Deadwood Sus VS. Horsethief/Pony Rustler AKA Daily trail fun and bikepacking rig-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2017

    Deadwood Sus VS. Horsethief/Pony Rustler AKA Daily trail fun and bikepacking rig

    I am looking for some opinions regarding the new Deadwood Sus 29+ and 2017 Horsethief/Pony Rustler for use as my only trail bike and hopeful bikepacking-capable rig.

    I am staged to buy one of these three at the GX build level (not considering other brands right now as I recently gained access to Salsa prodeal pricing) and I have test-ridden the Deadwood and the PR.

    I have a nice set of 29' Stans Flow wheels I'd be boost-adapting and using as my daily trail wheels, and I like the idea of having the 29+ wheels to put on the Deadwood for bikepacking/loose trail conditions (kind of like putting on it's 'hiking boots') and same with the PR 27.5+

    Has anyone ridden the Deadwood with "normal" 29x2.4 wheels?
    Anyone bikepacked with the Deadwood Sus, HT/PR?


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Interested to hear what others have to say, as well. I've ridden both of these bikes in plus mode and enjoyed them a lot, but I actually liked the Deadwood Sus with 29+ tires more. Really fun bike... and I think if you could bump the travel on the fork it would be a heck of a trail bike.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    I think it depends upon how rowdy you like to get on the regular and how chunky the terrain you ride is.

    I have a Pony Rustler that I ride as a HT 29 in the dry/fast time of year and absolutely love it. Rocky, technical, and steep are my cup o' tea and this bike is a nuclear weapon of fun.

    The Deadwood might be a touch better for bikepacking and gravel riding mixed with occasional singletrack but the Horsethief is a do it all bike for sure. My riding buddies range from having Pivot LES SS bikes, Trek TopFuel Projects, Slash, Cannondale FSi and I can have fun/hang with all of them. Well, my Slash pal kills me on the downs but he's also a freak.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Sweet. I'm coming off a heavy steel hardtail that I got pretty dang rowdy on, so I feel like the Deadwood Sus even with its shorter travel would still be plenty fun with/without the plus wheels. The HT/PR seems like it may have more fun factor but less ideal for bikepacking. But if I'm being real with myself, how often am I getting out bikepacking anyway? Not often. I think another factor coming into play for me is the GX1 Deadwood Sus has a carbon frame and comes in at mid-level affordability between the aluminum HT I've been eyeing and the carbon GX1 PR of my dreams. I don't want to start the whole carbon vs. aluminum thing. Just being vain. Deadwood Sus colorways are sick!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    you'll be happy with either - I love my Deadwood and run it regularly with a 2.5 wide trail Maxxis Minion on the front and either a 2.35 ikon or 2.4 Ardent on the rear. The wide rims on the Deadwood set these regular 29ers up to where they're super burly. It rides really well.

    That said, I think overall, the Pony Rustler will be more fun (poppier / more playful).

    Any of these bikes will bikepack just fine, so don't let that worry you too much. I did Trans North Georgia on a Yeti ASR last year and it was great. Some of the guys on the FB group for the Colorado Trail Race are actually recommending 150mm travel bikes - so get what you think you'll enjoy the most!

    Oh and yeah - the colorways on the SuS are fantastic.

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