Salsa Rustler SX Eagle
- Frame： Rustler Aluminum
- Tire：27.5 x 2.6″
What we like about it: The full suspension design, and the excellent SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain for easy jumps on rough trails.
What we don’t like about it: too little choice of paint colors.
In most trail riding, bumps and variable terrain are a hindrance. So in such situations, we always want a bike that can absorb the shock and give us a more comfortable ride.
This Salsa Rustler SX Eagle got us interested with its full suspension setup, wide SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, Shimano MT401 hydraulic disc brakes, and soft 60tpi Maxxis Minion’s tires.
After two months of testing, the bike accompanied us through the wet forest trails in the early morning, experiencing the descent through the forest as if we were “coasting”. It took us through gravelly, bumpy wilderness climbs and saw the ruggedness of the fall wilderness.
Below we review the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle’s descent performance, wilderness climbs, key features, components and specs, and other versions.
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In general, I think most people would prefer to enjoy this exhilarating descending as much as I do, so the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle descent experience in this forest gave me many moments to boast about.
This mountain is thickly wooded and the onset of autumn has covered the road with fallen leaves. Raised mounds of dirt and small traverses also made our descent ride difficult.
But the SXEagle Salsa Rustler gave us plenty of confidence. The Maxis Minion DHF-based front wheel not only provided ample traction but also good control even in turns, making it easy for me to navigate the dangerous corners. Also, the Maxis Minion DHR II rear tire also provided enough support for me to land more smoothly on the jumps.
In addition, the SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain not only allowed me to make easy and smooth speed changes, but also the abundant gear ratios allowed me to shift to the most suitable speed gears for a comfortable and powerful ride.
The brakes are the most important part of the descent, and when I needed to stop in a hurry, the Shimano MT401 hydraulic disc brakes were strong and timely, allowing me to stop firmly.
In short, the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle’s excellent descending performance really made me praise.
Where is a smooth descent without a powerful climb. In this Salsa Rustler SX Eagle review, we went further into the suburbs, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Here we chose a road that climbed upwards, where the weeds had turned yellow and they danced in the autumn breeze. The road was undulating and there were various rocks. But we weren’t worried about the ride.
是的，Salsa Rustler SX Eagle 也没有让我们失望。
Thanks to the smooth, easy SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, I can go faster and had no problems with the chain coming off during my gear changes.
Additionally, the 150mm RockShox Recon RL fork travel and the excellent RockShox Deluxe Select + rear shock absorbed enough shock to make my ride comfortable in the face of bumpy undulations and road debris that got in the way.
The steep seat tube angle (74.1°) allowed me to not only have a more relaxed ride on climbing rides, but also to stay in the most aerodynamic position to reach faster speeds.
Add it all up, this Salsa Rustler SX Eagle has an impressive performance, both on descents and climbs.
In fact, when I saw the bike, its blue paint color made me think that riding on this bike would be comfortable and stable (blue to me means quiet and calm). The actual ride review really confirmed how I felt about this bike as well.
The quality Rustler aluminum frame makes it rainproof and allows you to go for more exciting rides in the rain. The design of the bike’s internal cables improves the life of the cables in harsh conditions and allows you to go without frequent maintenance. Also, the internal cable setup makes it easier for you to clean up.
We can also see a water bottle mounting hole inside the front triangle of this bike, which allows acceptance of a full-size (26 oz) water bottle. If you’re careful enough, you’ll notice that it also has mounting holes at the top tube, which allows you to bolt on your Salsa EXP Series top tube bag, eliminating wear and tear on the shoulder straps and making your ride easier.
The Rustler is intended to be a fun, responsive trail bike, so it has a flexible and aerodynamic geometry.
We can see the steep seat tube angle (74.1°), which not only makes pedaling easier, but also allows you to flex your spine to an aerodynamic position for powerful acceleration when you want to do so.
Secondly, its relatively slack head tube angle (66.3°) allows you to make fast downhill rides, though at low speeds the steering can feel a bit sluggish.
In addition, the 115mm of trail gives you quicker and more agile steering. When you encounter a road obstacle, it allows you to cross the route easily with quick maneuvers.
Not only that, the standard reach (443mm) allows you to be in the right position for a better ride and allows your body to stretch out more comfortably.
Components and Specifications
SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 Drivetrain
As you can see, this bike uses the SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain. Not only does this drivetrain have a wide 1×12 shift range, but it also has a wide gear range (10-50T), which allows you to ride freely on steep hills.
Compared to the more complex shifting of 2× or 3×, this bike uses the simpler and smoother 1× gearing that even a novice can quickly master.
Not only that, but X-SYNC™ technology is available, making it more durable and more efficient, with crisper shifting and quieter operation.
Shimano MT401 Hydraulic Disc Brake
Hydraulic disc brakes provide consistent and precise braking power. Yes, you read that right, the brakes inherit the sleek design of MTB’s racing components, and the leverage range is right for people like me who don’t have big enough hands.
Not only that, natural mineral oil as hydraulic fluid is not only environmental friendly, non-toxic and non-corrosive, but also has a softer feel, which will give you a more relaxed and comfortable feeling when braking.
Some people may think that the dual piston braking power is not enough, but if you have practical riding experience, you will find that it is perfectly adequate. Because dual pistons are relatively lighter in weight and provide fast and intuitive braking performance.
Maxxis Minion Tires
How careful the designers of this bike were in the design of the tires, using different models of bike tires depending on their role.
The front wheel uses the Maxxis Minion DHF, a tire with a clever tread design that balances rolling speed with cornering traction. The soft 60tpi design not only gives it greater wear resistance, but also allows for confident rolling ability on trails or enduro tracks.
The rear wheel uses the Maxxis Minion DHR II, which has side knobs for more support and a center tread with a sloping leading edge to allow for increased speed. In addition, the pulp knob gives you some control when you are braking hard.
Simply put, they offer you amazing performance no matter what kind of route you’re on.
RockShox Recon RL FORK and RockShox Deluxe Select + shock
Since this is a full suspension bike, its shock absorption is what we look for.
The front shock on this bike is the RockShox Recon RL with 150mm of travel. The RockShox Recon RL is made from a material that offers excellent stiffness and weight, and the ability to add mudguards as needed.
Motion Control™ damping features low-speed compression adjustment to lock out the front shock for faster speeds when you need them.
The rear shock on this bike uses the RockShox Deluxe Select +. With DebonAir+ air spring, you can adjust the amount of positive and negative air, so that when you get a strong impact from the ground, it can quickly rebound and compress to reduce the impact, allowing you to get a more comfortable and free ride.
In addition, the Maxima Plush Dynamic Suspension Lube reduces friction to help maintain traction. Also, the added bushing maximizes responsiveness to small impacts, making your ride more comfortable.
Other versions of the Salsa Rustler
In this review, we review the 2020 Salsa Rustler SX Eagle’s Rustler aluminum frame, RockShox Recon RL and RockShox Deluxe Select +, SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, Shimano MT401 hydraulic disc brakes, and other components. To give you a more complete picture, we found its other versions.
In the Salsa Rustler series, there are a total of 5 versions of the high, medium, and low versions, including the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle.
The high-end version is the 2020 Salsa Rustler Carbon XTR at $7,499, which is also a high price tag for high-end riding. On the other hand, relatively higher-end carbon frame, better Shimano XTR 1×12 drivetrain, powerful Shimano XTR trail four-piston brakes, it left a deep impression on us. At the same time, its high price makes me just sigh in disbelief.
The less expensive 2020 Salsa Rustler SX Eagle is the star of our review. Although it has an aluminum frame, that doesn’t mean it’s not strong enough, rather it’s strong and light enough.
Although its components are on the lower end of the spectrum, it’s a great value for the price, so it won more than a little love from our reviewers.
No matter which bike you need, the Salsa Rustler has plenty of versions to choose from.
What do we like about it?
- The full suspension design lets you fear no rocks or ground.
- Premium aluminum frame with higher impact and fatigue resistance.
- Comfortable saddle so you won’t want to stop your ride.
- SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain makes shifting your gears easier and swifter.
- Shimano MT401 hydraulic disc brakes will bring you to a steady stop in any situation.
What we don’t like about it?
- The paint color selection is rather homogeneous.
- Some people think it may not have enough 2-piston braking power.
- What is the drivetrain of the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle?
The drivetrain of the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle is the SRAM SX Eagle 1×12.
- What is the tire size of the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle?
The tire size of the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle is 27.5 x 2.6″.
- What sizes are available for the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle?
The size chart for the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle.
|Height||155cm – 169cm||167cm – 176cm||174cm – 184cm||182cm – 191cm||189cm +|
Salsa Rustler Specs
|Salsa Rustler SX Eagle||Salsa Rustler SLX||Salsa Rustler Carbon SLX||Salsa Rustler Carbon XT||Salsa Rustler Carbon XTR|
|Frame||Rustler Aluminum BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded Color: Blue||Rustler Aluminum BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded Color: Black||Rustler Carbon BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded Color: Pink / Black Fade||Rustler Carbon BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded Color: Green / Raw Fade||Rustler Carbon BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded Color: Orange / Purple Fade|
|Fork||RockShox Recon RL 150 mm, 37 mm offset ||RockShox 35 Gold RL 150 mm, 37 mm offset||RockShox Pike Select 150 mm, 37 mm offset||Fox Float 36 Performance Elite Grip2 150 mm, 37 mm offset||Fox Float 36 Performance Elite Grip2 150 mm, 37 mm offset|
|Headset||FSA Orbit IS-2||FSA Orbit IS-2||Cane Creek 40||Cane Creek 40||Cane Creek 40|
|Handlebar||Salsa Guide 35.0 Aluminum||Salsa Guide 35.0 Aluminum||Salsa Guide Deluxe 35.0 Aluminum||Salsa Guide Deluxe 35.0 Aluminum||Salsa 35.0 Carbon|
|Saddle||WTB Volt Sport||WTB Volt Sport||WTB Volt Comp||WTB Volt Comp||WTB Volt Comp|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM SX Eagle||Shimano SLX||Shimano SLX||Shimano XT||Shimano XTR|
|Crank||Truvativ Descendant 7k, 32t||Race Face Ride, 32t||Shimano SLX, 32t||Shimano XT, 32t||Race Face Next R, 32t (XS–MD = 170 mm, LG–XL = 175 mm)|
|Shifters||SRAM SX Eagle||Shimano SLX||Shimano SLX||Shimano XT||Shimano XTR|
|Cassette||SRAM PG1210, 11–50t, 12-speed||Shimano SLX, 10–51t, 12-speed||Shimano SLX, 10–51t, 12-speed||Shimano XT, 10–51t, 12-speed||Shimano XT, 10–51t, 12-speed|
|Chain||SRAM SX Eagle||Shimano SLX||Shimano SLX||Shimano XT||Shimano XT|
|Brakes||Shimano MT401, 180 mm rotors||Shimano MT520 four-piston, 180 mm rotors||Shimano SLX four-piston, 180 mm rotors||Shimano XT four-piston, 180 mm rotors||Shimano XTR Trail four-piston, 180 mm rotors|
|BIKE||PRICE||DRIVETRAIN||TIRE||BRAKE||FRONT TRAVEL||CLICK VIEW|
|2023 Marin Alpine Trail 7||$2,999||1×12||29×2.6”||Shimano BL-M4100||160mm||Click View|
|Specialized Status 160||$3,000||1×12||27.5×2.3″||SRAM Code R, 4-pist|
|GT Force Sport||$3,025||1×11||29 x 2.5″9（front） 29 x 2.4″（real）||Tektro M275||160mm||Click View|
|Scott Ransom 930||$3,599||1×12||29×2.6″||Shimano MT520||170mm||Click View|
Salsa Rustler SX Eagle vs 2023 Marin Alpine Trail 7
Obviously, the 2023 Marin Alpine Trail 7 is available in a wider range of paint colors. And the bike has 160mm travel fork, which gives it better damping than the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle with 150mm travel fork, although in practice I don’t feel the difference is that great.
In addition, I would be more comfortable on the WTB Volt Sport saddle of the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle, with a 74.1° seat tube angle that made pedaling easier.
Although both bikes have the same 1×12 drivetrain, the SRAM SX Eagle on the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle has smoother and more comfortable shifting for me.
If you want smoother shifting and a more comfortable ride, you might want to consider the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle.
Salsa Rustler SX Eagle vs 2022 Specialized Status 160
Both bikes use the same SRAM NX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, so the performance of their drivetrains didn’t strike me as significantly different in actual riding.
It’s worth noting that the Specialized Status 160 uses 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes, which are more powerful in terms of braking power, but they are also relatively heavy. Besides, in my actual riding, I think the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle’s 2-piston hydraulic brakes are not only lighter, but also powerful enough.
And if you’re looking for a great value bike, why not try the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle for just $201?
Salsa Rustler SX Eagle vs 2022 GT Force Sport
In fact, when I saw the 1×11 drivetrain on this 2022 GT Force Sport, I kind of couldn’t believe it. After all, it costs $226 more than the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle and has fewer gearing options than the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain.
Both bikes also have hydraulic disc brakes, which gives them the ability to brake consistently and precisely in all conditions. In my practical riding, the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle is more suited to my small hands.
If you want more speed options or have smaller hands, you might want to give the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle a try.
Salsa Rustler SX Eagle vs 2022 Scott Ransom 930
At first glance, you notice that the 2022 Scott Ransom 930 has a slightly bent top tube, which makes it easier for the rider to get on and off the bike. In addition, the higher stack (623mm) allows the rider to sit up straighter and see further.
It must be admitted that the 170mm travel fork gives it better damping than the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle which has only 150mm travel fork.
This doesn’t mean that the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle concedes this point, the relatively low Stack (599mm) allows you to maintain a forward leaning position and adjust to the most aerodynamic position so that you can maintain speed.
The SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain is no worse than the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle in my opinion. And the comfortable saddle makes it hard to get off the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle. Not only that but the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle is $800 cheaper than the Scott Ransom 930.
If you have a limited budget, why not give the Salsa Rustler SX Eagle a try, it may give you a ride you never thought you’d get.
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