Braking: Speaking of brakes, the Split Pivot is going to
allow any brake to perform better than it would with a rear
suspension without a pivot. We could still get the rear tire
to lock, but a slight reduction of pressure to the brake lever
would find traction again.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
The Salsa rear hub emits an engagement click from time
to time when you apply pressure to the pedals. This may
become a wear issue later in the bike’s life.
While the SRAM Type 2 rear derailleur does a great job
of controlling chain slap, we’d still add a chainstay protector or Scotch’s 2228 moisture-sealing electrical tape to the
chainstay for added insurance.
Salsa, a company based out of Minnesota, rides and tests
their bikes in very nasty conditions. Their decision to run
fully enclosed cables instead of an interrupted cable system
is a plus for riders who don’t quit riding in the winter or in
While Salsa offers the $5499 Spearfish in a SRAM
XX build for you endurance racers out there, the $3299
Spearfish 2 makes more sense for the rest of us. It is a
tough bike that is built to battle the elements, but it is
certainly not a tank. Salsa gives you a trailbike that takes
full advantage of the promise of 29-inch wheels. This bike
steers light, rolls over terrain with confidence and doesn’t
saddle you with extra travel you will never use. The
Spearfish is a great 29er, do-it-all trailbike.
Spearfish bait: The tapered head tube brings strength, the
Split Pivot brings control, and the minimal rear-suspension
travel brings a big surprise.
Bottom bracket height
Top tube length
Head tube angle
Seat tube angle
3. 9” (front)
Fox Float F29 CTD Performance
Fox Float CTD Performance
Stan’s ZTR Rapid ( 29”)
Schwalbe Racing Ralph ( 2. 25”)
Salsa Salt Flat 2 ( 27. 5”)
Avid Elixir 5
SRAM X9 Type 2
SRAM PG-1050 10-cog (11-13-15-17-19-22-25-28- 32-36)
24. 8 feet (per crank rotation)
5.1 feet (per crank rotation)
None (weighed with Shimano XTR)
Maximized minimalistic: The Salsa Spearfish proves that quality
trumps quantity. While this is the shortest-travel trailbike tested in
some time, it does not come up short in ride quality or fun. ❏
SALSA SPEARFISH 2