View Poll Results: I think you should go with this option:

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  • 2012 Horsethief for $2150 (incl shipping) from the webs

    23 69.70%
  • 2012 Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite for $2450 (incl tax) from LBS

    7 21.21%
  • Bang your head off the wall for $0

    3 9.09%
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  1. #1
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    2012 Salsa Horsethief vs 2012 Superfly 100 Al Elite

    The Universal Cycles deal on the Horsethief ($2050 with $50 shipping, MSRP $2950) is great .. too great to pass up on it, I think... (note -- I accidentally put $2150 total in the poll -- its $2100)

    My mouse-trigger finger was hovering, until I rode a 2012 Trek Superfly AL elite this weekend. My LBS has it for $2250 (plus sales tax, MSRP $2600). I liked it a lot.

    My budget is quite tight so every cent counts.

    Most of my hesitation comes down to the fact that I simply havent been on the 'Thief. I've just watched every youtube video about it and read a ton. So I am pretty well informed. But no shop around me has one to try from this year, or last year.

    Both are good for the kind of riding I do -- rooty, rocky technical singletrack in New England, with some technical climbing, not a lot of drops. Lynn Woods, Bear Brook, etc, if youre familiar.

    I'm coming off a lightweight steel Breezer 26er steel hardtail, with XT everything. It was good for the riding I did in Delaware, but not up here. My lower back coudlnt take it.

    I guess it comes down to whether I want a slightly heavier all-around trail machine plusher ride in the 'Thief, or a slightly lighter more pure XC ride in the Superfly. Superfly will be a little better for going up, Horethief will be a little better for going down.

    As far as components- I've always used Shimano components, so I think Superfly has the edge there with XT in the rear and SLX brakes. But SRAM x9 on the Thief is apparently pretty good. Never used it. I guess I could take some of the $300 saved by the going the 'Thief route and improve some of the components? Here are the key specs:

    Horsethief - Price 2150 with shipping
    Superfly 100 AL Elite -- Price 2450 with tax

    So... if you were riding rooty rocky technical terrain in New England, which one would you go with?

    UPDATE: The horsethief won .. here she is. Looking forward to many good times in the woods together. Thanks for the input everyone!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Salsa Horsethief vs 2012 Superfly 100 Al Elite-thf2.jpg  

    Last edited by Radioface; 01-28-2013 at 08:37 AM. Reason: wrong price in Poll

  2. #2
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    Just noticed a guy posting 22 hours ago with a pretty similar question -- ha.

  3. #3
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    I love my 'Thief, and I chose it over more XC-oriented bikes because I wanted the security on descents. It has given me confidence to try technical sections that I never would have on my old 26er. I had also demo'd a Spearfish, which is a terrific bike. I felt like I could climb up a sheer wall on it, but I had a slightly going-over-the-bars feeling on rocky descents, due to the steeper XC geometry. The Horsethief is a bit more bike than I need for my local XC trails, but I ride CO Front Range, Western Slope and Moab every year and I also will be making several trips to NC and other rocky places back East, so I decided that I wanted one bike that could handle it all well. The climbing is a little more work, but it is more than worth it for the way I have been able to bomb the descents. If you use the ProPedal, it really isn't much of an issue. I bought mine from Universal Cycles and have zero regrets about the decision. If you will be riding XC most of the time, the Superfly will fit the bill. If you want a bike that can do everything, I'd lean towards a longer travel bike like the 'Thief.

  4. #4
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    I said Salsa just because I think it'll be more fun. Fun is why I ride, not competition, so something that's heavier but better descending would be more appealing to me than a feather-weight racer.
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  5. #5
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    Nice -- thanks for the response. I also head to Utah once a year or so (used to live and ride out of SLC) and have always rented from Poison Spider when I go back, as it is a flight for me and never had the right bike. Taking the 'Thief along could definitely be an option. (rode the White Rim last year -- down the Horsethief switchbacks which I assume they named the bike after)

    I hear you re "XC most of the time" vs "everything" -- I need to sit down and really ponder what type of riding I plan on doing for the next few years. Really -- it is relatively flat (as compared with Utah at least) -- but quite rooty and rocky. Lots of wheel popping to get over boulders and tree-bridges, keeping momentum through teeth chattering rock gardens, lots of real short steep climbs up granite slaps (no epic slogs up Puke Hill), and the corresponding tightwire zip down off the other side of the granite slab. A few nice sustained (not steep) downhills that are quite rocky. Definitely no Porcupine -- but super fun challenging technical riding.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Map204 View Post
    I said Salsa just because I think it'll be more fun. Fun is why I ride, not competition, so something that's heavier but better descending would be more appealing to me than a feather-weight racer.
    yeah man -- I hear you. If only my brother werent 5 years younger and a good deal faster. The question is .. .would I rather beat him to the top, or the bottom. Your vote is bottom -- I like it.

  7. #7
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    I am here in Arizona from Idaho on a '13 Horsethief and it climbs almost as well and descends better than my Superfly I had with me last year riding these same trails. The one place it slows down is in REALLY tight switchback situations. The longer wheelbase is what causes this. The handling both uphill and down in technical situations is flat out stable at any speed. If you climb a LOT you might choose the Superfly first. You won't be disappointed either way.


    Mikey
    Last edited by mikeyonthemadone; 01-14-2013 at 06:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyonthemadone View Post
    I am here in Arizona from Idaho on a '13 Horsethief and it climbs almost as well and descends better than my Superfly I had with me last year riding these same trails. The one place it slows down is in REALLY tight switchback situations. The longer wheelbase is what causes this. The handling both uphill and down in technical situations is flat out stable at any speed. If you climb a LOT you might choose the Superfly first. You won't be disappointed either way.


    Mikey
    Thanks! mind sharing what size 'Thief youre on and your height and inseam (if you know it)? I know I am good on the 19" superfly but am still pondering the ubiquitous 18" vs 20" Horsethief question.

  9. #9
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    If money is tight I'd buy a frame you like and move the XT parts over from your current ride. I can't really comment on one of those bikes vs. the other. There are other bikes in that price range I prefer...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    If money is tight I'd buy a frame you like and move the XT parts over from your current ride. I can't really comment on one of those bikes vs. the other. There are other bikes in that price range I prefer...
    No question that was an option I considered -- then someone made me an offer on my 26er that I couldnt refuse so it is adios! Which FS 29ers in the sub $2500 realm do you prefer, out of curiousity?

  11. #11
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    I'm completely smitten with the Tallboy so I'd probably try out the DAM29 build (SRAM X7/X5). However that horsethief looks pretty awesome. What build are you looking at? If it's the one that comes with ZTR Flows that means it would be coming with wheels I'd be pretty happy to roll with for a while making that pretty tempting.
    I haven't really given the Superfly or the Horsethief a fair shake so it's hard for me to have any reason not to like them. I just know that when I'm moving bikes around in the shop I work at the Superfly feels heavy for a 100mm travel bike... I was going to say I'd take Epic over the Superfly in that scenario, but the Epic starts at $3,300 retail so that's not really in the picture...

    So, you're probably on a good track now that I was forced to do some research, but still am just in love with the handling and pedaling characteristics of the Tallboy.

    If you could find a Transition Bandit to try out, you may dig that too. Since you're coming from a 26 inch hardtail, you'll like the shorter wheelbases of the Tallboy and/or Transition Bandit and will feel more right at home. I've ridden large framed 26 inch wheeled hardtails forever and this season went looking full suspension. After trying a Pivot 429, Pivot Mach 5.7, Spec. Stumpjumper and Stumpy Evo and the Transition Bandit I felt incredibly at home immediately on the Tallboy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    I'm completely smitten with the Tallboy so I'd probably try out the DAM29 build (SRAM X7/X5). However that horsethief looks pretty awesome. What build are you looking at? If it's the one that comes with ZTR Flows that means it would be coming with wheels I'd be pretty happy to roll with for a while making that pretty tempting.
    I haven't really given the Superfly or the Horsethief a fair shake so it's hard for me to have any reason not to like them. I just know that when I'm moving bikes around in the shop I work at the Superfly feels heavy for a 100mm travel bike... I was going to say I'd take Epic over the Superfly in that scenario, but the Epic starts at $3,300 retail so that's not really in the picture...

    So, you're probably on a good track now that I was forced to do some research, but still am just in love with the handling and pedaling characteristics of the Tallboy.

    If you could find a Transition Bandit to try out, you may dig that too. Since you're coming from a 26 inch hardtail, you'll like the shorter wheelbases of the Tallboy and/or Transition Bandit and will feel more right at home. I've ridden large framed 26 inch wheeled hardtails forever and this season went looking full suspension. After trying a Pivot 429, Pivot Mach 5.7, Spec. Stumpjumper and Stumpy Evo and the Transition Bandit I felt incredibly at home immediately on the Tallboy.
    I definitely hear you on the tallboy, man. This guy on Pinkbike has a pretty good deal up. I might send an email out to see if he'l lgo outside Canada.

    The build on the Horsethief is X7 front, X9 back. 2x10. ZTR Flow wheels, Fox 34 120mm fork, Fox float RP2 shock.

    LBS has Bandit that I rode around pharking lot -- loved it, but it was priced at $3200, which is about $750 over my max, unfortunately.

  13. #13
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    That's a nice build on the Horsethief. Those wheels are great and the front and rear suspension are nice too... If the Superfly isn't equipped similarly I'd be going in the direction of the Horsethief. I like the more slacker head tube angle of the Salsa (68.6) vs. the Trek (71).

    I know there were some 2012 Tallboy builds with SLX that were right around $2k but they may be hard to find. I know we had one in our shop in the pesto green color...

  14. #14
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    Everyone who has seen my 2012 Horsethief up close on the trail is amazed at the quality of the stock component spec on it. It is a much better value for the price than the 2013 models. Even at the original sticker price, it was regarded as having great bang for the buck for the component spec.

  15. #15
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    If anyone is currently riding a Salsa HT please post you basic measurements and frame size. There are a few of us who are in the same situation with fit issues and would greatly appreciate it.

  16. #16
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    Well the Horsethief won! Just pulled the trigger. Went with the Medium (18"). I am 5'10.5" with a 32" inseam. I ran my numbers through competitive cyclist fit caluclator, compared the ETT and stem length on the bikes I've owned and test rode, called Salsa and talked to them, called UC and talked to them, read reviews on this site, shook the magic 8 ball, and everything suggested the M was the smart call. If I put it together, stand over it, and its too small, I will send it back (throwing away $100 in shipping in the process). Of course -- the larges will be gone from this site by then, but theyve been popping up on ebay and other places here and there.

    I'll report back once I get her assembled. Thanks for the input everyone!

  17. #17
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    Awesome! Enjoy!

  18. #18
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    WOOO I want clean just-built pics and muddy first ride pics. Congrats
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  19. #19
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    ta-da!

    So pumped ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Salsa Horsethief vs 2012 Superfly 100 Al Elite-thf2.jpg  


  20. #20
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    You are identical in size to me, I don't think you will have any issues with general fit. The only major change Idid to the controls was a wider bar. (Personal preference.) Enjoy the hell out of it, I know I am here in sunny Arizona!!


    Mikey

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