear Derailleur Shimano LX, Long Cage, Silver
Front Shifter Shimano Tiagra Double STI
Rear Shifter Shimano Tiagra 9-Speed STI
Seatpost Kalloy Radiused Top, 27.2 x 350mm, Silver
Seatpost Clamp Salsa Lip-Lock, 30.0mm, Silver
Saddle Velo w/ Salsa Embroidery, Brown
Chainstay Protector Salsa Leather
Color Upside Brown
Posted by Kid Riemer : 2/03/2010 11:16:00 AM
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Double Dog Dare? Or Triple Dog Dare?
Today's post comes from Tim Krueger, Salsa product manager. -Kid
A double on the Vaya? What the $#&@?
It has been asked what we were thinking when we decided to use a double crankset as a spec on a bike intended for recreational riding and touring.
To put it simply, we were thinking! Double cranksets and modern drivetrains have come a long way since the triple was the standard for those pursuits.
Triple front cranks were intended to create a larger gear range when cassettes (or freewheels!) could only reasonably have a range of 12-28 without large jumps in ratios, or making for poor shifting. Over time, technology and engineering have allowed more gears to be placed in the same space, allowing smoother shifting over a greater range of gears. As this technology plods forward, we will eventually see less of a need for additional front chainrings.
For example, the triple used to be the standard for mountain bikes. Now we are seeing compact doubles take their place on high-end mountain bikes with the advent of SRAM XX and FSA 386 technology, when paired with large range cassettes such as SRAM's 11-36 XX cassette. These drivetrains still yield an equivalent range to a standard triple drivetrain, yet are lighter and simpler.
This is the idea with the Vaya. We took a close look at the overall ratios involved with a road-based triple drivetrain. Take our Casseroll Triple for example. With a 30-39-50 front combination, and a 12-25 rear, it has a low gear inch measurement of 32.4. For those unfamiliar with this measurement, it means that in this lowest gear, the bike will travel 32.4 inches forward with every revolution of the pedals.
On the Vaya, this measurement in the lowest gear is 29.0 inches. So while on the surface, the Vaya's double appears to have less of a climbing gear than a road triple, in practice, it actually has a slightly lower gear than a standard road triple drivetrain. Even the traditional road triple with a 12-27 on the back still only has a 30.4 inch low gear.
Now, one could argue that even though this is true, the Vaya is still not as low as a touring setup such as a Sugino XD600 crankset paired with an 11-34 rear cassette, which yields a 20.9 inch low gear. And to that, you would be correct. However, we didn't design the Vaya to be a bike solely for touring. We designed the Vaya to be more of an 'all around' bike, one good for a variety of purposes. The Vaya is our road adventure bike. If you truly want that low of gearing, consider basing your build on a Vaya frameset and choose the gearing that you prefer, or start with a Vaya complete bike and change out your crankset.
Keep your eyes open, because in the near future you will begin to see a trend in cycling towards double cranksets. Because the Vaya may be among the first, but definitely not the last to be sporting the 34-50 and 11-32 combo to give the recreational cyclist the greatest all-around experience.
Thanks to SheldonBrown.com for the gear calculations.
Labels: adventuring, Tim Krueger, touring, VAYA
Posted by Kid Riemer : 2/02/2010 11:11:00 AM
Friday, January 29, 2010
On The Start Line Of Memory Lane by Gerry Pflug
Today's post comes from Salsa Team rider Gerry Pflug. -Kid
Since I have been racing for 30 years (yeah, I know that probably makes me a pretty old dude), I thought it would be cool to write about my first ever bicycle race. The only problem is I can’t actually remember exactly what happened in the race itself, or how I actually finished. What I can tell you is that I was an 11-year-old kid at a beginner BMX race, on a cheap Murray bike with a paper plate used to display my race number on the front of my handlebars. And that the song Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne was blasting over the PA system at a dirt racetrack outside of Pittsburgh, PA called North Park. I am not sure exactly what it was about my first race that was so appealing, but something about it hooked me and I have not missed a season of racing since then.
Racing seemed like a natural progression for me as a kid. I have basically been attached to my bike from the point in time where I first took off my training wheels and learned to ride it. I used to build jumps and make trails all through the woods near my house, even before I started racing BMX. In addition to my BMX bike, I actually owned a 'ten speed' bike also and would do longer road rides (up to 20 miles or so) just because I thought it was fun. Once I started BMX racing, my affection for bike riding only grew stronger and soon racing bikes kind of defined who I was.
So, I raced BMX bikes for four years, but soon found that my newly purchased road bike I used for training was getting more riding attention than my BMX bike. Since I was spending so much time on my new ten-speed (as in two front chainrings and five rear cogs) Peugeot road bike, I decided that I should try a road bike race for the fun of it. I eventually found a junior citizens race in Sewickley, PA to do, which consisted of one 18-mile loop. Me and about 20 other junior riders lined up at the starting line that day. I was wearing red Lycra shorts, a t-shirt and a leather strapped Cinelli helmet called a hairnet. At this time in cycling, Lycra was quickly replacing the old wool style of riding shorts and it was also hard to find a pro that even wore a helmet during a race.
At that race, like I had learned from BMX racing, I took off from the gun and got the hole shot. I figured that this was good BMX strategy, so why not do the same at road racing. My early and easily achieved lead in the race was definitely a shock to me. I couldn't understand why nobody else wanted to be at the front of the pack. The fighting for the lead position that I had become so accustomed to doing in four years of BMX racing was definitely not going on in this race. I didn't care, though, and stayed at the front, setting my own pace. Eventually, the pack approached a large hill on the course and one rider shot around me to take the lead. He was actually attacking the group, but I had no idea about this race tactic back then. What I did know is that I wanted to be in first place, so I went even harder to be in the front again. The other rider then got directly behind me and followed my rear wheel very closely. He said something to me like, 'We are clear from the group.' I had no idea what he was saying or what it meant. I just knew that I was winning and so I kept going hard at the front, like it was a BMX race.
A few times during the race, the other rider with me would drop off my pace, but would soon catch back up to me again because I was not too sure where I was going. The funny thing is that I actually had to stop and wait for him a few times so that I would stay on course. Once the other rider was back with me and I was sure that we were going in the right direction, I would go directly to the lead position again and ride hard, while he rode directly behind me. Little did I know at the time that he was actually drafting off of me and saving his energy for the final sprint in to town. With less than a mile to the finish, the other racer came around me with a super fast acceleration. I did not know that the finish was approaching and said to myself that there is no way he can keep up that fast pace very long before I catch him again. Well, I soon learned that his high speed did not have to last long because I saw the finish line directly ahead of us. Needless to say, I ended up in second, but I was happy because we probably finished at least 5 minutes in front of the remaining junior riders. After the race, the race winner (Keith Dickerson) and I started talking about our race together. Keith gave me a good schooling about the bad racing tactics I used that day and gave me a lot of information about road racing in general, too. We became good friends after that race and did a lot of training and racing together as junior roadies.
It would be hard for me to talk about doing my first races without mentioning my first mountain bike race. After working my way up in road racing to a Category Two racer and riding my mountain bike recreationaly for a couple years, I decided to give mountain bike racing a try in 1989 at a small ski resort outside Columbus, OH. The first thing I remember about this race was selecting my race category. At the registration tent, I was asked in which class I wanted to race and was given the choice between Beginner, Sport or Expert. I told the registration person I wasn't sure what class to do, but provided her with some information about my road and BMX racing experience. She recommended that I do the Pro/Expert race because of my past racing experience. Since I was only doing MTB racing for off-season road training and didn't have any agenda with winning the race, I agreed with her recommendation.
I lined up with about 40 other Pro/Expert racers on my newly purchased fully rigid Cannondale with a Suntour drivetrain, toe clips, and running shoes. Not really knowing what to expect from a MTB race and coming off a successful five years of road racing, I decided to use a road racing type of start. I started slowly and figured I would see how the race went before getting too aggressive on my bike. Of course, now I know that the start of a MTB race is more like BMX race start because it is usually best to get an early lead before things bottleneck in the singletrack. A this race, however, I took my time going into the singletrack, which put me pretty far back at the beginning of the race. I soon learned how much extra work I had to do to gain positions back, but I slowly made my way through a lot of riders in front of me. Also, since the course was a multi-lap style race, I became more comfortable with going faster on each lap, learning where I could make up time and recover from my efforts.
At the beginning of the last lap, I was told that I was in second place and not far behind the first place rider. Up until this point, I really did not know where I was in the race because I had entered the singletrack behind so many other riders. But, hearing now that I was in second kindled a flame in my legs and I started to push myself harder to catch the leader. I eventually saw the lead rider up the trail in front of me and I devised a tactic in my head to attack him on a climb about midway through the course, since attacking on climbs had always worked well in road racing for me. By the time we approached the climb, I had caught the leader and was ready to go. I attacked hard and got clear from him pretty quickly. Luckily, things went well for the last half lap and I maintained my lead until the finish. I couldn’t believe that I had actually won my first ever MTB race, especially since it was in the Pro/Expert class. I have no clue why this win didn't entice me to change completely over from road to MTB racing right then and there. I should have taken it as a good sign, but instead I continued to concentrate more on road racing until the mid 1990s.
I think it is cool hearing the first race experiences of other racers, so add one here, or share one with me at one of the many races I will be doing this year. I never grow tired of hearing good race stories...or 'bad' ones for that matter, too.
Happy Trails, Gerry
Labels: Gerry Pflug, Salsa Team
Posted by Kid Riemer : 1/29/2010 11:32:00 AM
Monday, January 25, 2010
Introducing Vaya, our new road adventure bike. How do you say Vaya? Say Veye-Ahhh.... What does it mean? Go! What's does road adventure mean? Well, that is where you come in.
The Vaya is go anywhere do anything steel road bike. Go for a long road ride. Go on a asphalt road tour. Ride that limestone rails to trails route you've always wanted to do. Heck, do it all and throw in a gravel road or two in between. The Vaya will get you there. Make your road own adventure.
This bike came about for many reasons. The biggest reason is that we repeatedly saw dealers and consumers taking our disc specific La Cruz cross bike and making it into an all around road warrior. We heard this feedback and improved this function by tweaking the tubing, improving the geometry, and improving the rack & fender mounting. We did a bunch of other stuff too.
One of the other reasons we brought out the Vaya is that Tim, our Product Manager wanted a dedicated tour bike in our line up. Tim's not happy if he can't carry A LOT of stuff on his rides. Some might say what about the Fargo, can't that carry A LOT of stuff. While true, the Fargo is our off road adventure bike capable of single track and off road adventure. Lot's of adventurous souls, Tim included, wanted a more road focused product so we gave it to them. If this fits your persona, the Vaya just may be your perfect bike.
The Vaya will be available as a frameset ($540 MSRP) and as a complete bike ($1550 MSRP). Frameset includes frame, fork and Lip Lock seat clamp. Complete bikes feature a mostly Tiagra 9speed STI group, a wide ratio cassette with a 34-50 crankset. All good stuff.
Sizing - We are introducing a new sizing scheme with this bike. The top tube size is the frame size. We've got 8 sizes ranging from 50 to 60. The two smallest sizes use 26" wheels making fit and stand over even better for folks that sizes. So....If you have a bike that you currently fit and like, simply take the effective TT length and compare to our sizing info. It's a good starting point to discuss with your dealer. Pretty slick and easy.
One might ask why we don't have this info on our website if we are writing about it and showing it here on the blog? Good question. We are building a new website and will be launching it mid February. We'll follow up this post later this week with a bike spec and sizing chart. Look for that in a couple of days.
Now....Here is the other good news. These bikes and frames are completed and in transit. We expect to ship them to our Salsa dealers by the end of February! Initial order is limited. Our Salsa dealers have the info and are already taking orders.
Posted by Butcher : 1/25/2010 10:00:00 AM
Dirty Kanza 200
June 5th, 2010
Salsa Two-Four in Support of MORC
August 27 - 29th, 2010
Afton Alps, MN
September 1 - 4th, 2010
September 20 - 21st, 2010
Boulder City, NV
September 22 - 24th, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
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