Salsa Redpoint Carbon X01 - Review

Apr 3, 2017
by Vernon Felton  



Maybe you hear the name “Salsa” and immediately think of classic, Marin County-bred, steel hardtails. Or perhaps you’re only familiar with the QBP-owned version of Salsa—the brand that is all about bike packing and drop-bar adventure bikes. Either way, the Salsa Redpoint will probably strike you as a bit of a departure from the brand’s mainstay models.

The Redpoint is less about testing the limits of your endurance and more about making hooting sounds while testing the limits of your handling chops.

Salsa Redpoint Details
• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Wheel size: 27.5'' and 26+
• Rear wheel travel: 150mm
• Split-Pivot suspension
• Carbon front triangle, seat stays
• 67° HTA, 73.5° STA
• Weight: 28.76 pounds/13.04 Kilograms
• MSRP: $5,599 USD
www.salsacycles.com
This is a 150-millimeter travel bike cut from the long-and-low cloth so very en vogue these days. There are three Redpoints in the Salsa line. We tested the top-tier carbon model. Salsa also offers a $4,599 SRAM GX1-clad carbon model and an all-aluminum bike that sells for $3,599. Carbon Redpoint frames can be had for $2,499.


Vernon Felton testing bikes on the trails surrounding Hood River OR.
While our test bike wore a single-ring drivetrain, you can still bolt a front derailleur to the Redpoint
Vernon Felton testing bikes on the trails surrounding Hood River OR. Salsa Cycles Redpoint
Most of the lines are run externally--the exception being the latter half of both the dropper post line and the rear-derailleur housing.

Frame Details

The Redpoint’s front triangle and seatstays are made from high-modulus carbon fiber. Salsa chooses to have the chainstays constructed of 6066-T6 aluminum, which they say offers better durability. What kind of weight savings does going carbon offer you? In the case of the Redpoint, you’re looking at a 340 gram (3/4 pound) weight reduction over the base-level, all-aluminum frame.

The front triangle boasts a water-bottle cage mount and enough breathing room to handle a full-size (28-ounce) bottle. It’s a nice perk for riders who don’t relish wearing a hydration pack on their every ride. The back end of the Redpoint frame has plenty of breathing room—it’ll accept 27.5x2.3 to 2.5-inch tires. If you’re all about the plus thing, you can squeeze 26x3.0-inch tires in here. Annoyed to even read the words “twenty-six plus”? I hear you. The takeaway, however, is that you can cobble together that flavor of extra squishy in this rig if that’s the way you’re leaning. In case you're wondering, the Redpoint sports a Boost 148 rear end.

Vernon Felton testing bikes on the trails surrounding Hood River OR.
  The Redpoint's 150mm of travel comes from a Split Pivot design.

Salsa fitted the Redpoint with a BB92 bottom bracket. Of all the press-fit BBs that I deal with, it’s proven the least prone to creaking or being outright shitty, though that’s a bit like saying water-boarding is the best form of turture prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. On the upside, the Redpoint also sports ISCG-05 tabs, which are always nice to see on a bike that has a yen for the rowdier stretches of dirt. You may not feel like a chain guide and a bash are a must given the advent of clutch-equipped derailleurs and 1x drivetrains, but it's always nice to have the option to mount one.

If you absolutely must have a super-clean looking bike, the Redpoint’s extensive, external cable routing may offend your sensibilities. I get that, though I’m also a big fan of not having to fish hydraulic lines through my frame. In other words, there are pros and cons to each style of cable routing. While our bike is a single-ring affair, there is a front derailleur mount on board, so you can rock just as many chainrings as your heart desires.

Suspension Design

The Redpoint's 150 millimeters of travel comes courtesy of a RockShox Monarch RT driven by Salsa's take on the Split Pivot suspension design, pioneered by Dave Weagle. Weagle, it's worth noting, is no longer shaping the kinematics of the Split Pivot design--brands like Devinci and Salsa are responsible for tuning each Split Pivot bike. At the heart of the Split Pivot design is a rear-axle, concentric pivot that is designed to keep the rear suspension active and supple, even when you are death gripping the rear brake lever. Split Pivot bikes also have a reputation for fairly efficient pedaling and a magic-carpet level of smooth over stutter bumps and baby heads. Of course, each Split Pivot bike is its own special beast, so generalizations about the fundamental design are just that...generalizations.


Salsa Redpoint Geometry


Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2016
Price $5599
Travel 150 millimeters
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch RT Debonair
Fork RockShox Pike RCT3, Boost 110 spacing
Headset Cane Creek 40, Integrated
Cassette SRAM XG-1175, 11-speed, 10-42
Crankarms SRAM X01 32T BOOST 148
Bottom Bracket PF92
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01
Chain KMC X11
Shifter Pods SRAM X1
Handlebar Salsa Rustler 2
Stem Thomson X4
Grips Salsa Backcountry Lock-ons
Brakes SRAM Guide RS
Wheelset SRAM Roam 40
Tires Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.35”
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth





Vernon Felton testing bikes on the trails surrounding Hood River OR.









Climbing

At just 28.7 pounds (and that’s with no stupid-wispy parts dangling off it) the Redpoint is no boat anchor. That lack of heft is noticeable on the climbs—the relatively lightweight Hans Dampfs are also easy on the rotating weight, which never hurts. That said, I have piloted Split Pivot bikes that pedal more efficiently. The Redpoint is certainly not a bobbing mess on climbs, but it is noticeably (and a bit distractingly) more active under pedaling loads than some class-leading bikes, such as the Pivot Mach 6 and Ibis Mojo HD3.

I’ll put it this way, there are some bikes that let you get away with running the shock wide open on climbs and rolling terrain; this isn’t one of them. That’s not a huge knock against a bike with this much travel, but it’s worth mentioning. It would also help if the bike was spec’d with something like a Monarch RT3 (rather than the stock Monarch RT DebonAir). The RT is a fine shock, but the Redpoint could benefit from a shock that offered a compression damping setting that cut the difference between “Open” and “Locked”.


Vernon Felton testing bikes on the trails surrounding Hood River OR.

Climbing traction is good and the bike’s 67-degree head angle helps keep the front wheel on track on tight, uphill corners. The Redpoint, conversely, features a slightly slack (73.5-degree) seat angle, which gives you a sense of pedaling further back on the bike than is ideal on steeper climbs. Sure, you can compensate for that by slamming the seat forward and slightly steepening the effective seat-tube angle. Doing so, however, also changes the effective top tube on the bike and alters how long the cockpit feels during seated efforts.
In short, I think the bike would feel better on climbs with a slightly steeper seat angle.

It's at about this point in the review that I can hear some people wondering, "Wait. When the hell did 73.5-degrees become "sorta slack" for a seat angle?" A few years ago, it certainly wasn't. So, I'll insert this disclaimer: For a good long time now, I've spent a lot of time on bikes with seat angles closer to 75 degrees. The Salsa therefore made my seated position feel too rearward biased, but if you look at 73.5 and think "Awesome!", well fair play to you. Moving on then....

Descending

I initially set the bike up with 30 percent rear sag, but just could never gel with the bike when set up with the kind of sag I usually prefer on an all-mountain or enduro bike. I wouldn’t say that it “wallowed” on rolling terrain, but it lacked snap and pop. It felt uninspiring on both climbs and descents. After a week of honestly not digging this bike, I finally upped the air pressure and reduced sag to 25 percent. Holy. Crap. What a difference. I realize how insane that sounds. How could a measly five percent change in sag make that much of a difference. Well, it did. The bike went from feeling pedestrian to feeling pretty damn sporty.

Salsa says they tuned the Redpoint to have a more progressive spring curve than most of their other Split Pivot bikes. Makes sense. The Redpoint is aimed at a rowdier group of riders who don’t want to be bottoming the shock out all day long. Accordingly, I was a bit leery of running 25 percent sag, but small bump compliance remained awesome and I still managed to get full travel on every ride. Win-win.


Vernon Felton testing bikes on the trails surrounding Hood River OR.

If you are hell-bent on getting the slackest and longest rig out there, the Redpoint ain’t your pony. The 67 (well, 66.9 to be anal retentive about it)-degree head angle is closer to what you’d find on an all-mountain bike from a couple years back. That said, the steeper-than-is-cool-for-enduro front end also makes the Redpoint more tractable in most riding situations. It’s less shuttle beast and more of a capable all-rounder, very much in the same mold as the Pivot Mach 6 and Ibis Mojo HD3.

Which is the better machine? That’s a personal call determined by your riding style and terrain. I personally think the slacker-than-slack trend makes sense for riders who are opting to use their six-inch travel rigs as mini-DH bikes, but is decidely less awesome for riders who are seeking a versatile, everyday rig. The Redpoint’s short 430-millimeter (16.9-inch) chainstays help keep the bike feeling relatively nimble despite the bike’s modern reach figures. Reach on a size Medium, for instance, comes in at 446 millimeters (17.6 inches).

Vernon Felton testing bikes on the trails surrounding Hood River OR.
The contact-point adjuster found on the Guide RSC would be a nice addition, but the Guide RS is appropriate kit at this price point and the brakes are consistent stoppers.
Vernon Felton testing bikes on the trails surrounding Hood River OR.
There are pimpier wheels out there. Wider ones too. The Roam 40s, however, are lightweight and solid. They are good, if conservative, spec.


Component Check

• RockShox Monarch RT DebonAir Shock: The Monarch RT DebonAir never got glitchy, but on a bike at this price point, I'd have expected a slightly up-spec shock. I'm not one of those riders who feels that a piggy-back shock is a dire necessity on every bike. I mean, if you are blessed with the kind of terrain that'll net you hours of uninterrupted descending (you lucky bastard), then the extra oil volume and damping control provided by a piggyback is a plus. But that's not what I'm talking about here. I simply prefer a bit more on-the-fly, fine tuning of the low-speed compression damping. The RT's "locked" and "unlocked" settings get the job done, but I found myself wishing for a more subtle, intermediate setting. The Monarch RT3, with its Open, Pedal and Lock modes would be a nice upgrade for any kind of rider, anywhere.

• SRAM X01/X1 Drivetrain: Solid, reliable...I have absolutely zero complaints about the X01 rear derailleur. Likewise, the carbon X01 crankset is a nice touch you often see missing on bikes--brands often sneak a less expensive crankset into the mix. I would, however, have liked to also see the X01 spec carried through to the rear shifter. The SRAM X1 shifter on the Redpoint doesn't bang off shifts with the same kind of crisp, authoritative clicks of the X01 shifter. How much steeper would the Redpoint's price tag be if it sported an X01 shifter? Not much, yet the performance gain would be worth every cent. You're constantly running up and down the cassette on a 1x bike...shifting quality is the kind of thing you notice without fail.

• SRAM Roam 40: I've never seen many people get hot and bothered over SRAM's Roam 40 wheelset. There are no graphics that precisely match your paint job and few overtly sexy features. Likewise, if you are a fan of wide rims, the Roam 40's 21-millimeters of internal width may leave you unimpressed. The aluminum Roam 40s, however, stay true and don't add much in the way of rotational weight to the rig. It's a solid performer.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesSalsa isn't famous for its longer-travel bikes, but the Redpoint is a legitimate contender. It's not a perfect bike. There are models with this much travel that climb with greater élan and bikes that descend steep, scary terrain with more poise. The Redpoint is, however, something that many other bikes in its class are not, and that is well balanced. The Redpoint makes a strong case for the all-rounder that can hold its own on just about any trail. Vernon Felton






About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 44 • Height: 5'11” • Inseam: 34" • Weight: 175lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None •
In 1988 Vernon started riding mountain bikes—mainly to avoid the people throwing cans of Budweiser at him during his road rides. At some point, roughly when Ronald Reagan was president and Hüsker Dü was still a band, he began loving mountain bikes on their own terms. Vernon Felton spends most of his time riding bikes, thinking about bikes, thinking about riding bikes and then riding some more around Bellingham, Washington. If it has a greasy chain and two wheels on it, he’s cool with it. Except for recumbents. Well, okay, maybe those too. Nah, forget it. No recumbents.


Must Read This Week

100 Comments

  • + 78
 So it's not a good climber and not a good descender? Ok, I'll get right on this one.
  • + 17
 I think the biggest problem Salsa has with this bike is "Why should I buy it over other bikes on the market?" I don't think something that's basically a Troy with slightly older school numbers has a good answer to that question, especially when the spec isn't amazing at the price point, especially the downmarket shock & wheels.

Now, that said, since I like split pivot, & I have a no compromises "gravity with a dose of climbing ability to get you up fireroads" in my Devinci Spartan, I'm seriously considering a Horsethief as a "after work XC laps & bikepacking" bike. Everybody else wants their short travel bikes to ride like enduro bikes, but I have an enduro bike, I want a capable trail bike with good climbing chops.
  • + 37
 Should be called the Salsa Nopoint
  • + 6
 I've got about a dozen days on this bike... it is a fine climber and capable descender... I wish I could have a full fleet of 5k bikes for each type of terrain or day. I have enough $$ for one solid all-arounder. This was it for me!
  • + 25
 @dthomp325, I was discussing this review with Mike Levy before it went to press. We were talking about the frustrating aspect of reviewing bikes that, in essence, score a solid 7 to 8. Those kinds of bikes don't make for the most riveting reviews, but, then again, it doesn't mean they suck. The reviews just tend to come across as "Here's a bike that's pretty damn competent across the board." Not exactly the most enticing description, but not a damning statement either.

So, to the specifics.... the Redpoint is not a bad climber, particularly for a bike with this much travel. But I also think people are interested in knowing how it fares against the best bikes in this class and by that lofty yardstick it scores something close to a 7.

It's a better descender than it is a climber--I'd give it a 7.5. That's not bad, by any stretch, but is it as good on the descents as some other 27.5-wheeled, all-mountain style bikes? I referenced the Pivot Mach 6 and Ibis Mojo HD3, which have fairly similar geometries and mission statements (so to speak). By comparison, no, it's not quite on their level.

The Redpoint, however, is still worth checking out; particularly if you are looking for an all-rounder that doesn't possess the slackest head angle and longest wheelbase on planet earth. Horses for courses and all that.... Cheers.
  • + 10
 @vernonfelton: It's a great time to be a mountain biker when a bike that is competent on any trail and is good at everything, but not great at any one thing is considered mediocre.

I bought a Redpoint off from pinkbike last september after demoing one at a Salsa demo day. The bike fit me better than the Norco Sight I had at the time and had a lot more traction climbing while still feeling very familiar to what I was used to. I've ridden this bike in everything, deep sand, deep mud, rocks, 10" of snow, dry hard packed trails and dry loose trails. It just works. I never feel uncomfortable on the bike whether going up or down and it frequently surprises me with its level of poise in technical situations. It doesn't feel as long as it is (I ride a large) even in some of the super tight and twisty trails we have in the north east. I could get a better descender or a better climber, but for an all around trail bike I think it is an excellent bike, even if it's not very exciting.
  • + 5
 @Boondocker390: Couldn't have put it better.

Some bikes are clearly really great in one dimension--a really phenomenal climber, for instance, at the expense of its descending abilities (or vice versa). In some ways, those kinds of reviews make for r interesting reading because the bike is sort of polarizing--both to the reviewer and the reader. The bikes, by contrast, that are just pretty good across the board come across sounding as exciting as boiled potatoes, but are actually solid rides.

And then there's this: five or six years ago a bike that was this good across the board would have been considered great--the bar is always getting higher (and that's a good thing).

I still think Salsa's strength is in the shorter-travel and (obviously) adventure bike realm, but the Redpoint constitutes (for what it's worth) a huge leap forward for Salsa when it comes to all-mountain bikes.
  • + 5
 @vernonfelton: is there any reason to buy a "7" when there are so many excellent bikes on the market (besides price)?
  • + 4
 @vernonfelton: forgot to add in my last comment: thanks for the honest review. Refreshing to hear the truth that not every bike is a wunderkind.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: I dig it.

That said, it's hard not to look at reviews of the Redpoint, then look at reviews of a bike like the Transition Patrol Carbon, and wonder who would choose the former.
I read those reviews back to back, and it's hard not to look at the Patrol as equally balanced but better in each dimension: but I know that's just not how it works... I suppose no amount of prose can capture an experience with much nuance.
  • + 4
 @dthomp325: Thanks for the input. I can't say that there is a reason for me to buy a bike that I feel is a 7, but I guess I'd always caution readers to take what any reviewer says with a bag of salt. My 7 might be your 8 or 9.

I can tell you that we sweat the details like crazy on our bike reviews at Pinkbike...we spend a lot of time on the bikes and, arguably, an inordinate amount of time writing the bike reviews. All of us--Kaz, Levy, RC, Aston, AJ, Rachelle...everyone on staff--obsesses about trying to be objective and accurate. That said, every rider, everywhere, carries some degree of bias based on their riding style, riding history, local terrain, etc. We try to be cognizant of that when writing our reviews, but we're ultimately human. I say this because it means that a bike that scores "7" across the board to me, may not do the same to you. It might be more or less to your liking.

In short, I think of reviews as a starting point for exploration. If the ride impressions strike a chord with readers, I'm hoping they'll try and add a bike to their "Crap, I should try and beg/borrow/steal a test ride on one of those" list. Getting test rides on bikes is, of course, a lot easier said than done (we editors are ridiculously lucky bastards to get so many opportunities), but readers' impressions on their own test rides are, invariably, the only impressions that matter. That's my take, at any rate.

Cheers.--VF
  • + 4
 @vernonfelton: Now that I'd like to see a review of a whole bunch of bikes (call it a Bible of bikes if you will Wink that scores each bike a value out of 10 for various traits: climbing, descending, cornering, value, uniqueness, fun factor etc... there doesn't need to be a winner, just a score sheet so we can evaluate the different bikes' strengths and weaknesses and compare.
  • + 5
 I'm surprised that Salsa / QBP can't price this better. They are the biggest distributor, and the Redpoint would be a great bike if it were value priced.

I spent a week on one while traveling, and really liked it. But I didn't 5600 like it.
  • + 1
 @tehllama: I don't think the Redpoint fits the same category as the Patrol. The Patrol is way slacker and more dh biased. This is meant to be more all around.

Now if the Patrol climbs better than this bike, then we've got some problems and I agree with you. I haven't ridden either though.

Along with the Mach 6 and HD3 mentioned I see this as the same category as the Stumpy 650, Troy, Jeffsy, and even Bronson too, though the new Bronson looks a beast. Also, I've owned a Salsa and some riders just want to support 'their' brand. I admit though, for this coin I'd probably get a Bronson, Jeffsy, or Troy in that order.
  • + 3
 @WasatchEnduro: I went back to back on the same trail between a patrol and a redpoint. They're pretty comparable as far as bikes go. The redpoint definitely wasn't the better climber. In some aspects they were equal (long mellow grinds) but in others I preferred the patrol (short technical). That combined with the fact that the patrol is hands down the better descended makes the choice between the two pretty obvious.
  • + 1
 @Marlfox87: cool, good to hear some input.
  • + 1
 @Marlfox87: Likewise, thanks! I figured it would be just about the same on climbing, which points towards the Redpoint needed a more niche set of circumstances to be the better bike.

I still figure that for some riders who aren't going to spend much of their descents at pinned wide-open setup, but still want the capability on the bike, then there's a pretty solid case for the Redpoint in some use case... but those sound like the instances that are so clearly defined by the niche that the feedback from a reviewer who gets a limited period of time on a model of the bike which matches 'what test fleet bike can be shipped out'... then again the Patrol might just be better at everything.
  • + 24
 Did a couple of test rides on the Redpoint and I'd have to agree with this review. It's definitely not the greatest, and the sensation of falling off the back due to the seat angle isn't an over exaggeration. It is well balanced, but it's so well balanced that it isn't very good at anything. My biggest beef with my ride was that in steep and rough terrain the bike felt like it was going to pitch me over the bars. It's not a bad bike, but you could get better. I eventually settled on a Transition Patrol.
  • + 14
 Settled? Settled on the one of the best!
  • + 11
 You settled on a serious bike that can actually claim a "Do it all title" The Patrol hype is very real!
  • + 4
 @Elspecialized: oh, I know. In my mind I was thinking it sarcastically. I love the patrol. Even at the lower price points you can tell it is still spec'd to be ridden.
  • + 20
 5.6k and all it gets is a shitty monarch RT
  • + 3
 @poah That was one of my complaints. The Monarch RT DebonAir isn't shitty, but at this price I think we should expect to get a shock that offers more than an "Open" and "Locked" setting. The three-position lever on the Monarch RT3, for instance, would have come in handy as there were times I was definitely wishing the bike had a middle ("pedal") compression damping setting that offered a little less low-speed compression damping than that afforded by the RT's "locked out" position. As far as component spec goes, it was the one weak point in an otherwise pretty solid component group. Then again, at this price it should be solid....
  • + 2
 I totally agree with the most valid part of the complaint being:
If 5.6k gets you stuff that makes reviews and buyers ask uncomfortable questions, but 5.8k gets you all X01/GuideRSC/RT3 as the product manager... Why not do that?
  • + 3
 @tehllama: Exactly. My guess (admittedly, I am pulling this out of my arse here, but it's late at night and I don't feel like waking anyone up at SRAM) is that going with the RT3 would add relatively little to the MSRP. The shock is purchased at OE pricing, so what're we talking about? An extra $50 to the price tag? Perhaps and extra $100? I think the latter is generous, but, shoot, I'd gladly pay that for the up-spec. Maybe that's just me, but I'd rather pay an additional $100 at the point of purchase, than wind up disgruntled with the spec and wind up upgrading prematurely to a shock that sells for between $350 to $400.

Of course, my job is to be a nitpicking bastard whereas product managers have the unenviable job of trying to make bikes fit within these seemingly arbitrary price slots that matter a lot to the brand's dealers. I can only imagine that something like that drove the decision to spec a solid, but not-crazy-adjustable shock on this bike. The rest of the spec is pretty savvy stuff.
  • + 0
 @vernonfelton: The RT3 isn't an "upgrade" over the RT - even if it had the RT3 version I'd still question the decision to spec it. I don't think the current monarch line is really up to spec with the current offerings from other manufacturers. They really should be considered a basic shock now ( I include the RC3 as well). At this price point the shock really should be spec'd with LSC adjustment.
  • + 2
 To be fair, Santa Cruz has done the same thing with the Hightower. The $8k model has as an RT, the same as the $4k model. The Hightower is on my short list but it won't hit the dirt with that shock on it.
  • + 13
 Salsa did an admirable job on covering all the bases, it seems. But, I've come to realize that a perfectly balanced ride is not ideal, IMHO. Give me eye-watering downhill speed and less-than-stellar climbing, or rocket-like technical climbing and WTF-was-I-thinking-riding-down-this descending manors. Screw the middle ground!
  • + 18
 26+ for life!
  • + 17
 Should be called Salsa Verde
  • - 6
flag RedBurn (Apr 3, 2017 at 10:20) (Below Threshold)
 Or SC bronson replica
  • + 10
 @RedBurn: because the shock is attached to the top tube or what? suspension design isnt even remotely the same
  • - 2
 @naadams2: yes that was fast said.. the suspension makes me more thing of a kona process after all
  • + 31
 Hey, I resemble that remark.
  • + 15
 i skipped the article and went straight to the comments. and the comments aren't very good either. that about sums it up
  • + 1
 It did until you made that comment hahaha!
  • + 11
 And remember that changing sag from 30% to 25% isn't a 5% change, it's a ~20% change: 5% of the total, but also 1/6th (5/30) of the existing setting. You wouldn't expect miracles from a 5% difference, but a 20% diff would definitely be noticeable.
  • + 4
 @just6979 True. My characterization of that was sloppy. Well pointed out. That said, I'm still a bit surprised by the difference in ride quality: there are a lot of bikes that are less sensitive (than the Redpoint) to that degree of variation in sag. Again, not so much a slight as a point worth mentioning because I think some people will get on the Redpoint, set the sag to 30% (a decent starting point for a 150-mm travel bike) and wind up thinking "This is crap!". Their impressions would be considerably different at 25%. Mine definitely were. Cheers and thanks for bringing it up.
  • + 1
 How do you actually measure a 5% difference in sag? You can't possibly think that you're in the exact same position on the bike every time. In fact, I tend to adjust my riding position so that I get the sag that I want. I keep putting more air in my fork, but riding further forward...
  • + 1
 @skelldify: That's why sag is just a starting point. And you can't blindly use others' recommendations for PSI and sag, even if they're the same weight and riding style, because, as you said, it's hard to get the same position on the bike.

I personally sit down with my seat down for the rear, and set sag at about 35%. This changes to about 30% in "attack" position, but by sitting on the seat, I can be very consistent with the measurement. For the fork, I either try to stand staight on the pedals with hips directly over the BB and shoot for 20%, or just measure it seated and shoot for 15%. Either of those gives approx 25% in "attack", but the standing straight or seated techniques are more consistent than trying to stand in the same attack position all the time.

And if the fork feeling off but I don't want to stop and fetch the pump, I'll go up or down a couple clicks on both compression clickers (36 RC2)
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: Yeah, it is weird how some designs are super sensitive for small changes. My Salsa El Kaboing was super sensitive to changes in some parts of the travel; but not at all in other parts, probably due to the flex-stays.

I wish more (any?) companies published leverage ratio curves. Then folks who are so inclined can really tuned the crap out of things to get the ride they want.

Making educated guesses based on the Mojo 3 curves I've seen, I've tried to set up my Mojo SL to match the regressive/linear/progressive curve so stay plush at the top, supportive in the middle, and ramp just enough at the end, using various combinations of overall PSI (a LOT), volume spacers (all of them!), and changing IFP pressure (+20%) on my Monarch Plus. I'm a big guy, (220 lbs), so next step is to try a firmer compression piston at next rebuild, which should allow me to lower the IFP pressure _and_ remove a couple spacers for the same support with more bottomless-ness!

I hit my tuning target without a ton of trial & error only because I had some idea of the leverages I was working with. This kind of data can only help shops and tweakers set things up.
  • + 7
 The Pivot Mach6 and the Ibis Mojo are not Split Pivot bikes - they are DW Link systems. While designed by the same guy, they are a noticeable different suspension system. Split Pivot bikes are a (improved, IMO) variation of a single-pivot suspension design, while the multi-link design of the DW Link tends to have improved climbing behavior when properly set-up. All these designs tend to be very sensitive to the amount of sag. Pivot is a manufacturer that supplies a "sag guide" for the rear shock, and it matters - but in return you get a bike that climbs very well, and still has great action over the rough stuff...
  • + 2
 Yes spot on - a better comparison would be with a Trek Remedy...
  • + 10
 "we tested the top tier carbon model".. .well, no shit.
  • + 5
 These reviews are very informative and we need to keep in mind that a 7 is a solid number coming from someone who rides and reviews all the best MTB out there. His 7 really could be your 8 or 9...you must demo and see for yourself. Salsa is a solid brand and this looks like a nice rig...
  • + 5
 "The SRAM X1 shifter on the Redpoint doesn't bang off shifts with the same kind of crisp, authoritative clicks of the X01 shifter." Whoa! I actually couldn't't tell the difference. I tested both and opted for the X1 back in 2015. Since my X1 shifter is kaput, should I actually pay the extra moolah for an X01?
  • + 4
 I've ridden several variations of GX, X1, and x01, as well as Sram/Shimano mix and match. I've found noticeable differences in performance.

My conclusion after trying many different combos is that most of the differences in performance are due to x-dome (X01 cassette) vs other cassettes.

I don't know if the x-dome is stiffer or has more precise ramps and tooth shaping, but out of all the combos I've tried it seems like x-dome makes a big improvement, whether paired with X01, GX, or even XT derailleur and shifters.
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: Thanks for the lead! The bike reviewed has the X1 XG-1175 cogs so I guess @vernonfelton may have meant X01 rd+cog+shifter trumps the X1 cog+shifter and X0 rd combo that came with the salsa?
  • + 5
 How does it compare to the Mach 6 and Mojo Hd3 for descending? Clearly this bike wouldn't be a match for a Sanction or Nomad coming down, but it's not meant to be, so I would personally like a bit more information as to whether it gains downhill prowess where it loses out to its peers on the ascent?
  • + 6
 SRAM GX1, they aint kidding no one!
  • + 2
 I would blame the shock on the wallowy feeling at 30% sag. DebonAir cans are massive and hence quite linear, and RS's damping doesn't seem to give a ton of mid-stroke support.

I run a Monarch Plus RT3 on a fairly high leverage frame (2.8-2.6), with the can full of spacers (6 bands) and an extra 40 PSI in the IFP chamber: even at 33%-ish sag, it now gives some nice middle support to push against, but remains pretty supple off the top (almost as little bounce in the "drop-test" as the super-cush Fox 36 up front. (NA spring, 25% sag).

("Drop-test" being when you hold the bike by head & seat tube with arms out straight and just drop it: a well set-up trial/AM rig shouldn't bounce off the ground very far. An air spring will never bounce as little as a coil, but Fox's air-negative forks and RS's DebonAir shocks (and I'm assuming EVOL cans, too) are getting close
  • + 3
 Not exactly selling this as good climber with a name like "redpoint". Sure, you got to the top of the climb but it too you several atempts..."flash" or "onsight" is what you are looking for Salsa.
  • + 3
 #climbingjokes #nicheaudience
  • + 2
 The difference in fore-aft distance of a 73.5* seat angle vs 75* seat angle is ~16mm for a rider 6' tall rider approx.
That distance can easily be accommodated by sliding the seat forward. Not a huge amount. 73.5* SA is fine.
  • + 1
 I agree. I was also confused by @vernonfelton 's comment about the effective top tube length being shortened by sliding the seat forward; steepening the seat tube angle without also changing the reach would have the exact same effect. Was interested to note however that the firmer shock setting, and therefore steeper sagged angles, brought the bike to life. Suppose it just goes to show that you can't judge a bike by gleaning over the geo chart, you also have to consider the suspension kinematics and leverage ratios. I need sleep.
  • + 2
 Can anyone explain to me why some bikes LOOKS like they have much slacker head angle, like this salsa with 67 degrees and some bikes looks much steeper with same 67 HA like Jeffsy 29er? What makes that optical illusion ?
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton I rented a redpoint two weeks ago on vacation in santa Monica put about 100 miles on it average ride was 30 ish miles with 3500' of elevation gain I can say your review is spot on your impression of the bike was exactly how I felt about it great review thanks
  • + 5
 Would you like chips with that
  • + 2
 So my biggest question is did you ride it with 26+ and how did you like that? Are you sitting on a 26+ minion review? Really that's the only reason I clicked on this article...
  • + 2
 @patrick2cents, I did not ride it 26+. I personally don't have any 26-inch wheel sets with the proper rim width to give adequate sidewall support and tire shape to the 26+ tires that are out there. Beyond that, I didn't have a strong compulsion to try and add a more compliant for forgiving personality to the bike--it's already slanted in that direction. At this point, I think plus-size tires are a better compliment to hard tails and to relatively short-travel trail bikes. That said, the niche is young and changing and my sense of where 2.8 to 3.0-inch tires shine may well change as the breed evolves.

Short answer: Sorry, nope, I didn't try 26+.
  • + 2
 So carbon front triangle saves you only three quarters of a pound? Wow i guess that's carbon splintering news for the weight weenies
  • + 3
 @weebleswobbles, Carbon front triangle and seat stays, in fact. Some companies lop a shit ton of weight (vis a vis their aluminum frame), others less so. I guess there are a couple possible explanations, including: (1) They didn't lose a radical amount of weight when going to carbon because the alu frame was already pretty light; or (2) They didn't lose a radical amount of weight when going to carbon because they didn't prioritize weight savings in the lay-up schedule and/or were playing it safe by attempting to maximize strength or impact resistance of the carbon frame instead.

Hard to say. That said, a 3/4-pound loss isn't too shabby. Some companies get within the 1.5 to nearly 2 pound weight reduction, but in a lot of those cases, the aluminum version is fairly chunky to begin with.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: yea it seems often the expected weight savings isn't as much as I expect because they have to use extra material lay ups for strength and durability
  • + 1
 It really makes a lot of sense that this bike is different for being "all around", lowering the barrier of entry for people getting into the sport. Also will the lower end models be sold at REI?
  • + 3
 I came here in a spirit of backpacking. Turn out I was wrong...
  • + 3
 Wow 16.9mm chainstay length! That's quite a new standard.
  • + 2
 just put 26 wheels and 2.5-2.6 agressive tires like minion dhf/high roller 2 or minion ss.
  • + 1
 Or throw a 26er on the back only to slacken that beotch out!
  • + 1
 When were these pictures taken? Hood River hasn't looked so warm in months!
  • + 1
 @oldphatty To quote Anthony Kiedis, "A long, long time ago. Before the rain, before the snow."

Yeah, I think Colin and I shot this one back in May or June. I'll often get a batch of new test bikes, drive down to Hood River or some other location, get them shot all at once. Then the review will pop up 3 to 9 months later after we've racked up legitimate saddle time.
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton: Red hot chili peppers It was sunny and warm for the first time in a long time today. Looking forward to summer! Great write up and of course great shots from Colin!
  • + 1
 A very niche, but nice bike. I bet they put cold brew coffee in the CNC machine to form their linkage.
  • + 2
 haters gonna hate...i looove my redpoint!!
  • + 2
 26+ ?? what is that?
  • - 2
 So essentially it's just a trail bike with a bit of extra travel? Seems like it has a weird set of specs and geometry, but I guess after a 29+ full suspension bike that's what Salsa's after.
  • + 1
 Great review, love that you compared it to other bikes in it's class.
  • + 1
 that compare to other bikes link in the review is pretty cool....
  • + 1
 I found the first typo...
  • + 1
 Gee....I'm shocked a Salsa would get a cool reception on PB
  • + 2
 Salsalized
  • + 0
 Waterboarding is torture not turture Smile
  • + 0
 Press-fit bb is torture.
  • + 1
 @stumpymidget: piece of piss if your a Leicester lad...
  • - 2
 I guess the patent ran out on specialized suspension design, this is just a rebranded specialized whatever
  • - 2
 Eh, sounds like Salsa should stick to what they do best.
  • + 0
 Catering to Hilary voters?
  • - 2
 More options for hipsters
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