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  1. #1
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    2019 Horsethief

    Anyone get one yet? I picked mine up (L NX) 5 days ago and finally got some rides in:
    2019 Horsethief-img_0390.jpg

    Coming from a L Pony Rustler (ran as 29er) the bike felt extremely familiar as far as fit went. I think the geometry is an improvement in all aspects and I love running a 140mm fork.

    Like:
    - room for 2 full size cages and a tube
    - threaded BB
    - full sleeved internal housing
    - Comes with trail worthy tires
    - longer, slacker, lower than previous model (not as much as current trends but I think that's good)
    - Rear suspension feels more planted/responsive
    - Easier to lift the front for challenges or hucks, feels more confident descending

    No like:
    - build kit isn't the best value (a bit of a chonker for a 4k bike)
    - (this is barely) front end lifted on some techy climbs but I'm sure I'll adjust.

    Immediate changes:
    - Raceface SIXC 800mm carbon bars and Raceface 50mm stem
    - XT brakes/rotors
    - Wolftooth dropper lever
    - Setup tubeless

    Future changes:
    - Charger 2 damper for Revelation
    - Next SL crankset with RF oval 32t (waiting on axle)
    - Build up better wheelset (once I sell my old wheels)

    In short, I'm STOKED!
    Last edited by grizzler; 03-26-2019 at 06:36 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Dang dude, bike is looking proper. How does the bike feel weight wise, after the changes? Been debating between this or a pivot with their "low end" build

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    Also curious on this. How is the spit pivot implementation on this new one for pedaling/climbing efficiency? Little to no pedaling bob?

  4. #4
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    Honestly it doesn't feel heavy even though it's probably 3-4lbs heavier as is from my previous bike. It only feels heavy when I pick it up but not while riding. I suspect it's the NX cassette I notice.

    I didn't ride it before switching the bars/brakes but I am putting the charger 2 damper in tomorrow which I'll share my experience about.

    Honest feedback compared to my friend's pivot trail is that his felt smoother on small bump stuff but he bottoms out a lot more so it may have just been a pressure thing. The lifetime warranty of Pivot's carbon is what would catch my attention above all-- this has 5 years on the frame and 2 on the chainstay. But that being said they have been stellar with warranty issues.

    Climbing felt great and I did not notice significant feedback (not too different from the pony rustler climbing). I did not change the damper mode for climbs and cleared the usual technical spots I clear out at parts of the AZT.

    Descending is where I noticed better behavior from the suspension but again I was already happy so now I'm happier. The pony rustler would sometimes "stick" to loose rocks, something that may have been part of braking dynamics? I'm not nuanced enough to define it.

    I'm still dialing in the correct pressure/rebound and I think I can run a little less pressure than before. I'll give an update once I've had more rides, hoping to hear from others in here too!
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  5. #5
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    Rode again this morning. Definitely donít miss my Pony Rustler. Felt great climbing, felt even better descending. Putting in the Charger 2 damper today.
    So much room

    Plenty of clearance


    32lbs with a tube and 2 16g CO2 cartridges. I think the Next SL cranks I have will shave quite a bit. Eventually the wheels will too.
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  6. #6
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    I'm not in the market but this new generation of FS bikes looks pretty good to me. They haven't gone quite as bonkers as the premium brands with the geometry and the frame layout is thoughtful

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    Looking good. This is the bike in the new lineup i like most. Is that weight with pedals?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Looking good. This is the bike in the new lineup i like most. Is that weight with pedals?
    Yup with pedals.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    I'm not in the market but this new generation of FS bikes looks pretty good to me. They haven't gone quite as bonkers as the premium brands with the geometry and the frame layout is thoughtful
    Totally agree.
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  10. #10
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    Seriously close to pulling the trigger on an nx carbon. Found one for an amazing deal already. Would you say its as plush as the split pivot of the old rustler?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Seriously close to pulling the trigger on an nx carbon. Found one for an amazing deal already. Would you say its as plush as the split pivot of the old rustler?
    Do it, it's a sweet bike and I'm having a hard time between the horsetheif and the Pivot trail SL429

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Seriously close to pulling the trigger on an nx carbon. Found one for an amazing deal already. Would you say its as plush as the split pivot of the old rustler?
    I would say it's as plush with the potential to be plusher, I haven't experimented with pressure/rubber bands yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    I would say it's as plush with the potential to be plusher, I haven't experimented with pressure/rubber bands yet.
    I had moved on to a hightower but this deal has me looking at the HT again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vto2.0 View Post
    Do it, it's a sweet bike and I'm having a hard time between the horsetheif and the Pivot trail SL429

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    yeah my budget its right at the 4200 mark. The pivots dw has always interested me but Im always in between bikes when the deals show up.

  15. #15
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    no fuks given.

    The sale ended today, shop was closed, so I bought it online through their online checkout site unseen.

    2019 Horsethief NX Carbon size L is now mine.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    no fuks given.

    The sale ended today, shop was closed, so I bought it online through their online checkout site unseen.

    2019 Horsethief NX Carbon size L is now mine.
    Post some pics and first impressions please

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vto2.0 View Post
    Post some pics and first impressions please

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    Fo shiz. Probably this weekend. Stoked.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    no fuks given.

    The sale ended today, shop was closed, so I bought it online through their online checkout site unseen.

    2019 Horsethief NX Carbon size L is now mine.
    Hell yeah!
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  19. #19
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    Did the charger 2 swap a few days ago. 100% worth it, I noticed the fork spiking on extended chunky descents. New damper definitely performs better. Also installed the MRP ramp Control so I can adjust air volume without fussing with tokens, pretty sweet!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    no fuks given.

    The sale ended today, shop was closed, so I bought it online through their online checkout site unseen.

    2019 Horsethief NX Carbon size L is now mine.
    Sure enough. Went to the website this morning and the prices were back to MSRP. Phew close one.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Sure enough. Went to the website this morning and the prices were back to MSRP. Phew close one.
    Are you going to keep us in suspense or tell us what you got it for? Lol I need a reason to be more jealous

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vto2.0 View Post
    Are you going to keep us in suspense or tell us what you got it for? Lol I need a reason to be more jealous

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    Ha! Well it wasnt like end of year/winter pricing, but damn good so close to the release date. $3570

  23. #23
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    I got the grey/raw carbon/red lettering frame as a warranty replacement for my khaki pony rustler, which was a warranty replacement for my 2016 Horsethief Xo1. Its a sharp looking bike, but our trails are still covered in snow and ice (and perhaps mud in some places) so it will be some time before I get to ride it.

    My only real complaint is that they changed the seat post from 31.6 to 30.9 so I had to buy a whole new dropper post when by Reverb was perfectly fine (If anyone wants it, message me and we can work out a deal-its got the 1x lever or the regular 2x button).

    I was able to use my boost wheels on the superboost frame with an adapter. The wheel is now offset in the frame a bit, but I doubt that will affect the ride. The offset is definitely noticeable when you look at it.

    Another thing, while they say its compatible with forks from 120-140mm, and 42-51 mm offset, they are putting 140mm forks with 42mm offset (as is the current trend) on the carbon models. My fork is a 2016 pike with 130mm travel and 51 mm offset. Im wondering if/how this will compare with my prior horsethief/PR, but wont be able to find out for a couple weeks.

  24. #24
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    They sell the aluminum models with 51mm offset so I don't think the offset is a deal breaker. It may be worth putting a longer air shaft on the fork, they're like $30 on Jenson.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Ha! Well it wasnt like end of year/winter pricing, but damn good so close to the release date. $3570
    Dang dude, dope deal, can't wait to see some pics, I keep leaning more and more towards the HT and less towards the pivot

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    They sell the aluminum models with 51mm offset so I don't think the offset is a deal breaker. It may be worth putting a longer air shaft on the fork, they're like $30 on Jenson.
    I considered this, but I was never able to confirm that 130mm pike can be converted to 140mm. That is, are the inner stanchions long enough?

    If so, I will likely do that.

    Loving the 2 water bottle cages in the frame. With my wolf tooth BRAD I suspect I can get 4 total bottles in the frame for long rides in the summer.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    I considered this, but I was never able to confirm that 130mm pike can be converted to 140mm. That is, are the inner stanchions long enough?

    If so, I will likely do that.

    Loving the 2 water bottle cages in the frame. With my wolf tooth BRAD I suspect I can get 4 total bottles in the frame for long rides in the summer.
    Yup the max for a Pike is 140mm. Hell yeah dude it's funny how exciting space for bottles is, 4 bottles is going to be awesome!
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  28. #28
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    Just curious, for those who bought the HT, what drove you to make that choice over the Spearfish? Just travel? Or something else?

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vto2.0 View Post
    Just curious, for those who bought the HT, what drove you to make that choice over the Spearfish? Just travel? Or something else?

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    More travel= more fun for me.
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    Bike is real deal quality. Just picked it up. The 150mm dropper is too long for me but otherwise, the bike is spot on.

    The reasons I went withe the horsethief:
    -I have a bucksaw carbon x01 I run with 29s and a 100mm SID, so not enough difference with spearfish. Based on my parking lot experience, the Horsethief pedals very similar to my 100mm bucksaw.
    -went with salsa because im familiar with and like the split pivot and just wanted a little more of it.
    -Cheaper than the hightower and ripley LS I was considering at least based on my that one time deal I got.
    -threaded bb tire sizes and fork options 120-140 and 27.5+

  31. #31
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    I chose the horsethief back when the Spearfish was 80mm/100mm and I already had a 100mm travel hardtail El Mar Ti and a 100mm travel hardtail fatbike/29+ and I wanted a slacker bike with more travel and a dropper post. My new horsethief was a warranty replacement, so it chose me. Kudos to Salsa for standing by its product.

    But now that the new spearfish is 100/120, has a dropper post, more modern geo, and room for 29 x 2.6, its possible I would go for a spearfish as I dont necessarily need 120/140 travel on my trails. that said, my old HT pedalled so well that I dont think the extra travel is a burden.

  32. #32
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    Current life situation and in the other stand they have all the spearfish models in carbon

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vto2.0 View Post
    Current life situation and in the other stand they have all the spearfish models in carbon

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    pivot makes e-bikes. get the salsa.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    pivot makes e-bikes. get the salsa.
    Fair enough

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    2019 Horsethief-e74871eb-7e5e-4474-9943-41a64481aaf0.jpg
    So where to start... Im recovering from snowpression, so my review is partly influenced by being excited for dirt and warmth. My review is a little late because on Saturday, we got a bonus 4".... probably not the last, but at this point its quick to disappear.

    Smooth Rear: For starters, lets talk about the split pivot. I put about 215psi in the deluxe rt3 and set rebound pretty much dead center (5 clicks from the turtle). Was at about 32-35% sag, so could use a little more air to get the desired 30% recommended on the top tube. How did it pedal? Fantastically. It pedaled in that exact plush but responsive split pivot way you know and love, but faster, or should I say responsive. I love split pivot and this bike is no exception.

    Downhill?:Most of my 12mi ride was smooth single track /double track, but I did find some short rowdy downhills and the bike performed great given I dont have a dropper (more on that later), real stable, but smooth. The revelation took the bigger hits great, but small bump will have to be fiddled with. Basically set sag and went, so no tokens yet or rebound adjustment, which should sort out the small bump to an extent.

    Drivetrain: Nothing to see here. NX eagle... good enough. Guides were great.

    Cockpit/Fit: Perfect... for me. I got short legs and of those, Im all femur, so the 150mm dropper had to go and the rigid I have is a 20mm offset, so I will be looking for a 100mm dropper with offset. This fit was also great because of the slackish seat tube, which is needed for me. On a short 15% rocky grade, this was a small issue, but the price I pay for the right fit.

    Stack is tall, which works well for my long torso. No riser bar needed. This accentuates the slacks seat angle I think, which again works for me.

    Other stuff: Bike was dead on at 32lbs with pedals, tubes, and minions and without a dropper. I will probably be swapping in for an xr2/xr3 combo tubeless as I dont really need minions. So should get below 30 without pedals in this config but may go back up with new dropper.

    Some cons: boosted off a trail to pavement transition and maybe caught a foot of air. Hit some other rocky stuff. At the end of the ride, by sag ring was near'ish the end. This concerns me that bigger hits would lead to a bottom out. Again Im probably short 10 psi, but 35% sag shouldnt lead to easy bottom outs IMO. Ill be keeping an eye on that.

    2019 Horsethief-3a28b562-0750-468b-9a62-3370a76892db.jpg

    Raw carbon freaks me out cause I always think there is an imperfaction or crack when its just the layup.

    Changes: As mentioned, tubeless and lighter tires. 800mm bar is too much for me, probably cut to 750-760 or maybe get a new carbon 750 rustler. ESI chunkys to come, but having issue picking color. token or two in front fork. Maybe dropper, but I've honestly never needed one all that much partly because of my stack to seat differential, I can always get on top of the real wheel with ease. TT is perfect with the 50mm stem. I used extended Issi pedals because my body is used to a 203mm q factor. Also go 30t instead of 32t for the long climbs in colorado.

    At the end of the day, the bike is exactly what I wanted and the price was right. So happy.

    Salsa also confirmed that 120mm fork both 42 and 51mm offset is welcome. This would offset some stack (may need my riser then) and make for the perfect 120/120 race'ish rig. The lightish tires/SID and no dropper probably puts it in the 27-28 range. Maybe swap out the NX cassette and carbon bars.

  36. #36
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    What kind of race'ish rig we talking about here?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    What kind of race'ish rig we talking about here?
    50-100mi endurance rig. I raced last year on 100/100,m, but wanted just a little more comfort since im not really competitive.

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    Has anyone seen the Horsethief Deore? Have one on order and can't tell if it is white or tan on the Salsa website.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by djdavis View Post
    Has anyone seen the Horsethief Deore? Have one on order and can't tell if it is white or tan on the Salsa website.
    Haven't seen it in person, but seems to be a tan color according to their site.

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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vto2.0 View Post
    Haven't seen it in person, but seems to be a tan color according to their site.

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    I would call that cream or off-white. Its definitely whiter than the prior Khaki colors used on the horsethief and ponyrustler models.

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    2019 Horsethief-9a45ea8f-291e-4203-b3d2-75dee72f845b.jpg

    Finally got a proper rocky mountain bike ride on the HT. What a great bike.
    I switched a few things out. Went with a 29x2.6 Rekon(f) and 29x2.6(r) Xr2 tubeless. 30lbs w/pedals

    Set to 30% sag and thr bike was a little more poppy and responsive but slightly rougher than the 35%. No bottom out concerns after popping off a few features though.

    42mm offset fork plus 800mm bar i think makes the front end twitchier than im used to. Felt easy to oversteer.

    Overall, the stoke is high... and the weather is warming up.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    So where to start... Im recovering from snowpression,...
    Fat Bike, you start with a fat bike.

    Just kidding, thanks for the write up.

  43. #43
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    Got another round of rides in, thoughts:

    - donít miss the pony rustler, climbs as well (maybe better) and handles the rest better. Rode some flowier trails and it loves to be leaned and pushed.

    - got the suspension closer to dialed. 80psi upfront with 7 clicks of progression on the MRP cartridge. 230 in the back. Iím 195lbs all geared up. Donít remember how much rebound. Running 20psi front tire and 25pi rear.

    - a bit of creaking going on. I removed the rear split pivot bolts and applied blue loctite. Same to the two shock mounting points. Took care of most of it, sounds like some might be coming from the seatpost and lower pivot by BB. Shop cleaned up the bb and reinstalled. Itís funny how creaks/pops can really get in your head.

    Great bike and Iím sure Iíll sort the creaks out, part of the FS fun I guess.
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    I noticed some creaking yesterday as well. Pretty sure mine is coming from the stem. Ill report back once I get it sorted.

  45. #45
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    Here is mine...

    A little bit updated




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    I found a great deal on a Santa Cruz Hightower 27.5+. Marked down to $3200. Has anyone ridden the Hightower and new Horsethief? Just wondering how they compare. If I get a Horsethief I will be buying a new wheelset and running it in 27.5+. Thanks.

  47. #47
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    Shamus that looks great! Did you swap everything but the fork?
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  48. #48
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    Just a follow up new BB installed because of creaking. Shop obviously took care of it.

  49. #49
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    Did that take care of the creak?
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Did that take care of the creak?
    Parking lot tide says yes, but no proper test yet.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Shamus that looks great! Did you swap everything but the fork?
    I think so...

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Did that take care of the creak?
    And.... that's a no. Just took it for a 10mi ride. started creaking real bad almost immediately. I even took the whole seat post out, since thats the one thing I did change. Finally narrowed it down to either the flip chip or the seat stay / seat tube suspension link. Can recreate by pushing the head tube and pulling the seat tube and vice versa. which explains why the shop may have thought it was the BB. that alternating motion. Shop said the BB was hosed. Im not so sure now. Either way... Im getting kind of pissed.

    gonna pull the flip chip and make sure its not a contact point needing a little grease in its housing or something stupid like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    And.... that's a no. Just took it for a 10mi ride. started creaking real bad almost immediately. I even took the whole seat post out, since thats the one thing I did change. Finally narrowed it down to either the flip chip or the seat stay / seat tube suspension link. Can recreate by pushing the head tube and pulling the seat tube and vice versa. which explains why the shop may have thought it was the BB. that alternating motion. Shop said the BB was hosed. Im not so sure now. Either way... Im getting kind of pissed.

    gonna pull the flip chip and make sure its not a contact point needing a little grease in its housing or something stupid like that.
    Found the culprit. Where the yoke meets the deluxe rt3 shaft. If you unmount the flip chip end of the shock and pull it down, it wiggles back and forth and makes a click. When riding this click happens from the slight side to side flex in the frame. New BB tho.....

    So next is to pull the shock out and grease the yoke interface?

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Found the culprit. Where the yoke meets the deluxe rt3 shaft. If you unmount the flip chip end of the shock and pull it down, it wiggles back and forth and makes a click. When riding this click happens from the slight side to side flex in the frame. New BB tho.....

    So next is to pull the shock out and grease the yoke interface?
    Damn. I tried that already and no luck, my LBS is having a look he's gunna chat with Salsa.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Damn. I tried that already and no luck, my LBS is having a look he's gunna chat with Salsa.
    Well i havent messed with it, just isolated the sound. But after unmounting the front of the shock and remounting it, the noise has stopped. Im sure once i go for a ride, it will be there. Definitely interested to hear your LBSís take on the issue.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Damn. I tried that already and no luck, my LBS is having a look he's gunna chat with Salsa.
    Well its officially gone. Took out the clevis flip chips top and bottom and greased em up. Put thrm back in. Quiet. 5 minutes prior creakin like a sumbitch.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Well its officially gone. Took out the clevis flip chips top and bottom and greased em up. Put thrm back in. Quiet. 5 minutes prior creakin like a sumbitch.
    Nice! Maybe I didn't do a good enough job. Congrats on the creak victory!
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Nice! Maybe I didn't do a good enough job. Congrats on the creak victory!
    After a 20mi ride this morning, i started to lose my mind. On the downs, i was loving this bike, but on the ups i wish i was deaf. So when i got back from the ride, i was determined to find and fix it. It went from creak insanity to silent as soon as I did it, question is: how long will it last. Ill update on tuesday. I cant live with it though. Most rides here start with a 1-2k climb and im not listening to that racket for 15-30mins after starting the ride. Aint happening.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    After a 20mi ride this morning, i started to lose my mind. On the downs, i was loving this bike, but on the ups i wish i was deaf. So when i got back from the ride, i was determined to find and fix it. It went from creak insanity to silent as soon as I did it, question is: how long will it last. Ill update on tuesday. I cant live with it though. Most rides here start with a 1-2k climb and im not listening to that racket for 15-30mins after starting the ride. Aint happening.
    I went through that with my Ponyrustler and I was able to silence it, I think you will too. Iíll let you know what my LBS says!
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    I went through that with my Ponyrustler and I was able to silence it, I think you will too. Iíll let you know what my LBS says!
    Went for 15 miles yesterday. Quiet as a mouse the whole ride. Love it. For now, its the fix... i assume the grease will give way to the creaking again, but if it takes long enough, ill chalk it up to regular maintenance

  61. #61
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    I have some creaking as well, but it may be related to mud on the linkage. It seems to go away when I rinse off the bike, but return mid-ride after I hit a few puddles.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    I have some creaking as well, but it may be related to mud on the linkage. It seems to go away when I rinse off the bike, but return mid-ride after I hit a few puddles.
    Mine started in a similar manner, but i figured out it was corresponding with the twmpwrature. If it persists or gets worse as we reach summer, its something you can look at. I just used standard park tool ppl grease on both flip chips.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Went for 15 miles yesterday. Quiet as a mouse the whole ride. Love it. For now, its the fix... i assume the grease will give way to the creaking again, but if it takes long enough, ill chalk it up to regular maintenance
    I took it apart and greased it last night. Tomorrow Iíll know if it worked!
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  64. #64
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    Time to bring a little more stoke to this thread. From todayís quick 10miler.

    2019 Horsethief-e5abfdf0-0efe-4e5c-b83e-0495e3e624cf.jpg

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    I took it apart and greased it last night. Tomorrow Iíll know if it worked!
    Survey says?

    Mine? About 50miles. It's starting up again.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Survey says?

    Mine? About 50miles. It's starting up again.
    Removing and greasing both sides of the flip chip seemed to have stopped the creaking on mine, but Ive only done 2 (pretty wet) rides on it since then. I'll report back if it returns.

    Also, I'm finding I like this frame very much, even with the 51mm offset 130mm fork. Very pleased with its handling.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    Removing and greasing both sides of the flip chip seemed to have stopped the creaking on mine, but Ive only done 2 (pretty wet) rides on it since then. I'll report back if it returns.

    Also, I'm finding I like this frame very much, even with the 51mm offset 130mm fork. Very pleased with its handling.
    Glad to hear it worked out. I wonder if wrapping the outer edges of the bits with a thin band of plumbers tape could do the trick. Ill grease it again next week and see whats what.

    Yeah this is my favorite bike by far. Its a boatload of fun.

  68. #68
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    I am having a blast on this bike! I did some pretty chunky riding in Sedona this weekend and 40 miles later no creaking.

    Here is what I did based on the info my LBS gave me:

    - Thoroughly clean flip chip and bolt
    - Blue loctite on the bolt threads and threads of the lower flip chip
    - Gratuitous grease on all other contact points
    - 24hr cure for the loctite!

    I'll let you know how it goes further down the road...
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  69. #69
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    Hey, new forum member and newly returned to the sport after road cycling the last few years.

    I bought a Timberjack SLX and was getting beat up on local trails (Montana) despite running the 27.5+ tires pretty soft. Returned it to REI after a few trail rides.

    Long story short: I've got my first FS on order, a 2019 Horsethief Deore and I'm pumped!

    Does anyone have experience with the deore setup on the new Horsethief yet? Any ideas from looking at the build of what the weak points might be? Any tips for a newbie are greatly appreciated!

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorEaster7 View Post
    Hey, new forum member and newly returned to the sport after road cycling the last few years.

    I bought a Timberjack SLX and was getting beat up on local trails (Montana) despite running the 27.5+ tires pretty soft. Returned it to REI after a few trail rides.

    Long story short: I've got my first FS on order, a 2019 Horsethief Deore and I'm pumped!

    Does anyone have experience with the deore setup on the new Horsethief yet? Any ideas from looking at the build of what the weak points might be? Any tips for a newbie are greatly appreciated!
    Congrats! Honestly not a lot to complain about. Id swap cassette and chainring to xt11-46 and 30t because of the long climbs here in CO. And probably swap tires and go to tubeless. Thats about it.

  71. #71
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    I was looking for Salsas on the Linkage Design blog... couldn't find them...



    turns out when the page is translated they become Sauce. Ha!

  72. #72
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    Q for 2019 HT owners - what size frames are you riding and how tall, long are you?
    I'm a M or L depending on the bike. Height 5-10+, inseam 31". Can't find a Salsa sizing chart on the google....

  73. #73
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    At 5'10", your on a medium under their chart. https://salsacycles.com/bikes/horset...arbon_gx_eagle

    look under geometry tab


    Im 6'2" and have always ridden large Salsas, except for my 2012 vaya, for which I chose the XL 60cm size.

  74. #74
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    Thanks rth, I must have been looking in the wrong place on Salsa site.

  75. #75
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    Same as rth, I'm 6'2" on a large.

    I'm finally building up my wheels, I9 to carbon and switching the NX cassette to GX, should make a decent change on the rear wheel feel.
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  76. #76
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    I just dont even want to ride my bucksaw anymore. And thats OK.

    Adjusted rebound on the deluxe to 4 back and she climbs much better in open.

    2019 Horsethief-c1ee3858-46eb-4e1b-a762-3282b6432ccc.jpg

  77. #77
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    How does everyone like their Horsethiefs? I had a quick demo yesterday and was impressed. The suspension didn't seem quite as efficient as the DW Link on my Pivot T429, but then again I think it was set up pretty soft. It was certainly nimble and confidence inspiring. My main concern was the loud creaking coming from the demo bike. My wife, whose demo bike was quiet, is thinking about buying one.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by lloydd71 View Post
    How does everyone like their Horsethiefs? I had a quick demo yesterday and was impressed. The suspension didn't seem quite as efficient as the DW Link on my Pivot T429, but then again I think it was set up pretty soft. It was certainly nimble and confidence inspiring. My main concern was the loud creaking coming from the demo bike. My wife, whose demo bike was quiet, is thinking about buying one.
    I love mine. Got a little over 200 miles on it and the bike is exactly what I was looking for.

    The creaking, at least for me, comes from the flip chip. I find that I have to grease it every 50-70 miles. It takes about 5 minutes to do, but is annoying. I might order a new yoke and chip set to see if mine just have poor tolerances, but im over it now, and just chalk it up to regular maintenance like cleaning my chain.

    Bike climbs and descends exactly how I want.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    I love mine. Got a little over 200 miles on it and the bike is exactly what I was looking for.

    The creaking, at least for me, comes from the flip chip. I find that I have to grease it every 50-70 miles. It takes about 5 minutes to do, but is annoying. I might order a new yoke and chip set to see if mine just have poor tolerances, but im over it now, and just chalk it up to regular maintenance like cleaning my chain.

    Bike climbs and descends exactly how I want.
    I'm having the same creaking problem with my new 2019 Spearfish. Started happening after the first couple of rides. I'm sure it's in the flip switch as well (thanks for posting your "fix" above). I haven't been able to get through a ride without the creak starting back up though. It's fine for the first few miles, but by the end..... creak city! Really annoying. I'm hoping something more permanent can be done! Wonder how aware Salsa is of the issue?

  80. #80
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    After reading about the Ibis owners creaking issues, I found that they use plumbers tape around the offending part. Ive noticed that retorquing the chip isnt enough and that the grease barrier is required to mitigate the contact and subsequent noise. So maybe wrapping the vertical faces of the chip with a thin layer like a plumbers tape that wont break down like grease would work for good and also tighten the tokerance. Just some ideas

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    After reading about the Ibis owners creaking issues, I found that they use plumbers tape around the offending part. Ive noticed that retorquing the chip isnt enough and that the grease barrier is required to mitigate the contact and subsequent noise. So maybe wrapping the vertical faces of the chip with a thin layer like a plumbers tape that wont break down like grease would work for good and also tighten the tokerance. Just some ideas
    Worth a shot! I'll try that next time.

  82. #82
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    Take pictures and let us know!

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    So I bought one a couple of weeks ago - the NX Eagle. Medium frame - per earlier posts in this thread - is a great fit for my 5'-10" self. Ridden about 50 miles so far. First ride was wonky - stock dropper (Trans X, I think) started slipping early in the ride and by the end was bottoming out as soon as I put weight on it. Back to the shop, which determined it was a defective post, replaced it with a Lev Integra (a nicer unit) at no charge. After that wrinkle, love the bike. Ears open for creaking, have heard some occasional..... will see, and watch the fixes here!

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    Thanks for the info on creaking! Horsethief rode like a champ, but I think I'll encourage my wife to try some other bikes and keep an eye on here to see what the consensus is. I've got about 550 miles on my Pivot in all sorts of conditions and it has been quiet all along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorEaster7 View Post
    Hey, new forum member and newly returned to the sport after road cycling the last few years.

    I bought a Timberjack SLX and was getting beat up on local trails (Montana) despite running the 27.5+ tires pretty soft. Returned it to REI after a few trail rides.

    Long story short: I've got my first FS on order, a 2019 Horsethief Deore and I'm pumped!

    Does anyone have experience with the deore setup on the new Horsethief yet? Any ideas from looking at the build of what the weak points might be? Any tips for a newbie are greatly appreciated!
    Got my Horsethief Deore about a month ago. Changed the front chainring to 28 tooth and the cassette to 11-46. I may swap out the bars for a bit more sweep and rise, and the grips for something squishier.

    I hated the bike for the first two weeks, coming from a 26Ē 3x10 Santa Cruz Superlight. But after a few hundred miles, itís growing on me!

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Take pictures and let us know!
    So far so good using plumbers tape to fix the creaky flip chip! (hopefully I'm not jinxing myself).

    Here's what I did. Again, I have a 2019 Spearfish, not a Horsethief, but it's the same exact flip chip and the same exact front triangle so I think this advice is valid for HT's too:

    *Step 1 - Remove the flip chip bolt and clean it thoroughly. I had a bunch of grease on it from previous attempts to silence it. Clean it up.
    *Step 2 - wrap a single layer of plumber tape around the ENTIRE bolt, from the threads all the way up to bolt head.
    *Step 3 - Put it all back together. Carefully reinsert the bolt. It'll be a lot tighter than before going through. Try not to bunch up the tape too much. No grease.
    *Step 4 - Torque to spec.

    I took my Spearfish on an overnighter this past weekend, fully loaded for bikepacking. Rode back home in pouring rain. Grit all over my bike from that. 6 ish our of riding (trail, dirt road, road) and it remained silent the whole time. Probably too early to declare victory..... but my previous attempts only got me about 40 minutes of creak-free riding so I'm feeling optimistic!

  87. #87
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    Picked up a Ď19 Horsethief a couple weeks ago and love it so far. Swapped out the 29s with some Stans Flows 27.5 and love it even more.




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    If a rider hucks to flat and busts his ass, and nobody is around to see it...did he stomp the landing?

  88. #88
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    Interesting find msumga!

    I suspected that it was the chips themselves and didnt even think of the bolt as a culprit. I will have to try that on my next creak maintenance.

  89. #89
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    Nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChunkySalsa View Post
    Picked up a Ď19 Horsethief a couple weeks ago and love it so far. Swapped out the 29s with some Stans Flows 27.5 and love it even more.




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    Nice! Which build is that? I'm looking at the Horsethief SLX. But in my area, I can only find it online thru REI.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmalan View Post
    Nice! Which build is that? I'm looking at the Horsethief SLX. But in my area, I can only find it online thru REI.
    This is the SLX. Great bike! I bought mine local fortunately for me.


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  91. #91
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    Hey all, I'm thinking on buying a used wheelset with a DT swiss 350 DH 157 rear hub. Its not exactly Superboost 157 plus, or whatever, but the prior owner was using it on a Pivot Switchblade, so I cant think of any reason why it would not work on my 2019 Horsethief, right? Im already using a converter to allow me to use my old Boost 148 wheelset, so this has got to be an improvement even though its not full superboost, right?

    What have I got wrong?

  92. #92
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    I guess I'm confused. What's the difference between 157 and Superboost? I just bought a 2019 and am looking for a 27.5+ wheel set. Not finding a lot with 157 spacing. How is your 148 with converter working out?

  93. #93
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    My understanding is that the spoke flange spacing is a little wider on the superboost 157 than the DH 157, thus allowing a stiffer wheel due to spoke angle, while the overall space between the dropouts/axle length is the same, 157 mm.

    The converter is working ok, but my hub is starting to creak pretty badly on steep climbs. I'm on my third same SRAM Roam 40 rear wheel (originally stock from my 2016 HT X01), as the two priors began creaking about a year into their life and were replaced under warranty.

    As far as I know, DT swiss, hope, I9 and King are the only ones Ive seen making Superboost 157 hubs. I doubt you will find a pre-made set of wheels and will likely have to go custom wheel build.

  94. #94
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    Thanks for the clarification!!

    Yeah, I was kinda thinking I might have to go the custom route. I'm also looking for take-off's from someone who may have bought a Pivot and is upgrading.

  95. #95
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    HT owner check in. Been riding a lot and preparing for a long haul ďrace.Ē Bikeís been good but some upgrades coming soon.

    -GX cassette
    -new rear Stans Arch
    -charger damper for Rev or Fox 34

    2019 Horsethief-182da58c-914f-4e62-a838-b277dbd09a43.jpg

  96. #96
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    For those of you who refuse to wear a sweaty monkey on your back, check out how Ive set up my Wolf Tooth BRAD 4, dual water bottle cage mounts, and strap. This size large will now fit 3 full size water bottles. Tube and tools are in the Salsa tool roll.


    2019 Horsethief-img_0682.jpg2019 Horsethief-img_0586.jpg

  97. #97
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    I sold my Santa Cruz Tallboy 3....Horsethief NX coming tomorrow. The Santa Cruz was a large and fit me well. The large Horsethief is way too big! I sized down to Medium.
    Jason
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  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    I sold my Santa Cruz Tallboy 3....Horsethief NX coming tomorrow. The Santa Cruz was a large and fit me well. The large Horsethief is way too big! I sized down to Medium.
    This is consistent with my experience. I would ride an XL Santa Cruz, but large Salsa is perfect.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    Hey all, I'm thinking on buying a used wheelset with a DT swiss 350 DH 157 rear hub. Its not exactly Superboost 157 plus, or whatever, but the prior owner was using it on a Pivot Switchblade, so I cant think of any reason why it would not work on my 2019 Horsethief, right? Im already using a converter to allow me to use my old Boost 148 wheelset, so this has got to be an improvement even though its not full superboost, right?

    What have I got wrong?
    Update. I got nothing wrong. The DT Swiss 350 157 DH hub fit fine. Just had to reset the brakes.

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    Just picked up the NX. I hope I made the right decision. I originally went in for a Fuel EX 8 but for some reason came out with the Horsethief lol.

    I was kind of disappointed I couldnít find much info on these Salsas but this thread helped a lot. Almost seems like not much people like Salsas. Iíve seen more bashing than praise. Still havenít taken it to the trails yet since it rained today, hopefully soon.

    Anyone ridden Fuel Ex? This is my first full suspension.

  101. #101
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    The Fuel EX is a decent bike but I prefer the Horsethief geometry. The suspension kinematics are pretty darn similar between the split pivot of the Salsa and the ABP of Trek.
    Enjoy your new bike, I know I am!
    Jason
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  102. #102
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    Id echo whats said above. I owned a 2014 fuel ex 8 29er. Great bike. Trek ABP and split pivot behave similarly. I feel my horsethief is more plush on big hits. Even though both bikes were/are 120mm rears. This is my third salsa and ive liked them all. Been riding only salsas for the past 3 years.

  103. #103
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    I have a '19 Spearfish (aluminum) and also had creaking that absolutely drove me insane. Bike shop couldn't figure it out after multiple attempts.

    I just put some plumbers tape on the threads of both the flip chip bolt and also the shock bolt. 1st Ride was super quiet without a single creak. I will update after some more rides.

  104. #104
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    It has been some time since I have been on the trails and I'm looking to get back into it. I looked at the Deore Horsethief today at my LBS, was there to look at the Timberjack, and I pretty much fell in love with it. I will most likely pull the trigger on it, as soon as the boss gives me the nod, which will make it my first full suspension bike. I am glad to see those who already have them are enjoying riding them.

  105. #105
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    This will be my first FS bike. Looking at horsethief deore or SLX. Any suggestions on model? Is SLX worth the upcharge?

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    I'd split the difference and get the SX Eagle version.
    Jason
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    Thank you! Not sure how I missed that one all together!

  108. #108
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    They just launched that one last week I believe, the aluminum bikes were updated for 2020 already.
    Jason
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    Looks like fork was changed to 42mm offset vs 51. And swapped to an FSA orbit headset. Any thoughts on those two changes vs 51mm and cane creek 10 the other two bikes have?

  110. #110
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    I think the 51mm offset is only spec'ed on bikes with cheaper forks as I suspect those cheaper forks are only available in 51mm offset, which until the recent lower offset forks for 29ers, were standard.

    I have a new horsethief carbon frame with a 130mm 51mm offset pike (from an older bike) and it handles better than any bike I've ever had.

  111. #111
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    Couple years ago I came around these parts looking for bikepacking bikes with a side of trail. Unfortunately, life ended up getting in the way. Finally back and decided to instead go trail with a side of bikepacking and got the Horsethief Carbon NX as my first mountain bike! Looking forward to getting out and hitting the trails!

  112. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    HT owner check in. Been riding a lot and preparing for a long haul ďrace.Ē Bikeís been good but some upgrades coming soon.

    -GX cassette
    -new rear Stans Arch
    -charger damper for Rev or Fox 34

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I put the charger damper in my rev and it's a completely different fork. Also pit the MRP ramp control.
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  113. #113
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    I got lucky and salsa had a demo day yesterday locally so I got to put some time on the carbon nx eagle. What an awesome ride. I cant swing the price for that so I did order the new SX eagle. Should be ready in a few days!

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    I'm curious if anybody has tried out 27.5+ tires on the HF. How did you like it and did you feel there was really much advantage over the already quite large 29 tires? Also curious as to why Salsa advertizes the Spearfishes 29/27.5 abilities in the bike pulldown menu but not the Horsethief; they both can take 27.5 from 2.8-3.0".

  115. #115
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    Just picked up mine the other day. Pics soon. I always find the sizing discussions interesting. When I demo'd the bike I found the L too cramped and the XL just right (6'2" and clydesdale rider). And when you look at the specs between L and XL there is so little difference. 19mm on reach, 11mm on standover, 9mm on stack, and 23mm on wheelbase, and 37mm on seat tube. Reach, standover, and stack are minimal difference (and reach is adjustable with stem), and I guess as a clydesdale rider who enjoys long distance mtb the longer wheelbase and seat tube are more my style. I find comfort in the fact that my dropper post is seated that deep in the seat tube. Curious on other riders thoughts on this, especially the "clydesdale" types. ;-)

  116. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7ski View Post
    Just picked up mine the other day. Pics soon. I always find the sizing discussions interesting. When I demo'd the bike I found the L too cramped and the XL just right (6'2" and clydesdale rider).
    INTERESTING. I'm 6'3" 180 lbs and I went with the LG vs XL. I was only able to try the Spearfish but since it's very similar to the HT I felt okay not riding it. It seems like a lot of people are sizing down. I also considered the Tallboi and I would have definitely gone XL on that. Still playing around with the seat height but I don't think I'll have any issues running it too high.

  117. #117
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    I've been considering a Horsethief as a bikepacking/trail riding platform, but have had no luck actually finding one to ride in Phoenix. My LBS finally got a rental assembled, an aluminum updated Spearfish SX Eagle. So, I picked it up last night and hit portions of my local training loop and some bonus segments. I'm currently riding a 2008 Stumpjumper Pro FSR 26er 3x9 for reference, which I have been pleased with.

    The Spearfish was confidence inspiring and felt pretty glued to the trail with the chip in the low position. Cornering and climbing all felt better than usual, probably thanks to the wider 29" rims. The chunky downhills felt better too, which is likely a function of the modern geometry more than anything. Generally, the suspension was not as plush as my Stumpjumper, but I attribute that to the bike being brand new and not having as nice of a fork. I was skeptical about the 1x12 drive, but the ease and speed of shifting far outweighs the top gear speed of my stumpjumper.

    Once I got home, I was pleased to see that I set personal records on most of the Strava segments, in spite of the poor quality grips and pedals... and it being totally new to me. I weighed the beast out of curiosity and it came in at 34.3# for an XL aluminum frame with cheesy plastic pedals. My Stumpjumper XL aluminum is 29.9# with some big alloy flat pedals.

    I'm guessing if I fork over the cash for a carbon Horsethief I will benefit from the technological advancements of the past 11 years and have something that is easier to setup for bikepacking. The pricing doesn't seem inline with the spec, but maybe my LBS can help out with that a bit. End of the day... cool bike and a smile making machine.

    2019 Horsethief-img_7806.jpg

  118. #118
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    Also, I too have the dreaded creaking. Took it back to the shop and it's much better, but on climbs the thing really sings. It seems like it's coming from the handlebars or headset but it's quite hard to find as I can't reproduce it at home. It seems okay when I'm descending, so maybe it's the BB or headset?

  119. #119
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    Mine does it too. As with many om this thread I'm going to start with flip chip. See if that helps. I did have to laugh when I did the demo day and the excuse was these bikes get ridden a lot so dont mind the squeak.

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    Really makes you wonder if bike shops are just putting them together sloppy or if Salsa has a real problem on their hands. I've read of a few other bikes that are known creakers as well.

  121. #121
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    The most common creak points are the flipchip and the rear axle pivots... mine is mostly silent still. I get a creak with crank hard on an uphill obstacle, could be anything and I can't replicate it off trail.
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  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7ski View Post
    Just picked up mine the other day. Pics soon. I always find the sizing discussions interesting. When I demo'd the bike I found the L too cramped and the XL just right (6'2" and clydesdale rider). And when you look at the specs between L and XL there is so little difference. 19mm on reach, 11mm on standover, 9mm on stack, and 23mm on wheelbase, and 37mm on seat tube. Reach, standover, and stack are minimal difference (and reach is adjustable with stem), and I guess as a clydesdale rider who enjoys long distance mtb the longer wheelbase and seat tube are more my style. I find comfort in the fact that my dropper post is seated that deep in the seat tube. Curious on other riders thoughts on this, especially the "clydesdale" types. ;-)
    Quote Originally Posted by nuclear_biker View Post
    INTERESTING. I'm 6'3" 180 lbs and I went with the LG vs XL. I was only able to try the Spearfish but since it's very similar to the HT I felt okay not riding it. It seems like a lot of people are sizing down. I also considered the Tallboi and I would have definitely gone XL on that. Still playing around with the seat height but I don't think I'll have any issues running it too high.
    I'm also trying to decide between L and XL, and seeing reports like this makes it so much more difficult. I'm 6.2", 200 lbs, 34.5 - 35" "actual" inseam (33"-34" pants inseam). I don't have an option of demoing one of these, unfortunately, or even finding one in stock for a parking lot test ride. I did get a chance to "parking lot ride" a Spearfish, but that didn't help much. The first shop only had a carbon NX Spearfish in L, and after taking it for a spin around the lot I thought it felt a little too cramped. It also didn't have much air in the suspension, so it felt like a noodle. Then I found another shop a few days later that had AL Spearfish (Deore IIRC) in both L and XL. So I rode the XL first and it felt.... substantial is probably the best way to put it. It felt big, but not too big, if that makes sense. Then just for kicks, I rode the same bike in L, and to my surprise, it actually felt better than the XL. So if I had to pick between the two right there and then, I probably would have picked L (if I didn't know the same bike felt a bit small a couple of days ago).

  123. #123
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    No creaking yet with mine (SLX aluminum) but a friend has GX carbon version that creaked after the second ride. Flip chip was the culprit, easy fix.

    FWIW, I've heard of other models and brands (Cannondale) with flip chips and it seems to be a common problem. Not a Salsa specific problem.

  124. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Did the charger 2 swap a few days ago. 100% worth it, I noticed the fork spiking on extended chunky descents. New damper definitely performs better. Also installed the MRP ramp Control so I can adjust air volume without fussing with tokens, pretty sweet!
    @grizzler Do you think the fork upgrades you made are better than say replacing the fork entirely?

  125. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verboten View Post
    @grizzler Do you think the fork upgrades you made are better than say replacing the fork entirely?
    Not to speak for grizzler, but I imagine this will come down to if you prefer RockShox over Fox. This should give you more or less the same experience as the high end Pikes with a bit more weight.

  126. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuclear_biker View Post
    Not to speak for grizzler, but I imagine this will come down to if you prefer RockShox over Fox. This should give you more or less the same experience as the high end Pikes with a bit more weight.
    Good point. It seems like a good value compared to the hassle of selling the stock fork and ponying up for the preferred one.

  127. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verboten View Post
    @grizzler Do you think the fork upgrades you made are better than say replacing the fork entirely?
    I love my pike but didnít want to deal with buying one fork and selling the other. The only difference now is that the stanchions arenít tapered so it weighs a negligible amount more. The difference is well worth it!
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  128. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    I love my pike but didnít want to deal with buying one fork and selling the other. The only difference now is that the stanchions arenít tapered so it weighs a negligible amount more. The difference is well worth it!
    Good to know! This thread has been very helpful. I ended up ordering the NX build yesterday Understanding what parts to order is becoming a nightmare on contemporary bikes with all these non-standard standards... this from a guy who rides KTM dirtbikes.

    Do you happen to have the part numbers for the Charger and MRP kits you used?
    One of the parts companies is verifying which Charger kit will work and is looking into the possibility of the Charger 2.1 working, but it sounds unlikely... Salsa told me the fork is the A2 variant pn 00.4019.685.035 I honestly have no clue and at the mercy of the vendors for now.

  129. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    The most common creak points are the flipchip and the rear axle pivots... mine is mostly silent still. I get a creak with crank hard on an uphill obstacle, could be anything and I can't replicate it off trail.
    That's what I've read, but I actually don't thing that's it because after I took it to the bike shop round 1, its totally silent on decent (when you'd think the suspension would be moving around the most). It seems to happen mostly uphill, especially under steering.

  130. #130
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    Ive seen pictures of what looks to be a different yoke on an NX carbon on IG. I can only imagine its some kind of replacement yoke/flipchip housing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Ive seen pictures of what looks to be a different yoke on an NX carbon on IG. I can only imagine its some kind of replacement yoke/flipchip housing.
    To clarify, do you mean different than older variants of HF, or do you mean newer versions of 2019 HF. I'll post a picture of mine (bought about 3 weeks ago) later today if its the latter.

  132. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuclear_biker View Post
    To clarify, do you mean different than older variants of HF, or do you mean newer versions of 2019 HF. I'll post a picture of mine (bought about 3 weeks ago) later today if its the latter.
    I mean a black 2019 with a white yoke. Looks out of place like its a different piece.

  133. #133
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    I joined the club 1st shakedown tomorrow. NX in XL, 32 lbs with pedals and setup tubeless, about 2.3 lbs lighter than the Aluminum Spearfish and 2.1 lbs heavier than my 2008 Aluminum Stumpjumper.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2019 Horsethief-3d40a1cd-4687-4090-b8d1-ea04023302d7.jpg  

    Last edited by Verboten; 09-08-2019 at 07:57 PM.

  134. #134
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    I want to post about my experiences with the 2019 Horsethief creaking and how I resolved it in hopes that helps my fellow HT owners.

    I bought this bike in May 2019 and outfitted it with a 27.5+ wheelset. I have loved everything about this bike with the exception of one thing - creaking. Creaking when pedaling uphill, creaking when standing and pedaling - everything that everyone has described here. I narrowed it down to the mating surfaces between rear shock clevis and rear shock piston. I tried cleaning and torquing (didn't help at all), tried cleaning and lubricating (worked for a short while, maybe 20ish trail miles), finally I'm on 50+ miles of hard riding with still a quiet bike.

    Here's the steps I took:
    1) Reference a) https://salsacycles.com/culture/care...vot_salsa_bike "Horsethief Owners Ė if you have a creak when you stand and pedal" b) https://salsacycles.com/files/tech/2...ip_INST_VF.pdf Bolt torque 17-NM
    2) Remove shock from frame and clean all oil/grease residue from contact surfaces and threads.
    3) Apply Park Tool Assembly Compound to the flat mating surfaces between clevis clamp and shock <- this is the location that slips and produces creaking. We want to increase friction here. Apply Loctite to threads on flip chip nut (don't apply to bolt threads as you'll get Loctite inside the reducing bushing and make the bolt very hard to remove in the future). Apply grease to underside of head of bolt to allow proper torque.
    4) Assemble and torque bolt to 17-NM according to the Salsa document in step #1. Ignore the 10-NM value for this on the flip chip nut. When torquing you'll hear the grit in the assembly compound crushing between the clevis and shock.
    5) Let the Loctite set for the recommended 24hrs.

    I haven't found the upper limit as to how long this will last, but I'm at 50+ miles of hard trail riding with still no creaks. Hope this helps! Happy trails.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2019 Horsethief-salsahorsethief.jpg  


  135. #135
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    Congrats on the new rig! I don't remember the part number unfortunately. I can dig for you if you haven't found it yet...
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    Thank you for the write up on fixing the creaking! Because I just got mine I'm going to let the shop take a crack at fixing it. If I end up having to do it myself your write up will work wonders!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thermshot View Post
    Thank you for the write up on fixing the creaking! Because I just got mine I'm going to let the shop take a crack at fixing it. If I end up having to do it myself your write up will work wonders!
    If they do fix it, could you ask what they did to fix it and post it here (to add to the repository of knowledge).

  138. #138
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    I can no longer stand by this solution

    I can't get the thing to stop creaking for even 5 miles now! If I had any hair, I'd be pulling it out right now. Going to try mechanicguy's solution once I can get my hands on some Park Tool Assembly Compound.

    Quote Originally Posted by msugma View Post
    So far so good using plumbers tape to fix the creaky flip chip! (hopefully I'm not jinxing myself).

    Here's what I did. Again, I have a 2019 Spearfish, not a Horsethief, but it's the same exact flip chip and the same exact front triangle so I think this advice is valid for HT's too:

    *Step 1 - Remove the flip chip bolt and clean it thoroughly. I had a bunch of grease on it from previous attempts to silence it. Clean it up.
    *Step 2 - wrap a single layer of plumber tape around the ENTIRE bolt, from the threads all the way up to bolt head.
    *Step 3 - Put it all back together. Carefully reinsert the bolt. It'll be a lot tighter than before going through. Try not to bunch up the tape too much. No grease.
    *Step 4 - Torque to spec.

    I took my Spearfish on an overnighter this past weekend, fully loaded for bikepacking. Rode back home in pouring rain. Grit all over my bike from that. 6 ish our of riding (trail, dirt road, road) and it remained silent the whole time. Probably too early to declare victory..... but my previous attempts only got me about 40 minutes of creak-free riding so I'm feeling optimistic!

  139. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Congrats on the new rig! I don't remember the part number unfortunately. I can dig for you if you haven't found it yet...
    No worries. Now that I have the bike, I entered the fork serial number into the rockshox app and it indicated which kits will work

    In other news... After 18 miles of riding, mine is creaking too

  140. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verboten View Post
    No worries. Now that I have the bike, I entered the fork serial number into the rockshox app and it indicated which kits will work

    In other news... After 18 miles of riding, mine is creaking too
    Awesome. Duncan at Transit helped me solve the creak, I'm sure he'll help you too. I ended up doing this:

    Remove rear shock
    Clean all bolts/mounting points with alcohol
    Grease moving parts/contact points
    blue loctite all threads
    wait 24hrs

    I also removed the rear axle pivots and did the same. 200+ miles no creaks.
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  141. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Awesome. Duncan at Transit helped me solve the creak, I'm sure he'll help you too. I ended up doing this:

    Remove rear shock
    Clean all bolts/mounting points with alcohol
    Grease moving parts/contact points
    blue loctite all threads
    wait 24hrs

    I also removed the rear axle pivots and did the same. 200+ miles no creaks.
    Great tips! Thanks.

  142. #142
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    Just tried the 2019 Horsethief NX (current ride Trek FEX 9.8). Although I know the Split Pivot and ABP are suppose to be similar, they really felt like different bikes. The Trek felt much more supple and bottomless in its travel, whereas the Horsethief felt much more progressive and stiff, especially out of the seat mashing. Although on paper they are similar, the geometry felt different too. The Salsa felt more in and centered on the bike, with a higher front end, whereas the Trek feels more like the traditional hang off the back type, and a bit more stretched out. Liked them both, just different.
    Last edited by motard5; 09-30-2019 at 09:03 AM.

  143. #143
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    On the creaking issue...
    I contacted Salsa and was given the same instructions as @mechanicguy mentions above. I just got off the phone with Salsa and they have a redesigned bolt for the flip chip and they are shipping one to my LBS. I was told that this new bolt is designed for higher torque values, but the old once can safely be tightened to 20 NM as well. The bolt on my bike says 17NM, not sure what the original one says or it if it actually different. Should know in a couple of days though

  144. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verboten View Post
    On the creaking issue...
    I contacted Salsa and was given the same instructions as @mechanicguy mentions above. I just got off the phone with Salsa and they have a redesigned bolt for the flip chip and they are shipping one to my LBS. I was told that this new bolt is designed for higher torque values, but the old once can safely be tightened to 20 NM as well. The bolt on my bike says 17NM, not sure what the original one says or it if it actually different. Should know in a couple of days though
    Interesting because my stock bolt says 10NM

  145. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by pOrk View Post
    Interesting because my stock bolt says 10NM
    Good to hear Salsa is doing something. Thanks for posting this. I contacted my LBS. I have new hardware coming for my Spearfish! They made it sound the flip switch itself is redesigned as well. Not sure how accurate that is..... but we shall see (hopefully before the weekend)

  146. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by msugma View Post
    Good to hear Salsa is doing something. Thanks for posting this. I contacted my LBS. I have new hardware coming for my Spearfish! They made it sound the flip switch itself is redesigned as well. Not sure how accurate that is..... but we shall see (hopefully before the weekend)
    I'm going to get on this train after I return from a trip this weekend. Did you talk to Salsa directly or have your LBS do that?

  147. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuclear_biker View Post
    I'm going to get on this train after I return from a trip this weekend. Did you talk to Salsa directly or have your LBS do that?
    I went through my LBS mentioning that I heard there's a redesigned bolt to fix my creaking issue. They called Salsa.

  148. #148
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    Salsa delivered on what they said, parts showed up and we installed them yesterday.

    New chip installed, old one sitting on the shock


    Hereís the part number


    Simple fix, glad Salsa is listening to people and solving issues quickly. The thread pitch is different so you can torque it down tighter. Creaks are gone... for now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2019 Horsethief-c74abd57-3bdb-4c96-8c62-5a7b2c932a3a.jpg  

    2019 Horsethief-e9c1f6b4-0091-4ece-bf46-af75e88d60d3.jpg  


  149. #149
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    Please keep us posted on the results.

  150. #150
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    Fascinating, going to put a call in to my LBS today.

  151. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    Please keep us posted on the results.
    So far so good. Have 150 dusty miles on it with no creaks

    Has anyone tried volume spacers in the shock?
    Iíve loaded the bike up with my bikepacking gear and had to crank the PSI to the point where the rear wheel feels like it hangs up on square edge bumps. I installed 3 tokens in the fork and have been pleased with the results, thinking the same strategy might help out the rear end.

  152. #152
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    New flip chip has cleared up 100% of my issues with the bike! Done a few rides and no creaking. I didn't even think about it until I was almost done my ride.

    Edit: Some more info. I took it to my bike shop a few days after it was mentioned here and Salsa wasn't quite rolling them out everywhere yet. Took them about a week to get the part in which they said was long, again due to how new it was. They didn't charge me anything for the part or labor! My bike shop said they were going to contact everyone who bought the affected bikes, but it seems like Salsa hasn't done any kind of recall.
    Last edited by nuclear_biker; 11-17-2019 at 03:32 PM.

  153. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5 View Post
    Just tried the 2019 Horsethief NX (current ride Trek FEX 9.8). Although I know the Split Pivot and ABP are suppose to be similar, they really felt like different bikes. The Trek felt much more supple and bottomless in its travel, whereas the Horsethief felt much more progressive and stiff, especially out of the seat mashing. Although on paper they are similar, the geometry felt different too. The Salsa felt more in and centered on the bike, with a higher front end, whereas the Trek feels more like the traditional hang off the back type, and a bit more stretched out. Liked them both, just different.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like Iíd like the HT better...


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  154. #154
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    What does the gang think - would you go Horsethief or Spearfish for a 200# rider interested in techie XC and endurance, but not so interested in enduro.

    Iím leaning towards HT, or building up a Spearfish from frame only because I want something stiffer than a SID.



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  155. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    What does the gang think - would you go Horsethief or Spearfish for a 200# rider interested in techie XC and endurance, but not so interested in enduro.

    Iím leaning towards HT, or building up a Spearfish from frame only because I want something stiffer than a SID.



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    I demo'd a Spearfish and bought a Horsethief. Figured it would be nice to have the extra suspension if I ever need it. They seem to ride identically to me, aside from the travel, but I'm not overly sensitive to the minor differences. I penciled out buying a carbon frame and building one up, but it didn't make financial sense to do so considering I could upgrade some items on the NX build and be money and parts ahead of the GX build.

  156. #156
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    I'd go horsetheif if you're not racing. Short of it is that it is the more fun of the two although both are great.
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  157. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    I'd go horsetheif if you're not racing. Short of it is that it is the more fun of the two although both are great.
    Could not agree more, the only reason not to go HT is if you really need to save the weight. I demo'd both as well, and saw little to no advantages to the SF for everyday trail riding.

  158. #158
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    Not racing, or at least not podium-ing. Might do some big boy rides: 50+mile backcountry, maybe SM100. I do like to go fast uphill as well as downhill.

    So, letís say you had a HT and a SF with the exact same fork, just 20mm difference in rear travel. HT or SF for someone coming off a hardtail?



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  159. #159
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    I'd still go HT. I have a SS Timberjack I ride regularly as well and they make a great pair. I use the HT for all day rides as well techy rides on the mountain.
    2019 Salsa Horsethief
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  160. #160
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    The new Horsethief is a more stout trail bike than generations past. I had the G2, now have G3. G2 had a 120mm fork, G3 has 140mm. Both climb great. G3 is a bit of pig though in regards to weight. WTB wheelset With wide trail tires, and aluminum cranks are the main contributors. My old carbon cranks and wheels couldnít transfer over due to new frame being SuperBoost.

    Back to your question, for the riding youíre stating, the Spearfish is ideal. Iíve done all of the SM100 route (not at one time), and there are some legit climbs. None of the downhills are that chunky. The Spearfish can handle that type of terrain. Will the Horsethief be more plush on the downs, yes, but weight penalty on the way up. Is the Horsethief as heavy as an enduro bike, no, but it also doesnít have 150mm front and rear.

    Perfect situation would be to build up a Horsethief from scratch using trail parts on the lighter side, but not weight weenie level. RaceFace Next SL cranks, carbon wheels, 2.3ish tires, etc. Win on travel, win on weight and ruggedness.

  161. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    I'd still go HT. I have a SS Timberjack I ride regularly as well and they make a great pair. I use the HT for all day rides as well techy rides on the mountain.
    I dig it. I've got a SS TJ as well, so having the longer travel brother makes a good pairing.

    Quote Originally Posted by wi1trackrider View Post
    The new Horsethief is a more stout trail bike than generations past. I had the G2, now have G3. G2 had a 120mm fork, G3 has 140mm. Both climb great. G3 is a bit of pig though in regards to weight. WTB wheelset With wide trail tires, and aluminum cranks are the main contributors. My old carbon cranks and wheels couldnít transfer over due to new frame being SuperBoost.

    Back to your question, for the riding youíre stating, the Spearfish is ideal. Iíve done all of the SM100 route (not at one time), and there are some legit climbs. None of the downhills are that chunky. The Spearfish can handle that type of terrain. Will the Horsethief be more plush on the downs, yes, but weight penalty on the way up. Is the Horsethief as heavy as an enduro bike, no, but it also doesnít have 150mm front and rear.

    Perfect situation would be to build up a Horsethief from scratch using trail parts on the lighter side, but not weight weenie level. RaceFace Next SL cranks, carbon wheels, 2.3ish tires, etc. Win on travel, win on weight and ruggedness.
    I probably would be building up from scratch, or replacing some of the parts. Wheels, fork, dropper, and bars, most likely. So, yeah... still a tough decision.

    If the SF and HT were built up identically, with the only difference being the 20mm of travel in the rear, which would you go with? Would the less travel give you more "pop" and responsiveness, or would you miss the 20mm of travel (could ride it slightly higher pressure vs. 30% sag).

    If only bikes were cheaper, then I could get one of each!

  162. #162
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    If I was riding Midwest trails, I think the Spearfish makes total sense. I think it would rip. As stated before, it would be good on long XC rides as well.

    Another option would be to build up a Spearfish a bit burlier. Rather than a XC fork, get a Pike. Thatís what I did on my last Horsethief. Pike is available in 120mm length. Front end tracked really well. When the terrain got chunky, front end held its line. Pike can be tuned to not bottom out or Ďpack upí on long rough sections.

    I think it comes down to what type of trails do you primarily ride? Get the bike for that, not a type of ride you do twice a year. Sounds like youíre an XC rider = Spearfish. If youíre more of do it all trail rider, get the Horsethief as it offers you that added capability without a huge penalty. The industry has made it really easy to overbike nowadays. Donít get lured in. Stick to your roots.

  163. #163
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    The question you need to ask yourself: Is the 2.25 lbs (NX build, MD size, HF vs SF) weight difference worth the loss in versatility?

  164. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by wi1trackrider View Post
    If I was riding Midwest trails, I think the Spearfish makes total sense. I think it would rip. As stated before, it would be good on long XC rides as well.

    Another option would be to build up a Spearfish a bit burlier. Rather than a XC fork, get a Pike. Thatís what I did on my last Horsethief. Pike is available in 120mm length. Front end tracked really well. When the terrain got chunky, front end held its line. Pike can be tuned to not bottom out or Ďpack upí on long rough sections.

    I think it comes down to what type of trails do you primarily ride? Get the bike for that, not a type of ride you do twice a year. Sounds like youíre an XC rider = Spearfish. If youíre more of do it all trail rider, get the Horsethief as it offers you that added capability without a huge penalty. The industry has made it really easy to overbike nowadays. Donít get lured in. Stick to your roots.
    Good points. I would be looking at a Pike or Fox 34 on the front, probably 130mm. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by nuclear_biker View Post
    The question you need to ask yourself: Is the 2.25 lbs (NX build, MD size, HF vs SF) weight difference worth the loss in versatility?
    Yeah, good point, but I would most likely go with wider rims, anyway, like the HF, and a burlier fork, like the HF. So I wouldn't really be saving that much weight with the SF, aside from the difference in the shock, which probably isn't much. Just losing 20mm of travel.

    I think I'm pretty much decided on the Spearfish, but in point of fact, it doesn't sound like I could go wrong either way.

    Thanks guys!

  165. #165
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    This is probably a dumb question, but for those who upgraded to the Charger 2 damper, which kit did you buy and where did you buy it? I can only seem to find it on UK shops? Seems like there are a few different upgrade kits depending on the shock you're starting with.

  166. #166
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    I think SRAM has an app where you enter your fork's serial and it tells you exactly which kit. The upgrade was well worth it if you ride in chunkier stuff!
    2019 Salsa Horsethief
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  167. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    I think SRAM has an app where you enter your fork's serial and it tells you exactly which kit. The upgrade was well worth it if you ride in chunkier stuff!
    Thanks! I just had my shop order the part since they were offering the same price as I could find online for similar (but maybe not the correct) part. Not sure how helpful this will be, but on the quote this appears as RockShox Damper Upgrade Kit - Charger2.1 RC2 Crown Adjust, Pike 27.5"/29" (B1/2018+) / Revelation (A1+,35mm/2018+), sadly no part number.

    Also as an update, I've got almost 300 miles on the new flipchip and not a single squeak (before it would come after maybe 1 to 2 big climbs out of the saddle).

  168. #168
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    Lugged the beast out in stock form for an XC race earlier this month. Got caught off guard by a little jump and a camera No creaking after the fix and 300+ miles.
    Last edited by Verboten; 04-30-2020 at 01:09 PM.

  169. #169
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    If anyone is looking for an oval 28T chainring designed for the Horsethief, Iím going to list this one on the classifieds with some other bike related stuff later this week...

    Absolut Black 28T Oval Boost 148 direct mount chainring for Sram crank $50
    NEW in packaging, not mounted. I bought this prior to a planned bikepacking trip, but it did not arrive in time. I ended up buying a 28T locally, so this one is not needed.

  170. #170
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    On the topic of Horsethief parts for sale, I have the WTB XD driver available. It's an upgrade that adds 2 additional pawls for better engagement and noise. Then slap on a GX or higher cassette and shave over half a pound easily. $30 shipped.
    Jason
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  171. #171
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    Took the horsethief out on another XC race. Havasu Havoc in AZ was fun.
    Last edited by Verboten; 04-30-2020 at 11:23 PM.

  172. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzler View Post
    Immediate changes:
    - Raceface SIXC 800mm carbon bars and Raceface 50mm stem
    - XT brakes/rotors
    - Wolftooth dropper lever
    - Setup tubeless

    Future changes:
    - Charger 2 damper for Revelation
    - Next SL crankset with RF oval 32t (waiting on axle)
    - Build up better wheelset (once I sell my old wheels)

    In short, I'm STOKED!
    Curious as to how you switched over to XT brakes. Did you swap the seals in the current brake levers or use one of the various options to run SRAM shifters on Shimano levers.

  173. #173
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    Hi, what are the travel limits on the Horsethief? I demo'd one the other day and felt it could be a little more stable on the descents. It reminded me of my Ripley.

  174. #174
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    Horsethief has always been a 120 mm rear travel. the current versions come with 140 mm travel forks, but Salsa condones anywhere from 120-140 mm. I would suggest that the Horsethief is Salsa's version of the Ripley. better than a ripley because it can fit two full size bottles in the main triangle, in my view.

  175. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    Horsethief has always been a 120 mm rear travel. the current versions come with 140 mm travel forks, but Salsa condones anywhere from 120-140 mm. I would suggest that the Horsethief is Salsa's version of the Ripley. better than a ripley because it can fit two full size bottles in the main triangle, in my view.
    Thanks, it reminded me of my Ripley but I felt it could be a bit more stable in my initial ride. I heard DW designed the suspension platform?

  176. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by norbyd View Post
    Thanks, it reminded me of my Ripley but I felt it could be a bit more stable in my initial ride. I heard DW designed the suspension platform?
    Yep. The Split Pivot is a Dave Weagle design. has been on all Salsa FS bikes for a few years, maybe 5??

  177. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    Yep. The Split Pivot is a Dave Weagle design. has been on all Salsa FS bikes for a few years, maybe 5??
    Thanks. Overall, I liked it, but am thinking of getting something a bit more burly and more travel. Maybe a Ripmo - AF or Carbon.

  178. #178
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    Such an awesome bike. Even loaded down for a 280mi bikepacking trip this thing shreds.

    2019 Horsethief-img_20190527_112233_061.jpg

    2019 Horsethief-img_20190528_085748_020.jpg

  179. #179
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    Planned on installing new tires today only to discover my rear rim has cracks at every drive side nipple after 900 miles of use

  180. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verboten View Post
    Planned on installing new tires today only to discover my rear rim has cracks at every drive side nipple after 900 miles of use
    You running the stock WTB i29s? I'm not fond of them. I don't know what adds to the heavy feel of the rear end - wheel, cassette, or cranks? Haven't pulled the trigger on replacing it yet. I have a set of ENVE's from a previous build, but hub is 12x142. Damn boost, super boost standards. Thinking of having a shop rebuild ENVE rear wheel with a new superboost rear hub.

  181. #181
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    Damn, I am behind, still sporting a 2015 carbon HT.....maybe it will crack soon....

  182. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by wi1trackrider View Post
    You running the stock WTB i29s? I'm not fond of them. I don't know what adds to the heavy feel of the rear end - wheel, cassette, or cranks? Haven't pulled the trigger on replacing it yet. I have a set of ENVE's from a previous build, but hub is 12x142. Damn boost, super boost standards. Thinking of having a shop rebuild ENVE rear wheel with a new superboost rear hub.
    Yes, I'm running the stock wheels. I also think this bike feels heavy in terms of pedaling. Probably that extra weight in tires and the NX cassette. I rode a Pivot Trail 429 Race X01 build and it felt like a rocket compared to the horsethief in terms of that pedal feel. I'll see what Salsa does about the cracked rim. I'm considering grabbing a second wheelset in carbon with an XD driver so I can upgrade to a lighter cassette. It would be interesting to ride Salsa's new top spec horsethief to see how it feels compared to my NX build before sinking coin into another wheelset though. I almost would rather buy a new hard tail for the money people want for a good carbon wheel set

  183. #183
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    Hereís my slightly modified NX Eagle Horsethief. This was my one and only full-sus last season so I went a little crazy on the build.

    Upgrades right out of the box:
    Deity Copperhead 35 Stem (50mm)
    Enve M7 Handlebars, 25mm rise - trimmed to 780mm
    Guide RSC Brake Lever to replace the Guide T levers.
    Matchmaker X Clamps
    Wolftooth ReMote for MM
    ODI Elite Pro Grips
    Ergon SM Pro Saddle
    Raceface Chester Pedals

    NX shifting works fine and the dropper post (with the Wolftooth lever) felt good, The stock wheels are durable but not light, so my next upgrades would be in that department. I decided to build a
    set of 27.5 wheels with plus tires to try out.

    Wheels/Tires/Cassette/Rotors:
    Raceface ARC35 27.5 Rims
    DT Swiss 350 Hubs 110/157XD
    54T Star Ratchet Upgrade Kit (Ouch!)
    DT Comp Spokes
    Orange Seal Tubeless Valve Kit/Tubeless Tape
    Maxxis DHR II 2.8 EXO+ 3C Rear
    Maxxis DHF 2.8 EXO 3C Front
    Jagwire Elite Floating 180mm Rotors
    Swiss Stop ExoTherm Sintered Brake Pads

    I decided to go to XD comparable freehub to get the full Eagle range and lighten up the rear end substantially with an X01 Cassette. The NX cassette is not light.

    The 150mm stock dropper post was a little too high while pedaling for me and it was slammed all the way into the seattube so I looked for a dropper with a shorter stack. A Tallis 150mm was about 10mm shorter than the stock TransX when fully extended.

    Dropper:
    SDG Tallis 150mm
    SRAM Slickwire Canle/Housing - For ultimate lever smoothness.
    Wolf Tooth Components Lightweight Seatpost Collar

    My coworker bought the Eagle AXS Upgrade kit as soon as it came out and was talking about how awesome and smooth it was...for a solid week. He told me to try it out l, so I hopped on his Hightower and what he said was all true. I hadnít planned on upgrading the drivetrain yet, but I ordered an AXS kit anyways.

    Drivetrain:
    SRAM X01 Eagle AXS Upgrade Kit.
    SRAM X01 Rainbow 12sp Chain
    Wolf Tooth 32r Direct Mount Chainring

    I was looking at doing an upgrade to a PIKE Ultimate, but saw that a 150mm 36 had about the same axle to crown as a 140mm PIKE. I went for more party.

    Suspension Upgrades:
    Fox Factory 36 160mm 29/27.5+ Fork (Grip2 Damper 44mm Offset) - ordered a 150mm air shaft and reduced travel to 150mm, which put it at the same geo as stock 140mm Revelation
    Fox Factory DPS 190x45mm Rear Shock
    Push Industries Bushing
    MRP Ramp Control Pro
    Fox Kabolt Bolt-on Thru Axle
    Chris King Dropset 2 Matte Jet.

    I

  184. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by wi1trackrider View Post
    You running the stock WTB i29s? I'm not fond of them. I don't know what adds to the heavy feel of the rear end - wheel, cassette, or cranks? Haven't pulled the trigger on replacing it yet. I have a set of ENVE's from a previous build, but hub is 12x142. Damn boost, super boost standards. Thinking of having a shop rebuild ENVE rear wheel with a new superboost rear hub.
    Update, Salsa hooked me up and sent a complete wheel with an XD driver. Threw a XX1 cassette and some Ardents on to replace the stock NX and DHR. Feels much better, chopped about 1 pound off the rear wheel with those updates. Plus, the new driver has 6 pawls instead of 4 for superb noise making capability, so at the very least it sounds faster

  185. #185
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    For those of you that have switched over to 27.5+, how has this been for you? Are you happy with the results? Pros/Cons?
    I have the 2019 SLX aluminum version. I had hoped to upgrade this year to the 2020 SLX carbon version but this COVID shit has gotten in the way of that. So, I'm gonna upgrade to 12sp XT and I bought some take off 27.5+ wheels from a Pivot for a decent price.

    A little back story. I had a 2018 Pony Rustler that I sold for the Horsethief. Kinda regretted it from the beginning, then Salsa changed that bike for 2019. Looking forward to having the option to run either 29 or 27.5+

    Thanks.

  186. #186
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    Honestly I don't see the allure of 12 speed on a mtb. With Microshift making wide range super light 9 speed drivetrains that cost a fraction of 12 speed, I just don't get it. I never shift just one gear on my mountain bike. I'm always switching from downhill to uphill to downhill, so I have to punch the shifter 5 times. I'd love it if I only had to punch it 3 times.

    Whenever this 12 speed drivetrain wears out I'm replacing it with a 9 or 10 speed from Microshift or similar.

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