The Salsa Warbird was one of the first “gravel specific” race bikes, designed largely to tackle the types of riding their midwest employees and designers frequented. It’s always been capable off road, but like any good product, they continue to refine it to take advantage of the latest tech and features. It’s also evolved along with the way riders are using it for today’s long distance gravel races.

2019 Salsa Warbird early preview photos shows off version 4 of their carbon fiber gravel race bike

2019 Salsa Warbird early preview photos shows off version 4 of their carbon fiber gravel race bike

Coming this fall, the 2019 Salsa Warbird V.4 gets an all-new carbon frame that sheds 100g from its predecessor, yet it adds more features – three water bottle bosses inside the front triangle (sizes 56 and larger), rack mounts, fender mounts, top tub bag mounts, and even stealth dropper seatpost routing (when running a 1x drivetrain).

The chainstay’s dropped driveside design make plenty of room for larger 2x cranksets, and there’s internal routing for both mechanical and electronic shifting. They say that lower half redesign also boost power transfer, while a refined size-specific layup improves vibration reduction. Speaking of sizes, there’s now a smaller 49cm option, running all the way up to 61cm. Top tube lengths have been stretched a bit to improve stability.

2019 Salsa Warbird early preview photos shows off version 4 of their carbon fiber gravel race bike

Tire clearance is claimed at 700×45, but it’s also 650Bx2.1″ compatible now, too. The new Waxwing fork gets accessory holster, pannier rack and fender mounts, plus Dynamo wire routing to keep powered installs just as clean as the rest of the bike. Flat mount brakes tidy up the other side. Want something softer? The geo is suspension corrected so you can sub in current gravel suspension forks without changing the handling.

Pricing for the frame and fork (which will be sold separately, too) are TBD.


  1. mudrock on

    They’ve taken a lot of cues from the Open UP. I’ll bet that the added braze-ons on the fork, especially the ones to support the Anything cage, has added some weight.

    Personally , I think any bike that can handle 27.5 wheels should come with 15mm TAs, to allow more mountain bike wheel swaps.

    • DeePee on

      To your latter point, that would be smart, but the prevalence of boost spacing on the mountain side of things prevents most wheels from being compatible. This is further limited by the additional spacing of brake rotors on boost hubs, making backward compatibility virtually impossible.

    • Troy on

      Curious what the carbon fibre word equivalent is for “braze-ons” Mudrock, because I would have put it the same way as you.
      Pleasing to see rack mounts appearing on Carbon frame’s too – cue Trek Checkpoint

    • Sevo on

      Open isn’t the first company to use a drop chainstay in the history of cycling, lets get that straight. Univega did in the early 90s. Recall smaller companies as well. It’s not unique to them.

      • mudrock on

        I understand that. Everyone copies everyone else. Elevated chainstays were done by many. Open was the first to do it on a gravel bike, and suddenly everyone had an epiphany.

    • Volsung on

      You can get little adapter sleeve insert things to put in 15mm axles to make them 12 or QR. They’re cheap, too. I’ve used a QR adapter and it didn’t have any noticeable negative side effects to hub drag.

  2. Greg on

    gravel bikes, even race bikes, should come with braze ons. That’s the one thing I dislike about my Stigmata. That and the 15mm front, when all the truly lightweight options are 12mm.
    I’m all about the direct flat mount on the fork. Silly brackets are silly.

  3. Reedo on

    Some people won’t care but I bet Salsa didn’t talk to anyone affected by an actual war before naming this bike. Just seems dumb and clueless to compare cycling to war. I’d be embarrassed for myself to ride one.

    • Robin on

      Please turn in your sci-fi nerd card, Greg. You can’t be in our ranks if you can’t grok the mot basic Star Trek lore.

      Set phasers to “kill misplaced faux outrage.”

  4. Chader on

    Per the teaser page on Salsa’s site:

    “2nd Generation Class 5 Vibration Reduction System – the same incredible rear end compliance tuned per size”

  5. John Bones on

    Thank god! A classification system for the type of gravel that most gravel riders grind on.
    I have been terrified to tread on roads that are still without classification.

    • R. T. on

      The classification system was developed by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) as means of creating codes for construction.

    • STS on

      +1 for a new version of the Warbird Ti even if they can’t improve on its first version which was one of the best designed frames I’ve ever ridden.

  6. Threeringcircus on

    I’m sure it’s cost-prohibitive for manufacturers, but I’d like to see larger sizes in bikes like this designed around 700c wheels and smaller sizes around 650b wheels to reduce compromises in geometry and make an even smaller smallest size more feasible. Without seeing the geo, I suspect a “49cm” frame is still too large for many small riders and comes with a long top tube and steep seat tube angle.


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