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.
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 comfortRussell 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.
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 selmaRussell Burton