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  1. #1
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    My La Cruz build

    I was thinking of getting rid of my MTB, because in summer I will move to a location where the nearest hill is about 70km away. So I wanted to stay with the road bike only. But finally I decided, a offroad usable bike would be great. It should be a bike without too much service needed and something special. The logical conclusion was a steel fram with as few gears as possible. First I thought of a single speeder, but trying only one gear on road travels convinced me to go with a 1x9 drivetrain. I had left a complete 105er 9-speed from my old road bike. Thus only a frame would be needed. After thinking about a Crosscheck, I came to Salsa, mainly because of the great colours. I was thinking between the Casseroll and the La Cruz. Finally, I decided for the La Cruz because of disc brakes and the wide off road tires that fit in the frame. Here is my build, just did a few km on it.




  2. #2
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    Very Nice. Whst tires are those you are running?

  3. #3
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    Very nice! Tell us your impressions. I seriously considered a La Cruz (went another Salsa direction) and I recommend it often. Cool bike.

  4. #4
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    Hi, the tires are Schwalbe Smart Sam 37-622. First impressions, the spring in the Avids is a little soft, not able to keep tension on the break cable. But this is not a Salsa problem.
    The frame is, although shorter than my road bike, not in any way too short. Donīt know why people like their frames so big, smaller folks were taking 53 and up frames, mine is a Salsa 51. More to come this evening, as I am on a ride in two hours.

  5. #5
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    Nice!

    You have pushed me over the edge. My poor La Cruz is dirty and lonely right now. I must give my La Cruz a good cleaning, a new 1x9 drive train, and a long ride that consists of road and gravel.

    Nice...And thank you.

    Jason
    Salsa Crew
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    Disclaimer: I work for Salsa Cycles

  6. #6
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    Did a ride of about 40km today. Mixed road and gravel at about 70:30. The bike is silent. Neither the tires nor the drivetrain do make any noise. What a difference compared to my Campagnolo road bike, where I donīt need any rings because of the free hub.
    The geometry is compact, I ride the 51 frame with a 120mm stem and I am 185cm with inseem of 87,5cm. The position is from upright, to slightly streched when going on the STI top. The drivetrain is 105er triple, with only the mid ring (42) and a dura ace 12-25 9er cassette. This gives a nice pressured ride on the mid cassette ring. I will go for a 40er front ring soon, also to get a little better climbing ability. But when running on the 5th cassette ring the chain is nearly straight.
    Doing some slight up and down in the woods with gravel and a dry trail was great, the smart sam is tracking very well. It is easy to direct the bike on long straight downhills, didnīt try the technical stuff today, though.
    Breaks do very well, I am impressed with the breaking power, even on the second ride. Thereīs nearly no rubbing on the discs and still, the pressure is point is not too far back on pulling the levers.
    Only thing I donīt like too much about the avids is the machinging. The moving parts have some free play, like the arm, where the cable is attached to, I hope it will not fall off. This gives some light "ting" sounds when going over rough terrain. Though, it has some play when grabbing it, and when tightening the cable bolt. It is solid when pulling at it, or turning the adjustment knob. Hope it is normal then.

    Overall, this is a great ride. It feels very versatile and will allow much fun. Frame size seems to fit well. Donīt know why most people like their frames one to two sizes larger.

  7. #7
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    Perfect post!! Man I keep going back and forth........build from the frame up with mostly black parts for the black/orange theme, or buy complete with the nice and classic silver and orange. Both look GREAT, and the only thing I can see myself changing on the complete bike is the crank for something with 34/50.


    Steel, discs, dirt, pavement..........sounds pretty darn perfect!

  8. #8
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    88, it is hard to beat the complete for value.

    The La Cruz complete is a very nice balance of cost and performance. I love mine and I'm happy with the complete, but after many years of riding custom MTB, I miss some of the finer things in life like a Thomson seatpost and hand-built wheels.

    When I started spec'ing all my own parts on the SpeedGoat bike-builder site, I pretty quickly had a $3,000+ La Cruz, and that seemed kinda silly to me at the time.

    If you buy the complete, you get the bonus color-matched stem which is otherwise not available. Not a big deal, but that sealed the deal for me.
    It's a 6" 29er, 69 HTA, 29" standover, setup for 31.6 Joplin, 83mm BB, blah blah blah. A bike for being stupid. --Walt Wehner

  9. #9
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    Tony, thanks for the advice. No matter how I slice it, I just can't seem to beat the price and there really isn't anything about it that I don't like.

    What do you use yours for? I'm primarily looking for something that can go on long road/dirt/gentle singletrack rides. I have a feeling I would probably ride this bike everywhere all year round!

    Now if I can only get a discount through my local shop with a team discount than I'll be the happiest person in the world!!

  10. #10
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    When I started spec'ing all my own parts on the SpeedGoat bike-builder site
    I did the same thing with my bike after I built it up...just for kicks.... and the same bike on Speedgoat was $800 more expensive and 2lbs lighter than reality.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88 rex
    Tony, thanks for the advice...
    What do you use yours for? I'm primarily looking for something that can go on long road/dirt/gentle singletrack rides. I have a feeling I would probably ride this bike everywhere all year round!
    I bought the La Cruz to be my "road bike". I didn't want my first road bike to be a throwaway carbon prima donna, I wanted a steel, disc-brake road bike with which I could mostly hang with the group on training rides.

    I ride mine all over the place, but my hands can't take the pounding on rough trails, so I pretty much stick to easy trails, fire roads and pavement. The bike rides great on everything, and I've even done a couple of (very) small drops and jumps just to see how it handles, and it was fine in that environment as well. With narrow handlebars and weight-forward positioning I won't be flying into any rock gardens, but I find that it has a very wide range of applicability for general riding.

    One other thing to think about is that the Casserole is a sweet bike if you don't insist on disc brakes. My main desire for the discs was to maintain theoretical wheel compatibility with my 29er.

    Good luck with your decision!
    It's a 6" 29er, 69 HTA, 29" standover, setup for 31.6 Joplin, 83mm BB, blah blah blah. A bike for being stupid. --Walt Wehner

  12. #12
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    Here it is in the wild:


    Bought the 40 ring today, will try it tomorrow.

  13. #13
    i heart singletrack
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carnifex
    Here it is in the wild:


    Bought the 40 ring today, will try it tomorrow.
    Wow... Awesome. Very nice build. I like those Schwalbe tires you're using. Might have to find a way to get a hold of a set for myself. I don't know who carries those in the US. Gnat, does Q carry those Smart Sams? They should...

    Thanks for the great pics! I've sure been loving my La Cruz. I got about 60 gravel and dirt road miles in on it today, in fact! Sweet!

    Cheers,
    MG
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  14. #14
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    The frame coloured stem ist great, unfortunately, you only get it when buying the complete La Cruz. For the tires: perhaps you can order those on ebay, but it will be more expensive.

  15. #15
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    Here's mine..

    She's got 8 spd barcons with 8 spd xt cassette and xtr rear derailluer. The beauty of friction shift. Campy Record front derailluer on sugino cross cranks. Love this bike!
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  16. #16
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    Here is my campy centaur La Cruz
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    oops, here are bigge pictures,
    Campy Centaur drivetrain
    American Classic (shimano splined campy spaced) cass.
    Brooks saddle
    thomson bits
    xtr hubs laced to delgado rims yadda yadda ya
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  18. #18
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    Is that a 140mm rotor on the rear of your La Cruz?
    How's the modulation of the Campy levers and BB7s?

    Really dig the Campy Build. Then again it's hard to go wrong when starting with the La Cruz.

  19. #19
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    Yeah, the rear is a 140 rear rotor, the brakes feel really good. They modulate nicely but will still stop like crazy. I love the campy too. This is my first campy bike. Two guys that I work with both bought campy bikes, I rode there bikes. That decided for me that my next build was going to be campy.

  20. #20
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    New question here. Firecross 45's

    Has anyone tried running the panaracer Fire Cross 45's on La Cruz? If not, what's a good beefy tire that will fit?

    THanks

    SS93

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelstump93
    Has anyone tried running the panaracer Fire Cross 45's on La Cruz? If not, what's a good beefy tire that will fit?

    THanks

    SS93
    Fire Cross 45s will not fit, and WTB doesn't make the 44c MutanoRaptor that fit very nicely anymore, so that's out. I've been running 38c Schwalbe Marathon Cross tires on mine lately, and the 38c WTB InterWolf is another good option.

    Good luck.

  22. #22
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    Here is my La Cruz. I got it a few weeks ago. It's the only pic I have of it so far, taken on a recent ride with my camera phone. This replaces my Hakkalugi which I sold to pay for this. The whole La Cruz package just sucked me in. Disc brakes. Fender mounts. Thoughtful stock build. And it's Orange with matching stem!

    Mods include a second wheelset (Mavic Speedcity) which will be shod with 32c Soma road tires for commuting, while the stock wheelset will keep the knobbies for weekend rides on Tam, as well as the occasional Friday long route home from work, which has both dirt and pavement. I also just ordered a compact crankset last night because the stock gearing is too high for the hills I want to ride it up. Anyone need my stock Elita crankset?

    I put my SKS full fenders on over the weekend, which had to be heavily modified to mount with the disc brake calipers. So far so good, aside from my 38c front tire rubbing the fender due to not enough clearance at the fork crown. Guess I will save the fat tires for the summer and ride slightly narrower tires for our rainy season when I have the fenders on.

    This thing rocks, and it sure does attract attention. On my ride up the mountain yesterday, I got no fewer than 3 riders yell out at me "La Cruz" or "sweet bike!" One guy spent 15 minutes asking questions about it while I stopped to stretch halfway into the ride. My old curvy Ti Black Sheep didn't even get this kind of attention.

    Thanks Jason & crew for putting out such a great bike!
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  23. #23
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    Well, since this is turning into a "show your La Cruz" thread, I figured why not throw in some pics of my latest joy ride. I've had it for a couple days now and I love this thing. Had it out the other day around a bunch of mountain bikers and the minute I took it out of my Jeep some guy wanted pictures. The color is unreal in person!! I have yet to see a picture capture the true color. Lots of people are interested when they see it and many have taken test rides. I really didn't expect this much attention over a bike! The bike rides great on and off road and this will serve as my main road bike also. It's also taken the role of my commuter for the winter. Nothing beats long cruises with an added bit of adventure up a dirt path or road. Thanks Salsa and the guys at Speedgoat!
    Last edited by 88 rex; 11-03-2008 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Pictures added

  24. #24
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    every time I think I'm over my La Cruz lust, SOMEONE feels the need to post new pics! Sweet looking ride. MUST. RE-SIST. PUT. CREDIT. CARD. DOWN!!!
    Former XXC Mag publisher (re)turned amateur bike blogger at The Soiled Chamois.

  25. #25
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    Keep em coming

    I'm going to be building one up soon. Just need to sell some road bike parts that can't be moved over to the La Cruz.

  26. #26
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    I labored over the decision between the La Cruz and the Chili for months. I ended up going with the La Cruz and I couldn't be happier. I mainly commute on mine in its stock form. I would love to build it with a black kit, but the stock parts just work so well that I can't justify spending the money just for the right look. It really is a great bike. So smooth and comfortable on long rides, and once the brakes get broken in, they work great. I had a little trouble getting them set up initially, but now they are great. Love this bike!
    Just Ridin' Along

  27. #27
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    Nice Build - Here's mine

    I've had it set up as a flat bar and a drop bar. It's now permanently a drop bar.

    Jason
    Salsa Crew
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnatBikes
    I've had it set up as a flat bar and a drop bar. It's now permanently a drop bar.

    Jason
    Salsa Crew
    Nice J...Bet that bike can take a beating with those Crossmax wheels...I just threw on my "commuter" wheelset tonight...a set of Mavic Speedcity with 32c Soma street tires. Now the stock XT/Delgado wheelset will not have to change shoes depending on where I'm riding (pavement sure does burn through cyclocross tires!).

    Who makes that fender you've got on there. Pretty trick.

    Brian

  29. #29
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    Details

    Quote Originally Posted by tamjam
    Nice J...Bet that bike can take a beating with those Crossmax wheels...\

    Who makes that fender you've got on there. Pretty trick.

    Brian
    The bike was pretty nice with the Crossmax wheels. I also rode it for a long time (longer than with the Crossmax) with the new Shimano 29er wheels. I'll be building a set of DT Swiss 240 6 bolt w/Semi rims once the rims actually arrive (late November).

    Fender: It's some cheap Apex Designs I got off the free table at QBP. It works OK at keeping the spray off your hind end, but it's pretty much worthless for anything else, especially if you ride with a group on rainy days. I'll be sporting a more full coverage this winter.

    Jason
    Salsa Crew
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    Nice to see those LaCuzes. I had to undergo surgery 3 weeks ago. Tomorrow will be my first ride after the recovery time. I willgo easy for the first ride, but I am already looking forward to it.

    Regarding the colour as "88 rex" mentioned before, this is one unique property of the La Cruz and Salsa cycles as a whole. They have colours with such a "deep" shine, it is fantastic. Hope they donīt turn into this black, white, gray thing as others do. Although colours donīt look too impressive on the hompage on the newer framees.

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    "Down by the river"

  32. #32
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    Oh man.... Loving these pictures.

    I bought a full kit on the www last week and it should be with me sometime before wednesday.

    Cant wait.
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  33. #33
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    Finnaly!

    Lovin` it....









    Ok, I took the long route yesterday.... 120km.
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  34. #34
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    In case y'all didn't catch this on the 650B forum, I think it's one of the coolest La Cruz builds I have come across yet.

    http://www.bikeman.com/content/view/1888/147/
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  35. #35
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    Im on to that like a bug on jam!
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  36. #36
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    What size tires??

    ...are on the Cruz with the crossmax wheelset? How big can you go with them? Monstercross, extreme cyclocross, psychlo...whatever... me likey, Jason!!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamjam
    In case y'all didn't catch this on the 650B forum, I think it's one of the coolest La Cruz builds I have come across yet.

    http://www.bikeman.com/content/view/1888/147/



    That will be an awesome set-up if the mini-moto ever makes it to production. It is very Rawland-ish.

  38. #38
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    Looks like fun, but too bad the La Cruz doesn't have a bit more clearance, those Neo Moto's are tight in there.
    Last edited by Tony; 02-05-2009 at 12:32 AM. Reason: Reference the correct tire, Neo instead of Quasi

  39. #39
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    Too bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony
    Looks like fun, but too bad the La Cruz doesn't have a bit more clearance, those Quasi Moto's are tight in there.
    I need to chime in here. The La Cruz is a cross bike designed for 700c's. Keep that in mind if you set it up with 650b's. All I see in that set up is a disaster. Paint rub and a voided warranty when you ride it like a mtn bike and something breaks.

    Just don't do it.

    Jason
    Salsa Crew
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnatBikes
    Paint rub and a voided warranty when you ride it like a mtn bike and something breaks.

    Just don't do it.

    Jason
    Salsa Crew

    It does come stock with mountain bike rims.........just saying.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnatBikes
    I need to chime in here. The La Cruz is a cross bike designed for 700c's. Keep that in mind if you set it up with 650b's. All I see in that set up is a disaster. Paint rub and a voided warranty when you ride it like a mtn bike and something breaks.

    Just don't do it.

    Jason
    Salsa Crew
    Come on J, if you said that about the Casseroll I'd be with you, but this is the La Cruz we are talking about, the bike you always recommend when people ask you if they can take their Casseroll off-road. Aside from paint rub issues, which I agree are highly likely to occur with the 650B setup I referenced above, are you really concerned about anything besides CYA? I don't think anyone intends to "ride it like a mtn bike" just because they have a higher volume tire on it than you may have intended.

    I have a 650B front wheel hanging un-used in my garage which I intend to put a Quasi-Moto on and try it 650B fat-front/700c rear, sort of like my fat front Jones. I think it will be a cool experiment. Mike of Black Mountain Cycles in Pt Reyes CA has a whole bit on his blog about interchanging wheels on a Rawland, and I think the La Cruz can handle it too. And if it breaks, no worries, I'll assume the risk !

    Brian

  42. #42
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    I'd say that 650b isn't needed to ride the La Cruz like a mtn bike ;-) but I definitely have to pick different lines than when on my El Rey.

    It isn't a cushy ride, but my La Cruz is really fun to ride on easy XC trails with 700x40 Ritchey Speedmax tires. I'm running them tubeless at 65psi on Stan's Flow rims (my lightest tubeless wheelset.)

    As far as durability goes, who knows, but the trails I'm talking about (Marshall Mesa, Eagle Trail, and Teller Farm in Boulder, CO) have about a 50-50 mix of cross and mtb bikes on them in the winter so it is a fairly common thing to abuse cross bikes thusly around here.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamjam
    Come on J, if you said that about the Casseroll I'd be with you, but this is the La Cruz we are talking about, the bike you always recommend when people ask you if they can take their Casseroll off-road. Aside from paint rub issues, which I agree are highly likely to occur with the 650B setup I referenced above, are you really concerned about anything besides CYA? I don't think anyone intends to "ride it like a mtn bike" just because they have a higher volume tire on it than you may have intended.

    I have a 650B front wheel hanging un-used in my garage which I intend to put a Quasi-Moto on and try it 650B fat-front/700c rear, sort of like my fat front Jones. I think it will be a cool experiment. Mike of Black Mountain Cycles in Pt Reyes CA has a whole bit on his blog about interchanging wheels on a Rawland, and I think the La Cruz can handle it too. And if it breaks, no worries, I'll assume the risk !

    Brian
    I am simply stating there is a difference between riding off road with cross tires and off road with a big fat mtn tire. You do things differently in how you ride your bike off road.

    With the La Cruz, yes I've ridden my La Cruz off road (no stunts, drops, etc). This has been done with cross tires that have a specific volume, width, etc. The volume, width, traction put limits on what I can and can't do with my La Cruz off road.

    If someone puts fat 650b tires and now rides that bike like a true mtn bike, you are going to have problems because you will ride the bike differently as the bike would have more off road capability than with a traditional cross tire.

    That is why I don't recommend it. The La Cruz is a cross bike designed for 700c wheels. It is not a mtn bike.

    Make sense?

    Jason
    Salsa Crew
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnatBikes
    I am simply stating there is a difference between riding off road with cross tires and off road with a big fat mtn tire. You do things differently in how you ride your bike off road.

    That is why I don't recommend it. The La Cruz is a cross bike designed for 700c wheels. It is not a mtn bike.

    Make sense?

    Jason
    Salsa Crew
    I understand what you're saying Jason, don't worry. I think it's safe to say though that a 2.0 MTB tire isn't big nor fat enough to inspire anyone to go bombing through rock gardens or start taking 3' drops. That's what our mountain bikes are for. All I see it doing for me is providing a little more cush on the rocky fire roads around my house the La Cruz is perfect for.

  45. #45
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    I think you just need one of these.

    Quote Originally Posted by tamjam
    I understand what you're saying Jason, don't worry. I think it's safe to say though that a 2.0 MTB tire isn't big nor fat enough to inspire anyone to go bombing through rock gardens or start taking 3' drops. That's what our mountain bikes are for. All I see it doing for me is providing a little more cush on the rocky fire roads around my house the La Cruz is perfect for.
    Ha!
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salsa Cycles
    Ha!
    Ha, you're a funny guy Jason. Must be that frozen tundra of a state you call home causing your senses to go numb! As much as I like the Fargo, I think my La Cruz is just about the perfect bike for needs...ok a bit more tire clearance would be nice...and the ability to have fenders AND racks would be nice too...uh, ok, I think I see where you're going with this now...

  47. #47
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    Isnīt there a whitish LaCruz that has Fenders AND Racks somewhere in the Salsa subforums?

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    One from Brisbane

    When researching how to build up my La Cruz I found the information from you highly informed and highly obsessional people quite invaluable so I thought I'd post the finished article for everyone to see!
    Basically I wanted a bike that would do everything and go everywhere: commuting, touring, occasional off road, trailer dragging, roadie bashing etc etc...
    I reckon the final spec is pretty much perfect. Triple chainset non-compact xt up front with 12-27 9 speed rear and 10 speed campag record ergos all indexing perfectly courtesy of Jtek Engineering shiftmate ( http://www.jtekengineering.com/shiftmate.htm ) (a wee widget that allows you to magically mix and match groupsets). Avid bb7s are surprisingly good - was worried about their power compared to hydraulics - and work very well with the record levers. I'm currently running 28c road tyres for the daily commute but can't wait to try out something wider and knobblier and go and scare myself on some singletrack.
    For size I went for the 51 - I agree with Carnifex here - I am 5'11'' with longish 34" inside leg. To ride it feels fantastic, fast and agile but very solid and planted - it would need to be ridden very fast to feel unstable on the road. It is a fair bit stiffer than I expected - some of which is down to the fork and 90psi tyres - but is not harsh, rather it seems to gain momentum and not lose it through the bumps. Very involving and very fun!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  49. #49
    fux
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    Nice build!
    Disclaimer. I now sell bicycles and bicycle tyres.

    instacrap ----> http://instagram.com/manx71/

  50. #50
    mtbr member
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    This is a nice build.
    I went for a ride tonight, I love this bike. . We had alot of rain lately and January and February were way too cold, but now it looks like spring is coming.

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