Salsa Creates new Fat Bike Categories w/ New Bucksaw, Blackborow & More

Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (3)

You can always tell the hot bike at a demo by how hard it is to get one to try. Whether due to excitement, skepticism, curiosity, or disbelief, usually one bike stands above the rest. In the case of QBP’s Saddle Drive event this year in Ogden UT, that bike had to be the new Salsa Bucksaw full suspension fat bike. It seemed that even those with no interest in fat bikes wanted a ride just to see what it was like.

As the first mass produced full suspension fat bike, the Bucksaw joins other new additions for 2015 to create the most diverse fat bike line up anywhere. While some of the companies are just releasing their first bike with the giant tires, Salsa now offers five different categories of fat bikes from rigid to full sus.

Curious why there needs to be such a variety of fat bikes? Find out next, plus details and actual weights for the Bucksaw, Blackborow, Beargrease, and Mukluk…

Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (16)

After nearly three years of development, the Salsa Bucksaw is finally here. When Salsa first started to think a full suspension fat bike could be a possibility, production fat bike forks didn’t even exist. Initially taking pieces of their Spearfish and Horsethief bikes and creating a prototype, Salsa used Maveric DUC32 and modified Lefty forks to test out the concept. Soon, Salsa started working with Dave Weagle to develop a new suspension platform for Salsa’s 29ers and Dave was instantly on board with the idea of a full suspension fatty. Eventually RockShox decided that they were on board with what we now know as the Bluto, but not before Salsa and Dave had already done most of the engineering for the frame.

Salsa is very keen to point out that this is not a fat Spearfish or Horsethief. Instead it is a purpose built bike, designed from the ground up. One of the most crucial points to the design was characterizing how fat bike tires perform. During the development Dave Weagle designed a rig that would dyno test fat bike tires to catalog how they handled at different PSI, with different width rims, and with different sized tires. This is the reason that the Bucksaw includes 3.8″ tires since the frame’s kinematics are engineered around that size tire on 65-82mm rims.

Designed with trail bike geometry but with 100mm of travel, the Bucksaw uses a 68 degree head tube angle and 444mm chainstays.

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Even though the bike was designed around rims up to 82mm wide, the production bikes will ship with the 65mm Marge Lites. Not only do the narrower rims save about a half pound per wheel, the rims create a rounder tire profile that helps to reduce auto-steer. Technically, auto-steer is something found on all bikes which is when turning of the bike creates a lever arm from the contact patch that is off axis from the steering input. Due to narrower tires, auto-steer is usually not noticeable on most bikes. It’s only when you get into the bigger tires of fat bikes that it becomes more noticeable. Auto-steer is also more noticeable at higher speeds which means the Bucksaw is even more susceptible due to its incredible abilities. Considering all of the factors, Surly feels the 65mm rim and 3.8″ tire combination offers the best of both worlds.

Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (20) Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (22)

The main frame and chainstays on the Bucksaw are made from 6066-T6 aluminum but the frame does use carbon fiber seat stays. Just in the seat stays alone, Salsa was able to save 245g. To match the RockShox Bluto 100mm fork up front, the RockShox Monarch RT3 provides 100mm of travel in the rear.

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In order to clear the chainstays, the Bucksaw uses a pressfit 41 121mm wide bottom bracket. This is technically the same width as a 100mm threaded BB and uses the same cranks. A high direct mount front derailleur tab designed for doubles is key to allowing adequate tire clearance but keeping the ability for wider gearing.

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No, the frame doesn’t have room for bigger tires. Even 4.0″ tires might be a tight fit, but again this is because the bike is specifically designed around the 3.8″ tire size.

Sold complete with a SRAM X01 build kit and SRAM Guide RS brakes, the Bucksaw 1 also includes a Rockshox Reverb Stealth dropper post. Both of the Bucksaw models use 3.8″ Surly Nate 120tpi tires mounted to Marge Lite 65mm rims with holes and the Salsa 150/177 Fat Conversion hubs. The Bucksaw 1 retails for $4,999 with the frame only coming in at $1,899.

What about the weight? This bike in a 17″ frame came in at 33.9 lbs.

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Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (27) Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (25)

The Bucksaw 2 uses the same suspension components front and rear, but gains a 2×10 SRAM X7/X9 drivetrain with a Type 2 rear derailleur and X5 22/34t crank. SRAM guide R brakes slow the beast down with 180mm rotors front and rear.

Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (24) Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (28)

Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (30) Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (29)

Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (26)

The two Bucksaw frames are identical, each with external cable routing with the exception of the derailleur housing through the chainstay and the stealth dropper post routing up the seat tube. Like Salsa’s full suspension 29ers, the Bucksaw features Split Pivot which uses a concentric pivot around the rear axle.

Bucksaw 2s sell for $3,999 and this 19″ frame measured 34.6lbs on our scale.

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Another completely new addition to the lineup, the Salsa Blackborow takes adventuring to a new level. Salsa is pretty adamant that everyone doesn’t need 5″ tires. But for those who do, they wanted to design a bike that didn’t cut any corners. Designed around 5″ tires on 100mm wide rims, the Blackborow is what Salsa is referring to as their “Expedition fat bike.” Built to take you deep into the wilderness, Blackborow has a slightly higher bottom bracket and the lowest stand over heights of all Salsa fat bikes.

Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (9)

Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (10) Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (8)

blackborow dinglespeed Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (2)

The harsh, remote back country the Blackborow will bring you to is also the inspiration for one of the two builds. Called the Dinglespeed, the drivetrain arrangement provides essentially two different single speed drivetrains that can be swapped back and forth without adjusting chain tension. In this case you can switch between a 30/18 and a 26/22t gear ratio just by removing the rear axle, dropping the wheel and switching the chain from one gear to the other. Since the front gear gets smaller and the rear cog gets bigger (or vice versa) the chain tension stays the same. The result is a climbing gear and a cruising gear with the durability of a single speed.

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The wider tire clearance also means that Salsa went to a wider bottom bracket – this time an offset pressfit 41 shell that is 132mm wide with a 76mm chainline. Salsa says they worked with Surly on this design and is the same that you will find on the Ice Cream Truck. That means the BlackBorow is equipped with the Surly OD crankset which is designed to work with the offset bottom bracket.

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Blackborow is designed around their Bearpaw 150 fork, which means the front wheel will be directly compatible with RockShox Bluto suspension forks. The rigid fork uses a 15x150mm axle spacing which we’re told will likely be the industry standard for fat bikes by 2016. Out back the Alternator dropouts use a 197×12 rear thru axle and obviously allow single speed use.

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The Dinglespeed Blackborow is painted in Forest Service green which isn’t an accident. In another tie in to the expedition nature of the bike, Salsa painted the frame in the same hue as the Forest Service vehicles like the rad Bronco above.

Dinglespeeds will retail for $2,299 and this 18″ came in at 31.7 lbs.

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Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (14) Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (12)

The geared Blackborow 1 uses the same 6066-T6 aluminum frame and fork but trades the Dingle speed for a 2×10 SRAM x7/x9 Type 2 drivetrain and Surly OD crank. Both Blackborow models use SRAM BB7s brakes, though the 1 gets SRAM Speed Dial 7 levers over the Dinglespeed’s FR5 levers. Salsa Fat Conversion hubs laced to Surly Clown Shoe rims and Surly Lou tires finish off the bike front and rear.

Blackborow 1s will be sold in complete bikes for $2,799 or a frame kit (frame, fork, hubs, and thru axles) for $950. This particular 20″ 1 weighed 33.9 lbs.

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Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (34) Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (33)

While the Mukluk frame hasn’t changed, with the introduction of the RockShox Bluto comes a new line of suspension equipped 4″ fat bikes. The Mukluk 2 uses a SRAM X7/X9 Type 2, 2×10 drivetrain with Surly OD crank and SRAM Guide R brakes. The wheels use Surly Rolling Darryl rims and Surly Nate 3.8″ 120tpi tires to mount in the 150x15mm front, and 170mm QR rear dropouts.

The Mukluk 2 will sell for $2,999 with a sparkly green frame option for $899. Weight for the new aluminum, suspension equipped fat bike was 33.55 lbs for a 17″ frame.

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Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (39) Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (38)

Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (37) Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (36)

Front suspension also comes to titanium fat bikes in the form of the new Mukluk Ti. The triple butted seamless 3/2.5 titanium frame also uses a 170mm QR rear dropout like the aluminum Mukluk. Compared to the Mukluk 2, the Ti gets upgraded to a SRAM X01/X1 1×11 drivetrain. Due to the Alternator dropouts you can switch to a thru axle rear end, or even build up a new 170mm Rohloff hubs.

If ti fat bikes are you think, you can pick up a Mukluk TI for $4,899 or the frame only for $2,499. The titanium beauty weighs 32.2 lbs for a 19″ frame.

The fully rigid Mukluk 3 will also be available for $1,899.

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Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (42) Salsa fat bike 2015 bucksaw blackborow mukluk ti beargrease alloy full suspension front (41)

The last new addition to Salsa’s fat bike gang is the alloy aluminum Beargrease 2. The original Beargrease was aluminum but after the carbon model was introduced the aluminum model was phased out. Well, it’s back with the same frame features as the carbon Beargreases except for the 170mm QR rear end. Up front is a 142x15mm carbon Makwa fork, while the frame is still based around 4″ tires for fat bike speed.

The X7/X9 2×10 equipped bike with SRAM DB5 brakes will retail for $2,599 or $1,499 for the frame and fork. This 17″ frame tipped the scale at 29.19 lbs. In 2015 Beargrease Carbon frames remain unchanged, but will be offered in an XX1 build kit for $5,599 ($2,499 frame and fork) and the Carbon 1 with a SRAM X1 build for $3,699.

salsacycles.com

Comments

badbikemechanicx - 07/23/14 - 9:25am

As a mountain biker I am glad this bike exists. I like any kind of new bike or tech designed to rip trails. However, if I am not mistaken, isn’t the marketing behind fatbikes that you don’t need suspension because you have 4 lbs of tire that sucks up the terrain?

Sharden - 07/23/14 - 10:02am

I feel like I want one of these a lot more that any S Works or Black Edition or whatever out there.

Craig Harris - 07/23/14 - 10:07am

Which frames can take pannier racks?
Particularly interested in the Blackbarrow – though a carbon version would be even sweeter.
Shame the full susser can’t take proper fat tyres.

Brent - 07/23/14 - 10:16am

PurpleReign, PurpleReign, PurpleReign.

Can you tell what I want to see? Maybe a mid-season addition to the line?

worthnote - 07/23/14 - 10:19am

I think the idea behind the full suspension fatbike is two fold. It’s extremely effective at bringing a “niche” idea to the masses via a familiar platform. It is also much more of a trail bike than the hardtails and front suspension models. Those other bikes without suspension often behave like a short travel mountain bike. Which is an awesome alternative to someone who wants mountain bike suspension for comfort without complications. But there are plenty of us who love to complicate our lives for more performance and focused usability. I think the idea of the bucksaw is the perfect fatbike.

Tad Dickman - 07/23/14 - 10:23am

badbikemechanicx: The reason for suspension is just like the reason for suspension on other mountain bikes. Much better surface tracking and ride quality. 4-5″ tires do soak up the small trail chatter, but bigger hits, tree roots, rocks, etc… still hit like a fully rigid. Also there is no damping with the tires like there is on suspension.

Ryan - 07/23/14 - 11:13am

I would like to have a Bucksaw because it is the antithesis of my rigid, singlespeed 29er.

ludditecyclist - 07/23/14 - 11:26am

i was also hoping for a purple reign. oh well guess it will have to be a dinglespeed. love that name.

CJ - 07/23/14 - 11:44am

Wow, thank God, 5 catagories of Fat Bikes. I was just thinking to myself that is what I need, as well as the entire industry………………

-Rizza - 07/23/14 - 11:57am

I bet Interbike’s going to show multiple production Electric-assist, Full-Sus, Carbon Fatbikes, probably all costing north of $7k. The industry strategy for the last few years seems to be squeezing more dollars out of fewer & fewer riders.

Greg - 07/23/14 - 12:25pm

If you approach the full suspension fatbike from the standpoint of “what does it do better than any other kind of bike”, you’re going to be hard pressed to find that niche. Probably what it does best is make climbing into an interminable chore.

But if you’re trying to _sell_ bikes, an entirely new category of bike is a gold-mine. Enthusiasts with money already have three or four other bikes.. So “it’s fun to ride” and “it looks like a monster truck” is all the justification you need for the purchase. Anyone who’s going to drop $5K on a fatbike already has a trailbike, a big trailbike, a 29r hardtail, a carbon roadbike, etc in the garage. It’s another toy to add to the collection.

Equine Master - 07/23/14 - 12:26pm

This is a trailhead-conversation-starting bike, pure and simple. Like a Jones Spaceframe, it has no function whatsoever other than to allow the owner to circle the parking lot 5-13 times before/after a ride, waiting for an unsuspecting sucker to ask the unfortunate, “Hey, what bike is that?” question.

Prepare for an endless narcissistic soliloquy in which you’ll be lucky to get one word in.

Talking time: 4 hours
Riding time: 17 minutes

fap master flex - 07/23/14 - 1:17pm

“Prepare for an endless narcissistic soliloquy in which you’ll be lucky to get one word in.”

Nailed it.

Ryan - 07/23/14 - 1:31pm

Honestly I got over the super heavy fat tires off road a few years ago, it just makes it way harder if you like to ride uphill. I do still like to take my Puglsey to the coffee shop to look cool and mack on the hipster chicks. That said, the Salsa lineup looks really good. Forest Service Mint Green looks rad.

satisFACTORYrider - 07/23/14 - 1:55pm

@equine- so what? it happens with cars, motorcycles… why wouldn’t someone be curious about a rig like that? why would you care? go towards it or away from it.

AlanM - 07/23/14 - 3:11pm

@Rizza, “The industry strategy for the last few years seems to be squeezing more dollars out of fewer & fewer riders.” Are you forced to buy things? The cycling industry isn’t squeezing anyone. There are options, and the ones that are viable survive by consumers voting with their dollars.

Jake - 07/23/14 - 3:28pm

Seriously? are we all going to just ignore Dinglespeed?

gerald t. - 07/23/14 - 4:11pm

@Jake- Well…apparently even the guy that is upset that it’s being ignored doesn’t have anything interesting to say about it, so….yes.

goathead - 07/23/14 - 5:46pm

I didn’t even know there was any interest in dinglespeed cogs anymore. I thought the idea died out years ago when Surly tried to market them as one gear for riding to the trail and one gear for the trail. I really don’t see people going any further off the beaten path with two gears as opposed to one, or ten, or twenty or whatever. Salsa, I’ve always sorta admired you from a far but you’re going all Fonzie with the fatbike stuff and the shark is about to be jumped. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4ZGKI8vpcg

Jon Palmer - 07/23/14 - 7:54pm

@goathead There are still plenty of dinglespeeders out and about in the wild. White Industries also makes some really nice cranks and freewheels called the Double/Double system.

alex - 07/23/14 - 7:59pm

That FS fatbike looks like so much fun- it must have ungodly amounts of traction. Props to Salsa for making it happen.

Seraph - 07/23/14 - 9:32pm

Dinglespeed would be cool but without derailleurs it still means you have to get off your bike, loosen your axle, slide your wheel forward, change the cogs, and then tighten it all back up again.

Stevie - 07/24/14 - 9:21am

I agree. If yer out there on a baking hot or freezing cold day the last thing you want to do is fiddle with your dingle just to change to one other speed. Not fun at all. Would rather have one speed and be done with it. Now if they figure a way of getting 2 speeds without all that hassle I’m in!
Very happy to see the Beargrease back, I don’t need carbon. They should have made it purple though, instead of… Surlyicecream blue. What????? better than the BianchiBorow though! Yucky color.The silver/gray one looks cool.

Zach Overholt - 07/24/14 - 1:56pm

@Seraph, you do have to remove the thru axle, but there is no tightening or loosening of the dropouts involved. You can change the gear in under a minute – 30 seconds if you’re good.

Mike - 07/24/14 - 5:53pm

33.9 lbs is that 33.9 local bananas?

Rest of the world would simply say 15.37 Kilo or 1537 grams but hey, since you write only to US and your readers are only in US it does not matter, right?

Seriously, please use both measurements when writing articles to save us googling everything all the time.

thanks

MBR - 07/28/14 - 9:09am

Regarding the dingle drivetrain, what about…
Loosening up the chain a bit, add just a few more cogs to get an even wider gearing range, putting on a chain-tensioner which can both be moved along the cogs to change gears and keep the chain right. Oops… looks like we just reinvented the wheel… ;-)

-Rizza - 07/30/14 - 2:52pm

@AlanM
industry stats over the last few years show decreasing participation while the average price of has increased. Therefore more $ squeezed from fewer riders

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