Salsa Colossal

The On-one cyclo-X frame proved a great touring frame, but my love of long hours in the saddle deserves a new frame specifically for bikepacking epics.

An opportunity appeared to grab a 2014 model Salsa Colossal with £700 off. It’s still an expensive frame but it is Ti, and comes with that sexy Enve Carbon fork, and well life’s to short to ride Sh1t bikes.  I like the concept behind this frame, a road bike built by the Salsa off road dudes.  Salsa blog.

Why is it discounted, well it looks like the 15 model has added a through axle fork and hidden rack/guard mounts, which also increases clearance for mudguards. The 14 models wins for me with a normal QR Enve RD Carbon disc fork with clearance for 28mm. The Burlycross Ragley is there to cope with anything more.

565mm effective TT in a 56cm will do fine, looks great in White with the exposed Ti rear, with good classic bikepacking cable routes. A 27.2mm seat post is great for availability, BB86 perhaps not so good, but not as potentially frame damaging as in carbon, and the bearings are out of the way of the filth more than screw in ones. The third bottle mount adds versatility allowing for a full frame bag and stem-frame bottle mount combo. You won’t see many of these in the UK, I like giving a home to mongrels.

Meet Colossal
The Initial dog build

Weight wise it’s way heavier than a carbon CX frame at 1600g, I like to think that makes it JP proof, the fork is a svelte 438g uncut. Arriving in December its not been the time to buy or wreck new equipment so I stripped out the tourer and built this mile muncher up with all the old running gear.

The initial shakedown rides of 400 miles have shown this to be a very sure footed ride. The initial comparisons to the Burlycross in road trim prove you can’t beat being lower to the ground, and it’s just as much fun to ride. I had to remind myself I was on road rubber in the poor conditions as it was so easy to throw this into corners as if it was on grippier tyres. I just cant get the ride position quite right though, considering my now battered body this is a priority.

The drivetrain is totally blown, it’s now time to decide what is going on there for the big hills of the TCR, as well as the following.

  • The Hope V twins need swopping with my AVID SL, with some nice levers.
  • 10 speed bar end shifters to ease hand pain with a 10 speed mech and big cassette to be trialed
  • Can I cope with the Brooks Cambian saddle, very comfortable but it really makes you sweat.
  • Wheel rims need replacing, those Chinese carbon units won’t be reliable.
  • Find a good reliable seatpost

UPDATE: It did evolve has saw duty in the Transcontinental race 2015


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