Salsa Journeyman first ride review

New highly affordable All-Road platform from the adventure experts

Gravel News
Salsa Journeyman

The Salsa Journeyman in its natural habitat.

What is it

Salsa‘s Journeyman is part of the company’s new All-Road platform. These affordable gravel bikes are ready to tackle just about any terrain you can throw at them. The Journeyman starts at $899 and is crafted around an alloy frame with mounts for every option in your touring arsenal.

Pros
  • Jam packed with value
  • Mounting options galore
  • 650b and 700c tire options available
  • Massive tire clearance
  • Flat and drop bar options
  • Ride smoothing 27.2 seatpost
Cons
  • Quick release only
  • No suspension fork compatibility
  • No SRAM shifting options
First Impressions

From RoadBikeReview’s first pedal stroke on the Journeyman, the bike felt stable. The hydro-formed alloy frame features internal cable routing, a straight blade carbon, and a host of accessory mounting options. The trail capability of the Journeyman is clear, with its expansive tire clearance (up to 650bx50mm as tested) and responsiveness when pedaling out of the saddle.

Salsa Journeyman

The FSA Vero Pro Adventure 46/30 crankset and nine-speed 11/34 setup are more than enough to tackle most hills.

We tested the 650b-wheel-equipped Journeyman with Shimano Sora drivetrain, which is known for its durability, performance, and affordability. Designed with a longer wheelbase, the Journeyman descends and handles well on loose sketchy downhills. Out of the saddle, the ride is stable and smooth, the carbon fork gliding over small bumps. I even felt confident taking the Journeyman on mellow singletrack.

Salsa Journeyman

The color accents on the Journeyman add to the overall look of the bike.

The Journeyman is decked out in Salsa’s new Guide component line. Salsa Cowbell bars handle steering and are an excellent entry into drop bars. The reach is minimal and the hands melt seamlessly in the Sora hoods. The bars have a 12-degree flare that is comfortable and natural feeling when in the drops, while the FSA Vero Pro Adventure 46/30 crankset paired with nine-speed 11/34 cassette was more than enough to tackle most hills.

WTB Nano 27.5×2.1 tires round out the smooth experience with enough lugs to roll through mud, but are quick enough to keep you motoring on the flats. The WTB i23 TCS rims on the Journeyman are tubeless ready, though we haven’t had a chance to test the PITA factor yet. (Max tire clearance is either 700c x 50mm or 650b x 2.2.)

Salsa Journeyman

Locked and loaded and ready to roll!

Bottom line, the more time we spent on the Journeyman, the more we liked it. Salsa has designed an All Road platform aimed at getting more cyclists on bikes. It’s gravel and adventure for the masses!

Salsa Journey Line

The full Salsa Journeyman All-Road platform.

The Salsa Journeyman retails for $899-$1099 depending on spec, and is available in 50cm, 52cm, 54cm, 55.5cm, 57cm, and 59.5cm. We have many more roads to explore on the Journeyman, so keep an eye out for a full review next month.

Explore the full Salsa Journeyman line at www.salsacycles.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Jordan Villella

Jordan comes from the steep streets of Pittsburgh PA, where he learned to dodge cars and rip single track. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the cycling industry: from turning wrenches, store design, clothing production and bike park creation. Jordan spends his free time racing cross country and cyclocross around North America, though he has been know to enduro every now and then. His love of cycling is only second to his love of his family and punk rock.


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