Core Bike 2010: Salsa Ala Carte Titanium

First ever Ti model from Minnesota frame makers

Salsa have unveiled a new titanium version of their classic Ala Carte hardtail. It's the first time they've used the material, but doesn't look like being the last, as we're told there are several other new models in the pipeline.

The frame is made in the US from seamless 325 straight-gauge titanium and is designed to take a 100mm-travel fork. Angles are identical to the standard steel bike – what Salsa's Dave Gabrys describes as "cross-country performance oriented geometry".

The Ala Carte Titanium is currently only available in a geared version (ie. without an eccentric bottom bracket or horizontal dropouts), but Gabrys hinted that a singlespeed variant could be on its way.

It has a biaxially shaped down tube (ovalised at the bottom bracket) for more drivetrain stiffness, which bends before it meets the head tube to allow more fork crown clearance. Other features include chemically etched graphics, a replaceable rear derailleur hanger, Breezer-style dropouts (for a broader weld surface and slight increase in rear end stiffness) and IS disc mounts.

Gabrys told BikeRadar: "This is really a new direction for us. We're doing three models in titanium – the 26in Ala Carte, the 29in El Mariachi and one other – and the initial response has been tremendous. This is just the beginning."

RRP for the Ala Carte Titanium frame (including pewter-coloured seat clamp, not the green shown here) is £1,700 and the first production models are expected to arrive in the UK in April.

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