(Image credit: Josh Ross) The Salsa Warbird is a bike with a story. Of course, all bikes have a story but most aren’t exactly riveting. Often, it would be a perfect anecdote for an accounting or business class. The Salsa Warbird reads more like a story from a fast-riding friend who happens to build bikes. In this case, the name of that fast friend is Mike Riemer, one time Salsa marketing manager, and he’s talking about himself as well as many from the Salsa team.
The story Riemer tells is that back in 2008, many of those involved in Salsa were racing bikes in early gravel races. Like everyone, the team was using cyclocross bikes and wondered if there was a better solution. The first-generation Salsa Warbird was a way to answer that question with a longer, lower, and more compliant bike.
Fifteen years later, those early lessons are still evident. Today, the Salsa Warbird is only available as a carbon frame and it’s seen a number of updates but it’s still long, low, and compliant as well as relatively simple. As modern gravel bikes continue to add distance between race bikes and adventure bikes, is a bike designed to see racing as an adventure still relevant? Could it still find a place in the best gravel bikes in a field of specialized choices? I spent time on a 2023 Salsa Warbird with a custom build, turning that question over in my mind. If you’ve had your eye on something a […]