Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C


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Imagine the break of dawn, the Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C at your side, loaded with bikepacking bags and brimming with the promise of adventure. This trusty bicycle, with its innovative aluminum frame and Salsa’s Waxwing carbon fork, ensures a ride as smooth as aged bourbon, whether you’re gliding over gravel paths or forgotten city streets. Its versatility and broad gear range, courtesy of the SRAM’s Apex 1 groupset, make it your perfect companion for any journey, near or far. The Journeyer is ready, are you?


Embark on an exhilarating escapade with the Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C, your trusty ride for effortlessly gliding over gravel paths and forgotten city streets. Built with an innovative aluminum frame and Salsa’s Waxwing carbon fork, a ride as smooth as a well-aged bourbon is ensured. Its versatility is its charm, with mounts ready for all your adventure gear. The SRAM’s Apex 1 groupset offers a broad gear range for a broad variety of ups and downs. So, whether you’re chasing the horizon on gravel roads, living out your bikepacking dreams, or simply adding a dash of thrill to your city rides, the Journeyer is your portal that will take you there.

Picture this: the sun is just peeking over the horizon, your bikepacking bags are loaded, and the forest and mountains beyond are calling. There is an aching in your bones to ride and this bicycle, my friend, is ready just when you need it. Whether you’re navigating a challenging gravel path or a serene country lane, this bicycle is ready for a broad range of paved and gravel touring conditions.  Consider it your escape hatch to your next bikepacking journey near or far.  The Journeyer is ready to go, are you?

Geometry & Ride Characteristics

CAD of 53cm Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C (Use to compare/contrast bicycle geometries)

The Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C boasts a unique geometry that sets it apart from most gravel bikes. Its design marries the best of road and mountain bike geometries, resulting in a versatile setup that’s comfortable for long rides yet agile for technical terrains. The frame’s geometry promotes an upright riding position, reducing rider fatigue on long journeys. Additionally, the bike’s shorter top tube and longer head tube enhance stability and control, making it a reliable companion for your adventures.

When it comes to riding characteristics, the Journeyer Apex 1 700C truly shines. Its geometry translates into a ride that’s both comfortable and responsive. The bike’s handling is nimble yet stable enough for confident descents. The upright riding position not only reduces strain on your back and shoulders but also offers a great vantage point for soaking in the scenery. Whether you’re navigating through tight singletrack or cruising on open gravel roads, the Journeyer provides a ride that’s as exhilarating as it is smooth.

  • Effective Top Tube (ETT):
    • Ranges from 493mm (for size 49cm) to 600mm (for size 60cm).
    • A longer ETT generally provides a more stretched-out riding position, which can be more aerodynamic and efficient for long-distance riding.
  • Stand Over Height:
    • Ranges from 613.5mm to 803.5mm across sizes.
    • Lower stand-over heights can make it easier for riders to mount and dismount, especially in off-road or unpredictable terrains.
  • Reach:
    • Ranges from 366mm to 408mm.
    • The reach determines how far forward a rider has to lean to grasp the handlebars. A moderate reach, like on the Journeyer, offers a balance between aggressive racing postures and relaxed touring stances.
  • Stack:
    • Ranges from 510mm to 627mm.
    • Stack height affects the vertical position of the handlebars relative to the bottom bracket. A higher stack provides a more upright riding position, which can be more comfortable for long rides.
  • Headtube Length and Angle:
    • Length ranges from 90mm to 210mm.
    • Angle is consistently around 69.5° for most sizes.
    • The headtube angle affects the bike’s steering responsiveness. A slacker angle, like 69.5°, can provide more stable handling, especially at high speeds or on descents.
  • Seat Tube Angle:
    • Ranges from 76° to 73° depending on size.
    • The seat tube angle affects the rider’s position relative to the pedals. Steeper angles can position the rider more over the pedals, which can be efficient for power transfer, especially on climbs.
  • BB Drop:
    • Consistent 70mm across all sizes.
    • The BB drop determines the bike’s center of gravity. A moderate BB drop, like 70mm, offers a balance between stability and agility.
  • Chainstay Length:
    • Consistent 440mm across all sizes.
    • Longer chainstays can provide more stability and comfort, especially when carrying loads on the rear rack.
  • Fork Length and Offset:
    • Both are consistent across sizes, with 402mm for length and 50mm for offset.
    • The fork length and offset can influence the bike’s handling. A moderate offset, like 50mm, can provide a balance between quick steering responsiveness and stability.
  • Wheelbase:
    • Ranges from 1027mm to 1104mm.
    • A longer wheelbase can offer more stability, especially at high speeds, but might be less agile in tight turns.

vs. the Salsa Journeyer GRX 600, 700c

The Salsa Journeyer GRX 600, 700c is a more premium version of the Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C. With a very similar frame, the primary differences are in the componentry as follows:

  • Groupset:
    • Apex 1 700c: SRAM’s Apex 1
    • GRX 600, 700c: Shimano GRX 600
  • Rear Derailleur:
    • Apex 1 700c: SRAM Apex 1
    • GRX 600, 700c: Shimano GRX RX810
  • Cassette:
    • Apex 1 700c: SRAM PG-1130, 11–42t, 11-speed
    • GRX 600, 700c: Shimano HG700, 11–34t, 11-speed
  • Crankset:
    • Apex 1 700c: SRAM Apex 1, 40t
    • GRX 600, 700c: Shimano GRX RX600, 46/30t
  • Brakes and Rotors:
    • Apex 1 700c: Tektro MD-C550 brakes, Tektro TR160-22 rotors (6-bolt, 160 mm)
    • GRX 600, 700c: Shimano GRX RX400 brakes, Shimano RT10 rotors (Center Lock, 160 mm)

vs. the Salsa Journeyer Sora 700C

The Salsa Journeyer Sora 700C is a more economical version of the Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C. With a very similar frame, the primary differences are in the componentry as follows:

  • Groupset:
    • Apex 1 700c: SRAM’s Apex 1
    • Sora 700c: Shimano Sora R3000
  • Rear Derailleur:
    • Apex 1 700c: SRAM Apex 1
    • Sora 700c: Shimano Sora R3000, Medium Cage
  • Cassette:
    • Apex 1 700c: SRAM PG-1130, 11–42t, 11-speed
    • Sora 700c: Shimano HG200, 11–34t, 9-speed
  • Crankset:
    • Apex 1 700c: SRAM Apex 1, 40t
    • Sora 700c: Shimano MT210, 46/30t
  • Tires:
    • Apex 1 700c: Teravail Washburn, 700c x 38 mm, 60 tpi, Durable casing, tubeless ready
    • Sora 700c: Teravail Washburn, 700c x 38 mm, 30 tpi

vs. the Kona Libre

The Kona Libre, with its 6061 Aluminum Butted frame and Kona Libre Carbon fork, is designed for agility and speed, especially on challenging terrains. Its larger 700x45c Maxxis Rambler tires offer more traction and stability, making it suitable for rougher terrains. In contrast, the Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C, while also versatile, leans towards comfort with its 700x38mm Teravail Washburn tires. The Journeyer’s SRAM Apex 1 groupset emphasizes a wide gear range, ideal for varying landscapes. Relative to the Kona Libre, the Salsa Journeyer might be a more budget-friendly option without compromising on performance.

  • Ride Feel & Geometry:
    • Kona Libre: Geared towards agility and speed, especially on challenging terrains. Its geometry likely promotes an aggressive riding stance for performance.
    • Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C: More oriented towards comfort and versatility, with a geometry that supports longer rides and varied terrains.
  • Groupset:
    • Kona Libre: Components suggest SRAM Apex, designed for smooth shifting and reliability.
    • Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C: SRAM’s Apex 1 – emphasizes a wide gear range suitable for various terrains.
  • Tire Size & Type:
    • Kona Libre: Maxxis Rambler Silkshield TR 700x45c – larger tires for more traction and stability on rough terrains.
    • Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C: Teravail Washburn, 700c x 38 mm – slightly narrower, focusing on comfort across different surfaces.
  • Brakes:
    • Kona Libre: TRP HDC711C Mechanical/Hydraulic – offers strong stopping power and modulation.
    • Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C: Tektro MD-C550 brakes – reliable and efficient for diverse riding conditions.


SRAM Apex 1 Groupset: This bike is equipped with a SRAM Apex 1 groupset, offering a wide gear range suitable for a variety of terrains, from steep climbs to rapid descents.

Versatile Design: The Journeyer Apex 1 700C is designed with versatility in mind, featuring mounts for racks, fenders, and other accessories, making it ideal for bikepacking and touring.

Waxwing Carbon Fork: The bike features Salsa’s Waxwing carbon fork, which helps to absorb road vibrations, providing a smoother and more comfortable ride.

700c Wheels with 38mm Tires: The bike comes with 700c wheels and 38mm tires, offering a good balance of speed and comfort, and making it suitable for both gravel and road riding.

Relaxed Geometry: The bike’s geometry is designed for comfort and stability, making it ideal for long-distance riding and bikepacking adventures.

Bag, Rack and Fender Mounting Points

Front Fork Mounts: There are multiple mounts on both sides of the front fork for water bottles, cargo cages, or front racks.

Rear Rack Mounts: The rear of the bike has mounts for attaching a standard rear rack for panniers or other gear.

Top Tube Mount: There’s a mount on the top tube for a fuel tank bag, perfect for keeping snacks or small items within easy reach.

Double Down Tube Mounts: The down tube has mounts for a water bottle cage or for attaching additional gear.

Seat Tube Mounts: The seat tube also has mounts for a water bottle cage.

Under Downtube Mount: There’s a mount under the downtube, which is a common place to carry an extra water bottle or tool keg.

Fender Mounts: The bike has mounts for full coverage fenders, which are essential for wet weather bikepacking.

Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C Featured in the Wild

Salsa Journeyman Apex 1 700: Initial Impressions/Review

In his review, Justin Simoni gives an in-depth account of his experience with the Salsa Journeyman Apex 1 700. He praises the bike for its affordability, lightness, comfort, and good handling for long rides. He particularly highlights the Apex 1x groupset and the carbon fork as standout features. However, he also points out that the bike might not be the best choice for rough roads requiring a 4WD vehicle. He quotes, “The Journeyman proved a good descender…The last big hurtle was just the ride home, which I endured with my fourth slow leak of the day, no doubt from my pray-to-Jesus patched pinch flat. At least my patching job (almost!) got me home!” His review provides a balanced perspective, acknowledging the bike’s strengths while also noting areas for improvement.

Field Test: Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700c gravel bike review

In a video review by Cycling Tips, the Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C was affectionately dubbed “The Happy Bike.” The reviewers found the bike to be incredibly forgiving and comfortable, even on challenging terrains. They were particularly impressed with its climbing capabilities, noting that the rear wheel remained solid even on steep, rocky climbs. One reviewer stated, “I felt like the rear wheel was so solid even on steeper rocky climbs… it was just a really pleasant ride all around uphill and downhill.” However, they did note that the bike’s sizing could be a bit tricky, and the frame seemed excessively low-slung. Despite these minor issues, the overall sentiment was overwhelmingly positive, with the bike putting a smile on all their faces.


Build Kit

The Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C is equipped with a SRAM Apex 1 rear derailleur, an 11-speed SRAM PG-1130 cassette, and a 40t SRAM Apex 1 crankset. The bike’s braking system includes Tektro MD-C550 brakes and TR160-22 rotors. The Salsa Guide stem and Cowbell 3 handlebar provide a comfortable grip, while the WTB Volt Medium saddle ensures a comfortable ride. The bike rolls on WTB Serra hubs and ST i23 700c rims, wrapped in durable, tubeless-ready Teravail Washburn 700c x 38 mm tires.


  • Frame: Journeyer Drop-Bar Thru-Axle
  • Fork: Waxwing


  • Front Derailleur: N/A
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM Apex 1
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-1130, 11–42t, 11-speed
  • Chain: SRAM PC-1110
  • Crankset: SRAM Apex 1, 40t
  • Shifter: SRAM Apex 1
  • Brakes: Tektro MD-C550 brakes
  • Rotors: Tektro TR160-22 rotors (6-bolt, 160 mm)


  • Headset: FSA NO.42 ACB IS-2
  • Stem: Salsa Guide 31.8, 6-degree
  • Handlebar: Salsa Cowbell 3, 31.8
  • Grips / Bar Tape: Black Cork
  • Seatpost: Salsa Guide, 27.2 x 350 mm
  • Saddle: WTB Volt Medium, Steel, 142 x 265 mm
  • Seatclamp: Salsa Lip-Lock


  • Front Wheel: WTB Serra 12 x 100 mm hub, WTB ST i23 700c rim, 28h
  • Rear Wheel: WTB Serra HG10 12 x 142 mm hub, WTB ST i23 700c rim, 28h
  • Tires: Teravail Washburn, 700c x 38 mm, 60 tpi, Durable casing, tubeless ready

Frame Construction

The Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700C features a smartly designed aluminium frame, which is lightweight yet durable, providing a sturdy and reliable structure for rugged bikepacking adventures. This material choice offers a balance between durability and weight, making it an excellent choice for long-distance, off-road cycling. The welding on the frame is precise and robust, ensuring structural integrity even under the most challenging conditions. 


Journeyer Apex 1 700c frame

Size 49cm 51cm 53cm 55cm 57cm 60cm
A. Effective Top Tube 493 510 530 550 570 600
B. Stand Over 613.5 648.5 684.5 720.5 756.5 803.5
C. Reach 366 368 372 376 387 408
D. Stack 510 528 552 570 598 627
E. Total Seat Tube Length 340 380 410 450 490 520
F. Headtube Length 90 105 130 150 180 210
G. Headtube Angle 68.5 69.5 69.5 69.5 69.5 69.5
H. Seat Tube Angle 76 75 74 73 73 73
I. BB Drop 70 70 70 70 70 70
K. Chainstay Length 440 440 440 440 440 440
L. Fork Length Axle to Crown 402 402 402 402 402 402
M. Fork Offset 50 50 50 50 50 50
N. Wheelbase 1027 1028 1040 1050 1072 1104
Crank Arm Length 165 165 170 172.5 175 175
Handlebar Width 380 400 420 440 460 460
Recommended Rider Height 142 – 152cm 150 – 160cm 157 – 170cm 165 – 178cm 173 – 185cm 183 – 196cm
Stem Length 60 70 80 80 90 100

Measurements based on:

  • a fork measuring 405mm with 50mm offset
  • a 700 x 38mm tire measuring 706 mm in diameter
  • Stand over measured vertically to top of top tube from a position 50mm forward of BB center


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