Salsa Cycles teases new Journeyer as an entry point to gravel
Plus a look at what’s new from Surly.
Plus a look at what’s new from Surly.
Sibling brands Salsa Cycles and Surly Bikes are often at the forefront of emerging riding trends. From fat bikes to gravel racing, the two brands have always had something for other large brands to follow.
As seen at the 2022 Sea Otter Classic, both Salsa and Surly had new bikes on display. Salsa’s are technically still awaiting official launch, but with them being displayed to the public we got a decent understanding of what’s to be expected.
Meanwhile, Surly has recently made some subtle tweaks to its world-traversing Disc Trucker and has launched what I would describe as a monster gravel bike, the Ghost Grappler.
Salsa Cycles have been an integral part of modern gravel riding from the beginning. And the American brand was already onto its second and third models before many larger brands had even raised an eyebrow at what was then an odd niche. There’s a reason why the brand gets more page space than any other in the Gravel Cycling book.
These days Salsa Cycles has a staggering array of gravel bikes that span everything from ultra-distance racing to bikes that produce an uncontrollable urge for people to comment “just get a mountain bike.” And a few years ago Salsa took steps to make its brand more price point accessible to new riders and those on tight budgets – the aluminium-framed Journeyman was Salsa’s answer in the gravel space.
For 2022 the Journeyman becomes the Journeyer. It’s a bike that borrows elements from the performance-focused Warbird and the adventure-based Vaya, all while hitting a lower price point due to the 6061-series aluminium frame. The Journeyer is a difficult one to pigeonhole, especially given Salsa has designed it to be a do-anything entry into the sport.
While the geometry specifics are to be confirmed, it’s known that the smallest sizes of the new Journeyer now feature a reduced standover height and shortened reach figures versus their predecessor.
Salsa has yet to confirm pricing or specification details, but expect to see up to eight different drop-bar bike specifications, and four flat bar bike options all sharing the same frame. Salsa will offer both 650B and 700C wheel options which helps explain the high bike model count. The higher-end models and frameset will feature a carbon fibre fork, while the more budget options will have a metal fork (unsure if steel or aluminium).
Like the previous model, the new Journeyer will feature a healthy number of accessory mounting points, including the ability to handle full-length fenders and racks. Meanwhile, all the component fitment points are as standard as they come, including an English threaded bottom bracket, 27.2 mm round seatpost, and a regular stem. It’s expected that more premium spec versions will feature thru-axles front and rear, while the entry-level models will keep with quick release.
Tyre clearance for 700C is also unknown (I speculate it’ll be around 700×45 mm max), but some internet sleuthing suggests that the frame can fit up to a generous 650 x 55 mm rubber. Certainly more details to come on this.
Salsa was also teasing new specs and colours for both the Warroad (all road) and Warbird (gravel race). The frames of these models will remain unchanged for 2022.
Surly Bikes is no stranger to creating its own path when it comes to the bikes they offer. Claimed to be a “dropbar trail bike”, the new Ghost Grappler is a strong example of just this. This new double-butted steel steed offers an ultra-long head tube with the general goal being to place the drops at a comparable height to where a flat would typically sit.
Put more simply, the Ghost Grappler is effectively a dropbar version of Surly’s Ogre. The geometry is relaxed, slack, and upright. Meanwhile the tyre clearance for up to 27.5×3.0” or 29×2.5” (27.5×2.5in as stock) rubber points toward some real backcountry terrain.
Bottle mounting points exist everywhere you look, including at the steeply curved seatstays as they reach the thru-axle dropouts. An element I found most interesting is the “Gnot Boost” rear dropout spacing. Surly has spaced it exactly between 142 and 148 mm in width which means the steel frame can either flex in or out to accommodate either hub standard. And another neat trick is that there’s no bottom shelf to the sliding dropout, so the wheel is free to fall straight out once the axle is removed (as opposed to fighting with the combination of a derailleur and sliding dropout).
Surly is offering the Ghost Grappler as a complete bike for US$1,899, equipped with MicroShift Advent X shifting, a TransX dropper post, and mechanical disc brakes.
Also recently updated is the Disc Trucker, a disc-brake version of the company’s legendary touring bike. The new Disc Trucker now features thru-axles front and rear, taller head tube lengths with more obviously sloping top tubes, triple accessory mounts on the fork blades, and flat mount disc brake mounts. Surly offers this bike in both 26” (smaller frame sizes) and 700C (larger frame sizes) wheel variants, however, they’ve recently reduced the amount of sizing overlap available between the two.
Expect to pay US$1,999 for a complete Disc Trucker with Shimano Sora/Alivio 3×9 shifting, TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes, and a 36H wheelset that’s surely built to take a loaded walloping.