Salsa & Split Pivot

We’re excited to announce that Salsa is partnering with premier suspension designer Dave Weagle, and incorporating his Split Pivot rear suspension design into our 2014 Spearfish and Horsethief mountain bikes.

In the simplest terms, Split Pivot uses a concentric rear axle pivot. That 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

Stay tuned over the next days, weeks, and months, as we share more information with you on our first Split Pivot bikes.

This post filed under topics: Horsethief Mountain Biking New Product Spearfish Tim Krueger

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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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Perry Jewett | June 18th, 2013

Congratulations Salsa on another huge improvement in your line of suspension bikes.  I love my Spearfish!

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Will | June 18th, 2013

Rad.  Now how am I going to justify an new bike?

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Todd Shank | June 19th, 2013

Wow…..moving in the right direction I might say!!

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Brian | June 19th, 2013

really? this is the big design change from the flexing stays?

if you’re going to use one of DW’s designs, why run with the “also ran” design. The DW link is superior in too many ways to mention.

very sad is all I can say. very sad.

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B. Bean | June 19th, 2013

Is this new design going to offer the wider rear end like found on the SF-1 and will it be offered on the 2 and 3 series?

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Caspar | June 19th, 2013

Hmmm, torn on this one !
What drew me to the Horsethief in the first place was that whole KISSaura(KeepItSimpleStupid) it had ; no rear pivot , threaded BB,straight tubes(Ok not all of them).
Im sure this splitpivot thing rides great , but would I notice it in a big way compared to the 2012 Horsethief Ive been on for the last 14-15month ?
But since you are gonna change it can you a least:
Keep the threaded BB,
Shorten the chainstays a little(plenty room for that at the BB area), Increase the mud clearance a little at the seatstay brace and
Go for a removable front mechclamp(more and more 1x drivetrains in the future !)

Just in case I need a new frame in the coming years :-)

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Ck | June 19th, 2013

I’m indifferent with the suspension change because i’m not an expert and at the moment just assume all suspension traits are just marketing speak. I want data before I could agree that split pivot is better than the pivotless design.

I’m not really happy to see the Spearfish 3 move beyond the entry-level price range that was closer to $2k though. A lot of the big brands are releasing very well spec’d bikes at that price point.

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Mike T | June 19th, 2013

How soon will you guys be posting the geometry figures for the new Spearfish and Horsethief? Really keen to see what the BB drop, chainstay length are looking like on the new bikes (as well as the top-tube length/head tube angle revisions, if any, to work with the new 51mm offset forks you guys are spec’ing on the new frames.) Thanks and hope you’re posting this stuff soon!

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Colin M | June 20th, 2013

I’ve been considering the Spearfish as a race bike for 2 years but was concerned the suspension wouldn’t have that sweet plush feeling i’ve gotten used to on other bikes.  With split pivot I’m definitely excited to demo one at my local bike shop.  This was a smart move Salsa.  Buyers will be happy for sure.  That is unless the get caught up in “data” and geometry #s.  Just ride the bike don’t analyze it.  Cheers.

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RM | June 20th, 2013

Thought I’d give my two cents worth based on my previous & recent experience of riding SF, HT and other bikes (including a demo of a Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc….wooo).

I’ve just returned from a couple of weeks mtn biking in backcountry Spain on a Specialized Camber FSR, and yesterday I went for a local ride on my Horsethief - the difference in braking performance was really apparent.  Although, in rough terrain, I prefer my HT to the Camber in almost every respect, the braking performance of the Camber really was good.  Strange coincidence, but at the bottom of my fave descent, I thought “if Salsa could come up with a way of just improving the braking performance on this bike, it’d be perfect”.

Looks like I’d better start saving!

p.s. I used to have a Trek EX with ‘APB’ suspension (split pivot design) and really liked the way the suspension system worked, and found it was very robust and resistant to UK ‘Summers’ (i.e Mud!!!)



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Hem | June 20th, 2013

I wonder why still 80mm of travel, when the new suspension design can (I believe) use more travel more efficiently. Is it to differentiate from other manufacturers (100mm)? To my mind old Spearfish had 80mm beacause you had to keep it setup stiff, due to single pivot.

Awesome looking bikes in any case.

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Rob | June 24th, 2013

The big question is on the Horsethief, does that yoke on the shock attached to a stock shock somehow, or is it a proprietary shock like Specialized?

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Salsa | June 28th, 2013

Design look really nice, looks like a fast bike

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | July 8th, 2013

Rob - The rear shock on the Horsethief is not proprietary. It is a standard shock that attaches to the clevice.  -Kid

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Rick | July 9th, 2013

Any word of a 27.5 ? Wink Wink…..

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Bill | September 4th, 2013

Can the Spearfish be bought with a full XT package? Drivetrain, Brakes & Levers along w/Fox suspension?

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Victoria, BC | September 4th, 2013

Would it be possible to build a 2014 horsethief frame on 27.5 wheels? Thanks!

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | September 4th, 2013

Victoria, BC - No, you cannot run 27.5 wheels on the 2014 Horsethief. It would totally screw up the bike. Among other things, the bottom bracket would become way too low. I’d call it ‘dangerously low’.

Keep in mind that the 27.5 moniker makes it sound like the wheel size is right in the middle size-wise between 29er and 26”. But that is not the case…27.5 is actually closer to 26” size, than to 29er size. -Kid

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