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  1. #1
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    2014 Horsetheif riders?

    I'm seriously considering getting the 2014 Horsethief 2 and have a few questions.

    I don't see much about them here, is anybody even riding them yet?

    I'm 6'3" 180 lbs, currently riding an XL Giant Anthem X 29er. The Horsethief TT measurement looks like I might be able to ride a large frame since it is only 1/4 inch shorter. I'd like to ride a smaller frame if possible but I don't want to have to put a long stem on it. Anybody have experience with these sizes?

    I've read about every review out there and talked with one very happy rider (who happens to be sponsored by Salsa) and it looks like there really aren't any significant complaints but you never know when the reviews are coming from people who sell advertising to bike companies. I'd like to hear any honest reviews and even comparisons with other bikes.

    I was able to do a short test ride on a Spearfish and really liked the new split pivot suspension and was going to buy one of those but the Horsethief looks to have closed the gap on the Spearfish in terms of weight and comfort with a broader range of capability from the longer travel and slacker angles. I'm looking for a bike that is less XC oriented than my Anthem for long rides on rugged terrain that can also be fun on more tech trails like you find in Sedona for example.. The Horsethief seems like it really hits the mark. The other bike I'm considering is the new Giant Trance 1 27.5.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I got a chance to ride one a few weeks ago at a demo. The salsa guy told me the difference between the spearfish and horsethief is pretty much spearfish = riding on top of the suspension and horsethief = riding in the suspension. I don't have very much experience with full suspension bikes or 29er's but I have to say there isn't anything I would change. My current bike of 9 years is a 2005 specialized hardrock sport and I weigh about 215 and 5'9". The trails around here in Little Rock AR (burns park) are filled with rocks, roots, and enough hills so I have been shopping for a full suspension bike for a while. I rode a trek fuel ex8 and wasn't very impressed. It seemed like I couldn't pull up the front end to hop over a curb at all. The Salsa horsethief 2 handled like my 26er but better. I assume mostly because its just a better bike but it didn't have that "big truck" feel like I have heard about 29ers since they became popular. My riding is pretty much XC but I like a few foot drop or jump here and there. This bike climbed awesome and I felt like I could pretty much point it anywhere and it will take me. No worries pedaling through the rock gardens. No pedal bob at all. Matter of fact when I rode my bike the next day I noticed the huge lack of pedaling efficiency and how much im getting bounced all over the trail. The horsetheif feels nimble enough for me and has plenty of travel to handle anything out there on the trails. Besides the lime green color I cant think of anything I would change. It rode so good it could be colored pink and I would still want it haha.

  3. #3
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    I have '14 Horsethief 1 and have 10+ rides on it. So far, I am impressed. Some of the components were not for me so I have swapped Brakes, Crankset, wheels, stem and fork very soon. The bike shines in the rocks and roots in my area. Not a XC race bike but feels like it will be a really nice trail bike and work well (with the mods I have made) for the Enduros I"ll be doing later in 2014.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Dambala, it looks like you have changed out most of the major components. Might it have not been cheaper to just buy the frameset? What were your reasons for swapping out so many parts? My friend that rides the 2014 HTXX1 swapped out the fork for a longer travel and 46mm offset. What fork would you change to and why?

    My biggest complaint is the build kit for sure. I'm not a big fan of Sram and I hate Avid brakes. I was thinking about getting the HT2 but the wheels on that one are really low budget and heavy. For the price of an upgrade I'm getting close to the price of the HT1. I love the color of the XX1 but I still don't like the build kit, especially for that price. I guess I'm heading for the HT1 but I like that color the least and would still end up swapping out some components. At least I like the wheelset it comes with.

    It sure doesn't seem like there are many people riding these 2014 HT's.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twowheelchris View Post
    Thanks for the replies.

    Dambala, it looks like you have changed out most of the major components. Might it have not been cheaper to just buy the frameset? What were your reasons for swapping out so many parts? My friend that rides the 2014 HTXX1 swapped out the fork for a longer travel and 46mm offset. What fork would you change to and why?

    My biggest complaint is the build kit for sure. I'm not a big fan of Sram and I hate Avid brakes. I was thinking about getting the HT2 but the wheels on that one are really low budget and heavy. For the price of an upgrade I'm getting close to the price of the HT1. I love the color of the XX1 but I still don't like the build kit, especially for that price. I guess I'm heading for the HT1 but I like that color the least and would still end up swapping out some components. At least I like the wheelset it comes with.

    It sure doesn't seem like there are many people riding these 2014 HT's.

    Reasons for the component changes; Avid Brakes- no comment, SRAM cranks- not a fan, Wheels- built up stiffer and lighter carbon set, Stem and Bars- shorter stem and lighter bars, Fork- Pike 140mm- improved steering precision and damping. I was able to sell all the take off parts (except Fork, 2014 Fox Float 32 CTD130mm which is in the classifieds, if interested make offer) so the $$ worked out "OK"

  6. #6
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    Any more reports on the 2014 Horsethief?

    I'm still trying to decide if I should buy a complete bike and if so a 1 or 2, or just buy a frame and build one since I'm not too enamored with the component package on either bike.

  7. #7
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    I've got not quite 10 rides on my Horsetheif 1- and its freaking awesome. I'm 6'3 195#, and it fits like a glove. I switched out to a shorter stem (65mm) and ditched the salsa bars for spike777. I just put a reverb stealth on last night. The cable routing is very clean and organized.

    I sold my 2013 Stumpjumper FSR 29 to get this bike, and I have absolutely no regrets. The geometry is spot on and that is the most important part of the bike as far as I'm concerned.

    It pedals like a champ and rides way higher in the suspension than my stumpy ever did. It also offers a lot more support in the corners and jumps. I haven't felt the need to switch anything out of descend mode, except for riding the pavement to the trails. The 2014 fox parts are way better than last years, although I got spoiled by riding a Pike a month ago. I think the components are great, brakes are way better than any avid brake I have ever used.

    In short, I think this bike craps out rainbows and unicorns and may stop global warming, its that good.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the report. What size frame do you ride? We are pretty close to the same height but I'm about 15 lbs lighter. I've heard that the bike feels heavier than it is, what do you think?

  9. #9
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    Its an XL, and I have an XL el Mar as well. They both fit great.

    As far as weight goes, the Horsetheif 1 is the lightest bike I ever owned. I've never been too concerned with the weight of things. It doesn't pedal like its heavy, its rather agile.

  10. #10
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    I have quite a few rides on my 2014 HT 1. I am very happy with the bike but I will say that the rear suspension has taken sometime to get dialed in. The "heavy" or "soft" pedaling feel was eliminated once the rear suspension was set up correctly. The design seems to like less rebound then I am used to running and slightly less Sag then I expected. On extended climbs it works well in Trail or Climb. On down hills Open is great (Trail feels about the same while allowing the bike to pedal really well) but definitely not enough Platform to pedal as efficiently as I want. May end up with a Push tune done to really get it right.

    I will say that with the rear suspension working well and a Pike on front this bike is handling everything I have thrown at it. I can't wait to ride it in steeper, bigger drop stuff out west.

  11. #11
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    Tomorrow I'm going to pull the trigger and order a Horsethief 1 from my LBS. I decided on the HT 1 because, although I'm not a Sram fan, I can't build one up with comparable Shimano components for that price. I'm not getting the HT2 because I know I would want to upgrade almost everything immediately. At least I can live with the component spec on the HT 1 until I can afford to upgrade as I go. Looking forward to riding it on some of the steeper rougher trails that caused my sphincter quotient to spike on my old bike.

  12. #12
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    One ride on a custom build. Rode very nice hope my Knolly still sees some love. Made all my normal tech moves on the first try. Pedaled well on the flats. I need a lighter set of wheels, but I'm a big guy and the outlaws are tough. Need to protect the down tube as the Phoenix rocks already got it on the first ride.

    2014 Med HT1
    20m t/a rock shox revelation set at 130.
    XT Brkes
    Deore Cranks - 2x10
    Outlaw wheels running tubeless
    60mm stem think I might need a 70mm
    Weight dead on 32 pounds but feels lighter riding.

    Currently at Mayo Clinic being tested for a kidney transplant. Donors welcome.

  13. #13
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    I've been in Moab riding my new HT1 for a few days and loving it. The only problem is all of the creaks, groans and drivetrain noise it makes when I'm pedaling hard. Everything seems tight but I've never ridden a bike that makes this much noise. I keep thinking I'm going to blow something up. Any ideas? The chain and gears are clean and lubed. I'm hearing several different noises almost all get much worse as I stand and pedal or just pedal harder.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twowheelchris View Post
    I've been in Moab riding my new HT1 for a few days and loving it. The only problem is all of the creaks, groans and drivetrain noise it makes when I'm pedaling hard. Everything seems tight but I've never ridden a bike that makes this much noise. I keep thinking I'm going to blow something up. Any ideas? The chain and gears are clean and lubed. I'm hearing several different noises almost all get much worse as I stand and pedal or just pedal harder.
    Check these 3:
    1. clevis-2-control bolts, add blue loctite and re-tighten if loose
    2. Split Pivot axle nuts, add blue loctite and re-tighten if loose
    3. clevis-2-shock pin, grease threads and re-tighten

    I just trouble shot a coworkers creaky-when-standing-to-pedal Horsethief and it was a loose clevis-2-shock connection. Solved the issue straight-away.

    -pk@salsa

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the tips. I just got home tonight and will get on it tomorrow.

    I'm also wondering if Salsa will be offering a 22mm tool for removing the derailleur hanger in the field? A nice light one...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twowheelchris View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I just got home tonight and will get on it tomorrow.

    I'm also wondering if Salsa will be offering a 22mm tool for removing the derailleur hanger in the field? A nice light one...
    Yes & yes, more details end of July.

    -pk@salsa

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twowheelchris View Post
    I've been in Moab riding my new HT1 for a few days and loving it. The only problem is all of the creaks, groans and drivetrain noise it makes when I'm pedaling hard. Everything seems tight but I've never ridden a bike that makes this much noise. I keep thinking I'm going to blow something up. Any ideas? The chain and gears are clean and lubed. I'm hearing several different noises almost all get much worse as I stand and pedal or just pedal harder.
    I had a similar experience with my 2014 HT1 and after double checking everything I determined it was the XO1 Rear Der. The clutch was making all the creaking noise. I contacted SRAM and they sent me a new XX1 Rear Der. Problem solved.

  18. #18
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    I just finished cleaning up the split pivot and derailleur hanger area. That solved much of the noise. The other pivot bolts and shock bolts were nice and tight. Some of the noises do sound like the derailleur. SRAM components aren't my favorites.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twowheelchris View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I just got home tonight and will get on it tomorrow.

    I'm also wondering if Salsa will be offering a 22mm tool for removing the derailleur hanger in the field? A nice light one...
    Yeah.. I ended up having the R&D guys at work laser me out a nice light one. I already carry too much with me I wasn't about to carry a huge wrench just in case the hanger snapped.

    -mike

  20. #20
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    Rode one on a demo and liked it a lot.

    Gotta be one of the most interesting/unusual names for a bike out there.
    Are you really sure about that?

  21. #21
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    One of the noises my bike was making was a click in the middle of the suspension travel. After removing the shock I found the source. The SRAM X0 derailleur. Apparently something is wrong with the clutch mechanism so when the rear triangle goes up it sticks then pops loose. I need to take it to the bike shop so he can get a number off it and get a new one sent. This bike still has less than 100 miles on it. I'm less fond of SRAM every day.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twowheelchris View Post
    One of the noises my bike was making was a click in the middle of the suspension travel. After removing the shock I found the source. The SRAM X0 derailleur. Apparently something is wrong with the clutch mechanism so when the rear triangle goes up it sticks then pops loose. I need to take it to the bike shop so he can get a number off it and get a new one sent. This bike still has less than 100 miles on it. I'm less fond of SRAM every day.
    This very same thing happened to me on my new Spearfish.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twowheelchris View Post
    One of the noises my bike was making was a click in the middle of the suspension travel. After removing the shock I found the source. The SRAM X0 derailleur. Apparently something is wrong with the clutch mechanism so when the rear triangle goes up it sticks then pops loose. I need to take it to the bike shop so he can get a number off it and get a new one sent. This bike still has less than 100 miles on it. I'm less fond of SRAM every day.
    One of the reasons I'm planning to order the frame next week and build it out with Shimano brakes and drive train.

  24. #24
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    I'm a complete newbie to MTB and unintentionally went completely overboard and picked up a 2014 Horsethief 1. I've never experienced an advanced MTB before and this thing is eye-opening. It completely eclipses the entry-level hardtail 29er I was riding.

    However, it's an advanced piece of engineering genius and does take some time to learn, that's for sure. I've spent a couple of days tweaking the suspension (sag and rebound) and was wondering about the CTD function of the rear shock. It's the Fox Float CTD Boost Valve Performance shock and I notice that there is very little difference between all three settings. With the fork, climb mode is practically locked out. With the shock, there does seem to be a little compression damping when set to climb but it's barely perceptible.

    I did ask Salsa and they confirmed that the CTD damping rates will be very subtle between settings, especially when compared to the fork. Still, I have a little nagging voice telling me that there should be more damping when set to climb. Seeing multiple "what's wrong with my Fox CTD shock" discussions around the web has me wondering further. I hate to say I'm doubting what the Salsa guys told me but I am extremely new to all this and this was a sizeable investment so I want to make sure everything's ok.

    At any rate, I'm looking forward to taking this thing out and about on the trails here in the Austin, TX area!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixtyfour View Post
    However, it's an advanced piece of engineering genius and does take some time to learn, that's for sure. I've spent a couple of days tweaking the suspension (sag and rebound) and was wondering about the CTD function of the rear shock. It's the Fox Float CTD Boost Valve Performance shock and I notice that there is very little difference between all three settings. With the fork, climb mode is practically locked out. With the shock, there does seem to be a little compression damping when set to climb but it's barely perceptible.

    I did ask Salsa and they confirmed that the CTD damping rates will be very subtle between settings, especially when compared to the fork. Still, I have a little nagging voice telling me that there should be more damping when set to climb. Seeing multiple "what's wrong with my Fox CTD shock" discussions around the web has me wondering further. I hate to say I'm doubting what the Salsa guys told me but I am extremely new to all this and this was a sizeable investment so I want to make sure everything's ok.
    People more knowledgeable than me can weigh in with a better answer, but I believe the way that the Horsethief is designed means the rear shock shouldn't need to be adjusted for most people riding off-road.

    From Dirtragmag:

    Iíve been a fan of every Weagle-designed suspension system Iíve ridden and the Horsethief is no different. Weagleís ability to design a suspension system thatís efficient, has great traction under power, offers a supportive mid-stroke, and provides great big-hit capability is simply amazing. Never once did I feel a need to flip the CTD rear shock into Trail or Climb modes because thereís very little pedal-induced suspension movement. Iím a big fan of these set-it-and-forget-it suspension designs, as I donít like to flip levers with every change in grade.
    That said, assuming you bought the bike at your LBS, why not take the bike in and have them make sure you've got your rear shock properly set for your weight? They should be able to let you know if it seems like it's not working as designed, and would be able to get any issues taken care of as a warranty problem.

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