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You probably know this already, but America has been playing host to cycling's newest iteration -- gravel racing. And not being one to miss the boat, Salsa is introducing its second generation of gravel-inspired design, already, with the Warbird 2 Complete Bike. Not a road bike, not a cross bike, and certainly not a mountain bike, the Warbird 2 takes from all-of-the-above and repackages their best traits into a design that exists without parallel. It doesn't matter if you're riding till the road ends, or if you're racing all 340 miles of the Dirty, the Warbird 2 will get you there faster.

As you know, the Warbird 2 has one motive, and that's gravel racing. And while the thoughtful process of Salsa's creation makes your life easier, it made Salsa's life difficult. Think about it -- how do you combine the efficiency of a road bike with the comfort and stability of a mountain bike? Well, it all comes down to materials, tube shaping, and geometry. For Salsa, the obvious choice in materials was its custom designed and hydroformed, EV6 Xtrolite aluminum. This decision guarantees the necessary rigidity for racing, but it also allows the perfect platform for engineered manipulation in order to control comfort.

The tubing's adaptability permitted the Warbird's geometry, as well as some tricked-out comfort features. For example, the Warbird features what Salsa calls its Biaxially Ovalized down tube. Designed around two optic axes, this engineering feat adds stiffness to the bottom bracket while simultaneously increasing the stability of the steering. This is a necessary feature when you're tearing down off-road descents at racing speed. Further along these lines, the Warbird's seat tube includes a custom-butted, tapered construction that maximizes rigidity at the bottom bracket juncture, while tapering down towards the seatpost. This means that you benefit from the stiffness of an oversized bottom bracket while still gaining comfort from the 27.2mm seatpost.

And on the subject of stiffness, the Warbird's PressFit 30 bottom bracket really didn't need any help. However, while it had its own bases covered, this feature does lower the overall weight of the build. The same can be said about Salsa's choice of including the new Enve CX Disc Tapered Carbon Fork. While promoting a controlled handling and nimbleness, the Enve CX fork also eats up under-wheel-vibrations while only weighing around one pound with an uncut steerer. The fork's tolerance and obvious disc brake acceptance brings us to our next two points -- clearance and discs.

Starting with the clearances, Salsa constructed the Warbird to accept tires up to 38mm. Additionally, the frame has been designed with the foresight of mud accrual in mind. To make room for both, without making the ride quality sluggish, Salsa shaped the seat and chainstays. And in Salsa's infinite wisdom, this feature also adds to both vertical compliance and lateral rigidity. To further cut back on mud buildup, the frame does without a chainstay bridge. As for the disc brakes, this was an obvious choice for Salsa. We can say without hesitation that mechanical disc brakes perform better under any condition than cantilever brakes. And with the inclusion of full-length cable housing, and 140/160mm rotors, this couldn't be more true.

For the build, Salsa has included a bombproof collection of components. For shifting, Shimano Tiagra shifters control a Shimano CX50 front and 105 rear derailleur. The same shifters also control the Avid BB7 mechanical disc calipers. At the drivetrain, you'll be pushing the venerable FSA Gossamer PF30 crankset with a 34/46T chainring configuration. Linking the cranks to the rear is a KMC X10 chain that's been mated to a SRAM PG-1050, 11-30T cassette. The frame rolls on a lightweight and durable wheel build that consists of Sun Assault rims, Salsa 2 hubs, and DT Swiss Competition spokes. Salsa cased the wheels with Clement USH 700c x 35mm clincher tires. Salsa has also included a stellar cockpit. You get Salsa's Cowbell handlebar, Pro Moto 2 stem, and a WTB Valcon saddle that rests on Salsa's Pro Moto 2 seatpost.

The Salsa Warbird 2 Complete Bike is available in the color Orange and in six sizes from 51 to 60cm.

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