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As the Singletrack.com crew returns from Vegas to the mothership in Colorado, we’re shaking out our notebooks and cameras for the last few tasty bits from Interbike.
And we have more than a few choice morsels to share, one of which just might be the bang-for-the-buck sleeper of the show: Salsa’s Spearfish. Sleeper in the sense that this well-spec’d alloy 29er dually not only rides surprisingly sweet but you won’t need a paper bag to breath into as you hyperventilate looking at pricetags (and/or weights), which is known to happen when peering at other brands’ full-suspension two-niners.
Granted, we took the Spearfish out on just one long test ride at Outdoor Dirt Demo, but considering that it wasn’t our bike, we, um, carefully rode it over some nasty tech stuff. At low and high speeds the Spearfish handled things with stable precision.
The new full-suspension offering from Salsa serves up just 80mm of rear travel with a straight-forward single pivot and dog bone link, but with seat stays designed to flex through suspension cycles (Salsa says 5mm) and the big wheels the ride was compliant yet snappy.
At just under six pounds (XL frame and shock), the Spearfish is aimed at the endurance crowd, said Pete Koski, the main engineer on the Spearfish project.
“This is my baby. It’s all about minimalization,” Koski said, adding that the Spearfish underwent two-years plus of development and production. “We said ‘let’s take the idea that the 29-inch wheels give you some advantage and wrap it up in a full-suspension bike.’”
With the rear pivot out of the suspension design, there is one less set of bearings and other assorted bits. To further weight savings, Koski said, the straight dog-bone link is smaller and lighter than triangle rockers.
“Add those things together and you start to shave off weight here and there,” he said.
Along with hydroformed tubing in the front triangle, the Spearfish is designed to run a 100mm tapered fork and a press-fitt BB30 bottom bracket. The frame can accommodate 2×10 and 3×9 drivetrains and will fit up to a 2.25-inch tire.
So, you get all the above plus a Rock Shox Reba fork and Monarch shock, SRAM X7/X9 drivetrain and Stan’s Arch 29er tubeless-ready wheels for $2,250 (or $999 for frame and shock).
It’s enough (more than enough, really) to make me take back what I’ve said about the unneeded heft of dually aluminum 29ers…