I was at the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series race at Kewaunee recently where they added race classes for fat-bikes to contest the WEMS Fat-bike State Championship with classes for 6-Hour Solo Male and Female and 6-Hour Duo Male and Female and low-and-behold I spotted a Salsa Carbon Beargrease in the wild! A bit of cajoling with George Kapitz, who owns Broken Spoke Bike Studio in Manitowoc, WI, allowed me to take it for a quick spin in the woods and I came away impressed with the ride, feel and handling in the brief stint I had on the bike. Better yet, George was set to race it in this event as well as the WORS race at Cascade Mountain the following day!
Broken Spoke is probably the largest fat-bike dealer in the state! This is undoubtedly why George was able to finagle a rare Demo version of one of the Carbon Beargreases to race in a few races around the state including the WEMS Fat-bike State Championship, where he and race partner Pete Ignasiak won the 6-hour Duo class, as well as the WORS race at Cascade Mountain the next day where he took the fat-bike class win. Note too that George has been campaigning an Aluminum Beargrease all year in the WORS MTB Series!
George gave us a quick rundown on his impressions of the Carbon Beargrease after his races.
The new Carbon Beargrease is much stiffer and easier on the body during endurance races than previous Aluminum fat-bikes I’ve raced. Hill climbing and acceleration out of the gate was noticeably faster too. I was very confident with the tires holding on tight downhill switch backs. I think the thru axels play a big role here. Handling/frame geometry felt similar to my previous Beargrease. Also, the flag ship model comes with XX1. I believe Salsa will be the only fat-bike in the market that offers this on a complete. XX1 and fat-bikes are the perfect match. Plenty of gears to use top and bottom and chain line is no longer an issue. XX1 is the fastest most reliable shifting drivetrain on the market in my opinion. I’ve been running it and racing it for an entire season. Never lost a chain up front or skipped a beat. I got a lot of positive feedback on the Carbon Beargrease from test riders at the shop and a lot of customers eagerly waiting for the ship date now. The only thing I think I will change out of box is pulling the tubes and going tubeless. Base model start at $3,500 for the 2×10 and $5,500 for XX1. Look for a first ship date in late November.
Here are a few more shots from my ride in the woods.
Are you looking forward to the Carbon Beargrease?