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  1. #1
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    2014 Salsa Spearfish

    Just got the review posted.
    2014 Salsa Spearfish-9820002904_16882c6a47_z.jpg
    Here are my initial thoughts on the changes from the '13 to '14 Spearfish.

  2. #2
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    I want one of these too

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    drool...

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    I continue to think that the very best argument against hardtail mountain bikes is the Spearfish. I cannot think of a single circumstance where I would prefer to have a hardtail 29er.
    I cannot agree with this statement more. The Spearfish has convinced me (and it took a lot of convincing coming from a SS full rigid 29er) that the hardtail is essentially dead except in a niche market. Bikes like the Spearsfish are the way to go for long distance XC and race.

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    Please educate me if you don't mind...a lot of bikes are going slacker w/ shorter stays but supposedly no adverse affects to climbing capability. How is there not any penalty here? Or is the extra body english minimal and/or worth it for the downhill benefits?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Rock View Post
    Please educate me if you don't mind...a lot of bikes are going slacker w/ shorter stays but supposedly no adverse affects to climbing capability. How is there not any penalty here? Or is the extra body english minimal and/or worth it for the downhill benefits?

    Thanks
    There's no doubt that shorter chainstays make it a bit more challenging to keep the nose down on a steep climb...but that just means that you move forward an extra inch to compensate, and you're moving into the bike, towards the bars. On the other hand, the shorter chainstays make the bike easier to maneuver and keep the rear tire more under the rider which is helpful the vast majority of the time, and makes it easier to loft the front without moving away from the bike, out to the back. To my mind, that's a better compromise.

    These aren't super-short chain stays...the old Spearfish was Medium-long, and these are now Medium-short. Chainstay length is now 437mm, down from around 455mm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CupOfJava View Post
    I cannot agree with this statement more. The Spearfish has convinced me (and it took a lot of convincing coming from a SS full rigid 29er) that the hardtail is essentially dead except in a niche market. Bikes like the Spearsfish are the way to go for long distance XC and race.
    Really? Have you watched the UCI mountainbike world cup? Almost all of the riders use hardtails. And have you seen bikes like the Niner ROS, Canfield Nimble 9 and the Kona Honzo?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    Really? Have you watched the UCI mountainbike world cup? Almost all of the riders use hardtails. And have you seen bikes like the Niner ROS, Canfield Nimble 9 and the Kona Honzo?
    Yup. I've also seen FS bikes win pro cyclocross races, where the circumstances favor them, and I've seen FS bikes win the world cup. Unless the course is unreasonably smooth, the weight reductions and suspension improvements on FS bikes are narrowing the advantages of hardtail's weight savings. Just my opinion: in 5 years, FS bikes will be the standard, just as front-suspension hardtails replaced rigid bikes in the races you've described. There will continue to be those who ride hardtails in some races, but I think FS bikes will become the norm. Again--just my opinion. I didn't mean for that to be confrontational--sorry if it came off as so. As someone who very publicly struggled with the decision between a hardtail (Ti El Mariachi) and a Spearfish, I've come to believe that the Spearfish is the logical choice.

    That's not to say that there aren't some dreamy hardtails out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawfarm View Post
    There's no doubt that shorter chainstays make it a bit more challenging to keep the nose down on a steep climb...but that just means that you move forward an extra inch to compensate, and you're moving into the bike, towards the bars. On the other hand, the shorter chainstays make the bike easier to maneuver and keep the rear tire more under the rider which is helpful the vast majority of the time, and makes it easier to loft the front without moving away from the bike, out to the back. To my mind, that's a better compromise.

    These aren't super-short chain stays...the old Spearfish was Medium-long, and these are now Medium-short. Chainstay length is now 437mm, down from around 455mm.
    Thanks!

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    "I love Spearfish. I am not an unbiased observer. In the ‘punching above your weight’ class, if I had to pick between a Spearfish and a carbon Superfly, at this point, I’d have to give it to the Spearfish."

    Me too. They are just that good!

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    I'm a diehard hardtail rider. I've owned a few full sus bikes but kept going back. I love my El mar, but the new spearfish... it's got me interested.

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    Dont mean to stir up old threads but have any of you guys been riding the 2014 spearfish? Any regrets? I'm deciding between a spearfish and an el mar. I've even considered a 29+ gnarvester. I've ridden hardtail in the past and now SS rigid but considering the switch. I'm looking for a bikepacking/ endurance rig.... thoughts/comments/concerns?

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    Get the Spearfish, great new design with split pivot at rear. Can build up light at 24 lbs, very smooth suspension, slacker headtube angle. Geo is spot on, go ride one. I found myself riding faster over rock gardens and the handling was very crisp with the G2 fork. Loved it!!

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    The blog is great, but can anyone compare actual performance between the 2014 SF and earlier models? Someone who's upgraded and has ridden the '14 for a while? I've had my original SF since 2011 and looking to get a new short travel 29 for endurance purposes and for tackling long hard trail rides with mixed terrain.

    I'm liking what I read, but haven't seen too much feedback on the actual performance vs. the old model or vs some of the competition. The new 'Fish is at he top of my list, but I'm also considering jumping up in the price category to a Turner Czar or Tallboy2 C, etc.

    I do like my original Fish, but am ready for something new. The new one looks like it's more trail capable and a little more fun with the new geo. How does the climbing compare (both on long fire roads and tech climbing)?

    Thanks!

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    Sorry but I'm now a Pivot Mach 429C owner!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by So Cal RX View Post
    The blog is great, but can anyone compare actual performance between the 2014 SF and earlier models? Someone who's upgraded and has ridden the '14 for a while? I've had my original SF since 2011 and looking to get a new short travel 29 for endurance purposes and for tackling long hard trail rides with mixed terrain.

    I'm liking what I read, but haven't seen too much feedback on the actual performance vs. the old model or vs some of the competition. The new 'Fish is at he top of my list, but I'm also considering jumping up in the price category to a Turner Czar or Tallboy2 C, etc.

    I do like my original Fish, but am ready for something new. The new one looks like it's more trail capable and a little more fun with the new geo. How does the climbing compare (both on long fire roads and tech climbing)?

    Thanks!

    I went from a 2013 'fish to a Czar. I loved the Spearfish, but the Czar is in a different category all together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddieshowcase View Post
    I went from a 2013 'fish to a Czar. I loved the Spearfish, but the Czar is in a different category all together.
    Yikes, I was afraid of getting an answer like this (was hoping to save some money). Can you expand on some of the differences between the old SF and the Czar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by So Cal RX View Post
    Yikes, I was afraid of getting an answer like this (was hoping to save some money). Can you expand on some of the differences between the old SF and the Czar?
    I'll try...

    I can't compare the Czar to the new DW split-pivot Spearfish. But the most noticeable things I like about the Czar over the older single-pivot Spearfish is the shorter chainstays, slacker head angle, and true 100mm of dw-link suspension.

    The thing is, you get all that with the new Salsa split pivot design. In fact the new design I would think makes the czar and spearfish quite similar. I did a complete parts swap from the 'Fish to the Czar and the final build weight was pretty much identical ... ~26lbs.

    Originally I bought the Spearfish because I wanted a "raceable everyday bike" It is very efficient, yet enough squish to make it quite capable.

    My local riding is quite rocky and technical... so despite racing a couple times a year, most my riding is trail riding. I found myself servicing the shock twice a year (that 80mm was doing a lot of work), and I was surprised to find that the pivot bearings needed servicing or replacement every time I checked. It's dry out here in colorado too... so not like I was soaking them, so this bugged me a bit.

    Fast forward, I got a chance to demo a few dw-link bikes, Pivot 429c, Czar, Trek Fuel, etc... was really impressed by the dw-link. Decided to make the switch and the Czar felt the most at home off the bat.

    So now I have a Czar, 120mm up front, 100mm in the rear, I feel like I gave up nothing in terms of efficiency. Still raceable, but more favorable for the local chunk. I can leave the shock in descend mode and still stand up and mash/sprint up a hill, the rear end firms up and performs really well, its versatile. The single pivot 'Fish, even with platform on would still bob just enough to be noticeable. The shorter chainstays make for a more playful geometry, I find myself popping off things more and hooking switchbacks with more speed.

    But still, I think you'd get all this with the dw-link and geo on the new Spearfish. For the price, weight, I think the Salsa's are hard to beat.

    Yet with the Czar, it's definitely more stout, a stiffer frame, the rear end is stiffer, the suspension movement is more refined, controlled/composed, not sure how to explain this.

    For me, since I was riding my Spearfish more like a trail bike, the Czar set up with 120mm/100mm is a better fit. And so far, I haven't had to service the shock or pivots... I think they are going to be more durable by far than what I was experiencing with the 'Fish. Worth the high $$ for the Czar, dunno... it was expensive, but I see myself hanging on to this ride for quite a while now.

    My profile is:
    6', 175lb. Pretty strong rider.
    Size Large frames. The reach on the Czar ends up a tad shorter than the Salsa, and for the more trail oriented setup, it's perfect.

  19. #19
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    2014 Salsa Spearfish

    One good reason tempting me to get the czar is that it has a huge front triangle that is perfect for a bikepacking bag. Funny I can't say the same about the salsa with the whole adventure by bike thing.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddieshowcase View Post
    I'll try...

    I can't compare the Czar to the new DW split-pivot Spearfish. But the most noticeable things I like about the Czar over the older single-pivot Spearfish is the shorter chainstays, slacker head angle, and true 100mm of dw-link suspension.

    The thing is, you get all that with the new Salsa split pivot design. In fact the new design I would think makes the czar and spearfish quite similar. I did a complete parts swap from the 'Fish to the Czar and the final build weight was pretty much identical ... ~26lbs.

    Originally I bought the Spearfish because I wanted a "raceable everyday bike" It is very efficient, yet enough squish to make it quite capable.

    My local riding is quite rocky and technical... so despite racing a couple times a year, most my riding is trail riding. I found myself servicing the shock twice a year (that 80mm was doing a lot of work), and I was surprised to find that the pivot bearings needed servicing or replacement every time I checked. It's dry out here in colorado too... so not like I was soaking them, so this bugged me a bit.

    Fast forward, I got a chance to demo a few dw-link bikes, Pivot 429c, Czar, Trek Fuel, etc... was really impressed by the dw-link. Decided to make the switch and the Czar felt the most at home off the bat.

    So now I have a Czar, 120mm up front, 100mm in the rear, I feel like I gave up nothing in terms of efficiency. Still raceable, but more favorable for the local chunk. I can leave the shock in descend mode and still stand up and mash/sprint up a hill, the rear end firms up and performs really well, its versatile. The single pivot 'Fish, even with platform on would still bob just enough to be noticeable. The shorter chainstays make for a more playful geometry, I find myself popping off things more and hooking switchbacks with more speed.

    But still, I think you'd get all this with the dw-link and geo on the new Spearfish. For the price, weight, I think the Salsa's are hard to beat.

    Yet with the Czar, it's definitely more stout, a stiffer frame, the rear end is stiffer, the suspension movement is more refined, controlled/composed, not sure how to explain this.

    For me, since I was riding my Spearfish more like a trail bike, the Czar set up with 120mm/100mm is a better fit. And so far, I haven't had to service the shock or pivots... I think they are going to be more durable by far than what I was experiencing with the 'Fish. Worth the high $$ for the Czar, dunno... it was expensive, but I see myself hanging on to this ride for quite a while now.

    My profile is:
    6', 175lb. Pretty strong rider.
    Size Large frames. The reach on the Czar ends up a tad shorter than the Salsa, and for the more trail oriented setup, it's perfect.
    Thanks Eddieshowcase for the thorough response. Very helpful.

    To make things more complicated, I believe a new carbon Spearfish is coming out. Though unless it's significantly cheaper than a Czar, I might just opt for the Czar at that point.

    To me, I think it will come down to aluminum Spearfish or pay the premium for the Czar. Maybe there's a new '14 Spearfish owner who can speak to how it performs vs. the Czar and others.

    I have a trailbike I plan to keep (Knolly Endorphin), so I don't need this bike to be as capable as if it was my only bike.

    Thanks again!

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    Just saw this. $2499 frame price for the carbon. I didn't see frame only price for the aluminum. Hopefully still $1699ish

    Salsa Cycles

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    Quote Originally Posted by So Cal RX View Post
    Just saw this. $2499 frame price for the carbon. I didn't see frame only price for the aluminum. Hopefully still $1699ish

    Salsa Cycles
    Cool. I am so happy to see the RS-1 model comes with a Maverick fork. That fork used to get badmouthed a lot but i always felt it was the best fork ever made so a comeback is not surprising

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle View Post
    Cool. I am so happy to see the RS-1 model comes with a Maverick fork. That fork used to get badmouthed a lot but i always felt it was the best fork ever made so a comeback is not surprising
    WTH are you talking about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SyT View Post
    WTH are you talking about?
    WTH am i talking about? You remain as dense as ever SyT, stop being a troll

    Clearly from the picture below (of the Spearfish RS-1), they brought the maverick SC-32 fork back - the only difference is that they put rockshox stickers on it. the best part is that the retail price for this fork is very reasonable...I believe its only $1865 dollars so once I do my required PUSH upgrades, it will still only be in the low $2000s


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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle View Post
    WTH am i talking about? You remain as dense as ever SyT, stop being a troll

    Clearly from the picture below (of the Spearfish RS-1), they brought the maverick SC-32 fork back - the only difference is that they put rockshox stickers on it. the best part is that the retail price for this fork is very reasonable...I believe its only $1865 dollars so once I do my required PUSH upgrades, it will still only be in the low $2000s

    If that's supposed to be a joke it's not really funny.
    The Maverick fork looks nothing like the RS-1

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    The Maverick bikes sure climbed well. Must have been the fork.

  27. #27
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    Fo is wrong. It's actually a Marzocchi Shiver with the stanchion guards removed
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  28. #28
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel View Post
    Fo is wrong. It's actually a Marzocchi Shiver with the stanchion guards removed
    well...you are a dick

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    Well this thread seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Any chance we can get back to talking about the 2014 and now 2015 Spearfish?

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    I test rode both the older 2013 Spearfish 2 (non-split pivot) version, and a 2015 Spearfish 3. The 2013 felt like a lowrider to me! LOL. My riding position was much more stretched out, with more weight over the handlebar, the steering was very slow, harder to do the tight turns, and lofting the front end took an act of congress. It felt like a very fast and efficient XC bike with a low bb height.

    I then test rode a 2015 and the difference was ginormous. Nimble, playful, fast but not twitchy, and it felt almost like a 27.5er. It was not perfect. The seat had very little cushion and the grips were junk and harsh on my hands in my opinion, but those are inexpensive and easy to fix. The back suspension felt less like a hardtail compared to the older model. However, it was still very efficient with no pedal bob while standing up to pedal. I also loved the quick adjustment CTD settings for both the front fork and rear shock. The 2x10 gears were nearly perfect in my opinion and shifting was very fast, precise, with no chain slap (type 2 clutch), and well optimized for those long climbs.

    Such a huge improvement with the new version! That sealed it for me, so I bought a 2015 Spearfish 3. After a few rides, I swapped the saddle to a more cushy WTB Pure V, and replaced the grips with ODI Rogue bolt-on grips. I am now doing 20+ mile runs without being completely burned out at the end. I am also doing climbs that I have never been able to do before on my FS 26er. I then did a few more rides on more technical terrain and tweaked the suspension a bit more. This bike is so well composed when the trail gets more challenging. The most noticeable things were that pedaling efficiency (no bob) and braking (no brake dive) were so much smoother and much more controlled.

    Long story short: Outstanding for those long days in the saddle, and outstanding in the more technical singletrack trails too. I am just over the moon happy with my new ride.
    Last edited by blundar; 06-25-2015 at 08:50 AM.

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