Last Friday, Sven and I met up with Jason and Eric (E-Fred) Fredrickson of Salsa Cycles at Rock Cut State Park on the “sweeping pampas” of Illinois! Jason had emailed me the generous offer to get a test ride on their new Beargrease race fatty on their way down to the (fat-bike supermercado de amor) North Central Cyclery for their showing of Reveal the Path! Without a moment’s hesitation, I RSVP’d (yes please) to get a chance to ride a Beargrease , but little did we know what treasures Jason and Eric had in store for us! David from 45NRTH sent along a pair of those new Wölvhammer boots that we’ll talk about in a separate story, but we also got to lay our eyes on Jason’s Lefty Mukluk and….we got to see two out of the Four colors that Salsa will offer the Mukluk in, next year. On top of all 0f that, Sven & I got to do a nice ten mile trail ride on a 2013 Mukluk and Beargrease! The Beargrease that I rode is the personal bike of a dude named Roberto (Bobby), but the Mukluk that Sven rode, is the full factory spec of Salsa’s 2013 offering.
For those of you that are not familiar, Rock Cut has a blend of sandy doubletrack and some decent (vanilla) singletrack that makes for a fun and easy ten mile loop around Pierce Lake. We stopped to take pictures along the way and hit every piece of the good singletrack (sometimes twice!).
As I mentioned, I got to ride Salsa’s new Beargrease. The Beargrease didn’t feel like a fat-bike. It reminded me more of my 29r hard tail mountain bike. The ride was confidence inspiring and it just felt light and nimble (like a mountain bike). The sky blue and black, color combination, is even better than pictures can capture. If you’re looking for a fat-bike that can deliver you to a podium finish, Beargrease should be on your radar!
After the ride we got out the cameras and did a quick photo shoot, so our readers could do a little window shopping on the interwebs. Salsa has a demo day running today and tomorrow, up at Carver Lake. Check out their web-site or facebook page to keep tabs on when they might be bringing their demo van to your neck of the woods.
Sven here! See that white Mukluk 2 up there ^? That was my steed for our meet up with the Salsa Crew and let me tell ya, it is a super riding machine! I’ve only had a few rides on 2011/12 Mukluks and most of the time they were bigger than the bikes I normally ride so direct comparisons with the new 2013 version are a bit hard to quantify but I can tell you that the Salsa guys nailed it with this bike. I’m 5’9 and I like this Small frame though I could also make a case for the Medium, I tend to like slightly smaller frames. (For what it is worth, my normal rigs are almost directly in between the Small and the Medium.) How does the Mukluk 2 ride? It is lively and quick handling. As Gomez noted above with the Beargrease, handling is more like your favorite 29’er but with the added benefit of those big, wonderful, shock absorbing tires. The Stock Nate tires offer copious amounts of traction. The new double chainring E*Thirteen crank (22/36, I believe) felt good and provided a nice mix of ratios and the 45Nrth pedals had plenty of grip it you like platform pedals. I didn’t have a scale handy, and I am sure you can find true weights in Salsa’s specs, but my overall impression is that this bike rides lighter than it may feel at first. Good job, Salsa!
Muchas Gracias to all of our Amigos at Salsa Cycles for giving us this special demo! Sven and I loved the new fatties!