April 20, 2010
Salsa Cycles returned to the Sea Otter, after missing it last year and showcased brand new designs for the 26in steel A La Carte and the 29er steel El Mariachi bikes. They also showed a new road tourer called the Vaya.
The Vaya is like a road (and gravel road) version of the Fargo, as used by Mr Chipps to ride across the Pyrenees last summer. It won’t do mountain biking or ‘cross racing, but if your touring takes in gravel or ‘white’ roads as well as regular tarmac, you might like it.
As mentioned, the A La Carte and big wheel El Mariachi have been loved up and revamped. Central to this revamp is a new swinging dropout that allows the bike to be run as a singlespeed, or a geared bike, without needing half links. It looks very close to the dropout seen on the Black Cat bikes but is presumably just different enough. There’s a new gusset under the downtube (with a big gap – armchair framebuilders please comment…) and some nice colours. Frames will come as frame only, not frame and forks as before, though you can get a colour-matched fork separately.
We did manage to miss the one Kona bike we wanted to see, which was the new prototype ‘cross bike – a Carbon Jake the Snake. Apparently Barry Wicks was so keen on it that he was out all morning warming up for the XC race on it…
Who said that Norco was all about jump bikes and big heavy freeride full sussers? Here’s Norco’s new steel 29er hardtail – and it completes the niche circle by being singlespeed and belt drive too…
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