After a solid six-week shakedown of the Salsa Mukluk Carbon GX Eagle I concluded that I really like this bike for various reasons. The build kit on the bike is the new GX Eagle with an MSRP of $3,499.00. The bike stayed mostly stock throughout the test period, I put my Ergon grips on because anything else kills my hands. I also swapped the stock Maxxis Minion FBR’s out for my studded Dillinger 5’s due to trail conditions changing from snow to glare ice
My initial review has the all the spec’s that you might be interested in, check the link https://fat-bike.com/2018/01/product-spotlight-2018-salsa-mukluk-carbon-gx-eagle-by-travis-hubbard/. The more I rode the Mukluk the more I liked it. This bike has a lot going for it. The first thing that impressed me is the frame and fork. The Mukluk has exceptional standover height and all the mounts equal great carrying capacity for any adventure. What really perplexed me about the frame and fork was the vibration dampening, my first ride was on some rock and root-laden frozen single-track with a light coat of snow. I am by no means a bike expert, but I know when a bike feels good to me. I immediately noticed the difference in the feel, what was normally harsh trail wasn’t so harsh at all. As soon as I got home I went to the Salsa website and looked into it. Salsa says their High-Modulus Carbon Fiber provides better dampening, toughness and weight savings. I agree the Mukluk is light, stiff and silky smooth. The short chainstays along with the 69° head tube angle and 73° seat tube angle are perfect.
The Sram GX Eagle drivetrain worked well, having a 50-tooth bailout was awesome. Given the slick conditions during the test period, I found that having gearing that low made the difference in making technical climbs on ice versus spinning out and losing it. I’m sure it’s a huge benefit if your riding fully loaded too. Shifting was clean throughout the 12 speeds range. The GX trigger shifter functioned well but the feel was a bit clunky. The SRAM Guide RS hydraulic breaks worked great, I see a set in my future. They functioned flawlessly at low temps without completely losing all modulation like every other hydraulic brake I’ve used at low temps.
I found the HED Big Deal aluminum hoops, DT Swiss 370 Big Ride hubs and Maxxis Minion FBR 4.8” tires to be a light and sturdy wheelset. The Mukluk arrived tubeless, which was a nice touch. A light bike made even lighter. I was enjoying the hell out of the Minions until we got blasted with rain and everything went to ice. I swapped over to the studded Dillinger 5’s and through in downhill tubes, the Mukluk still felt light. I went with the downhill tubes in hopes that conditions would change soon, and I could get back to the Minions but that never happened. No worries, I rode a lot of greasy trails and had a blast doing it.
Other nice touches are the WTB Volt Pro saddle, Salsa Guide Carbon seat post, Salsa Rustler aluminum handlebars and Alternator Dropouts. The dropouts were set in the long position and I did not change that as I was rolling big tires but if I had this bike in summer I would go with the short position and my 27.5+ wheelset. When you put all the pieces together you have a truly amazing fat bike that is light and comfortable. I would not hesitate to load up the Mukluk and head out on a long bike packing trip or rip my favorite local single tracks like a demon possessed. The ride quality is superior, hands down. The Mukluk is light, stable and one hell of a climber. Without a doubt the next time I find myself shopping for a new fat bike the Mukluk will be on the shortlist. Big thanks to Salsa and Uncle Gomez for setting me up with 6 weeks of fat bike bliss. I give the Salsa Mukluk a 4.9 out of 5 Blazing Gnomes
For more information about Salsa Cycles visit salsacycles.com