Salsa bikes looks at cycling a little differently from other manufacturers. Salsa is all about "adventure by bike" -- going out there to explore and discover. The company was started in 1981 by Ross Shafer, who was at that time working as a frame builder at a bike maker called Santana. After work Shafer would build his own custom mountain bike frames, which he sold under the name Red Bush. In 1982 he changed the company name to Salsa, in honor of his favorite dip. His frames were in such high demand that at one point he had an order backlog of 80 frames.
Salsa's product lines are categorized mainly according to their tire size -- 26 inches, 29 inches and 700C.
The "26ers" are made up of the Mukluk models -- Mukluk 2, Mukluk 3 and the Mukluk titanium frame. Equipped with Surly Larry Front 26 x 3.8" and Surly Endomorph Rear, 26 x 3.7" tires, this line of Salsa "fatbikes" provides the floatation and traction necessary to deal with soft surfaces such as snow and sand. The wide rims and wide tires make these the monster trucks of the biking world. Handling and stability are consistent even at slow speeds, thus giving a good ride even in tough conditions such as snow riding or beach riding. The Mukluk 2 and 3 are excellent, fun bikes for exploratory rides, especially in uncharted territory.
The "29ers" consist of the Fargo, El Mariachi, Mamasita, Spearfish, Horsethief bikes and the Selma titanium frame. The Fargo 2 and 3 are off-road adventure bikes that you can hop on to and go see the world with. It's a bit of an anomaly -- the drop bars suggest that it's a racer, but the frame is definitely that of a mountain bike, yet it is really designed for off-road touring. The El Mariachi line was introduced in 2007, and it hasn't stopped garnering rave reviews until this day. This highly acclaimed, versatile, and do-it-all Salsa mountain bike provides a balance between comfort and performance, making it suitable for 100-milers and 24-hour races. The Mamasita is light and fast, perfect for XC racing. For ultra endurance racing, the Spearfish line provides unmatched pedaling and suspension efficiency, as well as balanced handling that kicks in toward the end of the race when the rider is most tired. And for taking on the rugged terrain of mountain trails, nothing can match the Horsethief. The stem is shorter than normal allowing the rider to be positioned for aggressive riding. The Horsethief is the mountain bike of all mountain bikes.
The "700Cs" have the Vaya 2, 3 and Titanium models, as well as the Casseroll and Chili Con Crosso bikes. The Vaya handles well on any road surface, including gravel. The geometry is highly stable and twitch-free, providing excellent handling and comfort even when fully loaded. The Vayas are perfect for long rides on any road. The Casseroll's geometry is designed to provide maximum comfort, making it ideal for long, relaxed rides. The Chili Con Crosso is more focused on racing. Trimmed down to the most essential features, this Salsa bike is light, fast, and ultra efficient.
Salsa also sells a wide range of parts and accessories, and has introduced a line of apparel that includes jerseys, riding outfits and T-shirts to help you look good as you ride on your Salsa bike.