Detailed Reviews of the Best Salsa Bikes in 2021

Wondering if Salsa bike is the right brand for your next MTB or Road bike? You are in the right place.

Our team tested out over 25 models in the last 6 months. We also took into account expert reviews, customer ratings, etc. plus, tested out aspects like after-sales service to ensure you know everything about Salsa Bikes before making a purchase.

Best Salsa Mountain Bikes for 2021

1. Salsa Blackborow

Salsa Blackborow

Specs:

  • Fork: 100 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 26”/27.5”/29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • MTB Type: Hardtail Fat Bike

Blackborow opens the list because this is my favorite Salsa bike. To my fellow campers and bike packers, you can never get it wrong with the Salsa Blackborow, one of the most convenient backpacking bikes.

The cargo fat bike, as most riders call it, is a bike beyond imagination. What’s interesting about the bike is the huge carrying capacity and also the massive room for four panniers on the rear.

It’s undoubtedly the bike to ride on your next expedition. The aluminum frame has eyelets that allow you to mount bags and water bottle cages on these eyelets.

This truck on two wheels boasts a 1×12 SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain to push you from one location to another.

With its massive tires, the bike is capable of carrying your pannier bags, regardless of how heavy they are.

Blackborow comes as a single unit. It’s equipped with a rigid fork, while you can upgrade to a Suntour fork with 100 mm of travel.

This is the bike to have if you are an avid rider and love grocery shopping. It’s also the type of bike to transverse the Grand Canyon and the ice lands of Alaska with.

The Blackborow is what Christopher Columbus never had. Luckily you can get it. It’s a bike that can transverse across different terrains.

2. Salsa Mukluk

Salsa Mukluk

Specs:

  • Fork: Rigid
  • Wheel Size: 26”
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Hardtail Fat Bike

Salsa seems to put the money where its mouth is, and its mouth is at fat bikes. Perhaps I never came across a Salsa model because they are more famous for their fat bikes.

I’m not a fan of fat bikes, although the Blackborow stole my heart. Mukluk is an affordable carbon-fat bike from Salsa.

It comes with a rigid carbon fork, but you can upgrade to a suspension fork, especially a Manitou Mastodon with around 100 mm of travel.

Mukluk comes in two options: geared or single-speed. It’s up to you to take the bike that excites you.

Though the bike comes with 26” extra-wide tires, it can ride on wide 27.5” tires. The geared option features the NX or SX Eagle, and you get to pick whichever suits you best.

The Mukluk has more than enough eyelets including on the fork to fit panniers and water bottle holders.

Salsa Mukluk is a versatile bike ideal for any terrain and can be ridden in rain or sunshine. This is a convenient bike for you if you value a classy fat bike.

Also, if you love touring around or riding on the sandy beaches of Florida, no bike can make it fun like the Mukluk. It’s also quite fast anywhere.

3. Salsa Beargrease

Salsa Beargrease

Specs:

  • Fork: Rigid
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”+
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Hardtail Fat Bike

Wide rollers are considered slow and unresponsive. It could be true, but Salsa Beargrease will make you think otherwise.

On the road, a road bike will definitely ride faster than an MTB. When they change to a terrain, the road biker will have a problem arriving at his destination.

Every bike is fast than another in its own terrain. Even an aggressive mountain bike will get stuck in sand or snow, but a fat bike will not.

That’s why Beargrease is considered fast. It’s fast on any rough terrain that is almost impassable with other bike types.

The carbon fat bike comes in different versions. The topper features an SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain. The base Beargrease is equipped with SRAM SX Eagle.

Besides the beautiful design, the bike also has eyelets in different sections of the frame and forks. You can fit racks, bottle holders, and racks.

Beargrease is a fantastic bike to race with and also a bike-packing companion. What’s more, Beargrease is capable of carrying a lot of weight.

This is an excellent fat bike for you if you want to take a break from the noisy and busy city and spend quality time alone.

It’s also the model to have if you ride along the beach or explore the desert.

The Salsa Beargrease is one of the most exciting models you can ever find in your quest to find the ablest fat bike. It’s also super light and comfortable.

4. Salsa Timberjack

Salsa Timberjack
Image: Reddit

Specs:

  • Fork: 130 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”+/29”
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • MTB Type: Hardtail Trail Bike

Salsa Tinberjack is a jack of all smooth trails. Thanks to its long 130 mm of travel, the front suspension of this beautiful bike will cushion and run over every obstacle you come across.

Timberjack is proof that hardtails are getting better and are here to stay. The aluminum bike is fun to ride.

You will not want to part with it. The 2021 model’s geometry has been revamped to be slacker, lower, steeper, and longer.

You can confidently show up in a race with the Timberjack. Whether you win or not, you’ll be the talk of the town.

Timberjack commands a lot of attention because of its riding quality. It maintains traction on the trail, and besides, you can use it for bike-packing. There are four 29er  and four 27.5” versions.

Top of the list is the Timberjack GX Eagle 29 and its younger sibling Timberjack GX Eagle 27.5. Next is the Timberjack XT, both 29 and 27.5. Timberjack SLX is the third and last geared option for both 27.5 and 29”. 

The Timberjack Singlespeed 29er and 27.5” wrap up the list. All models come with dropper posts.

The Salsa Timberjack is a great bike if you are starting as a trail rider and racer. It’s often advisable to start with a hardtail before taking on a full suspension.

The Timberjack is quite a performer, a hardtail like no other, and a bike that will captivate your senses.

It’s incredibly fast uphill, negotiates corners well, and a rocket downhill. This is the bike to purchase if you are into long travel hardtails.

5. Salsa Rangefinder

Salsa Rangefinder
Image: Reddit

Specs:

  • Fork: 120 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”/27.5”
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • MTB Type: Hardtail Trail Bike

Both trail and cross-country enthusiasts have something to celebrate. The Salsa Rangefinder is everything they ever wanted in a hardtail bike, and it’s also very affordable.

The aggressive bike comes with an SR Suntour XCR 34 Air fork for all the riding juice. Fortunately, you can upgrade to a fork of your choice if you are not comfortable with the Suntour option.

The bike is suitable for kids, men, and women, and there’s a perfect size for everyone. Scattered across the 29er and 27.5” range, the Rangefinder is indeed an amazing bike for everyone.

As an addition, you get a free dropper seat post with every purchase. The frame comes with eyelets to mount important stuff such as bottle cages and a pannier on the rear.

What I liked about the bike was the fantastic set of features yet affordable price. There are four available Rangefinders namely the Rangefinder SX Eagle 27.5+ and 29, and Rangefinder Deore 27.5+ and 29.

The Rangefinder is the bike to buy, especially if you are a beginner. It will improve your riding skills and prepare you for the unforgiving trail and cross country terrains.

If you aspire to be a racer someday, it’s always best to start from the bottom. The Rangefinder will equip you with the skills.

6. Salsa Rustler

Salsa Rustler

Specs:

  • Fork: 150 mm Travel
  • Shock: 130 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Trail Bike

If you want a versatile Salsa full suspension bike, Rustler is your best bet. Salsa considers the Rustler their most playful model.

It wasn’t the best 27.5” full suspension agile trail bike I’ve ever ridden, but it was awesome. Some of my friends stated that the bike was more responsive than other bikes that they tried.

I liked one thing, though, about the bike. You can push the limits with this bike in an enduro race.

Featuring 27.5” plus tires, the Rustler can run even on a loose earth thanks to its traction. The bike capability might be overlooked, but for those who own the Rustler, they know it’s their best choice.

You’ll have no excuse unless you hardly practice. It’s a bike that both kids and adults can ride. What’s more, the full Susser is an excellent climber and runner.

This is the trail bike to gift yourself if you value a bike that can perform various tasks. It’s typically a stone for two birds, and you are not limited to only one discipline.

There are seven Rustler options to choose from. Top-of-the-range Rustler comes with FOX forks and shock and XTR drivetrain. The budget bike comes with SX Eagle, but it’s a bike you’ll love.

7. Salsa Spearfish

Salsa Spearfish

Specs:

  • Fork: 140 mm Travel
  • Shock: 120 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 27.5/29”
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon/Aluminum
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Trail/XC Bike

We all know that an XC bike should have 120mm of squish at most. If it goes beyond that, it becomes an XC and trail bike.

Although the Spearfish is marketed as an XC bike, it does not differ from the bike that I’m going to review next, the Horsethief.

They both have the same suspension specs, even though the Horsethief is marketed as a trail bike.

Whichever you take between the two bikes, the only difference will be the name. Spearfish is an agile trail and cross-country rig. With the Spearfish in your garage, your weekends will never be the same.

Spearfish comes in a variety of ten models, making it the broadest range in the Salsa fraternity. I admit that it can be a headache choosing the right bike for yourself.

In the Spearfish category, for example, the bikes come with either aluminum and carbon frames.

For the drivetrain, your money will determine whether your bike will come with Shimano Deore, XTR, XT, SLX, or SRAM GX Eagle, SX Eagle, or NX Eagle.

The model with an XTR groupset will automatically fetch the highest price. It’s a no-brainer! Always try to take a bike within your budget. They don’t have that much difference.

The Spearfish is an excellent bike for you if you desire an XC bike that doubles as a trail bike. Also, if you are looking for the widest range of bikes to get better options, Salsa’s Spearfish will leave you confused and undecided for a while.

It’s an excellent climber, no lie! It’s also forgiving on the descents, and you can push it to the highest limits.

The trail bike is the bike to go for, especially if you mastered the art of XC and trail racing and looking to take it to the next level with a full Susser. The Spearfish is a winning bike.

8. Salsa Horsethief

Salsa Horsethief

Specs:

  • Fork: 140 mm Travel
  • Shock: 120 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon/Aluminum
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Trail Bike

Salsa’s quiver killer is the Salsa Horsethief. It’s the bike to smash the trail with, jump, and a real deal in the bike park.

Horsethief is versatile, and you can ride it anywhere and show up at an XC race in style. Just be sure not to shout that name in the wild west. Horses get stolen, you know!

With the 140 mm and 120 mm travel, front, and rear, respectively, you can roll down the trail without looking back.

The bike also features a flip-chip which allows you to change the bike geometry to fit 29” or 27.5 wheels.

The most notable feature of the Horsethief is the Split Pivot technology. It’s responsible for making the bike roll down with the suspension system messing with the pedaling, and creating a brake charter.

The Carbon XTR option comes with FOX forks and shocks. It’s the highest-priced model in the series, but the XTR drivetrain offers precise and light shifting. Others include the Carbon XT, Carbon SLX, Alloy SLX, and Alloy SX Eagle.

The Horsethief is one of the nice bikes to buy if you are looking for a perfect trail bike. You aspire to explore the hills and the woods in your town, and all you need is a bike that can transverse anywhere.

Horsethief is the perfect bike for the job to take you anywhere your car won’t. Besides, you get to exercise and explore your surroundings. It’s also a bike that can hang medals and put cups on your cabinet.

Salsa Warranty

All Salsa frames and products are covered by a warranty against defects. All carbon frames get a five-year warranty period, while every aluminum and titanium frame gets a three.

Alloy chainstays, seat stays, and carbon seat stays of suspension frames get two-year warranties. Any other apparel such as bags and cages gets a one-year warranty. The warranty is only applicable to the first owner upon registering their bikes on the site.

After-Sale Service

The technical support is at your disposal and ready to take any of your queries. Contact them via the email support@salsacycles.com, or call them at 877-668-6223.

They will try to help with any issues or direct you to the nearest authorized dealer or distribution branch for technical support.

History of Salsa Bikes

California is home to many cycle companies, including Salsa bikes. Salsa cycles started in the 1980s.

Ross Shafer, the founder, focused on producing frames and stems. The company strained financially until 1997 when Minnesota’s Quality Bicycle Products, QBP, took over. After the merge, the company continued producing complete bikes and bike accessories to meet global cycling demands.

The company also produces gear, clothing, and apparel. It also sponsors athletes just like any other cycling company aiming to market its brand.

If Salsa bikes have been in your mind, and you are curious about their bike deals, worry not. We are going to review all the popular mountain bikes Salsa produces. Hopefully, they have what you are looking for.

Closing Remarks

Salsa bikes are the coolest bikes, no lie. I never thought I would ever ride their bikes, but after the test rides, I ended up loving them, especially the first bike in the review.

The Blackborow was a lovely and a great bike deal. If you require any assistance, reach out to us, and we will try to

From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 10+ trails across the globe, for Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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