Salsa Bikes is a specialist mountain bike manufacturer. It has been involved in the sport of mountain biking since it first started. Today its range has options to suit all types of rider, from professional racers to weekend enthusiasts who like to get out on local trails.
Salsa Bikes was founded in 1982 by Ross Shafer. He is a legendary bike builder who built custom frames and spent a stint with Santana Cycles during the 1970s and early 1980s. This was a time when the mountain biking scene was really starting to take off, and he could see the popularity of the style and the opportunities that it offered. In particular, he knew the style needed a brand and manufacturer focused on developing technologies and solutions specific to riding over rough terrain, whether that be on the flat, going up, or going down.
It is an unusual brand in that it is still almost mountain bike exclusive. Many brands start off in a niche area of cycling, but they quickly scale up, adding new models to the range to bring in new sales. Salsa Bikes has stayed true to its original focus—bikes built for going off-road and off-trail.
It is a company that has also remained focused on technological innovation, pushing the boundaries of what many thought bike components were capable of. For Salsa Bikes, boundaries are not there to be broken— they are there to be crashed through at high speed while hanging on for the ride of your life.
One other thing that makes the Salsa Bikes story so surprising is that it is currently owned by a large corporation. Quality Bicycle Products is one of the biggest bike companies in the world and owns many well-known brands. That ownership has not interfered with the soul of Salsa Bikes though, so its bikes are highly prized and sought after by everyone from professional racers to serious explorers and casual off-road enthusiasts.
The main style of bike you will find in the Salsa Bikes range is the mountain bike. However, they offer a huge number of variations, depending on the specifications you need, the features you want, and the money you have to spend. You can therefore get a Salsa mountain bike no matter what style of riding you plan to do.
The names are unusual (Bucksaw, Horsethief, Cutthroat, etc.), but Salsa Bikes is not a brand that worries too much about conforming to the norm. It does its own thing, which more often than not is about making their bikes the best available.
The variations include hardtails, full-suspension bikes, drop bar options, fatbikes, 29ers, and more. Many of them are built for competitive riding, but there are also plenty of options for adventure and endurance riding, with bikes that you can comfortably ride from daybreak to dusk.
Salsa Bikes sponsorship and support initiatives can be split into two main categories. The first is its sponsorship of professional riders who compete in world class mountain bike events. The second is sponsorship and support to normal riders doing extraordinary trips and adventures on mountain bikes.