The Salsa Cutthroat is Much More Than a Tour Divide Rig

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The Salsa Cutthroat is Much More Than a Tour Divide Rig

Salsa Cutthroat, Much More Than a Tour Divide Rig
Words By Spencer Harding, bike photos by Spencer Harding, with action shots by Locke Hassett

While I was able to finagle this incredibly snazzy bike solely for the purpose of reviewing a framebag on it, I figured why not squeeze a bike review out of it as well? First things first, I’m not a huge fan of riding drop bars and as I mentioned before I’m no ultra-endurance racer, which is precisely what this bike is designed for. So, I may be a fish out of water in that regard, but I think there is still plenty of potential in this bike for us humans who enjoy riding less than 200 miles a day and more than 2 hours of sleep a night.  At face value, this bike is fast, when you point this thing down a dirt road and put some muscle into the pedals it fucking moves, it doesn’t much care for going slow.  When using a combination of the magtank 2000 and two stem caddy style bags, the bike actually couldn’t turn sharply at low speed, but this bike was designed to haul ass on the Tour Divide, not make low speed technical turns.  Lets delve into the specifications and all that jazz…

Bailey’s Woodsmoke Loaded For the 2018 Tour Divide Race

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Bailey’s Woodsmoke Loaded For the 2018 Tour Divide Race

When you’re dead set on breaking the Tour Divide single speed record this year, ultralight is the way to go. Bailey, who is currently working at District Bicycles, recently built up his 2018 TDR race bike. He chose the Salsa Woodsmoke for the geometry, tire size, and most importantly weight. Even though he’s racing single speed, he still needs to keep the bike as light as possible. As it sits now, the bike weighs 30lbs on the nose, with everything he needs. It’ll weigh 35lbs on the trail, with water. The parts selection is spot-on, with components that will withstand the 2745 mile trek from Canada to Mexico.

An unexpected snag Bailey ran into while building this bike was that the elevated chainstay caused a lot of lateral sways and without a large chainring and large cog, would cause the chain to kick. Problem-solving like that is always best to do before you find out on the trail…

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Jay Petervary’s Dirty Dirty Tour Divide Salsa Cutthroat

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Jay Petervary’s Dirty Dirty Tour Divide Salsa Cutthroat

I first met Jay Petervary back when Salsa took me on the Cutthroat launch on the Tour Divide. Admittedly, Jay was friendly, but you could tell there was apprehension. He was about to embark on the TDR on a new bike and had plenty of other things to think about, rather than making small talk with a photographer / blogger. I hadn’t seen Jay in years, until this year’s Saddle Drive when he greeted me with a smile and a firm handshake. Jay’s like that. He’s the nicest guy you’ll meet, but like all athletes, before a race, he’s reserved and focused. Catch him post-race or at a Salsa event and he’ll wax poetic tales of racing, or just shoot the shit in an intoxicatingly positive manner. The dude has a smile as big as his accolades.

After hearing that he brought this year’s TDR Cutthroat to Saddle Drive, I really wanted to photograph it. There’s something telling about a bike, all dusty and sated, that you just can’t get from documenting a show bike, or something that’s brand new. This bike has character and best of all displays Jay’s personal choice when it comes to products. Industry Nine wheels, a power meter and a mix of Salsa and Bike Bag Dude bags. There’s nothing overtly corporate or branded about this rig. It’s punk rock from a dude who has nothing to prove at this point in his career.

Jay, you keep on ramblin’ round the world, doing your thing and I’ll catch up to you again in the near future. High fives, buddy!

MinneCycle 2017: Clockwork Bikes Custom Tour Divide Bike – Jarrod Bunk

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MinneCycle 2017: Clockwork Bikes Custom Tour Divide Bike – Jarrod Bunk

MinneCycle 2017: Clockwork Bikes Custom Tour Divide Bike– Jarrod Bunk
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

You’ve probably seen Clockwork’s bikes before: Joel shaped steel for Poppi’s romantical dirt droop 29’r, which was featured here on the Radavist in 2015. While at MinneCycle I was able to check out this rad bike that came together for the Tour Divide with some pretty special extras. Those include internal dynamo wiring, sliding dropouts, and a custom made rack with a unique decaleur and a quick disconnect.

Oddity made a pretty wild bar for multiple hand positions and longer days in the saddle, so naturally, it made its way onto this build. A White Industries rear hub and SON Dynamo front hub should have this bike service-free for the entirety of the trip and then some.

A Box Components drivetrain and Paul Klamper brakeset round out this gorgeous build. The sleeved internal cable routing should keep things tidy while on tour and should something happen, still remain serviceable. All in all this is one hell of a clean bicycle that is full of features to make life easier when you’re out there. Check out more at Clockwork Bikes.

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Three Days on the Tour Divide with the Salsa Cutthroat

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Three Days on the Tour Divide with the Salsa Cutthroat

Stories. We all have to have stories to coincide with photos right? Nowadays, someone has to get lost, or their life threatened, or lose a battle to nature’s mood swings. Catastrophe, calamity and someone’s a casualty of what everyone seems to be dubbing “adventure.”

Truth is, a bike ride is hardly ever an “adventure.” Much less a bike launch. I don’t like that word: “adventure.” It tends to envelop so much of our day-to-day lives, especially those of us who spend a great deal of time outdoors. Was it an adventure? No, it was a hike. Or we went swimming. Or we got lost for an hour. “Adventure.” It’s been watered down, branded, packaged and delivered to us in a freeze-dried, waterproof pouch. We share our curated lives exposed through meticulously VSCO’d / Photoshopped vignettes on Instagram.

While this may seem cynical, I can assure you it’s far from that. It’s more of an explanation, or a primer if you will and here comes to the top coat: while the word adventure’s definition is subjective, the spirit of conquest is the thing that ties all facets of that word together. For some people, conquest lies in what others might deem an obtainable task. For others, it’s something so far-fetched that it’s more of an impossibility than a probability… Whatever it is, “adventure” means different things to different people, but we should all be more creative in how we define it. According to my opinion anyway.

The 2015 Tour Divide Race Grand Depart in Banff

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The 2015 Tour Divide Race Grand Depart in Banff

Over the next few days, I’ll be rolling out coverage from what we all began to call the “Tour Divide Simulation Ride” but first, I’d like to begin with a quick gallery from the Grand Depart in Banff, Alberta.

Traditionally, the race begins in the YWCA parking lot, just across the river from the main tourist thoroughfares in Banff. This year’s turnout was the biggest yet, with around 150 people registering for the race. A quick headcount revealed around 130 at the start, with a handful of people beginning a day early or later that morning.

Still, to see a Grand Depart this size for a race like the Tour Divide was more than I expected and quite the scene. Men, women, old, young and even a canine left Banff with aspirations of finishing this grueling challenge. Over the next few weeks their mind, body, bike and soul will be put to the test…

Our trip was a bit easier but even after three days on the road, I have a new found respect for anyone willing to tackle such a feat. Best of luck to all the racers and riders still out there on the TDR.

Introducing the Salsa Cycles Cutthroat Tour Divide Bike

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Introducing the Salsa Cycles Cutthroat Tour Divide Bike

Without getting too far ahead of myself here, I have to admit the giddiness flowing through my veins at the moment. I’m in Banff, Alberta at the start of the Tour Divide Race, arguably one of the most intense self-supported off-road races. I’m here with Salsa Cycles, and while we’re not doing the entire TDR, we are riding a three-day section of the race. Why? Because Salsa has supported racers and riders in the TDR for years and all the time and energy put into supporting athletes who train for to events like this has culminated in a bike that’s just being launched.

At this point, if you’re even reading this still and haven’t sprung right into clicking through the gallery images, I need to point out that Salsa champions the drop-bar off-road touring and racing bike. They love the hand positions, the unique stance and the options for drivetrains. That said, over the years, they’ve perfected what is arguably their best “all-road”, dirt-tourer: the Cutthroat.

I’m On the Way to the Tour Divide Race with Salsa Cycles

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I’m On the Way to the Tour Divide Race with Salsa Cycles

For the next few days I’ll be riding sections of the Tour Divide with Salsa Cycles. Last night we flew into Missoula, drove the Whitefish and Stayed at the Whitefish Bike Retreat. This morning, we’re heading to Banff to meet some of the racers, pack our bikes up and depart in the morning…

Expect coverage to follow and don’t worry, there will be content flowing in while I’m out…

Ty is Selling a Select Run of His Tour Divide Prints

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Ty is Selling a Select Run of His Tour Divide Prints

In celebration of the The 2014 Tour Divide mountain bike race, Ty is selling prints of some of his favorite 35mm photos from his 2013 run. He’s only selling five of each and doesn’t plan on selling them again. Head over to Tytanium Life to order.

If you’re interested in tracking the 2014 Tour Divide, do so at Trackleaders.

The above photo, entitled “First Day” is one of my personal favorites. See four others below.

Yonder Journal: Ty Hathaway’s Post 2013 Tour Divide Interview

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Yonder Journal: Ty Hathaway’s Post 2013 Tour Divide Interview

This is one of my favorite people on the planet. He’s inspired me to remember just one thing about cycling: have fun (or at least look rad). Yonder Journal has just posted an interview with Ty, right after he completed the 2013 Tour Divide.

“I was always tired to a certain degree because any day that you ride a mountain bike one hundred and forty miles you’re going to be tired. And if you wake up and do it again, and again, for twenty-three days in a row, you’re going to be tired all the time. So basically I was tired all the time. I feel great now though.”

It’s a hell of a read, so check it out at Yonder Journal!

Baja Divide: Tour De Vizcaino

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Baja Divide: Tour De Vizcaino

Last year, my partner Karla and I rode the northern half of the Baja Divide which soon, and as expected, became the hardest pedaling we had ever done, but also one of the most fulfilling experiences of our lives so when we went home we just kept on dreaming about going back for the second half of it.

DFL the Divide: A Friend Tour with Bikes

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DFL the Divide: A Friend Tour with Bikes

DFL the Divide: A Friend Tour with Bikes
Photos by Brian Zglobicki, Ester Song, Collin Samaan, Tod Seelie and Spencer Harding
Words by Hannah Kirby, Adam and Serena Rio

It only felt right to do this post as a posse, there are far too many voices and perspectives for something as myopic as my lens alone. So, I present to you, our second #dflthedivide trip. The photos are all mashed together, in a collaborative edit by myself and Tod. Below are three written perspectives as well. Together they are far more eloquent and enjoyable than anything I could have done alone, a perfect allegory for the trip itself.  I Love all these ding dongs a whole whole lot…
<3 Spencer

Serena Rio:
The nascent days of cycling were drenched in money and bikes reigned street supreme in the absence of cars. Only the rich had the luxury of owning a bike and the luxury of time to ride the bike, but not nearly enough luxury to own two. Your singular bike had to race, it had to commute, and in a life yet without cars, it had to carry you long distance on vacay.

Pepper’s Tumbleweed Prospector Rohloff Peru Divide Touring Bike

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Pepper’s Tumbleweed Prospector Rohloff Peru Divide Touring Bike

Instagram. It opens the door to people’s lives. Their existence, their motivations, their day-to-day routines, and their ambitious undertakings. With some, this transparency and subsequent stoked, is not only exciting to follow along, but highly motivating. Pepper is one of those people on Instagram. The ones you see on their bike, in beautiful places every post, and sharing a positive mental attitude all while promoting cycling. I had never met Pepper before yesterday, yet I’m sure the feeling is mutual when we acknowledged seeing each other’s lives unfold online. One of the bigger undertakings of her cycling life was an ambitious bikepacking route with the Tumbleweed Bikes team. The end product of their trip is a beautiful film by Jay Ritchey, which premiered here in Los Angeles last night, coinciding with an opportunity for me to meet Pepper and document the very bike that she pedaled, pushed, and crashed on the Peru Divide.

We’ve looked at Dan’s Tumbleweed before on the site, and while the frame details are the same, the build differs, particularly with Pepper’s use of a basket for touring – not pictured here, a Fabio’s Chest by Swift Industries and Ultra Romance has replaced it – for that, head to her Instagram to check it out, and be sure to catch the film El Silencio: Cycling the Peruvian Andres if it comes to your city!

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Follow Pepper on Instagram and Tumbleweed on Instagram.

DFL the Divide: A Group Tour in Celebration of Adventure Cycling’s 40th

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DFL the Divide: A Group Tour in Celebration of Adventure Cycling’s 40th

DFL the Divide: A Group Tour Celebration of Adventure Cycling’s 40th
Words by Spencer Harding, photos by UltraRomance, Mark Reimer, Locke Hassett and Spencer Harding

It all started over beers in Colombia last fall. We had just crossed the pass over Nevado Del Ruiz and we were on our way to Medellin and of course we got to talking about what the next adventure was gonna be before the one at hand was even over. Kurt really wanted to get to Missoula for Adventure Cycling’s 40th celebration and he thought we should ride the section of the tour divide from Banff to Seeley Lake. I was pumped because I missed riding that section with him a few years back. The plan was set, get to Banff on July 5th and get to Missoula by July 15th.

A Gentle Stoke: Touring the Lower Dolores Canyon

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A Gentle Stoke: Touring the Lower Dolores Canyon

On the last Friday of April, four strangers convened at the Bradfield Campground near Cahone, Colorado at dusk. Our two rigged up trucks and one camper van were parked neatly near the start of what would turn out to be a grand adventure: a weekend of sanctity, the fruition of an obsession, training in preparation for a big tour, and then checking off of a box to confirm that yes, all of the time, energy, and research spent assembling this could lead to something quite special.

Kevin’s Bearclaw Beaux Jaxon Titanium Touring Bike

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Kevin’s Bearclaw Beaux Jaxon Titanium Touring Bike

That feller up at Bearclaw Bicycle Co is doing some really amazing things. The whole catalog is composed of some paradigm-shifting designs and a crowd favorite is the Beaux Jaxon. If you dig drop bars and chonk tires, that’s the frame for you. Throw in a titanium segmented fork and you’ve got a dream machine. Kevin Hinton is a tattoo artist here in Santa Fe. He also runs his Adventure Bikepacking Instagram account as a side project, which hosts overnighters, and tours in the area.

Originally from Los Angeles, Kevin cut his chops touring all over California, specifically in the desert, taking on the Stagecoach 400 multiple times. This particular loop goes from high pine country down through Anza Borrego and into San Diego before climbing back up to the pines. The Anza section is particularly sandy, so when Kevin built up this dream bike, he had some specific requirements and took that list to Sincere Cycles for the build…