First Impression: Salsa Warbird 2

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I’ve been riding around on Salsa‘s 2014 Warbird 2 for the past few weeks and thought it might be a good time to share some of my first impressions of the bike. First off, the Warbird is Salsa’s take on a gravel racing bike. If you’re not already familiar with gravel racing it’s what it sounds like…racing bikes over gravel roads sometimes for incredibly long distances. Think Dirty Kanza at 200 miles, or the Trans Iowa which ticks off somewhere around 340 miles. The Warbird was designed to provide comfort while maintaining a light, efficient build that can push a fast pace over some seriously rough roads. Sounds like fun, right?

Right out of the box the Warbird’s blood red aluminum frame, with matching ENVE CX carbon fork and red bar tape make quite an impression. This bike looks awesome. The components aren’t that shabby either. Shimano 105 shifters, matched up 105 rear derailleur and cassette. Shimano CX70 crankset, and Avid’s BB7S brakes 160mm front/140mm rear. The whole package rolls on Stan’s NoTubes Iron Cross rims and Clement 700x35mm tires and has clearance for up to 38mm tires.

The Warbird weighs in at a respectable 21.38 pounds without pedals, and it feels quick, stiff and agile. I’ve been throwing it around some pretty abusive trails and the bike responds well. The ENVE fork feels awesome. I haven’t noticed much flex under hard braking and my hands and arms haven’t cried out in pain yet. Shifting is crisp and responsive. Overall everything seems pretty great to this point.

We’ve been experiencing some crazy weather here—warm with rain, followed by Arctic temps with snow and ice, so I’ve been putting the Warbird through as much torture as possible—it keeps on begging for more. But I still need to take the Warbird out on some longer excursions, so check back to see how it, and I hold up. Look for my full review in Bicycle Times Issue #28 on sale April 8.

MSRP is $2,399

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