Salsa Cycles Spearfish 29er Full Suspension

DESCRIPTION

If 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.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 36  
[Apr 11, 2019]
Jbone1


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

Owned this for 6 years now - I have tried loads of bikes and still keep coming back to this as its so capable and fun

Weakness:

now longer the lightest

Price Paid:
3000
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2012
[Nov 05, 2013]
Alan
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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!

Weakness:

Performance: tight cornering
Componentry: carbon bar but not riser (1st thing I replaced), geometry seems to put the rider a little high

I chose the Spearfish 1 over Specialized Epic Comp based upon the drivetrain, wheels, carbon bars and seatpost and weight (about 3 lbs lighter). Price was actually a hundo or two more for the Spearfish. From the moment I stepped on the pedals the bike was responsive and snappy. It felt right. Maybe the shop did a great job setting up the suspension for me cause I rode it for several weeks and a handful of XC races before I made any adjustments. The ride still blows me away.

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.

[Oct 17, 2013]
lester
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

really light and really fast

Weakness:

the bootom bracket is a little low

I really like the way this bike fits and handles. The stock components are great and the quality of the frame is top notch. This bike can handle a lot of single track. Not suited for the really rough stuff though, but that's not what its made for anyway.

Similar Products Used:

none

[Oct 09, 2013]
brdpkns
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

The bike is great. But seems to be pretty fragile. I weigh 150lbs. I live and ride on the front range of Colorado so ask a lot from my bike. But I'm not riding on anything that's really out of the bike's capabilities. I'll be giving this bike to my wife next season and I'll most likely not be getting another Salsa.

Similar Products Used:

Surly Karate Monkey / Surly Cross Check

[May 18, 2013]
RdJ
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Comfortable, climbing, responds stable on descends, good value for money

Weakness:

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.

Just did the 900k and 9 day Joburg2c in SA on this bike. Bought a sf1 frame, mounted a xt group, a reba, a fox ctd, and hand build ztr crest/dt swiss350 wheels, salsa steer and seat post. The pf30 problem solved with a kit, so far no difficulties but this is not an ideal solution. I am waiting for the solution of Praxis.
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!

[May 09, 2013]
Charles Van Drunen
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Oddly...descending

Weakness:

bb30 is a pain if you are buying justa frame, could use a post mount rear brake

I bought just the frame, built it as a race bike. Large, and it sits at about 24.5lb with pedals with 1600gr wheels, cable pull disc brakes, xt/xtr 9sp drive train, and a reba. Don't fear the 80mm of travel, because it is single pivot and it feels about like a 100mm Niner or other multi-link 29er. This bike climbs well and I expected that, but I did not expect it to descend nearly as well as it does. Yes, you will find the bottom of the travel on good size drops, but it will keep you straight on everything else. I have stress tested this bike, in anticipation of upcoming races, taking it thru stuff you wouldn't normally do on a light bike and it has handled it all in stride. My greatest fear in buying this bike was that 80mm would not be enough, but it is...granted I use every bit of it. This bike is an exceptional bargain as a race frameset at over 1000 less than most 29er carbon race frames and at nearly the same weight, with the exception of a few (BMC & Trek come to mind as significantly lighter...1lb or so) .

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

[May 08, 2013]
onpaperwings

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

Haven't found one yet. It would be nice to have a second bottle cage, but there isn't anywhere to put it.

I actually first purchased a 2012 El Mariachi 3 29er hard trail and took it on one ride. Unfortunately, my front fork had a problem and stopped locking out, so I took it back in to get it fixed. The guys at my LBS gave me a loner (a Giant Trance X 29er 0) for the three weeks my bike was in the shop to get the fork rebuilt.

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

[May 06, 2013]
Foster
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Comfortable, stable, precise, light, perfect

Weakness:

None

If you have no intention of buying a salsa spearfish then don’t get on one. The moment you do, you will want to buy it. The geometry is that 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!

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.

[Apr 16, 2013]
Falconman50

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

Ya know how bad it sucks trying to push all-mountain bike UP a hill which takes longer and kills ya for only a few minutes of pleasure to go down? A spearfish makes you go UP easier and go down with almost the same reckless abandon as an all mountain bike will allow.....For most of us this bike will be your one and only and don't let the XC-Endurance racer tag fool ya....This thing will handle the same technical stuff your buddies are riding and you are in better physical shape because your not as tired from the ride up. If you live in a part of the country like I do that REQUIRES a lot of climbing to some awesome downhill...buy this bike. Your wife will get over it!!!

[Apr 14, 2013]
aircooled
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Well balanced, acceptable weight. Climbs very close to a hardtail.

Weakness:

Can only mount one water bottle. Almost did not buy for this reason. Bolt for pivots and shock rusted quickly.

2012 SF1 frame. I was after a full suspension to take the edge off, but maintain the climbing feel of a hard tail. The 142 rear spacing adds to the stiffness of the bike. Corners very well. I will keep this bike for quite a while.

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