Salsa Casseroll : First Impressions

In late August I took delivery of a Salsa Casseroll in the single speed variety.   Since then the bike has been my (almost) daily ride.   It has caused me to get rid of my car and be a true car-free commuter and cyclist. There have been transformations of the bike which have been documented well.

Visit for a full write up on the Casseroll and follow its evolution.

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0 thoughts on “Salsa Casseroll : First Impressions”

  1. Jared says:

    I nearly bought a Casseroll, but for cost efficiency, went with a 925 instead. I test rode it and loved it, but couldn’t justify the cost. Thanks for reminding me of what I missed (not that my 925 is lacking, but the Casseroll is a SALSA!). I think I will be upgrading to a Vassago Fisticuff though, when it is released. I’ve been craving disc brakes on a commuter.

  2. Arleigh says:


    I do wish the Casseroll had disk brakes. Charlotte, NC has been getting a decent amount of rain and I’m about needing a new set of brake pads after about 500miles.

  3. Jared says:

    Loved the ride though. I’ve even thought of slapping a singulator on a La Cruz, but am waiting to see what the new Vassago is all about. The La Cruz rode sweetly as well, though it lacks proper rack mounts.

  4. Chester says:

    Riding a 9-2-5 as well and, while I want a chainguard, want to dump the chintzy smoked plastic one that came with the bike.

    How well did the chainguard on the Casseroll work? It’s a lot sweeter looking than chainguards that provide more enclosure, but I wonder if that translates to the possibility of snagged pant legs…

  5. Arleigh says:

    Chester – I love the chainguard. Can’t wait to goto single speed for it!

    Velo Orange has some chrome ones much like it.

  6. Chester says:

    Thanks. I’ve seen the Velo Orange chainguards and like ’em…but prefer the one on your Salsa as there’s no “overhang”. If all that’s needed to keep pants hems out of the chain, then I’ll go that way — it’s a way cleaner look.

    So I guess I’ll have to try and hunt down a similar chainguard.

    But maybe I’ll just get one of the Velo Oranges…been wanting to get one of their leather-wrapped half-clips anyway:

  7. Ghost Rider says:

    Please explain how you set up the rear shifter pod to act as a brake lever…do you have to manually “click it” to release the brake?

  8. Arleigh says:

    Ghost – Its a SRAM 1:1 ratio shifter. I had the cable set up so out the 9 clicks I used 3. The first was slow down barely, the second was really slow down, and the third locked up the rear brake. Then you simply downshift to get the brake off.

    It came from when I rode a fixie with bull horns I used a friction shifter at the end as my front brake.

  9. Ghost Rider says:

    I’ve seen the friction lever trick (which I’ve actually tried with some measure of success), but I’ve got to say that the “click modulation” you’ve figured out how to dial in is TOTALLY badass.

    How long did it take you to figure out how much tension the brake cable needed in order to work the way you wanted it? Any setup tips you might share?

  10. Ghost Rider says:

    Oh, and in order to stay on topic, the Casseroll is one of the best thought-out frames to hit the market in some time. It’s like a Surly LHT with a little something “extra”…and the color is pretty stunning in real life. A Casseroll frame is on my short list as “ultimate commuter platform”.

  11. Arleigh says:

    Ghost –

    Thanks! It wasn’t too difficult at all. Much like setting up standard road calipers. Tighten bolt, try a couple clicks, stretch cable to seat correctly, check the “shifter leverage” and adjust. I would say it took the same amount of time as dialing in a road caliper.

    Make sure to have your barrel adjuster on the brake caliper half way out. You can always dial it in (you have 9 clicks to stop you if your cable stretches out) but if your caliper is too tight it might not be good.

  12. Arleigh says:

    LHT vs Casseroll –

    Many folks ride the LHT as a commuter. I’m not a big fan of it as a commuter, as it is designed for touring. If you are weighing down your bike for your commute, then yes, the LHT is great.

    Personally I’m not. I might have 15 lbs on the rear rack at any given time and that’s the ONE day I take my laptop in to the shop.

    The Casseroll to me on the spectrum of road to touring bike, is closer to a road bike in feel. A relaxed, comfy, road bike. I wanted something to contrast my normal road racing steed. Something I could run 38mm tires in the winter for the night commutes and unseen cracks in the road.

    Now if I could only have one bike and touring with heavy panniers, really fat tires and need for front and rear racks was needed – Yes I would stick with a LHT.

  13. Jeff says:

    I ordered the singlespeed version recently with the intention of converting it to a 1×9 or 1×10 setup almost immediately.

    I’ve put probably 6000 or more miles on my disc-brake Las Cruces and absolutely love it, but I need something with better fender and rack capability.

  14. Tony Bullard says:

    Forgive my newbiness, but this sentence leaves me totally in the dark:
    “I’ve been advised multiple times by Salsa to keep the bike off the single track.”

    Off the single track?

  15. Cafn8 says:

    Single track is a trail wide enough for one person (see below in the “Bike Sites” links). It’s what we mountain bikers live for. The implication is that riding single track would break this fork, causing a wreck and subsequent alteration of the dentition.

  16. Arleigh says:

    Yes, single track is meant for off road, narrow path of trail that often has dips, roots, rocks and logs across it.

    So it isn’t off road friendly.

  17. Mark in Saint Paul says:

    My wife and I both have Casserolls. She got hers first and it rode so well I had to have one too. We have them set up in the “Copenhagen” style – Nitto Northroad bars, riser stem, racks, lights, fenders, 32c tires, bells. Gearing on mine is 1X8 and hers is 3X9. On mine I was able to install one of the plastic “smoke” chainguards (cast-off at a local shop) but I painted it to match the fenders.

    Set up this way the Casseroll does make the perfect city bike. The 76mm BB drop gives it wonderful old-school handling, as Arleigh says, relaxed and comfy.

  18. Arleigh says:

    Mark – Long term I think that is the plan for the Casseroll (maybe in a year) but with a 1×8 using an internal hub.

    I’m trying to decide on an internal hub right now for an xtracycle build, if the Dual Drive from SRAM works out well maybe that’s what I’ll end up with for the Casseroll as well.

  19. Spenny says:

    I want a Salsa SOOOOO BAD!!!

  20. Kirk says:

    I bought the same bike but can’t get fenders on it with the stock tires. Am I dumb, it doesn’t seem like there is any clearance.

  21. Kirk says:

    Here was my original review. After 800 miles or so I am very impressed. . . .

  22. Tom says:

    I got a Casseroll single for commuting two months ago. I also do 150 per week. I’m happy with it. Looks great, rides sweet. Relative to my other bike used for commute (Fisher 29er hardtail) it is light and nimble. Also easier to keep clean. I do about 40% of ride on level, nontech trail that sends up a fair amount of grit. Main complaint is that my Shimano 18t freewheel is a bit noisey and has some catch spots. May be a defect (got 25% off on price of bike) and will probably replace because cost is minimal. Gearing (48/18) is nice for my pretty much level commute.

  23. John says:

    I just purchased the Casseroll single and I love it. The bike performs exactly as advertised:
    An efficient yet comfortable bike. How do you feel about using this for light off road? Is that what separates a Cyclocross bike from a Casseroll? How else are the frames different? I know about the low bottom bracket. What else differentiates the two?

  24. BB height, headtube angle and the fact they have personally told me NOT to off road on the fork.

  25. Freewheelin Franklin says:

    Wow! Tops, people are still checking this thread.

    I’ve had my casseroll since the first container came off the boat here in the antipodes. Love it. Built up from frame as single fendered flat bar with some lovely components.

    Just getting in on the fork act though – I’m now on my second warranty replacement due to cracks across the crown. Cant seem to find much info about it. would love to know why. headset is always well adjusted, and all I use it for is commuting on (admittedly often patchy) sealed roads. Never ridden off road. The forks have HEAPS of flex, this probably has a lot to do with it.

    Was wondering has anyone else actually had to replace theirs or am I *special*????

  26. Hey Freewheelin,

    I’ve contacted Salsa about your inquiry. Hopefully they can weigh in better than I.

    Thanks for reading

  27. seablister says:

    Bike Shop Girl

    I’m way late to the party, in just now picking up my Casseroll SS. Should be here this week. I’ve very curious to know, now that you’ve had the Casseroll for a while (still do?), what configuration did you settle on… drive train, tires, bars, etc.

    Nothing like learning from someone who’s been there.


  28. Seablister

    I currently run as you see in this photo. This next fall I’ll be adding an alfine rear hub to the drivetrain

  29. seablister says:

    One more question. When you change from drop bar to your “upright” bar, do you (or feel the need to) shorten or lengthen your stem?

  30. Bryan Vasek says:

    You wrote: “Normally I ride a 55cm so I went with a 53cm frame”

    I am looking at purchasing a 59cm second hand, but my current cannondale roadbike (six13) is a 58cm. Is your comment suggesting that the 59cm may be too large for me?


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