Such a city evokes the spirit of adventure in many of us, making us want to set out and see the world. That’s exactly what Salsa hopes fans of the new Marrakesh will do with it, and they’ve built it to be ready for many miles on the road, where ever that road may take you. You need not travel to far away lands to enjoy the meditative calmness of lost highways atop the saddle of a bicycle though. Luckily, riders in Oregon don’t have to look far for forgotten roads and scenic country views.
Having a look at the bike, one of the first things that may catch your eye is the Brooks saddle–yes, that comes stock on the bike. Secondly is the rear rack, also a standard component on the Marrakesh. Those components alone already hint at Salsa’s direction with this bike as a serious touring rig. Regarding the frame and geometry, Salsa’s Pete Koski, engineer for Marrakesh, says, “A true touring bike should have a lower bottom bracket and longer chainstay/wheelbase than a similar sized road, gravel, commuting, or mountain bike. The lower BB also lowers your saddle, and therefore your body relative to the axles. This all results in a center of gravity that makes riding and steering a loaded bike easier and more predictable.” Are your adventure gears turning yet? They should be. This frame is Cobra Kai CroMoly, a Salsa design, and is externally and internally butted. In a word: strong. So not only are you purchasing a touring bike, but likely a family heirloom as well. Packing everything but the kitchen sink onto this bike, you’re likely to wear out long before the frame does…exactly what you want in a touring bike.
Other features of this bike include lots of mounting options for racks. Want to mount up a flame thrower? There’s probably a way to do that (but check with local authorities before doing so). Mechanical disc brakes are easily serviceable, and provide lots of stopping power while loaded. There’s room for 700c x 40 tires while running fenders, or 29 x 2.0 without. Keen attention to detail also means room for a kickstand, a spare spoke mount, and should you mangle a rear derailleur Salsa has you covered with a sliding dropout so you can limp the bike along in singlespeed mode until you can get to the next town for a fix. Was it mentioned that you can get all these features on a flat bar version of the bike too? Acknowledging the differences in riding a flat bar bike versus a drop bar bike, Salsa does a separate geometry for each of the frames for an optimal fit.
By all accounts, Salsa looks to have hit the mark with their major league touring bike for 2016. Still viable as a commuter or daily rider, the Marrekesh is a bit heavier than the very popular Salsa Vaya, but also a more capable touring machine. Fans of Surly’s perennial touring favorite the Long Haul Trucker are going to want a serious look at the Marrekesh for the many improvements it offers over the LHT at a very similar price point.
We have a full size run of the Marrakesh in stock now! Please call us or stop in to take one out for a spin. The open road awaits!