Salsa Spearfish Mountain Bike
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THE SELL: A big-wheeled racer made for epic rides. THE TEST: The Spearfish’s sublime mix of no-nonsense design, neutral handling, and trail comfort was perfect for long days in the saddle. “This bike disappears beneath you,” one tester said. The sculpted aluminum frame and simple single-pivot suspension eliminated pedal bob, and the big wheels gave a much smoother ride than the three inches of rear travel suggest. Salsa wisely splurged on strong but light Stan’s Arch rims to mitigate the inertia effect of larger hoops and a bar-mount lockout for easy control of the four-inch Reba RL fork. Our only complaint—quickly remedied with a hacksaw—was the ultrawide bars, which landed a few testers’ hands in cactuses on tight Tucson trails. THE VERDICT: The Spearfish outperformed bikes double its price. 27.2 lbs