Back in June we got a sneak peek at the fourth generation of Salsa’s carbon gravel racer – the Warbird v4. Now we get the full details on the new bike, plus updates to the all-road Journeyman, classic road Vaya, the Marrakesh tourer, and Cutthroat carbon 29er bikepacking racer…

2019 Salsa Vaya classic steel all road bike

2019 Salsa all-road gravel bikepacking adventure bikes

Salsa’s original steel all-road gravel adventure road bike the Vaya gets more packed for touring with the move to a new Salsa Waxwing carbon fork that gets a set of straight 3-Pack anything cage mounts on each fork leg. The new carbon fork also becomes low-rider rack compatible and gets internal dynamo wire routing like the updated Fargo.

2019 Salsa all-road gravel bikepacking adventure bikes

Of course a new season also brings some nice new colors to the steel-is-real road explorer, and either a $1800 complete 105 build or the $1000 frameset.

2019 Salsa Journeyman aluminum all road bike

2019 Salsa all-road gravel bikepacking adventure bikes

March saw the introduction of the truly affordable alloy Journeyman 650b or 700C aluminum all-road bike. That perfectly capable whatever-road-adventure-you-want bike doesn’t change at all. But by popular demand, Salsa now has a new higher-spec single ring dropbar build with a SRAM Apex 1 groupset that will still only set you back $1400.

2019 Salsa Marrakesh steel global touring all road bike

2019 Salsa all-road gravel bikepacking adventure bikes

OK, so the 4130 world touring Marrakesh doesn’t really get updated for 2019, outside of a new look. But the disc brake loaded touring bikes is still pretty cool and will fit 700x40mm tires with full fenders, or up to 2.0″ tires without. Load it down with whatever you can imagine, and head out on tour – now in turquoise blue or bone white for the $1500 Deore 3×9 bar end shifted build.

2019 Salsa Cutthroat carbon 29er ultra endurance gravel race bike

2019 Salsa all-road gravel bikepacking adventure bikes

The Cutthroat also doesn’t get any changes to its carbon frameset, but it does get a bit of a character overall with the addition of a proper XC mountain bike suspension fork. After Salsa engineer Sean Mailen rode his suspended Cutthroat in the Trans North Georgia mountain bike race, Salsa decided to offer a similar build to consumers. This isn’t a short travel gravel fork on a carbon gravel bike though. Salsa has spec’ed a regular 100mm travel RockShox Reba SL mountain bike fork to the drop bar racer.

2019 Salsa all-road gravel bikepacking adventure bikes

The now $2900 carbon bike with a flared Salsa Cowchipper dropbar & Reba fork, gets a SRAM Apex 1 drivetrain and 23mm internal WTB rims with 2.2″ Maxxis Ikon tires. Strap some bikepacking bags onto it and search for the longest & toughest endurance race you can find – maybe the Tour Divide?

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 carbon gravel race bike

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike prototype

After a preview of the fourth generation carbon Warbird early this summer, now we have the full details on Salsa’s ultimate gravel race bike. Completely redesigned for 2019, the Warbird v4 is built around two wheel size compatibility 650B or 700C, redeveloped to better suit how riders had actually been racing the previous generation bikes.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike

But at its core, Salsa is careful to say that they didn’t really touch the rear end compliance that is what made the bike popular with most riders. That Class 5 Vibration Reduction System debuted in the v3 bike with its tall thin seatstays that actually flex outwards to add comfort, and outperformed the titanium v2 bike in both of the newer carbon and aluminum frames. That C 5 VRS stays with the new bike, so the ride will be as comfy as before, even with more drivetrain efficiency.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 Tech Details

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

Beyond that Salsa says the new carbon fame is 100g lighter. It now gets flat mount discs (140 or 160mm rear, 160mm only on the fork), 12mm thru-axles, a 27.2mm seatpost, a pressfit BB86 bottom bracket, and the tapered 1.55″ full carbon fork.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike

The Warbird actually gets the same new full carbon 405mm long, 50mm offset Waxwing fork that showed up on the new Vaya, including the low-rider front rack & dynamo compatibility (suspension corrected for a 40mm travel gravel fork.)

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike

The new bike packs in more water bottle storage, with three cage mounts inside the main triangle of frames 56cm and larger, plus a fourth mount under the downtube, a direct toptube bag mount behind the stem, and 3-pack anything mounts on each fork blade.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike

Designed ideally around a 700x32mm tire for the sake of geometry, the Warbird v4 can now run up to 700x45mm tires or 650Bs up to 2.1″ wide. That all works with compact road doubles (down to 46/30, up to a 52/36; 1x max 44t) thanks to the dropped chainstay and the removable front derailleur mount.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike

Rack mounts are there, plus fender mounts, and you can run an internally routed dropper if you opt for one of the 1x builds.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 Geometry

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike geometry

Sizing gets expanded in the new model, while geometry remains mostly the same, except for slightly longer toptubes for added stability and some more standover clearance. The carbon Warbird now comes in seven stock sizes, from a 49cm up to 61cm.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4  Complete Bikes & Pricing

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike
2019 Salsa Warbird Carbon Ultegra Di2 700

The Warbird is now available in five complete bike build options that each share the same carbon frameset. While we were told the frameset was going to be also available separately, that looks to be on hold, at least for the immediate future.

The top of the line Warbird v4 is the new 18.6lb/8.4kg Warbird Carbon Ultegra Di2 700 in this cool zebra paint scheme. At $5400, it’s ready to toe the line at your premier gravel races with a Di2 electronic road compact double and a set of alloy DT Swiss CR1600 wheels with 40mm Maxxis Rambler tires.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike
2019 Salsa Warbird Carbon Force 1 650

For $4400 you could also get the single ring Warbird Carbon Force 1 650 that is the only build to opt for the smaller diameter wheels, with WTB KOM Light i23 rims with 2.1″ Maxxis Pace 27.5 tires, and still just 19.1lb/8.7kg.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike
2019 Salsa Warbird Carbon 105 700

The $3400 Warbird Carbon 105 700 gets a road compact R7000 series 105 hydraulic groupset.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike
2019 Salsa Warbird Carbon Apex 1 700

The $2700 Warbird Carbon Apex 1 700 goes with a SRAM Apex single ring build and 11-42 cassette.

2019 Salsa Warbird v4 lightweigh carbon gravel race bike all-road bikepacking adventure bike
2019 Salsa Warbird Carbon Tiagra 700

And the $2400 Warbird Carbon Tiagra 700 becomes the most affordable with a road compact 2×10 Tiagra group and TRP Spyre-C mechanical brakes.

If you want to know more about Salsa’s new hardtail mountain bikes, we dove into the new 2019 Fargo, Timberjack & Timberjack Kids bikes separately a couple of days ago.

SalsaCycles.com

40 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve been cross-shopping this and the Kona Libre… The 105 Libre comes with an RX800 rear derailleur, and 650b wheels stock, all for $2999. The 700/650b difference aside, I like the derailleur upgrade, but is the Warbird frame likely to justify the cost difference? ($400 before a derailleur swap, roughly $500 after).

    Both frames use a PF86 BB, which I don’t love, but I can accept.

    • Yeah they really needed to stop using PF86. Its a terrible BB standard, only good for shimano, sram, campy. All of the sub compact chain rings that people use on gravel bikes use 30mm spindles, that dosen’t work anywhere near optimal with PF86.

      • The problem with going back to threaded BB’s (or BB30) in this category of bike is that in order to make the tire clearance people want, the chain stays must get longer, making the bikes handle like trucks.

        Now that road cassettes are available in 11-34T, there are lots of choices that make a 1:1 low gear, while still preserving the range of a double.

        • 430mm chain stay is normal for this style bike.

          11-34 Cassette only works natively with shimano’s new 11 speed derailleur. Sub-compact chain rings is the best for 1:1 ratios when everyone else only makes derailluers that max out at 11-32

          • a.) I consider 430+ to be longer. b.) this still uses a press fit BB to accomplish the clearance it has. Pinch the BB down to 68mm and that clearance goes away quickly.

            11-34 works with Shimano’s current groups from Tiagra through Ultegra. I find it also works fine on any derailleur that rates for 32T.

          • I’m somewhere in the middle here. I’d love to run a 48/32 or 46/30 front combo, but SRAM also has good road(ish) derailleurs that go up to 42 for their 1x drivetrains. And if cost is no object, you can always run a di2 XT derailleur and an 11-46 cassette for a 1x on an HG freehub. I also struggle with the fact that it is extremely hard to find a dual-sided power meter that can run a proper adventure subcompact. It looks like 4iiii might offer theirs on the Praxis Zayante, but I just found that one today. All that is to say that many bikes with Shimano drivetrains will stick with Shimano cranks for a variety of reasons.

              • Agreed. I fought the same battle with my FS mountain bike when installing a PM (I’m a dork.) I ended up with a spider-based power meter, but that forces you into a 104 BCD (mtb) or 110 BCD (road gravel) chainring/rings, which again means you can’t really fit anything smaller than 50/34 double. I shouldn’t spend the money for a dual-sided solution anyway, but I enjoy doing the research so… I probably ought to work in a shop. 🙂

            • Check out Easton’s EC90SL modular crank with cinch (spindle) power meter. You can run 48/32 or 46/30 or go 1x with that. No cheap, but pretty cool options.

        • The bearings get too narrow to be robust, whether that is due to the small balls, or poor sealing is debatable, I think. This is part of SRAM’s motivation in developing the DUB axle diameter. With a 24mm spindle, you can buy thread-together BBs like the ones from Wheels Mfg, Enduro, and others, but that isn’t possible when you need to fit a bearing and a 30mm spindle in the 41mm OD of a PF86 frame.

        • > Can you explain why PF86 doesn’t work well
          > with 30mm spindles? Just trying to understand,
          > thanks.

          First of all, it’s called BB86, not PF86.

          With BB86, the shell internal diameter is 41 mm. That doesn’t leave much room at all for cups, bearings, and a 30 mm spindle.

          WIth BB386EVO, the shell ID is internal diameter is 46 mm, leaving more room for a 30 mm spindle.

          It was a stupid decision by Salsa to go with BB86, and not BB386EVO.

          • I don’t understand the use of BB86 either. I think Giant has gone this direction also with their new Revolt.

            The Easton EC90 crank and spindle power meter on my BB386EVO Diverge has been an ideal setup. Brad at Built. Cycles has a custom spider for the EC90 to allow the use of standard 110 BCD spiders. His spider works perfectly and pre-dated the release of Easton’s subcompact chainring options.

            • > my BB386EVO Diverge

              Wow! Thumbs up for Specialized doing what is right for the customer instead of them pushing their own proprietary stuff. Now if they would only use BB386EVO on their road-specific Tarmac and Venge.

              Also note that the new Cannondale Topstone is using a standard BSA bottom bracket.

              Could it be that the 800 pound gorillas of the bike industry are actually listening to their customers?

    • I’m in the same boat. I like the color scheme of the libre better and it’s that much cheaper. Maybe it’ll come down to which one is available first?

  2. Now, that’s what I call good geometry for the Warbird, even for tall people the 61cm version will fit nicely.
    But also the other bikes updates are very nice. Shame, that I allready bought my steel bike last year from another brand.

  3. A lot of bikes with mechanical brakes here, which is fine by me, as long as the cables and housing are cut properly. But… mechanical brakes (both rim and disc) have become less effective since Shimano ditched SLR Plus tech in their road brake levers, which effectively increases both pad clearance and braking power by around 50%. Why get rid of something so beneficial? Probably to sabotage anything other than hydraulic disc brakes, which are more expensive and have to be bought as a complete set.

  4. Methinks Salsa is a little bit too “proud” of these Warbirds. It’s a nice update, but with all of the choices out there now, is a $3,400 105 bike or a $2,400 Tiagra bike (with mechanical brakes?!?!) a compelling value proposition?

    • As I mentioned, the price difference between the 105 Warbird and 105 Kona Libre is $400. It’s possible this is down to tarriffs, since the Kona prices were released roughly 6 weeks ago. It’s also possible that Kona frames come from a different Asian country or land in Canada before coming to the US. Sadly, inflated prices are the near-term future for us in the US.

    • Not having to use that double tiered handlebar is estimated to have a street value over $2000…Being more serious, I find these Salsa prices high myself.

      • Are you suggesting that consumers should not have to pay a markup for retail purchases? I’m trying to understand the sentiment of your comment.

      • Dude – I think you are drastically undervaluing the local shop. They save you assembly and tuning costs, and properly fit you to the right size frame and have it in stock so you can test ride it next to several other models so you can be sure it is the right bike and the right size before you shell out several grand. They also handle all of the warranty issues, etc. That makes al LBS well worth the money inn my book. Think about what you have saved if your Canyon shows up and it is too big. Then you ship it back and get another one. Then you do not like the ride anyway. Then you are a month into the process and still do not have a bike. Or you cannot get it in tune. Or if tou have a warranty issue (which is way more common thay you might think). Ir you need fitting help? An LBS adds a ton of value by providing real service and support as well as the ability to try before you buy. And believe it or not, the LBS likely is making no profit on the bike sale after all is said and done.

  5. As a Warbird Alloy owner I was really looking forward to this to upgrade.

    no matte black frameset option as teased, no go. More pressfit, meh.

    Thesis seems appealing now (BB386 at least has some decent options for BB, so tired of bb86)

  6. > Can you explain why PF86 doesn’t work well
    > with 30mm spindles? Just trying to understand,
    > thanks.

    It’s called BB86, not PF86.

    With BB86, the shell internal diameter is 41 mm. That doesn’t leave much room at all for cups, bearings, and a 30 mm spindle.

    WIth BB386EVO, the shell ID is internal diameter is 46 mm, leaving more room for a 30 mm spindle.

    It was a stupid decision by Salsa to go with BB86.

  7. “Slight longer” is an understatement. The 58 and 60 both gained 15 mm of reach. That being said, their 58 and 60 were stupidly short before. I can now fit a Warbird without a 140 stem!

  8. Just curious, if someone chooses to run an internally routed 27.2 dropper AND Di2, where do you put the Di2 battery? I like how Ibis came up with a way to mount it up under the BB trap door on their Hakka MX, does Salsa have a similar detail?

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