The Cutthroat GRX 600 is Salsa’s bikepacking race bike, equipped with a made-to-measure frame bag, 17 mounting points and Boost axles. Read on to find out how the carbon frameset fares in direct comparison with the competition.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best bikepacking bike in review

Salsa Cutthroat GRX 600 | 10.9 kg in size 56 | Manufacturer’s website

Salsa have long been a household name for everyone who is even remotely interested in bikepacking. After we were able to ride the first version of the Cutthroat for you a while ago in our gravel bike group test, the US brand sent us the Salsa Cutthroat V2 GRX 600 for our bikepacking group test. For this bike, Salsa rely on the Boost axle standard with a 15 x 110 mm thru-axle at the front and 12 x 148 mm at the rear. In combination with the PF92 bottom bracket shell, 445 mm long chainstays and the 483 mm axle-to-crown carbon fork, you’ve also got the all tire clearances you’ll ever need, with space for tires up to 29 x 2.4”. According to Salsa, the height of the fork is the same as that of an average 29” suspension fork at 25% sag, so you could run a suspension fork if you prefer.

Due to the mountain bike axle standard, you won’t be able to fit standard gravel bike wheels. On the other hand, the carbon frameset is compatible with most 2x and 1x groupsets, both electronic and mechanical, as long as they’re combined with Boost-compatible cranks. You won’t be able to use 650B wheels as the geometry of the Cutthroat is specifically designed around 29” wheels. The Flat-Mount front and rear brake callipers are bolted directly to the Salsa frameset which is approved for 180/160 mm rotors at the front and 160/140 mm rotors at the rear. The Salsa is available in five sizes and offered in four build configurations or as a frameset. We tested the € 3,399 GRX 600 version in size 56. With the Shimano GRX RX600 groupset, GRX RX400 hydraulic brakes, WTB ST i23 TCS 2.0 wheels and 29 x 2.2″ Teravail Sparwood Durable tires, the Cutthroat weighs 10.9 kg.

Removable
If you prefer a 1x setup, you can remove the mount for the front mech from the frame.
Patina?
The coating of the Shimano GRX shift and brake levers wears off quickly in everyday bikepacking use, making the bike look older than it is.
Secure connection
Thanks to numerous bosses on the Salsa, the specially designed frame bag can be bolted directly to the frame.
Room for more
Despite the wide 29” tires, the Salsa has enough clearance for even wider tires or muddy conditions.

Salsa Cutthroat GRX 600

€ 3,399

Specifications

Seatpost Salsa Guide Deluxe Seatpost
Brakes Shimano GRX RX400 Hydro 160 mm
Drivetrain Shimano GRX RX600 46/30 (11-34)
Stem Salsa Guide 80 mm
Handlebar Salsa Cowchipper Deluxe 440 mm
Wheelset WTB ST i23 TCS 2.0 mit WTB Speedterra Hub
Tires Teravail Sparwood Durable, TLR 56C

Technical Data

Size 52 54 56 58 60
Weight 10.9 kg
Wheelsize 700C

Specific Features

17 bosses on the frame in total
generous tire clearance
custom frame bag
rack eyelets and clearance for a suspension fork


Salsa
EXP Series Anything Cradle Plus Dry Bag And Front Pouch (15 l, € 249.99)
EXP Series Direct Mount Cutthroat Frame Pack 56 cm (ca. 13 l, € 179)
Size 52 54 56 58 60
Seat tube 356 mm 419 mm 508 mm 559 mm 584 mm
Top tube 520 mm 540 mm 560 mm 580 mm 600 mm
Head tube 90 mm 98 mm 127 mm 154 mm 175 mm
Head angle 69.0° 69.0° 69.0° 69.0° 69.0°
Seat angle 74.5° 74.3° 74.3° 74.0° 73.8°
BB Drop 70 mm 70 mm 70 mm 70 mm 70 mm
Chainstay 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm
Wheelbase 1,050 mm 1,068 mm 1,090 mm 1,110 mm 1,129 mm
Reach 358 mm 373 mm 385 mm 395 mm 406 mm
Stack 585 mm 592 mm 620 mm 645 mm 664 mm

You just feel at home on the Cutthroat from the get-go. Packing space and comfort are unparalleled. Did someone say circumnavigate the world?

Helmet POC Omne SPIN | Glasses Oakley Latch Beta
Jersey Cascada Land Wool Shirt | Shorts Specialized Men’s RBX Adventure Over-Shorts
Socks FINGERSCROSSED HELL YEAH | Shoes Specialized S-Works Recon

Practicality instead of bling – that’s the motto with the components on the Salsa. The Cutthroat prefers taking things easy when you accelerate but it is one of the most efficient bikes on test once you’re up to speed! This is not least because of the bike’s perfect vibration damping. Regardless of whether you’re riding on rough asphalt, corrugated clay or rugged terrain, the Salsa benefits from the superior rollover characteristics of the large 29” wheels and its balanced compliance. The handling is good-natured and predictable in every situation, scoring most highly for its composure. In very tight and slow corners, the Cutthroat requires a significant amount of input from the rider due to the long wheelbase, which is a result of the long chainstays and the slack 69° head angle.

Apart from that, there is no bike on test that can rival the Salsa Cutthroat’s long-distance capabilities. Every member of our test crew immediately felt at home on the bike! With it’s confidence-inspiring and stable handling, you can head straight on to your next adventure, big or small, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro. The specially developed bags get bolted directly to the frame with the frame bag fitting perfectly in the huge front triangle for a very clean look. They’re a great addition to the bike. There’s about as much space for gear and water bottles as in a small family van.

Tuning tips: It’s best to include the Salsa bags in your order!

Conclusion

Whether you’re a globetrotter, everyday commuter or regional adventurer, everyone from absolute beginners to professionals will find a well-rounded overall concept with extremely composed handling, plenty of space for luggage, the highest levels of comfort and reliable, no frills componentry – what more could you ask for? We can only shrug our shoulders and dream about riding off into the distance on the Salsa while ceremoniously handing over the crown for the Best in Test of 2020/2021 to the Cutthroat GRX 600. Applause!

Tops

  • very composed
  • very high level of comfort without feeling vague
  • confidence-inspiring
  • lots of packing space

Flops

  • 🤷‍♂️

For more info head to salsacycles.com.

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best bikepacking bike in review

All bikes in test: Bombtrack Hook 2 (Click for review) | Canyon Grail AL 7.0 SL (Click for review) | Fern Chuck Explorer (Click for review) | Marin Headlands 2 (Click for review) | Mason Bokeh GRX (Click for review) | MERIDA SILEX+ 8000-E (Click for review) | RONDO BOGAN (Click for review) | ROSE BACKROAD AXS Mullet Build (Click for review) | Salsa Cutthroat GRX 600 | Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Epic HT AXS Custom (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 XTR Project One (Click for review)

Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: Benjamin Topf, Robin Schmitt, Valentin Rühl