Introducing Blackthorn & Cassidy

Salsa Cycles has been part of the mountain biking scene for nearly 40 years. Mountain bikes have come a long way since those early days—and so have the trails we ride. As we found ourselves on more and more progressive terrain, we had a vision for the type of bikes we wanted to ride on the gnarlier trails of the world. That leads us to today, as we take the next step in the evolution of our mountain bike lineup with two all-new certified rippers.


A purple and yellow-colored Cassidy full-suspension bike stands high above an alpine lake in the Canadian Rockies.

Cassidy Carbon GX Eagle...

CASSIDY is our enduro 29er. Equipped with 165 mm rear and 180 mm front suspension travel, it’s a well-rounded shredder. Cassidy is built for blasting through technical sections and hurtling down hair-raising descents with composure, yet it pedals exceptionally well when you don’t have gravity’s help.


A purple-colored Blackthorn full-suspension bike stands high above an alpine lake in the Canadian Rockies.

Blackthorn Carbon XO1 Eagle...

BLACKTHORN is our all-mountain 29er. Sporting 140 mm rear and 160 mm front suspension travel, it’s an any-trail, anywhere, all-day machine. Blackthorn is all about balance, granting you confidence on steep, loose descents, delivering awesome climbing capability, and feeling poised on everything in between.

These bikes are for two distinct types of riding, but they have a few things in common.

Like all of our full-suspension bikes, Cassidy and Blackthorn use our Split Pivot rear suspension platform. This design allows our engineers to separate the acceleration and braking performance of the suspension so we can optimize them independently for a comfortable and efficient ride both up and down the trail.

Front triangle of a purple and yellow-colored Cassidy full-suspension MTB featuring Fox Float air shock.

Introducing Split Pivot+

Cassidy and Blackthorn also share a frame. These are the first bikes to employ our Split Pivot+ design philosophy, which uses an adaptable chassis that can be optimized for multiple amounts of suspension travel and corresponding geometries. By swapping to the appropriate link set, rear shock, and fork, you can convert Blackthorn’s 140 mm rear and 160 mm front travel to Cassidy’s 165 mm rear and 180 mm front travel and vice versa. Aftermarket link sets for both platforms will be available for purchase.

Swapping the control link and shock link, in addition to changing the metric shock size, optimizes the frame geometry and kinematics for the desired travel. This means that we can achieve a hard-charging, supportive feel on Cassidy and we can also get a well-rounded, balanced trail feel on Blackthorn. No matter which way you choose to set up your Split Pivot+ frame, it’ll ride just the way we intended.

Rear triangle of a purple and yellow-colored Cassidy full-suspension MTB featuring Split Pivot rear suspension design.

Talking Geometry

Speaking of the frame, Cassidy and Blackthorn are designed with our most progressive geometry yet. They’re long, low, and slack with a bit of restraint to preserve pedaling performance. Both bikes feature a long front-center for stability at speed. Short 432 mm chainstays keep handling agile in tight terrain. A moderate bottom bracket height balances stability with pedaling ability in technical terrain. Steep seat tube angles and proper cockpit lengths across all frame sizes puts the rider in a comfortable and efficient pedaling position—perfect for earning your turns on rides without a shuttle or lift. Cassidy and Blackthorn also employ our Flip Chip 2.0 system for geometry tweaks to suit terrain and rider preference.

The front triangle of a purple-colored Salsa Blackthorn full-suspension bike, showcasing the designed tool mount.

Outfitted for Everything

All-mountain and enduro riding fall well within our definition of adventure here at Salsa, so we’ve equipped these frames for everything you might face on an all-day ride. The forward shock mount features an integrated spare tube strap location (strap included), and the Three-Pack mount on the downtube accommodates a cage for a full-size bottle and a pump mount. A top tube mount pairs perfectly with K-Edge top tube computer mounts or our EXP Series Direct Mount Top Tube Bag to keep snacks and other ride essentials close at hand. Thoughtful frame protection on the down tube, seatstay, chainstay and other key areas defends your bike against anything the trail can throw at you.

Detail image of the bottom bracket and rear stay area of a purple-colored Salsa Blackthorn full-suspension bike.

So there you have it. These bikes are the products of thousands of hours of design, engineering, and obsessive testing. We couldn’t be more excited for you to throw a leg over them—watch for these bikes at your local Salsa retailer in October.



Krista Cook flies off a rocky drop-off on her Cassidy MTB, high above tree line in the jagged Canadian Rocky Mountains.

This post filed under topics: Blackthorn Cassidy Harrison Maddox Mountain Biking New Product Split Pivot

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Harrison Maddox

Harrison Maddox

I’m a jack-of-all, master-of-none sort when it comes to the outdoors. Riding, climbing, paddling, skiing or hiking—everything has its own appeal. All that matters are the effort and the solitude. I’m not competitive but I enjoy a good challenge, and I’ll say “yes” to anything that puts me in over my head or involves type 2 fun, as that’s where life’s spicier moments seem to live.


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