The next generation of Timberjack is here, and it’s proof that hardtails are a lot more bike than they used to be. Modern trail bike geometry and a 130 mm fork can take on terrain that was once the domain of the squishiest full-suspension bikes. For this all-new Timberjack, we put a lot of thought and trail time into developing a high-performance hardtail with a few extra tricks up its sleeve.
Here’s a quick look at what’s new:
Read on for the details and build options.
To prioritize performance fun on the trail, our design and engineering team tweaked Timberjack to make it longer (top tube and wheelbase), lower (bottom bracket drop), slacker (head tube angle), and steeper (seat tube angle). How does that change the ride feel? Salsa Design Engineer Pete Hall put it this way:
“We made it even more of a ripper!”
Timberjack still comes with a 130 mm fork, but now it’s designed for up to a 150 mm fork for riders pushing bigger terrain. Here’s Pete again: “The headtube angle is slacker at sag so that as longer forks compress through their travel, the headtube angle doesn’t get too steep. While the 66.4° headtube angle may seem slack for a hardtail, it’s a really nice balanced feel on the trail that really helps eliminate that ‘oh s***’ feeling like you’re going over the bars.”
Adding to the bike’s poised trail feel are a longer reach and steeper seat tube angle. This moves the front wheel farther in front of the rider but keeps weight distribution efficient for pedaling performance.
So if the front end is a party the back end must be all business, right? Nope—party back there, too. We paired the long front end with a short and tight rear center for a nimble ride. As Pete says, “It’s a SUPER fun bike to pop in and out of corners. It just flows so nicely.” Yours truly can attest to this—I took one to Single Speed Arizona last year and often found myself unscathed on the other side of trail obstacles I’d have probably walked on my other hardtail. Even on trails I’d never ridden, everything seemed possible—it was a completely new feeling that reinvigorated my love for mountain biking.
While the geometry may sound like it’s tailored for fast and fun singletrack blasts, it translates well to other off-road adventures. After all, there’s no rule that says bikepacking has to be a bland ride experience. This Timberjack will have you looking for all the fun lines on the trail to your campsite and heading back out to ride unloaded after you’ve set up camp.
Speaking of bikepacking, we wanted to make this a mountain bike that you could take on a multi-day adventure. The second-generation Timberjack has more mounts, so you can carry more gear on your journeys or just ride your local trails without having to wear a sweaty backpack.
New top tube mounts play well with our EXP Series Direct Mount Top Tube Bag or K-Edge Top Tube Mounts for ride computers. The down tube bottle mount is now a Three-Pack mount that happily houses our Anything Bracket to hold a bottle, tool roll, and pump in one spot. Timberjack keeps its rear rack mounts (Alternator Plus Rack and Rack-Lock seatpost collar required) and the two-bolt accessory mount under the down tube.
Other design highlights include revised cable routing, integrated chainstay protection, and a short, straight seat tube that allows for a long dropper post on all sizes while lowering the standover height. Alternator 2.0 dropouts let you adjust the effective chainstay length from 420–437 mm and run geared or single speed drivetrains—ride it your way.
It all comes together for a mountain bike that we’re completely stoked about. With a wide range of build and color options, we think you will be, too.
Timberjack is available at your local Salsa Authorized Retailer and through our Adventure At Your Doorstep program.
NOTE: The Timberjack Titanium frame will maintain first-generation Timberjack geometry and features at this time.
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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.