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Product Spotlight – 2018 Salsa Mukluk Carbon GX Eagle – By Travis Hubbard

Mukluk – (noun) muk·luk  \ ˈmək-ˌlək a soft winter boot traditionally made of reindeer or seal skin originally worn by Arctic aboriginal people of Alaska.  Mukluks weigh little and allow hunters to move quietly.

I received word recently from the Fat-Bike.com Headquarters to keep my eye out for a big box from Salsa arriving at my doorstep.  I considered asking which Mukluk build was coming my way, but decided in the spirit of Christmas to just wait and see what was in the box.  I was surprised to find a Mukluk Carbon GX Eagle inside!

Salsa says the Mukluk is their most versatile fat bike, designed for the wide variety of conditions that we fat-bikers face.  The Mukluk can be set up for singlespeed or geared, and rigid or suspended up front.  The Alternator Dropouts V2.0 allow for chainstay length as short as 432mm, ideal for a tire up to 4.7” on 70mm hoops.  The second position lengthens the chainstay’s to accommodate larger tire and rim combinations.  The Alternator Dropouts V2.0 are also designed for Salsa’s Alternator Rack / Rack Lock system providing extra carrying capacity.

Once I got the bike built up and off the stand I understood why Salsa calls this bad boy the Mukluk.  It is light indeed.  I was glad to see Maxxis Minion FBR tires front and rear, I like checking out different tires that I didn’t have to pay for.  The paint pops, I prefer a matte finish and I’m a big fan of all things green.  The Hulk, cash money, trees, etc.….. I like green.  It was shipped with a tubeless setup.  Did I mention its light?

Tech Specs

High-Modulus Carbon Frame

Rear Dropout Spacing:  197 x 12mm

Full-Length Internal Cable Housing

Bear Paw Carbon Fork: 150mm thru axle

Alternator Dropouts V2.0: Allows chainstay length as short as 432mm that can fit a 4.7mm tire on a 70mm rim, the longer position gives options for larger tire and rim combinations.

Rack Mounts:  Frame – Rear rack mount (Salsa Alternator 190 Rack) and Rigid Fork – 2 Anything Cage mounts

Drivetrain:  1x and 2x compatible

Dropper Post Compatible

Multiple Bottle Cages – 3

Build Kit

Frame / Fork – Salsa Mukluk Carbon

Shifter:  SRAM GX Eagle Trigger

Rear Derailleur:  SRAM GX Eagle

Cassette:  SRAM XG-1275 Eagle

Brakes:  SRAM Guide RS

Rotors:  160mm

Crank:  SRAM GX Eagle, 30T direct-mount

Chain:  SRAM GX Eagle

Seat Post:  Salsa Guide Carbon

Stem:  Salsa Guide Trail

Handlebar:  Salsa Rustler, Aluminum

Saddle:  WTB Volt Pro

Grips:  Salsa File Tread Lock-on

Headset:  Cane Creek 40

Hubs:  Front – DT Swiss 370 Big Ride 150mm / Rear – DT Swiss 370 Big Ride 197mm

Wheels

HED Big Deal Aluminum:  Front 80mm / Rear 85mm

Hubs:  DT Swiss Big Ride 370

Tires:  Maxxis Minion FBR Front and Rear, 26 x 4.8″, 120TPI

When the Mukluk showed up our trails were in great shape, we had 6 inches of snow on the ground and my local favorites were buffed out.  The Mukluk feels stable, short stays and a low bottom bracket make the bike very lively.  Stand over height is also nice and low.  The combination of well thought out design and light materials got my attention on the first ride.  I was immediately impressed with the handling and weight.  The Maxxis Minion FBR’s chew up the snow.  I’ve learned to ride my ass off when the trails are in great shape, prime winter riding just seems to come and go these days.

Southcentral Alaska recently got blasted with rain and record high temps.  We lost most of our snow and for the last two weeks, the local trails have been a sheet of sketchy ice.  Good thing I have an extra set of Dillinger 5 studded tires.  I slapped them on last weekend, (insert drunken two-hour tire battle story here), Uncle Gomez let me use a lifeline call and set me up with the “trick” to mounting tires on HED rims.  I was done in a half hour with one simple pearl of wisdom. (you have to mount each bead from the outside of the rim, instead of mounting both beads from one side of the rim).

Once that I had the bike studded up, I rode some lower and mid hillside single track trails recently, all greasy ice with a light dusting of snow.  The terrain is rolling hills with a lot of roots still showing.  The Mukluk paired with the Dilly 5’s handled amazingly well.  I managed to keep the rubber side down.  My initial impression of the Mukluk Carbon GX Eagle is this bike ROCKS! Uncle Gomez makes us ride the pants off of the demo’s that come through the FBC proving grounds so my full review of the Mukluk will get published somewhere down the (hopefully) snow-packed trail!

For more information about Salsa Cycles visit – salsacycles.com

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4 Responses to Product Spotlight – 2018 Salsa Mukluk Carbon GX Eagle – By Travis Hubbard

  1. missmysinglespeed January 4, 2018 at 11:31 am #

    How did the GX Eagle perform for you? I recently got a Beargrease GX Eagle and oversights from Salsa / HED / LBS have left me with an un-rideable drivetrain. I’m strongly considering returning the bike after 1 month & 7 adjustments / repairs.

  2. thub January 4, 2018 at 12:44 pm #

    Hey mismysinglespeed,

    So sorry to hear about your issues with your new bike. The GX Eagle worked fine for me. It was shifting funky when I first built it. I took it over to our local Salsa dealer and got a quick adjustment. I didn’t have any issue after that. Hope your fixed up and back on the trail soon.

  3. Erv Spanks January 4, 2018 at 3:18 pm #

    Looking forward to the full review! GET SOME!

  4. Rich the trucker January 6, 2018 at 10:09 pm #

    That is a sweet looking ride there; thanks, now I want one…