2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1
- Price: $2899
- Frame: Cutthroat Carbon
- Gear: 1X11
- Tires: 29 x 2.2″
What we like about it: The carbon fiber frame takes you on a relaxed ride, and the simple and smooth shifting can be quickly mastered even by novices.
What we don’t like about it: Lower component configuration.
Whether it’s gravelly, bumpy terrain, or flat roads, we always want a bike that’s light enough. This 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1’s lightweight Cutthroat Carbon frame, simple SRAM Apex 11X11 drivetrain, and slim 29 x 2.2″ Teravail Sparwood tires have us loving its performance on-road riding as well as on gravel roads.
After three months of review, the bike accompanied us to Ohio. Here we took on scenic Ohio to Erie Trail, experienced riding on 83% gravel or paved roads, went through Little Miami State Park, and enjoyed the quaint town scenery and peaceful countryside.
Yes, I was impressed with the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1’s kind of believable weaving, as if it were gliding across the ground, and its speed.
Below we break down the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 for road riding, gravel riding, key features, components and specifications, and other versions.
Generally speaking, on rough climbs, a gravel bike is probably no match for a hardtail, however on flat road rides, I would say a slim gravel bike would easily beat them. In my real-world riding, this 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 does not disappoint on Ohio to Erie Trail, whether it’s flat concrete roads or soft asphalt sections.
Based on the bike’s simple and quick SRAM Apex 11X11 drivetrain, I can react quickly in the face of changing and flowing roads, shifting sensitively with the pull of a button for the best ride.
While some may consider this kind of transfer speed to be entry-level, it doesn’t stop you from reaching amazing riding speeds on the road.
In addition, the lightweight vacuum tires Teravail Sparwood, the steep seat tube angle (74.3°), and the relatively compact Wheelbase (1090mm) allow you to pass quickly even on soft surfaces with light tires, easy pedaling, and flexible control.
We noticed that the bike has no shock absorbers, so we were worried about how it would feel on bumpy roads, but the carbon fiber material provides a certain amount of shock absorption.
All things considered, this 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1’s relatively cost-effective components add enough confidence to its ride on the road, and its performance on the versatile roads won us over.
The 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 will give you the confidence you need for speed on the road and gravel.
On Ohio to Erie Trail, which is partly made up of 83% hard gravel, we reviewed the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1. The stiffness of the frame was evident as soon as I got on the pedals, the 60tpi vacuum tires of the Teravail Sparwood danced on the gravel, and the simple and lightweight TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brakes allowed me to brake hard on these gravel descents.
In addition, to get a more visual review of the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 on gravel, we even threw it down a steep and rugged hill, where the bike certainly doesn’t climb as well as the 2022 Giant XTC Advanced 29 3, but it does a decent job on a gravel bike in its price range.
And with the steep seat tube angle (74.3° ) it made my pedaling easier, and while it won’t let you down on the climbs, I also have to say that on such technically rugged and steep trails, this 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1’s shock-less setup would make my arms feel sore after a long review.
All in all, I got the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1’s attitude towards gravel roads on this ride – no fear; even on easy little climbs, this bike can handle it with ease. But for the more difficult rough and bumpy trails it may leave you with sore arms after a long ride.
The quest for carbon fiber frames never stops. The silver paint of this 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 bike looks a bit tasteless, which is my complaint about it, wishing it could have a richer color to decorate my riding trip.
But I was a little surprised when I noticed its Cutthroat Carbon frame. After all, it’s an affordable bike, carbon is relatively lighter, and has a good effect on shock absorption.
In addition, its internal cable setup makes my maintenance cleaning easier and more convenient, which allows me to drive it to challenge muddy country roads.
Not only that this bike has enough adequate water bottle mounting holes and ready to go rack mounting holes to give me the freedom to go on long rides, even on hard to resupply roads, and being fully prepared will not stop me from riding.
I think I would have a hard time liking a highly equipped bike if it didn’t have a comfortable enough geometry. Yes, even though this 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 retails for just $2899, its snug geometry will make you reluctant to get off its saddle.
First of all the bike’s steep seat tube angle (74.3° ) not only makes pedaling easier but allows me to easily keep riding upright and have a longer range of vision. Also, its slacker head tube angle (69° ) compared to road bikes allows you to have faster steering speed while maintaining relatively strong climbing ability even at low speeds.
The second concern is the relatively compact size of the bike (445mm). Chainstay Length (445mm), which gives me more flexibility and control while driving.
Whether I’m facing a long ride or a gravel ride, the bike’s thoughtful geometry makes me want to have a more versatile riding experience.
Components and Specifications
SRAM Apex 1 1X 11 Drive System
You will be told that the 1X 11 transmission is not advanced, but I have to say that the new Apex 1 flat bar shifter has a simpler, quieter and safer transmission.
In addition, with a 1X11 speed range and a relatively dense gear ratio of 11-42t, you can dial in the right gear ratio for a more comfortable and effortless ride, whether you’re riding on the road, taking on a gravel challenge, or even climbing up a small grade.
Some people may worry about its chain drop problem, but I can tell you responsibly that I did not have such a problem in actual riding even when shifting in the face of gravel and bumpy roads. This is because the X-HORIZON TM design reduces the shifting force and eliminates the problems of shifting and chain slap, making it more stable and reducing the problem of chain drop.
TRP Spyre-C mechanical Disc Brake
Many people have a certain prejudice against mechanical disc brakes, and I am no exception, but in one review after another, I really feel the advantages of mechanical disc brakes, so I have some confidence in the TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brakes on this 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1.
Indeed, the braking on this bike did not disappoint. the TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brake offers excellent performance and an extremely easy setup, with a simple press on the controller for crisp, powerful braking in the face of slippery roads in the rain.
In addition, the dual-piston mechanical disc calipers provide precise clamping force, allowing you to have more accurate and targeted braking.
Finally, mechanical disc brakes are not only powerful enough for braking power, but they are also relatively light in weight and do not cost you much in terms of maintenance, making them excellent brakes at a good price.
Teravail Sparwood Tires
The wheel rolls and upgrades human travel, and great bikes need great tires as well. On this bike, I found this tire from Teravail Sparwood.
The tires on this 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 impressed me right from the start because of its unique tread design.
Rolling efficiency is improved thanks to Teravail Sparwood’s elevated center lug (with a slight incline), and the diamond-shaped lug gets rid of dirt quickly by virtue of its uniqueness when it comes in contact with dirt, and the side lugs are designed to give you more grip through corners.
If that’s all, you’ll think I’m getting a little too excited, but I’d like to remind you that the 60tpi vacuum tires are designed to not only have a more durable casing with a longer life, but the sufficiently light vacuum design will make your ride much easier.
Other Versions of Salsa Cutthroat
In this review, we have a detailed review of the tires, drivetrain, braking configuration, and other group prices of the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1. In order to give you have a more comprehensive understanding, as well as more options, we learned about the Salsa Cutthroat in three other versions.
First of all, there is little change in the overall frame design in terms of material and shape. Next, we will analyze the differences.
2021 Salsa Cutthroat C GRX 600
Priced at $3499, this bike has the same carbon fiber construction with a 2X 11 Shimano RX810 drivetrain and more speed options, and will be a favorite of riders who like a variety of shifts.
The relatively advanced hydraulic disc brakes are also eye-catching enough, and the same model size tires have plenty of traction and grip. If you want one of these bikes, you’ll need to spend an extra $600, but of course, I think even the mechanical disc 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 has an adequate drivetrain compared to the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C GRX 600. The cost-effective 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 would probably get my vote.
2021 Salsa Cutthroat C GRX 810
There is almost no difference in weight between this bike and the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C GRX 600 with only 0.2lbs difference, not to mention the Shimano RX810 2X11 transmission, but this bike has a slight upgrade in braking. At $4599, I think it could have had a better transmission and more paint color options.
2021 Salsa Cutthroat C AXS Eagle
This is the high-end version of the Salsa Cutthroat C, which retails for $7199, the same carbon fiber frame, but makes it lighter (only 21.4lbs), more attractive is its SRAM XO1 Eagle AXS 1X 12 electronic drivetrain, rich speed options, simple and wireless shifting configuration more advanced, more powerful hydraulic disc Braking, so you can get stable and timely braking in any weather and terrain.
If you want a high end race bike this 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C AXS Eagle will be your favorite, but if you want a bike that’s big enough for distance travel, exercise, and commuting I think the price friendly 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 is the one you can’t go wrong with.
What do we like about it?
- With the carbon fiber frame, you can enjoy a light ride.
- The simple and smooth SRAM Apex 11X11 shifting system can be mastered quickly even by novices.
- The TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brake gives you easier maintenance.
- With Teravail Sparwood tires, you have a partner that will stay with you longer.
- The design of multiple water bottle mounting holes allows you to face even longer trips without worrying about refills.
What don’t we like about it?
- Too little choice of one paint color.
- Some people think that mechanical disc brakes are not advanced enough.
- What is the frame material of 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1?
2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1’s frame material is Cutthroat Carbon.
- What is the tire size of 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1?
The tire size for the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 is 29 x 2.2″.
- What is the brake on the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1?
The brakes on the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 are TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brakes.
Salsa Cutthroat C Specs
|Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1||Salsa Cutthroat C GRX 810 2x||Salsa Cutthroat C X01 Eagle AXS||Salsa Cutthroat C GX Eagle AXS||Salsa Cutthroat C GRX 600 1x|
|Frame||Cutthroat Carbon BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press Fit Tire Clearance: 2.4″ Color: Silver||Cutthroat Carbon BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press Fit Tire Clearance: 2.4″ Color: Tan||Cutthroat Carbon BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press Fit Tire Clearance: 2.4″ Color: Yellow||Cutthroat Carbon BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press Fit Tire Clearance: 2.4″ Color: Dark Blue||Cutthroat Carbon BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press Fit Tire Clearance: 2.4″ Color: Charcoal|
|Fork||Cutthroat||Cutthroat||Cutthroat Deluxe||Cutthroat Deluxe||Cutthroat|
|Headset||Cane Creek 40 IS41/IS52||Cane Creek 40||Cane Creek 40||Cane Creek 40||Cane Creek 40|
|Handlebar||Salsa Cowchipper||Zoom DR-AL-199BTFOV||Zoom DR-AL-199BTFOV||Zoom DR-AL-199BTFOV||Zoom DR-AL-199BTFOV|
|Saddle||WTB SL8 Medium Steel SL||WTB SL8 Medium Steel SL||WTB SL8 Medium Cromoly SL||WTB SL8 Medium Cromoly||WTB SL8 Medium Steel SL|
|Seatpost||Salsa Guide||Salsa Guide||TranzX JD-YSP38 dropper post||TranzX JD-YSP38 dropper post||Salsa Guide|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM Apex 1||Shimano GRX RX810||SRAM X01 Eagle AXS||SRAM GX Eagle AXS||Shimano GRX RX812|
|Shifters||SRAM Apex 1||Shimano GRX RX810||SRAM Force eTap AXS||SRAM Rival eTap AXS||Shimano GRX RX600|
|Rims||WTB Serra 15 x 110 mm hub, WTB ST TCS 2.0 i25 29″ rim, 32h||Shimano Deore XT 15 x 110 mm hub, WTB ST i25 rim, 32h||DT Swiss 370 15 x 110 mm hub, Whisky No.9 30W carbon rim, 28h||DT Swiss X1900, 15 x 110 mm hub, 25 mm internal-width rim||Shimano MT400 15 x 110 mm hub -OR- Novatec D791SB-CL-B15, 15 x 110 mm hub, WTB ST i25 rim, 32h|
|Marin Headlands 1||$2679||1×11||700×40c||Shimano GRX Hydraulic Disc Brake||Click View|
|Specialized Diverge Sport Carbon||$3500||1×11||700x42c|
SRAM Apex Hydraulic Disc Brake
|Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3||$3025||2×11||700 x 45c||Shimano GRX 600 Hydraulic Disc Brake||Click View|
|Kona Libre CR||$2999||2×10||700x45c||TRP HDC711C Mechanical Disc Brake||Click View|
2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 vs 2022 Marin Headlands 1
The sharper looking 2022 Marin Headlands 1 has the same 1X11 gear range as the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1, but this 2022 Marin Headlands 1’s relatively advanced hydraulic disc brakes will appeal to more people, and the three paint colors are relatively more selective.
Although the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 is a mechanical disc brake, it’s just as powerful, simpler post maintenance, and lower maintenance costs would make me like it even more.
Also, the Teravail Sparwood vacuum tire setup has a lighter weight, softer 60tpi tires for consistent play in the face of any trail, and a thoughtful geometry to make you more efficient.
The Salsa Cutthroat C is also available in a higher-end version, the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C AXS Eagle, with a 1X 12 electronic speed shift and high-end hydraulic disc brakes, which will allow you to achieve outstanding performance on the track, but at a higher price.
If your budget is not enough, you can choose the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1, which will be a good choice, or if you are more interested in achieving excellent results in races, the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C AXS Eagle is worth a try.
2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 vs 2022 Specialized Diverge Sport Carbon
The gentle green paint of this 2022 Specialized Diverge Sport Carbon makes me like it, and having three paint color options makes it more competitive, but I have to say that the same SRAM Apex 1 1X11 drivetrain makes them almost indistinguishable in terms of shifting, but I relatively prefer the ride on the I prefer the ride on the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1.
Although the 2022 Specialized Diverge Sport Carbon is relatively advanced with hydraulic disc brakes, if you compare the Salsa Cutthroat C at the same price point the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C GRX 600, a version of the same series, is almost as expensive but has 2X11 gearing. The hydraulic disc brakes are equally powerful and the excellent tires provide great grip and traction.
So whether you want more gearing or hydraulic disc braking, the Salsa Cutthroat C has the bike you’re looking for.
2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 vs 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3
The fact is that the 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3 is a nice carbon fiber bike. It’s 2X 11 Shimano GRX 810 drivetrain not only has a wide enough range of speed options and relatively smooth shifting, but the hydraulic disc brakes also provide consistent braking in all conditions. It’s worth mentioning the 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3 frame’s speckled tread pattern, which not only serves as a decorative touch, but also makes it easier to clean up if the frame gets muddy.
If you think the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 is no match for it, I If you think the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 is no match for it, I disagree. 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1’s simpler and smoother 1×11 drivetrain is more novice-friendly, and the mechanical disc brakes may make some people think it’s not advanced enough, but the lighter mass and easier and cheaper maintenance costs make me love it. The 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 also has plenty of confidence thanks to the hard-wearing Teravail Sparwood vacuum tires.
If you want a great bike for the money, the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 would be a great choice.
2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 vs 2022 Kona Libre CR
This 2022 Kona Libre CR costs $100 more than the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1, but it’s more 2X 10 gearing is relatively attractive, but the 11-36t gear ratio makes me have some doubts about the stability of its shifting.
In addition to the mechanical disc brakes, I was more impressed with the crisper 2021 SalsaCutthroat C Apex 1 brakes on the actual ride, and the vacuum tire ready is not only lighter, but also has better performance in terms of roll and traction.
If you want a relatively dense gear ratio, I think the 2021 Salsa Cutthroat C Apex 1 is an unmissable choice.
In case, the above comments are helpful to you, please remember to share the subscription. Have a great day!