1-800-BIKEMAN . (1-800-245-3626)
Bikeman ships Internationally, view our shipping / returns policy

Salsa Podio

Product Reviews - Bikeman's Product Testing

Bikeman's Product Testing
Image
Tester: Mike Hoover, Team Bikeman.com Rider, Certified Bikeman Product Tester
Conditions: Pot hole pocked roads of New England.

ImageI had the opportunity to upgrade to the new Salsa Podio frame for 2009, and after a late spring, summer, and fall of riding and racing the Podio. I spent the season riding the bike in a variety of capacities. I commuted to work 2-3 times a month, the bike was my primary training ride which incorporated almost daily rides alone and group rides once or twice a week, and finally I rode the Podio in both crits and road races this season. With this wide variety of riding, the Podio never felt like anything but a race bike, however its strong traits as such allowed it to fill the other roles with ease. I can say with confidence that I am extremely happy with the overall performance of the bike.

ImageThe technical background for this bike is relatively unique. Before carbon fiber became an everyman’s steed, scandium-enhanced aluminum alloy was an up-and-coming high-end frame material because of its great stiffness-to-weight ratio and smooth ride. Salsa has chosen to use the less common but still viable alloy in its race-oriented Podio. Frame-size-specific scandium tubes with radically shaped chain and seat stays are assembled by Salsa into a package that delivers a tuned, vibration-damping ride. ImageThis technology was first used on the Salsa Chili Con Crosso, and it worked so well that Salsa created a special trimmed down version specific for the intended road use of the Podio. Salsa has indicated that replacing the carbon seat stays in previous road bikes they’ve produced with Scandium also allowed them to reduce weight and add strength to the rear triangle. With the accompanying flattened Scandium chain stays, Salsa’s goal was to achieve as much vertical compliance as possible out of a full Scandium frameset without compromising durability or fatigue life. The sloping-geometry frameset includes a top-drawer Alpha Q carbon fork, a Salsa Lip-Lock seat collar, and a relatively tall head tube.

ImageSo, now you know how it’s made, the big question is how it rides. I am pleased to say that within the first few pedal strokes on the Podio, Salsa’s intentions of making a race bike were crystal clear. Handling was responsive and quick, very at home in the 90-degree crit-type corners I encountered yet still calm at speed. At high speeds in group rides and road races, the front end tracked perfectly around each corner, inspiring confidence to go faster. The tall head tube has the effect of providing a feeling that you’re riding in the bike, not on top of the Podio. ImageStiffness was brutally efficient, especially at the bottom bracket, but the ride is civilized and surprisingly comfortable for an alloy frame. Although the stiffness-to-comfort ratio is excellent, don't get too excited--it's not going to knock modern carbon frames off the podium. This is still an alloy frame, and no matter what you do, large jolts from the poor pavement here in Maine are felt on the Podio. Small jolts and pavement buzz is absorbed impressively, highlighting the engineering Salsa has incorporated into the Podio.

ImageIf you are concerned about the alloy ride, remember that your parts selection can have a substantial effect on the overall ride of your machine. For example, after I switched to an unknown brand carbon seat post with some sort of clear insert, there was a noticeable improvement to the overall ride. I chose to try real leather handlebar tape this year, and I found that this relatively benign parts choice affected the ride quality of the Podio. Installing gel or padded handlebar tape will, I believe, do the same.

ImageAlthough my season has suffered some setbacks, none of them could be attributed to the Podio in any way, shape, or form. In fact, owning the Podio has given me the initiative to ride as much as I possibly could this year, and what more can you ask from a new bike?



Rated:
Image


2009 Salsa Podio
 $1899.99


Salsa 09 Podio 43cm Complete Bike, Black: Crafted of custom-drawn scandium alloy tubing and paired with...
2009 Salsa Podio
 $1899.99


Salsa 09 Podio 45cm Complete Bike, Black: Crafted of custom-drawn scandium alloy tubing and paired with...
2009 Salsa Podio
 $1899.99


Salsa 09 Podio 47cm Complete Bike, Black: Crafted of custom-drawn scandium alloy tubing and paired with...
2009 Salsa Podio
 $1899.99


Salsa 09 Podio 49cm Complete Bike, Black: Crafted of custom-drawn scandium alloy tubing and paired with...
2009 Salsa Podio
 $1899.99


Salsa 09 Podio51cm Complete Bike, Black: Crafted of custom-drawn scandium alloy tubing and paired with...
2009 Salsa Podio
 $1899.99


Salsa 09 Podio 53cm Complete Bike, Black: Crafted of custom-drawn scandium alloy tubing and paired with...
2009 Salsa Podio
 $1899.99


Salsa 09 Podio 55cm Complete Bike, Black: Crafted of custom-drawn scandium alloy tubing and paired with...
Comments (0)add
Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy