Salsa Marrakesh Alivio Review
- Price: $2,049
- Frame: Steel
- Tires: 700c x 42 mm
- Gears: 3 x 9
What we like about it:
- If you often enjoy going on long-distance bike trips, it’s an excellent choice.
- The ample and reinforced rear rack and front rack allow you to carry more essentials.
- Steel frame, suitable for riders who prefer a more durable bike.
What we don’t like about it:
- Some people may not like its wider tires.
The steel-framed Salsa Marrakesh Alivio is a gravel touring bike. It differs from regular gravel bikes by having more mounting points and comes equipped with robust front and rear racks. Additionally, its triple-butted steel tubing, high-capacity tires, and reliable Shimano Alivio RD-T4000 transmission system all contribute to the perfect embodiment of its design intent – long-distance riding and carrying luggage. In exaggeration, you can bring anything for a bike trip.
Below, we’ll analyze the riding experience, main features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio. In the latter part of this article, we’ll also compare it to several other top bike models. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, you can follow us.
The Salsa Marrakesh Alivio was released in 2021 and, to my knowledge, hasn’t been updated since. Of course, the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 might be one of the reasons for the lack of updates on the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio. However, during this actual 3-day, 2-night bike trip, the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio provided a riding experience that’s not inferior to some of the latest bikes of the same type from other brands.
In the following sections, I’ll provide an effective and concise description of this bike trip and the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio. I hope it helps readers. If you like it, you can follow us or share it with like-minded friends.
This time, Eve and I didn’t book accommodations on the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). Instead, we made full use of the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio’s low-hanging luggage rack. We loaded a set of travel panniers in the front, containing our tent, sleeping bags, and some personal essentials – quite a bit of stuff. My sister, upon seeing how much we packed, raised doubts about whether it might tip over during the ride. I demonstrated confidently in front of her, and it was perfect. Riding on the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio, there’s no need to worry about tipping over. Thanks to its low-hanging design, the luggage is placed lower in the front of the bike, which lowers the center of gravity, making the bike more stable and reducing the risk of tipping over. Plus, its stand is sturdy and durable, so I’m confident about the upcoming bike trip.
Pacific Coast Highway Travel
We started our journey from Santa Monica, riding along the Pacific Coast Highway. Initially, both Eve and I found the ride to be quite comfortable. The highway is relatively wide, and the road surface is smooth. Plus, with the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio’s drop handlebars (Salsa Cowchipper), we could adjust our hand positions as needed. I began with a more aerodynamic posture using the drop handlebars to achieve better speed.
The scenery along this route is undeniably beautiful, and our focus was more on sightseeing than speed. We reached Manhattan Beach, where we encountered several uphill sections spanning around 13 miles. When faced with such situations, we utilized the Shimano Alivio RD-T4000’s gear ratios, adjusting to a lower gear in the front and higher in the rear, making it more effortless.
In Manhattan Beach, we found a suitable spot for camping. Manhattan Beach, known for its beautiful beaches, lived up to its reputation, and I loved it.
During our break, we couldn’t help but admire the Marrakesh Alivio. It provided a proper place for everything we carried, and its Shimano gears offered stable and smooth operation. I thought the 3x gearing was a bit excessive; I prefer 2x. However, Eve didn’t mind it at all and liked it.
Our Destination – Malibu
That night, we stayed in Manhattan Beach, enjoying the beautiful seaside view. The next day, we set off again toward our destination.
On this stretch, we encountered some uneven road sections eroded by the waves. Initially, we were concerned about the Marrakesh Alivio’s tires wearing out quickly. In reality, it was hardly affected. Its Teravail Rampart tires, with a width of 42mm, ensured stability even at higher speeds. The relatively thick central tread and structure allowed it to handle these somewhat challenging road conditions with ease. The tread pattern on the sidewalls also provided traction on various surfaces.
Furthermore, its TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brakes proved to be reliable. For those who appreciate mechanical disc brakes, the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio should be on their radar. It’s worth noting that the TRP Spyre-C’s dual-piston design offers better braking performance than single-piston systems. The 160mm brake rotors provide sufficient and dependable stopping power while maintaining a good balance in weight.
However, I must clarify that, given the choice, I would still opt for hydraulic brake systems. Not only because hydraulic brakes offer precise and reliable stopping power, but also because mechanical disc brakes require more frequent adjustments, and I’m not a fan of the hassle.
In summary, this is just my personal opinion, and the choice ultimately depends on your preferences.
There are plenty of bikes with aluminum frames out there. The Salsa Marrakesh Alivio’s steel frame sets it apart and provides better shock absorption and durability compared to aluminum.
Moreover, the geometry of the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio allows for excellent control while maintaining comfort. For instance, its head tube angle (70.8°) is relatively slack compared to road bikes, providing greater stability at higher speeds.
Additionally, during this trip, the comfortable WTB Volt Steel Medium saddle instilled great confidence. Its contour shape offers optimal support without causing noticeable pressure points. The small cutout at the saddle’s center base serves to relieve some pressure in sensitive areas, and it truly lived up to my comfort expectations.
What do we like about it?
- Sturdy and durable steel frame.
- 27-speed gear options.
- Comfortable saddle.
- Reliable and balanced mechanical disc brakes.
- Enhanced loading capacity.
What don’t we like about it?
- Still the 2021 version; hoping for a newer release.
- How heavy is the Salsa Marrakesh?
The weight of this bike is 30 lbs 14 oz.
- What is the tire clearance for this bike?
According to the specifications, it has 2 inches of tire clearance.
- What size options are available for this bike?
|4’9″ – 5’3″
|5’1″ – 5’6″
|5’4″ – 5’9″
|5’6″ – 5’11”
|5’8″ – 6’2″
|Marrakesh Triple Butted CroMolyBB Standard: BSA, 68mm, ThreadedTire Clearance: 50cColor: Gold
|Marrakesh CroMoly Steel
|68mm BSA, threaded
|Cane Creek 40
|WTB Volt Steel Medium
|Salsa Gel Cork Bar Tape
|Shimano Alivio RD-T4000
|Shimano Acera FD-T3000
|Shimano Alivio FC-M4060, 48/36/26t
|MicroSHIFT BS-T09 bar-end shifters
|Shimano Alivio, 11-36t, 9-speed
|TRP Spyre-C (160 mm rotors), TRP RRL alloy levers
|Shimano M475 100 mm QR hub, WTB ST i19 TCS 2.0 36h rim
|Teravail Rampart 700c x 42 mm, Durable, Tubeless-Ready
|TRP Spyre-C (160 mm rotors), TRP RRL alloy levers
|Shimano Alivio M4000
|Trek Checkpoint ALR 5
|2 x 11
|Shimano GRX RX810
|Scott Speedster Gravel 30
|2 x 10
|Shimano GRX RD-RX400
|Framed Basswood Alloy Gravel Bike 700c
|1 x 11
|SRAM APEX 1 Long Cage
Trek 520 vs. Salsa Marrakesh Alivio
Both of these bikes feature steel frames. However, the Trek 520 utilizes an aluminum fork, while the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio comes with a steel fork. It’s worth noting that steel offers better shock absorption. Moreover, the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio is equipped with wider tires compared to the Trek 520. Therefore, when dealing with rural or gravel roads, I tend to favor the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio.
Both of these bikes share the same type of drivetrain, featuring Shimano Alivio components. However, the Shimano Alivio RD-T4000 on the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio is known for its durability, while the Shimano Alivio M4000 on the Trek 520 might be more suitable for riders who prioritize shifting performance.
Of course, if you’re more budget-conscious and focused on the drivetrain system, the Trek 520 could be a solid choice. On the other hand, if you appreciate the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio’s superior shock absorption and stable ride, it’s also a great option.
Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 vs. Salsa Marrakesh Alivio
The Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 features a carbon front fork and Shimano RX400 hydraulic disc brakes. This type of brake is lighter and more compact than traditional disc brakes, offering excellent performance and braking power even in adverse conditions.
In terms of performance, the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 performs well. However, when it comes to load-carrying capacity, it may be slightly inferior to the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio. Additionally, you’ll need to add racks to the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5.
Furthermore, the ALR 5 uses a more common aluminum frame, resulting in a total weight of only 21.5 pounds. This makes it relatively lighter than the Marrakesh Alivio. For users who prefer lighter bikes, this could be a good choice. Although I appreciate lightweight cycling, if I were considering longer rides, durability would be a key factor for me.
If you’re concerned about the bike’s load-carrying capacity, you might consider the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio. If you prefer relatively higher-end component performance, the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 is worth a try. By the way, this bike is currently on sale.
Scott Speedster Gravel 30 vs. Salsa Marrakesh Alivio
If you’re considering the Scott Speedster Gravel 30 as a companion for long-distance bike trips, I’d say it’s doable but not necessary. It has a higher BB height, which means it’s not as stable as the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio. Additionally, its head tube angle is relatively steeper compared to the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio. While the difference is not huge, you can still feel some variation, especially during high-speed rides. If you need to carry more gear, you’ll need to install racks on it.
On the other hand, the geometry of the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio is better suited for long-distance bike trips where stability is essential. Its steel frame also gives me more confidence in its durability. Furthermore, it comes with front and rear racks, allowing you to carry more equipment.
So, if you’re planning short trips, the Scott Speedster Gravel 30 is suitable. However, if you intend to embark on long-distance bike journeys, I would highly recommend the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio because it offers greater load-carrying capacity.
Framed Basswood Alloy Gravel Bike 700c vs. Salsa Marrakesh Alivio
The Framed Basswood Alloy Gravel Bike 700c features a 1× drivetrain system, which is easier for beginners to handle when shifting gears and is lighter compared to the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio.
In terms of brakes, it also uses the TRP Spyre series but with 140mm rotors, while the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio uses 160mm rotors. This means that the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio with 160mm rotors provides better deceleration performance and improved heat dissipation under heavy loads, but it’s relatively heavier.
When it comes to load-carrying capacity, I also favor the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio. So, if you’re looking for stronger brake performance and load-carrying ability, I would recommend the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio. However, if you prefer a lighter frame and a 1× drivetrain, the Framed Basswood Alloy Gravel Bike 700c is also worth considering.
This is our review of the Salsa Marrakesh Alivio. It’s an excellent bike that makes your journeys quite comfortable. Based on our assessment, we’ve given it a high score of 4.85. If you’re looking for more bike information, feel free to check out our other reviews.
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