2015 Spearfish Goes Carbon

For four years, the Salsa Spearfish has been at the forefront of showing what an endurance mountain bike can do. Blazing through 100-milers, supporting delirious racers in 24-hour solos, and setting records in the Arizona Trail Race, the Spearfish can help you go further, faster.

Kurt Refsnider upon crushing the AZT 300 record earlier this spring aboard a Spearfish XX1...

For model year 2015, we have upped our game again, adding high-modulus carbon fiber frames to the impressive Split Pivot™ equipped chassis. Carbon fiber adds incredible chassis stiffness, which improves tracking and handling. High-modulus carbon fiber also allows for fine control of material to create incredible toughness while also reducing frame weight where possible. In fact, a size medium Spearfish Carbon frame weighs in at 4.97 lbs, a half-pound less than its same-size aluminum counterpart. It’s also worth noting that both our carbon and aluminum suspension frames vastly exceed EN testing requirements, as well as many other stiffness and destructive tests.

Our 2015 Spearfish line is comprised of four models.

2015 Spearfish Carbon RS-1...

We’re excited to offer the top-of-the-line Spearfish Carbon RS-1 featuring RockShox’s new inverted RS-1 wunder-fork and RockShox Monarch RT3 rear shock. MSRP $6899.

2015 Spearfish Carbon 1...

Spearfish Carbon 1 features the same high-modulus carbon frame but is spec’d with a Fox F29 CDT Performance fork and Fox Float CTD Performance rear shock. MSRP $4899.

Spearfish 2 and 3 features the same great Split Pivot performance via double-butted, mechanically formed, top-shelf 6066 aluminum frames.

2015 Spearfish 2...

The Spearfish 2 is spec’d with a RockShox SID RL fork and RockShox Monarch RT3 rear shock. MSRP $3399.

2015 Spearfish 3...

Spearfish 3 receives a Fox Float CTD Evolution fork and rear shock. MSRP $2799.

Whether crafted of carbon or aluminum, Spearfish utilizes several design features that are directly aimed at endurance racing.

First, the Spearfish features an ultra-efficient 80mm of Split Pivot rear travel design. In a nutshell, Split Pivot accomplishes all of the following on a Spearfish, while keeping the focus on maintaining speed.

The concentric rear axle pivot in conjunction with precise wheel link, brake link, and control link placement, results in several performance gains:

Exceptional bump compliance

Maximum traction

Incredible pedaling efficiency

Predictable braking

Improved frame geometry due to the elimination of unwanted suspension movement during acceleration and braking

2015 Spearfish Carbon RS-1...

The Spearfish geometry is designed to be responsive, yet comfortable and predictable. We accomplish this with very short 437mm chainstays and a relatively long front center due to a slacker than normal headtube angle and a 51mm offset fork. All of this creates a longer front center, lending to excellent stability, while maintaining the mechanical trail of a typical cross-country bike.

Lastly, 29er wheels are still the fastest wheels around, especially for endurance racing. There are many other wheel sizes out there now, and each has its merits, but there is no denying the 29er is still the go-fast and go-long favorite.

2015 Spearfish Carbon...

The Spearfish has proven itself as a unique, but incredibly capable steed for those looking to cover a lot of singletrack in as short a time as possible. If you’re looking for a new go-fast bike, I hope you’ll check out our Spearfish line. Tell them Jay Petervary, Kurt Refsnider, and Danielle Musto sent you.

Keep reading for complete spec and geometry info.



2015 Spearfish Specs

2015 Spearfish Geometry

This post filed under topics: Mountain Biking New Product Spearfish Split Pivot Tim Krueger Ultra Racing

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Tim Krueger

Tim Krueger

I come from the land of trees, lakes and cheese. I like beef jerky, singletrack and pale ale. I believe derailleurs were invented for a very good reason. Long rides with good friends and campfires is really what its all about. Oh, and if its not anodized, its worthless.


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tinker mellow | July 21st, 2014

Too bad the RS-1 is there to drive the price up. I would love to have that spec for less weight and money if it had a Sid.

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Carl | July 22nd, 2014

Nice job.
Will the Spearfish Carbon RS-1 also be available as frame only?
And what would be the price of this?


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Carl | July 23rd, 2014

found it :)

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Tweeson Dubanart | July 23rd, 2014

+1 on tinker’s comment.  Would rather see an Enve option for the top tier bike than RS-1.  I’m not about to drop that kind of coin on a fork that requires a proprietary hub to boot.  Fancied as a bikepacking bike, reliability and serviceability are paramount - that fork is not.

Other than that, the new frame and build lineup looks great.

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Jason Hill | July 24th, 2014

New bikes look amazing especially the RS -1 - will we see them all here in the UK though?

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Cori | July 24th, 2014

“a size medium Spearfish Carbon frame weighs in at 4.97 lbs, a half-pound less than its same-size aluminum counterpart.”

...Is this correct? Only 1/2 lb less than aluminum? Surely it must be more…no?

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | July 24th, 2014

Carl - Yes, the Spearfish Carbon RS-1 frame will also be availabe as a Frame Only.

Cori - The Spearfish Carbon drops a 1/2 pound compared to aluminum counterpart because the aluminum version was already quite light. The Horsethief Carbon drops 3/4 of a pound because the aluminum Horsethief frames are quite burly.

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Jimmymats | July 25th, 2014

Will there still be an aluminum frame only option? It doesn’t appear so on this site, nor have I seen any indications in press reviews.

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Simon | July 27th, 2014


If I understood correctly, there will be no aluminium frame kit… Just the cabon? The SF 1 and 2 are in carbon and the 3 and 4 are in aluminium. It is a sad choice. I planned to change my Niner EMD to a spearfish frame in start 2016, but if it is so that only carbon will be available, I will go for a Niner air 9… In Europe - especialy France, it is pain in the ass to find a Salsa Spearfish frame for a descent price. I have to order in the Netherland or Germany… Hope your policy will change fpr that time.

Anyway, nice bike and great color schem!

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Simon | July 27th, 2014

Hi - again,

Why a crank with 22 and 34t chainring? This is so strange, I mean the SF is a good XC bike - what ever race, fun or long distance ridding. Even with a 100kms race you can use a 24/38t easely. 22/34 will be so short. A least why not a 22/36. You can climb most of the trails with a 24 - even in the French Alpes. If you can’t run the 24/38 - gain muscules and lose weight!

Otherwise, the building is really nice for that price - and as usually wheels sucks -for SF 2 and 3 - like most of the brands - but I have to admit that they are better quality than other “majors” brands for this range of price and bike. Why No tube ARCH for the SF1 non RS1? Why gaining wheight where it is the most important to save? I mean Crest and Arch Ex have the same price at the end.

This only my thoughts and still I want a Spearfish aluminuum frame for january 2016!!!!!

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | July 29th, 2014

Simon - The 2015 Spearfish frame will only be offered in Carbon, but we do have some remaining 2014 Aluminum frames. You could order one of those as they feature the same great Split Pivot performance and frame geometry.

I will let Tim, our Product Manager, respond to your Spearfish Bike Spec questions. Thanks for your interest.

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Tim Krueger | July 29th, 2014

Simon -

Spec is a common point of people disagreeing with our choices.  This is OK, as we know that trails are different all around the world, people are different, and that means that nothing can be perfect for everyone. 

We do our best to balance all of our consumers needs.  We have done a lot of research of the average speed of the bikes, and 22/34 with a 29er wheel puts us to where we need to be.  If you are able to push a 38 on a 29er wheel in the Alps, then I envy your power to weight ratio.

Have a good ride!

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Tim Krueger | July 29th, 2014

Tweeson -

Have you ridden the RS-1 yet?  I have been on it for 6 months, and I would beg to differ with your opinion regarding reliability and serviceability.  The internals are all based on SID, and easier to access than a SID as well. 


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Simon | July 30th, 2014

Kid, Tim,

Thank for the answer.
Concerning the frame, I’ll keep one more year my EMD 9 as mentioned in my post. but, yes, I’ll be back to you in fall 2015 in order to find a solution concerning the alloy frame. THX, it is a nice point.
I do understand very well the point concerning the spec’s. No one can propose a specifc bike for a specific Customer. in that case - which is mine - the Customer makes a custom built. Still, specs are more than descent for that range of price and bike.
Concerning the 38 ring, no, I can’t climb with it in the Alpes, but a 24 ring with 36 cassette do it well. Still, I consider 34t chainring is much too small when the trail starts to go fast. The 38 isn’t also the best choice for an average rider. I do believe that a 36 would be a good match.



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Stefan | August 1st, 2014

Frame weight 4.97 lbs, is this with or without shock?

What would be the maximum bottle sizes that fit into S or M frames?


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Jimmymats | August 2nd, 2014

Would there be an opportunity to order 2014 aluminum frames in either the blue or orange? Also, thought these aluminum frames were 6lbs, but are they 5.5 based on the quote about the carbon being 4.97 and shaving a half pound?


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CP | August 2nd, 2014

When will the 2015 lineup be available? Sorry if I missed that…

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Jimmymats | August 5th, 2014

Nevermind on the weight question. I see on your site the M 2014 ano = 2655g or 5.85lbs. Still light, but a little more differentiation between it and the carbon frame, which is good.

Should I just contact my LBS about the frame availability question? I would love a blue ano frame. Would be a nice companion to my new blue Fargo!


Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 5th, 2014

CP - My ETA sheet shows the following for the 2015 Spearfish line.

Spearfish Carbon RS-1 - Mid-October
Spearfish Carbon - Mid-October
Spearfish 2 - September
Spearfish 3 - Mid-September

Jimmymats - Yes, contact your Salsa Authorized Dealer and inquire about the 2014 anodized blue Spearfish frame. You can find our dealer listings on our website.

Thanks for your interest guys.

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 5th, 2014

Stefan - 4.97 lbs is the frame weight including rear shock, Lip-Lock seat collar., and rear thru-axle.

Waterbottle size: S and M frames can fit the typical large size waterbottles.

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Jimmymats | August 6th, 2014

Thanks for the response Kid. You’re making the carbon sound even better too, but I will try to resist!

Seriously, I’ll be stoked to get an alloy frame.


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SimonsaysKACK | August 6th, 2014

Quit your moaning Simon and just buy one.
I’m sure the folk at Salsa know their stuff when it comes to speccing their bikes for all to bow down then ride hard and reep the rewards.

I might just barge in front of you at the checkout whilst shouting eat my dust, you 26” sucker!

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Stefan | August 6th, 2014

One more question: Carbon Spearfish frameset, RockShox or Fox shock?

(please Fox, please Fox)

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 7th, 2014

Stefan - The Spearfish Carbon frame will be available with the RockShox RT3 rear shock with Fast Black coating.

I’m riding one right now on a Horsethief and will say that I’m quite pleased thus far.

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Kurt Refsnider | August 12th, 2014

I want to chime in on the gearing choice for some of these models. We just spent the 30+ days bikepacking through the Alps on a 2x10 drivetrains with 22-33T rings and 11-36 cassettes. We rode El Mariachi hardtails with a moderately light bikepacking setup. On many steep climbs, we were wishing for 20T rings. I’m not sure if the part of the French Alps we saw was unique, but there are *many* climbs that are too steep to ride. At the big end of things, I was spun out in the 11-33 gear at about 26 mph. 11-34 would give you a bit more. I don’t do any racing that would put be at a significant disadvantage by being spun out at perhaps 28 mph. In my opinion, the 22-34 gear choice will be spot on for most riders.

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Simon | August 14th, 2014


Kid , How could I grab a blue anodize frame in France or in Europe?  We can discuss more through email, just tell me how to reach you.

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 18th, 2014

Simon - Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and tell them you are hoping to purchase a 2014 blue anodized Spearfish frame. They will need to know what size, and also what country you are located in.

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Tim Young | August 19th, 2014

In your top photo the 15mm QR lever on the RS1 is pointing up, exactly how SRAM say you shouldn’t have it: the lever will bump the carbon uppers.
Just saying!

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 20th, 2014

Tim Young - Thanks for the heads up. I was neither aware nor in the photo studio when it was shot. There is one hanging nearby so I’ll check it out and see if it really is an issue. Thanks for paying attention to the details!

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Kelly Laborde | August 22nd, 2014

Do you guys approve of this frame with 120mm fork? Will you publish the geo numbers with 120mm fork please. Will the frame fit the Cane Creek DB inline?

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | August 25th, 2014

Kelly Laborde - No, we don’t. Here is the info we publish on our FAQ page regarding the Spearfish and longer fork lengths: 

The Split Pivot Spearfish frame is designed around & approved for use ONLY with suspension forks that have axle-to-crown lengths up to 506mm (typically 100mm of travel). Check the fork manufacturer’s specifications to ensure the model & travel combination you intend to use is equal to or less than this length. Using a longer length fork will void the frame warranty and could result in frame failure. Forks with 51mm offset are strongly recommended, but 45mm offset is also acceptable (increases mechanical trail by 6mm).

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jtc | January 25th, 2015

Looking at the Spearfish Carbon RS1 fto serve as a xc race bike - (but also for longer training rides ... where I want to stay fresher vs my hardtail).  Without my having the opportunity to ride one - would you say MN/WI singletrack is its sweet spot or is it a bit more or a trail bike?  I like quick handling. 
Cross shopping to Specialized Epic WorldCup and Ibis Ripley.

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