Stormchaser thread- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Stormchaser thread

    Launched today - aluminum gravel bike with single speed build, $1500. Thru axles, carbon fork, flared handlebars, cable brakes. Comes with two cogs on a freehub, and optional dropout parts (and cable routing!) to mount a rear derailleur. Frame and fork, including thru axles, headset, optional RD dropout bits and hanger, $1100.

    It's another new dropout, "Alternator Flat Mount"

    https://salsacycles.com/culture/introducing_stormchaser
    https://salsacycles.com/bikes/stormc...r_single_speed

    Looks like a choose-your-own-drivetrain more than a single speed to me.

    Still 27.2 post and longish seat tube in spite of dropper routing, and 100mm front axle

  2. #2
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    I was checking that out too. Looks kinda neat. I'm a wee bit disappointed the frame price is what it is. I know it is cheap components on the $1500 build, was hoping the frameset would come in closer to the $800 range. Oh well. It'll sell pretty good!
    Silly bike things happening.

  3. #3
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    Looks nice. If I had to replace my Surly Cross Check Iíd consider one of these for the chain tensioning capability, similar tire clearance, and compatibility with modern components. Ever since the Casseroll went away Salsa hasnít had a lightweight fixed/SS capable drop bar bike. Marrakesh and Fargo have V1 Alternators but are super heavy duty, Journeyman and Vaya have vertical QR dropouts, and the carbon frames Warbird, Warroad, and Cutthroat have regular non-moving thru axles.

    I wonder if the new flat mount Alternator will be the standard going forward, given that gravel brakes are mostly flat mount now.

  4. #4
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    I think it's a pretty cool frame.

    If they did geared builds the highest Jo and lowest Warbird would have to go away. They did that with the Timberjack and Rangefinder and... ha, looks like Woodsmoke is gone for 2020. But Warbird isn't, so that gave them a ceiling.

    The dropouts are clever but they don't look up to MTB duty. Four bikes have the V1 so they will likely stay around as long as they want to make versatile bikes. I'm sure they started out trying to make a flat mount adapter for the V1 and found out it wouldn't work.

  5. #5
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    Still kind of obsessing about this bike since there isn't much else to do.

    It seems like this is the aluminum middle bike for 2020. The bottom Tiagra carbon Warbird is selling out and the top Apex Journeyman is ... well, so far it's still in stock, but no updates for 2020 shown.

    Why'd they go as far as they did but not further? Granted it's not the top of the lineup but it's the newest and cleverest. The wide tire clearance has pushed them to mountain bike cranks. The Race Face cranks are about half a cm less than anyone else's, but still 2cm wider than road cranks. But if they are going to do this anyway, why not make it Boost? Similarly why is the front still 100 and not 110, especially for the "rugged" model? The Fargo fork is 110. Why brag on your dropper routing when you have a 27.2 seat post and road bike seat tube length?

    Why not sell it with dang gears?

  6. #6
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    I like a lot about this bike. I could possibly see picking one up if it wasnít for the color!

  7. #7
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    Looking forward to seeing these come out and about.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    I picked up a 56cm Stormchaser on Friday. Rides pretty rad, so far I'm a fan. Paint looks awesome in person.

  9. #9
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    Are these already sold out before I got to buy one? REI shows only 49 and 52.5

  10. #10
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    When I picked mine up, the shop said they only did a very limited run of completes. They also didnít know when more would be on the way... could be some on some shop floors still. I bet if you messaged Salsa they might be able to help you find one.

  11. #11
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    I think I saw on the Q&A section on the Stromchasers page that Salsa plans in July to bring out a new color.

  12. #12
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    Just found one... should arrive in a few weeks. Will report back. Will try it stock for a little while. Planning a 1x build but it might not be fancy at first

  13. #13
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    Nice! What tire size you thinking?

  14. #14
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    Heads up, rear wheel bearings are already shot on my stormchaser. Best we can tell bearings came from the factory on the dry side (we didn't see evidence of contamination), so after a few hundred miles you might want to take a peek and make sure things are OK.

  15. #15
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    @funoutside it's a complete and already set up tubeless so unless the stock tires are irritating or I really get a bug to try something else they should stay for a while
    @OUW thanks, that's got to be irritating.

  16. #16
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    Bike in hand but it's only been ridden with kids in pursuit of the ice cream truck. General impression is that the frame is light but firm, fork is stout, and the wheels are heavy. I'll weigh some things soon. If anyone wants a photo of any particular detail let me know and I'll try to oblige. It's a 54.5 and I feel like it fits me great at 5-8 but the guy who sold it to me was also 5-8 and felt it was too small. I have the upper set of bosses on the down tube but no way they would actually clear a bottle, so I'm not really sure what they're for except maybe direct mount of a frame bag. I certainly like the welded-in pass throughs for the cables a lot better than the mere holes in the Timberjack frame. The wheel hubs are really standard cartridge bearing and endcap style. The two cogs are mounted on a standard freehub with spacers... I'd have to measure to know if it's mountain or road freehub but I suspect mountain.

  17. #17
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    I finally got an hour ride in. I'd like to tell you all about how each of the features work out, but honestly the most notable things so far while riding are the single speed and the tires.

    The tires are pretty tready and I expect they will get used up quickly because I can hear them sticking to the pavement on each pedal stroke. Wf, wf, wf.

    38-18 was about right for me on pavement with my heart condition and the little knobbies. I expect it would be good for a stronger rider in poor conditions. If it had smaller slicks the 17 would be too low even for me. I was expecting to have trouble going uphill but I didn't... there are a few place

    I thought the gearing would bother me but so far I haven't been to the places where it would stop me. I thought that would irritate me first, but instead I'm not especially happy with the brakes and wish it were hydro.

    In the grand scheme it does feel very much like a Road Bike and not a Mountain Bike. I need to do something cosmetic around the fork crown because it is really a big flat bore right there. Anywhere else there's something clever to look at.

    I believe a Race Face Cinch power meter will go right into the bottom bracket - edit, no it won't, the crank and bb are 24 mm and the Cinch power meter is 30mm

    Someone else will have to do racing reviews, this is going to be my all around commuter roadie.
    Last edited by Darth Lefty; 08-13-2020 at 02:27 PM.

  18. #18
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    First seriously offroad ride yesterday and the bike came home creaking and wobbling. A creak had been developing for a few rides but it was inconsistent, not like your normal crank click that always seems to be at the same point in the stroke.

    The culprit was the Alternators. Apparently from the factory they do not have any Loctite. The prior owner of my bike might have moved them, too.

    My procedure gave me a little annoyance, so I won't tell you all about it. If I were doing it over, I'd take out the wheel, loosen the screws just short of the nut falling out, then apply Loctite to the inside of the nut

  19. #19
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    For any weight weenies in the crowd

    Front wheel assembly 1748
    Rear 2028
    This includes disks, cogs and spacers, stock tires with a few hundred miles wear, valves. Set up tubeless with an unknown tape or amount of sealant. Does not include thru axles. The 64 spokes are not butted.

    Seat & post assembly is 616 grams. Seat has steel rails. The straight part of the post shaft is 32 cm and on mine about 15 cm is exposed.

    So that's ten lb. I'm sure these are the locations to lose pounds and not ounces. The frame set is listed 5 lb 6 oz.

    Places to lose ounces and not grams:
    There's like half a lb if you went to a carbon crank. It was really nice of them to put such a decent and universally upgradeable crankset on it, the Powerspline crap on the other models gets old.
    Stock handlebar is the regular version, going to carbon would save about 90 grams.
    Stem, maybe? Rotors?

    Places to lose grams:
    There's no shifting system and the controls don't weigh much. Many of the mounts already have plugs, not screws. Stem, nuts and bolts, seat collar, top cap, spacers.

  20. #20
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    thanks for sharing, Darth!

    While I am still apprehensive about owning an aluminum/carbon bike, I am considering a Stormchaser. what I don't get is the sizing. Salsa recommends a 56cm, but I would need a short-ish stem slammed on the head tube to make that fit. I am about 175cm tall on a good day. why does that seem too large to me? here's a mockup of how two medium sizes would fit me the same way my current bike does:

    Name:  Stormchaser fit.jpg
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    Here's Salsa geo chart:

    Name:  Stormchaser geo.jpg
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  21. #21
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    I'm right at 5-8 and the small 54.5 fits me ok. I haven't experimented yet much with fit. My Timberjack is a medium and needed a shorter stem and lower spacers, and lost its seat setback when it got a dropper. Be sure when you look at this to consider they use crank and stem sizes unique to each size, and bars which are pretty short reach and really wide drops. Also a pretty far set back seat post.

  22. #22
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    my current bike is closer to a 54.5cm Stormchaser in frame size but I might use a slightly longer stem than the stock one. I am using a Cowbell handlebar, which is similar in size to a Cowchipper but with less flare.

    it seems like the Stormchaser is closer to being a drop-bar mountain bike than a road bike. is that assessment fair? Honestly, most of my miles on my drop bar bike are on roads, but I like the challenge of gravel races and scary-fun on singletrack. not sure the 'chaser will scratch that itch, especially if it means compromising on parts like heavy wheels.

  23. #23
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    No, it is definitely a road bike. Up to date but not extreme gravel geo. It's much like the Warbird and Journeyman drop bar. The Cutthroat is their current thinking on a drop bar mountain bike.

  24. #24
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    Warbird is their gravel race bike with gravel geo & can take the Fox AX 40mm fork. The Stormchaser geo is very close to the Warbird, but isn't suspension corrected. The Fargo & Cutthroat are a bit slacker can tale a 100mm xc fork.
    https://bikeinsights.com/compare?geo...8022001763a13c

  25. #25
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    The SC has a longer fork and shorter head tube to make its advertised clearance and so the suspension fork would probably fit it better than the WB. But for whatever reason they didn't rate for it. There's a guy on the FB group who has a Lauf fork on his already.

  26. #26
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    OT: I'm not 100% sure how I feel about suspension, even full suspension, on a road bike. The usual road tires and frame give you maybe an inch of compliance and the smallest "real" MTB's have four inches travel plus 2" of tire so there must be some use for the space in between. But for a pure road bike whose only purpose is turning calories into MPH, the damping and added complexity is a killer. So it's mostly occupied by hokey comfort stuff like suspension seat posts and stems, or flexy frames. The MTB companies who have made gravel bikes have been trying it properly, but none of it has really taken off. I think it would really go well on a tandem where suspension posts are popular for the stoker and the speeds and weights are both into motorcycle territory. But whenever I've written about it, all the tandem respondents have seemed against it, even though full suspension MTB tandems with pretty short travel exist.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    The SC has a longer fork and shorter head tube to make its advertised clearance and so the suspension fork would probably fit it better than the WB. But for whatever reason they didn't rate for it. There's a guy on the FB group who has a Lauf fork on his already.
    I've been told Lauf works on non sus corrected bike as long as a to c is close to the rigid manufacture fork.

  28. #28
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    Welp. Hangar rash, probably incurred during a family camping trip 2 weeks ago.

    Stormchaser thread-7a1d5060_ae65_457c_be62_48008a7dc522_b98f6091d93acbc9790a2b7cab019c234e08c137.jpg

  29. #29
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    Is that going to affect anything? How are you liking the bike otherwise?

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