The long time favorite Ala Carte frameset will now also be offered as a complete bike. The non-suspended True Temper OX Platinum frameset goes disc brake only for 2008, cleaning up its lines and look. This is the bike most reminiscent of what most of us ‘old timers’ were riding in the late 80’s. It worked well then and it still works well today.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Hardrock and Rockhopper
Bike Setup: SID fork, 24spd with old XTR and solid SUN rims. The bike is great on trails and keeps up with roadies.
a Weekend Warrior
from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Date Reviewed: October 8, 2009
Strengths: looks, quality and the ride is very nice, its stiff yet had enough flex to keep you smiling. Feels fast on the flats and undulating terrain, climbs well do it requires some hardtail technique.
As I said above it looks great, the Salsa paint is a work of art. The quality and the ride is very nice, its stiff yet enough flex to keep you smiling. Feels fast on the flats and undulating terrain, climbs well but do required some hardtail technique. Imagine if Salsa decided with 100mm fork in 2010, now that would be perfect. The only negative I can see on this is the bike cost.
I was lucky to test the bike for 7 days and thanks for my LBS I'm hook by Ala Carte.
Similar Products Used: Jamis Dragon and Exile, Giant XTC alloy & carbon, Scott Scale carbon, and GT Avalanche 1.0
Bike Setup: Fox fork RLC 80mm, all Shimano gears & wheelset
a Cross Country Rider
from Irvine, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: July 2, 2009
Strengths: Excellent ride quality, very decent weight for a mass-produced, non-Reynolds 853, cool paint job, in expensive for the quality.
Weaknesses: cable-routing: under the bottom bracket shifter cable routing is simple, but tends to get clogged (it's a road bike throwback). Also, what's up with non-hydraulic cable guides for the rear brake? This is a pain if you run hydraulic brakes, as you have to run some sort of adapter hose guides (which never work that well).
I was already sold on steel for hardtail use, and I would say that the A La Carte is probably the best riding steel frame I've ridden. Very, very resilient, something that was immediately noticeable riding off a curb versus even other steel hardtails I've owned. I ride a squish bike 70-80% of the time, and I built this bike for traveling with me (didn't want to risk damaging the Turner in Indonesia), but I've ended up liking this bike even more than I thought I would (no, not more than the Turner, but close). I still prefer my squish bike most of the time, but I nonetheless have a good time on the Salsa due to its plush ride and its quick (but not too quick, at least with a 130mm travel fork on it) handling. A good hardtail for technical trails. I'd actually rate it a 4.5 for overall performance b/c of the silly cable routing, but I'm rounding up since I can't be exact. In general, the best non-custom, mass-produced steel frame I've encountered.
Similar Products Used: Yeti Pro-Fro (steel), Soma Groove (attractive but not well made), countless cheaper steel frames.
Bike Setup: Very much a trail bike or "all-mountainy" set up: 2006 Fox 32 Van R fork (Pushed), X-9/XT drivetrain, DT Swiss/Mavic 823 (r)/Sun Singletrack wheelset (f)., Deore hydraulic discs (160mm), etc.
a Cross Country Rider
from East Brunswick, NJ
Date Reviewed: February 25, 2009
Strengths: Built well from quality steel.
This bike is awesome! It is made well, rides well, responds, and has a classic look to it. No doubt in my mind that I will ride this for many more years.
Similar Products Used: This is my first steel hardtail. Prior I rode an aluminum Klein Attitude.
Bike Setup: SS!!!!!!!!! Was geared until about 6 months ago and now I am obsessed with single speeding. Sweet, custom wheels, carbon seat post and bars, mechanical disc brakes. Tires change depending on what is on sale.
from State College, PA, USA
Date Reviewed: December 11, 2007
Strengths: It's no cookie cutter frame...steel is real..beautiful paint and welds..old-school..came as a frameset with a rigid salsa cromoto fork that EASILY fits my 29 inch wheel
Weaknesses: On the expensive side for a college student, but a deal if you get a decent weekly paycheck..the paint easily chips but hey..its a mountain bike. If you build it rigid and you're not used to it, you'll take two weeks to re-learn it all, the right way.
This thing is really unique..not your average trek/specialized..I always wondered why my dad's old giant rigid steel ride was always so comfortable compared to my aluminum bikes..steel is real..riding a rigid bike is real..the 29 inch tire aired down is as plush as i need..really predictable in rock gardens and its really tossable (sooo light)..It's a badass singlespeed and I'm only going to gear it when I race it..I'll be stronger for it..i'll have this frame for a long longgg time..I would even tour on this bike with some 700c cross tires (they fit)and racks galore (its got the eyelets)..consider this frame and give riding a rigid bike a chance..it's becoming cliche but i'm having fun...the salsa sub-culture/fan-base is a great thing to be a part of as well.
Similar Products Used: 2001 Schwinn Moab 3 w/ lots of upgrades 1999 Gary Fisher Kaitai Both were great bikes.
Bike Setup: In warmer weather I have it set up as a 1x9 69er, xt rear derailleur with a sram road cassette (11t-26t) with a 32t salsa chainring/race face bashguard on truvativ fiveD cranks..n-gear jumpstop, mavic crossroc disc rear wheel/my own handbuilt salsa delgado 29er rim..mavic high roller 26"/kenda nevegal 29"..Avid BB7s..Kore cockpit In the Winter its a singlespeed with an STS tensioner..32/18
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2007
Strengths: steel, sweet paint job, small top tube, old-school feel
Weaknesses: too many vent holes in tubes allow access for water = rust. Non removable derailleur hanger
This is a great, great ride. I've ridden alot of high-end full suspension bikes but the ala carte is by far my favorite ride. The steel feels great and the shorter top gives me more control over how long/short I make the cockpit. Some people have complained about the ease with which salsa paint chips. I haven't had a problem. I'd recommend treating the frame with 'framesaver' before use though because water will find its way into all the small holes in the stays. Bottom line is: if you're looking for a steel hardtail that won't blow up your bank account then the ala carte should be highly considered.
Bike Setup: XT/LX drivetrain, Marz 85 mm fork, Mike Garcia wheels, Thomson layback post, 105mm stem.
a Cross Country Rider
from Lugano, Switzerland
Date Reviewed: May 4, 2007
Strengths: Disc + cantilever mounts,thin tubes, great colors & graphics, the magic of essential...
Weaknesses: None so far
After more than 10 years of full-sus (i ride now a great blur lt),this bike have the extraordinary power to make you "re-focus" why you begin mountain-biking: she re-transmit you, filtered by his steel tubes, all the fine details and patterns of your preferred trails. The speed may be a little slower (pointig down) but the final amount of adrenaline is the same, and, i would say, in hi-fi mode...
So after many months of reading the reviews on MTBR, I went for a pair of the Light Bicycle carbon rims from China at £135 each delivered. They were shipped a week after I ordered them and arrived 9 working days after shipping. All good from start to finish. Excellent email communications.
The ... Read More »
I'm new here but I really want to build a 29er mountain bike. I currently have a Trek 1.1 Alpha that I ride to and from work (weather permitting) but have a real itch to assemble my own bicycle.
The build here is the main driver, and I'm trying to decide if it would be better to buy a ... Read More »
Looking to see what predictions you may have on the collectibility of the 2011 green Ala Carte frame and fork with the alternator dropouts.
I bought a new 20" frame/fork and not sure what to do with it - hang on to it, ride it, or sell it. If it's something that will be collectibl ... Read More »
So after loving riding my El Mariachi Titanium 29er more and more, and riding the 26" Ala Carte Ti less and less (apart from racing) I decided to go with the trend and fit some 650b wheels to it. I did a lot of measuring, research and reading and it appeared the wheels would fit. I removed and sol ... Read More »