The Salsa Mukluk was one of the first production fat bikes ever, helping to turn the wide-tired contraptions into a more mainstream trend. In the years since, Salsa has continued to be one of the leaders of charge when it comes to fat bikes, pushing the limits and transforming peoples’ mindsets, making big tires fun. From the speed-oriented Beargrease to the mind-blowingly-fun full-suspension Bucksaw, Salsa knows fat. For 2017, the classic Muk has gotten a revamp, and according to a lot of the people who I talked to at Saddle Drive who got to ride one (unfortunately, I didn’t get to), it’s better than ever.
One of the biggest changes for this year is that the Mukluk is now offered in carbon. The frame geometry also changed slightly, continuing the industry trend towards longer top tubes, short stems, and super short chainstays. It’s designed to be a comfortable and capable bike no matter what you’re doing–from long days in the saddle to an overnight bikepacking trip to bushwacking and exploring off the beaten path.
Salsa’s Alternator dropouts allow for a variety of tire/rim combinations while keeping the chainstays as short as possible. If you’re unfamiliar with the system, it uses a swing plate to easily adjust chainstay length or make converting to a singlespeed really simple. Salsa makes a few different Alternators, the latest being Version 2.0, which features two different positions while keeping the chainstays between 432 and 440mm.
197mm rear spacing accommodates 5″ tires with the Alternator in the farthest-back position. A 100mm threaded bottom bracket allows for a number of different crank and Q-factor choices. depending on if you want to run 1x or 2x. The new Mukluk also has internal routing for a dropper post, water bottle mounts both in the triangle and on the down tube, and mounts for a top tube bag such as one of Salsa’s new EXP series.
The Mukluk platform is offered in five different builds this year. The Carbon X01 is top of the line, spec’d with a carbon fork, Whisky carbon 100mm rims, and SRAM Guide brakes with 160mm rotors. The two other carbon models have aluminum Bearpaw forks, Alex rims, and X1 or GX1 drivetrains. Both aluminum models come with NX1, but one is spec’d with a RockShox Bluto and SRAM Level brakes, the other a carbon Bearpaw rigid fork and Hayes brakes. All builds come with 45NRTH Dillinger 5 tires, and are set up 1x, though all are 2x compatible. See complete component spec, geometry chart, and frame spec here.
Price points on the Mukluk range from $4,499 for the Carbon X01 to $1,799 for the Aluminum NX1. Carbon Mukluks should be available in October 2016, while aluminum models and all XS-sized bikes will show up in November.