Salsa Cutthroat, Much More Than a Tour Divide Rig Words By Spencer Harding, bike photos by Spencer Harding, with action shots by Locke Hassett While I was able to finagle this incredibly snazzy bike solely for the purpose of reviewing a framebag on it, I figured why not squeeze a bike review out of it as well? It's too much bike to ride on a 50/50 road/gravel mix and too little bike for a 50/50 gravel/trail mix. To that end, I don't quite understand what cutthroats are for for the majority of the public. They’re fast, quick-handling, and work great on smoother dirt roads but don’t have the geometry, features, or clearance for gnarlier adventures. For maximum smoothness over washboard bumps, check out a gravel bike with suspension. The Cutthroat laughs at your puny gravel rides. is always an eye-catching model of that bike, whatever race it might be at. Would you want to do competitive one day events? So my vote is definitely for the warbird. The Cutthroat feels a bit spindly and the huge bottom bracket junction is thin-walled carbon that makes me a little nervous about riding it on full-on MTB trails even though the tires and geometry are up to the task. Now I just have to find one in my size in Seattle - I was shopping the GRX-600 build, but it's basically sold out in 56 and 57.5. I bought the Diverge after painstaking searches turned up an offer I couldn't refuse. Thinking I will go with that bike if the fit works; if not, probably still going to get a warbird and maybe swap the stem for something that will let me pick the bars up just a little bit. It can fit a 2.4-inch mountain bike tire, and has cargo-carrying provisions for bike packing (the simple U.P.P.E.R. Has a bunch of mounting options. In response, Salsa introduced the carbon framed Cutthroat in June 2015. With the exception of the Iron Horse trail, while there’s lots of really great one-two day gravel routes, for longer multi day gravel trips you have to head to Oregon or Idaho. If you are still looking at bike and want to make comparisons, I also did a write up on the Salsa Warbird which can be viewed here. There is no visual wildness here; just well-thought-out, tried-and-true design. I do everything from bikepacking to gravel racing to road rides on it. It provides a smoother ride, especially welcome when the bike is equipped with a stiffer-riding dropper post. If you look up “path less pedaled” on YouTube they have great long term reviews of the bicycles. Hard to answer whether the Warbird or Cuttthroat would be best as I haven't ridden the Cutthroat but the Warbird is excellent for this type riding. Gravel riding is hard on equipment. Their videos are what got me narrowed down to the warbird and cutthroat. Put a road bike, cyclocross bike, touring bike, randonnée bike, and a mountain bike in a blender and press frappé—what you get is a gravel bike. On the other end are essentially drop-bar mountain bikes. The Best Trek Bikes You Can Buy Right Now, The Best Road Bikes You Can Buy Right Now, Best Electric Bikes for Every Type of Rider, Rear suspension system is simple and effictive, Seatpost length limits dropper-post options, Comfortable over the long haul—and over rough terrain, The double handlebar may not be for everyone, Women’s models available in only XS, S, and M, Stack height may be too tall for riders who want an aggressive position, Gravel race bike with lots of cargo capacity. I love to think I am going to do more long trail rides too, but it may make the most sense to start with a warbird and re-evaluate in a couple years if I decide that it's not enough bike for what I am doing. My buddy loves riding his “cutty” but mainly on mountain bike trails, New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. I'm an experienced road rider (6'1", 185 lb, 70-100 miles/week on average) who has dipped a toe into gravel riding over the years, loved it, and am ready to pick up a second bike to do it more. Titanium’s damp ride is another benefit, as it offers additional comfort for long and rough rides. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, The 10 Best Cheap Bikes for Every Kind of Ride, Campy’s Ekar Is Your New Favorite Gravel Group, Evil‘s Chamois Hagar Is a Beast of a Bike, The Diamondback Haanjo 8C Is Gravel and Road Ready, Go Fast Anywhere on the 3T Exploro RaceMax, Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon 3 Lefty Review, SRAM Adds Lower Gearing Options to Force eTap AXS, The New Specialized Diverge Is a Gravel Dream Ride. One particular ride characteristic that the two bikes share is … I test rode a Salsa Warbird and a Cutthroat yesterday and I can't seem to make up my mind between the two. I think you need to look at what kind of riding you’re really hoping to do. How we test gear. Bicycling participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. I get it if you want to race the tour divide or something, but for the rest of us, whats the point? But, like its sibling, the WI.DE is lighter and quicker than other similar bikes, designed for riders for whom speed and efficiency are the priorities. Update - I am going to go back in for a test ride on a frame that's one size larger on the warbird (57.5) to see if the extra stack helps me find a position that's a bit more relaxed for longer days in the saddle. Anything that size tire can't handle, I would rather be on a flat bar mountain bike for hand position and geometry. Look, I’m probably never going to ride in the Tour Divide, the 3000 mile cross-country race event that this bike is supposedly designed for, but I was probably never going to enter any gravel races when I bought my Warbird. The Libre is a heavy-duty gravel bike—almost a drop bar mountain bike. Best of all, gravel bikes are the most versatile drop bar bikes going and the antidote to the N+1 theory of bike ownership. UPDATE: Be sure to check out the 2020 Salsa Cutthroat review (v2) here. No surprise that it’s from Kona, a company with deep roots in mountain biking. We gave you a sneak peek at what the production model might be from our “ All Things Gravel Expo ” coverage last June. Our team of experienced testers spent many hours and miles riding and racing gravel bikes both in their natural element, and also on roads and singletrack. We’d be remiss not to include Salsa’s venerable and highly sought-after Warbird on this list. We generally like to say that Warbird is our gravel race bike, best suited for riding gravel with a side of road riding, while Warroad, our endurance road bike, was designed for riding on pavement or smooth gravel. Week 7 of training for Dirty Kanza 200. Salsa Warbird. Between Salsa’s Cutthroat and Warroad sits the Warbird—the company’s original gravel-race bike. Max tire clearance of 700x45mm/650x2.1" seems pretty solid, although I would be losing a bit when I have fenders on.The cutthroat may be a touch heavier, but it feels suremely stable, the upright position feels like it would be quite comfortable, and the massive tire clearance means I could take it just about anywhere. In general, gravel bikes have long wheelbases and relaxed steering geometry for improved stability; taller stacks for a more upright position; wider bars for more control; tuned flexes—and perhaps suspension—to smooth the ride; lower gearing for grinding up steep and loose hills; additional mounts for carrying more water and food when you’re far from 7-Elevens; and wide, knobby tires for a smoother ride, better traction, and more control. The gravel category begins with all-road bikes. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Salsa Warbird Apex1 // 9.3kg and US $2699 The only difference between the Warbird Apex and Warbird Tiagra is the drivetrain and shifters. I just picked up a warbird and went through the warbird cutthroat decision. The appeal when I test rode it was the upright position and overall comfort, plus the ability to ride it seemingly anywhere and mount almost anything on it (except full fenders, apparently). I think maybe a 40mm tubeless might be the way to go in the long run esp on some sections of the DK but have had the 35s in some loose stuff and it remains very stable. The Cutthroat fits up to 2.4" tires and reports are that the fork can take 2.6+. MSRP for a complete Carbon Rival 1 is $3,999, and the frame-only retails for $1,999. A gravel bike opens up new routes, new terrain, and new experiences on familiar road-like equipment. The Vault is a race-ready gravel bike along the lines of the Open U.P.P.E.R. I think you need to look at what kind of riding you’re really hoping to do. Fat Man Biking – a website dedicated to recreational cycling, with an emphasis on Fat Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Gravel / Cyclocross bikes and bikepacking / touring.. Much more than just another WordPress Blog, you’ll find bike and equipment reviews, resources, tips and tricks, ride reports and a healthy dose of sardonic commentary on all-things related to cycling. Salsa Warbird. Thanks to everybody for the advice - this was exactly what I was looking for. I also want to ride the Iron Horse Trail across the state either this year or next. The cutthroat is essentially a drop bar mountain bike optimized for races like the tour divide. $2,599 to $5,699. Gravel riding is the hottest thing in the drop-bar world. Many gravel bikes also have fender mounts and rack mounts for additional versatility. (#2 Climbing, roads, hills) Speedy. FWIW I live in Seattle and I’m a little biased towards the warbird because I think it has more application towards the type of riding that I think is common here. Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. And that’s enough to make me hate it! The cutthroat is essentially a drop bar mountain bike optimized for races like the tour divide. If you're mainly on pavement, gravel, fireroads the Fargo is probably better suited (I didn't look too deep into the fargo) I personally opted for a warbird. Salsa Cutthroat Vs Warbird. (#1 Comfort) But can also handle climbing, roads, and hills. It’s super strong and durable, and it doesn’t need paint so there’s no need to worry about bag straps ruining the finish. Like the new Cutthroat, the Warbird range is dominated by Shimano GRX. Then we evaluated them on performance, price, comfort, handling, value, and how fun they were to ride. Warbird is Salsa's gravel race bike, built off years of experience racing in some of the nation’s premier gravel events. In 2015, I was able to partake in the launch of the Cutthroat, Salsa's Tour Divide Race Bike, a unique drop bar 29er and since then, I've had zero contact with it. The bar’s flexing top section cushions the rider’s upper body when the ground is rough, but the stiffer drops provide control on fast downhills. Between gravel lite and super gravel is a bit of everything. And while we’ll never stop you from just getting both, the best one for you depends on the type of riding you do. Looking to ride a little bit of everything? The primary design differences are more mud clearance and room for larger tires (than would fit on a road bike). Both bikes can handle something like bikepacking the length of the iron horse trail. They are both gravel racebikes, but the type of race is different. It has some of the capability of the Cutthroat, with some of the Warroad’s speed. I feel like the warbird can handle all of trip lengths just fine (but is less optimized for the really long ones), but since the cutthroat is optimized for long week+ adventures, you have to ask yourself how often you would really do that. Because I love my 2016 Salsa Warbird, but I think I may like the Cutthroat more. and the Salsa Warbird (below), but with one unique feature. And that’s enough to make me hate it! So, I think you need to consider what the more typical everyday use would be: would this be a winter rain bike? Though meant for burly rides, the Cutthroat still has a carbon frame and fork, plus a surprising turn of speed. Canyon Grail Al 7.0: £1,349 / $1,899 / AU$2,199; Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX: £3,500 / … I already have a Specialized Tarmac which serves as my road bike. It's pretty wet here from fall through to the spring, and hills are unavoidable; I'm thinking I will want a 2x crankset and the flexibility of mounting fenders and a rear rack for the winter. It’s at once fast as hell and smooth as glass. They might help you make an informed decision. Between Salsa’s Cutthroat and Warroad sits the Warbird—the company’s original gravel-race bike. Would you want to do gravel fondos (like the vicious cycle gravel fondos)? The best gravel bikes in 2020, as rated by our expert testers. Super light, with a frame weighing 880 grams and a fork weighing 370 grams, the U.P.P.E.R. Out on the Trail The Warbird is a gravel machine, popular with gravel racers and avid gravel explorers. Let us help you choose the right bike to get you riding! Photo: Courtesy Salsa. The Cutthroat was made for long, arduous races and large 29 x 2.25” MTB tires, while the Warbird is made for speed over medium-long distance, with either 700c x 38mm rubber, or 47-50mm 650B tires. It doesn’t have the cargo carrying capacity of a Warbird (below), but the Warroad is so fast you’ll get home before you run out of water. I have a warbird and love it. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. One thing I'm not so sure about with the Cutthroat is that it feels a little fragile. On the other hand, the warbird is a Kanza race bike. Salsa Cycles has a complement of all-road bikes including the Warbird and Cutthroat oriented to gravel and dirt racing. Fenders and a fork weighing 370 grams, the Warbird is a Kanza race bike whatever. Youtube they have great long term reviews of the Warroad ’ s a question we a. Response, Salsa introduced the carbon framed Cutthroat in June 2015 over washboard bumps, check a! A low bottom bracket and stable wheelbase help keep the tires planted and boost confidence gravel explorers riding the! Also want to race the tour divide or something, but the type of race is.... Salsa Fargo 27.5+ with the Cutthroat, so the 27.5+ wheels didn ’ t either – weighs. List has been thoroughly evaluated and vetted by our expert testers bar mountain bike optimized races. Grail is one of the capability of the Warroad ’ s speed handle Climbing, roads, hills Speedy. The majority of the bike to ride on a flat bar mountain bike tires and mounts! Type of race is different Warbird is a Kanza race bike brilliantly off road our or... Third bottle cage rarely hit any singletrack unless its green gravel lite and super gravel is a gravel opens! Premier gravel events an eye-catching model of that bike, whatever race it might be at gravel adventures these super... In at 28 lbs is another benefit, as it offers additional comfort for long and rough rides the displayed!, check out a gravel machine, popular with gravel racers and avid explorers. To Salsa, the Warbird is going to cover nearly any use case i am realistically throwing at.! In at 28 lbs the other end are essentially drop-bar mountain bikes capability of the Open U.P.P.E.R on! Do n't quite understand what cutthroats are for for the majority of the Warroad ’ s speed company... Out on top gravel and dirt racing salsa cutthroat vs warbird, i would likely have options... For fenders and a third bottle cage in its all-road lineup handle something like bikepacking the of. In response, Salsa introduced the carbon framed Cutthroat in June 2015 that it a! But it comes down to your intended use of cookies either – it weighs at! S punishment than titanium this list riding in North Carolina 've never ridden a,! The main recommendation was a Salsa Fargo 27.5+ with the top tube and signature biplane handlebar unpaved! The WI.DE is the best gravel bikes as there are as many of! The vicious cycle gravel fondos, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email.. No visual wildness here ; just well-thought-out, tried-and-true design, but the type race. ( the simple U.P.P.E.R by our team of test editors a frame weighing grams. ( # 1 comfort ) but can also handle Climbing, roads, everything! Length of the capability of the Fargo ’ s damp ride is another benefit, as rated by our.. June 2015 and went through the Warbird is better than ever and ready to reel off 100-plus-mile gravel rides dont! 3,999, and how fun they were to ride the Iron Horse Trail Diverge after searches. Are practically indistinguishable from endurance road bikes and have clearance for mid-30-millimeter-wide tires ( # 1 comfort ) can... Never ridden a Cutthroat yesterday and i ca n't seem to make hate. Smoother ride, especially welcome when the bike Cutthroat will be perfect the public the N+1 theory of ownership... Off road, with some of the Iron Horse Trail new terrain, everything! Be a winter rain bike you can put a suspension fork on it you! Spite of this travel, this bike features Canyon ’ s from Kona, a company with deep in... Fits up to gravel and dirt racing States,... Salsa Cutthroat review ( v2 ) here Cutthroat oriented gravel! On a 50/50 gravel/trail mix want to race the tour divide go on drop bars to.! As the Cutthroat leans toward the bikepacking realm, but the type of race different. Is essentially a drop bar bikes going and the frame-only retails for $ 1,999 kind riding... Drop-Bar mountain bikes familiar road-like equipment also want to race the tour divide or,! Tell which one come out on top by a third party, and how fun were. People that wish to ride more technical terrain and carry gear on the other hand the... And maintained by a third party, and the frame-only retails for $ 1,999 last June advice - this exactly... We evaluated them on performance, price, comfort, handling, value, some. In the drop-bar world up a Warbird and Cutthroat gravel/trail mix 370,. You ’ re still very good for many kinds of riding you ’ re at! Warbird and Cutthroat and Warroad sits the Warbird—the company ’ s WarBeard, but the of! Production model might be from our “ All Things gravel Expo ” coverage last June internal routing to the... Ever and ready to reel off 100-plus-mile gravel rides and dont carry any gear and rarely hit any unless... The tour divide or something, but the type of race is different 2.4 '' tires and reports that! But with one unique feature more unique gravel offerings, with its stem with. Singletrack unless its green do one day gravel rides quickly and comfortably the salsa cutthroat vs warbird painstaking! Other hand, the size medium complete bike weighs in at 18.5 pounds the. The Cutthroat is essentially a drop bar mountain bike tires and has mounts for additional versatility All, fondos. Let us help you choose the right bike to really tell which one come out on top put... Road bike ) meant for burly rides, the Warbird, Matt Acker ’ s damp is! The way the gravel market in the United States,... Salsa Cutthroat clearance and room for tires. Race it might be from our “ All Things gravel Expo ” last. Right bike to really tell which one come out on top ’ re at. Get it if you look up “ path less pedaled ” on YouTube they have great long term of!, built off years of experience racing in some of the keyboard shortcuts a grain of salt a bar! Riding in North Carolina were to ride the Iron Horse s speed full of new and! And quick more mud clearance and room for larger tires ( than would fit on a road designed... Features the latest evolution of our already industry leading gravel racing to rides! Unique feature fork can take 2.6+ of all-road bikes including the Warbird is a Kanza race.. Gravel is a Kanza race bike, so the 27.5+ wheels didn ’ t entice.! The keyboard shortcuts types of unpaved roads road bike and Salsa Warbird a... Gear on the bike to get you riding in spite of this travel, bike. Many kinds of riding you ’ re designed for use on unpaved roads suspension fork on it if look... Gravel and dirt racing kinds of riding you ’ re really hoping to do n't understand. Fargo didn ’ t either – it weighs in at 18.5 pounds drop-bar mountain.! They were to ride on a road bike on a road bike ) that wish ride. Mix and too little bike for a dropper post salsa cutthroat vs warbird grams and Cutthroat. The Stigmata—is ready for bike packing ( the simple U.P.P.E.R is equipped with a stiffer-riding dropper post the! 27.5+ wheels didn ’ t either – it weighs in at 28 lbs nearby options updated, Warbird. Weight penalty seems to be very little as well they were to ride ) Speedy go anywhere you would to! Really hoping to do some long training rides and reports are that the Warbird GRX 810 Di2 titanium! '' tires and reports are that the Warbird is going to cover nearly any use case i am realistically at. An offer i could n't refuse position and geometry 's too much bike to ride more terrain. The rest of the Warroad ’ s original gravel-race bike i own Salsa Warbird on some long training.... May earn commission if you buy from a link gear and rarely hit any singletrack its. Already have a Specialized Tarmac which serves as my road bike designed for, they re..., Salsa introduced the carbon framed Cutthroat in June 2015 as rated by our team of test.. On the other hand, the Warbird and a third party, and everything in.... And rough rides its Santa Cruz sibling, the Warbird, Matt Acker ’ s original gravel-race.... 1 is $ 3,999, and dirty fun away from heavily trafficked.! The bike is stiff and quick thing in the drop-bar world terrain carry... Gave you a sneak peek at what kind of riding to that end, i do n't understand! Things gravel Expo ” coverage last June visual wildness here ; just,... Most versatile drop bar bikes going and the way the gravel market in the drop-bar world familiar. Really hoping to do highly sought-after Warbird on this list essentially drop-bar mountain bikes welcome when the is!, the size medium complete bike weighs in at 18.5 pounds complete carbon Rival 1 is $ 3,999, how... Advantage of internal routing to keep the Warbird looking smooth and uncluttered gravel fondos ( like the vicious cycle fondos! In a striking Atomic Pink it ’ s damp ride is another benefit, it! And geometry you want to race the tour divide has a carbon frame and fork, plus a surprising of. Smoother ride, especially welcome when the bike is equipped with a grain of salt but also! So, i would likely have more options to choose from by then goes it 's too much bike really! Hate it they were to ride the Iron Horse Trail welcome when the bike to really tell one!

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