Top Ten Favorite 29"er Products of '07: Salsa Cycles Dos Niner

Editors Note: Yeah, yeah…..another year end review! Tis the season! So, here are my favorite things that have passed through the Twenty Nine Inches review process during the past year. I want to point out a few parameters that I used for what I chose here.

1. The product had to be in the review process during the time period of December 2006 through to the end of November 2007. Reviews that are currently in process I did not include and will be eligible for my 2008 Top Ten list.

2. They had to be products or bicycles that I personally used during this period. Nothing any of the other Twenty Nine Inches staff reviewed on their own could be considered for my list. This list doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone but me, Guitar Ted.

That said, let’s get on with this……
Salsa Dos Niner in the mud

Number Three: Salsa Cycles Dos Niner. The Salsa Dos Niner was the companies first foray into the 29″er market and arguably was the product that helped turn the company around and make Salsa a dominant force in the 29″er marketplace. Twenty Nine Inches got ahold of a Dos Niner back in December of ’06 and I have been putting it through its paces since then.

Why it made the list: The Dos Niner is a hard bike to explain. It is not a hard tail, it is not a full suspension device, and because it rolls on the big wheels, it makes the most of its limited travel. I was consistently amazed at how versatile the bike was in various situations. Although titanium and custom softail 29″ers are available, the Dos Niner stands alone in its class as an affordable option and it has been evolving all along the way. That and the fact that it has killer looks didn’t hurt it’s chances of making the list either!

My Two Cents: This is a bike that will do more than you think it will. It is a versatile bike and handles most anything you can throw at it in cross country or trail biking situations. Salsa Cycles committment to this design shows in that ever since its debut, Salsa has never quit refining this platform. And for good reason, it is a perennial favorite amongst 29″er freaks and a great design that makes the most of 29″er wheels best traits. It is a 29″er classic and an outstanding value. That’s why it is Number Three on the 2007 Top Ten list.

What will make the list at Number Two? Check back tomorrow to find out!

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  1. mg Says:

    Amen brother! You know I’m a big fan of the Dos, and you hit the nail on the head as far as its virtues. It’s evolved into the bike you can take into any situation and never feel like you’re out-gunned. It’s the perfect partner to go into battle with. It’s light, fast, doesn’t beat you up, so you stay strong for a long time… just about perfect.

    The best compliment I can give my Dos is the first impression almost every time I get on the bike and pedal away from my house is “man, this thing is fast,” and the second is, “man, this thing is light.” Those are two pretty good things to think about your bike on a regular basis. I love my Dos Niner. I was just telling Jason from Salsa the other day that I couldn’t imagine a day where I didn’t have a Dos in my quiver of bikes that I race. Yeah, I might have other bikes as well, but a Dos will always be one of the bikes I have ready to go, because more often than not, it’s the perfect bike for the conditions I race in here in the midwest.

    Cheers,
    MG

  2. RC Says:

    Well…… I’d have to disagree with the Dos Niner included in the top ten. While Salsa is a great company, and the rear suspension does indeed soften the hits, it also makes it feel really dead in the back. No life. Just that vague softness. It handles ok, but with that dead feeling, it’s no contest when compared to the Slingshot. The Slingshot has no rear suspension you say? I disagree. Sling power softens the blow of any rear hit adequately AND gives you a great feel of being planted and powerful. I spent quite a bit of time with each at the BWB and bought the Slingshot. Again, No contest. My two cents worth. Thanks.

  3. Jason Says:

    I can’t comment on the Slingshot. Never rode one. But I AM VERY into my Dos Niner. I’ve always loved soft tails and my dream bike is a Moots YBB 29er., (or other Ti soft tail.)

    Coming from 26″ HTs and FS bikes the Dos has been the best trade off so far for long rides and races. If it’s dead in the back that means I’m not feeling the “bump or hit”. One of my complains about FS bikes was coming off a log or log pile, standing and feeling it get too mushy. I get the only the SLIGHTEST of this with the Dos. 1″ is can’t feel TOO mushy. Now my Mamasita is a WHOLE other story. That Mama is just fast. For XC Mama is the bike. But for XXC/Enduros the Dos is the bike.

    For the record my team is sponsored by Salsa, but I don’t HAVE to ride their bikes. I ride their bikes because I would anyway. They have their head in the game with the 29ers. Fisher comes close (as far as a big boys) but IMO Salsa is the titz.

    There are some smaller and custom builders out there that have it going on too (Moots, Quiring, WaltWorks, etc., etc., ) but for a bike you can mail order or get from (basically) any shop. I sort of have to agree with this choice. Just my 2¢. There are a lot of great bike out there by a lot of good companies. I just wish I had the jing/time to ride them all! 🙂

    Later.

  4. Phil Smith Says:

    Folks,
    A mate and I are looking for the right bike for a three week ride to the tip of Cape York in Australia. Gravel roads, corrugations, some sand.

    Unsupported, towing trailers, we reckon 29ers might be the go but we don’t want to waste a lot of energy on too much suspension travel. The Dos Niner looks the goods. What do you reckon?

    Phil
    Brisbane Australia.

  5. Guitar Ted Says:

    Phil Smith: You might be better served by the new Salsa Fargo. I don’t know when your leaving on this trip, but the Fargo would be ideal for it. The thing is, it won’t be available until February in complete form.

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