Salsa Beargrease

One of my oldest bikes. I bough the Beargrease before either Ibis and rode it as a mountain bike. In the dirt its like riding on basketballs which is actually really fun. In the snow it’s the perfect companion.

The setup

I’ve been on a Beargrease since 2014. It’s a great bike. The colors have changed over the years but it’s mostly still the same bike. Salsa Beargrease X01 $6,799.00 from Aventuron

On my first winter ride years ago I wore only my winter gloves. When I finished it took and hour for my hands to warm back up and the pain from the frostbite was almost unbearable. I quickly purchased a pair of these 45NRTH Cobrafist Pogies and I’ve never regretted it. I can drop an electric hand warmer in each one and and stay warm and cozy the entire ride.

Years ago I added a Thomson dropper post to the Beargrease. It stopped working, they don’t make the version I need and servicing them costs as much as many new dropper posts. Instead, I switched to a KS Lev dropper. It’s a bit slow which means I probably need to adjust something but I’m hoping it will last me for many years to come. I needed a 27.2″ post and the KS Lev offered the most travel I could find in the Salsa Beargrease X01 $339.00 from Backcountry.com

Most recently I burned up my drive train. I’ve been riding with the Sram AXS XX1 on my Ripmo and it’s left me wanting to try out the Sram AXS GX. So far I can’t tell the difference between the AXS GX and the AXS XX1. I think the XX1 might be lighter but for the money the AXS GX setup is amazing. I’ve been riding it in the crazy cold without any issues. I’m becoming a huge Sram GX fan.

I would like to have gone with the XG-1275 GX Eagle 12-Speed rear Cassette but my rear hub would only take the NX Eagle 12-Speed Cassette. It’s heavier but performs just fine.

My Beargrease originally came with a 2×10 Sram X7 setup. I destroyed the chain rings along with the rear hub. I’m now riding a 1×12 setup. One huge benefit is that my setup is now the same across all my bikes. My dropped is next to my left thumb which makes my life so much easier. Before It was above the bar next to my right hand and at the beginning of the season when I transitioned to the fat bike I would constantly get confused and drop my post instead of shifting and vice versa.

I ended up swapping out to a new 30T front chain ring from Sram. I would have liked to go even smaller for the days when I have to plow through deep snow but this setup gives me approximately the same gearing I used to have.

My new light for when the ride goes longer than I anticipated. The Lezyne Super Drive 1600XXL Headlight. I’ve researched lights for years and never picked one so this time I just dropped into Als and grabbed the one that I thought looked like it would do the job. If you turn it on max it can double as a heater. It puts out some intense light.

  • This is why we can’t have nice things
    It was a beautiful winter Saturday to get out and ride The almost perfect trails. Without obligations pulling me back to my desk I had time to ride up to the top of the quarry in Providence Canyon. The last time I attempted this climb the road lacked the base needed to make the climb. The snow machines float above the snow and with being

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  • Winter Dream
    rm today having been lovingly groomed by local volunteers. The sun reflected beautifully off the snow. The trail past the upper parking lot towards the Mt Naomi Wilderness was also in fine form for a while. The nightmare doesn’t begin for a mile or so. At that point the grooming ends and the only trail left is from hikers that attempted to wade through the

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  • Delightful Day
    It’s really easy to make excuses for not leaving the house during the winter. It’s cold. The air is frequently bad. It takes less time to jump on the training and do the rounds in Zwift. However, there’s an enormous physical and mental benefit from leaving the house and getting out into nature. Sunny days with perfect trails fill my soul with delight. Today was

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  • Almost a Dark Ride
    Late on this Saturday afternoon I managed to get away for a little bit and was rewarded with a perfect trail and spectacular conditions. I’ve been slow getting out of the canyon in the past and I’ve had to pick my way out in the dark. For years I swore I would by a bike light and I finally got around to it. I was

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  • Crunchy Smooth
    Green Canyon is almost always a beautifully groomed, hard packed, ice road. At the beginning of the trail the air bit at any of my exposed skin and pierced deep and painful. The hard packed icy snow crunched loudly but the trail was smooth, sticky and fast. As I ascended the last section towards the Mt Naomi Wilderness I didn’t expect much given that the

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  • Love Letters to the Sun
    While the valley is wrapper in the bitter cold of winter inversion the mountains reward those who venture higher with an escape from the filthy air and the biting frost. It’s counter-intuitive at first but the higher you go the warmer the air becomes (if 30 degrees is warm). The sky is blue and the sun breaks out. Covered in layers of winter gear the

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  • Green glittering like a gem
    Some days are just perfect. Today was just perfect. I haven’t been up Green Canyon since I managed to repair the Beargrease. After taking the last spot in the parking lot I set out from the dark grey of a typically Cache Valley winter day and ascended into the sunshine and glittering snow. On the way up I passed the carcass of a dear recently

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  • Two Wheel Luge
    After a couple of weeks in the shop waiting on parts my Beargrease is back. I was initially frustrated with the Sram AXS GX setup I had put on the bike but as it turns out all the problems were in the rear hub that was slowly disintegrating. Now that I have a bran new hub from DT Swiss all is well again and I

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  • The free hub is dead. Long live the free hub.
    Today I discovered why my drivetrail was cracking all the time. I woke up to freezing, negative temps and decided that I would drop my son at school, ride and then drop by the shop to let the team there adjust things so that I could get rid of the annoying cracking noise coming from the rear end. As I attempted to blow through the

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  • Baby it’s cold outside
    With my Salsa Beargrease now sporting a brand new AXS GX transmission I was stoked to get out and play in the snow. Sadly, the experience started with me leaving the parking lot and immediately dropping the chain into the wheel. Digging the chain out of the spoke in near 0 degree fahrenheit temperatures was miserable. Not a great first impression of the much hyped

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  • Ice Road Truckin’
    Perfect day and perfect trail. The Beargrease needs love but it’s nice to be playing in the snow. The Ride – Providence Canyon
  • Fresh waffles. Blessed be the trail groomers.
    The snow has finally fallen in sufficient quantity to justify getting the fat bike out. Riding in the snow is hard. It’s cold. You slip a lot. Climbing on ice and snow adds a new level of challenge. It’s the most beautiful experience and I love it. The winter forest is mostly vacant of other users. With the snow falling the silence and solitude is

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