Salsa just unveiled the Journeyman, a new gravel/all-road bike with clearance for 650b x 2.2″ or 700c x 50mm tires and plenty of bikepacking-friendly features. Priced at $899 or $1,099, the Journeyman seems to be quite a bargain for those looking to dabble in backroad wandering or gravel road adventure.

Posted by Logan Watts

Priced at $899 or $1099, depending on the model, the new Journeyman rounds out Salsa’s multi-platform, all-road lineup, landing on the entry-level end. It seems as if the Journeyman is designed for gravel-curious riders who aren’t quite ready to pony up $2,500 or more for a race-ready Warbird, but are looking for a feature-rich, versatile bike. Built around an aluminum alloy frame and either a 2×9 Shimano Sora or 2×8 Claris drivetrain, the Salsa Journeyman comes with 650b x 2.1″ or 700c x 37mm tires, drop or flat bars, and either a carbon or alloy fork. All told, there are six models, each outlined below.

  • Highlights (Drop-bar)
  • Frame/fork: Alloy / Carbon or Alloy
  • Angles (57mm): 70.5° Headtube, 73.0° Seattube
  • Stack/Reach: 624mm/379mm
  • BB Drop/Chainstay: 72mm/440mm
  • Bottom Bracket: Threaded 68mm
  • Hub specs: 135/100mm QR
  • Seatpost: 27.2mm
  • Max tire size: 700x50mm or 650b x 2.2″
  • Price: $1099 (Sora), $899 (Claris)

Each Journeyman is loaded with mounting options. This includes a pair of top-tube bag mounts, three-pack bosses on each fork blade, three bottle mounts on the frame, a fork crown light mount, rear rack mounts, and a rack and fender kit. In addition, each model has several nice standard features, such as internal cable routing, flat mount brakes, and tubeless-ready wheels.

Salsa Journeyman Sora 650b

According to Salsa, “The Journeyman Sora provides features the cycling enthusiast is looking for to take on their first gravel race or their first ramble down that old ‘B’ road.” If bikepacking or dirt roads are in the mix, the Salsa Journeyman Sora 650b is likely to be the model that steals the show. With a carbon fork and brawny WTB Nano 27.5 x 2.1″ tires, it’s certainly the most worthy of the six models for tackling rugged terrain.

Salsa Journeyman, 650b gravel bike, all-road

  • Salsa Journeyman, 650b gravel bike, all-road
  • Salsa Journeyman, 650b gravel bike, all-road

Both the 700c and 650b Sora models feature a Shimano Sora 2×9 drivetrain, a Sunrace 9-speed 11-34t cassette, and an FSA Vero Pro Adventure crankset with 46 and 30 tooth chainrings. And, as with the cheaper Claris 650b model, the Journeyman Sora 650b also gets WTB i23 rims, a Salsa Cowbell drop bar, entry-level Promax DSK-330R mechanical disc brakes, and a WTB Volt Sport 142 saddle. The Salsa Journeyman Sora 650b comes in blue and will retail for $1,099.

Salsa Journeyman, 650b gravel bike, all-road


  • Front Derailleur Shimano Sora
  • Cassette Sunrace 9-speed 11-34t
  • Crankset FSA Vero Pro Adventure, 46/30t
  • Rear Derailleur Shimano Sora 9-speed
  • Chain KMC X9
  • Shifter Shimano Sora
  • Brakes & Rotors Promax DSK-330R at mount 160mm Salsa Guide
  • Headset VP sealed bearing
  • Handlebar Salsa Cowbell
  • Grips Salsa Gel Cork Bar Tape
  • Saddle WTB Volt Sport 142
  • Seatpost Salsa Guide 27.2 x 350mm
  • Rear Wheel Formula, 32h, 135mm, WTB STP i23 TCS 650b, 2.0mm spokes, brass nipples
  • Front Wheel Formula, 32h, 100mm, WTB STP i23 TCS 650b, 2.0mm spokes, brass nipples
  • Tires WTB Nano 27.5 x 2.1″ Comp

Salsa Journeyman Sora 700c

The Journeyman Sora 700c shares all the same parts and pricing as the 650b model, but has a white paint job and WTB STP i19 TCS 700c rims with WTB Riddler 700 x 37mm Comp tires. It will also retail for $1,099.

Salsa Journeyman, 700c gravel bike, all-road

  • Salsa Journeyman, 700c gravel bike, all-road
  • Salsa Journeyman, 700c gravel bike, all-road

Salsa Journeyman Claris 650b

The biggest difference between the Sora and Claris models, aside from the price tag, is the fork. Claris models get an alloy fork, which likely adds a bit of weight and won’t have the same vibration dampening properties. Otherwise, the Salsa Journeyman Claris 650b gets all the same parts as the Sora models except for the drivetrain. The Shimano Claris DT is a 2×8 system with a Sunrace 8-speed 11-34t cassette. In addition, the Claris models get a slightly lower-end crankset, the FSA Tempo Adventure, with the same 46/30t chainset. The Journeyman Claris 650b retails for $899 and comes in an olive green color scheme.

Salsa Journeyman, 650b gravel bike, all-road

  • Salsa Journeyman, 650b gravel bike, all-road
  • Salsa Journeyman, 650b gravel bike, all-road

Salsa Journeyman, 650b gravel bike, all-road

Salsa Journeyman Claris 700c

The Salsa Journeyman Claris 700c comes in orange with an aluminum alloy fork and Claris 2×8 drivetrain for $899.

Salsa Journeyman, 700c gravel bike, all-road

  • Salsa Journeyman, 700c gravel bike, all-road
  • Salsa Journeyman, 700c gravel bike, all-road

Thoughts on the Salsa Journeyman

We obviously haven’t had the opportunity to ride one yet, but I’ll toss in a few preliminary observations. First off, at this point some of you might be scratching your head and wondering why the Journeyman didn’t come in steel. Our guess is that Salsa chose alloy in order to offset heavier components and keep the Journeyman both lightweight and low cost. That said, Salsa claims the 650b Sora (55.5cm) tips the scales at 26 pounds (11.8 kg). And, considering its suite of features and level of detail, the Journeyman certainly hits a price point that very few other bikes have.

But doesn’t Salsa’s other gravel bike, the Warbird, come in aluminum, you might ask? Yes, but the Journeyman is a different bike altogether. When compared side by side, other than the Warbird having a higher-end component spec, there are a few structural differences to note. For one, the sizing is inconsistent. While the Warbird comes in 51, 53, 55, 56, 58, and 60mm frames, the (drop bar) Journeyman comes in 49.5, 52, 54, 55, 57, and 59.5cm. In essence, the Journeyman has slightly shorter top tube lengths size since, unlike the Warbird, its not built specifically for gravel racing.

Salsa Journeyman Geometry (drop-bar)

The two lines have different geometry as well. When comparing the 58cm Warbird to the 57cm Journeyman, the latter gets a longer wheelbase, longer chainstay (by about 1cm), steeper seat tube, and slacker head angle. It also has a bit more stack height and less reach. Given its shorter cockpit and more upright riding position—compared to the Warbird—it’s clear that the Journeyman is less about racing and more about comfortable fit; we think it’s a geometry that’ll likely suit anyone relatively new to riding, be it bikepacking, dirt road touring, or commuting. Simply put, the Journeyman sits somewhere in between the Warbird and the Vaya, Salsa’s touring bike. According to Salsa engineer, Sean Mailen, “The Journeyman was inspired by the stability of the Vaya, swiftness of the Warbird, and confident handling of both. Something I love about the Journeyman is that it’s a bike that could be used as a daily driver, unsanctioned dirt path explorer, or gravel race pioneer.” When considering the different terrain scenarios this bike is designed to face, along with the tire/wheel size choices, the geometry needs to be capable of handling all kinds of riding.

Salsa Journeyman geometry

Salsa Journeyman gravel bike

  • Salsa Journeyman gravel bike
  • Salsa Journeyman gravel bike

Salsa Journeyman Claris FB

Lastly, there are two other models to mention. The Salsa Journeyman also comes in a flat bar version with a different geometry altogether. The Claris FB 650b shares the same build as the drop bar model of the same name, but it comes with a Salsa Flat handlebar, comes in black, and will retail for $899. Lastly, there’s the Claris FB 700c, which also shares the same build as its drop bar counterpart, but comes with a Salsa Flat handlebar, a copper paint scheme, and will retail for $899.

  • Salsa Journeyman Flat Bar
  • Salsa Journeyman Flat Bar
  • Salsa Journeyman Flat Bar
  • Salsa Journeyman Flat Bar

All models of the Salsa Journeyman will be available immediately at your local Salsa Dealer. You can also find out more at

  • Plusbike Nerd

    Oh so close! If it came with 27×2.8i30 tires/rims, 1x drivetrain, and modern mountain bike geometry, this bike would be even better. I love that the top tube is fairly high and leaves room for a large frame bag. Also incredible, that it comes in both flat and drop bar versions. Personally, I prefer light affordable aluminum over heavy steal. As is, this is an affordable do-it-all gravel bike for the masses and I would recommend something like the Journeyman over a road bike any day. However, I’m still holding out for a “Plus” size gravel bike.

  • That would be the Timberjack NX1 — $1099 with a 1x and 27.5×2.8″ tires…

  • Kurt Schneider

    Looks like Salsa isn’t offering this one as a frameset, at least at this time. Would have been fun to grab one the alloy/carbon models, and see how light you could build a gravel bike without breaking the bank. (Seeing as how I just completed a Midnight Special build, I should probably just go ride.)

  • nishars

    Geometry wise this is exactly the sort of bike I was looking for. Lowish BB, good standover, longer wheelbase, slack head angle with enough fork offset. bummer that its 135 QR instead of thru axle.

    650b sora version weighs 26lbs. I expected it to weigh lighter given that its a aluminum frame with carbon fork. I wonder how much of that is the component vs the frame.

  • I am guessing component. Pretty amazing how heavy a budget road DT can be. I recently swapped a Shimano Tiagra DT for a Rival on my wife’s gravel bike and it made a world of difference.

  • Ultra_Orange

    That is a compelling as fuck bike. I could see this as the kind of bike that gets more people on bikes. Inexpensive, light alloy frame and kush tires from a reliable brand? Second set of wheels for road touring and the fun can really be had.

    Disappointed they don’t have a frame option, but then again if you strip it you’ll get most of your money back on the parts so not bad I guess. Very tempting.

  • Yeah, if you are looking to upgrade stuff, when you factor in the cockpit components, getting the Claris and selling off unwanted parts would still be a good value…

  • This might be the kind of bike I could convince my partner to hop on, solid for commuting, and then trick her to come bikepacking with me! Very cool!

  • Chris King

    This is outstanding. Like a more capable alloy Warbird. I may be selling my RLT9 for this!

  • nishars

    Logan, what do you think about the gear ratios for medium loaded touring involving 50/50 paved/unpaved roads for a dropped bar bikes? I have never gone bikepacking/touring before, and trying to decide what would be the best gearing for me and my wife.

    I really like the 46/30 crankset with 11-34t cassettes in this bike. That rear cassette can probably be easily upgraded to 11-36t. With that , the gear inches would go from 22 inches to 112 inches (assuming 650x47c). That would give a nice range from climbing unpaved hills to pedaling on a paved downhills.

    On the other hand, with the typical 1x drivetrain, to get the same low range you have to couple the 11-42 with 34t for 22 inches to 91 inches.

    Don’t know if I will miss out on the high end. On my road rides, I love pedaling downhills, but as we are going on a bikepacking/touring, going fast will probably pretty low on our priority list.

    Interested to hear your experience regarding how you have evolved your drivetrains for these kind of trips.

  • It really depends on the terrain. For steep mountain riding I tend to like having a granny gear that is around 18-20 gear inches when loaded down. I don’t worry about the other end as much. Based on my calculations, the 30/34 combo with the 650b/2.1″ tire size will get you abut 23-24 gear inches. That’s pretty good if you are not on steep and technical stuff. That said, although I am not familiar with the Sora DT, you could potentially look at a Wolf Tooth Road Link and a cassette expander (to make it a 11-40t cassette).

  • Jon Holmes

    I tested the 650B Claris drop-bar version a couple of hours ago, and took it up a steep hill near the local dealer. The 8-speed drive train wasn’t as smooth as the 10 & 11-speed setups on other bikes I’ve been contemplating (Midnight Special and Rove NRB), and required more fussing with the trim to stop the chain from rubbing on the front derailleur. Maybe the Sora version would be smoother? The frame welds were unabashedly lumpy — quick and pragmatic, I guess you could say. None of this is meant to be dismissive; I can’t argue with the places they cut corners to make it fit the price point, and riding it was a lot of fun. I thought I was going to buy the NRB today, but the $600 difference is tempting me to wait for the Sora version of this to arrive.

  • Thanks for sharing. I am impressed you were already able to demo one. Definitely three very different bikes you have on your shortlist…

  • Jon Holmes

    It’s been about 19 years since I bought a new bike, so I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all the changes. Threadless stems, disc brakes, brifters, 1x geartrains — it’s all new to me. So yeah, I’ve tried a bunch of models to get a sense of what I want. I also rode the Rove ST, the Vaya, and even a secondhand GT Carbon Grade and a high-end Bianchi CX model. I’m settled on 650B, at least.

    The shop actually showed me the Journeyman yesterday afternoon, when I was struggling to puzzle out an affordable way to put some much lower gears on a Midnight Special. They made me promise not to take photos and post them on social media…

  • Jonathan Pizzato

    It looks like a cheaper entry level version of the Salsa Warbird

  • M.R.

    Not a huge fan of aluminum frames from past experiences. But I love the fact that Salsa has put together such a versatile group of bikes for anyone looking to buy without breaking the bank. Kudos.

  • John Carman

    Sooo if brought 650B version and a 700c wheelset could switch back and forth? Looking a great bike

  • Paul Sobczak

    I’m the opposite. I doubt I’ll ever ride a performance steel bike ever again.

  • disqus_emLVD2Gkee

    Newb to biking here, interested in this bike. I want a more comfortable positioning as my highest priority. I am uncertain as to why one would choose the model with the drop bar vs flat bar? If your hands are on the top part (and not in the drops), is the riding position similar to a flat bar? Read your article on various comfort handlebars, I suppose I could swap the flat bar with a Jones or other comfort bar? I am confused with the article in stating that the flat bar version has a different geometry altogether—does putting a flat bar on here change the entire geometry?

    Would the riding position be more comfortable on a Timberjack, vs Journeyman flat bar, or the same? Woke up twenty years later, and all of a sudden there are a gazillion different bikes. How does the bike industry expect us idiots to just plunk down some cash on a bike. Seems like the bike market is just fighting to make money off veterans.

  • Yep. Same bike, just a different wheelset…

  • If comfort is a priority, the 650b version will probably serve you well (the added tire volume makes a better cushion on rough terrain).

    The drop bar and flat bar versions are completely different bike frames. The flat bar version has a longer top tube and probably a shorter stack height. This makes it work with flat bars. Drop bar bikes tend to have shorter cockpits to allow the rider to reach the hoods and drop positions on the drop handlebars.

    Keep in mind that the Timberjack is trail oriented, built for control on trails and downhills.

    Your best bet is to go to a Salsa dealer and have them walk through the fit and differences to figure out which bike is best for how you want to ride.

  • Jon Holmes

    I have occasional wrist problems and prefer drop bars even though I rarely ride in a crouch. I think they’re friendly to a larger variety of hand positions, and the freedom to switch it up frequently helps a lot. The last bike I bought new (in 1998) was a flat-bar Trek hybrid, and even with expensive Ergon extensions it wasn’t pleasant on long rides.

    I’ve really liked the 650B / 27.5″ models I’ve been test-riding, especially the smoother “road plus” tires. Unlike my old road-only Cannondale they permit a wide range of air pressures for different sorts of riding. Acceleration isn’t so quick, but the pavement in my town is frequently awful, and the freedom to ride more places is well worth it.

    Compared to the other bikes I’ve tried, the Journeyman has a more upright riding position due to shorter reach and longer head tube. Also the low end of the gearing range is way down there, making it easier to climb steep hills.

  • disqus_emLVD2Gkee

    Thanks so much. How would you compare the riding position with a hybrid? I’m struggling because I want a bike for primarily road, with likely 650b thicker wheels for our awful roads and trail, but the comfort of the most comfortable style bike.

  • disqus_emLVD2Gkee

    Thanks, that is helpful. Can you comment on which you imagine would be more comfortable in terms of riding position, when not in the drops? My neck has the most issues, at least as it pertains to a position where you’re having to lean so far forward. I will look for the nearest Salsa dealer, which is probably hundreds of miles.away.

  • fauxpho

    IMHO the insufficient low end gearing is a glaring issue on these bikes, and many similar bikes (Fargo’s come to mind) that are implicitly intended to ride up 10% dirt gradients when loaded. 30×34 doesn’t even remotely cut it in that scenario. To some extent I don’t blame Salsa . . . its arguably Shimano that’s the “problem.” Would it really kill Shimano to build a single Sora or Tiagra class front derailleur with a cage shape and offset matched to MTB cranks/rings? Given the boom in popularity of touring and bikepacking its astounding that Shimano still hasn’t addressed this gap (with the expensive exception of Di2 of course). Surely I’m not alone in wanting MTB gearing that works with integrated road brifters.

  • Rob

    Really intrigued by this bike. Just looking to get into gravel/light touring and was wondering how you see the 700c version compared to the Vaya (outside of its steel frame and drive train upgrade). Frame geos looks pretty similar but perhaps there is enough of a difference that I’m unaware of (?). Love the idea of being able to swap between 700c and 650b wheels and the price point. Would love to hear what you all think as it relates to the Vaya. Thank you.

  • Bro

    Blame Shimano, and SRAM too.

    I’m positive lower gears are coming for drop bar bikes, but both manufacturers should have just stuck with one pull ratio for both drop bar and flat bar shifters so you could mix and match road and MTB stuff.

    You’re not alone. I want something like a 46-30 with a 11-36 or 11-40, brifters and a clutch RD. All this in one complete groupset for a reasonable 105 – Ultegra price.

    Although keep in mind some people still like to grind and are convinced they need a high gear ratio even when they never actually use it.

  • Bro

    I get neck pain easily, and I prefer drop bars BUT only if that drop bar is nice and high. That means a frame with a relaxed geometry, an upright stem and some spacers, so basically the Journeyman. If you put me on a road bike with a long slammed stem i’m done in half an hour.
    If you hold the tops on the drop bar Journeyman you will have a more elevated position compared to the flat bar version, because that frame has a longer top tube. You shouldn’t feel too stretched out while holding the hoods either. A big advantage to the drop bar is that you have more options, you can hold the tops, hoods, and drops, while on a straight bar you can hold the grips and that’s it. Moving around means less fatigue at least in my experience. A drop bar is also narrower, which means less control offroad, but in my opinion it gives you a more natural, more comfortable position.

  • Jon Holmes

    It seems to me that the term “hybrid” has been applied to a wide variety of bikes, so I don’t know what your reference points are. I also think relative comfort depends a lot on personal physiology. I have problems with my neck if I hunch forward too far and try to keep my head up for long periods; also wrists, knees and my right shoulder if I ask too much of them. Thankfully I haven’t got any lower back issues, am thin and in decent aerobic shape. I only rode the Journeyman for 20 minutes or so, but I found it very comfortable. It leaned me forward enough to get my weight over the pedals so I could move along well, but not so far as to put a kink in my neck. The low gears let me ascend some fairly steep hills, and the big tires dealt well with loose gravel in the road, upheaved sidewalks, hopping sideways off a curb — stuff that would seriously threaten a skinny road wheel.

    Some comparisons, since you’re shopping around:

    The Kona Rove NRB, which is my alternate contender, has very similar geometry in most respects but has longer reach and shorter head tube so the rider position is more hunched over — a little more performance-oriented but nothing like a race-style road bike. Gearing is a tad higher than the Journeyman, but I still took it up a short hill that was probably flirting with a 20% grade. It took two attempts because the first time I tried I kept my butt on the seat and the front wheel came off the ground.

    The Surly Midnight Special has a similar reach to the Rove (i.e. noticeably longer than the Journeyman), and a much shorter head tube, inviting the rider into a significantly deeper crouch. Also the gearing is substantially higher, appropriate for faster riding and flatter terrain than I am drawn to.

    I also tested some secondhand gravel / CX bikes and a flat-bar road bike, all with 700C wheels, but for my purposes I much preferred the models mentioned above for their comfort, stability and versatility.

  • disqus_emLVD2Gkee

    It sounds like we have some of the same physiological issues. My lower back is generally fine when leaning forward on a bike. But my neck, when leaning forward and then tilting the head up, I just find really uncomfortable after a bit of time. I remember on really long road rides, when coming back down from the climbs downhill, my neck would get so stiff I would stop looking forward and just look down at the road, which of course is stupidly dangerous when hitting 45+. I have a longer torso and shorter legs/arms than someone my average height (6’0”), so a lower stack (that’s overall seat height relative to height of stem?) and a shorter reach would seem to help me a lot since I don’t have gangly arms to hold all my weight up on low positioned bars.

    This is sounding like the right bike to try out. I was interesting in trying the Specialized Diverge E5 which isn’t too far off in price, though I’d be happier if I could afford their Future Shock (about $1800 ouch) version which sounds interesting. I’m gonna call up some Salsa dealers up to a couple hours away to give it a go when they come in.

  • disqus_emLVD2Gkee

    Ditto on the neck pain.

    This is extremely helpful, exactly what I was wondering about drop bar vs tops on the drop bar handlebars. I like how drop bars give different positions. Only reason I’d go flat bar is to try out a Jones H bar, which looks super relaxing. I wouldn’t ride that way all the time, but it’s a nice way to give my neck a break when it’s aching.

    To what extent can one get away with a smaller frame (shorter top tube) to counter the neck issues on a bike like this? It sounds like you guys know the exact measurements to look for on a bike’s specifications to make the determination on reach, riding position, etc. I just look at the picture and they all look the same to me! Wish I knew what numbers to look for.

  • disqus_emLVD2Gkee

    Salsa Fargo Rival 2018 looks like a really upright position for a drop bar bike, though quite pricey and wider wheels.

  • Bro

    Problem is a smaller frame has a shorter headtube so the handlebar gets lowered, and you also have to adjust the seat higher so that means there is a bigger drop between the handlebar and your seat. So even though you shorten the reach of the bike you could still feel stretched out.
    It really depends on the geometry so I can’t answer your question exactly.

    When comparing bikes look for the reach and stack number. Do some research what these mean, and there are stack and reach calculators online so you can compare them with your current bike.

    An upright, slightly shorter stem with some spacers can do wonders, that’s exactly what Salsa does on this bike and some of their others like the Vaya. They also spec this bike with their own Cowbell handlebar that has a nice short reach and shallow drop.

    Combine that with the slightly taller front end, not too long top tube and i’m confident that this bike in it’s stock form would work perfectly for people that often have neck problems and you wouldn’t need to size down.

  • disqus_emLVD2Gkee

    Thank you. Yesterday I spent a lot of time looking at those numbers, and comparing it with my road bike. And you’re right, I realized that the 57 would have a better stack/reach for me than a smaller size. The 57 I think is spot on. I think I’m ready to go and do a test run when I can find a shop, although when there I want to ask them what the Sora might feel like compared to a Claris flat bar swapped with a Jones bar. I’ll have to see when the Sora is supposed to hit the stores.

    I’ve learned a lot here, thanks for all the tips.

  • Chad Richardson

    Do any experienced riders have any thoughts as to how this bike would perform as a daily commuter for NYC streets?…and also serving as a weekend light touring bike??

  • Chad Richardson

    Do any experienced riders have an opinion as to how this bike would perform as an everyday commuter in NYC, and as a light touring/weekend getaway bicycle? It would be mostly be ridden on pavement…

  • This would be a fantastic bike for commuting and light weekend getaways – all the mounts you need, room for nicely sized tires if you want it, and a geometry that will be comfortable for shooting around the town or on gravel / trails. Can’t beat that price as well…

  • Hey Rob – they are quite similar but the Vaya does have a less slack head tube angle, longer wheel base, and lower bottom bracket – more targeted towards touring (on and off road). The Journeyman specs make for a more enjoyable ride on the off-road and will handle better on trails; shorter wheelbase, more slack headtube angle, and higher bottom bracket. The Journeyman also has a few more mounts that will make bikepacking and using various mounts nice and easy!

  • Rob

    Thanks for the feedback Miles. Sounds like for a newbie (me) to gravel/light touring this could be a fantastic bike to start with and not break the bank.

  • Rabi

    When I first saw this I didn’t realize it was aluminum, so I really didn’t understand where it fit relative to the Vaya. I still don’t really understand that, though. The release of this bike also gives me an opportunity to complain about the Vaya lacking the Three-Pack mounts – if they are on the Journeyman and the Marrakesh I don’t understand them not being on the Vaya.

  • Vinay Nair

    I think you guys could consider the gravel range from Marin. I have a Nicasio that ships at only $749 with a Claris build. At a consistent stack/reach ratio of above 1.5 throughout its size range, it represents one of the more upright drop bar models.

    Together with a smooth steel frame and 35mm Gravelkings, it has really become a do-it-all-machine for me. Of course being steel it is a little heavier, but if you are not racing, it really does not matter.

    If you must have a lighter model, then Marin’s Gestalt models offer even a better stack/reach ratio, though it has clearance for only 35mm rubber.


  • 718_Cyclery

    We are testing this out this week (and have them in stock!). Joe, 718 Cyclery, Brooklyn

  • 718_Cyclery
  • Chad Richardson

    Excited to see what you guys think! Tempted to swing in and pick one up, but a little concerned about the actual quality of this bike outside of the photos…maybe it will be a pleasant surprise

  • Joe Snyder

    With a little over 150 miles on my new 650 Olive Journeyman, I am in love! Light and nimble with the speed to back it up! Thanks Salsa for spicing up my life some more!

  • Joe Snyder

    With the price point being under a grand, It is the best bang for your buck! So yes, you will be surprised.

  • Can’t go wrong!

  • danaia

    Just picked this up. Brought home the Olive 650 and went into a nice climb. I have a Scott Scale 910 Carbon and a Surly Ogre fully outfitted for bikepacking (did the Canadian Rockies section during the TD with it) so this bike kinda fits in the middle of these two extremes. Ultimately, this bike may be a general beater/trainer since it is very heavy for a alum bike. Thinking of upgrading the drivetrain and wheelsets to something lighter and use it for some gravel races – maybe. Not sure if it is the right platform to invest in for that kind of thing. I think it is best for rails-to-trails (perfect for a Pitt to DC trip) and hill climb training. I love how versatile it is but not sure it is worth making it lighter and race friendly (I am thinking out loud here). Need more time with it.

  • Tim Rice

    especially this al frame when you look at it from the bottom at the Bottom bracket.

  • Tim Rice

    the Journeyman shares the same trait with the Trek Crossrip that I have found to be annoying and destroys the enjoyment of riding the bike long term. That would be the Down tube only being partially welded at the BB.

    Until wine bottles come with Corks big enough to jam in there…. the Aluminum frame will feel like you are riding on a tuning fork. Is internal cable routing worth sacrificing the quality of a ride? Some might think so, the fact that Salsa thinks so… Really makes me step back and look at Salsa in a whole new light. Or shall we say eyes open now.
    It’s one thing to bring better bikes to the market, or even affordable bikes. It’s another thing to sacrifice ride quality for appeal, and sell that appeal to the masses. All just because you can, and make a $ on it.
    I’ll hate Trek forever, over the Crossrip. I am banking that this entry into the ‘cheap’ (intentionally not using inexpensive here) will hurt Salsa more than it helps them.

  • Mike Mohaupt

    So what I want to know (and haven’t looked closely) is how does this differ from a Surly Midnight Special? I realize the MS is about $700 more but you can get it as a frame-set and probably come in around the same cost as this complete. Should I look more closely at the geometry charts to find the differences? The way I see it both are road plus++, gobs of mounts, drop bars (unless flat bars are your thing), and all day comfort. Did Salsa release this in AL because Surly is a sister company? The only main difference I can see is the MS comes with through axels which is a plus to me. School me please

  • Yes, they are geometrically completely different bikes. I would recommend digging into those charts to get a feel for the differences. In a nutshell, the MS is a road bike that fits big tires, and the Journeyman seems like more of a gravel-touring bike…

  • nishars

    I test rode the 650 Olive, and I would NOT use the terms “light and nimble” to describe it. It felt very stable and the pedaling response was not quick at all. Probably due to the heavy wheel/tire combo and frame weight of close to 27lbs. To be fair, this bike is not marketed to be quick…

  • Chad Richardson

    How does it compare to a Felt VR 60??

  • Joe

    Logan, my question to you is: I currently own 2017 Surly Krampus Love it & have bikepacked with it. My daily riding is about 15 miles evenly split crushed limestone,Jeep/service road/single track. I plan to do more/longer bikepacking/gravel riding. This Journeyman 650 dropbar seems to check all my boxes for a gravel/bikepacking ride for longer rides vs the Krampus. My question to you (hence the long background) Do you feel the Journeyman will give me a big enough benefit ride quality over Krampus for longer gravel rides/loaded bikepacking weekends. Thank you!

  • I am assuming you are planning on hanging on to the Krampus for singletrack riding, etc? If you are happy with it I would stick with it, and if pick up this or another drop-bar bike if you are looking for something to ride fast on more gravel. All that said, I have yet to ride the JM, so I can’t speak to it particularly, but I do think having a 29+ rig and a drop-bar bike in the stable is a nice combo for different types of riding.

  • chadg8282

    I bought a 700 flat bar. After I ride it a few days, I will keep you posted if anyone is interested. I am casual/entry level rider. When I was young did centuries on 12 speeds, long rides. Then into mountain biking. Now that I am older, more of a casual rider around the neighborhood 70% road, 30% trails. Into Marin, Salsa, Bianchi, Trek hybrid, gravel bikes. After this Salsa interested in a Fuji Jari 1.3, Marin Gestault, and Trek Zektor. Love bikes and trying different ones out.

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