Ride like you stole it
The Horsethief was designed for long days in rugged terrain. The 130-millimeter front and 120-millimeter rear travel offers riders the option of conquering big roots and daunting rock
gardens but with the all-day efficiency that 29-inch wheels have
to offer. Combine these features with a relaxed geometry and the
bike will take a trail rider anywhere.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The Horsethief is suited for rugged cross-country and trail riders
who are looking to ride aggressively without having to worry about
destroying components that will break the bank to repair or need
to be replaced in the event of a crash. The durable linkage and
frame look ready to handle whatever any trail rider is ready to lay
down. Salsa offers this bike in three different models; this is the
only aluminum option, as the other two models are carbon.
At $3400, Salsa doesn’t waste any time in providing a bike with
a durable build kit. The Horsethief 2 comes with a Shimano SLX/
Deore component mix, Fox CTD suspension, Stan’s Rapid rims
with SLX hubs, and Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2. 35 Snakeskin tires.
WHAT’S IT MADE FROM?
The Horsethief 2 is a full-aluminum frame and rear triangle. One
of the first parts of the frame build that we noticed were the clean
welds and general quality of the construction of the frame. There
weren’t any bulky welds sticking out or excess metals that we
could find. The linkage came with anodized bolts that complemented the transparent gray frame and blue decals.
Every piece of engineering on the frame and rear triangle is
geared towards durability and aggressive riding. The rear triangle
has 12x142 spacing, and the front triangle features a tapered
head tube to give the bike more stiffness and stability, along with
a slacker head angle to handle the rough stuff. Salsa uses a Split
Pivot rear suspension design to increase traction, improve climbing
and keep braking influence at bay. Salsa shortened the chainstays
to keep the rear wheel closer to the frame, making the bike more
nimble in tight sections, and to allow for wider tire options. Salsa
claims that 2.35-inch tires are ideal, but we noticed that the clearance was very close and that rocks and other small trail debris
would get pulled up in between the tire and chainstays fairly easily,
causing some cosmetic scuffs and wear.
All of these features complement the relatively slack geometry
and seat-tube angles to culminate in a bike designed to handle the
rockiest and steepest of terrain. To offset these trail features and
offer more performance, Salsa created the Horsethief with a longer
top tube to allow riders the ability to get into a more aggressive
position for cross-country riding and increase climbing efficiency.