Spearfish vs. Horsethief for tech XC- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Spearfish vs. Horsethief for tech XC

    Thoughts on the Spearfish vs. Horsethief for technical, East Coast XC trails (rooty, rocky, twisty, steep ups/downs)? Iím 200#, 45yo, prefer a responsive bike (had a Trek Fuel EX and hated it), interested in long rides, possibly occasional endurance events.

    Iím leaning towards the Spearfish, but at 200#, I donít want a noodle monster. The build kit for the HT GX Eagle, with a Pike, looks better to me than the Spearfish with a RS SID. (Iím really digging the stiffness of a Fox 34 on my Timberjack). Building up from the frame is definitely an option.

    Thoughts? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I've only ridden a Spearfish. I have the NX, which has a Reba on it. If you compare it other XC bikes, it definitely leans more towards the "Trail Bike" side in my opinion. And I'm cool with that since I don't race much.

    I don't have super techy trails in southern Michigan, but I rode it a bit in Virginia over the summer and had blast. I think....if I had infinite bike budget..... I'd put a Step Cast 34 on it and it would be a perfect bike. Climbs great. I like the geometry. And I LOVE being able to carry all my bikepacking gear on a full suspension rig. Horse Thief would be over-kill for me in Michigan.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by msugma View Post
    I've only ridden a Spearfish. I have the NX, which has a Reba on it. If you compare it other XC bikes, it definitely leans more towards the "Trail Bike" side in my opinion. And I'm cool with that since I don't race much.

    I don't have super techy trails in southern Michigan, but I rode it a bit in Virginia over the summer and had blast. I think....if I had infinite bike budget..... I'd put a Step Cast 34 on it and it would be a perfect bike. Climbs great. I like the geometry. And I LOVE being able to carry all my bikepacking gear on a full suspension rig. Horse Thief would be over-kill for me in Michigan.
    Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. I ride a hardtail most of the time at my local trails, but longer rides and slightly burlier terrain make me wish for some cushion in the rear.

    Yes, it's the "trail bike" leanings that have me interested in the Spearfish.

    Since I'm thinking about building up from the frame, with similar components between the two, we're really looking at the difference 20mm makes in the rear shock. Coming from a hardtail, I'm leaning towards less travel to maintain that responsiveness and pop I like with the hardtail. But will I regret not having that extra 20mm available when I want it. Decisions, decisions...

  4. #4
    rth009
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    If you have a hardtail, and ride east coast rocks and roots, get the horsethief. I ride a new horsethief custom build, and havve demoed the new pinkish spearfish and while the spearfish rode great as well, the additional travel just makes more sense to me. I'm in the northern rockies. If I was in midwest, I might think differently, but you said you have roots and rocks.

  5. #5
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    I'm on my 2nd Spearfish. Just moved from CT to NE TN last summer. Although I loved the Spearfish in CT, its even better here in TN. From what I have seen, the trails here are not nearly as technical as New England, so the Spearfish rocks. I also have an older Kona Satori, which is basically overkill here.

    But I digress. I have 2.3 Panaracer Rampage tires on the Spearfish, a 120 fork, and a dropper, and it seems to do everything well. Its still really light and fast, yet cushier than stock.

  6. #6
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    I would also look into the Deadwood. They are still listing it on the website but the models being listed are the older models so I'm not 100% sure if they are planning on keeping it around. It is essentially a Spearfish with the ability to take plus size wheels and tires. It will also run more conventional sizes as well so it is pretty versatile. Shortish travel with 120/91 but more trail geometry.

  7. #7
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    As I said over in the HT threat (somebody asked almost the exact same question, ended up going Spearfish): The question you need to ask yourself: Is the 2.25 lbs (NX build, MD size, HF vs SF) weight difference worth the [slight] loss in versatility?

  8. #8
    rth009
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomboyjr View Post
    I have 2.3 Panaracer Rampage tires on the Spearfish,
    Do they still make these tires, or are they from some old stock. Have seen those thing in a long time. Had some on my Salsa Big Mama ca. 2009.

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