Salsa Journeyman

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Numbers of gears
16, 18, 11
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on Salsa Journeyman. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

17 reasons to buy

  • Handling was great on-road, as was maneuverability on gravel.
  • Responsive shifting issued forth from SRAM Apex 1 shifters.
  • This pony adapts easily to gravel, singletrack, bikepacking or commuting.
  • Riders felt this rig was fast-rolling over a variety of surfaces.
  • The Journeyman can be bought or fit with either 650b or 700c wheels.
  • High-volume 650b x 2.1” tires felt smooth at lower pressures.
  • SRAM’s 1x drivetrain and 11-42 tooth cassette were commended.
  • Owners really liked the bright pink and accented-black color options.
  • Mechanical brakes proved easy to adjust by owners in remote areas.
  • This steed’s geometry ensured comfort on long rides.
  • Some experts saw the Journeyman as great value for under $2K.
  • In the long-term, this bike was reliable and sought minimal maintenance.
  • There was plenty of room in the triangle for framebags and bottles.
  • A long wheelbase provided a stable ride, even under one 280lb rider.
  • The frame was forgiving for aluminum, while carbon forks soaked up bumps.
  • One reviewer said the Journeyman climbed like a goat.
  • This machine is provisioned with bosses for many racks, bottles, bags &c.

7 reasons not to buy

  • Mechanical disc brakes struck some as underspecced for the offered price.
  • A number of reviews said a lower gear would be welcomed, to ease climbs.
  • Many would have liked thru-axles, rather than the provided quick-releases.
  • Stock tires were not tubeless-compatible.
  • The Journeyman was not compatible with a suspension fork.
  • Multiple critics wanted a bigger chainring up front.
  • There were a few reports of multiple broken spokes on the Salsa Journeyman Claris 700.

Bottom line

The Journeyman is a decently-priced rig that performs well as an all-purpose ride. Many owners were delighted with the bike's performance on-road, on gravel and as a year-round commuter in all conditions. It was widely reported to be comfortable over long distances, with an aluminum frame that showed surprising levels of compliance, especially when coupled with a carbon fork on higher-end models. However, on these higher-end models, some experts felt that the Journeyman was overpriced considering some of the componentry choices.

Expert Reviews

60/100 based on 1 expert reviews

Salsa Journeyman Apex 1 650 Review

Level 2 expert

While the ride and handling are very good… it’s under specced compared to rivals which makes it hard to recommend.

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Path Less Pedaled

Review: Salsa Journeyman 650b Sora

Level 2 expert

So who is this bike for? I think if you’re looking for an all-round commuter that you can do road-rides, gravel-rides, bikepacking and touring – at a price that will not break the bank, then this bike is definitely for you.

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Salsa Journeyman is a Versatile Adventure Road Bike

Level 4 expert

The aluminum frame is nicely designed and it, along with the carbon fork, has mounts for all manner of extra water bottles, racks and mudguards.

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Hike Paddle Bike

Salsa Journeyman Apex 1 650b (First Impressions)

Level 1 expert

So far, first impressions: I’m in love. Got a little bit of snow, handled it awesome… went over a little bit of ice, handled that like a champ too.

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Path Less Pedaled

Salsa Journeyman Review

Level 2 expert

This might be one of the best entry-level gravel / adventure / road / bikepacking bikes out there on the market right now.

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User Ratings

91/100 based on 60 ratings
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Compared to other bikes
#20   Best Bikepacking
Bottom 30%
#44   Best Commuter - City
Bottom 40%
#24   Best Gravel - Adventure
Bottom 30%
#16   Best Hybrid
Bottom 50%
#34   Best Road
Bottom 40%
#11   Best Touring
Bottom 10%
#77   Best of All Bikes
Bottom 40%

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In comparison to averages of categories
Salsa Journeyman
Average All Bikes
Average Salsa Bike
Average Commuter - City Bike