Urban Velo

Salsa La Cruz – First Impressions

Salsa La Cruz

Out of the box, the La Cruz is one sweet looking ride. Painted bright orange, Salsa’s disc-only, steel cyclocross frame is built for abuse. True Temper’s OX Platinum is a relatively lightweight tubing that’s best known for it’s ability to withstand crashes. The welding is clean and the frame features nice touches like a forward-facing seatpost clamp and a disc brake support welded between the seatstay and the chainstay.

Salsa La Cruz Salsa La Cruz Salsa La Cruz

The frame features a sloping top tube, whereas most conventional cyclocross frames have a straight top tube to facilitate shouldering the bike. The sloping top tube allows for more standover clearance, which is good for both off-road riding and urban cycling. The La Cruz comes with a matching disc-only straight blade steel fork, and a threadless steel stem painted to match. Unfortunately, the stem wasn’t quite my size and I had to swap it for a cheap (but functional) aluminum stem. Both frame and fork offer more than enough mud clearance, which means there’s ample room for fat tires and fenders.

Salsa La Cruz Salsa La Cruz Salsa La Cruz

The La Cruz uses 135mm rear spacing, so the wheelset consists of Salsa’s polished aluminum Delgado 29” mountain bike rims and DT Swiss double butted spokes laced to Shimano XT hubs. The polished aluminum theme is carried on with Truvativ cranks, a Kalloy seatpost, a Cane Creek S3 headset and a Salsa seatpost clamp and handlebar.

Shifting is handled by Shimano 105 10-speed components, and the STI levers also pair up with Avid Road BB7 disc brakes. The bike’s tires speak volumes about its intended use. Panaracer’s knobby 31mm CrossBlasters are fast and hard-wearing, but ultimately best suited for the dirt. They also seem to say, “I ain’t scared of no stinking potholes.”

Salsa La Cruz Salsa La Cruz Salsa La Cruz

At $1680, the La Cruz is neither exorbitant nor is it cheap. You get what you pay for, which is a versatile, high-quality, feature-rich bike that promises to be a lot of fun. Stay tuned for updates on the bike’s performance, and visit www.salsacycles.com for complete specs including size availability and geometry.

About Urban Jeff

I'm about to have a nervous breakdown, my head really hurts. Contact me.

View all posts by Urban Jeff →


  1. rickApril 7, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Nice bike. Do you normally ride with the seat slammed down or was that just for the photos?

  2. Urban JeffApril 14, 2008 at 7:35 amAuthor

    The seatpost is adjusted properly for a short shit like me.

  3. Panaracer CrossBlaster 700×31 - Urban VeloJune 30, 2008 at 12:06 am

    [...] CrossBlaster tires came stock on the Salsa La Cruz that I’m testing, and I had been running them in all conditions for two months before the [...]

  4. ToddJuly 1, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Urban Jeff,

    Just curious if you could comment on how the brakes are working for you on the La Cruz. I’ve currently got a FELT FX1 with cantilevers and the front end seems to shutter when braking. I’ve been told that it’s common with cantilevers and a carbon fork but this is my only experience. I’m thinking about the La Cruz as it’s steel and has disk brakes and can accept wide tires.

    Thanks for the review!! Very helpful

  5. Urban JeffAugust 11, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Todd, the brakes are absolutely awesome. They do squeal a bit when they’re wet, but that’s kind of a good thing—warns people that I’m coming!

    Seriously, though, they could be better adjusted to stop the squealing. There’s no noticeable chatter, but I imagine things might be different (not necessarily worse, just different) if I weighed 200 pounds instead of 130.

  6. LukeJanuary 12, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Hi Jeff, ive ordered a la cruz for commuting the back roads in Australia. You mentioned the crossblaster tyres were best suited for off-road. Was wondering, for sealed roads that are bit rough in parts, what tyres would might work well with this bike. Thx for a great review.

  7. Urban JeffJanuary 12, 2009 at 2:13 amAuthor

    I think either of these would suit the bill, though I’m sure there are other choices out there, too:



  8. LukeJanuary 13, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Jeff, that’s very helpful. Thanks as both look good options.

  9. kchamMarch 31, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Hey Jeff- thanks for the review. can you tell me if the La Cruz runs big, small, or exact on the sizing? i ride a 59 road bike, and XL mountain bike. thanks!

  10. Urban JeffApril 1, 2009 at 8:42 pmAuthor

    Kcham, you gotta compare the numbers to see if it fits you. Specifically, look at the top tube measurements.

    I will say, the La Cruz does have “compact geometry” so it’s a good fit for shorter riders.

  11. SFullerApril 7, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Kcham, for the La Cruz, look at the effective top tube length when sizing the frame. I ride a 58cm Long Haul Trucker, and a 56cm Paramount and Tricross. On the La Cruz, I went with a 55cm frame, which has an effective TT length of 58cm.

  12. SFullerApril 7, 2009 at 9:35 pm


    Chattering with cantis and carbon forks is common. My Tricross Singlecross has the same issue. Try adjusting the pads so that they are toed in a slight bit at the front. It should help with the shuddering.

  13. Gary WheelerSeptember 11, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Built my La Cruz from frame up. SRAM Rival 10 speed with flat bar and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. King hubs, DT swiss 7.1 rims. Winwood carbon fork. This bike rocks. Do not want to ride my road bike at all and rarely go to my mtn bike. Loads of fun. Paint is fragile and chips easily but no big deal for me.

  14. Urban JeffSeptember 11, 2009 at 9:44 pmAuthor

    Sounds like a nice ride, Gary. Any photos?

  15. Tobi BOctober 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m really confused about the right size of the La Cruz for me.
    On my roadbike I have a 540 TT with a 110 stem length – fits perfect.

    Should I get the La Cruz with the 540 TT oder the 530 TT?
    If I chose the one with the 530 TT, that’d be the smallest size available.

    My intended use is: Commuting and also tryin’ to ride the same stuff as I do with my MTB just for fun and excitement ;-)

    WHAT SIZE is your bike on the photo?

    Thank you very much :-)

  16. Tobi BOctober 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm


    Got rather shorter legs and longer upper body …
    Inseam about 31,4″

    Thank you very much


  17. Salsa La Cruz - A New Attitude at Urban VeloJanuary 19, 2010 at 7:14 am

    [...] you’re a regular reader you know that I’ve had the Salsa La Cruz under long-term test for quite a while now. It’s definitely been the workhorse of my stable, [...]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


City Reports