Salsa Cycles "Ala Carte" SM #490
1990 Ala Carte
More pictures in the bottom of this post
Ross Shafer is one of the vintage guys that it’s hard to dislike. It’s hard to think about high end 1980s bikes without his stems and he really did a lot of great custom bikes under the Scoboni-name in the early to mid 80s. After that he started mass producing, or at least tried, the Ala Cartes to keep the costs down, but Salsa never made too many bikes compared to other brands.
This particular bike is #SM490, the 490th Salsa made. It is a 1990 model that were sent to Salsa for a repair around 1994 and it was repainted and later given a splatter job. This have a good mix of components - Cook Bros Racing cranks, Grafton brakes, Mavic Gao Paris Dakar rims/hubs/qrs and the classic Bontrager fork. Ross and Keith had some cool ads together around 1990 - like this one from MBA, August 1991.
The ride on this bike is as good as expected. The Bontrager fork is very rigid, and it’s also very direct - point and it goes there. It’s pretty stiff so it’s not especially forgiving. The frame is a lot more playful and can be pushed hard, as expected. The frame is in many ways like a Fat City frame from the same time.
Rims: Mavic M231 CD Gao Paris Dakar
Hubs: Mavic Gao Paris Dakar
Tires: Panaracer Timbuk II
Pedals: Shimano SPD 737
Crank: Cook Bros Racing
Rear Cogs: Shimano
Bottom Bracket: Shimano
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT
Shifters: Shimano Deore XT thumbs
Handlebars: Shimmed, Salsa (?)
Headset: Chris King No Logo
Brake set: Grafton
Brake levers: Magura Shortys
Seat Post: Ritchey
Paint: Black with blue and white splatter