Oct 2, 2010
I was happy to see someone comment last week on the newly updated Salsa Casseroll. Salsa has been super busy over the past year updating and adding to their already impressive line of adventure-oriented bikes, so here's a rundown of a few bikes that I was excited to check out last week, starting with the Casseroll.*
The Casseroll has long been Salsa's go-to randonneur bike for light-load, credit-card-style tours, club rides, or commuting. For 2011, the bike will be taking on some key updates that look to make it even more versatile. To start out, they have moved to a taller headtube, which will give you a more upright position for comfort through long miles. This also allows the bike to run a more classic style horizontal top tube (as opposed to its previous slightly sloping top tube), without sacrificing a good stand over height. Another feature to increase comfort is a raked fork in place of the previous straight blade fork. This will extend the wheelbase, which should smooth out the ride a bit.
As for hauling your load, there are two sets of rack eyelets on the rear stay, which gives you some extra options for a rear rack. Up front, the Casseroll will include a painted-to-match front rack that is great for holding a light load, or supporting a handlebar bag. On the hydration end, a third set of bottle cage mounts can extend your range between water stops. The final feature that makes a lot of sense is the addition of cantilever brake bosses, as opposed to only accommodating caliper style brakes. This will give you some extra space for wider tires, and improved mud shedding clearance.
Next up is the Salsa Fargo. This bike is only a few years old, but is already taking on some big updates. A few years back, Salsa's Joe Meiser put the original Fargo through the ringer in the Tour Divide mountain bike race, and in the process, snapped his non-replaceable derailleur hanger. Not wanting anyone else to deal with that headache, the new Fargo will feature a replaceable derailleur hanger. In addition to this the headtube has been tweaked a bit to mesh well with an 80mm suspension fork if you want something more plush than the steel fork. The steel Fargo will be available as a frameset or complete bike, and I'm excited to see that Salsa is jumping on SRAM's new Apex 10spd group.
For riders looking for something a little lighter, this bike will soon be available in a titanium frame, in addition to the current steel option. Aside from material, the big difference between the two bikes is that the titanium frame will accept 160mm rotors, instead of the 185mm disc brake rotors of the steel frame. The titanium Fargo will be available as a frameset only, and include a steel fork with two bottle cage eyelets.
Continuing with their appreciation for titanium, the Salsa Vaya will also get a companion with the Vaya Ti. The Vaya has a true touring geometry, and was the bike of choice for Adventure Cycling's executive director, Jim Sayer, on his family's tour of the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route earlier this summer. Like its steel counterpart, the Vaya Ti has a compact geometry to ease mounting and dismounting, a long wheelbase, and is set up only to accept disc brakes.
All and all, this does a good job of covering the adventure crowd, with light touring, heavily loaded touring, and off-road touring options.
*As of 2013 Salsa no longer manufacters the Casseroll.
Photos by Josh Tack.
TOURING GEAR AND TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead.