Salsa’s New Cutthroat, the world’s first carbon bikepacking race bike?

The Tour Divide may have the highest profile to participant ratio of any cycling event in the world. This year about 100 riders started the 2,745 mile long self-supported race down the Great Divide bicycle route. Considering how few riders that is compared to the bicycle market in general, makes it all the more amazing that Salsa greenlighted a project like this new carbon Cutthroat.

While the idea of a bike designed for bikepacking is far from new, Salsa is entering new territory with a carbon-frame, dropbar, suspension-corrected race bike.  While at first glance it looks like a carbon version of the well-loved Salsa Fargo, it shares much of the design and technology of the recently released Warbird gravel racing bike.


The Class 5 VRS™ (Vibration Reduction System) provides some measure of suspension with engineered flex built into the bridgeless seat and chainstays. The rear triangle is tied together with a thru-axle to keep that flex going the right direction. Unlike many seatstays that are flattened in a horizontal plane, the Cutthroat’s (and the Warbird’s) are flattened vertically. Salsa’s engineers discovered that when the rear triangle absorbs impacts, they flex outwards rather than vertically, and this bow shape enhances this motion.


The front triangle is designed with a framepack in mind, and includes mounts for a strapless Salsa-branded top tube bag that is still in development. The main tubes are flattened to increase frame bag volume, and have up to four bottle cage mounts, depending on size. The fork, which is also carbon, gets a Three-Pack mount on each leg, as well as a 15×100 mm thru-axle.

Salsa sponsored rider Jay Petervary is racing the Cutthroat in the 2015 Tour Divide. “With the nature of Tour Divide one needs equipment that is reliable, practical and useful while paying attention to bulk and weight. In the case of the bike itself, it needs to be comfortable in terms of ride quality and body position, but also needs to be very responsive in energy return. It needs to be stable for carrying a load and high speed descents. The Cutthroat to me has the important traits a Tour Divide race bike should have,” he says. “In my opinion it’s the best tool for the job.”

You can follow Tour Divide racers via Spot satellite here.


As for that name:  “The Cutthroat trout, or a variation of Cutthroat trout, is the state fish for all the U.S. states that the Tour Divide (or Great Divide Mountain Bike Route) passes through,” says Salsa marketing manager Mike ‘Kid’ Riemer. “It was almost too good to be true when we learned that fact and the Cutthroat name became a keeper (pun intended).”

Cutthroat will be available in two complete bike spec’s and one frameset offering, sometime late in 2015.


Cutthroat Carbon Rival 1 Complete Bike – U.S. MSRP $3,999


Cutthroat Carbon X9 Complete Bike – U.S. MSRP $2,999

Cutthroat Carbon Frameset – U.S. MSRP $1,999

Details and specs below:






Back to Top