So a few weeks ago I decided to look at take a stab at another bike project. I had recently completed an All City Nature Boy and decided I wanted a geared counterpart to that excellent bike. I really like the way the All City rides, and it fit me out of the box just great. I like the lower bottom bracket, taller head tube, and relaxed head angle compared to modern racing cyclocross bikes. Looking for those qualities brought me to somewhat unlikely conclusion, I wanted a Salsa Casseroll.
The Casseroll is likely the least heralded of Salsa's models. It's color is understated, it's complete build parts spec is classically simple and not shouty, and frankly it looks a bit like a softy. Now, if you're a guy or gal looking for a neo-classical sport tourer/commuter, this is perfect. If you're looking for a slightly aggressive, yet stable gravel road bike it's probably not going to spring into your head as an option. Seeing potential beyond the easy going complete build, I wanted to build a bike that would show another side of this bike.
Here it is. I like it, a lot. I had most of the parts of the build already including kick but White Industries hubs laced to Hed rims with ultralight Sapim spokes, and a Ultegra 10 speed drivetrain with bar end shifters. I added a cockpit and seatpost from Salsa, a carbon fork from Bontrager, and superb brakes from Avid.
These tires kick ass, period. For hard, dry gravel I've yet to use better. They roll like crazy, are affordable at $26.99 per, they have reflective sidewalls which I love, and they look great. If they have a failing it's that when they break loose in corners they slide out really quickly. Keeping that in mind, these are great. Paired with the crazy fast wheels these make this bike feel like a road bike on tar. Avid's Ultimate cantilever brakes are worth the price of admission. They are hands down the best canti brakes I've used.
I've set the bike up with a compact, compact crank with 34-44t rings. The rear end is an Ultegra 11-28t cassette. This set up really works well for the roads I ride. It's high enough that I can't run it out on flat ground, and it's low enough to climb up the hills of Sogn Valley if I do my part. Paired with Shimano bar end shifters shifting is flawless.
Salsa Cowbell 2 Bars are far and away my favorite drop bars I've used. They look great, and feel better. These are tightly double wrapped to increase the girth a bit for my XL sized hands. Sram's 500 levers are really very good as well. Salsa's Promoto Ti stem holds everything together.
Salsa's new carbon 2 bolt seatpost works well, looks good, and matches the build very well indeed. I am not super pleased that it is only offered in a 5mm offset version, but it that works for you it's a great post for the money.
This is another very versatile bike from Salsa. With the addition of the cantilever brakes, this bike has much more capability than it's complete build would suggest. I really like the bike for the purpose I've set it up for. It's stiff, comfortable, stable, and it looks great. Stop in and check it out if you are interested, or give us a call if you'd like more info on this bike, a frameset, or a complete.
Thanks for playing, have a great night.