Monday, June 25, 2018

New Adventure Machine: Salsa Cutthroat 2018 Build

I recently went back and read my Land Run 100 reflections from just over a year ago. It's been a wild ride since then and it's hard to believe so much time has passed. I've been down a lot of literal and figurative roads...every flavor of dirt, rock, slush, and sludge in the midwest-south-central. Moved from exorcising bicycle demons (car skittishness from years of city living and a side-swipe, post-AS wobblies) to exorcising general life demons. Getting stronger while resisting the urge to revert to competitiveness. Riding just for the sake of riding, while also pushing boundaries. Looking to connect with others and reconnect with myself first and foremost.

Sending in a postcard for Trans Iowa back in October and then realizing that now you have to actually do it.

With growth comes...the need for new equipment. I rode 207 miles on my 19 pound bright orange Specialized Crux with boat anchor cranks and just barely enough clearance for 40mm tires at Dirty Kanza, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Run what you brung. I was starting to feel ready for something with a little more carrying capacity and chops for multi-day (and night) adventures though.

Besides, the CDC told me we're all going to perish in a flu pandemic next year, so what does it matter if I spend all my money on a happiness machine in the meantime.

So when your bike shop BFF calls his Salsa rep and they say there's one size small 2018 Cutthroat frame left that's unspoken for, you say yes.

5 months later I had a bicycle. It took 5 months because we put a lot of thought into it, and also probably because of the 1680 hours I spent in the ER and Trauma ICU and crying in the corner and eating cookies and such in that time.

So here it is. Specs below. I owe City Cycles all the sweat, whiskey, and unicorn tears in the world.

Frame: Salsa Cutthroat
Fork: Salsa Cutthroat Carbon
Stem: Salsa Guide negative degree, 70mm
Handlebar: Easton EC70 AX, 40cm
Bar tape: SupaCaz
Brakes: SRAM Force Hydro
Brake/Shift Levers: SRAM Force 1X
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Force 1
Cassette: SRAM 11-42
Chain: KMC X11.93
Crankset: SRAM X1 1400, 170mm
Pedals: Crankbrothers Candy 7, Magenta/Black
Wheels: WTB KOM i25 700c, Sapim Cx-Ray spokes, Sapim Polyax nipples
Hubs: i9 Torch CL Hubset, pink
Tires: Terrene Elwood 40mm
Saddle: Specialized Phenom
Seatpost: Thompson Masterpiece, 0 offset

Fred bar in my possession, not pictured. Anticipating Bar Yak cockpit after wallet recovery.

Rogue Panda crafted this custom frame bag for me. They made my color explosion dreams come true. Can't wait to put it through its paces. Considering their Alamo top tube bag on my Crux has survived thousands of miles of gravel and mud, three bikepacking trips, a flash flood and a lightening storm, I suspect this one will be equally indestructible.


  1. Hi Adrienne. That's a sweet bike! I'm small and the bike I have has Ultegra 6800 which limits my gearing to 11x32. What size chainring are you running? The smallest I could find for my crankset (110 BCD 4-bolt) is a 36t. I feel like it's geared a little too hard for me for long, hilly rides. When I saw your 11x42 cassette it got my attention. I need to upgrade. Cheers from Louisiana! - Karen G.

    1. Hi Karen! I have a 38T front chainring on there. Pretty hilly around here and it's working out well with the 11x42.

  2. Hi Adrienne,

    I lucked out and was able to get an 11x40 to work with the Wolftooth road link. It was a cheap upgrade and gives me a lot better gear choice for climbing. Thanks again for the info. Happy riding! :D

  3. Whether it is a production or any type of magazine for a company, they offer different reviews that can be a focus for decision making. Maschinenbewertungen