Salsa Cycles is launching a singlespeed gravel bike designed for rides and races that are often described as Type-II Fun (fun after the fact). The Stormchaser is intended as an all-weather gravel bike that excels in muddy conditions.
Salsa Stormchaser Highlights
- Alloy frame with carbon fork
- Sliding dropouts
- 700x50mm tire clearance
- Stainless steep abrasion plates to protect the fork from debris
- Available as a complete bike and a frameset
- 1x drivetrain compatible
- Complete bike pricing: $1,499
- Frameset pricing: $1,099
- Visit https://salsacycles.com for more information
If you haven't ridden in Oklahoma, the red clay roads can be as fast a pavement, incredibly sandy or, if it's wet, they can turn into a thick peanut-butter clay that pack onto tires, weighing down bikes, and ruining drivetrains. It's such a concern that the Mid South race packets come with a paint stirring stick to scrap mud from tires and chainstays. Check out Jason Sumner's race report from the grueling 2017 edition here.
The muddy conditions on the gravel roads that surround Stillwater, Oklahoma, might be on the more extreme end of the spectrum, but the need to have a gravel bike with enough tire clearance to ride through muddy conditions is not unique. This was the motivation for developing an alloy counterpart to Salsa's gravel race bike, the Warbird. The Stormchaser has similar geometry with additional features that make it well suited to muddy courses.
Tire clearance is increased on the Stormchaser to handle 50mm wide tires. The singlespeed drivetrain is the surest way to power through muddy conditions without a mechanical failure. Salsa ships the Stormchaser with 18 and 17t cogs, so owners can swap them as needed to suit course conditions. In addition to the mounts for cargo cages and internal routing for a dynamo hub, the fork features stainless steel abrasion plates to protect the carbon fork legs from damage from mud build up on the tire.
If singlespeed is not your thing, the Stormchaser also ships with a geared dropout so riders can run a 1x drivetrain.