First Look: The Cassidy is Salsa's Most Aggressive Bike Yet

Sep 15, 2020
by Mike Levy  
The Cassidy is a 29er with 165mm of travel paired with a 180mm fork.

Looking for a bit more suspension travel and capability? With 165mm of travel that they've paired with a 180mm fork, and slacker, longer geometry, the Cassidy is easily the most aggressive bike that Salsa has ever had in their catalog.

The Cassidy starts at $3,899 USD, which gets you an aluminum frame, SLX components, and a Zeb fork up front. Spending another grand gets you a similar build bolted onto a carbon fiber frame, and the Carbon GX model is the most expensive at $6,099 USD. Just like the Blackthorn, you can pick up an alumium Cassidy frame for $2,099, or the carbon one for $3,199 USD.

Cassidy Details

• Travel: 165mm rear / 180mm front
• Wheel size: 29"
• Carbon or alloy frame options
• Split Pivot rear suspension
• Adjustable geometry
• 63.8-degree head angle (low setting)
• Super Boost hub spacing
• MSRP: $3,899 to $6,099 USD
www.salsacycles.com

The entry-level Cassidy costs $3,899 USD and gets SLX components and a Zeb fork.


If you skipped reading about the Blackthorn, the gist is that Salsa has used the same front and rear triangles but combined those with a longer stroke shock and different rocker and clevis components to deliver more travel and slacker, longer geometry. That means that the same features found on the Blackthorn - the tube strap slot, smart frame protection, a threaded bottom bracket, ISCG 05 tabs, and internal cable routing - are all found on the Cassidy frame as well. That includes the short alloy chainstays and Super Boost hub spacing, too.

Aside from the different shock, rocker, and clevis, the Cassidy's suspension layout mirrors the Blackthorn. That means it's the same Split Pivot system, including the geo-adjusting flip-chip that supplies 0.3-degrees of angle adjustment and 4mm of bottom bracket height change.


Speaking of geometry, there's a 63.8-degree head angle, 75.7-degree seat angle, and the large-sized Cassidy gets a 481mm reach.

We have both the 165mm-travel Cassidy and 140mm-travel Blackthorn in for a full-length Field Test video review, so stay tuned for those.


142 Comments

  • 100 2
 Looks like a bike
  • 30 1
 Flight of the seabirds Scattered like lost words, Wield to the storm and fly
  • 12 1
 Fare thee well now, let your life proceed by it's own design. Nothing to tell now, let the words be yours, I'm done with mine.
  • 11 1
 Sounds like someone's lost now on the country miles in his Cadillac
  • 22 1
 Why don't you guys get a room ;-)
  • 1 1
 user name checks out. Catch colt draws a coffin cart...
  • 17 0
 I’d take the bike with the ZEB... CSU issues are not ideal for click free performance
  • 7 25
flag pbuser2299 (Sep 15, 2020 at 7:41) (Below Threshold)
 Aren't all RS forks just as bad? I think i've heard reports of zebs creaking too?
  • 3 0
 @pbuser2299: Is there such an Issue already? How about the 38??
  • 6 14
flag konadan (Sep 15, 2020 at 8:12) (Below Threshold)
 History doesn't lie. The Totem creaked, the 66, 36, Sherman, and so on. Dual crown was and always will be the way forward for me.
Best setup I've ever had: G-spot+6 inch Boxxer.
  • 70 3
 I gotta go 8 inches for a G-spot usually
  • 13 0
 @saladdodger:
I've warrantied a couple of creaky 38s already
  • 3 1
 @pbuser2299: hmmm. Thought my headset was creaking so cleaned and greased. Still there so thought it was bb. Guess I'll have to pay attention to see if it's my Zeb. Hope not
  • 1 2
 @notthatfast: Warrantied my OEM 34 in my Stumpy, they replaced the crown with a Marzocchi, no creaking since. Now I bought a brand new 34 Factory with a 160mm shaft, will see when the creaking start...
  • 1 0
 Doesn’t flipping the fork upside down and dabbing some loctite around the crown / stanchion interface work or is that a myth?
  • 1 0
 @HVrider: it’s worked for me before on a fox 36, not entirely sure if it makes it totally safe again but it shuts it up
  • 4 0
 @chris: I must be better at pumping the lines because I don't have 8 inches of travel.
  • 1 0
 @HVrider: That's a myth.
  • 2 0
 @HVrider: I just tried this last week on my 2yr old 36s and an older set off pikes, used the right stuff (63Cool , cleaned it all up perfectly, flexed the forks around a little to help it ingress.... Didn't work on either.
  • 31 17
 Super boost though come onnnnnnnnnn
  • 27 5
 it's the future. #157trail
  • 4 1
 Whats up with all these super boost bikes having dave weagle designed suspensions?
  • 18 1
 Boost should have been skipped as SB already around with dh parts.
  • 7 8
 @jrocksdh: SB f*cking sucks on a trail bike if you wear a size 10 or bigger shoe. until a much wider Qfactor crank becomes the norm, I will avoid it.
  • 9 0
 @jkiefer: Didn't know Knollys were designed by Dave Weagle
  • 5 0
 @jrocksdh: exactly, I bought a frame from a future thinking builder who went with DH 157, and now SuperBoost is bringing in better hubs and wheels! I'm all it.
  • 5 0
 Not to mention over $6k for GX level components lol
  • 3 0
 @conoat: nope, Knolly’s 157trail is only 1mm wider on each side than their old 142 frames.
  • 13 2
 I broke like 5 Redpoints in ten months. This is not their specialty.
  • 137 2
 I ate four couch cushions in ten months. This IS my specialty.
  • 8 1
 @IamTheDogEzra: good boy!
  • 19 0
 4 frames, 1 seat stay, v crackly.

No lift service just trails. A better part of a year spent waiting for a replacement, swapping parts and then only to repeat it again.

Warranty department was nice, they will help you get a Santa Cruz after awhile.

R&D have someone that can ride hard test these.
  • 13 1
 @brytar: "Warranty department was nice, they will help you get a Santa Cruz after awhile. "

Hahahahahahahaha...!

You win the Internet today, Sir! : )
  • 3 0
 @eric32-20: Thanks Eric, I had a feeling today was my day. Also, thanks Ezra you are such a good dog-0

Joking aside, I would proudly have a gravel bike or fat bike from them. I left mostly happy. The ruined summer of riding was a bummer and I think anyone that rides hard should think twice about this type of bike from them.

They will sell many, they will warranty more.
  • 7 0
 I once broke a salsa disk fork that lead to a recall of over 1000 forks
  • 7 0
 @browner: REAL RECOGNIZE REAL
  • 3 1
 @browner: Wouldn't that make it a production issue that you were just unsmooth enough to get to fail first?
  • 4 0
 @brytar: they blame all the red point problems on harsh bottom out due to poor set up.. weird that when running a compression ratio over 3.0 and 20% sag or less the seat stays and seat tubes still crack and fail under mid weight riders. p.s. lots of these sold in the flat lands of MN. Thankful i never owned one but have a few buddies that have had mind numbing repetitive issues and have lost all confidence in their redpoints. their R&D team is stacked with very capable riders who are also extremely nice and ridiculously passionate. I was on the box last summer with their head engineer at a local enduro, he was riding an alloy prototype of the above bike and was just ripping. the good news is that their bikes are moving in the right direction and sounds like the quality is too.
  • 3 0
 I’ve gone through two redpoint seat stays, one year warranty is terrible. I had to buy a new one because it was a month out of warranty. Just noticed my seat tube is cracked now. Two months past the 3 year warranty. If you want a bike that lasts look elsewhere.
  • 2 0
 @tuckershreds: Thanks for the insight. I never bottomed mine out. My sag was spot on. I am certainly mid weight. I hope the R&D department has the control they require to make these right. Below you can read @Doppeldaner 's comment. That along with your local experience kind of puts the burden of proof on the manufacturer.

We as consumers have the right to warn other passionate riders that this product might say something on paper but it is not that type of bike. They did honestly call a bike shop and paid for half of a Bronson CC frame.
  • 2 0
 @Doppeldaner: Sorry to hear man. I highly recommend the Bronson. Stronger, handles better, and the suspension feels way way better
  • 12 2
 I'm amused by the kiddies who seem to think all suspension designs by Dave Weagle = dw link.
  • 4 1
 Must be a cheap date.
  • 6 1
 So do you mind explaining which ones are actually DW Link? Genuinely curious.
  • 6 3
 DELTA 4LYFE
  • 3 2
 @wannabeabiker: the ones with a short link between chainstays and lower seattube
  • 4 0
 @pistol2ne: DELTA is definitely the best suspension name acronym.
  • 5 1
 @wannabeabiker: DW is used by Ibis and Pivot to my knowledge and utilizes two co-rotating links.
  • 2 0
 @wannabeabiker: ill play...delta; maestro(giant/iron horse); ibis, pivot, Orion type...
  • 44 0
 @wannabeabiker: DW link is his short dual link bikes like on Pivots and Ibis. There are several different iterations of this design that fit the description, although most are still just four bar linkage systems. The patent for the DW Link suspension however is not so much focused on the short dual links (as other bikes have these, such as the Giant Maestro bikes) but on the mathematical path the wheel travels and how all of the forces that affect the suspension when riding balance out. It is designed to precisely manage anti-squat at all points during the suspension travel to give a very stable pedaling platform with as little sacrifice in suspension performance. Two notably unique versions of DW link are the concentric 'cam links' of the Ibis Ripley versions 1-3, and the DW6 version of Robot Bike Co (and now Atherton bikes also) that combines the short dual links with Horst link to create what is essentially a wild 6 bar linkage system.

Dave Weagle has two other patented suspension designs other than DW link: the Split Pivot that is found on these Salsa bikes, Devinci bikes, and Orbea bikes, and that looks and works essentially the same as Trek's ABP suspension, and the DELTA Link that is found only the Evil line of bikes. Split Pivot is essentially a single pivot design when it comes to the kinematics of the wheel travel motion which is a simple circular arc like any other single pivot, but uses that chain stay as a floating brake assembly to reduce the influence of braking on the suspension movement and also allow for shock rate control via the rocker.

DELTA (Dave's Extra Legitimate Travel Apparatus) Link is a straight-up single pivot design for both the kinematics of wheel motion during travel and braking. However, the shock is driven by a four part linkage and not directly from the swing arm to allow a specific shock rate control of the suspension that is not possible when connecting the shock directly to the swing arm as Orange bikes for example. It also allows for geometry adjustments that change neither change the suspension rate or amount of travel when switching between the high and low settings by flipping the Delta Links.
  • 5 0
 @shawndashf1: he also has the orion (pivot point around bb). It's only being used by esker to my knowledge
  • 4 0
 @jrocksdh: dw6 for the robot/atherton bikes
  • 1 3
 @wannabeabiker: @shawndashf1 did a pretty good job on DW Link. The biggest thing to understand about it as a suspension system is that most all shocks that are attached to a DW Link rear have to be specifically valved for it. As a suspension design, you have to have a shop/mechanic/suspension tech who really understands how the shock setup plays with the linkage and even the chainring.

More people get DW Link setup wrong than they do right. They dial in the shock settings assuming what the person either doesn't know about suspension and read online or even worse, a suspension tech who really knows his stuff about dialing a shock, but doesn't read up on DW Link and how it has to be set in a completely different manner.

I've had a DW Link Iron Horse Sunday with Fox shock tuned from the factory to mate to what Weagle wanted and it was the best riding, racing and pedaling bike I've had of any suspension design. Then the 2nd was a Turner DHR with the same Fox set to the frame design and my weight. Equally impressive.

I've also ridden other people's DW Link bikes set up by guys who know regular settings or who bought a cool name shock not valved for it and ALL rode like garbage.

If you know your stuff with that design, there is nothing better. If you don't you'll think someone took you for every dime you have.
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: my dhr(square tube) was probably still the best dh bike ive had. Had a sunday too.
  • 2 2
 @jrocksdh: Still wish manufacturers would make those sticker kits that we had on the square tubed DHR. Could basically change your entire bike's paint scheme. And when season was over, peel it off and have a brand new rig underneath.
  • 7 0
 Quite interested until I'd seen that a child had coloured in the carbon one
  • 5 1
 I got the opportunity to ride one of these for a few days a couple of weeks ago at Silver Mountain Bike Park, and I honestly loved it. I like riding steep, fast, rough trails and this bike kicked the most ass on roots and rocky gnarly stuff. It's a very stable, fun bike. I've ridden a few Salsa's and, even though they've had slightly outdated geo, they were great bikes. I anticipated seeing a lot of hate on PB, though. Salsa isn't bro enough, I supposed.
  • 5 1
 Please watch your ''needs longer chainstays'' comments because they have their effect in future bikes. Bikes are getting longer and longer in the rear too. For instance take the kona process 153. For this year they increased chainstay length. Please, stop it. I've been switching between a frame with 443 mm and other with 426 mm chainstays... Everytime I rode the longer one, chainstays felt seriously stupid, I think most of you don't really know what you are talking about with real experience. Chainstays should be as short as possible considering bikes are getting longer and longer. How do you plan to raise the front end? This bike has short chainstays, but it is starting to be difficult to find new bikes with short chainstays. Shredders have their right to have the right bike too, not only the ocassional downhill champion wanabe that wants the bike to roll down everything from top to bottom in a straight line (29er super long reach, super long chainstays, super long travel...). When 27.5 dies, I'm quitting mountainbiking, seriously... Please, try to avoid this comments and let designers design without the pressure of sells and trends...
  • 7 0
 Looks like siskiu
  • 1 0
 Bike looks pretty dope. Their alloy version seems to be a pretty sweet spec for the money. I would be curious to see what the STA angle actually works out to be. My Knolly Fugitive has a .5 degree slacker "Actual STA" than my Meta AM 29, but its "effective STA" must be much steeper, because it feels that way.
  • 1 0
 I love my 2017 Salsa Pony Rustler's ride and handling; and boy am I glad I went with the aluminum frame model. As is, the rear carbon fiber monocoque seat-stay assembly developed a crack within the first year. Salsa was really cool about that though; warrantying the whole frame instead of just replacing the seat-stays.

I've got several friends who have owned or still own Salsa full suspension bikes with carbon frames; and I'm not sure if a single one of them hasn't had to get a warranty replacement for cracked carbon fiber frames. I went with Salsa for a few reasons.. 1. My LBS is a dealer and I don't care for their Specialized offerings. 2. I live in Minnesota about an hour away from Salsa's company HQ. 3. Their adventure by bike slogan had me believing they were a company more focused on reliability than being the lightest and fastest.
I guess I was wrong assuming they would be more reliable than their racing focused competition; which makes their 5 year warranty vs. the competitions original purchaser lifetime warranty, even more disheartening.
  • 4 2
 Lots of travel for such short chainstays, pretty cool if that's your thing. At those prices though, I can think of a few bikes I'd rather own.
  • 3 0
 MaxxGrip front and rear?

Bold choice Cotton.
  • 7 0
 that's Maxxis' fault to offer a rear tire (Dissector) in durable casing with the softest 3c compound only. I really wish they made a dual compound or even maxxterra version of it, because I'm not buying a tire that lasts me a month or so
  • 4 0
 @crashtor: You're not wrong, I loved my 3C Dissector but it had less than a month on it before the side knobs were shredded. DC and DD would end my rear tire search.
  • 3 0
 @NateMob: I got 3 rides, which totalled 45 miles and 11k feet of descent, before the tire was dead. LMAO. that came out to be about $20 a ride in rear tire usage. seems a bit much...
  • 2 0
 @crashtor: even in maxterra it is a fast wearing tire. I have the exo maxterra on my short travel bike and after about a month the center tread is significantly worn and I ordered a replacement. Great tire but poor lifespan.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: it only works for some people, I ride MaxxGrip front and rear too,I´m not very hard on the rear tire and quite light . When my rear is toasted I swap the front to the rear and put a fresh tire always in the front wheel.
But I saw what you told,a rear tire being eaten in 3 runs,20 bucks for a ride...
Even in the Alps ridding DH, I managed to get 10 days of crazy ridding of 1 MaxxGrip tire when others have no tire in 2 days.
Assegai last a little more than DHF/DHR,never try the Dissector.
  • 2 2
 great looking bikes. I'll have to say after riding several bikes this year I'm loving 77° plus seat tube angles. 78.5 on my new Meta AM is awesome. Rode my Ripmo with 76° and noticed a big difference.
  • 4 0
 Move the saddle 2 cm to the front and you'll have 78+ sta on your ibis as well. gl!
  • 3 0
 I see Cassidy is getting the Ass-Dissector treatment.
  • 3 0
 have they fixed their carbon problems and improved their warranty.
  • 1 0
 Why do so many companies still build bikes with these crazy seat angles? One doesn’t has to go as wild as Privateer, but....
  • 1 0
 Is it just me or is the small size pretty huge for someone who would actually purchase a small.
  • 2 0
 i would have put the dropper post a tab higher myself !??!
  • 2 0
 That Cassidy paint job is not butch at all.
  • 3 2
 That yellow red and purple is gorgeous. DW link?
  • 5 0
 Split pivot
  • 2 2
 Its a split pivot, which is designed by Dave Weagle. Not sure how it differs, or if he just changed the name depending on who got the license.
  • 11 0
 @mtmc99: Split Pivot is similar to Trek ABP. There's a pivot at the dropout which is concentric to the axle.

DW Link is a twin link system that looks more like a Giant Maestro or VVP system
  • 8 0
 @mtmc99: Completely different designs. DW Link is a solid rear triangle with counter-rotating links, where this is a linkage-driven single-pivot design with a pivot at the rear axle for isolating braking forces.
  • 2 0
 @brit-100:
Gotcha, cheers. Heads up my arse this morning. Meant DW designed, “split pivot” escaped my vocab.
  • 2 0
 @edulmes:
I think you’re both agreeing.
  • 4 0
 @edulmes: DW doesn't have counter rotation; that's VPP. DW links both rotate clockwise in compression as viewed from the drive side.
  • 3 0
 @brit-100: @edulmes thanks for the explanation, I can see the difference now. Looking back the non-solid rear triangle should have been a give away but the morning coffee hadn't fully taken effect.
  • 2 0
 @mtmc99: Split pivot is a single pivot, DW Link is a virtual pivot design.
  • 1 1
 Nice graphics, good to see something colorful. I think this will be a new trend.
  • 1 0
 That Yellow and Purple looks fucking sick.
  • 1 0
 Pretty soon enduro bikes will run more travel then DH
  • 2 1
 Looks like a yeti.
  • 8 1
 Thankfully, not priced like a yeti
  • 9 0
 @rnayel: $200 more than the sb150...
  • 3 1
 You'd have as much bragging rights as having a Mongoose, with the price tag of a Yeti.
  • 2 0
 @digitalsoul: LMAO facts... If you're spending that kind of money, no idea why anyone would buy a salsa.
  • 2 2
 Who has the audacity to name this Cassidy?
  • 2 0
 Butch Cassidy!
  • 11 13
 Dam, they neary had it, but that seat angle is too slack for my long legs.

Oh and super boost. Has that not been one way deposited in the sea?
  • 3 2
 Salsadale Habit
  • 1 7
flag TannerValhouli (Sep 15, 2020 at 7:22) (Below Threshold)
 Nope, pivots at the axle. This is a dw link bike
  • 2 0
 They have been using this basic split pivot design since like 2014, before the habit came out....
  • 2 0
 Seriously, the rocker looks identical to the 2013-2016 Spesh enduro
  • 3 0
 @TannerValhouli: See above, not a DW link bike. A Split Pivot bike (also designed by Dave Weagle). Just remember, all DW Link bikes are Dave Weagle, but not all Dave Weagle bikes are DW Link.
  • 2 1
 Love the paint.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Revel !
  • 1 1
 Looks like a box of Dynamints from when I was a kid. I love it.
  • 1 0
 Salsa SB165
  • 1 0
 Looks Whyte
  • 1 0
 looks good
  • 1 0
 Looks great.
  • 1 0
 That's a Rallon...
  • 3 3
 Looks like a Status
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