By : Jason Mead
The Fatbike category has grown by leaps and bounds over the past two years. Once used solely for winter applications, the Fatbike has expanded its reach to touring, big box stores, and everyday trail riding. New technologies emerge for this category seemingly overnight and trickle into other categories. To see just how far the Fatbike technology can be pushed we started with the Salsa Bucksaw.
Salsa’s Bucksaw Carbon frame is a canvas of rising technology in the Fatbike category. Using a high-modulus carbon front triangle and seat stays paired with Split Pivot rear suspension the Bucksaw is ready for aggressive single track. Front suspension is handled by RockShox’s Bluto RL. It is paired nicely with the Monarch RT3 and offers an exceptional balance. Through axles front and rear hold the Whisky No. 9 70mm wide carbon hoops and create a near perfect tread profile. Stopping duties are handled by Shimano XT brakes with 180mm Ice Tech rotors. The Salsa Rustler Carbon bar and Backcountry lock-on grips keep the cockpit in the family.
If a full suspension carbon Fatbike with carbon wheels seems a bit excessive you may want to sit down. The RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post is a welcome addition to any full suspension bike. Race Face Next SL carbon cranks? Why not? The real kick in the pants comes when you pair that to the Shimano XTR Di2 rear end. While not designed with Di2 in mind, the Bucksaw offered plenty of ways to get creative with the routing while keeping the wires out of harms way.
Having a Stealth Reverb meant finding somewhere else to hide the battery unit. Not wanting to distract from the lines of the Bucksaw the battery was cleverly hidden inside the steer tube of the Bluto. The distance from the XTR rear derailleur was too much for a singular cable. We found out a junction box can be massaged into the aluminum chain stay. It is a snug, but not impossible, fit. We then decided to route all the cables to the non-drive side. Shrink wrap kept things tidy along the down tube, eliminating any snagging from zip ties.
The complete package was built with a no holds barred, why not, approach. The intended use? Anything you can throw at it. Want to take a back country exploration, shred with the crew after work, or just shock them with the audacity of what can be done? This custom Bucksaw can do it all and only tip the scales at 28 pounds.
Editor’s Note : Jason is a first time contributor and makes his living making bikes work. He strives to cut through the marketing hyperbole and break down bikes into things that work for the every man or woman. (In this case – every dentist.) He believes very strongly that life is best lived outside….and on two wheels.