Salsa's new Stormchaser gravel bike is aimed at the purist.
The Minnesotan bike company has designed its Stormchaser as a true all-weather gravel route explorer, immune to the worst weather conditions.
Although most gravel bikes are either carbon or steel, Salsa decided to use aluminium for the Stormchaser’s construction. This has allowed for a frame which has adequate mud-clearance, low weight and a relatively modest price point.
The Stormchaser frame welds a 6066-series aluminium tube set together and steers courtesy of a carbon-fibre fork. Disc brakes control the Stormchaser’s deceleration.
A gravel bike marketed to be usable in the worst of weather conditions requires enormous tyre clearance, to ensure that it doesn’t stall due to mud clogging. Salsa claims the Stormchaser can roll 50mm width 700c or 650b tyres, which should give ample mud clearance. Those numbers result in 5mm more mud clearance than Salsa’s Warbird carbon-fibre adventure gravel bike.
Defining the Stormchaser concept are Salsa’s Alternator rear dropouts, giving you the option of adjusting chainstay length by 15mm. This sliding drop out function sets chain tension by repositioning the 12mm rear axle. Gravel riders who are undeterred by winter riding know there is simply no drivetrain more reliable and robust, in muddy conditions than a dedicated single speed.
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For those Stormchaser owners who wish to venture down the bike exploration route, this new Salsa frame has fender and rack mounts, to secure additional gear.
Six frame sizes are on offer, ranging from 56 to 61cm, and all those Stormchasers feature a 70-degree head angle. The bike’s geometry was specified to ensure quick steering responses and a comfortable standing position when climbing out of the saddle – which is a given with a single-speed configuration.
Availability is scheduled for April and Salsa is selling the Stormchaser at $1499, which includes two single-speed cog options (17- and 18t). If you prefer only purchasing a frame, with both single-speed and geared rear dropouts, that prices at $1099.