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Salsa Selma

Product Reviews - Bikeman's Product Testing

Bikeman's Product Testing
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Tester: Alex Roskin, Team Bikeman.com Rider, Certified Bikeman Product Tester
Conditions: Roots, rocks and race courses across New York.

ImageBack in the cold, harsh days of early January I was so excited when I caught a glimpse of the new Salsa Selma 29er single speed. From what I could see from the very few pictures of her at Interbike on the Bike29 blog, she looked amazing. I put in an early order at Bikeman. For five months I did dozens of order status checks, Google searches, and lurked on MTBR messages boards for pics, reviews, rumors, or anything of Miss Selma. I felt like a celebrity stalker.

ImageMy plan was to ride her tons through late winter-early spring and dial her in before the Darkhorse Single-Speed-Polooza race on May 31. It seemed to take a lifetime until –finally- I got word, Wednesday May 27th! Salsa Day! Horay! Good things come to those who wait!

ImageShe was beautiful. Butted scandium oversized proprietary tubing that was shaped and tapered with machined dropouts. The most work seemed to be in the back end with flattened and shaped s-bend chain stays with matching carbon shaped seat stays- absolutely drop dead gorgeous. The carbon integrated cable stops for the brake housing are a really nice touch. I just can’t believe how much went into this frame. The paint is a battleship grey metallic with the prefect combo of a three-color blue decals under the clear coat. The decals look like hand painted pinstripes on a pimped ride. She even came with aluminum water bottle bolts!

ImageIt was a frantic few hours of what I had thought would be a quick build. Everything went smoothly until (ahhh!) the brake cable housing on the Magura Marta’s was too short! Sabotage! Quickly I pulled a set of Juicy 7’s off another bike. The set up for chain tension was easy with the help of a quick phone call to Alan at Bikeman. The bolt in the eccentric bottom bracket needed to be loosened all the way until it starts to feel like it is tightening again which loosens the two halves of the bb, where you can now rotate the whole assemble to get the proper tension. I was running a Truvitiv Stylo SS with GXP bottom bracket. The assembly was much easier than the XT or XTR on my other bikes. The Stylos are a solid value, for a little more weight they are less than half price. They are a robust crank + bb and seem that they will be rock solid. I grabbed a set of back up race wheels, Mavic Crossmax c29, running with a Surly cog and spacers. Later I’ll use some Blue King with Stan’s No Tubes Arch rims that I was saving for her. For tires I am running a set of the new Stan’s Raven 2.2 with fluid. So far I really like those tires. For the front a Seven ti stem and 10 deg sweep bar with Ergon grips (love them!), Fox F29er fork, and a blue King Sotto Volce headset. I ended up bleeding the Red Magura’s three times before getting them right and installing them instead of the Juicy’s. With a Moots layback post and stainless Crank Brothers Eggbeaters she weighted in 22.5 lbs. Pretty good- which made me wonder what I could get her down to if I started cannibalizing my race bike. I think I could shave a pound down to 21.5! Put a rigid carbon fork 19.5! That seems pretty good for a 20”.

ImageBut here is the best part: THE RIDE!! I am used to full suspension 29er. My Race bike is a Titus Titanium Racer X 29er, My trail bike is a custom Ti Eriksen with 4” travel Ventana rear. Both very high end and expensive (not to mention my dueling titanium/carbon road and cross bikes) So I LOVE the high end ride. I have owned a dizzying list of road and mountain bikes. I was so excited to get back on a hard tail, but was a little apprehensive about my bad back. I slipped two discs in 2002 and have gone though three rounds of physical therapy. There were some really bad days when I couldn’t even get out of bed. I was thinking that I needed 3-4” of 29er cush under my tush. Getting the Selma out on the trail was such revelation to me. The butted scandium rides as nice as titanium. I have found that butted titanium and aluminum can get a little too harsh and can also ding easy. The Selma being 1/3 the cost of a custom titanium frame is amazing. I am 6’2” and 190 lbs. I was thinking that the 24.4 effective top tube would be too short, but with the layback Moots post and 115mm Seven stem I was put right in the center. The fit had lots of fore and aft movement without feeling cramped. Climbing is sensational, with no BB flex, and with great traction. I love the ride of scandium. Snappy but again, doesn’t seem as harsh as the aluminum frames of my past. The carbon rear also seems to work well to remove the hard edge off the tops. My good friend has a straight Scandium 29er frame that I took a pull on and I seemed to feel every little feedback of the rocky and root strung trail we were riding. I thought the Selma was incredible especially when the trail turned nasty. Selma turned a series of rocky “stair” descents into point and shoot toboggan runs, holding her line so well it frankly freaked me out a little the first couple times! Tracking was always spot-on and allowed hard cornering with no signs of instability. In summary the Selma is a solid value that looks and rides like a high end hand made frame. Two thumbs up!

Rated:
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2009 Salsa Selma
 $847.99


2009 Salsa Selma Small 16inch: Salsa Cycles Selma is fast, light, simple and does it all as a 29'' single speed made of Scandiu...
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2009 Salsa Selma Medium 18nch: Salsa Cycles Selma is fast, light, simple and does it all as a 29'' single speed made of Scandiu...
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2009 Salsa Selma Large 20inch: Salsa Cycles Selma is fast, light, simple and does it all as a 29'' single speed made of Scandiu...
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