Salsa rolls a bigger Beargrease with 27.5 x 3.8" tires, Mukluk sticks with 26 x 4.8"

Many riders might be excited that #crossiscoming, but there are also a number of people who are just as excited that #winteriscoming. Which means fat bikes. For some of us, at least. To prepare for the impending wintry blast, Salsa has just unveiled their latest versions of the Beargrease and Mukluk. While the frames remain unchanged, the spec is worth noticing as the Beargrease moves to a completely new wheel and tire size, while the Mukluk changes things up a bit…

Salsa rolls a bigger Beargrease with 27.5 x 3.8" tires, Mukluk sticks with 26 x 4.8"

When it comes to the new Beargrease, it’s all about the 27.5 x 3.8″ tires. We’ve seen more brands slowly adopt the new standard, and by the looks of things, we’re just getting started. The claim is that the 27.5 x 3.8″ fat bike tires have a shorter, stiffer sidewall which allows riders to run even lower pressure without getting too much tire squirm, and the wheels will roll over obstacles better, similar to what we’ve always heard with bigger wheels and tires.

In this case, the Beargrease frame hasn’t changed – that means that the bottom bracket will be raised slightly from 26 x 4.0″ tire spec from last year since the 27.5 x 3.8″ tires have a larger effective diameter.

Salsa rolls a bigger Beargrease with 27.5 x 3.8" tires, Mukluk sticks with 26 x 4.8"

At the top of the range, you’ll find the Beargrease Carbon GX Eagle build with a blingy set of HED Big Deal carbon wheels with matching graphics to the downtube of the bike for $4,599.

Salsa rolls a bigger Beargrease with 27.5 x 3.8" tires, Mukluk sticks with 26 x 4.8"

Next is the Beargrease carbon SLX 1×11 which sells for $2,499 with an SLX drivetrain and Sun Ringle Mulefut 80 rims. Like the top end, all Beargrease models ship with Maxxis 27.5 x 3.8″ Minion FBF/FBR tires.

Salsa rolls a bigger Beargrease with 27.5 x 3.8" tires, Mukluk sticks with 26 x 4.8"

Last for the Beargrease models this year is the Carbon NX1 with a corresponding NX1 drivetrain, Sun Ringle Mulefut wheels, and mechanical disc brakes for $1,999.

Salsa rolls a bigger Beargrease with 27.5 x 3.8" tires, Mukluk sticks with 26 x 4.8"

On the Mukluk side of things, the wheel and tire standards don’t change, but the tires do make a switch from 45NRTH Dillinger 5s to Maxxis 26 x 4.8″ Minion FBRs on 80/85mm rims. This keeps the Mukluk positioned as more of the mountain bike trail fat bike with expedition capabilities where as the Beargrease is more of the racing fat bike. Like the Beargrease, the Mukluk frames haven’t changed and still include the Alternator v2.0 dropouts for carbon and 1.0 dropouts for aluminum which gives the bike a 432-450mm chin stay length. The Mukluk also maintains clearance for 5″ tires on 100mm rims thanks to the 197 x 12mm rear dropouts and a 150 x 15mm suspension corrected fork.

At the top end, the Mukluk Carbon X01 Eagle again includes HED Big Deal Carbon 26″ wheels with 85mm rims and a corresponding high end build for $5,399. Framesets will also be available for $1,999.

Next up is the Mukluk Carbon GX Eagle which drops to the GX drivetrain and HED Big Deal aluminum rims for $3,499.

The last in the carbon Mukluk line is the SLX 11 build which moves to Sun Ringle Mulefut 80 wheels and a stepped down part spec to get the price down to $2,699.

The sole aluminum Mukluk in the line up, the NX1 build includes the Alternator 1.0 dropouts and a pretty decent build considering the price of $1,799.

Check out the Salsa website for complete builds and more info.





  1. This is not a ‘completely new wheel and tire size’. The Farley has been spec’d with 26×4.7 and 27.5×4.5 (depending on pricepoint but same frame) for a few years now.

    @onrhodes: Up north here, we shy away from Shimano brakes for fat bikes only because the DOT fluid on SRAM has a significantly lower freezing rate. While rare, I have seen Shimano brakes cease to work from the mineral oil freezing. I think that’s why so many fat bikes are spec’d with SRAM brakes.

    • No matter how rational and logical your answer, it will never sway anyone in a conflict that approaches religious proportions (SRAM v. Shimano).

      In the bike world, loyalty trumps logic.

    • wait, you can use hydraulic brakes on a fat bike in sub-zero conditions? I was told cabled brakes were the only thing that would work. I hate my BB7s, I’d love to sign up… so this is thing?

      • I have Shimano Road Disc brakes on my winter commuter bike and they have been fine all winter here in Norway. I think the freezing hydraulic brakes syndrome has much to do with the brake fluid attracting a lot of moisture over time and making the fluid easier to freeze?

    • Do you know what temperature it takes to make mineral oil freeze? roughly -22 F is the answer. Not to many people ride at those temps. Even in MN where i am when it is that cold the brake freezing is the last thing i would think about. Also that has to be the air temp not wind chill. it hurts to breath when it is that cold.

      Glad to see there is a no Sram option to as those would go right in the round file and be replaced with anything shimano. i would even take some bargain basement Alivio’s over anything Sram.

      • They don’t make an Alivio disc brake:) Both brands have a similar amount of problems.
        Even mechanicals will freeze in the winter. Get the brake warmed up with a medium to long descent which will turn some of that snow to liquid then coast. That water will freeze and prevent the mechanical arm from moving.
        Pick your poison.

      • I’ve used Shimano brakes in MI winter down to single digits. Agree they don’t actually freeze, but the mineral oil does thicken up which affects feel and performance. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but given the choice for a winter bike I’d go with DOT fluid brakes. Shimano’s are actually my favorite brakes for 3-season use.

  2. It’s actually the different types of rubber used in the seals between mineral oil and DOT brake fluids. But yes, mineral oil ones stop working first, then DOT, then mechanical.

  3. WOW that Beargrease got my heart going pitter patter, what a gorgeous bike! then as I scrolled down to the Mukluk I almost threw up in my mouth, amazing a company like QBP can have so many ugly bike brands and models. Whoever created the Beargrease for them should be consulted across their suite of brands more regularly. please.

    • matter of preference really, no surprise there. for me the 2018 Mukluk SLX is the bike i’ve been looking for. love the design. my first new bike in 20 yrs and i can hardly wait!

  4. negative 26 and my tektros with mineral oil did fine. the cables on my bb7’s have iced up solid a few times on the singlespeed, that was overnight.

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