Salsa Cycles just announced the latest iteration of their venerable high-performance fat bike, the all-new 2019 Beargrease. Building on the success of the current platform, Salsa’s lead designer Pete Koski said the updated bike isn’t necessarily changed, but substantially improved.
For 2019 the Beargrease gets a few tweaks to further its mission as a fast and nimble all-season mountain bike. The most significant changes are to the rear triangle and fork. Following recent trends, the rear spacing was pushed to 197-mm without any alterations to the existing Q-factor. This permits the use of a wider wheel package with a max width of a 4.5-inch tire on 26-inch rims. The new bike will continue to ship on 27.5-inch rims with a 4-inch tire.
Up front the three top level Beargrease models get two new forks. The Kingpin Deluxe fork utilizes an all-carbon layup with updated features. Aimed at the winter racer and adventure rider, the Kingpin now includes Three-Pack mounts on both the leading and trailing edges of each fork blade. A mid-blade bolt accommodates a front pannier rack and internal routing accepts wiring for dynamo hubs. You’ll also find the new Kingpin fork on select models of updated Mukluk and Blackborow fat bikes as well.
The standard Kingpin fork offers all the features of the Deluxe model but with an aluminum steerer tube. To maximize its all-conditions potential, the Kingpin fork fits a 5-inch tire mounted to a 100-mm 26-inch rim.
Since winter racers need to portage more gear than most, the new frame now accepts Salsa’s own 170/177 Alternator rear rack. Keeping the frame clear for additional bags, new internal sleeves help route cables and lines within the frame with a minimum of mechanical headache. The growing popularity of dropper posts for winter riding mandated the new frame include internal cable routing ports on the seat tube.
Perhaps the best news for riders on the smaller end of the fit spectrum is the addition of an XS frame size.
Overall, not much about the 2019 Beargrease carries over save for the proven ride qualities the bike is known for. Koski said it was of paramount importance they not alter the stiffness, power transfer, and predictable handling Beargrease riders have come to appreciate. With the top level bike ringing in at $5599, the entry point sells for a respectable $2299 spec’ed with a Deore drivetrain.
Beargrease Carbon XO1 Eagle – $5,599
The top model follows the parts spec from the previous year with carbon fiber rims from Whiskey Parts Co. and a full SRAM XO Eagle drivetrain.
Beargrease Carbon GX Eagle – $3,899
The GX Eagle bike drops in price considerably with the swap to aluminum wheels and a slightly less expensive parts package. It still retains the top level Kingpin Deluxe all-carbon fork.
Beargrease Carbon NX Eagle – $2,899
The NX bike drops just below the $3,000 mark but shouldn’t sacrifice much in terms of performance. The standard Kingpin fork adds an aluminum steerer but keeps all of the new rack mounting features of the full carbon fork.
Beargrease Carbon Deore 1x – $2,299
With excellent bang-for-the-buck, the entry point swaps the Kingpin fork for the previous generation Bearpaw fork.
The 2019 Salsa Beargrease in all four models are available now through Salsa dealers.