Salsa Selma (frame) review

Singlespeed 29er

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £850.00 RRP | USD $1,404.62

Our review

A lightweight and great handling 29er frame for fast cross-country riding – if you build it right
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The Selma is Salsa’s singlespeed-specific 29er frameset. Designed for fast cross-country riding, it delivers an assured ride with the potential for a truly crisp and light build.

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At £850 for the frame you’re paying a premium for such a crisp ride – Niner’s One9 29er singlespeed frameset is £50 less – but we feel that the fast and smooth cross-country riders the Selma is aimed at will find justifying the pricetag easier than finalising their wish-list spec sheet.

Ride & handling: Smooth rolling wheels and quick steering let you attack the trail

Salsa’s UK distributors Ison are selling the frame only, but they built up our fully rigid test sample using a selection of White Brothers, Salsa, Surly and Halo kit.

The 4.17lb (1.89kg) frame-only weight of our 18in test rig is entirely respectable. However, the speccing of incongruous heavyweight components, such as Halo’s Freedom Disc 29 wheels, adds unnecessary rotating mass to a key area and takes the complete bike weight to 23.57lb (10.69kg).

Fitting a suitably sprightly set of wheels – like Mavic’s Cr29maxs – would be the ideal match and, together with lightweight kit, could easily realise the sub-20lb build the Selma deserves.

A head angle of 71° and 72° seat angle (the sag of a suspension fork will steepen it slightly more) ensure steering is quick and the Selma’s certainly no slouch on the tight stuff.

The increased footprint of the 29in tyre means that grip’s certainly not a problem up the climbs or when carving the singletrack, and the Selma handles direction changes virtually as seamlessly as more agile 26in wheeled bikes.

The big wheels smooth out the trail while the combination of light chassis weight and stiffness results in a great application of drive and zero steering vagueness, inspiring you to really attack power climbs square on.

Flattened seat and chain stays noticeably improve ride comfort: flattened seat and chain stays noticeably improve ride comfort
Russell Burton

Frame: Light and stiff, with flattened stays for added comfort

The Selma is based on Salsa’s geared Mamasita bike and designed to work with a RockShox Reba 29er 80mm travel suspension fork, or a suspension-adjusted rigid 29er fork.

It strips away all gear cable fittings, adds a Bushnell eccentric bottom bracket and uses a scandium mainframe with flattened carbon seatstays that feature incorporated brake hose guides.

The seatstays are complemented by flattened chainstays that together add a modicum of vertical compliance to the wishbone rear end that’s just enough to take the edge off trail clatter. Tyre clearance with 2.35in tyres fitted is fair but not generous.

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The bi-oval down tube is of a larger diameter and has thicker walls than the Mamasita’s and, although there’s a negligible weight increase, front-end stiffness is noticeably improved, particularly when laying the power down out of the saddle to scale steep pitches. The tapered seat tube also aids bottom bracket stiffness.

Lightweight and minimalist parts are at home on the selma : lightweight and minimalist parts are at home on the selma
Russell Burton

Product Specifications


Name Name, 0, 10, Name, Selma Frame (09)
Brand Brand, 0, 20, Brand, Salsa

Available Colours Available Colours, 2, 0, Available Colours, Blue/Grey
Available Sizes Available Sizes, 2, 0, Available Sizes, 16 Inches 18 Inches 20 Inches 22 Inches
Brakes Brakes, 2, 0, Brakes, Avid Juicy 5, 160mm rotors
Cranks Cranks, 2, 0, Cranks, Surly Mr Whirly
Fork Fork, 2, 0, Fork, White Brothers Rock Solid carbon 29er rigid
Frame Material Frame Material, 2, 0, Frame Material, Scandium custom tubeset and carbon seatstays
Frame Weight Frame Weight, 2, 0, Frame Weight, 1890
Front Hub Front Hub, 2, 0, Front Hub, Halo Freedom Disc
Front Tyre Size Front Tyre Size, 2, 0, Front Tyre Size, 29x2.35
Handlebar Handlebar, 2, 0, Handlebar, Salsa Pro Moto carbon bar
Head Angle Head Angle, 2, 0, Head Angle, 71
Rear Hub Rear Hub, 2, 0, Rear Hub, Halo Freedom Disc
Rear Tyre Size Rear Tyre Size, 2, 0, Rear Tyre Size, 29x2.35
Rims Rims, 2, 0, Rims, Halo Freedom Disc 29
Seat Angle Seat Angle, 2, 0, Seat Angle, 73
Seatpost Seatpost, 2, 0, Seatpost, Salsa Shaft
Stem Stem, 2, 0, Stem, Salsa Moto Ace stem,
Bottom Bracket Height (in) Bottom Bracket Height (in), 2, 0, Bottom Bracket Height (in), 12.8
Chainstays (in) Chainstays (in), 2, 0, Chainstays (in), 17.9
Seat Tube (in) Seat Tube (in), 2, 0, Seat Tube (in), 18
Top Tube (in) Top Tube (in), 2, 0, Top Tube (in), 23.6
Wheelbase (in) Wheelbase (in), 2, 0, Wheelbase (in), 42.9