Product DescriptionIf 80 miles of singletrack in a day was never enough for you, and your idea of a quality weekend distraction is a 24-hour endurance race, then Salsa created the Spearfish 3 just for you. The frame geometry is designed around all-day comfort, and maintaining maximum pedaling efficacy, regardless of how tired your legs are. Salsa has also created an innovative pivot-sharing suspension system which, in addition to tightening up the rear of the bike (without compromising the 80 millimeters of travel), reduces chassis weight and simplifies any maintenance you might have to perform trail-side. The end result is a snappy and confident, but, more importantly, comfortable ride that will lead your hunger for challenge to distant backcountry singletrack and deep into the wee hours of the night.
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|Reviews 1 - 15 (35 Reviews Total)||| Next 15|
Date Reviewed: November 5, 2013
Strengths: Performance: speed on flats and DH, climbing, winding corners
Componentry: bomb-proof Stans wheels, SRAM X0 rear der, fox fork and shock, through axle, maxle, carbon bars and seatpost. The Spearfish 1 is BA!
Weaknesses: Performance: tight cornering
Componentry: carbon bar but not riser (1st thing I replaced), geometry seems to put the rider a little high
The only negative I can point out is that the center of gravity on the bike seems a bit high so I am often slower in the tight corners than I feel I should be, Granted this is my first year riding and racing MTB. It might also be helpful to note that I ride a medium and I am 5'9".
Otherwise, mechanically the bike has been super solid. Softened the shock and fork as I dropped lbs over the summer. 2 X 10 is perfect.
Duration Product Used: 1 yr
Price Paid: $3100.00
Purchased At: Outspokin Bikes in W
Bike Setup: Stans Arch wheels tubeless with Conti XKing 2.2 tires. Raceface Next carbon riser bar. SRAM X0 rear der, X9 front. X9 shifters. Truvitiv X9 2X10 crank. KMC Gold chain. Salsa carbon seatpost. Avid Juicy 7 brakes. Fox Float 29 fork. Fox Float RP2 shock. Time ATAC XC pedals.
Date Reviewed: October 17, 2013
Strengths: really light and really fast
Weaknesses: the bootom bracket is a little low
Duration Product Used: 1 year
Price Paid: $2100.00
Purchased At: ebay
Similar Products Used: none
Bike Setup: stock
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2013
Strengths: I think this bike is great for it's purpose. It's marketed to those who wish to adventure / bikepack / go fast on singletrack. And I think it does all of those things great. It's decently priced too.
Weaknesses: My rear triangle cracked half way through on the non-drive chain stay. Kind of unfortunate, but stuff happens. Although I would advise folks to Google other instances of this happening. It seems to be a problem that's becoming more and more prevalent. Also worth noting, when I went to replace mine, they are only stocking Spearfish 1 triangles. They stopped producing the 9mm quick release version. I can't help but to assume that it's because they identified this manufacturing / design flaw. Also, the 144 x 12 thru axle version is $400.
Bike Setup: Custom Build: SRAM X9 / Stan's 3.10 - Arch EX / Maxxis Ardent / Thomson / Fox Talas 32
Date Reviewed: May 18, 2013
Strengths: Comfortable, climbing, responds stable on descends, good value for money
Weaknesses: None detected so far. The salsa sf 1 frame colours and stripes could be better but thats a personal preference. Compared to other bikes the colour design of the sf1 is far to moderate. Total black with only the name of Salsa is enough.
I've had one problem with the schwalbe Racing Ralph tires. Suddenly a large puncture in a climb on a normal gravel road after 7 days. For the rest no difficulties at all. Extreme good handling, relaxed riding for 9 days. Thanks Salsa!
Date Reviewed: May 9, 2013
Weaknesses: bb30 is a pain if you are buying justa frame, could use a post mount rear brake
I'd say this bike is a sleeper...in term of race application. It terms of a trail bike it seems sorta silly, you may as well get a horsethief or any of a variety of 30lb trail bikes that will welcome a general beating, give you more travel, and more huckabiltity. If you're just cruizing trail who cares about the extra 5lb?? The Spearfish is the type of girl that rewards power & speed, uphill & downhill; she wants a little finess; she needs you to find a good line, she'll forgive if you can't, but not all day. I think she wants to wear number plates.
Similar Products Used: Tomac Supermatic, Specialized Stumpjumper 29, Blur, FSR Elite Max Backbone
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2013
Strengths: I have the 2012 Spearfish 2 and I couldn't love it more. Great components, good shocks, tight response, no bobbing up and down on flats. This bike is better equipped and slightly less expensive than other bikes, but I prefer it more.
I am 5' 10" and I weigh 155 lbs. My inseam is 32" and I ride the Medium size 18" frame.
Weaknesses: Haven't found one yet. It would be nice to have a second bottle cage, but there isn't anywhere to put it.
Obviously, after three weeks of riding a full-suspension bike (that is also $4200) I had to have a FS bike. The nice guys at the shop let me return the El Mariachi and upgrade to the Spearfish 2. I don't regret my decision at all.
Honestly, I think the Spearfish 2 is as good as the Trance X and $2,000 cheaper. Obviously, the Fox shocks are better on the Trance X, but I wasn't impressed with the Shimano Deore XT shifters and brakes. I'm happy with the SRAM x7/9 and Avid 5 brakes.
Great value and great performance.
I also made a short video of me riding my Spearfish: https://vimeo.com/65393541
Date Reviewed: May 6, 2013
Strengths: Comfortable, stable, precise, light, perfect
I bought my Spearfish 2 a couple of months ago and have really tried to find a weakness. There aren’t any. Just got back from a 3 day trip to Moab and it performed flawlessly. This is the first bike I have ever bought that I haven’t switched out any components. Not one. Every original component on the bike feels great right down to the seat and grips.
One quick word about the Continental X-Kings – I am a huge fan. They are fast with a good amount of traction. A bit heavy but I am running them tubeless and they have performed very well. My bike is right around 27.5 lbs.
Sizing: I am 5-10, 185lbs, 32” inseam and the LARGE frame feels custom made for me. Most mtn bikes I've had in the past have taken some time to get dialed in (seat position, handlebars, stems, etc). I have not adjusted anything on the Spearfish since I walked out of the store with it.
I have read some reviews that the bottom bracket is too low and I have NOT found this to be the case at all. I guess it depends on what bike someone was riding previously. I came from a santa cruz superlight 26” and the bottom bracket was lower than the spearfish. So this has been a non issue for me.
Suspension: The bike rides firm. That’s how it is meant to ride. Efficient and comfortable. Not squishy. I set up my rear shock to just around my weight. It is right at the point where there is no pedal bob and it soaks up every single bump. I had it a little hard at first and although it worked, I was getting a little bounced off the saddle – which defeats the entire purpose of riding comfortably and efficiently! I let out just 5psi and now its perfect.
One thing that I viewed as a weakness originally was the lowest gear (granny gear) on the 2 X 10. The granny gear is probably the equivalent of 2 rings harder than my last bike. In other words I find myself sometimes looking for another gear. However, this has forced me to pedal harder and because the bike is so stable, I am able to climb much better and climb lots of hills/obstacles I was not able to before. Also because it’s a 29er (more wheel contact with the ground) I find I can stand and pedal in places where I would have slipped out on my 26er. By the way, 2 thumbs up on the 2 X 10. Find myself using the front derailleur much more often than my previous setup and it always feels like I'm in the right gear.
This bike is amazing. The tapered head tube combined with the thru axel along with the efficient suspension and perfect geometry all combine to inspire a lot of confidence so be careful!
Duration Product Used: 2 months
Price Paid: $2300.00
Purchased At: University Bicycles,
Similar Products Used: I considered the Scott Spark, Giant Trance, Giant Anthem, Kona Hei Hei, Specialized stumpjumper (all 29ers), and tested them in the store. In the past I have had all 26ers full suspension: Cannondale V, Specialized stumpjumper, Giant NRS, Santa Cruz Superlight.
Bike Setup: Spearfish 2, 2012 stock setup. Running tubeless tires.
Date Reviewed: April 16, 2013
Strengths: This bike has a lot of strengths but I would say its biggest strength is that it is versatile. Yes, it climbs like crazy but you CAN and should run it through technical stuff....NO, its not a 5 inch travel bike but if your honest with yourself you wont notice a big difference. I have a Spearfish 3 and I have Industry 9 wheel set with 142X10 axles and it makes this bike even better and more versatile. You can stay on this bike all day and it doesn't beat you to death...Best of both worlds...Hard tail/Full Suspension
Weaknesses: Well...there are NO weaknesses...I bought the frame and added parts. I would find a good wheel set for this bike and you will be rewarded big time. Bottom bracket? ya...it could be higher but not a big issue.
Date Reviewed: April 14, 2013
Strengths: Well balanced, acceptable weight. Climbs very close to a hardtail.
Weaknesses: Can only mount one water bottle. Almost did not buy for this reason. Bolt for pivots and shock rusted quickly.
Purchased At: First Flight Bikes,
Date Reviewed: March 16, 2013
Strengths: 2012 Salsa SF1 Light weight, fast, comfortable, great handling..
Weaknesses: none so far, I may upgrade the fox stuff to Kashimura coated...we shall see, it should've been spec'd with it?! ok...if I have to choose something it's the tires. I will up-grade to Maxxis UST Crossmark as soon as the Continental's are done.
Duration Product Used: 2 mos
Price Paid: $2650.00
Purchased At: Bike shop in Califor
Similar Products Used: Moots Mooto X ybb, Salsa Dos Niner
Bike Setup: Stock, except for red Chris King head-set (inset 2), Salsa Pro Moto Carbon riser bars, Oury grips (lock on), set up tubeless with Stans....
Date Reviewed: March 3, 2013
Strengths: Light, nimble, minimal pedal bob, climbs great, very balanced front/rear
Weaknesses: Nothing yet really. Not necessarily the bike you want to pound through rock gardens with.
Date Reviewed: February 14, 2013
Strengths: Low weight, Price point, Comfort
Weaknesses: Bottom Bracket Height
I found a great deal on the Spearfish 3 frame, and figured I'd build it up with parts I had laying around. The BB30 BB was kind of a headache, as I wanted to use an existing Deore Crankset. It was quickly remedied by way of the "Problem Solvers" adapters. I've been riding with a standard crank and the adapter for a full season with no notable noise or unintended movement. I may upgrade the entire drivetrain this season, and would then move on to a bb30 crank.
A majority of the riding I do out here would be considered more "All Mountain" rather than XC, as this bike is intended. Lots of rocks, drops, and technical sections. That said, I would love for the bottom bracket to be a little higher off the ground. Again, the bike is meant for xc, where you wouldn't see as much terrain as I've been throwing at it. But still, I find my pedals and chainrings striking quite a bit of terrain if I don't take a line perfectly or misjudge a drop.
Overall, this bike is a blast and is QUICK! It's incredible what it can climb over once you figure out that you can let the bike do all the hardwork... All you have to do is pedal! It handles downhills like a champ and is easily maneuvered. I may have to get a dedicated trail bike, but I'm not planning on ever getting rid of the Spearfish.
Date Reviewed: February 10, 2013
Strengths: handling, comfort
Weaknesses: none so far
Similar Products Used: numerous super light carbon hard tails and a few 26 inch full springers over the years
my last bike was a scott scale carbon 29r which was a really nice super light hard tail
Bike Setup: stock
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2012
Strengths: Light, inexpensive, fast.
Weaknesses: Low bottom bracket, but I got over it after the first ride.
For me the Spearfish shines on the downhill--it feels limber and centered and fast--and sticks around corners. Climbing is better than expected, and the stiffer design definitely takes some of the bob out. I don't have any experience with hardcore endurance riding, but I've had this out for up to 8 hours at a stretch and felt better than I would have on other 29ers. I find myself grinning a lot while riding, but that might just be the riding.
Purchased At: Bikeman
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2012
Strengths: Weight, 3.3 lbs medium frame, handling, beautiful paint.
Weaknesses: None relly. I would prefere a standard threaded bottom bracket but I'm using adapters and so far so good.
Purchased At: Denny's Central Park
Similar Products Used: Specialized Camber 29, Salsa Big Mama, Redline d660. Many many 26ers.
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Related Spearfish Forum Posts
I've had my Spearfish for over a year now and have put lots of miles on it. It's great for so many things, but I'm starting to feel like it's a lot to handle. Maybe too much. I live on the front range of Colorado, so much of the riding I do is on semi-tehnical, very rocky terrain. On fast, techni ... Read More »
I have a 2012 Spearfish 2..sometimes when I'm am coming over the top of a hill or just need to accelerate in a technical situation, the bike gets this feeling like its stuck and just sort of wallows and gets hard to accelerate. As I push harder, the bike seems like it is trying to plow through the ... Read More »