I bought the Salsa Colossal this summer and have been commuting on it this fall in Indianapolis. Posts anticipating the bike (here
), discussing shopping for the bike (here
) and reviewing the bike (here
) came out in previous months. The bike has never quite been finished because of the low-rent wheelset that came with.
Finally: I have upgraded. The Salsa Colossal is now complete.
|The Salsa. Done. On the White River Greenway bike trail, Indianapolis.|
The wheels are custom built by Ron Ruff at White Mountain Wheels
. This is my third set from Ron's workshop. (Report on previous sets here.
) He has yet to turn a spoke wrench wrong. That said, these are already my favorite.
White Industries hubs. All three sets from Ron are built with White Industries hubs. These are the perfect mid-rent product: they look every bit as good as a Chris King and don't overdo the bling factor in the way that DT Swiss do. They are light without being featherweight. And they are affordable.
|The hub is that silver part in the middle that you can't really see.|
|OK, so the picture doesn't show anything, but it looks good in real life.|
These are centerlock disk mount hubs. The upside is that they are much easier to use than the six-bolt disc hubs. The downside is that centerlock rotors are more expensive and hard to find in the 140mm that fit with my brake mounts. One lesson I learned: when a hub is made for a 15mm through-axle, which the White Industries hubs are, the standard lock ring does not fit. Or more precisely, it does fit, but the cassette tool one uses to tighten the lock ring will not fit in the tight tolerance between the standard lock ring and the axle. Fortunately, the hub came with a lock ring made to be tightened with an external-bearing bottom bracket tool. The rear hub can be tightened with the cassette tool.
|Shimano 140mm rotors.|
Pacenti rims. Ron recommended these and looked around little; these are much loved rims in the industry standard semi-aero shape. Pacenti offers a disc-specific rim, which resolved one of my primary complaints about the stock Stan's rims. And, like the White Industries hubs, the Pacenti rims are not over-designed.
|I like the modest graphics on these Pacenti rims. I love the lack of the brake track and the black Compass EL tires on black rims.|
Sapim CX-Ray spokes. Ron would probably build with something else if asked nicely enough, but these are his prohibitive favorite so I have them on all three custom sets. Light, aerodynamic, and purportedly strong.
We went with understated -- silver hubs, black spokes and rims, and silver nipples. The nipples may be a tad bright but I think it is a nice touch. And I've done the color-coordinated nipples too often for my own good.
I mounted these with the 28mm Compass Chinook Pass EL tires Sam gave me last Christmas. I've enjoyed these tires on some great rides including the fleche and the 600K in September. They ride nicely on the Salsa.
|Most of my upgrades don't work out as well as this one did.|
On the bike, the wheels look awesome. Getting rid of that brake track and the excessive graphics on the Stan's rims make for nice changes. And this is the first time I've ridden on anything other than the Vittoria Randonneur tires that came with the bike. It is almost disturbingly smooth and fast.