canada goose jas

Jay P talks about his Salsa Beargrease

Jay P's Salsa Beargrease

Jay P's Salsa Beargrease

Beargrease, what is that? Well, besides being an iconic long distance sled dog race in Minnesota as well as I’ll assume it is some sort of indiscretion from an actual bear (don’t want to now from where), it is also a new Fat Bike model from Salsa. With Salsa having offered the fully functional Mukluk for several years, this past year they have introduced the Mukluk’s complement, the stripped down lightweight racer version – The Beargrease.

Jay's Salsa Beargrease

No Idling for Jay's Beargrease!

Being a sponsored Salsa athlete, along with my lady, I recently built up two framesets from scratch.  This was something I have been looking forward to since I learned about these bikes last year, as I had a box of well thought out parts sitting in the shop anxiously waiting the frame’s arrival.  It worked out well with no missing parts or forgotten bits.  Tracey’s showed on a Wednesday, built by that evening.  Mine showed on a Thursday, also built by that evening.  A maiden voyage ride on Friday and a 45k race that Saturday – it was perfect timing.

Being a racer involved in the industry both as an athlete and career I enjoy having nice bikes as well as having them look good too. I was a little stumped at first with the color scheme but I am very happy with how they turned out and they are the lightest fat bikes I have ever built!

Picking the builds was sort of easy, just get everything x2.  Both builds are very similar except for the wheels.  I often pick things for the weight but try and not go to overboard while paying attention to the the dollars as well as the durability.

Framesets – Salsa kept the weight down by using double-butted ultra light aluminum and the aluminum fork trumps the weight of almost all carbon forks.
Drivetrain – Full XO, 2×10, with Grip Shift.
Cranks – Race Face Turbine. Tracey’s is equipped with a more standard 22-36 front ring and I am experimenting with a 22-38 (I am always looking for faster gears…)
Cockpit – Salsa Moto 1 stem coupled with Moto 1, 11*, carbon flat bars. I choose flat bars for most my bikes for the ease of mounting accessories on them – always thinking expedition travel.
Headset - King’er.

Just one brake!

Brakes – Just 1, the rear. Avid Mechanical Road SL, 140 rotor. Sourced out a cool TRP BMX lever that has a nice feel with a sealed bearing pivot.

BMX Brake Lever, Salsa Moto 1 stem & carbon bars

Seatpost / saddle – Pro Moto 1 and WTB saddles. Rocket V for “J” and Deva for “T”. I will need to get a set-back post, just like everyone of my other bikes. I would also note for me I need a 400 in length.


45NRTH Dillingers mounted on 100 mm Surly Clown Shoes

Wheels – JayP’s: Clown Shoes built with Revolution spokes and 616 hubs. Tracey’s: (Temporary) 80 mm Flat Tops mounted to Salsa hubs.
Tires - JayP’s: 45NRTH Dillingers (front and rear, I love these tires and have been running them all year) Tracey’s: Escalator up front HuskerDu in the rear.  You can see our selection of tires & rims here.

Weight – JayP’s: 27lbs with 4Ti Egg Beater pedals. Tracey’s: 25.5 no pedals.


SRAM XO Drive Train

It’s worth mentioning that on my bike running 100 mm rims and a 4.0 tire in the rear my drivetrain is not truncated.

As someone who ends up strapping all sorts of bike packing bags to the bike I can really appreciate the more durable anodized finish the Beargrease has.

Thus far I have raced the bike in 2 cross country style fat bike events on snow and have logged a reasonable amount of snow miles.  My initial feeling of the bike is how stable it is, mainly in steering.  I have owned and ridden bikes where I feel I am constantly correcting my front end which can be very tiring, so this was very comforting to notice.  Besides the stability in the front end I feel like I can adjust my weight well in the rear too.  This is important in  varying snow conditions as balancing rear wheel weight can make the difference in traction or not.  I like fat bikes that ride and feel like mountain bikes and this does just that.  The sloping top tube gives enough stand-over while straddling the bike with your feet sinking into the snow but does not take away to much from the frame triangle – think framebag space.  (Check out our Fat Bike Accessories here.)

Another Jay P secret revealed: Mountain Feedbag lined with duct tape & bubble wrap

Yes, these were custom personal builds but the stock Beargrease build in my eyes is the best value, parts to weight, one can get. To try and build any sub 30lb fat bike is going to cost you a decent penny and with these coming out of the box fully built at ~29lbs it is awesome to see. At Fitzgeralds we have done our share of custom fat bike builds that easily come in at a grand more and not as light.

All and all I like fat bikes that ride like mountain bikes and the Beargrease does just that. I am very excited to be riding this Bear and look forward to getting it in the woods where it belongs!

Disclaimer -  At the time or writing this Fitzgeralds Bicycles has a small, medium, and large Beargrease in stock, just sayin…

Leave a Reply