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  1. #26
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    I've got four rides under my belt now on the Horsethief 2. It climbs like a beast. On the downhills, it is comfortable (or at least makes me feel comfortable) descending at speed. But it is a big bike. I'm 6'4" and ride a XL. On tight turns, with the big 29" wheels, it struggles. My GT hardtail (also an XL frame) that this replaces made the same turns without issue. Overall, I'm very pleased with the purchase and looking forward to a summer of riding!
    2013 Salsa Horsethief 2

  2. #27
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    Re: the Stans Wheels
    They indeed are tubleless ready but are tubed when you receive the bike new. You must remove the tubes, install the Presta valves and then the Stans sealant. I have everything I need to go tubeless but not yet had a chance to do it.

    I believe the Conti tires are tubeless compatible.

  3. #28
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    Hmmm...guess I'm lucky to have my wheels setup as tubeless when I got it.
    Last edited by kwxvii; 05-18-2014 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Syntax error

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwxvii View Post
    The Conti tires may not be TR but the wheels are TR. The wheels came in with the tires mounted with no pressure and I didn't see a tube and the rims already has the yellow rim tape. I initially pumped air in it with a floor pump without sealant to see if it will hold air and it did. I put in Continental Revo on both after 3 days of the tires holding pressure and it's now on it's 3rd week and tire pressure still holds.
    My HT2 came with the tires aired up with tubes in them. I got mine from Big Kahuna Cycles in Colorado for a price a good bit cheaper than what UC had at the time.

    I had a great experience with them, I'd do it over again in a heartbeat.

    I got it in January but have only recently had the time and good weather to hit the trail. I love this bike!!

    As a few others have said, coming from a ht 26er is a huge change. This bike is a beast!

    I went out on my first long ride with it today, 20 miles in just under 3 hours. I think in the tight smooth sections my 26er is probably faster and more maneuverable, but throw in any rocks or roots, and this thing owns! Between the travel and big wheels, it'll roll over damn near anything. I feel like this makes up for a certain lack of maneuverability from the sheer size of this bike, a few times it's monster truck nature saved me when I came around a tight corner only to find a log or pile of rocks in my way - can't get around it, go right over it! This came in handy today as I was on an unfamiliar trail. At one point I came around a downhill corner only to be confronted with a 2' dropoff that I didn't notice till my front wheel was just about to go over. Lean back and a little backward pressure on the bars and it landed flat like nothing was even there.

    It climbs like a monster too, there were numbers rocky and rooty climbs that I know I wouldn't have been able to do on the hardtail. A few had tall rock faces halfway up the climb, but as long as I could get the front wheel up on it, I'd make it over. I actually found myself taking the hardy lines on climbs that previously I'd have avoided.

    That thing handles techy stuff like a boss!

    Only negatives I see are it's physical size (I have size M and am 5'9, btw) and weight. It's not super heavy, but it ain't light either.

    Spec wise, I need to cut at least an inch off each side of the bars, they're just too wide. I kept clipping them on trees.

    I was leery of the Sram stuff always being a Shimano guy, but after a few rides I love it. It shifts quick and reliably.

    I was also leery of the Elixer 5 brakes, however so far they seem to work fine, so I'm going to hold off getting XT's. I did have some squealing earlier in the week when I got them wet, but other than that they're fine.

    I'm running Shimano M520 SPD's,I don't care for flats.

    I'm on the fence about the Conti tires. They seem to work well in mud and sand, but not as well on roots. I also washed the front end out a few times on a ride earlier in the week, the trail was relatively smooth but covered in pine needles and leaves. I was seated at the time, so that may have had something to do with it. On the ride today I encountered similar conditions, but I made sure to corner standing with some more weight on the front end. I didn't wash out at all, except for some very deep fine sand. And that was more my fault than the bike.

    I'll probably upgrade the cranks at some point, and I want to add a dropper soon. I had a few situations today where I could have used it.

    The grips too...they look cool, but they're super uncomfortable. My hands were killing me today, and are still sore 8 hours after I completed the ride. I'm thinking I'm going with the ergo type grips.

    Other than that though, I think the spec is great. It's a beautiful bike, and I've gotten a lot of comments and questions about it so far.

    I do need to dial in the suspension though. I think I have the fork set up too firm, it appears I'm not getting full travel, and the rear might be too soft. I get a little bobbing when hitting bumps in series while sitting.

    I noticed it too on climbs, but I don't think it was a bad thing. I feel like it almost helps to plant the rear tire and helps with traction.


    Oh, and I find the seat fine. I rode for almost 3 hours today with no discomfort. Of course I was probably actually seated only 25% of the time anyway.

    All in all, it's a kick@ss bike, especially for the price we paid.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride

  5. #30
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    2014 Horsethief 1

    This bike is just fun to ride.WANTED: Horsethiefs!!! photo and discussion thread.....-img-20140523-00356.jpg

  6. #31
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    Re: WANTED: Horsethiefs!!! photo and discussion thread.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Dambala View Post
    This bike is just fun to ride.Click image for larger version. 

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    Really good looking bike what all have you done to it? I'm putting stem and bars on mine tonite.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
    2013 Salsa Horsethief 3

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by lweilenman View Post
    Really good looking bike what all have you done to it? I'm putting stem and bars on mine tonite.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
    I have made quite a few changes. Carbon Rims/Hope Pro 2 wheelset, RS Pike Fork, XTR/Wolftooth crankset, Hope Bottom Brracket, Ritchey WCS Trail stem, Cane Creek DB Inline rear shock ordered.

  8. #33
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    are those the light bicycle carbon rims? I've been looking at getting some of those.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
    2013 Salsa Horsethief 3

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by lweilenman View Post
    are those the light bicycle carbon rims? I've been looking at getting some of those.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
    Yes, Bead Hookless 27mm AM version

  10. #35
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    My 2013 HT2 with modified cockpit (65mm FSA Gravity Light stem and FSA 777 flat handlebar) and dropper.

    WANTED: Horsethiefs!!! photo and discussion thread.....-2013ht2modified.jpg

  11. #36
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    Nice bike so far

    Purchased a 2013 Horsethief 2 a little over a month ago, when I decided to get back into cycling after a 6 plus year break. Dug out my old rockhopper only to find the fork needed replaced. Told the wife I was going to buy a new fork, and somehow it came with a new bike attached to the fork.

    Only upgrade is a garmin edge 510 cycle computer.

    As far as issues, I've only ridden it a couple hundred miles so far. Numerous flat tires, brake lines needed warranty replacement.

  12. #37
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    Dambala, that's a great looking HT! I really like the grey with the yellow details.

    Geezer, convert to tubeless! I just did mine, it was super easy. After getting 2 flats in as many rides I said enough was enough.

    The Flow EX wheels already have the rim tape installed, you just need to pick up the valves (I paid 14 bucks at the LBS) and the sealant of your choice.

    I've already seen the advantages, I pulled a huge thorn out of my front tire after the first tubeless ride, it hissed for a few seconds then sealed right up.

    As far as the rest of the bike, I've been out on it a few more times and continue to be impressed with it. I'm realizing I really need to up my game to take advantage of it's capabilities.

    I'm still not happy with the gearing though, the 36/22 front is not ideal for what I ride. I'm thinking of replacing with a single 30 or 32t up front.

    Question for everyone: Am I the only one who finds the bars overly wide? My last ride I went down twice because I tagged the end of the bars on a tree. Some of these trails are tight!

    Anyone cut them down or replace them with shorter bars? I think I'm going to do it, but I'm not sure how it will effect the handling.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride

  13. #38
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    WANTED: Horsethiefs!!! photo and discussion thread.....

    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Anyone cut them down or replace them with shorter bars? I think I'm going to do it, but I'm not sure how it will effect the handling.
    I replaced the promoto bars with salsa rustler 20mm riser bar. I also cut them down. They are 27 inches now which is about an inch shorter than the old stock bars. I still may take another half inch total off.

    I felt like they where to wide smacking trees an that they where just unnecessarily long to begin with making everything feel sluggish. Cutting them gave me some extra clearance on trees and the bike just feels better handling. The horse thief is a big bike and this took some of the freight train feeling out of it.
    I don't always listen to slayer, but when I do so do the neighbors.

  14. #39
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    I actually just put a 50mm stem and 777mm wide bars on. I'm loving the wider bars it gave me a lot more control and haven't hit as many trees as I thought I would, not sure how shortening the bars would effect control. also as far as your chainring I put a race face 30t nw and that is working out great also.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
    Last edited by lweilenman; 05-27-2014 at 10:42 AM.
    2013 Salsa Horsethief 3

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2obscura View Post
    I replaced the promoto bars with salsa rustler 20mm riser bar. I also cut them down. They are 27 inches now which is about an inch shorter than the old stock bars. I still may take another half inch total off.

    I felt like they where to wide smacking trees an that they where just unnecessarily long to begin with making everything feel sluggish. Cutting them gave me some extra clearance on trees and the bike just feels better handling. The horse thief is a big bike and this took some of the freight train feeling out of it.
    Freight train is definitely a good description! I have noticed the steering flees a bit slow with the wider bars.

    I measured them last night, they're 2" wider than the bars on my old bike, no wonder I keep smacking them on trees!

    I like the look of a riser bar too, I may go that route although I don't think I need the extra height, the flat bar works fine for me.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride

  16. #41
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    My 2014 Horsethief 1 made it today and I got in a couple of short rides. Here's my first ride impression.

    For a longer travel somewhat slacked out bike it pedals and handles like a dream. The Split Pivot suspension performed as advertized. I just left it in descend mode and never thought to change. Really impressive. I have been riding a Giant Anthem X 29er and one of my few complaints about it is that it is tough to turn in tight switchbacks etc. The HT with its shorter chainstays just pivots around tight switchbacks. It felt slower going uphill but I attribute that to the 2.35" tires and tubes. I converted it to tubeless this evening and will try it again tomorrow but I imagine it will still feel slower than my Giant running 2.2" Ikons. Going downhill on the HT was awesome. It took a few miles to get used to the different geometry but I quickly realized that this bike encourages good cornering technique. I really like the wide bars btw. I hadn't set the sag yet when I rode it but even though it was a little on the stiff side it felt really active in the small bumps. Where it really shined was blasting down a rocky section of trail that, on my Anthem, I always had to choose my line carefully. On the HT I immediately felt comfortable just going for it. It really inspires confidence descending and soaks up nasty rock gardens. I started laughing out loud on that one section of trail. I could just let it rip.

    My frame is an XL and fits me almost perfectly. I'm 6'3" with pretty normal inseam for my size. I was worried that it might feel too big but it is just right except I will probably swap out to a set back seat post to get my knees in the right place. I may then also go for a shorter stem, it has a 90mm. With the tires set up tubeless with 3+ oz of Stan's per tire and Shimano SPD pedals it weighs exactly 28 lbs.

    So far I'm really happy with my new Horsethief. I'm looking forward to heading to UT and CO next week and trying it out on some new and more technical terrain.

  17. #42
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    I have 2014 Horsethief 1 and have about 12-14 hours or so on it so far. The handlebars are definitely wide. I love the feel of the wide bars but where I ride I have quite a few trees to contend with. I was hitting trees about twice a ride and my pinkies were getting pretty mashed up.

    I'm 6'2" and on the XL frame. I cut 1/2" off each side and it feels about right now and I'm not hitting trees as frequently.

    I too basically keep it in descend mode the whole ride on singletrack and I feel no need to do otherwise. It climbs great.

  18. #43
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    Second ride this evening on my HT1. I found myself easily clearing tech sections that always gave me trouble before. One series of rocky step ups I had never done before I nailed first try. It goes great up and down. I expected the down but not the up. Bonus!

    I want to add that the lateral stiffness of the frame is really good and it is also very natural feeling to stand and pedal when needed or just when I feel like it. Running the tires tubeless definitely helped lighten the wheels and improve climbing speed/feel.

  19. #44
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    WANTED: Horsethiefs!!! photo and discussion thread.....

    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Freight train is definitely a good description! I have noticed the steering flees a bit slow with the wider bars.

    I measured them last night, they're 2" wider than the bars on my old bike, no wonder I keep smacking them on trees!

    I like the look of a riser bar too, I may go that route although I don't think I need the extra height, the flat bar works fine for me.
    When people ask what bike that is ? How do you like it I always tell them it's a freight train. Not much will stop it climbing or descending but tight switch backs can be interesting.

    I went with risers because I felt a little stretched out and I like a slightly more up right riding position coming from a moto background.

    I really felt like trimming them down helped get rid of the feel of slow steering and will hopefully save me some dough on bar ends. Regardless it rides and responds much better now.
    I don't always listen to slayer, but when I do so do the neighbors.

  20. #45
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    I don't really like the fox suspension on the '14 theif- I might have to opportunity to sell my fork and I want to get a RS Pike.

    Question- Is is possible to lower the travel to 130mm? With the 51mm offset, it would be perfect. I know salsa says you can run some 140mm forks, but I would like to keep the geometry exactly the same, I really like everything about it.

    I am also thinking that the new Cane creek DBinline shock is required!

  21. #46
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    Yes its possible. I'm building up a 2014 HT. I went with the Pike, 51mm offset but had it lowered to 130. The axle to crown will still be 10mm longer (540) than with the Fox shock. Will slacken the angles about 0.5. I doubt I will notice. Worst case Ill get an angle set.

    I bought my fork at Bicycle Suspension - TF Tuned Shox They lowered the fork and set it up to my weight for free.

    To lower the fork you need to buy a new air shaft and more tokens. All you need to know: Regularbob's bike blog

    If you get the CC DB, please let us know what its like

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ru-tang View Post
    I don't really like the fox suspension on the '14 theif- I might have to opportunity to sell my fork and I want to get a RS Pike.

    Question- Is is possible to lower the travel to 130mm? With the 51mm offset, it would be perfect. I know salsa says you can run some 140mm forks, but I would like to keep the geometry exactly the same, I really like everything about it.

    I am also thinking that the new Cane creek DBinline shock is required!
    528-532mm A2C x 51 offset is the acceptable, tested, and certified fork range for the new Split Pivot Horsethief frame. Unlike the previous version of the frame, we did not test or certify the new frame for a 140mm length fork. Please do not use a fork resulting in a longer A2C than stated above. Doing so will void your frame warranty.

    Pike, Revelation, & Fox 34 must be run at 120mm travel.
    Fox 32 & Reba should be run at 130mm.

    Pike @ 120 is real good, in my testing experience. Be sure to use at least 3 bottom out tokens.

    -pk@salsa

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarf View Post
    528-532mm A2C x 51 offset is the acceptable, tested, and certified fork range for the new Split Pivot Horsethief frame. Unlike the previous version of the frame, we did not test or certify the new frame for a 140mm length fork. Please do not use a fork resulting in a longer A2C than stated above. Doing so will void your frame warranty.


    -pk@salsa
    Maybe you should mention that on your website, that running a longer fork will void the frame warrenty. Now it only says that its designed for 530 A2C 120-130mm forks.

    Is there a rider weight limit as well?

  24. #49
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    Thanks for the response PK- I have come to a similar conclusion that the geo is perfect, and I'm not going to run a longer fork. I still have a few lingering questions- how are you getting a 120mm pike? I can only find 140 and then you can shorted the travel to 130, but it would still have the AC length of the 140. At least thats my understanding.

    My current plan is to get the upgraded 2015 damper from Fox with the 'trail adjust' and call it good. Thus preserving the geo Still might get the new cane creek shock, only time will tell.

    PK- really good job on the 'theif. Seriously, everything about it is great. Sometimes we all get caught up and want newer better things for no good reason!

    I now wrangle a 4 bike herd- all Salsa!

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter E View Post
    Maybe you should mention that on your website, that running a longer fork will void the frame warrenty. Now it only says that its designed for 530 A2C 120-130mm forks.

    Is there a rider weight limit as well?

    Peter E,
    We do although I admit, indirectly. In the HT tech page, geo page, and also FAQ page we clearly state the size fork the frame is designed around. Then, if you read the warranty info that every bike/frame ships with (which can also be linked to off the FAQ page) it covers fitting or installing components which the bike was not designed for. I'll see if I can get this more explicitly called out in the FAQ in the area about using different forks. Thanks for the feedback.

    Regarding weight limit - this is called out in the owners manual that ships with the bike, which can also be found on our website. The limit is 300lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by ru-tang
    Thanks for the response PK- I have come to a similar conclusion that the geo is perfect, and I'm not going to run a longer fork. I still have a few lingering questions- how are you getting a 120mm pike? I can only find 140 and then you can shorted the travel to 130, but it would still have the AC length of the 140. At least thats my understanding.
    You can make a 120mm 29er Pike out of a longer 29er by switching the air piston assembly for a 150(26)/140(27.5)/120(29) airpiston assembly, and then adding a few extra volume tokens. I started with 3 and then went to 4. Or you can tell your shop to order FK7744 - QBP had a small quantity of Pike in the 120 x 51 configuration brought in for bikes like the Horsethief and Ripley, etc.


    -pk@salsa

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