Salsa's updated Beargrease and MUKLUK are muy caliente

Updates keep things spicy for 2018's fat bikes

Salsa, an elder in everything fat bike, has just announced updates to its extra chunky Beargrease and MUKLUK platforms for 2018.

Beargrease

When the Beargrease was conceived, Salsa engineer Pete Koski said he wanted a “fat bike that ripped like a modern hardtail.”

When we reviewed the Beargrease a few years back, we noted the lightweight carbon chassis was fleet footed when compared to other fatties on the market, offered precise handling and essentially disproved the 'fat bikes have to be slow' myth.

For the new frame, Salsa has gone up a wheel size to 27.5 wheels and opted for 3.8in tires. The brand says on groomed snow or dirt the increased diameter provides better rollover, a longer contact patch and the flotation of a 5in tire without the added rolling resistance.

Officially, on the stock 27.5 rims the tire clearance is 4in, but if you decided to swap to 26in the bike will accept up to 4.5in or rubber at the front and 4.6in at the rear.

The second tier Beargrease sports Shimano SLX 1x11
The second tier Beargrease sports Shimano SLX 1x11

The frame is available in three builds: GX Eagle, SLX 1x11 and NX1 all with carbon frames, and see the brand's Makwa rigid fat bike race fork.

Should you want to add a bit of additional squish to the front end, the frame is designed to accept 100mm suspension forks, and 51mm offset is recommended.

With a relatively slack 68.5-degree head angle and 440mm chainstays, the new Beargrease should retain the extra spicy handling characteristics of its predecessor.

The most budget friendly of the bunch comes with a SRAM NX1 build
The most budget friendly of the bunch comes with a SRAM NX1 build

Compatible with 1x and 2x drivetrains, the new Beargrease sees 177 x 12mm symmetrical rear spacing, a Pressfit 42 x 122 bottom bracket, full length cable housing and the frame can accept two bottles inside the main triangle. 

Beargrease models and pricing

  • Beargrease Carbon GX Eagle 27.5: $4,599
  • Beargrease Carbon SLX 1x11 27.5: $2,499
  • Beargrease Carbon NX1: $1,999
  • Frameset: $1,499

The new Beargrease is on its way to dealers as we speak and will be available in the coming weeks. International pricing is to be announced

MUKLUK

The top tier MUKLUK is sporting an X01 Eagle group
The top tier MUKLUK is sporting an X01 Eagle group

While the Beargrease is intended to be the speed-focused platform, the MUKLUK on the other hand occupies the do anything go anywhere category.

With this the frame is also tuned to provide more comfort and sees the Alternator 2.0 Dropouts, which allow the chainstay length to range from 432mm to 450mm.

With this adjustability, the MUKLUK can handle tires ranging from 26 x 3.8–5in, 27.5 2.8–4in, and 29 x 2.2–3in.

Salsa believes the MUKLUK is its most versatile fat bike and as product manager Joe Meiser puts it: “I have ridden the MUKLUK on fresh snow, perfectly groomed snow, singletrack, dirt, and pavement. Using the Alternator Dropouts, I’ve come to really appreciate how it carves singletrack with 26 x 4.0” tires in the shortest wheelbase configuration, and the amount of stability that it offers with a 5.0” tire in the longer wheelbase configuration.”

Sitting second in the lineup is the MUKLUK GH Eagle
Sitting second in the lineup is the MUKLUK GH Eagle

At the back, the frame sees 197 x 12mm rear hub spacing and a 100mm threaded bottom bracket shell keeps the Q-factor manageable, while also allowing for both 1x and 2x drivetrains.

At the front, the MUKLUK comes with the Salsa's Bearpaw fork and three pack mounts for the company's Anything Cages. The suspension is corrected for 120mm forks.

The MUKLUK also gets mounts for top tube bags, three water bottle mounts and is compatible with the its Alternator rear rack.

The lowest MUKLUK carbon frame comes with a Shimano SLX 1x11 build
The lowest MUKLUK carbon frame comes with a Shimano SLX 1x11 build

With three carbon builds and one alloy, all four models roll on Maxxis 26 x 4.8in Minno FBR tires and have 1x drivetrains.

MUKLUK models and pricing

  • MUKLUK Carbon X01 Eagle: $5,399
  • MUKLUK Carbon GX Eagle: $3,499
  • MUKLUK Carbon SLX 1x11: $2,699
  • MUKLUK NX1: $1,799
  • Carbon Frameset: $1,999

Like the Beargrease, the 2018 MUKLUK will be available in the coming weeks. International pricing is to be announced.

Hitting a low price point the MUKLUK NX1 build also sees an alloy frame
Hitting a low price point the MUKLUK NX1 build also sees an alloy frame

Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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