This post is geared towards those individuals who are planning to build up a complete bike from a Spearfish frame. The intent is to let you know what parts the Spearfish frame requires to get it rolling, any peculiarities that influence component spec, and also to let you know what component options are available to you.
Building up a Spearfish frame is pretty straight forward. Only the headset and BB/cranks require special consideration. All the other components needed are your standard mountain and 29er type components. As always, I encourage you to consult your local Salsa dealer or local bike shop if you are at all intimidated or confused by anything you read here. They have the knowledge to help get this sorted for you.
Let's start with what's inside the box:
1. Spearfish frame w/ Lip-Lock seat collar and rear derailleur hanger
2. Rock Shox Monarch R rear air shock, and reducer kit (the shock will already be installed on the frame)
If you are missing something, first check the box and the packaging. If you still are having trouble, contact the shop you got your frameset from. If you are a shop reading this, it's time to call Salsa.
The Spearfish's headtube uses a tapered zero stack (ZS) design. This allows you to run either a tapered steerer (1-1/8” to 1-1/2”) fork, or a straight steerer (1-1/8”) fork. Here's how:
For a tapered steerer tube (1-1/8” to 1.5”) fork you need a ZS44/28.6 | ZS56/40 spec headset. The picture below is a Cane Creek 40 model ZS headset. On the left is the lower assembly; a 56mm O.D. ZS lower cup, bearing, and race for a 1.5” steerer. On the right is the upper assembly; a 44mm ZS top cup, bearing, and top cap for a 1-1/8' steerer. Other manufacturer's also make this style of headset. Most refer to them as “tapered ZS”. King refers to their version as “tapered InSet”.
For a straight steerer tube (1-1/8”) fork you need a ZS44/28.6 | ZS56/30 spec headset. The key difference here is the “30”. What this means is you use the same 56mm ZS lower cup and bearing, but then switch out the 1.5” crown race for a 1-1/8” reducing crown race. The picture below shows this “reducing” 30mm I.D. crown race on the left. (The original 1.5” race with a 40mm I.D. is shown on the right for comparison. Remember this race is not actually needed for straight steerer forks.)
Some headsets are offered standard with the reducing 30mm race, and other instances, you need to buy the standard tapered ZS headset and then buy the reducing crown race seperately.
The Spearfish frame is designed for a Press-Fit BB30 bottom bracket. Press-Fit BB30 is different from BB30. For Press-Fit, the bearings are captured in seperate cups, which are then pressed into the frame. This greatly simplifies the requirements and manufacturing of the BB shell compared to what is required for a standard BB30 system. The end result is all the benefits of a BB30 system, without the tight tolerance and higher cost associated with machining a BB shell for standard BB30. This is one of the reasons we chose to use PFBB30 on the Spearfish. The other reason is that BB30 bearings allow you to run either BB30 cranks, or any 24mm straight spindle-type crank (Shimano, RaceFace, FSA MegaEXO) via reducer cups.
The photo below shows a SRAM PFBB30 bottom bracket.
And this is what it looks like installed in the frame.
Currently, SRAM is the only manufacturer of a Press-Fit BB30 bottom bracket, but I can assure you, more options are on the way in the very near future.
For BB30 cranks, your current options are anything from SRAM/TruVativ in 2x or 3x. The only exception being the Q-156 XX cranks. As, I mentioned, more PFBB30 and BB30 crank combos will be available from other manufacturer's soon.
Side Note: If you refer back to the pictures of the SRAM PFBB30, you will notice there is a nice dust cover, and underneath this, a seal sitting on top of the bearing. SRAM did this to protect the bearings, which greatly increases their useable life. Because of this detail, and the different pre-load adjuster FSA uses, FSA BB30 cranks do not currently play nice with SRAM PFBB30 bottom brackets.
The photo below shows a SRAM BB30 crank. Simply pop it through the PFBB30 bottom bracket, add the correct spacer or wavy washer depending on the model, set the pre-load, and you are ready to go.
As I mentioned earlier, you can also use a straight 24mm spindle type crankset too. This includes any of the more common Shimano, RaceFace, FSA Mega EXO cranks, among others. The key is the straight 24mm diameter spindle. These type of cranks can be installed into the PFBB30 bottom bracket via a Problem Solver's PressFit 30 adapter kit. Below is a picture of the kit. Inlcuded are two 1.7mm thick spacers. These are only used when converting on a standard BB30 bottom bracket. The Spearfish uses a the Press-Fit standard, so the spacers are not needed.
The photo below shows the adapter cups pushed into the PFBB30 bottom bracket.
At this point, you can install your 24mm spindle crankset per the manufacturer's specification and per the instructions included with the Problem Solvers adapter kit.
Side Note: Wheel's Manufacturing also makes an adapter cup for running 24mm spindle cranks on BB30 bottom brackets. This adapter will not technically work on a PFBB30 bottom bracket. The Wheel's cups are sized to rest directly against BB30 bearings. SRAM's PFBB30 bottom bracket has those fancy seals and dust caps, not to mention the bearings themselves are in a *slightly* different location in the BB. If you were to install the Wheel's Mfg adapters on the PFBB30 bottom bracket, the overall width is about 3.3mm wider than the width the cranks are designed to install across.
The rest of the bike takes standard mountain components. Features to note:
29er wheel size, 135mm rear spacing, disc only.
Frame is designed for any 100mm travel 29er suspension fork (tapered or straight, as per above)
Frame can accomodate any 2x or 3x, 9-speed or 10-speed drivetrain (crank/bb requirement as per above)
Rear brake mount is the 51mm I.S. type. 140mm-185mm rotors are acceptable
Front derailleur requirement is 35mm high clamp - bottom pull (low clamp types don't fit)
Seatpost size is 31.6mm
Seatcollar is included, but if you want to upgrade to a QR-style, the collar size is 35.0mm
The frame will take up to a 2.25” tires comfortably (anything bigger is at your own risk, and no, I can't anwser your specific tire size question, sorry)
Rear shock is included, but if you want to upgrade, the size is 165mm (6.5”) x 38mm (1.5”), and both ends take an 8mm x 22.2mm reducer kit.
So that's pretty much it. Hopefully it'll look something like this when you are finished:
Your local Salsa dealer can get the whole thing sorted for you no problem. If you are the type to do things on your own, remember, they are there to help when you get stuck.
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Hi, I'm Pete and I am a product development engineer for Salsa. I like all kinds of riding from commuting to dirt jumping. I think flat pedals make you a better bike handler, that the thru-axle is vastly superior to the quick-release for off-road applications, and that moving through the world on bicycle allows one to see things they might not otherwise. I suffer daily from hunger-induced anger, also known as hanger. Outside of work and riding, I enjoy kiteboarding, traveling, and watching hockey.