Field Test: 2021 Salsa Blackthorn - Purple Singletrack Eater

Nov 10, 2020 at 15:05
by Mike Levy  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Salsa Blackthorn



Words by Mike Levy, photography by Tom Richards


While Salsa probably isn't the first name that comes to most rider's minds when thinking of big-travel trail (or enduro) bikes, the all-new Blackthorn might change that. Salsa says that it's "Built for riding any trail anywhere with confidence," and they've spec'd it with 140mm of rear-wheel-travel, a 160mm Fox 36, 29" wheels, and geometry that wouldn't have been out of line on an enduro bike only a few years ago. Oh, and there's a hell of a lot of purple on our Carbon X01 Eagle version that costs $7,499 USD. Allergic to purple? You'll need to drop down a spec level, or go the frame-only route to get another frame color option.

With no fancypants XTR or AXS-equipped model, our test bike is the priciest Blackthorn you can get. But you don't need to drop that much coin to get one, with aluminum models starting at $3,199 USD for 12-speed Deore components, RockShox suspension, and proper Maxxis tires.
Blackthorn Details


• Travel: 140mm rear / 160mm front
• Wheel size: 29"
• Head angle: 64.6-degrees
• Seat tube angle: 76.5-degrees
• Reach: 490mm (lrg)
• Chainstay length: 432mm
• Sizes: Sm, med, lrg (tested), x-lrg
• Weight: 31.9 lb / 14.5 kg (as pictured)
• Price: $7,499 USD
www.salsacycles.com

Unlike the very large majority of brands, Salsa also offers an aluminum frame/shock for $2,099 USD. With the exact same geometry as the carbon models and a bit more weight, that'd make a lot of sense for riders who have a bunch of their own parts to hang off it. If you want a carbon frame/shock instead, it'll be $3,199 USD, please.

This is an all-new platform for Salsa and the front and rear triangles are actually shared between two bikes, this 140mm Blackthorn and the 165mm-travel Cassidy, with the extra travel of the latter coming via a longer stroke shock and different link and clevis components.

Salsa has ticked all the boxes with the new design, including a clever spot to strap a tube. They’re definitely not the first to do this, but the rubber scuff guard is a nice touch that makes theirs unique. There are also a bunch of places to bolt things, which isn’t a surprise given Salsa’s long history of letting you bolt anything anywhere on their frames. Up on the top tube are threaded holes for an EXP bag or K-Edge computer mount, and the ‘Three-Pack’ mounts on the downtube let you carry a bottle, pump, and maybe the kitchen sink.

There’s one more threaded hole I know you’re gonna be excited about: The Blackthorn’s bottom bracket, which is where you’ll also find a set of ISCG 05 tabs to mount a guide or taco. The routing is also internal, and on the carbon models it passes through molded-in guides within the frame to make the job easier.

There are a couple of things to talk about at the back of the bike, including its always controversial Super Boost hub spacing. Salsa says that the 12x157mm hub lets them get a short, 432mm chainstay length while still being able to fit either 29'' x 2.6'' or 27.5'' x 3.0'' tires. You know, just in case you want to ruin the bike with 3” wide tires... Please don’t. Those short chainstays are also aluminum instead of carbon, and Salsa has incorporated a whole bunch of smartly done frame protection in the spots where you need it, including a flap that keeps stones from getting lodged between the front triangle and chainstay yoke.

Salsa’s been using Dave Weagle’s Split-Pivot suspension layout for many years now, and you’ll find it on the back of the Blackthorn as well. It’s a concentric axle pivot that’s exactly what it sounds like - the pivot literally rotates around the rear axle. The rocker link drives a clevis that wraps around the seat tube and compresses a Fox Float DPX2 to deliver 140mm.

Salsa says that Split Pivot ''isolates pedaling and braking forces,” and they say that makes it ''uniquely suited'' to be able to swap out the clevis, link, and the shock so riders can transform the Blackthorn into the longer-travel, 165mm Cassidy. Of course, you’ll need a longer fork as well. Making two bikes from one frame saves them a bunch of money, too.

On the geometry front, the Blackthorn gets 64.6- and 76.5-degree head and seat angles in the slacker of the two settings. If you like to tinker and know that slacker doesn't always mean better, there's also a flip-chip that can steepen the head and seat angles by 0.3-degrees and raise the bottom bracket by just 4mm. I feel like this small of an adjustment range is only there for a bike shop to say that it's adjustable but, to be fair, Salsa is far from the only brand doing this. Of course, you could use that geo adjustment to tweak the bike to better suit your 27.5'' x 3'' tires...




Field Test Tom Richards photo
Field Test Tom Richards photo

Climbing

The Blackthorn looks like a lot of trail bike, both on paper and in person, not to mention that it's obvious Salsa wanted a bike that you remember for how it goes down, not up. Not a bad strategy, especially as the purple machine still manages to be relatively decent at the latter.

With the large-sized bike sporting a 490mm reach and 64.6-degree head angle (in the slack setting), this is never going to be the one that loves tight, technical uphills. It's in those moments, when balance and having to do a 579-degree turn that's also angled straight up the mountainside come together, that it feels like it has a big presence on the trail. And sometimes like it might not even fit through. But it nearly always does, especially after you realize the best approach is to swing that long front-end around the rear axle, and only then give it a squirt of watts to get up whatever is in front of you. Unlike the Giant Trance or Specialized Stumpjumper, bikes you can simply steer through most things when you get to them, the Blackthorn requires a bit more room and forethought.

As with many bikes like this, it has a lot of traction for you to use, with the rear-end seeming to offer more consistent bite than the firmer feeling machines. That'll help your cause through the tricky stuff, but it's also a relatively active bike that doesn't like those out of the saddle efforts, especially compared to the spritelier trail bikes on test. Pedal like you've got no idea what good form looks like and you'll see the suspension slightly dip in and out of its travel under you, meaning you're best off flipping the Fox shock's pedal-assist switch if your climbs are smooth and long.

Next to the Stumpjumper or Ibis Mojo, the Blackthorn is a bit more relaxed and it wants you to relax on the climbs as well. Doesn't sound like a terrible way to get to the top, does it?


Field Test Tom Richards photo

Field Test Tom Richards photo
Field Test Tom Richards photo


Descending

While the lighter duty trail bikes feel, well, very much like trail bikes when pointed down most descents, Barney immediately lets you know that it's ready for more than that. The active rear-suspension and Fox 36 with its GRIP2 damper, along with geometry that rewards your uphill patience with downhill capabilities, sees the Blackthorn roll through sections that had a few other bikes stuttering a bit, especially when it got really rough.

In the high-speed choppy stuff the smaller bikes need you to ride them with a firm hand and eyes wide open, ready for a rock or root that goes unnoticed until it's put you on your back. They're more on-edge and lively, traits that I tend to prefer, whereas the Salsa is a calmer, aim-and-release-the-brakes ride that won't be fussed by your downhill KOM attempts. Higher speeds and rougher ground are where the Blackthorn pulls ahead of the more classic trail bikes, by isolating the rider more and certainly providing more traction.

It pulls ahead of all but the P-Train in those settings, staying level and stable while the others tend to see their wheels knocked offline (or just into the air) more often than the Salsa. This gives Barney an advantage anytime the corners aren't smooth, and it turned out to be a surprisingly fun and fast bike in tighter bends when you can use the traction and calmness to come into them too fast for your own good and pop out the other side like you're the one who did something right. Yeah, that's what happened...
Timed Testing

The trail bikes faced timed descent and climb sections on different trails, with the latter being a mix of smooth singletrack switchbacks leading into rooty and rocky steeper sections to evaluate low-speed handling. The timed downhill has everything a trail bike should face and maybe a bit more, most of it covered in roots and rocks.

Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.


Mike Levy: "The Blackthorn comes across as an efficient pedaller, but it's 12:03 puts it nearly 30-seconds behind the Trance X up the climb. With a 4:39, it was only a single second behind the shorter travel Stumpy and 19-seconds ahead of the Trance X on the descent, putting it 3rd out of all five trail bikes. "

The answer is always momentum, no matter what bike you're on, but especially so on something like the Blackthorn. Much like the P-Train, it's not a bike that loves slow-speeds and sprinting out of every corner like you're at a race, which means it's probably not the best for those flat, tight trails out there. Yeah, it'll do them, but it won't do them as well as the Stumpy or Ibis.

But the Blackthorn isn't really competing against the Stumpy or Ibis, is it? Instead, let's talk about how it compares to the coil-sprung Actofive P-Train, another so-called trail bike that favors the descents. While the intentions are similar, the two bikes are very dissimilar on the trail. The Salsa feels much more well-rounded and responsive to pedal inputs, giving it more life and energy when the terrain isn't tilted downwards as much as the mostly steel Actofive would prefer. In those moments, when the ride might include a bit of sketchy but mostly fun, it's the Blackthorn that I'd reach for. But if your trail rides see you sliding down all sorts of rowdy terrain or going at higher speeds more often than not, it's the descending-focused P-Train that provides more control and confidence.


Tom Richards photo


The bike's 140mm of Split-Pivot suspension is as impressive as I'd expect, especially early on in its travel when the air-sprung shock feels quite slippery. Not coil-sprung slippery, mind you, but definitely more supple than the other air-sprung bikes. The middle of the travel feels more active, too, much more than an extra 5 or 10mm might provide, and there's zero clanging when you reach the end of the stroke. Bottom-out doesn't come any sooner than you'd expect, either, with the 140mm managing to balance small bump compliance with the end of the travel quite well. What I mean is that it's so active and smooth in the first third of its travel that you might expect it to reach the other end a bit too quickly, but it doesn't.

So where does that leave us with the Blackthorn? Well, it provides more confidence on scary downhills than the Giant, Ibis, and Stumpy, but that's not really a surprise given its numbers and spec. Then again, it can't quite match the P-Train when the descents get really chunky or tricky.

The Blackthorn is more Purple Trail Eater than friendly purple dinosaur, with its 160mm fork and active, forgiving rear-end letting you play enduro racer if you want. It's not troubled by high-speeds and rough ground, but that does come at the cost of a bit less enthusiasm than more traditional trail bikes when you're not doing anything dangerous. I guess the question is: How much danger are you facing on your trail rides?


Pros

+ Very capable descender
+ Active, impressive suspension

Cons

- Not a 'small' trail bike
- Hope you like purple - it's the only color option for this complete version.




The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel & protection, Sierra Nevada refreshments, and Smith eyewear and helmets. Thanks also to Maxxis, Garmin, Freelap, and Toyota Pacific.





257 Comments

  • 192 0
 First time I've looked at a salsa and thought wow, I like it, I could see myself buying one. Well done salsa. Also why aren't all bikes coming with holes for a strap? that's great.
  • 115 0
 A-holes (accessory holes)
  • 53 0
 Or, If you really need a multi tool to ensure you win the race... Glory holes?
  • 77 1
 @bigtim: Giant’s lawyers have entered the chat
  • 15 0
 @bigtim: Glory holes might be specific to Canadian models....
  • 24 0
 Agreed, this thing looks so good in person. Not even all the purple can wreck it haha
  • 3 0
 @snowfiend: Special Edition BC Model
  • 3 6
 @mammal: looks like an epic
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Agreed, but even my wife hates the colour. Didn't it feel a bit long for you - maybe a medium would have fitted you better?
  • 1 1
 Frame only for the homies?
  • 2 0
 Santa - I want this bike in Size L purrrrrrrple
  • 3 0
 @headshot: Nope. Because the seat tube is short enough, there's no right or wrong - I could do a large (490mm) or a medium (469mm) but I made the right choice for where I live and how I ride. I don't think I'd go longer, that's for sure Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: so 14.5kg as pictured. Once you add pedals and a water bottle cage. What weight are the people getting ? Looks a bloody lovely bike though
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Thanks for taking time and replying to the sizing issue !

At 1.75 Im really in between sizes and Im shopping for a Stumpy or Stumpy Evo and Im so temped to go S4 but its just its immense wheelbase that scares me ( for the Evo not for the regular stumpy ).
  • 98 2
 Salsa went straight from 1995 to 2020 geometry lol. Like that awkward kid who goes from being picked last at basketball to coming back as CEO at the reuinion. They missed out on 135x12mm, 67.5', 1.5" straight, e-mount, 157mm, 27.5, 11speed. Lucky, late developing, bastards
  • 7 1
 I’m pretty sure it does have 157 rear 0_o
  • 2 1
 they did all those things, just no one noticed because there was nothing to notice
  • 59 2
 Salsa is a very underrated brand who have been putting out great bikes for years. Excellent to see them getting some recognition in the long travel market.
  • 52 1
 I wouldn't say Salsa is underrated. For the pink bike audience, they haven't really had much to offer, and their previous trail bikes have always been XC/Marathon, conservative geo bikes that are great at what they're designed for. Their gravel/bike packing/touring line up is fantastic.

It's nice to see them with a decent aggressive trail offering, though...I think it's a cool bike.
  • 6 0
 Blackthorn looks excellent and definitely a contender for my next bike. I wonder how the bike would ride with a 150mm fork up front?
  • 12 28
flag TheOriginalTwoTone (Nov 25, 2020 at 8:50) (Below Threshold)
 My issue with Salsa is they use split pivot, which I have read is cheaper to manufacture vs DW link, the chainstays are still AL and yet they ask a premium price for the frame.
  • 9 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: I have Split Pivot on my AL Devinci. I love it. There’s a reason Trek jacked it, it works!
  • 5 7
 The Salsa Spearfish was great...if you enjoy going OTB.
  • 16 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: Yes, cheaper to manufacture. And yea, the price... $3200 for frame/shock. That's the same as 'premium' brands who are offering full carbon frames. Also, Salsa is getting two complete product lines out of one set of molds. As a result of these savings, the low tech carbon design they use, the aluminum chainstay and Salsa brand (not huge longer travel MTB street cred) they should have very competitive pricing, $2800 or less. Really $2600 would be a great number for this frame that would get a ton of people on them. Right now, someone will go with a bigger name brand full carbon frameset for $3200. Which is a bummer for them.
  • 3 2
 Considering this is their first bike that anybody might actually enjoy riding downhill I certainly wouldn't call Salsa's previous attempts "underrated".
The Blackthorn does look sweet though, I'd like to take one for a spin!
  • 20 1
 @btjenki: Can't help but agree. My Guerrilla Gravity employs similar manufacturing methods to reduce cost...but it's made in Colorado, and is $2200+shock. The 145mm Smash, frame only with a Factor DPX2 is $2600.

I have no problems with Salsa or anyone else for that matter, but Taiwanese produced frames should be cheaper than American produced frames.
  • 1 3
 @btjenki: using the same frame designs for the bike is pretty funny. But hey, they save money and the customer never even knows haha!! (the average customer at least, obviously PB readers and bike nerds in general know)
  • 5 1
 @EricHarger: Not saying it isn't. My comment had nothing to do with how good it is.

The fact remains it's easier/cheaper to manufacture and the savings are not being passed on by Salsa. At least Devinci is full carbon for the price.

Funny how everyone on PB bitches about stuff costing to much, then you point out a company that's actually charging too much and get down voted.
  • 7 2
 @PHeller: GG uses thermoplastic for their composites, making automated manufacturing way easier (read possible). It may be made in the USA, but machines don't need a living wage.

If you cracked the automated production of thermoset composites then there is a tasty pay check waiting for you. I've seen a few attempts.
  • 4 4
 @dirtyburger: Do you think that hand layup of carbon in Taiwan or Vietnam is anymore ethical for global production? Should we instead select smaller builders? Perhaps, but only if those smaller builders are producing future-proof bikes, which is pretty difficult. I think GG is doing a good job of that, and keeping it a little more local (they are only a few hours away from me.)
  • 2 0
 The frame is priced for the faithful. They position it that way to push most folks to completes. The way of the world, more so every year for almost 10 years.
  • 5 0
 @notthatfast: redpoint was a decent bike. 67 head angle won’t kill you...
  • 2 5
 It won't kill you but it's not exactly current, even 5 years ago.
  • 6 2
 @PHeller: mate, what are you talking about? Where did I even mention ethics? You said both the salsa and gg frames were similar, they are not. That's it.
Who's we? GG is not local to the entire world. If sure they're fine bikes and good for you for having one.

What's with all the GG fanboys on pb anyway? Seems like they pay an army to just spruik in the comments.
  • 2 0
 hada customer lst week with a 2 year old bike with a broken seatstay. salsa has not made replacement parts available, poor guy is forced to buy a new frame now. meanwhile yeti still produces 142 width sb5 swingarms to keep those bike still going. don't buy a salsa if you plan to have it longer than a year.
  • 1 0
 @5afety3rd: Ouch, holding up Yeti as an example of customer Service. Sad day in mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: right? but true!
  • 1 0
 @dirtyburger: fans be fanatics everywhere
  • 41 1
 So was "curling camp" just Levy realising that he had 10 articles to write in a week and shutting himself in his bedroom?
  • 14 0
 Curling cans of Monster.
  • 3 1
 @JSTootell: 16 oz curls, lots of reps. I hear that's how you get shredded
  • 25 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou - Not gonna lie, you pretty much nailed it.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: Kaz covered for you.
  • 33 0
 My knock on this bike is the value. IMO this XO1 model isn't terrible priced but the GX and SLX models are insane. The GX model is $6300 with fox performance elite but Code R and DT 1900 wheels. The SLX model is $5k with Rockshox select plus, SLX/DT E 532 and the drive train has Deore parts mixed in.

A comparable Stumpjumer EVO is at least $1000 less.
  • 21 0
 I find Salsa bikes, and most QBP brands for that matter, to be overpriced for what they are.
  • 7 1
 Actually, that is sort of par for the course with Salsa. The lower end model is a great value and the upper end model is great value and the middle is sort of "meh". This coming from a Salsa fan boy.
  • 3 0
 I agree, when I saw the base model aluminum with Deore 12 speed and a Gold 35 fork for 3299USD and then see things like the Trek Fuel EX5 with Deore 12 speed, but a Recon Silver fork for $2099USD, you can use that $1200 saved to buy a good fork. Or hop up to an EX8 XT build for $200 more than the Salsa and get Fox 34 (rhythm), XT build (other than SLX cranks and chain).
  • 11 9
 @Zhehan: Newsflash: no matter what bike, or which manufacturer, someone in the comment section will make this very point. Every time.
  • 2 0
 @Ryan2949: I get that. But its more than just the dollars, or everyone would by a Marin Rift Zone and take all the money they saved and upgrade parts.

For what its worth, I've been happy with the long-term value of Salsa bikes. Never have had a frame related issue. There is a reason I keep going back to them, including a new fat bike (in purple!).

The Blackthorn/Cassidy aren't my cup of tea, too enduro-y. But I hope Salsa takes the lessons learned with those two bikes and apply them to the Horsethief/Spearfish which are more in my wheelhouse. A 120mm travel slackish (but not too slack) rig would be just right for where I ride.
  • 2 0
 @CycleKrieg: Why not check out the Guerilla Gravity Trail Pistol, which is cheaper than anything comparable in the Salsa lineup. Speafish Carbon NX Eagle is $4200, Trail Pistol Ride Build is $3800 with a similar build. Trail Pistol might weigh a pound more (frame weight), but is more versatile - can be ran at 130mm, 145mm or 160mm.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: That is is my dream bike (GG Trail Pistol). When the time comes I will look at what is available.
  • 1 1
 @CycleKrieg: Ya, I'm the guy that bought a Marin Rift Zone and upgraded parts, (XTR, DVO, etc). Imo its a much better bike than Salsa (I've also owned a horsethief) and with the upgrades it still cost less. So, better bike, better parts, less money = win.
  • 3 0
 Agreed on price structure problems. I generally have liked Salsa’s bikes, if they were more competitively priced, let alone for being a Split Pivot not a full DW Link, I could see it’s place in the market. When you are now more expensive than Specialized, Santa Cruz, and Ibis for a GX build, you’ve lost a lot of the market.
  • 1 0
 I'm also surprised to see the frame-only cost at $3400 (not $3200 as Levy reported). I feel like $2999 would have been a smarter move for a brand that is new to this space (meaning a bike that just might be popular among the cool kids).
  • 1 0
 @KGAmoto: They raised the prices since launch. Completes up ~$300 since the first look article, and like you said, frames onlys up as well.

www.pinkbike.com/news/video-salsa-blackthorn-cassidy-2020.html
  • 2 0
 @whambat: Why is everyone shitting on Split Pivot? It works and works well. I do not understand the DW progression of fanaticism. Every iteration is allegedly better than any of his other iterations without much really, beyond wonk numbers, to back it up.

'Split pivot is great!' 'No way, DW link is the absolute best!' 'You all are wrong, the left over scaffolding from the construction site down the street on my Evil is the best!'

I have ridden Ibis DW link and currently own/ ride Devinci Split Pivot. Like all modern suspensions, once I dial in my suspension settings, I cannot tell the difference at all.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: I agree Split Pivot is a great design. But from my understanding, DW charges more per unit for DW link than Split Pivot to the bike manufacturer for the design. If that’s the case, you’d expect the cost savings to be passed on to the consumers. The Devinci’s are great bikes. I’d be happy to own one.
  • 1 0
 @whambat: I think the problem lays in economies of scale. Devinci, Salsa, and the other companies using SP arent exactly moving huge amounts of bikes so any cost savings going from one lay out to another cannot be fully realized. Ibis can be found in a lot of local shops so they are probably moving more frames/ builds. I have not seen a Salsa mountain bike on the trails around me and I know that I get odd looks when I am on my Devinci (could also be because it is purple and neon green).
  • 1 0
 @jmhills: I guess it depends where you live. We don't have an IBIS dealer in my city and you see lots of Devinci around and the shop I work at has Salsa.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: but the Devinci GX builds are $1200 cheaper than the Salsa GX build if rustiegrizwald’s post has the right numbers. The Devinci is a well priced bike, eh, Salsa seems overpriced.
  • 1 0
 @whambat: I did not take a hard look at the numbers. I tend to buy my bikes on end of model year close outs so the list price really does not matter much to me. The Marshall I have now I bought for over $2k off on closeout.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: I buy as much stuff as I can on closeout as well. New bike prices are insane.
  • 2 2
 @Zhehan: If you can afford to kick $2k off the sticker just because it is May, you probably could afford to do that in the first place...
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: That is not how it works.
  • 2 0
 @rustiegrizwold: I know. It was more a comment in jest. Does not translate well over boards. I get the idea of clearing out old stock so that you can afford to reload with new stuff.
  • 29 1
 levy's got a ton of charisma on camera, and i am here for it.
  • 6 0
 I agree. He’s got the banter. Him and Sam Pilgrim. I just chortle constantly when listening to their quip after quip. It’s all about the banter. Keep it coming Mike Levy!
  • 3 0
 The positive intensity, the sparkle in the eye that comes from a sugar high
  • 1 0
 @emptybe-er: So stealing your line.
  • 23 1
 Purple trail eater. I love the color!
  • 3 1
 Barney
  • 6 0
 The colour is so wrong, but it’s just so right. I almost want one. I think I want one. No, I can’t get a purple bike... can I?
  • 4 0
 @jaame: Mate of mine sprayed his FS frame recently. Cadbury purple with orange decals.

It looks beautiful.
  • 2 0
 @DidNotSendIt: it is the sweetest looking bike that I just don’t think I could buy. I would end up dropping the cash and then eight months down the line thinking what the f*ck was I thinking... like happened with my next door neighbour and his green hulk Skoda Octavia.
  • 12 0
 I own the SLX carbon version. I love it. Really fun and capable bike. Came from a 2017 Scott spark 720 plus that had 130 front 120 rear travel. The salsa lets me try stuff I'd be too scared to on that bike. I'm 6' tall, 185 lb, riding a large, same size as in the review, and it fits me well. bang for buck I think the SLX trim is the best value. My bike has the Lyrik and Rockshox Deluxe select shock. I like the purple on this review bike. My SLX is more of a tan colour with orange accents, a bit more subtle but really nice looking IMO. Thanks for the review PB, I enjoyed seeing your detailed review and comments on this bike.
  • 2 0
 Curious, do you know what your Blackthorn SLX (size Large) weighs? I agree, the tan colour with orange accents looks good. Here's a link to your bike: salsacycles.com/bikes/blackthorn/2021_blackthorn_carbon_slx
  • 2 0
 @RowdyAirTime: weighed it at 34 lb. no lightweight but that doesn’t matter to me.
  • 6 0
 Nice, that SLX model makes a lot of sense and you've got some great suspension on there. Killer big trail bike!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Agreed. SLX is such amazing shit for the dollar!
  • 13 1
 I'm curious how Levy at 5'10" is getting along with the new-school extra-long reach numbers of these size larges.

Being 5'10" also, in test rides I've found that 475mm is where I begin to like feel I'm piloting my own intergalactic space freighter.

@mikelevy do you feel you've found a reach number that is your personal limit?
  • 9 0
 Yup, I wouldn't go past 490mm for reach, no matter if the seat tube was at 130-degrees haha. It was either 490mm for the large or 469mm for the medium, which would have also worked - much like Specialized's S-Sizing, I could do either size. My thinking was that this is a "big" trail bike meant to ride some rowdy shit, so I wanted that extra length. Most importantly, while the bike didn't exactly feel short ever, it also never felt too long reach-wise.

TBH, I really like that 475mm number, but it's dependent on other things Smile
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy: Salsa does reccomend a size medium for your height. Med is 5'8"-5'11" I know its not super practical but hearing your thoughts on multiple bikes sizes in the future would be rad.
  • 10 0
 @LeoTProductions: For sure - we're gonna do a podcast about modern bike sizing soon Smile
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: who are you and what did you do to vintage Levy who picked the OG Ibis Ripley (406mm reach) over the LS (428mm reach)???
  • 1 1
 @mikelevy: YES YES YES ! and go back to the podcast,those other people ( NOT KAZ NOR Christina ) are literally ruining it.
  • 10 1
 It sounds like "Not great on efficiency, but good otherwise." was the verdict. I'll have to demo one in the spring.

The color is not a con! Yeah, it's a lot of purple, but if you're a person who likes color, that's a good thing.
  • 9 0
 My ibis takes a 2.6 29er and stuffs it in 435mm 'short' chainstays without super boost. If that becomes the 'standard' so be it, but I'm not sold on a bike that will have fewer hub replacement options for such minimal benefit.
  • 7 0
 It might be worth mentioning the expected delivery times of each of the bikes in the field test. Seems like most brands have nothing until next spring but some are out into 2022 and obviously this has to play into any real world buying decision.
  • 11 3
 If your gonna release bikes in colorways like that, please always have a black option available. You'll always sell more than having only one color option that's polarizing
  • 13 1
 Or so you assume.
  • 1 0
 I don't mind the color. Sure, I'd prefer black, or something other than purple. But it's the purple stickers that bother me. Makes the bike look cheap. Plus, I can't stand it when people go maych
  • 2 1
 *I can't stand it when people go all matchy matchy with their bikes. Purple stickers, purple grips, purple pedals, purple stem, etc.
  • 1 0
 Frame only in raw carbon
  • 8 2
 How does Guerilla Gravity do a $2200 carbon frame made in the US and all the 'designed in US' built in Taiwan frames are 3k??? I'd love to know if the frame quality is different, i know they have a different process.
  • 1 1
 The GG frame quality is quite good, the carbon frames are burly, functional, and highly adaptable.

It’s not “how does GG do it?

It’s how come others don’t do it?
  • 2 0
 FWIW, that $2200 is sans shock.
  • 1 0
 @deserat: That makes a big difference.
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: They also build a few different frames out of the same components (which many other brands do) and that usually makes for a heavier product. Weight doesn't matter, though, and they ride quite nicely.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: thanks for the reply, I'm looking at something like this for my next ride. I caught a 30% off transition sentinel gx alloy before they went swayze and I'm stoked for now. btw, love your content. the podcast is great and you and mike kaz are class acts!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: great video thanks
  • 5 0
 Anyone have any strong opinions on Salsa as a company? I friend of mine was the manger of a LBS and was all pumped on them and they became a dealer. He met with them at a show and dealt with them a few times. Result was he sold his Salsa stopped carrying them and was like stay way from Salsa ? It was the second time I had heard that about them.
  • 3 0
 They're a part of QBP, so whatever issues a shop may have with Q, they'll have with Salsa. My only experience with them has been knowing Q employees and seeing them out on the trails since they're based about 30 minutes from my house. Their employees all seem gung-ho at least.
  • 1 0
 Theyre fine. Warranty and support aren't great but it is very easy to find dealers when you're out of town becuase everyone is a QBP dealer pretty much.
  • 2 0
 I have a tendency to strongly consider the resale value when I buy a bike. Even if I liked the Salsa, I would be hesitant to drop $6-8k on one. I'm thinking the resale 1-3 years down the road would be less than 1/2 of that and may not sell quickly... unless the price is really low.
  • 7 0
 I started watching the review not interested, but by the end I was nodding. Nice bike.
  • 9 0
 Same here tbh
  • 5 1
 Really great review @mikelevy Also, great to see you shred on the bikes. Gives me confidence in your reviewing prowess. This bike reminds me of the DeVinci Troy. Split pivot, 140/160, however the Salsa has a bit longer reach.
  • 3 0
 I agree. The reviews are awesome!
  • 6 0
 @garrettstories @edummann Stoked you guys are stoked! It's always a bit nerve-wracking when these things come out Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: You got so good at it ! Like you re capable of articulating those precise things that matter. This bike is a hard charging trail bike yet capable of being a cool ride on the smoother trails. You know your words and you know how to say them so that us keyboard warriors understand it. Thats why we love you and want you to grow !
  • 7 0
 “If it ain’t moto it’s worthless”
  • 8 1
 I would also have accepted Salsa Purpetrator.
  • 5 1
 You guys are already blowing the past years release schedule out of the water. Wasn't it like one bike a week, then several weeks of radio silence before the broken bikes? This is what we've been asking for thank you!!!
  • 8 0
 Prince would love it.
  • 4 2
 Yeah and you re at home with the 490 reach but for the Spesh you went with a 475 .... makes no sense and I’m about to get a new bike and find myself in between S3 and S4 .
For salsa I rode the Cassidy in M and it’s a perfect fit
  • 6 1
 I’m 5’11” and I could have taken the S3 or the S4 stumpy, but the S4 still feels incredibly snappy around corners and the S3 was plenty stable. Haha now that I read my comment back, I’m realizing this probably doesn’t help... I’m happy with the S4
  • 6 1
 And nothing against the Cassidy, and I’m usually not a weight wieny, but I build my S4 Stumpy to 27.9 lbs with a fox 36 and DH brakes. Cant do that on the salsa.
  • 1 0
 @thechunderdownunder: Im
So glad you wrote you have no idea.
I’m 5.8 ( 1.75 m tall not 1.73 ) and I have NEVER touched an S3 NOR an S4 Stumpy Evo 2021 .
Im only shit talking according to the numbers and charts.
Now reach wise I’m at home on a 465 but wheelbase wise I don’t want a 29 with more than 1230 mm of length in between the axles.
Having said that the S4 in the Steep / Low setting seems close to what I love but still it will have a 1240 of WB and a 65.5 headangle, which is mostly fine on most trails but I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the bike at full capacity when I go to whistler. You know ?

So wished I wasn’t in between sizes.
And you for your 5.11 how come you haven’t considered the S5 ?
  • 2 0
 @thechunderdownunder: what the hell should I get ?

An S 3 with a 42 mm stem or an S4 with a 35 mm stem ?

Im only concerned of the S4 s bus long wheelbase or the S3 s super short reach that would make me feel cramped on the bike

Help please
  • 1 0
 @barbarosza: haha I have no idea your riding style or preference. An s5 would be an XL and I have never had to size up to that. At 5’ 8” I would say medium or S3 all day. My wife is 5’ 1” and on an S1. I would never presume to tell you what to get though. It’s such a preference. I know on the 2020 enduro I preferred downsizing as it was my “trail bike” and it was so long that I like the smaller size. On the stumpy the chainstays are super short so even though the bike feels long in the wheel base it comes around corners like a much smaller bike. Hope that helps lol.
  • 5 0
 @thechunderdownunder: Your Stumpy build sounds nice. I think the design of the "Purple Bark Eater" looks good. Definitely some Salsa put in this paint colour, but possibly a bit too purple for some buyers?

Really, another 140mm travel trail bike that tips the scales? Wow, 32.1lbs (M) for Salsa's highest end build? What happened to super high end trail bikes weighing around 28lbs? Seriously, for some of us that do not weigh 215lbs+ and only weigh 145-160lbs and not trying 45ft road gaps, do we really need trail bikes that weigh nearly as much as some lightweight EMTB's now coming out (Orbea Rise just over 36lbs). Strange, as lately we see trail bikes keep "climbing" in weight every year, but ebikes are finally now trying to shed weight. Hey it's 2020 and nothing makes sense anymore...
  • 3 0
 @RowdyAirTime: I love the purple and the salsa looks very cool, but I agree on the weight. I have seriously been sending this little mono shock Stumpjumper and it’s done some big gaps and drops to flat and been really impressive. I have it super over forked and the rear keeps up beautifully. It also climbs so good with the light build. I noticed in the video he said the the salsa was slower than the stumpy on the climbs and the descent so idk.
  • 4 0
 @RowdyAirTime: I’ll drop a link to my stumpy build later todaySmile
  • 1 0
 @thechunderdownunder: yeah well that’s the thing,I’m coming off a large Bronson V3 , reach 459 with a 35 stem and tried out a 42 stem and is perfect!
WB is 1215 and it’s okay . It’s a 27.5 bike

Now my only experience with 29ers is the M Cassidy i tried and was spot on geo wise for me . Just aesthetics are gross on the Cassidy plus that horrible paint job .

I love the assymetry of the Stumpy but f*ck me if I know whether to get an S3 or an S4.

Lové thé reach of the S4, hate it’s WB
Lové thé WB of the S3,cramped Reach though .
But yeah what you said helps , short CS makes turning easier
  • 1 0
 @barbarosza: Other problem you'll find is the reach numbers along with the rest of the geo are generally inaccurate, and none of review sites (with the exception of MBR) are verifying them.

Bigger problem than that you'll find is there is no stock available for purchase...
  • 1 0
 @mobiller: my LBS has an S2 and will have both the S3 and S4 in stock soon,then Dunbar Cycles has a Medium Transition Sentinel just in case plus I haven’t sold my Bronson !

So if worst comes to worst I still have the good ol Bronson which is by far the most true to my size bike. Period .
  • 2 0
 @mobiller: thank you though !!!!
  • 1 0
 @thechunderdownunder: ill wait for them to have the bikes in and try them out in the parking lot with some setups I think I’d ride. I truly hope to be okay on the S3 as 1240 - 1261 of WB sounds irritating
  • 1 0
 Haha I don’t know man. Overthinking maybe? It’s a bad year to be able to test ride bikes unfortunately. If you do more manuals and schralps and whips I would guess the S3, if you want something more stable and straight line go S4. If you feel cramped on smaller bikes consider upsizing, if the reach on your Bronson is good then go S3. I know for me the stumpy is an all rounder, but it’s more my “fun” bike so stability was less of a thought. The Bronson is so good so at least you have that!
  • 2 0
 @barbarosza: I know the weight of the bike makes it easier to manual, but the length of the S4 is significantly harder to pull up the front than my Large Ripley was. Now that I’m used to it it manuals easily, but going back to a Bronson it’s like way easier to pull up.
  • 1 0
 @thechunderdownunder: yeah,well I got the Bronson in large for straight lines and straight shooting and I like that.
I don’t want to go anything less 460 on the reach but in the same time I was always like yeah I love the reach of the Bronson but I wouldn’t ever need more wheelbase
  • 1 0
 @thechunderdownunder: yeah nah I’ll try to force myself into the S3 and just have a 40 or a 50 mm stem who knows it might work
  • 1 0
 @barbarosza: I'm with you on sweating the reach mm's.
Just before Corona I test rode M & L size in both 27.5 & 29 Norco Sights at John Henry. Too short of a reach just feels a little cramped and uncomfortable, while too long feels like you've fallen off a cliff. Wheel size makes a difference in how big an otherwise identical bike feels too. There's definitely a narrow window of "just right".
  • 6 0
 I wouldn't go longer than a 490mm reach, no matter if the seat tube was at 130-degrees haha. It was either 490mm for the large or 469mm for the medium, which would have also worked! Much like Specialized's S-Sizing, I could do either size. My thinking was that this is a "big" trail bike meant to ride some rowdy shit, so I wanted that extra length. Most importantly, while the bike didn't exactly feel short ever, it also never felt too long reach-wise.

TBH, I really like that 475mm number, but it's dependent on other things
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: thank you , I was just thinking you d prefer a longer stumpy since most other bikes you test are fairly longer.

And btw in the meantime I just sat on an S4 stumpjumper and it feels perfect
  • 1 0
 @barbarosza: haha there you go.
  • 1 0
 @thechunderdownunder: yeah yeah but still that’s the regular Stumpy and not the Evo like you have which is a compellty différent animal, riding wise and geo wise but yeah I’m happy so far I love the S4 , has a roomier feel reach wise than the S4 stumpy Evo but a less WB than the Evo so who knows I might end up with it. I’m curious how hard will Mike Levy go on it with this test
  • 6 0
 @barbarosza: Just wanted to chime in on the Reach/Wheelbase convo.

At 5'11" 185lbs, Im in that Large/Med dilemma... had a Large SB130 and the 480mm Reach was good for short rides but started working on my low back, and palms/wrists on longer rides.

But what bothered me most on local trails was the long 1230mm Wheelbase. It just limited the playfulness of the bike, and I like to do more than just bomb in a straight line.

Switched to a Medium 460/1206mm and it was immediately more enjoyable.

I get the trend... basically at this point, it you're selling a bike that isn't low, long, and slack... you're not going to get praise from expert reviewers or pro race riders, but most people are not at that level and the "race" bikes may not be a great fit for their trails and riding style.
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: Good comments. I agree and feel the same way...
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: thank you so much for getting involved !

Im totally on your side regarding low slack long racers bikes ! For real, I have always ran my Bronson in the higher position ! I never wanted it ever slacker and it’s geo is top notch .

It’s that I feel the need to go with a 29er.
Now out of experience I need a 460 - 475 reach . That’s what we know !

Then if the WB would grow proportionally with the growth of the wheelsize and also of what WB I’m comfortable to handle right now then it would be cool.

Bikes that do that :

Commencal Meta TR - Medium
Forbidden Druid - Large
Specialized Stumpjumper 2021 - S4
Specialized Stumpjumper Evo 2021 - S4 in the Steep / Low setting


The Hightower from Santa Cruz in Large seems similar but it’s not .

So that’s that .

And as far as playfulness goes I have a Transtion PBJ in large ( 445 reach ) that I use for jumping doubles and pumptracks . I basically use the trail bike for enduro and DH . I don’t like big suspesion but I like to get a ride on the very extreme large side of the spectrum of what’s rideable for me .
  • 2 0
 "it has a lot of traction for you to use, with the rear-end seeming to offer more consistent bite than the firmer feeling machines. That'll help your cause through the tricky stuff, but it's also a relatively active bike that doesn't like those out of the saddle efforts"

So it has lots of good traction, but for some reason that doesn't matter when you're out of the saddle? That doesn't make any sense. Traction always matters, and it matters way more than a bit of extra suspension movement whether you're in or out of the saddle.
  • 2 0
 With the exception of a good sized huck to flat (if you know this trail you know how flat that landing is) it doesn't look like the front end needs as much travel. in just about every shot there is a solid 30mm not being utilized judging by the o ring on the stanchion.

Also that trail is in my mind on the outer edge of most peoples "trail bike" trail.. it was only a few years ago that it was considered a shuttle DH trail.. Its a bit spicy on my Down country Ibis Ripley.
  • 1 0
 I remember when we filmed the Trust Message VS 34 on that trail... Man, that drop felt like it had an uphill landing with the Trust!
  • 5 0
 Beautiful bike. Not a bike need, but still......
  • 4 0
 Can we have the stats behind wheel/tyre weight and how it affect climbing and descending positions?
  • 4 3
 Salsa Sentinel. Having recently tried to make the Sentinel work as a trail bike, my conclusion is that it's not great in 90% of the riding where you're not going balls out on the steeps. This seems like a similar overshoot, though I'm sure the for the 10% use case it'll be great.
  • 5 1
 Salsa: We used superboost to achieve a short 432mm chainstay!

Canfield: Wut?
  • 1 0
 Interesting info on the Salsa website. Apparently the Blackthorn can be turned into a Cassidy w/ a new link, shock, and longer fork. Also, the Blackthorn can run a 210x55 shock for 146mm rear travel.

salsacycles.com/files/tech/298581_SAL_Split_Pivot%2B_Conversion_INST_VF_EN.pdf
  • 1 4
 So, like what Guerrilla Gravity does?
  • 2 0
 @zachyc: Cheaper with the Salsa, it looks like. Don't need a whole new rear triangle. The new links are about $150. Plus a longer shock and fork.
  • 1 0
 I think Levy mentioned that briefly in the vid. Pretty cool.
  • 1 0
 @deserat: Technically you just need the seat stays ($445), buy I get where you're coming from. $150 plus shock and fork is pretty good deal for a different bike. I'd have to compare specs to see if its different enough for it to be worth it, but I do like the modular concept. People may complain that all the company's bikes that use that platform look the same, but that doesn't really bother me.
  • 1 0
 I remember the day Salsa came on to my radar. Was about 5 years ago attending a demo day (shout out to Buckwallow in bracebridge, Ontario, CA ) and none of the bikes I came to ride were available, so another prospective buyer and myself grabbed Salsa Pony Rustler's !! ( real name .. ) we chuckled about the name for a good 15 minutes and it was enough to discourage the purchase until we took a first breather after 3 trails. Literally at the same time we were like "Holy $hit" this thing pedals very well and loads of traction. It ended up being the funnest bike of the day... by a margin. Anyway - with the new design language on the bikes I would have definitely considered this bike on the short list. I went with another brand ultimately but I'd love to see a ripmo V2 vs Blackthorn shoot-out. Similar. I like the purple today, but too risky for me as I may hate it in January. Great video.
  • 1 0
 Thanks @mikelevy. A good and honest review but didn't detect overt enthusiasm (and that's fine).

Kudos to whoever is doing the video work and editing, because it's excellent. The slow-motion parts with the corresponding description work very well.
  • 2 1
 OK, I really really like this bike. Shame it seems pretty hard to get in the UK.

The frame design, details, geo, storage look really well thought through and this travel/geo combo for me and my trails is the ideal "one bike". I like the purple too. And, for once, the top end model is, IMHO, great value. A Spec or SC logo would add like $1.5-2.5k to a build kit with X01/Factory/Carbon wheels.
  • 2 0
 Finding a unicorn in stock maybe easier in the UK
  • 1 0
 @enduroFactory: Yeah and I get the impression that right now that goes for all bikes. I bought a gravel bike this summer on bike2work and I thought at some point I'd have to get in a cage fight with other punters for remaining stock...
  • 2 1
 Purple makes no business sense. Who's making these decisions? Same with Trek awhile ago making a neon green bike. "Huh, we didn't sell as many bikes as we thought." Bro, it's purple. Release a bike with a standard color scheme and an experimental color, if that's your thing. Seems like basic business sense 101.
  • 4 0
 I bet the Canfield Lithium will climb better than this bike.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy : I know it isn't much of a change, but did you try the bike in the high position? It might have made it slightly less large seeming on the right stuff where you say it's a handful.
  • 3 0
 Surely that amount of purple is a pro. If I owned one I'd deck out with extra purple anodising.
  • 4 0
 Can anyone tell me what a deckle is?
  • 3 0
 Spanish for dickle
  • 4 0
 Can anyone tell me what a dickle is?
  • 4 0
 @hotfootluke: Canadian for sticker.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: oh good...I don’t gotta sell my fork then
  • 1 1
 "Pedal like you've got no idea what good form looks like and you'll see the suspension slightly dip in and out of its travel under you, meaning you're best off flipping the Fox shock's pedal-assist switch if your climbs are smooth and long."

Well, yeah, pretty much everything benefits from flipping the switch if you have shit pedaling form and are on a smooth long climb.
  • 1 0
 Please compare the best trail bikes of this year filed with the 2019-20. The most recent bike of one company is not always better than the last year model of the other company. That's important for the buyer... me
  • 2 0
 I dig the colour. I really dig split pivot. I dig that it's a salsa that isn't for gravel or xc. I dig that salsa are still around. We just need ventana back now.....
  • 2 0
 I love my Bucksaw and like Salsa's other bikes overall- namely due to DW's split pivot. But this rear hub standard is a deal killer; I've got too much invested in 148.
  • 1 0
 I think it's unfair to complain about it being a big trail bike when it's not even marketed as salsa's trail bike. It is an all-mountain bike, and they have other bikes on their website marketed towards being a trail bike.
  • 3 0
 I had to google pickle fork.
  • 4 0
 Looks like A Revel
  • 2 0
 I think Levy should have mentioned that the new Salsas are designed to take a 27.5x3.0 if you want to do that sort of thing.
  • 7 0
 "Salsa says that the 12x157mm hub lets them get a short, 432mm chainstay length while still being able to fit either 29'' x 2.6'' or 27.5'' x 3.0'' tires. You know, just in case you want to ruin the bike with 3” wide tires... Please don’t." Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Woopsies...you expect me to read text when there's a video? Ha! But good that you said something. I'm sure a lot gets cut in editing anyway.
  • 4 1
 dee·kalz vs deckull

Levy, you're getting too close to Canada
  • 3 0
 I def don't have a good track record when it comes to pronunciation.
  • 3 0
 I've come to slay this dragon
  • 4 0
 This purple is gorgeous.
  • 3 0
 Nothing about the Reynolds wheelset?
  • 5 0
 Worked well, was invisible, zero issues. And they're black.
  • 2 0
 Oil slick may be a little 2019 but dang those bits look awesome on this thing!
  • 3 4
 Trail bike? I’m old enough to remember when this would have been classified on the more extreme end of a long-travel, enduro-type 29er.

Seems like a fun bike with lots of positives, as for the negatives... most top-end bikes come in just one color. It is kind of a bummer when you dig the bike overall, but you just can’t get over the color. It shouldn’t matter, but if you’re being honest, sometimes it does. Maybe manufacturers could do a default black as an option. Then again, so many companies are doing purple, it’s starting to grow on me.
  • 2 0
 Same here... it's certainly a 'big' trail bike that's ready for the rowdy.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Kaz reviewed that Commencal TR earlier this year. THAT'S a big ass trail bike! @TheR
  • 3 0
 @mybaben: Ha, that is quite the "trail bike"
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy : how would you compare it to a Ripmo, uphill and downhill?

Thanks!
  • 2 0
 It's not going to pedal as efficiently as the DW link on the Ripmo
  • 2 0
 Sounds like it would rail with a 150mm fork.
  • 2 0
 I have not wanted a bike so bad in years.
  • 3 1
 I don't really need a new bike, but PURPLE. Looks gorgeous.
  • 1 3
 "a surprisingly fun and fast bike in tighter bends when you can use the traction and calmness to come into them too fast for your own good"

Not surprising at all, really. And not sure why you seem to think that traction is only a bonus on corner entry, but not on corner exit...
  • 2 1
 Really enjoying the comeback of 90s purple and teal on bike frames lately. Looks rad
  • 3 0
 Fork deckles @mikelevy?
  • 8 0
 It's my video and I'll mispronounce things if I want to haha Smile
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Heckling your deckling! Hey, sometimes we say things a little differently north of the border (tbh I hear deecal alot here too). At least in this field test you don't have to decide if it is a Kona Pro-cess or Praah-cess. I think I'll go eat some pee-cans now. haha
  • 3 0
 @bikingduker: I'll have to come up with a third way to pronounce Kona's bikes!
  • 1 2
 The suspension design looks very similar to the Specialized suspension platform. I'm guessing it rides similar a Stumpjumper (last iteration) which is not a bad thing and a good thing.
  • 6 0
 Nope, they kinda look similar but are quite different Smile They both drive the shock through a seat tube-mounted linkage, but the axle pivots are in very different locations; concentric on the Salsa, on the seatstay with the Stumpy. The main pivots are also in different locations, and they use different shocks with different air volumes and tunes.

The Stumpy is a firmer, sportier feeling bike, but the Salsa might give you a bit more traction/smoothness. Neither is better because they're doing things differently.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Sounds like the Salsa Blackthorn is plusher from your description. The older Stumpjumper was not the best climber, but it did had a pretty active rear suspension from my experience. I owned Camber with same suspension platform that had only 110mm of rear travel, but since it was quite active it felt deeper, but wasn'tthe best climber either.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: Yup, exactly that. It is plusher.
  • 2 0
 Lets all just take a moment.... “dekels” -Mike Levy, 2020
  • 1 0
 Barney...nah
Because is a Ripmo wanna be
I bequeath the name...purple...(wait for it...)
... nurple
  • 1 0
 My wife is an expert and claim that you are all blind ignoramuses. The color of this bike is suchsia not purple!
  • 1 0
 When I think 'Salsa', this bike does not come to mind.
  • 1 0
 Even with that epic colour all I can see is that SADDLE! Bad so bad
  • 1 0
 "The Salsa had the fourth fastest timing climb"
  • 1 0
 Cant see Salsa without thinking of Jason McRoy. RIP buddy.
  • 1 0
 Gorgeous bike, any chance of getting an Alu version
  • 2 1
 Levy-->Levi
Decals-->Dekals???
  • 5 0
 I'm a little free form when it comes to pronunciation haha
  • 2 0
 I wanna see the shore
  • 1 0
 Should have called it the Salsa Morado
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy
Why are you screaming so loud in those videos ? Smile
  • 1 0
 Actually looks bad ass for a salsa
  • 1 0
 When you gonna review the Cassidy then?
  • 1 0
 I really like this bike! Well done Salsa.
  • 1 0
 I feel a change in the air!
  • 1 0
 I like the rubber pad for and slot for strapping on a tube, cool detail.
  • 1 1
 Is it just me or is the audio quite shit in this set of field test vids?
  • 3 0
 I guessing due to COVID they don't have a boom mic operator to get better audio. Sounds as if he's having to use the mic on the camera. He sounds as if he's pressing his voice a bit to ensure he's loud enough with mic farther away. Rooms got a bit of echo as well.
  • 1 1
 This, a Santa Cruz Hightower or a Norco Sight?
  • 1 0
 its a nice looking bike
  • 1 0
 Edit: wrong topic
  • 1 1
 I will never buy a purple bike. There, I said it.
  • 2 3
 Not a Forbidden Druid. #getrearwardorgetf*cked
  • 2 3
 Cool, so it's a Cannondale Habit with a Split Pivot? Blank Stare
  • 1 3
 stem is way too long
  • 3 6
 Kinda like my dick
  • 1 0
 @deserat: LOL!!! Well played.
  • 1 0
 @deserat: gotta give you credit on this one !
  • 2 5
 Same Chinese mold as the cannondale habit? Hope it holds up better
  • 5 1
 No
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: You gotta admit it is strikingly similar to the Habit though. The Salsa has a Split Pivot and the links are only slightly different, but almost everything looks exactly the same.
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