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  1. #1
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    Attention: 2012 Salsa Horsethief owners

    Please help out your fellow Horsethief candidates by posting your basic body measurements and frame size that you are using. There are a few of us who are in-between sizes and are having difficulty making a determination as to what size would serve best.

    I would have purchased the Horsethief already if it werenít for the sizing conflicts. At 5í8 and some change Iím right in between a small and medium. Salsa was helpful but gave the scripted answer to always round down when in-between. My BG fit guy compared my body and bike measurements with the published ones from Salsa. He recommends a small.

    The fit program at Competitive Cyclists was used to make a self-calculation that I actually need a medium. I also had a conversation with a guy who rides a medium who is about the same size I am. He said that the small was way too small for him and strongly recommends that I get a medium.

    So please share you sizing experience.

    Thank you,

  2. #2
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    Salsa publish the reach and stack heights for their bikes, so its very easy to compare those numbers for the theif against a bike you own or have test ridden.
    I own a Surly, a Surly, a Surly and a Salsa. Probably some others in there too at the bottom of the pile.

  3. #3
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    I agree with the previous post. Find some bikes near you with similar geo to the 'Thief and compare. I'm 5'7" with a 31 inseam and I ride a small Horsethief.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys,

    Dickyelsdon,
    I donít really know what a reach or stack height is but I've spent a lot of time on the salsa site. Even had my pro fit guy look at it with me. The salsa's are sized larger than any others that I know of. My guy assured me that I would be in a med until he looked at the measurements. Then he changed his mind.

    Hi Progfan1,
    Do you think that if you were an inch taller in height/inseam that the small would still be okay? I'm trying to find similar geometry but that's no easy task!

    There arenít any salsa dealers within hours of me but I'm traveling this week and intend to seek out a salsa dealer if at anyway possible.

  5. #5
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    Trophy,

    That's a tough question, because I remember demo'ing a Spearfish last summer and the cockpit on a medium with a short stem felt good, but I ended up riding a small with a 100mm stem, mainly because the stand over felt a little better. For the 'Thief, I'm not sure. The cockpit feels just right for where I am now. That being said, I like being a little more stretched out and over the bike, so maybe a medium would feel ok too. I sized down because, as an earlier poster said, Salsas are big bikes, so I went with small because I wanted to have good maneuverability on a bike that I know has a longer wheelbase. For cockpit size, I could probably go either way, but I'm glad I sized down in favor of maneuverability since this is a bigger bike and my first 29er.

  6. #6
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    Glad your fit worked for you. I know I'm being overly careful but this will be my first "new" bike in over 20 years! All of my others came from Craigslist etc..

    I hope to actually saddle-up a comparable demo this week while out of town.

  7. #7
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    Trophy - a lot of the difference in the sizing will have to do with how you prefer a bike to fit. I am 5' 8"+ and like the Medium. I CAN ride a Small, but it feels a bit small for me. A buddy of mine is only an inch taller than me and he likes the Large - he tends to ride his bikes a bit bigger... So - find a dealer that has both if you can, ride them and get the one that you feel best on. The 'Thief is a great ride.
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
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  8. #8
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    Another thing to consider when choosing a Horsethief size is how the bike was intended to be ridden, and how you want to ride it. The bike was designed with slightly longer top tube lengths with the intention of using a short stem and a wide bar - but maintaining constant fit compared to other Salsa models

    Take a medium for example:
    Spearfish TT = 600mm, stem = 100mm
    Horsethief = 615mm, stem =80mm

    For a quick comparison without busting out the calculator, lets ignore stem angle and saddle position and generalize on TT and Stem length: The Spearfish is about 700mm long and the Horsethief is 695mm. So both medium bikes fit about the same, (if using the intended stem length), but will feel different in ride character due to the weight bias, and also the way the front wheel steers due to the shorter stem. Longer stems tend to steer with mode torso/shoulder sway, more input, where as shorter stems less so. It's one part of the difference between an trail/AM feel of the Horsethief and a more race/XC feel of the Spearfish. One isn't better than the other, it's just a difference in feel, preference, and what's better for the intended use.

    All this considered, one could still put a 100mm stem on a SM Horsethief and get an approximate length of 690mm and have a bike with a weight bias more like a medium Spearfish due to the longer stem, but with slacker angles and more travel. Putting the same 100mm stem on medium Horsethief frame would make it fit and weighted more like a large Spearfish.

    If it helps, I'm 6'0" and consider myself at the very upper end of the MD, which I ride with a 140mm fork, 80mm stem, and 750mm wide bar, and consider it my ride anytime/anywhere bike, but with a bias for descending. With a lighter wheelset and a 120mm fork, it's great even on XC trails - but I don't change stem length.

    -PK@Salsa

  9. #9
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    Very nice post zarf. Great explanation and comparison. Thanks for sharing that...

    ATBScott, thank you also, I'll keep that in mind.

  10. #10
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    at 5' 10.5" (in socks), I consider myself a tweener on the M and L . I just ordered the M on Tues -- ships today. (knowng Zarf is 6-foot and is on a M is nice). I sat down and ran the ETT + Stem on all the bikes I had recently tried. It definitely came back closer to the M. I will give a thorough review once it gets here and Ive built it up. Not sure that will be in time for you. Nice thing is you can track the Ms and Ss on the UC site. I let it go down to the last L left before I made my decision. Within about 3 hours of going for the M, the last L was gone.

  11. #11
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    at 5' 10.5" (in socks), I consider myself a tweener on the M and L . I just ordered the M on Tues -- ships today. (knowng Zarf is 6-foot and is on a M is nice). I sat down and ran the ETT + Stem on all the bikes I had recently tried. It definitely came back closer to the M. I will give a thorough review once it gets here and Ive built it up. Not sure that will be in time for you. Nice thing is you can track the Ms and Ss on the UC site. I let it go down to the last L left before I made my decision. Within about 3 hours of going for the M, the last L was gone.

  12. #12
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    5' 10" and ride a Med. HT. Fits perfect with the stock stem and the seat just a smidge forward of center on its rails.

  13. #13
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    Here she is!

    Freshly built-up this weekend. Took about an hour to pop on the bars, pedals, wheels, change out the seat, and adjust the sag.

    I am 5'10.5", this is the medium, and it was definitely the right choice.I rode it around inside the community center near my house so I didnt get the tires dirty in case I needed to send it back. Felt great, so I took it outside and popped the cherry.

    No question -- I am at the far upper end of the M. I could ride the L, but I prefer a slightly smaller ride, especially as I havent ridden a 29er much. This definitely feels much larger than my brother's 17.5" Trek/GF Hi-Fi. I'd say I have at least 1 - 1.5 more inches between my knees and my hands on the Thief than on the Hi-Fi. The 17.5" Hi-Fi was too small for me. This will be just right.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Attention:   2012 Salsa Horsethief owners-thf2.jpg  


  14. #14
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    Glad you found the right fit. Let us know how you like it after a few rides.

  15. #15
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    I hope I am not repeating anything that has already been stated but the Salsa sizing is throwing me off. I am 6'0 and currently ride a LG 19" Mojo HD that has an ETT of 604mm. I run a 70mm stem on it. When trying to decide what size Horsethief to get I see that the LG is a 20" and has an ETT of 638 and the MD is 18" and has an ETT of 618 which is still longer than my LG Mojo. Its surprising to me that these have such long top tubes. Any help explaining the sizing and helping me decide between a large and a medium will be greatly appreciated.

  16. #16
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    As an earlier poster mentioned, the 'Thief is designed with a long top tube to be run with a short stem and wide bars. My small came with a stock 80mm stem and it feels great for me. Not sure what the stem size is on the larger sizes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nate3510 View Post
    I hope I am not repeating anything that has already been stated but the Salsa sizing is throwing me off. I am 6'0 and currently ride a LG 19" Mojo HD that has an ETT of 604mm. I run a 70mm stem on it. When trying to decide what size Horsethief to get I see that the LG is a 20" and has an ETT of 638 and the MD is 18" and has an ETT of 618 which is still longer than my LG Mojo. Its surprising to me that these have such long top tubes. Any help explaining the sizing and helping me decide between a large and a medium will be greatly appreciated.
    2012 Salsa Horsethief
    2005 Independent Fabrication Deluxe

  17. #17
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    Yes but if I get a large Thief and run a 50mm stem I will still be streached out more than on my large HD with a 70mm stem. Are people buying a size smaller than they normally ride?

  18. #18
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    Nate3510 - You should be on a medium.

    -PK@Salsa

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarf View Post
    Nate3510 - You should be on a medium.

    -PK@Salsa
    Thank you for the reply!!!

  20. #20
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    Hi Zarf! I also need advice on sizing. Im around 5'7 with a 30-31" inseam. I ride a medium Fargo with a 100mm stem & a medium Surly Karate Monkey with an 80mm stem. A Spearfish 3 caught my eye in my local bike shop. Its a medium & based on Salsa's info, it has the same ETT as my KM so if i swap out the stock 90(?)mm stem with an 80 or even a 70, it will feel like my KM. I also recently saw a Horsethief & im also interested but its sizing is different.. Numbers are saying i should go for a small.

    What size should i go for if get the Spearfish? Horsethief?

    Edit: Sorry for Spearfish question on Horsethief thread.

  21. #21
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    You could get by with a MD Spearfish, but check the standover first, if it's not to your liking, round down to the SM size.

    Horsethief - definately a SM

    -PK@Salsa

  22. #22
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    Thanks! I appreciate the advice!

    I have no problem with the medium Spearfish standover but i havent tried a Horsethief yet. I'll drop by my lbs to check one out.

  23. #23
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    nordstern1,

    What Zarf said. I'm basically the same measurements as you and I felt good on a medium Spearfish with a short stem, but I elected to take a small out for demo that day because the standover felt better. I went with the small Horsethief and have no regrets.


    Attention:   2012 Salsa Horsethief owners-img_5225.jpg
    2012 Salsa Horsethief
    2005 Independent Fabrication Deluxe

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the input, progfan1! Nice looking bike! I hope to come to a decision within the week.

  25. #25
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    Zarf-Reading the above comments would you say a large horsethief is out of the question for a 6'0 rider? Or would it come down to how you ride of your general riding preference pertaining to size? Reason I ask is I have a smokin hot deal on a large 2012 and would really like to get it but ran across this after doing some research on the Horsethief and dont want to waste my money if its too big.

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