A 30 minute drive south of the city takes you past Andrews Air Force Base, to the bucolic woods of Rosaryville State Park. The flowy single track, short punchy climbs and beautiful open fields provided an awesome venue to let Salsa Cycles shine. Salsa's signature fatbikes made great rigs for shooting, as it made carrying a camera bag on trails super comfortable and stable.
One of our mechanics, Scott, gets set up to take the Beargrease for a spin. Scott gives us some of his impressions on various Salsas below.
Whoa, A full carbon Phat bike. This sucker was fast, faster than a bike with 26 by four inch tires should be. And that’s the crazy thing about these bikes, you see fat tires and the first thing to come to mind is how much more work it is going to be to ride, but the fact of the matter is that the bike could not be easier. With a huge gear range this guy rolled up the hill, rolled over roots like a champ, and could hold decent speed on the straightaways. One thing that was surprising during the ride was that just because you have tires wider then a dinner plate doesn’t mean those tires are going to stick to the dirt. Maybe it was the leaves. Maybe the bike was going too fast. Maybe it was tight turns. But there were more than a few corners gave me the willies as this monster’s back end started doing the electric slide. Oh, but on normal turns as well as technical bobbing and weaving through trees the Beargrease handled confidently. Instead of turning the handlebar to point in a different direction it felt more like rolling from one side of the tire to the other, which can take more time then you think when four inches are involved.
Go ahead, think of the craziest bike you ever ridden. This one beats it. This full-suspension 26”X4” mountain monster has single handedly changed the way I feel about riding trails. At first I was I was all like “Imma going to crash into to everything at full speed just to float over whatever nonsense gets in my way.” And I was doing just that keeping up with the fast guys, but then the feeling that I was doing it wrong came over me. As the boys rode off into the distance, I found incredible joy in just cruising through the woods. With all the magic of fat tires and full-suspension you did not have to think about all the technical aspects involved in riding inferior machines…. This was mountain biking for dummies. The best comparison to make would be like moseying down the boardwalk on a Schwinn Cruiser drinking a coke-a-cola taking in the beauty of all the pretty things there are to see at the height of summer. But instead of beach bodies, it was the trees and an amazing autumn afternoon which lit the colors of the changing leaves that held my attention. Because again, I didn’t have to think about riding, I could look around to see what the land had to offer. This bike could go fast, this bike could also do some crazy technical stuff I am sure of that, but it also gives you the ability to just sit back and enjoy riding in the forest. It is a mountain cruiser.
As the klunkers say, "riding is best away from the cops, cars and the pavement." Mountain biking is a great way to let loose and escape the city from time to time. Not only that, it makes you a more well-rounded rider. You can improve your bike handling and commune with nature. Winter can be a great time for mountain bikes as you are sheltered from the cold wind, unlike the more exposed sections of road riding.