Salsa Dos Niner review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Salsa Dos Niner review

    To recap, I got to ride the Salsa Dos Niner at the on-dirt in Vegas. In a nutshell, I thought it rode like a hardtail. To be precise, I thought it rode like a very expensive hardtail ($1020 MSRP for frame/rear shock/seat collar) with minimal tire clearance. I had the Salsa folks adjust the rear shock to feel 'more plush' for me, but I didn't notice any difference after the adjustment.

    Here's what I had to say about it then:
    "A lot of hype and predictions before the show had me amped to pedal this bike. The ride was a severe letdown: it felt every bit as harsh as an aluminum hardtail, but with minimal tire clearance, higher price, and more weight. The Winwood fork on the Salsa was also a mushy, overdamped, flexy disappointment. I'll reserve final judgment on this package til I get another ride in, but for now: Strike One."

    The Salsa folks took exception to my review. They thought that it was likely that I hadn't had the pressure set right for my body weight and preferences, so they went out of their way to ship a bike to me to set up as I liked, so that I could ride it on my home trails. Thanks to Chuck and Mike at Salsa for giving me that opportunity.

    I rode the bike on five different rides in the span of about 9 days. I also loaned the bike out to two good friends to get their opinions on it as well. We all rode the bike with IRC Mythos 29 x 2.1" tires.

    First, their opinions:

    Rick (5'9" 150 lbs) rode it twice on his 'after work mtb loop' and had this to say:

    "I liked the way the bike rode. The rear shock with zero psi worked pretty good for my weight, but adding 10psi made it ride rigid. This was an 18" frame and, although the top tube length was about right for me, stand over was not good for me at all.

    The first thing I noticed about the bike when I walked up to it was the lack of rear tire clearance. On my rides, both dry, the 2.1 rear tire picked up small debris, pebbles, etc. I could hear them banging into the chainstay. Nothing wedged or stopped me in my tracks, but the potential was real.

    All small nitpicky details aside, I would not recommend this bike to anyone beyond a comfort-level paved bike path cruiser. The rear tire clearance is really unacceptable."

    John (5'10" 170 lbs) rode it once on a combo dirt/paved loop, and had this to say:

    "Plusses:
    +I used all the travel, but never felt the rear shock bottom out;
    +Seated pedaling doesn't feel sapping due to any bob, even though the shock is clearly moving;
    +The bike is sized well making it an easy fit, this size (18") fits me perfectly, but adjustments could be readily made for a rider 2" shorter or 2" taller than me.

    Minuses:
    -Spring rate on the rear shock is too progressive, even with zero psi in it; adding 20psi essentially made it a hard-tail for me. My 29" (Fisher) aluminum hardtail with a Ti layback post rides every bit as plush as the Salsa, but with more WAY more tire clearance and for a lot less money.
    -Standover---I didn't have nearly enough (less than an inch) despite the fact that this bike is otherwise sized correctly for me;
    -Seatstay tire clearance--ridiculous, looks like it wouldn't even fit a high-volume 2.1" like a WTB Nanoraptor. The backs of my legs were frequently buffeted with leaves and rocks that were flayed in between the tire and seatstay bridge---couldn't even look cross-eyed at a softer (not even truly muddy) section of the trail; I could understand this level of clearance with a 2.3" maybe but not with a moderate volume 2.1".
    -I don't know what the MSRP would be on this bike, but would have a very hard time recommending it to anyone unless it was poised to be THE low end price point bike to get people into 29" bikes. Still, no matter how low the price I think that the comfort and safety considerations of the standover and rear tire clearance would drive most potential buyers away."

    I'm 5'10", 180lbs. I rode the bike on three off-road rides, one combo dirt/paved loop, and during one cyclocross race.

    High points:
    1) Rear shock feels good. Smooth, good damping, no harsh bottom out or top out.
    2) Rear end bob isn't noticable, even as the rear end moves with every pedal stroke.
    3) Cockpit length felt good, and as set up the geometry made for a neutral handling bike. It didn't prematurely dive into corners or need to be countersteered out of them. Those are both good things.

    Shortcomings:
    1) Rear tire clearance. This is a joke. With a 2.1" tire there is 4mm clearance between the top of the tire and the seatstay bridge. On non-muddy rides where there was a bit of grit, or even wet leaves on the trail, I had to stop and clean the **** out to get the tire to roll again. On wet rides (I've only done one, for obvious reasons) I walk/carry the bike more than I'm able to ride it, strictly because the rear end is packed up and the wheel will no longer turn.
    Put another way; several times per ride a rock will get lodged between the knobs of the tire. When that rock comes up and gets wedged between the tire and the frame, it might lock the rear wheel briefly. That might cause a crash, which would be a bad thing. But it'll also take a chunk out of the frame.
    2) Rear shock adjustability. For me to be comfortable and consistently use the travel on the rear of the Dos, I need to let all of the air out of the rear shock and ride it at zero psi. For me, that's fine, although I doubt it's good for the shock. My concern is what happens if a 120lb person wants their Dos to perform the same way? For that matter, a 140 pounder? Since the rear shock is identical on all sizes of the Dos, the bike is going to ride like a hardtail for lighter riders. If I run the rear shock at even 20psi, I'm only able to get half the travel on the hardest compressions. Keep in mind we're only talking about an inch of travel, total.
    3) Standover clearance. This is the same size frame (seat tube length and TT length) that I ride from four different 29" manufacturers (Fisher, Airborne, Moots, and Lenz). Only on the Dos do I have an issue with standover. Pardon my slang, but 'the boys' are grazing the TT when I stand over it--this doesn't happen on any of my other bikes. Dismounting/remounting in technical or steep areas is not confidence inspiring on the Dos. At times it's downright painful, not to mention dangerous.

    After riding it and listening to other riders reviews of it, I'm left wondering: Why would I (or anyone else) pay $1020 for what amounts to an aluminum hardtail with bad standover and no rear tire clearance? If I have a customer looking for a compliant bike that doesn't want to go to full suspension, I'm gonna send them to Walt or Wily for a custom US-made steel hardtail. For the same (actually, quite a bit less) $$, they can get a comfy bike with good standover and good tire clearance. Add on a ti post or a sus post and they'll still have spent less to get a comfier bike with none of the Dos's drawbacks.

    So there you have it. Most of the above was sent to Salsa prior to publishing this. I wanted to give them a chance to respond/explain. They did respond, although I don't feel right about placing their responses here--I don't want to speak for them. I'm sending them the link to this page so that they can respond to my review as well as answer any questions that others might have. I'm hoping that they take the above info to improve the Dos, as it's a niche that needs filling and one that would make a lot of people happy if the current issues were addressed.

    If I've left out any pertinent info or if anyone wants any other questions answered, please post it here and I'll do my best.

    Thanks,

    MC

  2. #2
    Witty McWitterson
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    Hmm. Too bad about this. So you guys were on the 'small' side. I wonder how the bike would perform under a 200+ pounder? Leaves me to wonder if Salsa would have been better served to offer up a 'bigger' version of the carbon stay'ed hardtail? Probably would have been close to, if not the same in terms of cost, and you have the 'wow' factor of carbon to sell.
    Put another way; several times per ride a rock will get lodged between the knobs of the tire. When that rock comes up and gets wedged between the tire and the frame, it might lock the rear wheel briefly. That might cause a crash, which would be a bad thing.
    Calling bull here. A rock won't have the strength to casue an accident. It may cause a momentary(like split second) skid, but how will that cause an accident? It's more likely that the momentum of the wheel will squirt the offending rock right out.
    But it'll also take a chunk out of the frame.
    yeah. I can see that, though, the paint will dissappear first. I've done this on my Kona thats scandium(seems that the paint they use doesn't stick very well to the metal).
    Just a regular guy.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Mike...

    ... for the objective and thoughtful review. And for the honesty to tell it like it is. Like many of us here (and yourself included), I really wanted this bike to be a big hit. But it sounds like the shortcomings could be easily addressed by Salsa. Maybe there's still hope. Time will tell.

  4. #4
    Kam
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    thanks for the write up...

    Thanks for the review Mike (and to your 2 buddies).

    i wanted to like this frame, kind of a 29er version of my all time fav 26" wheel'd frame (an ibis ripley). i wonder if salsa will do anything about the "problems" with the tire clearance and shock design. the dos niner is to be available in about 2 months.

    i know one thing for sure, my wife thanks you since i won't be dropping $1000 for one of these frames anytime soon.
    Last edited by Kam; 12-06-2004 at 12:01 AM. Reason: .

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the review!

    By next Spring I'm going to be in the market for a new 29"er frame in the $800-1000 price range, so I'm glad to see such a definitive review. (Not that I'd really be in the market for this particular frame anyway - I have yet to be convinced that a 29" softtail for someone of my height is doable - but this is all still good to know).

    Sorry to hear about the basically deal-killer problems with this frame, but maybe they can go back and rework some things.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the multiple rider review Mike!
    Is that frame even a production model? a brand as experienced as Salsa, that can go next door to steal Surly's Karate Monkey experience, sur(e)ly would offer something with such flaws for sale as-is?

    -Other softtails seem to use bent toptubes. This would also allow for a longer seattube with actual light between frame and tire.
    -Sounds like the frame's spring rate is too high, as the damper only at zero psi it start to do it's work. A light rider would have to ask friends to help load the rear, to get less than 0 psi in the damper, weird.

    Indeed, a Scandium/Carbon hardtail with adult tire clearance would have me jumping up and down, while the first Interbike clearance pics already made me look elsewhere for a someday replacement for my SuperCal frame.

    I hope Salsa will come explain themselves on here.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  7. #7
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    Kinda off the subject

    But I was recently at "Trek University" where they go over the Trek family of products, sales, tech problems , etc.
    They re-itertated that Fisher is fully committed to 29ers (Why would they have Rockshox do an exclusive with the reba?).
    When it came time to talk about the LeMond Spline road bikes (Carbon "splined" together with ti or steel), he brought up numerous times how he'd "thought this was a perfect application for a 29er" (which i agree). I think and hope it was one of the few hints he was dropping.
    I think we may see some really cool things next season.

  8. #8
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    My Dos Niner Experience

    I have been on a Dos Niner for about three months. Previously, my bike of choice was a Surly Karate Monkey. I still love the Monkey, but have switched to the Niner for most riding because of the softtail design, which really does make for a more comfortable ride. Also, the Niner, built up with the identical parts as the Monkey, weighs about two pounds less.

    You might wonder, if this bike is not yet available, how have been able to be riding it? The reason is that Salsa asked me to put some miles on it as a comparison to my experience on a Monkey. I'm not employed by them, and I will be returning my frame to them once my time's up.

    My impressions:

    1) Much lighter feeling than the Monkey, allows it to be bunny hopped more easily and can be thrown around more easily. The scandium tubes feel a bit more flexy than 4130 steel, but not enough to detract from the ride. I am 6' 5", 220 lbs, and have been riding a 22" frame. Perhaps there is less flex on the smaller sizes.

    2) Rear shock. It took me some time to get the shock dialed. The pump I was using initially would deflate the shock every time I removed it from the valve. I changed to a different pump and then it worked fine. I've found the best results at around 55-60 psi, which means I am getting full travel but not bottoming out. I did some rides at first with only 10-20 psi and the bike rode fine, but it bothered me that the shock was bottoming out, even though I never felt any harshness when it did. I don't understand the complaint about this bike feeling like a hardtail with more than 20psi in the can. Perhaps it comes down to rider weight, but my feeling is that the 29er bikes are ideal for taller and heavier riders, and less than ideal for shorter riders. Whenever I talk to a shorter rider (5' 10" or shorter) I get a "Yeah, I've ridden 29" but it never felt right to me" type answer. Most riders over 6' 1" have raved about them. Perhaps this shock could/should be reworked to suit lighter riders, but for me it felt great. I am riding mine with a Marzocchi Marathon 29, and the suspension feels pretty balanced. I can understand the complaint about the Winwood fork that was on the bikes at Vegas. I am not a big fan of this fork, and I'll just leave it at that.

    3) Mud clearance. I have used Kenda Claw XT 2.1s and IRC Mythos 2.1s and never had an issue with mud clearance. I ride on hard pack to tacky trails, with plenty of leaves but not too many rocks. I don't think this bike is a good match for 2.3 tires, at least not on the rear, but with 29" wheels you don't need to run such fat tires since a 2.1 is closer to a 2.3 anyway once you account for the larger contact patch that 29" tires give you. Also, since this bike is a soft tail, what's the point in running huge tires? When I ride my Monkey fully rigid I yearn for bigger tires, but on the Niner I do quite well on 2.1s. They roll much faster too. With the two above mentioned tires on this bike I have more than 1/2" mud clearance--not a lot, but adequate, and certainly enough room to allow any rocks/debris to go through.

    I was quite surprised to see such a negative review of this bike. Makes me suspicious that all of the reviewers came up with almost identical complaints, my point being that I bet if all of the testers had submitted their reviews independently, without talking to each other first, we would have seen a bit more variety in their impressions. While I do not feel it is a perfect bike, it has been my favorite experience so far on a 29" bike. I plan to also try bikes from Fisher, Titus and Moots someday.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    John (5'10" 170 lbs) rode it once on a combo dirt/paved loop, and had this to say:

    Minuses:
    - My 29" (Fisher) aluminum hardtail with a Ti layback post rides every bit as plush as the Salsa,
    Is there a company that offers a Ti layback or offset post in 31.6 or did you use a shim?

  10. #10
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    Salsa is a quality organization. They want to improve their design and are obviously wanting feedback/listening if they are sending Mike C. the bike.

    Plus, anyone that does a green powder frame with reggae flames is pretty cool in my book.

    I'm sure there will be more to come from all this...
    Front Range Forum Moderator

  11. #11
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    The same tire (IRC Mythos 2.1) on the same bike and some call the seatstay clearance a joke when someonelse says it's OK even in mud?? Snakeyp rode a 22'' frame and mikesee and his friends a 18'' : is there a difference in seatstay lenght on those two frame size?

    Anyway, I have a hard time believing that a well known brand would design a mtb frame that couldn't be ridden on anything then clean dry stuff because of rear tire issues. but I have to admit that the tire looked very close to the bridge on the few pictures that we saw here and there...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by snackeyp
    Makes me suspicious that all of the reviewers came up with almost identical complaints, my point being that I bet if all of the testers had submitted their reviews independently, without talking to each other first, we would have seen a bit more variety in their impressions. While I do not feel it is a perfect bike, it has been my favorite experience so far on a 29" bike. I plan to also try bikes from Fisher, Titus and Moots someday.
    You detect a conspiracy eh?
    Not likely.
    4mm of tire clearance is 4mm no matter who tests it.

  13. #13
    pepito
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    Quote Originally Posted by snackeyp
    I was quite surprised to see such a negative review of this bike. Makes me suspicious that all of the reviewers came up with almost identical complaints, my point being that I bet if all of the testers had submitted their reviews independently, without talking to each other first, we would have seen a bit more variety in their impressions. While I do not feel it is a perfect bike, it has been my favorite experience so far on a 29" bike. I plan to also try bikes from Fisher, Titus and Moots someday.

    you certainly are entitled to your opinion, and i'm glad you gave it. however, mike curiak's words are worth their weight in gold. he appears to take these reviews very seriously, and wouldn't give a bs review. period. the fact that salsa took the time and cost to ship out a bike exactly to his specs and preferences just to get his opinion, speaks volumes of his reputation in the industry. he has also ridden just about every 29" offering out there, including the very high end of the spectrum. i'm sure his remarks are spot on and deserving.

    the_dude
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  14. #14
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    Snackep, thanks for a great first post!
    To support your positive tire clearance experiece, would you be so kind to post a pic with a Mythos installed?
    Of course, 22" does leave more room to make a similar setup work. If so, perhaps the 18" simply should not have been offered, even for demo, as-is.

    I'm a total Salsa fan. They offer products I can't imagine myself live without (Bell Lap bars, MotoAce Pro flat bars, and more. The paintjob on that Dos Niner just hits all the right buttons for me, but 4mm of clearance...Salsa can, and WILL do better than that, I'm sure. Can't weight for part 3!
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  15. #15
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    Salsa Tire Clearance

    It's true that the clearance is not great, but I have heard about people riding these in mud and not having major issues like the ones mentioned in the review. I think this depends on what type of mud you are riding in also. For example, mud that is largely clay based will clog up any frame. If the mud is not clumpy, but more soupy in nature it has a lot less tendency to clog a wheel. Despite the fact that I have had no problems with mine, I think Salsa should do what they can to fix this in the next version.

    Regarding different sized frames, the rear triangle is the same regardless.

    Quote Originally Posted by AshKa
    The same tire (IRC Mythos 2.1) on the same bike and some call the seatstay clearance a joke when someonelse says it's OK even in mud?? Snakeyp rode a 22'' frame and mikesee and his friends a 18'' : is there a difference in seatstay lenght on those two frame size?

    Anyway, I have a hard time believing that a well known brand would design a mtb frame that couldn't be ridden on anything then clean dry stuff because of rear tire issues. but I have to admit that the tire looked very close to the bridge on the few pictures that we saw here and there...

  16. #16
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    You are probably right

    Perhaps I shouldn't have included those comments, but I have seen where when a group of people get together to discuss their opinions on things and their opinions begin to form a group concensus. Not saying this happened here, so I guess I should have been more clear. I was trying to speculate as to why my impression of the bike was so dramatically different from those stated in the review. I would also be careful about making a statement like "mike's words are worth their weight in gold," as Mike is just one person, who is giving his opinion. It sounds like you are unwilling to question anything that Mike says. What if the other testers had the same opinion of Mike? Wouldn't this prove my original point?

    I guess it doesn't really matter what I think and what Mike thinks, because we all have our opinions and we are all entitled to them equally. I was just trying to give my perspective. I don't think Mike would intentionally give a BS review either, I just think another opinion needed to be heard. Sorry if I offended.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    you certainly are entitled to your opinion, and i'm glad you gave it. however, mike curiak's words are worth their weight in gold. he appears to take these reviews very seriously, and wouldn't give a bs review. period. the fact that salsa took the time and cost to ship out a bike exactly to his specs and preferences just to get his opinion, speaks volumes of his reputation in the industry. he has also ridden just about every 29" offering out there, including the very high end of the spectrum. i'm sure his remarks are spot on and deserving.

    the_dude

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by snackeyp
    I guess it doesn't really matter what I think and what Mike thinks, because we all have our opinions and we are all entitled to them equally. I was just trying to give my perspective. I don't think Mike would intentionally give a BS review either, I just think another opinion needed to be heard. Sorry if I offended.
    FWIW, Mike likes wearing full lycra. I don't.

  18. #18
    pepito
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    Quote Originally Posted by snackeyp
    I would also be careful about making a statement like "mike's words are worth their weight in gold," as Mike is just one person, who is giving his opinion. It sounds like you are unwilling to question anything that Mike says.


    Sorry if I offended. :cool
    :
    i wouldn't be careful using that terminology, because i believe it to be true. i'm not saying i would never disagree with mike on matters regarding opinion and/or preference, but he was speaking about quantifiable problems with the design (ie standover height, tire clearance). things that are not based on opinion. i think the point has been made a few times already that the size you are testing and the size that mike tested are different, and therefore may perform very differently. if this is the case, then mike's review and insight will provide salsa with the information they were seeking. hopefully they will address these problems, and everyone will be happy. as far as group dynamics are concerned, i can see where you would find suspicion in all three reviews being so similar. however, tire clearance is tire clearance, and standover height is standover height. it wasn't like they were all agreeing on something much less tangible, like rear triangle flex or something.

    you didn't offend me in the least. your opinions and experiences are valid and valued. your larger frame may have significantly more tire clearance, and your (i'm assuming) long legs don't mind the standover height. i'm not trying to say "you're wrong, mike's right". i was merely responding to your suspicion over his post. sorry if i came across like an ass.

    the_dude
    Last edited by the_dude; 12-06-2004 at 01:24 PM. Reason: i'm an idiot.
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    Conspiracy Theory PROVEN!

    Well, instead of just letting this drop I decided to go and measure the tire clearance on My Niner. It just didn't seem possible that there were only 4mm clearance. The tires I have on it now are IRC Mythos XC 2.1", the EXACT same tires that were used in this review.

    The measurement straight above the top of the tire to the highest knob of the tire measures 7.8mm. So, the review, which stated there was only 4mm clearance with these tires is completely bogus.

    Conspiracy? Shoddy reporting? You make up your own mind.

    Are Mike's words worth their weight in gold now?



    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    You detect a conspiracy eh?
    Not likely.
    4mm of tire clearance is 4mm no matter who tests it.

  20. #20
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    I think your bike has 7.8mm or clearance, Mike's 4mm. Pictures were clear, 4mm I know to be true.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by snackeyp
    I would also be careful about making a statement like "mike's words are worth their weight in gold," as Mike is just one person, who is giving his opinion. It sounds like you are unwilling to question anything that Mike says.
    ....

    Quote Originally Posted by snackeyp
    Conspiracy? Shoddy reporting? You make up your own mind.

    Are Mike's words worth their weight in gold now?
    Tread very carefully, you won't find many (any) opinions posted here that questions anything he has to say. Search hard, you may find a few brave souls asking for clarification, but no direct challenges. Somehow having gone true Epic distances is entitlement to "beyond question" authority. As I learned the hard way, you say anything not in agreement with MC, them's fightin' words in these parts!

    And now, gracefully I shall fade back into the lurker abyss...no songs necessary (such as the "nana nah-nah, hey hey hey, good byyyeeee" from last time...which was a nice touch from the legions of faithful.....well, ok, maybe a couple lines from "Hit the Road Jack" might be appropriate (I did see Ray recently w/Jamie Fox, so I'm in the mood)...Padre, you up for a couple verses?

  22. #22
    jl
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    Snackeyp,

    Cloxxki already mentioned that there might be a difference in the 18" vs 22" frame. You've measured ~8mm Mike ~4mm. Mike is not the only one to measure such a small tire clearence.

    Shiggy, a regular on mtbr has also reported the small tire clearance from the bike at interbike.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...22578#poststop

    I think the biggest issue is 'why is there a discrepency?' Bad measurements or a difference in frames? I would suspect a difference in frames and seatstay length, but I don't know since there is no info on the dos niner on the salsa website

    Nobody here is saying you are wrong, everyone just wants 'the-facts.' I think most people on this forum understand subjective vs. objective views. I really do hope that Salsa takes the input as constructive criticism and comes out with an updated killer 29er softtail that exceeds everyones expectations including--Mike's.

    The only way the 29er market will grow is with great and competative products. Most 29er riders are more than sophisticated in their tastes, they gave up on their X-Mart bikes a long time ago....
    Last edited by jl; 12-06-2004 at 08:41 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29inch
    ....


    Tread very carefully, you won't find many (any) opinions posted here that questions anything he has to say. Search hard, you may find a few brave souls asking for clarification, but no direct challenges. Somehow having gone true Epic distances is entitlement to "beyond question" authority. As I learned the hard way, you say anything not in agreement with MC, them's fightin' words in these parts!

    And now, gracefully I shall fade back into the lurker abyss...no songs necessary (such as the "nana nah-nah, hey hey hey, good byyyeeee" from last time...which was a nice touch from the legions of faithful.....well, ok, maybe a couple lines from "Hit the Road Jack" might be appropriate (I did see Ray recently w/Jamie Fox, so I'm in the mood)...Padre, you up for a couple verses?
    You're right, in my mind a persons experiences lend to their credibility. As soon as someone else on the 29er board starts testing products over the course of multi day 2000+ mile rides, single day 200+ mile rides, etc. etc. etc. I'll start listening to them as well. For now, Mike is the only legitimate tester that many of us have to fall back on before ordering bikes or parts.

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  24. #24
    Recovering couch patato
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    What I call an Endurance race and brag to my friends about for completing it, is what MikeC does, before breakfast. We ride differently, so he obviously likes him bikes differently. 2 or 3 of heat tube angle and 1 or 2 inch of BB drop is the difference, for the rest, I'll take his word on pretty much anything on 2 wheels.

    Let's all face it. The Dos Niner has about THE coolest look of any bike sold this century, is made out of a very high-performance material, and offers 1" of suspension extra on top of the already smooth 29" wheels. The concept just rocks. Unfortunately spring rate / demper setup and rear tire clearence are such big pre-pro problems, that the reviews I rear on the bike, hardly offer room for the ride itself.
    Salsa is not deaf, has killed bigger dragons before, and I'm they'll solve this asap. Right?
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  25. #25
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    differences in frame sizes

    I would be willing to bet that the differences in the tire clearance has to do with frame size. The 22" has much more room to get space out of the seatstays. Longer seattube=longer seat stays which= more tire clearance I would suspect. The only way to know is to compare the two.I would suspect that both Mike and Snackey are right. This may prove that this bike be a great bike in the 20" and 22" sizes. I wonder how bad the clearance is on the 16" model?
    Another problem is the Relish shock. Seems like the need to rework this. I have ridden a friends steel Dean Softail with a rock schox shock in the back and it had a wide range of adjustablity. Maybe it has to do with the difference in compliance of steel and scandium chainstays. It still does have one of the coolest production paint jobs I've seen.

  26. #26
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    Wow.

    I had no idea that posting a bike review was the start of full-scale character defamation. Gimme a break. In a way I'm kinda flattered--isn't this what all the big politico's do to divert attention from the facts? Harumph harumph--I must be gittin' impo'tant...

    A few points:
    1) The clearance on this frame is actually more like 3.6mm from the top of the tire to the seatstay bridge. I wedged a 4mm allen wrench in there to show scale--see photo below.
    2) John and I rode the bike on the same ride. We switched back and forth at various times, both on dirt and on pavement. Rick, however, picked the bike up while I was gone, rode it twice on his own, then returned it while I was at work. His review was written without any consultation between he and I or he and John. The fact that he picked up on the same issues that John and I did tells me that they are not only very obvious but much in need of addressing.
    3) I appreciate the words of those who've expressed confidence in my experience/opinions, but the bottom line is that I only reported facts. There's no need for me to hide behind any perceived reputation to give those facts weight. They are what they are. Again, see photo below. I have no problem with people agreeing to disagree, and I especially like it when folks present a view that I'm uneducated about--that's the best way for me to get educated. But when they start to use smoke-and-mirrors tactics or to hide behind half-truths, who's learning or being helped?
    4) I wanted the review to be as fair as possible, so I left out all references to how the bike 'felt'. Subjective reviews have their place, but this wasn't it. Had I gone into detail about what I thought of the manners of the bike, the Salsa folks might breeze past the shortcomings and hang their hats on the high points. They may do that yet, but it'd be a disservice to their loyal customers.
    5) I wanted to like this bike. It fills a niche that needs filling. Not everyone can afford a Moots, not everyone wants a Lenz or Titus. Many, many want more than a standard hardtail, and when it's done right the Salsa will be it. There are a lot of people out there that are willing to wait for it to be done right.
    6) I also left out any reference to componentry, on purpose, as that was not the reason I was given the bike to test. Salsa wanted another opinion on their frame, period, and I would have been wasting their time and money to tell them anything other than the truth.
    7) Salsa--your silence may be hurting you here. Some sort of official company statement at this point would probably be a good idea. Chuck? Kid?

    MC
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  27. #27

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    That's a big 4mm allen..

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I had no idea that posting a bike review was the start of full-scale character defamation. Gimme a break. In a way I'm kinda flattered--isn't this what all the big politico's do to divert attention from the facts? Harumph harumph--I must be gittin' impo'tant...

    A few points:
    1) The clearance on this frame is actually more like 3.6mm from the top of the tire to the seatstay bridge. I wedged a 4mm allen wrench in there to show scale--see photo below.
    2) John and I rode the bike on the same ride. We switched back and forth at various times, both on dirt and on pavement. Rick, however, picked the bike up while I was gone, rode it twice on his own, then returned it while I was at work. His review was written without any consultation between he and I or he and John. The fact that he picked up on the same issues that John and I did tells me that they are not only very obvious but much in need of addressing.
    3) I appreciate the words of those who've expressed confidence in my experience/opinions, but the bottom line is that I only reported facts. There's no need for me to hide behind any perceived reputation to give those facts weight. They are what they are. Again, see photo below. I have no problem with people agreeing to disagree, and I especially like it when folks present a view that I'm uneducated about--that's the best way for me to get educated. But when they start to use smoke-and-mirrors tactics or to hide behind half-truths, who's learning or being helped?
    4) I wanted the review to be as fair as possible, so I left out all references to how the bike 'felt'. Subjective reviews have their place, but this wasn't it. Had I gone into detail about what I thought of the manners of the bike, the Salsa folks might breeze past the shortcomings and hang their hats on the high points. They may do that yet, but it'd be a disservice to their loyal customers.
    5) I wanted to like this bike. It fills a niche that needs filling. Not everyone can afford a Moots, not everyone wants a Lenz or Titus. Many, many want more than a standard hardtail, and when it's done right the Salsa will be it. There are a lot of people out there that are willing to wait for it to be done right.
    6) I also left out any reference to componentry, on purpose, as that was not the reason I was given the bike to test. Salsa wanted another opinion on their frame, period, and I would have been wasting their time and money to tell them anything other than the truth.
    7) Salsa--your silence may be hurting you here. Some sort of official company statement at this point would probably be a good idea. Chuck? Kid?

    MC

  28. #28
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    Wow. This is a review thread, right? Not a mudslinging match? I wouldn't dignify some of this stuff with responses.
    Slightly back to the subject, does anyone know where to get a hold of a geometry chart for the dos niner frames? I'd like to see how they measure up compared to Salsa's other shorter frames.

  29. #29

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    A break in the silence

    7) Salsa--your silence may be hurting you here. Some sort of official company statement at this point would probably be a good idea. Chuck? Kid?

    MC[/QUOTE]

    Salsa is listening. We are doing a little research before posting a response. Just like MC, we want our information to be accurate. Thanks for understanding.

  30. #30
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    Wait a minute here....

    Quote Originally Posted by titusrider
    Salsa is listening. We are doing a little research before posting a response. Just like MC, we want our information to be accurate. Thanks for understanding.

    The SALSA guys are riding TITUSES (or should that be TITI)...that explains EVERYTHING!

    Totally kidding titusrider - thanks for posting on the board! I will probably buy one of whatever you put out!

    Thanks for the reviews guys. This is the stuff I come to MTBR for!

    Lance

  31. #31
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    The facts eh?

    I would like an answer to the response about the 4mm Allen wedged between the tire and the frame in the previous Mikesee post. Seeing as how the brake cable and the shift cable in the photo do not exceed 5mm it is blatantly obvious that Mikesee has posted some mis-information regarding tire clearance.
    As for the action of the suspension. I had asked, and never gotten response to a question about the ride of the Dos Niner v. Moots Soft-tail. I have ridden the moots YBB in a 26" and was disgusted by its constant movement throughout the pedal stroke. I asked moots about this and they shrugged it off saying "I always tell a customer, ride this on your favorite trail and you'll be faster." The Moots employee that attempted to answer my Q came off like a used car salesman.
    My question to Mike was; Had you ever ridden a Castellano Aluminum v. Titanium soft-tail and were you taking into account the inherent properties of the materials used in the construction? Obviously ti is going to be more compliant and dampen some of the harsh feedback from the trail. So I am looking for a comparison here fo the Ti Vs. Aluminum taking properties into account. Obviously we would all go for Ti, but most of us don't have the ti wallet. Give me something objective here.

  32. #32

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    Funny. I no longer own a titus

    Quote Originally Posted by lanpope
    The SALSA guys are riding TITUSES (or should that be TITI)...that explains EVERYTHING!

    Totally kidding titusrider - thanks for posting on the board! I will probably buy one of whatever you put out!

    Thanks for the reviews guys. This is the stuff I come to MTBR for!

    Lance
    Thanks.

    I no longer have a titus bike in my garage.

  33. #33
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    And another thing in the photo...

    I know that Mike said that the suspension barely worked even with 0 PSI in it, but why is the rubber o-ring that allows the rider to see how much travel is being used, bottomed out. You can barely see it but its bottomed out there on the bridge. Did you use the O-ring at all to measure how much travel you were getting at different air pressure points in the shock. Now that would have been some seriously objective info.

  34. #34
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    Enough!

    Good lord. For all the folks who are sniping about how big an allen wrench is, or making incoherent accusations about conspiracy, I say: please think for a minute before you post. You're not helping Salsa solve whatever problems the frame has by trying to shout down a respected member of the community, who has... take a deep breath... NO INCENTIVE to badmouth anyone.

    If his bike had tire clearance issues (I think most reasonable people would concur, looking at the photo), that doesn't mean you can't rush out and buy one anyway. Does anyone on the board (outside of Salsa employees) have THAT much of an emotional attachment to a bike that nobody even OWNS yet, to such an extent that you'll slam someone for negative comments about it?

    Keep in mind: I have owned a Salsa frame and numerous Salsa components over the years. They were without exception excellent. I fully expect that Salsa will address any problems with the bike. Lots of bikes have problems in their first year of production. That said, if I were in the market, I would wait until I knew this was resolved. Salsa is a great company, and I'm sure they hold themselves to high enough standards to recognize and correct a problem.

    Don't shoot the messenger, people.

    ...end rant...

    -Walt

  35. #35
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    Aaaaamen!

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt
    Good lord. For all the folks who are sniping about how big an allen wrench is, or making incoherent accusations about conspiracy, I say: please think for a minute before you post. You're not helping Salsa solve whatever problems the frame has by trying to shout down a respected member of the community, who has... take a deep breath... NO INCENTIVE to badmouth anyone.

    If his bike had tire clearance issues (I think most reasonable people would concur, looking at the photo), that doesn't mean you can't rush out and buy one anyway. Does anyone on the board (outside of Salsa employees) have THAT much of an emotional attachment to a bike that nobody even OWNS yet, to such an extent that you'll slam someone for negative comments about it?

    Keep in mind: I have owned a Salsa frame and numerous Salsa components over the years. They were without exception excellent. I fully expect that Salsa will address any problems with the bike. Lots of bikes have problems in their first year of production. That said, if I were in the market, I would wait until I knew this was resolved. Salsa is a great company, and I'm sure they hold themselves to high enough standards to recognize and correct a problem.

    Don't shoot the messenger, people.



    ...end rant...

    -Walt
    WHAT WALT SAID

  36. #36
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    Amazing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMKM
    I know that Mike said that the suspension barely worked even with 0 PSI in it, but why is the rubber o-ring that allows the rider to see how much travel is being used, bottomed out. You can barely see it but its bottomed out there on the bridge. Did you use the O-ring at all to measure how much travel you were getting at different air pressure points in the shock. Now that would have been some seriously objective info.
    Perhaps you should go back and re-read what I wrote before you get your whole leg wedged down your throat.

    As far as the 4mm allen wrench goes, here's another angle that shows it. Whether you believe the actual size or not is irrelevant to me. In the first photo I can see where the angle that I shot it from would potentially confuse you. This shot should leave no doubt.

    And as far as the Moots comparo goes, maybe once my blood pressure comes back down to normal I'll feel like answering you. Perhaps you're aware that calling someone a liar and then asking for their assistance isn't the best plan...?

    Sheesh.

    MC
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  37. #37
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    I feel bad now and would like to apologies to the forum. I thought most everyone understood the subjective vs. objective comment I made earlier. But obviously I was wrong. Again sorry.

    Mike, I really do hope that Salsa takes your comments and looks critically at the frame design. It would be good to have a Mooto-X competitor.

    It's a bike not a religion... A little reminder of what we are talking about...

    <img src="http://forums.mtbr.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=29459&stc=1"/>

  38. #38
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    That's a nice post AND picture to end the madness, don't you all think? Salsa's next reply will have to be in a new thread.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

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