Saturday, May 9, 2015

A New Ride: The Salsa Blackborow

Every so often something comes along that gets my attention.  I really like bikes and I would like to own them all.  However, I move a lot and my housing options don't accommodate every bike I want.  Therefore, I don't get something unless what I have isn't getting the job done.  For instance, I see no point in owning a traditional road bike as long as the Salsa Las Cruces is fully functional.  It does most of what I need on paved or dirt roads.

The same with mountain bikes, my real passion.  At one point I had three fully assembled and a frame hanging on the wall.  A lot of redundancy, so I decided to sell all but the Salsa Mukluk which became my do it all mountain bike.  I have been looking at getting a Lynskey Fatsky for a while but truth be told, the only real difference is the frame material, no major functional difference.

Then Salsa announced the Blackborow, this is something that is dramatically different from the Mukluk.  Suddenly I didn't care about a fancy titanium frame so I ordered one of these from the really nice people at Red River Cyclery.  I went back an forth as to whether or not to get the DS or geared version.  Ultimately, time, cost (of upgrades to include new Alternator dropout plates), and availability helped me decide on geared.  Though truth be told I love the Forest Service Green, it reminds me of Missoula, Montana.

I was near the end of a really painful couple of weeks when the guys at RRC posted this on Facebook.  It made my day (Image Courtesy of Red River Cyclery)

I am not a good bike reviewer guy but here are some pictures.  So far I like the bike though only time will tell.  Here are some pictures in the wilds of Louisiana.

Louisiana mountain biking

The elevation is ~400 feet above sea level.  Anytime there is a big dip in elevation, there is standing water.  There is no telling what is buried in the mud or how far it will sink.  Some of these are surprisingly deep, the Blackborow with the 26x4.8 tires hand these spots like a champ.

 I love the Spanish Moss.

Though the Surly Lou is not my favorite tire, the width is impressive and traction is great.  I am looking forward to getting a 4.8 Knard tire when I get a second mortgage on my house!

Crud Catcher?

So far I have very few complaints.  Two obvious things that are only mildly annoying are the front brake cable routing which I am guessing will be addressed on next years model, my temporary fix is a zip tie to pull it way from the front tire.  It looks tacky but is functional.  The second is the tire clearance........or lack there of.  I purposely bought this bike because of the shortened chain stays and quicker handling.  But a side effect of this is the front derailleur is a crud catcher.  I also added helicopter tape (not cheap but unnoticeable and worth every cent) to the back of the seat stay to keep the thick mud from shredding the paint.  I also added some to the small brace between the tire and BB which is also a major crud catcher.

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