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  1. #1
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    Spearfish comparisons: Need advice from gearheads

    I'm about 1.5 months away from pulling the trigger on a Spearfish. I had pretty much decided I was going to go with a 2012 Spearfish 2, BUT, after seeing the 2013 models, I wonder if I should consider other options. I'm not super knowledgeable about a lot of the components and how they compare, so I could use some advice of folks on this forum to help in making my decision.

    Here's the question: Based on component spec, which is the best bang for the buck? 2012 Spearfish 2, 2013 Spearfish 2, or 2013 Spearfish 3? I find the Fox shock on the 2013 2 very appealing, but I wonder if it's really worth the extra $ over the Monarch on the '12. Also, I know this is superficial, but I LOVE the color of the 2013 Spearfish 3. How do the shock and fork on it stack up?

    Here are links to bikes and their specs:

    2012 Spearfish 2:
    Salsa Cycles | Bikes | 2012 Spearfish 2


    2013 2 & 3
    Salsa Cycles | Bikes | Spearfish 2

    Salsa Cycles | Bikes | Spearfish 3

    Thanks in advance for any help you guys can offer.

  2. #2
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    Any idea what the price bridges between the 2012 in the 2013? if you are considering the complete bike I like the thought of the 142 rear axle, and the Fox shock on the 2. it would appear some of the other components have been downgraded though, crank set and rims come to mind. I think the best deal is still the original 2011 Spearfish with x9 throughout and Reba RL. there are still a few of the originals at local shops here in Houston.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by progfan1 View Post
    I'm about 1.5 months away from pulling the trigger on a Spearfish. I had pretty much decided I was going to go with a 2012 Spearfish 2, BUT, after seeing the 2013 models, I wonder if I should consider other options. I'm not super knowledgeable about a lot of the components and how they compare, so I could use some advice of folks on this forum to help in making my decision.

    Here's the question: Based on component spec, which is the best bang for the buck? 2012 Spearfish 2, 2013 Spearfish 2, or 2013 Spearfish 3? I find the Fox shock on the 2013 2 very appealing, but I wonder if it's really worth the extra $ over the Monarch on the '12. Also, I know this is superficial, but I LOVE the color of the 2013 Spearfish 3. How do the shock and fork on it stack up?

    Here are links to bikes and their specs:

    2012 Spearfish 2:
    Salsa Cycles | Bikes | 2012 Spearfish 2


    2013 2 & 3
    Salsa Cycles | Bikes | Spearfish 2

    Salsa Cycles | Bikes | Spearfish 3

    Thanks in advance for any help you guys can offer.
    The obvious answer is Spearfish 1. Spearfish 1 is the answer to all questions that begin with "what Spearfish should I get."

    To answer your original question, I'd want to know a few things:
    1) How big are you?
    2) What kind of riding will you be doing?
    3) What are the price differences you're finding, in the field, on those 3 bikes?

    Upgrades that make sense for a 200# rider may not be necessary for a 150# rider.

  4. #4
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    lawfarm,

    Spearfish 1 is a little over my budget. I demo'd one in CO and it was pretty sweet, but I don't know that I can justify that much bike. I'm 5'7 and 170, so I don't think I'd miss the rear axle. Most of the riding I do is east coast singletrack with annual rides in CO Western Slope and occasional Moab trips. Spearfish 2 seems fairly competitive with other bikes at this price point (Giant Anthem) and cheaper than other ones that would be strong contenders (Santa Cruz Tallboy, Niner Jet9).

  5. #5
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    I'm surprised we haven't seen blowout prices on 2012 the way we did last year on the 2011's. Aren't the 2013's out any day?

  6. #6
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    I'm VERY happy with my '12 spearfish 2. The '13 looks great as well! They have similar components, but heard the price is going up on the 2 quite a bit for '13. Making the '12 better BANG for the BUCK!

  7. #7
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    To piggy back on the OP, I'm kind of in the same boat. I looked at an '11 last fall and held off (thinking I wanted to go HT), but am now set on a short travel FS bike. I'm in the midwest, so I don't see myself needing more than what the spearfish provides as far as suspension travel.

    I'm 6' 1", 225lbs, currently riding a L Santa Cruz Blur classic. I'm at that in-between point for sizing, and can't decide if I'd be better off on a medium or a large Spearfish. I'd love to get a 2013 Spearfish 1, but haven't seen pricing yet. If they drop the prices on the 2012's, I probably won't be able to justify getting the '13 either.

    Any input or experiences, especially from heavier riders, is appreciated. I've even contemplated getting a 2012 frame and building it up, but know that its going to cost me more.

    Also, if anyone has leads on where I might be able to demo a spearfish in the Chicago area, I'd really appreciate it. Most people around here seem to only carry HTs and cross bikes.

  8. #8
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    @dnlwthrn

    We are the same size, I have a 34" inseam and the large with a straight seat post and a 90mm stem seems to fit me well. I only have about 50 miles on mine so I may not be the best person to help with your set up other than frame size. If you have any questions I'll do my best to help!

  9. #9
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    Good to know. My inseam is a touch shorter, but that's kind of where I was leaning.

    FYI, for those looking for 2013 pricing, Tree Fort Bikes has the 2013s listed, and it looks like they've all gone up $200-400 from the 2012s. Spearfish 1: 2012 - $3499, 2013 - $3949; Spearfish 2: 2012 - $2649, 2013 - $2999; Spearfish 3: 2012 - $2199, 2013 - $2399.

  10. #10
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    dnlwthrn,

    I'm a bit shorter than you (6'), and with a much shorter inseam (31-32", depending on which pants I'm talking to). I find that the L size with a setback post fits me well. Seems you prob fall somewhere between CYCLEJCE and I, both on L frames.

    I also have somewhere around 100 miles on my Spearfish 1. I'm 220, and ride w/a heavy pack, and so far it seems to work very well. Going from a 26" FS, I went with the assumption that I would benefit from the through-axle rear end w/ the bigger wheels at my weight. So far, everything feels pretty tight, but I am still dialing in the suspension. Good news is that I can definitely get the ride to be pretty firm (no bob, limited need for PP) with pressures well within Fox's specs. Now it is just a matter of reducing to the sweet spot I'm looking for.

    I'd be interested to hear from any Clydes that are on non-through-axle Spearfishes (2 or 3) ->could save you some $$$ as I have seen #2 frames on sale online if there is no dealer near you.

    First step, I'd try to talk to a dealer to see if they can work with you on price for a 2012. If they can find a 1, they may be happy to move it.

    Good Luck,
    Paul

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CYCLEJCE View Post
    I'm surprised we haven't seen blowout prices on 2012 the way we did last year on the 2011's. Aren't the 2013's out any day?
    Salsa produced less bikes for 2012 (and 2013 for that matter... they're already telling dealers that numerous sizes/models are already all sold out for the new year) and thus they don't need to blow out what's left.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  12. #12
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    Out of curiosity, can someone with a 'fish 2 or 3 weigh their wheelset? I'm starting to lean towards the 3 due to cost, but plan on swapping wheels to a custom set based on hope pro2 hubs that are currently on my 26" bike. I prefer the green to the orange, and just don't think that I'll be able to scratch together enough $$ for the 1 this year. Of course, I may be pushed into waiting till next year anyways...

  13. #13
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    Hey dnlwthrn,

    I know you already discussed a preference for a complete bike, but if you're going to be swapping wheels right away, maybe a build based on a discounted 2012 frame is in order?

    Also note that the 2012 Spearfish 2 frame is available in green (you don't like that orange?), so I think the 2 vs. 3 frame decision would boil down to shock preference. Here is 1 option for frames if your LBS doesn't have access:
    Universal Cycles -- Salsa Spearfish 2 Frame - 2012

    Good luck,
    Paul

  14. #14
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    Paul,
    I'm leaning that way at this point, but I can't build it for the price of the complete bike... Also, I'm pretty sure that the frame listed is actually a 3. They may have switched the shock, which is really the only difference other than the color.

  15. #15
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    So I found a shop in the area that actually has a L Spearfish 2 in stock. Drove over at lunch and rode it around the parking lot (rainy, so they didn't want me to get it too dirty). The large is definitely the right size, and the price on this one is almost too good to pass up. No, it didn't come home with me (yet) but a Spearfish is in my future.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnlwthrn View Post
    To piggy back on the OP, I'm kind of in the same boat. I looked at an '11 last fall and held off (thinking I wanted to go HT), but am now set on a short travel FS bike. I'm in the midwest, so I don't see myself needing more than what the spearfish provides as far as suspension travel.

    I'm 6' 1", 225lbs, currently riding a L Santa Cruz Blur classic. I'm at that in-between point for sizing, and can't decide if I'd be better off on a medium or a large Spearfish. I'd love to get a 2013 Spearfish 1, but haven't seen pricing yet. If they drop the prices on the 2012's, I probably won't be able to justify getting the '13 either.

    Any input or experiences, especially from heavier riders, is appreciated. I've even contemplated getting a 2012 frame and building it up, but know that its going to cost me more.

    Also, if anyone has leads on where I might be able to demo a spearfish in the Chicago area, I'd really appreciate it. Most people around here seem to only carry HTs and cross bikes.
    I am 6ft and ride a 56cm road bike. I was thinking the large was the right size for me and I am tempted to get a closeout 2012 in large (online) for a really good price. There are no large spearfish nearby for me to try out.

  17. #17
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    I think the only concern you might have with a large vs. a medium would be top tube length and overall reach. I felt that the stock L was just about right, but have always liked a little longer cockpit. I could easily see swapping the stock stem out for an 80 or 90mm one to fix that.

  18. #18
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    I have the 11' SF and I have never felt like I needed the rear TA. I want it just because it exists, but luckily I would not expect it to 'fix' anything since I do not see a need for it. I ride the bike on terrain that it is not really made for and it has never made me think that I should stop it. Little jumps/drops, rock gardens, roots, etc. The suspension is of course inadequate, but it does not bottom out with a *thud* so I am able simply keep going without worry. I DO hate that it is a 26/39 because I ride long uphills and it is tough! My Stumpy FSR is usually easier to ride uphill simply because it has a 22t.

    Early on the front skewer would come loose/open often under hard riding and I wanted to go with a 15mm TA or DT Swiss TB, but my short term fix of using XT skewers ($~6 each) became long term. The formula hub skewers just sort of suck I guess, at least teh front one.

    Summary: As a clydesdale, I experienced non-TA to be a non-issue.

    I am 5' 11" and also ride a 56cm road bike. My SF is medium and that puts me into the upper range of the bike's sizing, but pushing that thought aside I have always been comfortable on it. I am sure it would be better if I took the time to change bars/stem and saddle, but it is FINE for my body.

  19. #19
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    I rode the original Spearfish for about a season and a half. As a trail bike, it was a lot of fun. I race quite a bit, and found that it could have used a few improvements in that context. Shortly after I purchased it, the newer models came out, with the thru-axle which solved what I perceived to be the biggest weak point with the frame - the flexy rear end. I thought the rear had had a tendency to wander and flex under hard efforts and in chunky, loose terrain. The bike, at least with the Monarch, also did not climb the best. A Fox with a lock-out might help in that regard. All of that said, it is a kick ass endurance/trail riding bike. It handles well, and you basically forget about it until the ride is over, at which point you exclaim, "Damn, I love this bike." In my case, I prefer a little stiffer setup. I am about 6'2", weigh in the low 160s during race season, and have a 34.5-35" inseam. I wear 32" inseam pants (actually measure your true inseam). I ran a 90mm stem with a setback post. I bought a large, which fit just fine. If I could do it over, I would go with either thru-axle rear-end version of the bike.

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