Salsa is one of those bicycle manufacturers that garner lots of love from serious riders, even though they aren’t the biggest or most popular brand out there (the Marrakesh receives consistent praise for long-distance touring adventures). But in recent years, the company has been pushing further and further into the mountain biking segment with some incredible full-suspension offerings, and this September, they’ve added two completely new frames to their lineup: the Blackthorn and Cassidy.
All-Mountain Salsa Blackthorn offers 140mm of Ride-Any-Trail Performance
With 140mm of travel in the rear shock and a 160mm fork, the Blackthorn has what it takes to smooth out all but the biggest bumps in the trail. A split pivot suspension design ensures that even with its generous shock travel, the Blackthorn can still climb efficiently. Split pivot minimizes pedal-bob while maintaining braking performance by isolating both. The Blackthorn’s suspension links can be swapped out to accommodate up to a 165mm-travel shock in the rear and a 180mm fork for those riders that want to take on bigger, more challenging terrain.
The Blackthorn’s geometry has been optimized to accommodate either 29- or 27.5-inch wheels, depending on the rider’s preferences, with clearance for up to 29 x 2.6 or 27.5 x 3 (inch) tires. Integrated mounting points on the frame are designed to provide scuff-free lashing points for bike tools, a pump, and multiple water bottles.
Salsa’s Newest 29er Enduro Bike Cassidy is Built for Big Hits
If the 140mm travel of the Blackthorn won’t cut it, Salsa’s Cassidy might be a better choice, with 165mm in the rear and a massive 180mm travel fork. This bike is ideally suited for more aggressive riders who eagerly seek out more technical terrain, like steep rock gardens, rutted-out singletrack, and drops.
Cassidy has the same split pivot suspension design found on the Blackthorn, in this case, allowing riders to dial suspension travel back to 140mm in the rear and 165mm up front. While this might initially seem counter-productive to this bike’s purposes, consider the benefits of a shorter-travel suspension on longer rides with less technical terrain. Basically, this bike is a bit of a chameleon that can transform based on the rider’s needs.
The Cassidy can also accommodate either 29- or 27-inch wheelsets thanks to what Salsa calls “flip chip 2.0” compatibility. Finally, the Cassidy benefits from dedicated frame-mounting points for bike tools, pump, and water bottles, which protect the frame from scuffs.
Additional Blackthorn and Cassidy Details
Both the Blackthorn and Cassidy are offered in carbon and aluminum versions, allowing riders to strike a happy balance between performance and price. Shock options include Fox and RockShox with Shimano and SRAM component builds. Both bikes are also offered in plenty of bold colors that are sure to turn a few heads on the trail.
Blackthorn and Cassidy start at $3,200 and go up to $7,499, depending on frame and component build. Find more information on Salsa’s website here.