Want to really get away? Salsa’s newest fat bike might be a great vehicle for that adventure. Originally a fat bike based on 5″ tires with a 197mm rear end, the Blackborow was designed as an adventure fat bike meant to tackle terrain that was off the beaten path – a long way off the beaten path. But Salsa still had bigger ideas for an adventure fat bike, and with 5″ tires and 197mm rear ends becoming more common place, that gave them a chance to do something a bit more radical with the Blackborow line.
Essentially looking at it as a blank canvas for adventure, the new Blackborow is what Salsa refers to as a Mid-long frame that is a bit shorter than the Big Fat Dummy, but still long enough to fit four full sized panniers and a ton of gear.
Named after Perce Blackborow who was a stowaway on Ernest Shackleton’s Tran-Antarctic expedition, the frame is adorned with a quote from Shakleton on the downtube. Salsa also had a bit of fun with the idea by naming the bag location behind the seat tube the Stowaway and No Man’s Land.
From the seat tube forward, the bike is essentially a Mukluk with a 100mm BSA threaded bottom bracket, and suspension corrected rigid fork with a 15 x 150mm hub spacing and three pack mounts on the fork legs.
The back half of course is where things get a bit wild. Fitting 26 x 3.8-4.33″ tires on up to 100mm rims, the frame can also run 27.5″ x 3.21-4.0 tires or 29 x 2.3 – 3.0″ rubber. Officially, the chainstay length is 650mm which still makes the rear end 9″ shorter than the Big Fat Dummy.
The bike includes the massive rack with four solid attachment points to the frame which allows for a 120lb weight limit. Designed to fit two full size panniers side by side on each side of the rack, custom one piece panniers can also be mad to maximize the space.
Mike ‘Kid’ Riemer’s custom build included one off bags made by Cedaero Bags and hand painted by Mimi Matsuda to represent two different types of Trout, one on either side of the bike. There’s also a custom deck made from SkateLite by Swedish Karlos, which doubles as a cutting board.
The build was meant to highlight the ‘blank slate’ nature of the bike which in this case, Kid used to create his ultimate fly fishing rig including rod storage in the rack. Fully loaded, the bike was quite heavy, but it was surprisingly agile on a quick ride around Northstar resort. You certainly have to remember you have a bunch of gear sticking off the back of the bike, but it’s no where near as cumbersome to ride as it looks.
As a stock build, the bike will include a 1×12 SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, mechanical disc brakes, and Sun Ringle Mulefut 27.5 x 80mm rims with Maxxis Minion FBF/FBR 27.5 x 3.8″ tubeless tires for $2,799 in S, M, and L. Complete weight is claimed at 37 lbs, 14 oz for a size large. Framesets will also be available for $1,799 including the rack. And yes, there is a kickstand plate.