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Salsa updates Colossal with bolt-thru axles, new carbon fork and 30mm tyre clearance

Bolt-thru axles, increased tyre clearance and mudguard mounts for Salsa's 2015 Colossal

US brand Salsa have revealed some details of their 2015 line-up ahead of a full launch later this year. The most notable changes are to the Colossal Ti, which now gets bolt-thru axles at both ends, increased tyre clearance and mudguard mounts, while the steel Colossal marries a bolt-thru fork with quick release rear axle.

First launched in 2012, the Colossal is the company’s do-everything road bike with geometry that is a balance between the agility of a race bike and the relaxed stance of a touring bike. It’s the sort of bike you could ride everything on all-year round, and for 2015 it looks like they’ve made some smart upgrades.

The frame now takes 30mm tyres without mudguards and 28mm tyres with mudguards. The addition of mudguard mounts will please many people that thought their omission on the previous bike was a bit of an oversight. IT's the sort of bike that a bit like the Genesis Equilibrium would be ideal for daily commuter, touring or Audax.

For the Colossal Ti model, Salsa have used bolt-thru axles front and rear, 15x100 and 12x142 respectively, with DT Swiss skewers. They’ve designed their own custom dropouts with a new 687 derailleur hanger, which forms part of the axle system to beef up the stiffness. Optional mudguard eyelets thread into mounts in the top of the dropouts.

There’s some debate about the merits of bolt-thru axles on disc road bikes at the moment, it’s sure to rage on for many years, but the general consensus seems to be that they are a good thing. Many people and manufacturers have their objections though, Giant as we found out at the Defy launch don’t feel there is a suitable standard for road bikes at the moment.

Salsa developed a new Colossal Carbon fork for the 2015 bike, using a 1 1/4in lower bearing and 1 1/8in top bearing. They’ve worked on the carbon layup to “achieve the vertical and lateral deflection/compliance we wanted for the Colossal Carbon Fork.” The fork uses a 5 x 100mm DT Swiss thru-axle.

Concealed mudguard mounts feature underneath the dropouts and there is a post-mount brake mount with external cable guides on the front side.

The more affordable Colossal 2, using a steel frame, switches to conventional quick release dropouts. It retains the new hidden mudguard mounts and uses the same new carbon fork.

No word on pricing or availability at this stage. More at

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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Timmee | 6 years ago

For most of my local off-road riding I like my Salsa El-Mariachi ti with old-style straight steerer, rigid Cromoto steel fork, and standard quick release at both ends. If this is fine with tubeless 2.4 Hans Dampf tyres on 30mm rims on average mtb trails, then surely adding bolt-thru on a road/gravel bike is over-kill?

I'm not completely anti-technology though, I concede that disk brakes are a major step up if you intend to ride your road bike off-road. My Giant defy feels just fine with 28c tyres and 105 rim brakes on gravel roads and farm tracks when they are dry, but as so as they get wet - I'm wishing for disk brakes!


Grizzerly | 9 years ago

I really do not see the point of Bolt-thru axles.

Wrongfoot | 9 years ago

Someone really needs to take the Islabikes approach to adult bike design. Strip away all that's not necessary and target an everyman/woman workhorse bike at the lowest price point possible ruthlessly.

All this extra technology is not necessary for (at a conservative guess) 90% of riders but raises the price which favours profit margins. It seems the market disproportionately favours bike shaped object trash at <£300, over priced single speeds/fixies and bikes at £1000ish or higher already. It looks like there's a gap in the middle.

If disks become standard then the price of bikes will jump some £300 immediately and a bike based economy needs multiple hub standards for it's everyday bikes like a hole in the head... Some chance mass adoption or critical mass then? Most novices are staggered at the prices anyway (I'm not saying they're right to be staggered but they often are).

PS. I know that manufacturers "could" continue make non disk versions to fill the gap in the market I referred to, but they won't make enough of these to undermine the launch or sales of their "upgraded" versions and devalue their market.
PPS. Salsa could blow my argument when they release a price. I hope they do.

truffy | 9 years ago

Bolt-thru axles, this is the reason* we're not supposed to be happy with disc brakes on road bikes, isn't it?  3

* those that don't also have to worry about the UCI, that is

andybwhite | 9 years ago

A 'do-everything' bike that only takes 28's with guards and 30's without? - Seems a little optimistic in my mind.

David Arthur @d... replied to andybwhite | 9 years ago
andybwhite wrote:

A 'do-everything' bike that only takes 28's with guards and 30's without? - Seems a little optimistic in my mind.

Do-most-things then?

Al__S | 9 years ago

Ooh, go on then, that's quite pretty in mint.

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