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Salsa Campeon Frame

Product Reviews - Bikeman's Product Testing

a 2005 Madone 5.9 SL outfitted with full Campagnolo Record and Bontrager XXX Lite Carbon Wheels. It truly is a truly amazing bicycle. I’ve been riding a number of different Trek OCLV Carbon bike for the past four years, and I have always recommended an OCLV bike to customers looking for a high end road bike. But this year Trek’s availability of OCLV has been sketchy at best!

While I love OCLV bikes, I don’t feel right recommending a bike to a customer, that they can’t purchase. “Yeah, I love Trek Carbon bikes; to bad you can’t have one!”…that line doesn’t exactly go over well, and it most certainly won’t sell bikes. At the same time I would feel equally guilty recommending a bike which I have never thrown a leg over. So I decided to buy another bike. (much to my girlfriends chagrin.) I wanted something that would perform well, but more importantly something that (a) would not break the bank and (b) was actually available.

ImageAs Bikeman.com/Bath Cycle and Ski is a “Red Hot” Salsa Cycles dealer I decided to go out on a limb and purchase a Campeon. The Campeon uses a custom drawn Scandium tube set paired with carbon seat stays. To give a bit of a comparison to my Madone SL frameset; my new Campeon frame weighs in at 1290grams compared to my Madone at 1000g. The Campeon’s fork weighs 590grams compared to my Madone’s fork at 355g, giving a total weight difference of 525grams. All that being said, it is important to keep in perspective that the Campeon sells for $940.00 compared to $3500.00 for the Madone SL.

I built up my new Campeon with Full Dura Ace 10speed, Bontrager carbon components and Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels. I took my new Campeon out for its first ride two weeks ago… it climbs like a scalded cat. The little devil accelerates from the first turn of the cranks, and just begs to be pushed harder. In the past two weeks I have put my Campeon through a torture test.

My initial inclination was that while the Campeon might accelerate quickly and be stiff for standing up and hammering, the scandium tube set might leave me feeling tired and worked over at the end of a longer ride. So I took her out for a 60 mile ride to see how I felt at the end, and to be honest I felt no more fatigued that I do after 60 on my Madone SL. The Campeon handled well on dirt (I rode it on a dirt path for 3 miles at the end of my ride), she didn’t seem phased at all by a little role in the mud. The only place that I noticed a distinct difference in ride comfort between my Madone and my Campeon was when I was riding on cobblestones, on the cobblestones the Madone did take a bit more of the edge off. To be completely honest I really thought that I would notice a difference when climbing, but the Campeon is so stiff laterally that it climbs like a mountain goat.

Interestingly enough I have actually gotten more compliments on the way my Campeon looks, than I ever got with my Madone. The long and short of all this is that I love my new Campeon. Bang for buck, I think that it leaves most other bikes in the dust. In fact I’ve bought another Campeon. I feel great about recommending this bike to customers, it’s like driving a Porsche and paying for a Mitsubishi.

Rated: Image
Salsa Campeon


 Buy / Details

Salsa Campeon: 52cm, Tequila Sunrise Frameset. Salsa's best selling frame in 2003 continues to set the benchmark for high-end value. The Campeon's lightweight Scandium frame, carbon fork and carbon seatstays challange its gucci European-import competitors. Its smooth ride and aggressive handling inspires speed, which in turn, invokes...
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