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  1. #1
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    New Salsa Steel Hardtail

    Alright rumor mill, any chance Salsa has a new steel hardtail in the works? I know the El Mar seems has long been replaced with the Timberjack, but I sure think Salsa is missing out on a big segment of the bikepacking/ultra/adventure scene without a non-drop bar steel hardtail in their lineup. I've owned a myriad of Salsas and Surlys, and I would be ecstatic to pick up a modern geometry steel HT that doesn't weigh the metric sh*t ton of the Surly KM. I know they both are under the parent QBP company, and I sure hope the latest marketing and branding moves haven't abandoned those steel roots forever. Anybody think it will happen? A boy can dream..

  2. #2
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    I’d be very interested Salsa!

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    Brits are pretty much the only ones that are paying much attention to the steel aficionado market these days. Few little companies here and there but I think that Surly/Salsa will only ever keep their current line-up unless there is a massive resurgence of people wanting steel for some reason.

    If you are looking for a 29er that could be versatile, I have personally been looking at the Cotic SolarisMAX as something that could be a fun singletrack shredder but still workout as a commuter/bikepacking/gravel grinder type bike.

    As much as I love my old On-One Inbred 29er, there are days that I wish it was more than an XC bike so the days that I commute to the office, I could take a quick jaunt out to the trails (only a couple miles from my office) and shred some singletrack on it then commute home.

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    I'll have to check it out. I'm thinking I may just build up another KM, but damn is that frameset heavy.

    I have always found it comical that the country with the most oft endorsed crap weather is the breeding ground for so many awesome steel bikes.

    With the explosion of bikepacking and subsequent attached market, I would think that the 'Adventure by Bike' mothership would be a driving force in that niche and I'm always amazed they dropped the El Mar. Salsa has designed some pretty cool bikes as of late, but I'm still convinced they're missing out.

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    so i was as anti carbon as anyone 10 years back but have you ridden a carbon bike lately? if you have not IMHO you should do that first then decide if you want another steel frame. aside from it being "REAL" i see no benefits if your going with a standard production size...

  6. #6
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    Not sure how the weight compares to the KM, but if you want steel what about the Niner SIR9?

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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    so i was as anti carbon as anyone 10 years back but have you ridden a carbon bike lately? if you have not IMHO you should do that first then decide if you want another steel frame. aside from it being "REAL" i see no benefits if your going with a standard production size...
    One of the other bikes in my stable is the new Warbird and it is an amazing bike. I couldn't be happier with it, and I've been on a few other carbon rigs: Stache, Woodsmoke, Cutthroat, Top Fuel, Remedy and they are all definitely sweet. They feel like rocketships compared to most of the bikes I grew up riding and cut my trail teeth on. There's just something about a steel hardtail I can't get over though. First world problems for sure..

    I have definitely thought about the Sir 9 and love the look of it. Never had a chance to ride one though and I haven't come across any deals good enough to pull the trigger on one without a demo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    so i was as anti carbon as anyone 10 years back but have you ridden a carbon bike lately? if you have not IMHO you should do that first then decide if you want another steel frame. aside from it being "REAL" i see no benefits if your going with a standard production size...
    Yeah that is how I was up until I just got my REVVED Carbon Guerrilla Gravity The Smash. Such an awesome bike, but then again their aluminum bikes were awesome as well. I did not specifically go looking for a carbon bike but it just ended up that way.

    As for the steel, there is quite a different "feel" to the steel bikes that I have not yet experienced with anything else. I can only describe it as a "warmth" and compliance that other materials just don't have.

    With regards to the statement about the crappiest weather place producing the most steel bikes, well that is where Reynolds was born and currently is today. So they have a plethora of the top steel companies/materials made there on that small island. So that makes a lot of sense, like us looking for "US Made" products, why not build bikes out of a Brit made steel if you are looking to build a steel bike?!

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    I didn't realize that's where Reynolds tubing came from, interesting. I don't mean to criticize the UK riders in any way, I've never been and there are plenty of times I think OH could give the weather a run for its money. It's just that the interwebs so often cite the rust and corrosion problems with steel, and it's an amusing irony that the steel cult is so strong there.

    I'll be the first to admit I'm a sucker for Salsa's marketing, but I've had bikes from a number of companies. I think they're a company where a steel HT definitely makes sense in their lineup and they usually come at a decent price point. I'm with you there's a certain quality and personality to steel that just isn't in AL or carbon bikes. It may all just be in peoples' heads, but it definitely feels different.

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    Yeah it wasn't until recently when I was doing research on steel FS bikes that I found out that Reynolds is based in the UK. But definitely makes sens when looking at it from teh point of "support local" type mentality.


    And don't get me wrong, I believe that most companies should have a versatile steel hardtail in their quiver as there are plenty of people who would go after one. I mean look at the reviews people have of the Chromag Rootdown BA or the Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead, Nukeproof Scout and the like. Lots and lots of people out there that love the feel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by natureonthefly View Post
    Alright rumor mill, any chance Salsa has a new steel hardtail in the works? I know the El Mar seems has long been replaced with the Timberjack, but I sure think Salsa is missing out on a big segment of the bikepacking/ultra/adventure scene without a non-drop bar steel hardtail in their lineup. I've owned a myriad of Salsas and Surlys, and I would be ecstatic to pick up a modern geometry steel HT that doesn't weigh the metric sh*t ton of the Surly KM. I know they both are under the parent QBP company, and I sure hope the latest marketing and branding moves haven't abandoned those steel roots forever. Anybody think it will happen? A boy can dream..
    https://eskercycles.com/products/hayduke I have one of these that I will be building later this week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoon View Post
    https://eskercycles.com/products/hayduke I have one of these that I will be building later this week.
    Very curious to hear your thoughts on how that build turns out. Seems like a pretty sweet bike that ticks a lot of the adventure hardtail boxes. My understanding is that those replaced the previous Advocate Cycles Hayduke, which was the brain child of a previous Salsa bike designer? Might make for a great alternative.

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    Your understanding is correct. When I get it built, I'll post back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoon View Post
    Your understanding is correct. When I get it built, I'll post back.
    If you're building it with 29" wheels, I'm really interested to know what will the actual BB height will end like, and what is your choice of fork. As much as I like it as a concept, it really seems to be designed for 27.5x2.8 wheels max. But the rest is sweet.

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    Wow I wish I hadn’t opened this thread the hayduke is everything I love about steel hardtails. I currently ride a Ritchey p-29 and am torn now. If the currency rate between Aud and Usd wasn’t so bad I’d have bought one on first site.

    Must resist... at least a day or two anyway

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    I am building with 27.5 wheels and 2.4 tires. Esker says the rear will take up to 29x2.3. Maybe some bigger meats will go in for now I will be "runs what I brungs".

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    There is also the RSD MiddleChild that offers more of a Adventure/Trail advocacy type ride.

    I guess the question is.... what is needed to check all the boxes to make a "good" adventure mtb?

    - Modern(ish) geometry
    - Fork travel up to 120mm?
    - 27.5+ compatible (for 29er lovers?)
    - Boost rear with thru-axle?
    - Multiple bottle mount braze-ons?
    - Pannier mount compatible?
    - Dropper post compatible? (up to 125mm?)
    - Certain headtube length?
    - Tapered steerer?
    - 2x/3x front compatible or only 1x?

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    There is also the RSD MiddleChild that offers more of a Adventure/Trail advocacy type ride.

    I guess the question is.... what is needed to check all the boxes to make a "good" adventure mtb?
    I think you nailed it @gregnash. Surely I'm not in charge of marketing and no one really cares of my opinion, but I think that ticks just about all of my personal boxes.
    - Ability to easily switch between rigid and a 100-140mm travel fork
    - Tapered steerer
    - Modern geo (ie not pure XC)
    - Likely Boost though spacing is its own discussion (I think Surly's Gnotboost design is pretty ingenious as well as the alternator plates from Salsa to keep options open)
    - Braze ons for at least 2 bottles within the frame and I also like the TT and DT options
    - Dropper post compatible
    - 29er with ability to run 27.5+ if desired
    - +/- rack mounts
    - I think 1x is fine, but again options are always appreciated
    - *And for me personally, steel. It's asking a lot, but I wish for something that balances durability with a reasonable weight

  20. #20
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    What's wrong with the Karate Monkey? I absolutely love mine. What would a Salsa branded steel hardtail do that the Karate Monkey doesn't do already?

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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    What's wrong with the Karate Monkey? I absolutely love mine. What would a Salsa branded steel hardtail do that the Karate Monkey doesn't do already?
    I would guess just cut a little weight. That frame seems to be about a pound or so heavier than all the others I've come across. TBH I'm actually trying to get my hands on a used frame to build up now as most of the other options are a little out of my price range and it meets essentially all of my requirements. I'm really interested that Esker Hayduke as well, but I haven't heard much (good or bad) about it. I just started the thread for fun and to see if there were any rumors floating around the interwebs of an updated El Mariachi/steel Timberjack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by natureonthefly View Post
    I would guess just cut a little weight. That frame seems to be about a pound or so heavier than all the others I've come across. TBH I'm actually trying to get my hands on a used frame to build up now as most of the other options are a little out of my price range and it meets essentially all of my requirements. I'm really interested that Esker Hayduke as well, but I haven't heard much (good or bad) about it. I just started the thread for fun and to see if there were any rumors floating around the interwebs of an updated El Mariachi/steel Timberjack.
    I guess I never weighed mine, so I wouldn't know.

    I've always thought steel bikes started going the way of the do-do bird because of consumer product standards. My understanding is that they crash bicycles to make sure they hold up; I can hardly imagine the tests to be actual tests of likely crashes. Otherwise I doubt Surly is making a heavier bike than they need to make. I would imagine the stays are straight gauge just due to expense and the minimal weight savings there, but other than that, there's probably not a lot of weight to take out and still have a durable trail bike.

    Weight does not matter anyway (a pound is not something you'll ever notice in the real world), but even if it did care, my friend's Specialized Fuse (aluminum) weighs pretty much the same as my Karate Monkey.

  23. #23
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    New Salsa Steel Hardtail

    I’ve been riding an Advocate Hayduke with 27.5 x 3.0 for 3.5 years. It’s an absolutely fantastic bike. Was on an El Mar prior to the Hayduke.

    The new Hayduke has great build options and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one again, even if a new “el mar” is coming from Salsa.


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    I started with an old steel Trek and after 25 years moved to AL and after 2 years went to carbon. I love the carbon and it reminds me why every time I ride it. But, my steel bikes were the ones that rode the quietest and I trust to keep doing so. I don't expect to have the carbon frame more than a few years.

    I don't know who would possibly worry about a little rust. Especially since very few steel bikes have much at all on the frame. I've seen steel bikes in barns or left out for decades that could still be rideable.

    When I find a steel frame I think I'd like I'm buying it just to sit in the garage till the carbon is done with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    There is also the RSD MiddleChild that offers more of a Adventure/Trail advocacy type ride.

    I guess the question is.... what is needed to check all the boxes to make a "good" adventure mtb?

    - Modern(ish) geometry
    - Fork travel up to 120mm?
    - 27.5+ compatible (for 29er lovers?)
    - Boost rear with thru-axle?
    - Multiple bottle mount braze-ons?
    - Pannier mount compatible?
    - Dropper post compatible? (up to 125mm?)
    - Certain headtube length?
    - Tapered steerer?
    - 2x/3x front compatible or only 1x?
    Dunno if there is any one answer. My guess everyone will have some sort of variation. For example, all I wanted was a slack-ish steel frame in 27.5 that'd be able to run a 140mm fork.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by natureonthefly View Post
    It's just that the interwebs so often cite the rust and corrosion problems with steel, and it's an amusing irony that the steel cult is so strong there.
    In practice there is no corrosion problem with steel bikes. I've abused steel frames at the beach for months at a time as well as Canadian winters with road salt and such. It doesn't take much care to prevent rust issues.
    Safe riding,

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  27. #27
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    This thread title is misleading. It suggests that there is a new Salsa hardtail when the OP is really asking "should Salsa make a new steel hardtail?" or "has anyone heard about anything in the pipeline."

    I vote for a change of thread title.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    This thread title is misleading. It suggests that there is a new Salsa hardtail when the OP is really asking "should Salsa make a new steel hardtail?" or "has anyone heard about anything in the pipeline."

    I vote for a change of thread title.
    I apologize. Don't mean to make trouble amongst the interwebs. I'd be happy to change it but frankly don't know how.


    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I guess I never weighed mine, so I wouldn't know.

    I've always thought steel bikes started going the way of the do-do bird because of consumer product standards. My understanding is that they crash bicycles to make sure they hold up; I can hardly imagine the tests to be actual tests of likely crashes. Otherwise I doubt Surly is making a heavier bike than they need to make. I would imagine the stays are straight gauge just due to expense and the minimal weight savings there, but other than that, there's probably not a lot of weight to take out and still have a durable trail bike.

    Weight does not matter anyway (a pound is not something you'll ever notice in the real world), but even if it did care, my friend's Specialized Fuse (aluminum) weighs pretty much the same as my Karate Monkey.

    Great points. I have no idea what dictates the required strength testing and subsequent frame weight. I am not of the XC racer type and frankly don't care all that much, it's more of a in a perfect world sort of idea.

    Y'all have made some interesting points and I'm definitely getting more and more interested in that Hayduke. The price really isn't much higher than the KM either. It sure is a fine time to be alive in the world of bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by natureonthefly View Post
    Great points. I have no idea what dictates the required strength testing and subsequent frame weight. I am not of the XC racer type and frankly don't care all that much, it's more of a in a perfect world sort of idea.
    Here's an interesting video from a while ago on that topic which goes into some of the issues - Cy Turner (Cotic bikes) talking about the testing required for frames in the UK:
    https://youtu.be/_lULbzqs90c

  30. #30
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    Here’s another pic of my Hayduke - taken by the great folks at Cedaero, after they finished my frame bag.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXTless View Post
    Here’s another pic of my Hayduke - taken by the great folks at Cedaero, after they finished my frame bag.

    Very cool build, looks fantastic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    What's wrong with the Karate Monkey? I absolutely love mine. What would a Salsa branded steel hardtail do that the Karate Monkey doesn't do already?
    Agree-- the bike you're looking for is the Karate Monkey. A Salsa version might be marginally lighter, but would probably compromise tire clearance. The KM can run 29+ if you get the itch.

    If weight is a primary metric you can already buy an Al or Ti Timberjack.
    Stache 7 --- Rigid Surly 1x1 B+ --- Dirt Drop CrossCheck

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    No Jamis Dragonslayer love in this thread? Admittedly is comes from the factory only in 27.5+, but it can run 29s up to at least 2.4".

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by looks easy from here View Post
    No Jamis Dragonslayer love in this thread? Admittedly is comes from the factory only in 27.5+, but it can run 29s up to at least 2.4".
    The Jamis is a real bike that already exists, so doesn't belong here.

    This thread is about a bike that doesn't exist. Why? No idea???
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by looks easy from here View Post
    No Jamis Dragonslayer love in this thread? Admittedly is comes from the factory only in 27.5+, but it can run 29s up to at least 2.4".
    Cool looking bike online, yet to see one in any store.

  36. #36
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    More of them in stores than steel Salsa hardtails.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    Cool looking bike online, yet to see one in any store.
    I've got a friend riding one and he really likes it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    The Jamis is a real bike that already exists, so doesn't belong here.

    This thread is about a bike that doesn't exist. Why? No idea???
    A thread you posted in twice..

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