Back in 2015, the Salsa Cutthroat arrived with much fanfare. Like a hopped-up carbon version of the venerable Fargo, there was no question about it’s purpose. The underside of the downtube bore the iconic Tour Divide route map, the event this bike was made to race. Cutthroat’s name was chosen for two reasons, racing is a Cutthroat business and the Cutthroat Trout is the official state fish for each US state the Tour Divide passes through (seriously, Google it!).
What’s new for 2020
An instant hit, the Salsa Cutthroat has been an immensely popular choice for the Tour Divide and other endurance events. Its popularity only hampered in the UK by patchy availability. Now Lyon Cycle are taking care of distribution, Salsa bikes should soon be more common on UK trails. For 2020, Salsa have gone back to the drawing board and freshened up the ‘Cutty’ in-line with its contemporaries.
The same, just wider
For 2020, the carbon frameset retains the Class 5 VRS (Vibration Reduction System) for a smooth ride. As part of the modernisation, the frame and fork adopt Boost spacing and flat-mount disc brakes. This allows the Salsa Cutthroat to accommodate 29×2.4″ tyres while running a 50/34 chainset. Bikes equipped with 1x drivetrains can use the redundant front mech routing for a stealth dropper post. Mechanics will no doubt cheer the use of sleeved gear, brake and dynamo cable routing. The BB92 press-fit bottom bracket will probably receive a less enthusiastic response.
Although the frame and fork are bristling with bottle, gear and rack mounts, mudguards are not supported. Cutthroat features geometry corrected for 100mm suspension, but adapting road flat-mount brakes to suspension forks might cause some headaches. The move to hex-key thru-axles should provide fuss-free and secure attachment of the wheels.
Frame and fork (with headset, seat collar and axles included), tip the scales at a respectable 2.32kg (a touch over 5lbs). Durability is clearly at the forefront of Salsa’s design with key wear and impact areas featuring moulded rubber protection from mud, stones and clattering chains.
Having proved such an effective platform, it’s clear Salsa wouldn’t have much that needed sorting for a new model.
We think these are the most important updates:
- Boost axle compatibility, love it or hate it, it’s where the industry is headed
- Wider range of frame sizes 52, 54, 56 & 60 cm
- Tool-free wing-nut direct-mounting points for the frame bag
- Abrasion-resistant plates on the forks to reduce wear from muddy tyres
- Up to three bottle mounts inside the frame and two accessory mounts under the downtube
- All models feature tubeless-ready rims & tyres
- That amazing pink colour scheme!
Salsa Cutthroat 2020 Specifications
Finally it seems SRAM have lost their dominance in the off-road 1x drivetrain market. Like many brands, Salsa have gone all out with Shimano GRX on the Cutthroat for 2020. SRAM’s appearance is demoted to the entry level Apex 1 model. Aside from the drivetrains, all Cutthroats run similar components across the range. Salsa’s own Cowchipper bars and WTB Volt saddles make for comfortable contact points and Teravail Sparwood tyres paired with WTB or DT rims should provide reliable tubeless performance.
UK prices SRP’s as follows:
- Di2 GRX 810 (White) – £5,800
- GRX 810 1X (Yellow) – £4,200
- GRX 600 (Teal) – £3,300)
- Apex 1 (Pink or Raw) – £2,850
- Frameset & Fork – £2,150
Lyon Equipment will have stock arriving late November/early December. Just in time for Christmas!
Salsa Cutthroat 2020 Gallery
Last modified: 10th October 2019