Salsa is all about adventure by bike, but that’s not exclusive to their high end models. Just because a bicycle is “affordable” doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be well equipped with trustworthy components and features worthy of pricier versions. While the upper tier usually gets most of the press, we were quite impressed when we got a sneak peek at the new Salsa Journeyman series earlier this year at Frostbike. Now, in conjunction with this weekend’s Landrun 100, Salsa is letting the Journeyman out of the bag for riders everywhere who might be a little gravel-curious.
Right off the bat, the Journeyman bikes look a lot more expensive than they actually are. Only the top end Sora build is over $1000 at $1099, while the other four models come in at a very reasonable $899. Yet, you’re still getting a lot for your money.
Built around an aluminum frame, the Journeyman packs in a surprising number of mounts including toptube bag mounts, three-pack fork mounts, a fork crown light mount, three bottle cages per frame, and rack and fender mounts. The Sora builds include a carbon fork while the Claris bikes use an aluminum model, but both have the exact same features and tire clearance…
All three models of the Journeyman will be available in both 700c and 650b wheel and tire options depending on your taste. The frames are the same and will fit up to 650b x 2.2″ or 700c x 50mm tires for massive clearance that you won’t typically find on bikes of this price point. Better still, while the bikes don’t include tubeless tires due to the price, they do include tubeless ready rims making tubeless conversions as easy as a new set of tires, tape, valves, and some sealant.
Also surprising to find on a bike at this level is flat mount disc brakes front and rear and internal cable routing. The frames make do with quick release axles front and rear, but that shouldn’t be an issue for a bike at this level.
If you’re not into drop bars, there are also flat bar builds in both 650b and 700c. Not only do they include a completely different bar set up, but the frames also include flat bar specific geometry.
At the top, the $1099 Journeyman Sora 650b/700c includes a Shimano Sora 2×9 drivetrain with an FSA Vero Pro Adventure 46/30t crankset, and a Sunrace 11-34t cassette. Cockpit parts include the Salsa Cowbell bar and Guide stem and post while the bike rolls on Formula/WTB i23/i19 rims and WTB 650b x 2.1″/700c x 37mm tires. You do have a choice on wheel size, but you do not have a choice on color – the 700c is white, and the 650b is blue.
Stepping down to the Claris build also drops the price to $899 with a different drivetrain and aluminum fork. This time, the bike uses a 2 x 8 speed drivetrain with an FSA Tempo Adventure 46/30t crank and a Sunrace 11-34t cassette. You’ll still see Salsa Guide and Cowbell parts, plus the same Formula/WTB wheels and tires.
Journeyman Claris Flat Bar
The two flat bar Claris builds have the same price tag and frame tech (different geo as mentioned), but utilize the Shimano Claris flat bar shifters and brake levers.
All of the bikes are in stock and ready to ride at your local Salsa dealer.