Salsa El Kaboing Mountain Bike – New for 2009


Salsa Cycles has been one of those fringe manufacturers for years. yeah, you’ve likely ridden a bike with one of their quick-release seatclamps, but you’ve likely never seen a Salsa Cycles bike on the trail–I know I never have.  All that is about to change with the introduction of the new Salsa El Kaboing trailbike for 2009.

Coming in January 2009 (frame-only available September 2008), the Salsa El Kaboing looks to be a stellar trailbike with some interesting features. One of the first things that caught my eye was the post-mount rear disc brake bosses. Yeah, I know… a funny thing to notice.  But, here’s the point.  Most fork manufacturers have switched from the International Standard brake bosses to post-mount brake bosses because they offer easier adjustment and work without adapters.

With Salsa introducing post-mount bosses on their frame, it’s drawing a line in the sand and saying that eventually we just might see the demise of the “International Standard.”  Only time will tell.

Salsa El Kaboing Mountain Bike

Another cool feature of the El Kaboing is the flexing seatstay.  It reminds me of the seatstays on the Yeti 575, but it doesn’t use carbon fiber, but fine-tuned Scandium tubes instead. The El Kaboing looks to be a solid performer with proven angles and a fine parts spec.

Salsa El Kaboing Complete Highlights:

  • Single-pivot design with Scandium flexing seatstays yield 5-inches (125mm) of squish
  • Custom-tuned Fox RP2 rear shock
  • No rear pivot to increase lateral stiffness
  • Rear post-mount disc brake tabs
  • Shimano Deore XT and Race Face Deus drivetrain
  • Fox Float RL 140mm front shock
  • Color: Battleship grey
  • Sizes: 14, 16, 18 and 20 inch
  • Available: January 2009 (full kit) or September 2008 (frame only)
  • Weight: 29 lbs

Salsa El Kaboing Mountain Bike

The all-mountain market is definitely the sweet spot of mountain bike designs.  At 5-inches of travel, there are a few others in the category to consider: Turner Spot, Marin Mount Vision Quad XC, Pivot Mach 5, Iron Horse MKIII and Santa Cruz Blur LT.

The El Kaboing will definitely be a solid contender and possibly result in more trail sightings in the future. Hopefully I can swing a leg over the El Kaboing at the Interbike Outdoor Demo this fall.

ALSO… Salsa unveiled a new 4-inch travel 29-er dubbed the Salsa Big Mamma.  With similar Scandium tubes and flexing seatstay technology, the Big Mamma looks like a fun ride for the big hoop crowd.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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