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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking of getting rid of my MTB, because in summer I will move to a location where the nearest hill is about 70km away. So I wanted to stay with the road bike only. But finally I decided, a offroad usable bike would be great. It should be a bike without too much service needed and something special. The logical conclusion was a steel fram with as few gears as possible. First I thought of a single speeder, but trying only one gear on road travels convinced me to go with a 1x9 drivetrain. I had left a complete 105er 9-speed from my old road bike. Thus only a frame would be needed. After thinking about a Crosscheck, I came to Salsa, mainly because of the great colours. I was thinking between the Casseroll and the La Cruz. Finally, I decided for the La Cruz because of disc brakes and the wide off road tires that fit in the frame. Here is my build, just did a few km on it.



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, the tires are Schwalbe Smart Sam 37-622. First impressions, the spring in the Avids is a little soft, not able to keep tension on the break cable. But this is not a Salsa problem.
The frame is, although shorter than my road bike, not in any way too short. Don´t know why people like their frames so big, smaller folks were taking 53 and up frames, mine is a Salsa 51. More to come this evening, as I am on a ride in two hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did a ride of about 40km today. Mixed road and gravel at about 70:30. The bike is silent. Neither the tires nor the drivetrain do make any noise. What a difference compared to my Campagnolo road bike, where I don´t need any rings because of the free hub.
The geometry is compact, I ride the 51 frame with a 120mm stem and I am 185cm with inseem of 87,5cm. The position is from upright, to slightly streched when going on the STI top. The drivetrain is 105er triple, with only the mid ring (42) and a dura ace 12-25 9er cassette. This gives a nice pressured ride on the mid cassette ring. I will go for a 40er front ring soon, also to get a little better climbing ability. But when running on the 5th cassette ring the chain is nearly straight.
Doing some slight up and down in the woods with gravel and a dry trail was great, the smart sam is tracking very well. It is easy to direct the bike on long straight downhills, didn´t try the technical stuff today, though.
Breaks do very well, I am impressed with the breaking power, even on the second ride. There´s nearly no rubbing on the discs and still, the pressure is point is not too far back on pulling the levers.
Only thing I don´t like too much about the avids is the machinging. The moving parts have some free play, like the arm, where the cable is attached to, I hope it will not fall off. This gives some light "ting" sounds when going over rough terrain. Though, it has some play when grabbing it, and when tightening the cable bolt. It is solid when pulling at it, or turning the adjustment knob. Hope it is normal then.

Overall, this is a great ride. It feels very versatile and will allow much fun. Frame size seems to fit well. Don´t know why most people like their frames one to two sizes larger.
 

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Perfect post!! Man I keep going back and forth........build from the frame up with mostly black parts for the black/orange theme, or buy complete with the nice and classic silver and orange. Both look GREAT, and the only thing I can see myself changing on the complete bike is the crank for something with 34/50.


Steel, discs, dirt, pavement..........sounds pretty darn perfect!
 

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88, it is hard to beat the complete for value.

The La Cruz complete is a very nice balance of cost and performance. I love mine and I'm happy with the complete, but after many years of riding custom MTB, I miss some of the finer things in life like a Thomson seatpost and hand-built wheels.

When I started spec'ing all my own parts on the SpeedGoat bike-builder site, I pretty quickly had a $3,000+ La Cruz, and that seemed kinda silly to me at the time.

If you buy the complete, you get the bonus color-matched stem which is otherwise not available. Not a big deal, but that sealed the deal for me.
 

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Tony, thanks for the advice. No matter how I slice it, I just can't seem to beat the price and there really isn't anything about it that I don't like.

What do you use yours for? I'm primarily looking for something that can go on long road/dirt/gentle singletrack rides. I have a feeling I would probably ride this bike everywhere all year round!

Now if I can only get a discount through my local shop with a team discount than I'll be the happiest person in the world!!
 

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88 rex said:
Tony, thanks for the advice...
What do you use yours for? I'm primarily looking for something that can go on long road/dirt/gentle singletrack rides. I have a feeling I would probably ride this bike everywhere all year round!
I bought the La Cruz to be my "road bike". I didn't want my first road bike to be a throwaway carbon prima donna, I wanted a steel, disc-brake road bike with which I could mostly hang with the group on training rides.

I ride mine all over the place, but my hands can't take the pounding on rough trails, so I pretty much stick to easy trails, fire roads and pavement. The bike rides great on everything, and I've even done a couple of (very) small drops and jumps just to see how it handles, and it was fine in that environment as well. With narrow handlebars and weight-forward positioning I won't be flying into any rock gardens, but I find that it has a very wide range of applicability for general riding.

One other thing to think about is that the Casserole is a sweet bike if you don't insist on disc brakes. My main desire for the discs was to maintain theoretical wheel compatibility with my 29er.

Good luck with your decision!
 

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Carnifex said:
Here it is in the wild:


Bought the 40 ring today, will try it tomorrow.
Wow... Awesome. Very nice build. I like those Schwalbe tires you're using. Might have to find a way to get a hold of a set for myself. I don't know who carries those in the US. Gnat, does Q carry those Smart Sams? They should...

Thanks for the great pics! I've sure been loving my La Cruz. I got about 60 gravel and dirt road miles in on it today, in fact! Sweet!

Cheers,
MG
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The frame coloured stem ist great, unfortunately, you only get it when buying the complete La Cruz. For the tires: perhaps you can order those on ebay, but it will be more expensive.
 

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oops, here are bigge pictures,
Campy Centaur drivetrain
American Classic (shimano splined campy spaced) cass.
Brooks saddle
thomson bits
xtr hubs laced to delgado rims yadda yadda ya :)
 

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Yeah, the rear is a 140 rear rotor, the brakes feel really good. They modulate nicely but will still stop like crazy. I love the campy too. This is my first campy bike. Two guys that I work with both bought campy bikes, I rode there bikes. That decided for me that my next build was going to be campy.
 
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