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Among serious XC riders and racers, the full-suspension 29er has quickly become the holy grail of race frames. Fast-rolling, grippy 29-inch wheels and short travel keep the rear end stiff and tracking efficiently on both the climb and the descent. This combination has proven unbeatable on the race circuit and on countless hometown singletrack testing grounds. Joining the fray with its own short-travel, wagon-wheel rocket is legendary frame manufacturer Salsa, with its Spearfish 2 Complete bike. In mountain bike terms, Salsa has been around for eons, building frames that change the way we think about mountain biking. Salsa doesn't build frames just because it thinks they will sell. Every frame that comes from Salsa's factory is purpose-built to enhance your bike adventure.

Salsa designed the Spearfish using the less-is-more theory of frame design. The ultra-stiff, hydroformed, 6000-series aluminum frame pedals efficiently and tracks like a hardtail. Stiffness and durability are further enhanced by the forged fittings throughout the frame. Salsa even managed to simplify the already-bare-bones single pivot design by eliminating a pivot at the chainstay and allowing the stays' natural flex to provide the roughly 1 degree of movement necessary to allow the suspension to function. Notice how the stays are slightly flattened? This allows vertical flex, without hindering lateral stiffness–encouraging a plush ride with responsive acceleration. Even the pivots are kept as simple as possible, with just one pair of bearings at the main pivot point. This not only reduces the weight and amount of maintenance required, but increases the stiffness of the rear triangle for better tracking characteristics.

If you're hesitant to throw a leg over a frame which purposely flexes aluminum, keep in mind this isn't a new technology or approach to suspension design. Flexing stays have been used for years with every frame material out there, including carbon, Ti, and steel. Salsa pioneered this technique with an aluminum alloy in its Dos Niner almost seven years ago. The design has evolved after extensive R&D, and Salsa engineers have gone to great lengths to ensure this pivotless design will outlast the frame itself.

Tying the one-piece rear triangle to the hydroformed front are a forged 'dog bone' link and oversized cartridge bearings at the main pivot. The link's been optimized, like the bearing-less rear, to reduce needed hardware and to enhance the Spearfish's ride. The link shares its pivot where the seatstays and shock meet the link, making use of a shock pin redundant, and keeping the link light and rigid.

Keeping everything nice and squishy is a Fox Float CTD shock with Kashima coating.The Kashima Coat creates a slicker, more durable finish on the shock shaft, allowing the suspension to respond to bump input with greater sensitivity. The dampening system has been revised with a simplified user experience as the main objective. CTD offers three pre-tuned compression dampening options for Climbing, Trail, and Descending.

The Spearfish rolls on tubeless-ready Stan's ZTR Rapid rims laced to Formula hubs. Salsa draped the rims in ultra-fast Continental XKing 2.2s that deliver excellent traction despite their low rolling resistance. This traction helps prevent lockup from the powerful Avid Elixir 5 hydraulic disc brakes.

A SRAM S1000 22/36-tooth crankset twists a 10-speed, 11–36-tooth SRAM cassette. This combination offers an ideal ratio range without overlap or excess gears. An X9 rear derailleur and direct mount X7 front are controlled by X7 shifters for light action, fast shifts, and long-lasting performance. Salsa Pro Moto 2 post, bars, and steam with a WTB Siverado saddle finish off the build.

The Salsa Spearfish is available in White/Green and in four sizes from Small to X-Large.

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