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2007 Salsa Dos Niner

Product Reviews - Bikeman's Product Testing



To begin with, the color of this bike is delicious. I think it ranks as the sweetest looking thing I’ve had the honor of riding. The shades of orange and the signature Salsa details make this bike stand out among other bikes. I also think that the black themed build I have brings out the color and has a fast but sassy look.

click to enlargeBuilding this bike was a piece of cake. All parts, including headset and bottom bracket, fit in with no issues. The rear disc was also no problem. As for these parts, here is what I used. I have a Thompson seat post and stem (110 mm), Race Face Deus crank with a 32 tooth ring, a Spot chain ring guard, SRAM X-9 shifter and rear derailleur, SRAM PC-990 cassette and chain, Easton Monkeylite carbon bar, ODI Ruffian grips, and a Bikeman.com built wheel set featuring Bontrager Mustang rims, DT Swiss 240 hubs and double butted spokes. For brakes I have the new Avid Ultimates. I am using a Panaracer Rampage tire up front and a Bontrager ACX in the back, though I’ll be switching that for the 29” version of the Panaracer XC Pro soon. I am using a Rock Shox Reba up front. All total it weighs in the 24 to 25 pound range.

click to enlargeSetting up my bike was pretty easy. The recommended setting on the Reba seems to work pretty well for me. While it feels a little soft in the parking lot, when things get rocking the fork is working about 30 mm into its 80 mm of travel and keeps the front wheel glued pretty well. Out back the Relish shock’s recommended setting was way too stiff. I actually am only running about 5 psi and am getting the full travel. While there is no rebound setting for this shock, they really aren’t necessary. The speed of the rebounding frame seems to be just fine.

click to enlargeSo now for the ride. I am coming from a full suspension background for most of my racing career. My first full suspension was a Voodoo Canzo Ti from the early 90’s, and from there I had a GT LTS, then a Gary Fisher Sugar, on to a Santa Cruz Superlight, followed by a Salsa Caballero, and then a Salsa El Santo. As these were all 26” bikes, the comparison is not really fair. However, my first thought about the Dos was that the 1” of travel felt like 3 on a 26 “. I really don’t feel I need any more travel with these big hoops and soft rear end. When bombing roots and rock gardens I just get back and let those big wheels roll and I manage to keep incredible momentum over most obstacles thrown my way. I just finished the Clifford Park race in Biddeford, ME, and although I flatted on some glass (or other puncture object), I was just smoking through the technical sections and laying off the brakes. The momentum thing seems to be the ticket here. Allowing the bike to do the work and giving it gentle lifts and guidance brings out its speed. Being smooth is always faster, yet on this bike it just seems easier to be smooth.

click to enlargeAnother area this bike shines is climbing traction. While I don’t have a granny gear as I am running a 1 by 9 (32 up front, 11-34 in rear), even when over geared the rear wheel just sticks to the ground and does not spin out. I am sure there will be times when I’ll truly miss the granny (Camden perhaps), I have found I do not miss, nor need, the lower gear on this bike. I have read that the 29” bikes are more of a handful in tight situations, yet I really don’t see this as a big issue. I do have to plan slow corners with a little more thought, yet the larger footprint just gives more traction, and I find myself braking less and railing more. I do not have toe overlap problems with this bike (I am 6’ and I have a medium frame), yet I do make shoe wheel contact when attempting a front brake nose wheelie while swinging the rear of the bike around. This is a move I only use to turn around in a trail, so I can live without it. Of course, there goes my one show off move, but whatever.

click to enlargeA few props should be given to my parts. The Thompson stuff is set and forget. The Reba is a great fork and I really couldn’t ask for more at this point. The SRAM drive train is exceptional. I never miss shifts, it is totally reliable, and it’s light. The wheel set is wicked rigid and gives me incredible confidence to rail turns and navigate rough surfaces. The Avid Ultimates are appropriately named as these are one finger wonders. I am never lacking power and they don’t rub or heat up. As built I really don’t see the need to change anything I have on this bike. All parts are race worthy and dependable.

So it should seem pretty clear at this point that I like this bike. I really haven’t found anything about it at this point that disappoints. I am giving it a full 5 star rating. It makes a super race bike and a great “all day epic” ride bike. This bike and my Carver 96er pretty much complete my MTB bike lust needs at this point. I wholeheartedly endorse the Dos Niner for those who race and enjoy long rides. Remember to set the rear up very soft and you’ll be floating and railing your favorite trails with more ease and more speed.

Anders Larsen

Rated:Image
Salsa 2007 Dos Niner
 $999.95


Salsa 2007 Dos Niner: SM, Orange, 29'' Soft Tail, No Bosses. The Dos Niner stands proudly as a definitive part of modern Salsa history. Our first 29’er design, the scandium pivotless softie continues to earn praise from the folks that ride it. Its Relish shock provides 1'' of rear wheel travel, which is just enough to take the edge off...
Salsa 2007 Dos Niner
 $999.95


Salsa 2007 Dos Niner: MD, Orange, 29'' Soft Tail, No Bosses. The Dos Niner stands proudly as a definitive part of modern Salsa history. Our first 29’er design, the scandium pivotless softie continues to earn praise from the folks that ride it. Its Relish shock provides 1'' of rear wheel travel, which is just enough to take the edge off...
Salsa 2007 Dos Niner
 $999.95


Salsa 2007 Dos Niner: LG, Orange, 29'' Soft Tail, No Bosses. The Dos Niner stands proudly as a definitive part of modern Salsa history. Our first 29’er design, the scandium pivotless softie continues to earn praise from the folks that ride it. Its Relish shock provides 1'' of rear wheel travel, which is just enough to take the edge off...
Salsa 2007 Dos Niner
 $999.95


Salsa 2007 Dos Niner: XL, Orange, 29'' Soft Tail, No Bosses. The Dos Niner stands proudly as a definitive part of modern Salsa history. Our first 29’er design, the scandium pivotless softie continues to earn praise from the folks that ride it. Its Relish shock provides 1'' of rear wheel travel, which is just enough to take the edge off...
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