GF Hi Fi vs Salsa Spearfish #1- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    GF Hi Fi vs Salsa Spearfish #1

    I have been unabvle to score a demo ride on a Spearfish, so I am looking for anybody that compare it to a bike I have ridden alot.

    GF Hi Fi vs Salsa Spearfish #1

    The only real complaints I have about the GF was the wheels flexed a bunch and it was a bit heavy. How does the Spearfish compare to this?

  2. #2
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    I believe the spearfish is more of a xc fs since it only has 3 inches of travel in back. As far as the wheels go on the spearfish. They are cheap and flexy for sure. i weigh 190 and if i bought the spearfish i would replace the wheels. If you are a bigger guy you are not going to find a stiff wheelset on a 29er in the $2500 price range. It stinks but that is just the way it goes. I did like the spearfish otherwise

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    The spearfish comes with Archs if memory serves me correct. I don't believe they will flex much those are great wheels.
    I am a big fan of the spearfish, but I do a lot of riding which utilizes just the 3in travel. That is a deal breaker for a lot of folks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach529 View Post
    I have been unabvle to score a demo ride on a Spearfish, so I am looking for anybody that compare it to a bike I have ridden alot.

    GF Hi Fi vs Salsa Spearfish #1

    The only real complaints I have about the GF was the wheels flexed a bunch and it was a bit heavy. How does the Spearfish compare to this?




    The GF would be a better choice IMHO if you absolutely have to have the additional on inch of travel or if you are out of the saddle a lot. That said, I was considering both and have decided on a Spearfish, the primary use being long hours in the saddle endurance racing. My two cents.

  5. #5
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    I am looking for more of an XC FS bike to be honest. I looked at the wheels on the Spearfish #1 (Archs with DT Swiss hubs) and they have to be stiffer than the Bontrager Race Lites on the Fisher.

    I guess I did not even realize the Hi Fi is considered an All Mountain class bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach529 View Post
    I have been unabvle to score a demo ride on a Spearfish, so I am looking for anybody that compare it to a bike I have ridden alot.

    GF Hi Fi vs Salsa Spearfish #1

    The only real complaints I have about the GF was the wheels flexed a bunch and it was a bit heavy. How does the Spearfish compare to this?
    Have not ridden a Spearfish, but do know a bit about the HI FI and 28 spoke wheels. You mentioned wheel flex a concern, and @ 210# it is for me too.
    When building these wheels it is critical that spoke tension is set correctly. Too high and you'll pop spokes, and or cause rim damage. Too low, and when mashing the tire will rub on the stays, or worse it'll taco if stuffed.

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    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach529 View Post
    I am looking for more of an XC FS bike to be honest. I looked at the wheels on the Spearfish #1 (Archs with DT Swiss hubs) and they have to be stiffer than the Bontrager Race Lites on the Fisher.

    I guess I did not even realize the Hi Fi is considered an All Mountain class bike.


    The GF Hi Fi is a XC bike, and a good one. It has 100mm of rear travel vs. the 80mm of the Spearfish. If you need the extra 20mm of rear travel the Hi Fi is an excellent choice once you put a better set of wheels on it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    The GF Hi Fi is a XC bike, and a good one. It has 100mm of rear travel vs. the 80mm of the Spearfish. If you need the extra 20mm of rear travel the Hi Fi is an excellent choice once you put a better set of wheels on it.
    Awesome, thanks for the info.

    Do you know how they compare in weight?

  9. #9
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    The spearfish can be built up really light with it's simple suspension design. Are we talking stock builds?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450 View Post
    The spearfish can be built up really light with it's simple suspension design. Are we talking stock builds?
    Stock build to start, but upgrades eventually!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach529 View Post
    Stock build to start, but upgrades eventually!!



    The Spearfish is a more minimalist design and is lighter, the frame is lighter than a Hi Fi.

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    If the OP wants light weight, Spearfish FTW.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450 View Post
    As far as the wheels go on the spearfish. They are cheap and flexy for sure.
    Wheels
    Front Hub DT Swiss 350 6-Bolt Disc, 15mm Thru-Axle
    Rear Hub DT Swiss 350 6-Bolt Disc, 12 x 142mm Thru-Axle w/ Star Ratchet
    Quick Release Front: Fox QR15; Rear: SRAM Maxle 12 x 142mm
    Spokes DT Swiss, Competition, Butted 2.0/1.8, Black
    Nipples DT Swiss, Aluminum, Red
    Rims Stan's Arch 29er, 32H
    What would you change them out to? They look pretty solid to me.

  14. #14
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    I rode the 2011 version with the formula hubs, the 2012 version wheelset looks good to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by TBarnaby View Post
    What would you change them out to? They look pretty solid to me.

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    I am considering the Spearfish too. I talked to my LBS and he mentioned that the build might change over the next month as the bike becomes available. Can anyone confirm the DT/Stans build based on a delivery of the 2012 model? Also, has anyone had luck getting QBP to build up the wheels with Crest rims instead? I am only 160lbs.

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    I am guessing those wheels are pre-built way before they get to qbp and that won't be an option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450 View Post
    I am guessing those wheels are pre-built way before they get to qbp and that won't be an option.
    The LBS thought the same thing but also stated that Salsa pulls builds for a few of their high end bikes in the States. But, more than likely the bike comes from Asia with the build.

    I will probably go with the frameset with Sid and Crests and use my current 2x9 setup. Already have a Thompson post and x4 stem.

  18. #18
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    I sell both bikes - the Spearfish and the GF (HiFi is discontinued - now that is changed over to the Superfly100 AL) and they are close, but slightly different in purpose. If I was riding it as a trailbike, I'd consider the terrain - the Superfly to me, is a bit better in rockier conditions, or if you'll be hitting small-mid size drops or if it's rocky/ledgy where you are. If you are racing and the conditions are faster/smoother, the Spearfish feels faster and has a touch quicker handling IMO. Both are good bikes.

    Wheels are both pretty good too - and at 190-ish plus pack, I have not found the Bontrager wheels to be flexy - was there a chance that the spoke tension might be low in those wheels (was the bike used)? If they are in the 100 - 105kgf tension range the wheels should be fine. That said, I am a fan of the Arch and Flow rims. Riding 240s/DT Comps/Flows on a Horsethief right now, and they feel awesome. Bonty Dusters 32h with Comps on some Formula hubs on my SS and they also feel good... Some of the Salsa wheels are built here, some appear to be included with the bike as they ship from overseas. SF 3, El Mar 3, etc... are overseas builds, the 2's and I would expect the 1's to be domestic builds.
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
    Disclaimer: I sell and repair bikes for a living


  19. #19
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    Adroit If your under 170lb then you can go with a Stans Gold Race wheelset on the spearfish and you can build that bike to about 22 or 23lbs,I know that I'm going to do a build like what your doing.

    Coach, I have not been on the Salsa Spearfish (yet!) I have seen them at the races and talked to the guys racing them and they loved them,one of the guys got 1st or 2nd at the Wausau24 hr solo race this year I think but he most likely would have also done it on a GF like what you looking at. May I ask why a FS bike for xc racing, is it the 30mile short track races (I like to call it) or is the bike for endurance racing.

  20. #20
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    Hey guys -

    Just to give accurate information -

    Our 2011 Spearfish was built with NoTubes Arch rims to Formula hubs. This was assembled and the wheels were handbuilt all at QBP in Bloomington, MN

    In 2012, we have three Spearfish, 1 @ 3499, 2 @ $2749 and 3 @ $2199

    The 1 has DT Swiss 350 star ratchet hubs (15mm front, 12x142 rear), laced with DT Swiss Competition spokes and NoTubes Arch rims. These wheels are handbuilt by Handspun in Bloomington, MN. The 1 bike is assembled in Bloomington, MN.

    The 2 has Formula sealed cartridge bearing hubs (15mm front, QR rear) laced with DT Swiss Competition spokes and NoTubes Arch rims. These wheels are handbuilt by Handspun in Bloomington MN for the USA domestic market, and handbuilt in Taiwan for the international market. The 2 bike is assembled in Bloomington MN for the USA domestic market and in Taiwan for the international market.

    The 3 has Formula sealed bearing hubs (QR F&R) laced with DT Champion spokes and Alex rims. These wheels are assembled in Taiwan for all markets. The 3 is fully assembled in Taiwan.
    Tires for real rides: www.terrenetires.com

  21. #21
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    Santa Cruz Tallboy Aluminum?
    I know this is about the Hifi and the Spearfish, but...

    I would go as far to say that the Tallboy has a better build quality than both,
    maybe cost slightly more depending on the build, and is both a better climber, and more compliant ride than both without loss of stiffness.
    The suspension hardware is guaranteed for life..(first things usually to fail on FS bikes)
    The suspension service is much easier, and nearly non-existent on the bottom links
    due to grease fittings, just pump in new grease with the included grease gun.

    just my 2cents.
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Santa Cruz Chameleon SS
    Cervelo S2
    Trek Boone 5 Disc (Gravel)
    GT Piece Tour (Gravel)

  22. #22
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    i ride a spearfish and love it but i have no experence with the trek/garyfish i do know the salsa is my do it all bike from all day trail rides to xc and even a cx race at the end of this year im built up at about 25# w an xt groupo and blackflag pro wheelset,reba rlt ti 120 ta fork and a super heavy seat(its comphy)this thing out climbs my hardtail on all but the smoothest trails and is just fast.i did run an 80mm reba in the cx race but run a 120mm on trail rides

  23. #23
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    same dilema

    Im going to race 6 hours solo and 50 plus mile rides. I cant decide between spearfish 3 or superfly 100 AL. I NEED HELP !!!! I have been offered both at 2000$

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubdryver View Post
    Santa Cruz Tallboy Aluminum?
    I know this is about the Hifi and the Spearfish, but...


    just my 2cents.

    I demo'd the Tallboy Carbon in Breck last year and had a ton of fun. Bike performed well. To get the build of the Spearfish 1 on a Tallboy AL would be another grand! (based off a quick check of Colorado Cyclist)

    Does the Tallboy AL come with a 12x142 rear axle?

  25. #25
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    I can't comment on the GF, but I'm very impressed with my 2011 Spearfish. Climbs really well, but I expected that. Didn't expect it to feel quite so plush and stable on the decents. Enjoy it much more on trail rides than I thought, as I bought it for endurance riding/events.

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