Thursday, August 29, 2013

2014 Fargo & Vaya Overview

The 2014's Salsa Cycles Vaya and Fargo models are in and built up at Europa Cycle & Ski now. Let's take a look at the shiny new goodness and see just what Salsa Cycles has packaged into these venerable adventure cycling machines.........

Salsa Cycles 2014 Vaya 2 model.
The first rig up is the 2014 Vaya 2. The Vaya series has been about exploring your roads, be they paved, gravel, or dirt. The Vaya 2 for 2014 refines the idea of adventure cycling further with great spec and a killer look.

The new look includes refreshed, subtler graphics, nice, now key component accents and a nice touch of anodization to give the bike some pop. Overall, I believe this is the best looking Vaya graphics package we've seen yet. 

The heart of any bike is the drive train, and Salsa spec'ed a great choice here with the triple crank 105 gruppo with Avid BB7 brakes in a special all black livery. 10 speed STI levers do the initiating of gear changes with the long cage 105 derailleur and triple compatible front derailleur finishing off the job. It's a smart, durable, reliable spec.

The gearing range is super for fast paced road riding all the way through to grinding up a gravel road climb or to making that loaded down Vaya go up that mountain pass. Triples may be passe' these days, but they still are the best for wide range gearing and keeping your momentum up when you are loaded down touring. Take note RAGBRAI folks- the Vaya is the perfect bike for RAGBRAI. Steel frame, disc brakes that stop you in wet or dry conditions, and stable handling to keep you out of trouble in the pack.

The Vaya comes shod with excellent Schwalbe touring tires with reflective stripes for safety. These tires also have Schwalbe's highest level of puncture protection for peace of mind while you while away the miles.

Wheels are made up of Salsa by Formula hubs in a complimentary blue ano and these are laced to Sun Ringle' Inferno 23 rims. Solid wheels for touring.

The Vaya fork has mid-blade eyelets for low rider mounts, further enhancing its touring capabilities. Of course there are rack mounts, and fenders are also possible with the Vaya's fender eyelets.

Salsa Cycles Vaya 3 for 2014
We also are carrying the Salsa Cycles Vaya 3, which features the same frame and fork but with a more price conscious spec. Here we have the new Shimano Sora 9 speed STI group. The new Sora levers drop the stubby thumb lever for true STI paddles and the hood shape is reminiscent of last year's Tiagra levers. So you get familiar shifting with a wide ranging triple crank, wide range cassette, and Shimano's easy shifting feel. 

Salsa Cycles 2014 Fargo 3
The Fargo is the ultimate touring machine for off road and with a swap to smoother rubber, it can also be a heavy duty loaded touring companion. Or set it up with frame bags and do "rackless" adventuring. Or use it as your primary mountain bike. You can even use a 100mm front suspension fork. Sounds like a bike that can do a lot, no? Well, there's still more!

The Alternator Drop Out
Now Salsa Cycles has added the Alternator Drop Out to the Fargo, which allows for using an internal hub gear, (like the excellent Rohloff 14 speed hub), or you could go single speed.

I like the Alternator because one of the main points behind the Fargo from my point of view is its ability to "bushwhack" through deer trails, backcountry, and the like. Whenever you do that, you run the risk of whacking your rear derailleur. (I've seen it done on a Fargo, and had it happen to me.)

So the Alternator may be your savior. It allows for a field conversion to single speed to bail your self out of a failed derailleur episode. I once had to help push a fellow Fargo rider 8 miles back to the cars once when we couldn't convert his crippled Fargo to a single speed. Sure wish we would have had Alternator drop outs then!

Up front we have the new from last year's model, 44mm head tube, which allows for a tapered steer tube fork, if desired, or a straight 1 1/8th steer tube fork, as shown here. The Fargo 3 comes with the new Fargo steel fork which is longer to account for 100mm suspension forks. (Last year's was only 80mm suspension corrected.) You can also see the new, forward facing braze ons for water bottle cages or Salsa Cycles Anything Cages, (which require 3 mounts a piece.) The new forward facing mounts are said to better withstand impact forces to the front wheel and creates a sturdier way to carry water bottles or light gear. By the way, you can still easily reach a water bottle from a front mounted cage, so that is not a concern whatsoever.

The Fargo 3 is spec'ed with a SRAM Apex brifter, SRAM X-7 rear derailleur, and a 2X 10 drivetrain for great off road performance. Schwalbe Rapid Rob's, (the original Racing Ralph tread pattern, by the way), and Sun Inferno 25 rims with sealed bearing hubs make for a sturdy and high performing wheel set.

We'll have fat bikes arriving late September/early October, so stay tuned for those, but come in now to see these fine adventuring bikes which are super versatile, high performing bicycles unlike anything else out there.

Friday, August 23, 2013

2014 Updates

Farley Complete & frame only option
Europa Cycle & Ski will be receiving a Size Large Farley this Fall which should be pretty exciting to see. The Farley features a few nice things that will set it apart from other fat bikes, and some things that are proven components as well.

Farley will be aluminum in its construction, both the frame and the fork. This bike will feature suspension corrected geometry, a tight rear triangle for better dry weather handling, and a super low standover height, important when the conditions are softer.

The bike will also feature Trek's rear through axle design which should really stiffen up the rear end and better handle the higher traction/leverage inducing rear wheels of fat bikes. Internal cable routing will not only clean up the overall look of the Farley, but it will also protect the cables from the mucky-muck that fat bikers like to ride in. That should also play well with frame bags.

Farley will come with proven, industry leading Surly rims and tires. The tires will be the fast, grippy 3.8 Knards, but if you need something grippier than that, a 3.8" Nate will slot in there perfectly. Farley will be a 170mm rear/135mm front design and can handle up to 4" tires on the 82mm rims with ease. (We'll have to do some checking on Big Fat Larrys when our rig lands at the shop.)  The really monstrous Bud and Lou will likely be a no go here, but Farley is about fast fat biking, not the ultimate snow/sand/bog biking.

UPDATED: I got a hold of some specs. The Farley will have dropper post routing and a 31.6mm seat post, (standard dropper post size), plus the spec sheet is listing Husker Du 4.0" tires. We'll see what shows up on the bike. Every image I've seen, (including the dealer preview), has shown Knards.  Hubs are Salsa hubs, but I do not know if they are the Level 2 or 3. Brakes are listed as Avid "DB3" hydraulic brakes. (A new brake from Avid?) The frame set option lists the black as well as the Powder Blue shown. Framesets come with an FSA head set, Closed Convert drop outs, and take a low, direct mount derailleur.

I'll post more on this exciting new rig when we get ours in, likely in October sometime.

 Fargo 3: 

Our shipment of Fargo 3's arrived already, and next week we should see them out on the sales floor. This is an all new Fargo and will be the best Fargo yet.

The big changes here are found at the front and the rear of the new Fargo frame. Still made from Salsa Cycles' own custom designed CroMoly tubing, the Fargo now comes with Alternator drop outs. This is a big deal, since that Alternator opens up more options to the rider such as single speed set ups, hub gearing options, and a way to bail your self out in case of a derailleur damaging accident. (Don't brush that one off, I've seen it happen a couple times myself!)

At the front, you have the new, 100mm suspension corrected steel Fargo fork with new, front facing bosses for water bottle cages or Salsa's "Anything Cages". The longer fork matches up with current XC suspension fork lengths, so if you want the Fargo to be your mountain bike with suspension, it's a snap to swap in any straight or tapered steer tube suspension fork. The front mounted bosses are there because they are going to resist load inertia better than the old, rear facing cage mounts and they still are easily reached while riding. It's an improvement over the old design, showing that Salsa isn't going to rest on their laurels, but they are looking to refine the bikes to be the best that they can make them.

The component spec has been improved as well, but I'll put up another post soon with actual spec and actual bike images next week. Stay tuned for that and for the Vaya 3 images and spec as well.

2013 Specials: We have a couple Warbird 2's and Colossal 2's at amazing prices right now. Check in with Europa Cycle & Ski and see the deals, or e-mail the shop for pricing on these great road bikes from Salsa Cycles. We need to move these on out the door, so the prices are attractive and you get one of the best gravel rigs, (Warbird), or long haul road bikes,( Colossal), that you can find anywhere.

We also have some 2013 Vaya 3's and a Vaya Travel at great prices as well, so be sure to not miss these deals on some fantastic road/gravel/touring bikes from Salsa Cycles.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Looking Ahead At 2014

Hey there folks! It's been a few months since any posts have shown up here, but that's because it was dig-doggity-busy! Someone's gotta turn and pull the wrenches around the shop, and that guy is me. So.....anyway.

Plans are laid and bikes have been ordered. Here's what you can expect to see coming soon at Europa Cycle & Ski.......

Salas Cycles' X-9 Beargrease Carbon
 Beargrease Carbon: Okay folks, here's the rig that will fundamentally change fat biking for the masses. A fat bike that will come in at around 25lbs or so with a fully functional 2 X 10 drivetrain, through axle hubs front and rear, which will increase handling feel and handle those big meats better, and finally, be trail tuned for dirt, racing, snow, and sand. The new rig comes with an astounding carbon structure that you will not believe until you actually see this thing. The fork is suspension corrected, (hint), and beefy as all get out. A truly amazing rig. We thought last years 28+ lb Beargrease aluminum was hot. Yeah.....

Okay, with a tag at about $3500.00, this ain't cheap, bro, so it is what it is. The best fat bike you can buy now. (That's right, you could come in and claim it now, if you want, before it arrives) One is coming. Size Large. These will go fast, (everywhere),so don't dally.

 The staple bike in the fat bike line up is the Mukluk 3. This year you'll see a few tweaks to components, making this an even better bike than before. Salsa Cycles says this is the "expedition" fat bike, which means it will roll over stuff like small logs, under brush, mud, sand, and that Ford Pinto down the block from your house.

The biggest news is the aluminum fork, which came from last year's Beargrease, but is fully featured with Anything Cage Mounts, and rack mounts. That'll cut weight, ride nicer, yet still offer the Mukluk's versatility which we all have come to love. Alternator Drop Outs means ease of using the biggest Surly rubber on the 82mm Rolling Darryl rims, along with single speed capabilities.

The Muks will roll on Surly Nate 3.8"ers and will come in this lucious red with black wheels, or a mean looking flat black with white rims. (See the carbon Beargrease above for a hint on what that will look like.

We're getting in four: Two in each color in Medium and Large sizes. Expect to pay around $1800.00 each. These are vastly improved from the standpoint of weight and critical components, so check 'em out soon.

The Mukluk 2 will be showing up soon as well. Check out the gold metallic lusciousness here! A total pimp machine? Only in looks, because this is an awesome trail riding bicycle folks. Same aluminum fork, Nates, and Alternators as the Muk 3, but here we see an upgrade in components to 2 X 10 SRAM, and those wheels are lighter too. It's the best value in the fat bike line from Salsa, if you ask me. Lookin' at about $2500.00, and if I am right, we got a Medium and a Large in this too.

We must be nuts! Well, I'll tell ya this much- You can not buy a more capable, versatile, performance fat bike that can do it all than with what Salsa offers. There will be other players, but Salsa is ahead of the curve with fat bikes since 2010 and they've gotten noticeably better every year.

Anyway, all of the above is expected to hit the shop by September/October.

Fargo: For 2014 we are stoked to be bringing in the most versatile hard tail 29"er on the market now- The Salsa Cycles Fargo. There have been some awesome tweaks to this ride for 2014. Let's start with the blue one first....

That's the Fargo 2. It will be showing up to Europa with a Carbon "Firestarter" fork, which has a 15mm through axle Maxle QR, front facing Anything Cage mounts, and is suspension corrected for a 100mm fork. Now did I remember to tell you that fork is carbon fiber? Yep! Light, strong, and versatile. This is the best steel Fargo yet. Now that isn't all folks. This bike also has the Alternator Drop out in back now- a first on the Fargo. Single speed? Yes. Internal gear hub? Yes. Multi-speed derailleur drive train? Yes. All with one frame. Plus- if you should KO your rear derailleur on a bushwhacking trip, you can scooter on back home on yer SS'ed Fargo, no problemo.

Yes- it still will have all the rack mounts too, so set this up for touring, or bag it with bike packing gear, or slap a 100mm travel tapered steer tube suspension fork on this and ride it as your main mtb. Fargo don't care.

Now that mustard colored beauty is the Fargo 3. You get a bit lower end components, and a steel fork, but everything else the Fargo 2 does the Fargo 3 can as well, just at a lower cost of entry. Expect to see these super versatile, fun rigs in at Europa late in the Winter.

Raleigh Tamland:

A bit of back story here: The Tamland is a gravel specific geometry rig from Raleigh that can cyclo cross, do light touring, commute, or tear it up on RAGBRAI with a rack on the back. But there is more to the Tamland story here and it has to do with myself.

You see, I've not been too quiet about what I think is the "right" way to do an all-arounder bike that would be better on gravel roads. Raleigh heard me making noise, so they called me up, put me on the speaker phone with their brand manager and product engineers, and asked me what I would do. Unbelievably, they did everything I asked for, and here it is: The Raleigh Tamland 1 for 2014.

So, of course we're bringing in some of these and you'll have a chance to tell me I am utterly mad or a genius. Whichever, here's the skinny: The frame is 631 Reynolds. There is a good reason for this. Raleigh went to their long time partner, Reynolds, when they wanted to do this bike, and asked for the prestigious 831 Reynolds tube set to be used, but when Reynolds heard the plan, they offered a suggestion. They thought 631 would be a better ride, so the tube set was designed, (specifically for this bike), and made into what you see above- the Raleigh Tamland rig. 2 X 10 drivetrain, disc brakes from TRP that have dual piston action, (which no other rig out there will have in this class), and new wider rimmed Weinman wheels shod with the most excellent Clement MSO tires. Expect to pay about $1600.00 for this bike which will be more versatile and better suited to gravel travel, sport touring, (rack mounts!), and commuting than the competition's rigs in this range. Plus, (not to toot my own horn here), it has geometry specifically suited to the roughest roads and will be the most stable rig with the highest level of comfort around.

Or maybe I'm crazy.....we'll see! 

 Now there is a premium Tamland as well, but it goes at about $2400.00, which we at Europa weren't sure about stocking. But rumor has it that one example in a 58cm size might just be floating around for your perusal, (and test riding pleasure, if you are this size), in the Spring. Stay tuned...

The Tamland 2 has the same frame, fork, wheels, tires, brakes, and geometry as the Tamland 1, but it comes decked out in Shimano's newest Ultegra 11 speed, which is a big improvement upon the old Ultegra gear. We're pretty excited to see both of these Tamland's coming in the months ahead.

Stay tuned. There will be more soon......