Is The Salsa Timberjack SLX A Good Mountain Bike? [Review]

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Due to the COVID-19, the Salsa Timberjack series of mountain bikes are often out of stock, leaving riders who love these bikes in a constant state of waiting.

There was also a wave of price increases at the end of ’21, making the cost of buying a mountain bike go up again.

So we’ll just do this blog in hopes of finding a suitable alternative, and also join the discussion at the end of our post about the Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+ Is it a good mountain bike?

Since we only rode this mountain bike back in 2020, we didn’t start this blog then either. The most we have done so far is to comment on the hardware of this mountain bike and how it felt to ride it at the time.

At the end of the article we have a brief comparison of bikes that we would like to buy in the same price range as the Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+, and a brief comparison of the hardtail mountain bikes that are currently available, in the hope that you can help you buy a more suitable mountain bike.

Learn more: Best Mountain Bikes Under $2000

Features of Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+

6066 T6 aluminum frame (4.7/5)

Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+
Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+

Usually we really like the carbon fiber frame because that makes the bike lighter.

It gives an advantage on steep climbs. But when it comes to shelling out the money for them, you face the very real situation that they are basically more expensive, but of course, we did find a carbon fiber frame bike for less than $1500 by chance, which we will talk about in the comparison.

6066T6 aluminum is also now recognized as a very high-performance frame material, and the Salsa Timberjack SLX is made from top-of-the-line 6061-T6 aluminum tubing with double and triple butting in the main triangle, providing a lightweight, responsive and durable frame with an excellent trail feel.

Of course, the concept would be very professional, it’s actually lighter material and a unique process used in welding, with stronger welded joints, allowing you to ride longer and then less prone to breakage characteristics.

The frame still comes with rack mounting holes, but it is a special 35mm mounting hole, not a universal size, if you want to buy a suitable rack this is not easy, on their official website or on Amazon to look specifically to do so.


Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+, DROPOUTS

This is the one that allows you to run Timberjack at a variable or single speed and adapt to a wide range of wheel standards. This is a design that allows you to freely set a design that allows you to experience different trail riding experiences.

Shorten the wheelbase by up to 17mm for fast, agile handling, or set them backward for greater stability.

Of course, this requires some mechanical knowledge, and disassembly and installation are relatively easy. I didn’t make adjustments while riding, but just chose to install them forward so that there is more maneuverability for easier steering in rough trails.

RockShox 35 Silver TK shock fork (4.5/5)

RockShox 35 Silver TK shock fork (4.5/5)

The RockShox 35 Silver TK is a relatively mid-range shock fork and not a cheap spring suspension fork.

The Salsa Timberjack SLX is always being optimized for new fork components, but that makes it more expensive.

It has plenty of travel for moderately technical terrain or woodland trails, and there is room on the Salsa Timberjack SLX to support forks up to 150mm.

For trail riders who only ride once or twice a week, the 130mm shock fork is more than adequate in terms of shock absorption. Unless you are a particularly aggressive trail rider.

But with non-competitive mountain bikes, there are certain trade-offs to be made between weighing price and performance.

We really appreciate how well this RockShox product rides on rough trails or gravel parks. It’s not as soft as you’d expect, but it’s not too stiff either, and it’s the big jumps that come to the fore when compared to the high-end RockShox forks.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the performance of the Salsa Timberjack fork, it didn’t exceed my expectations and it didn’t disappoint me.

Shimano SLX drivetrain (4.5/5)

While there is a lot of mid-to high-end bikes that essentially use SRAM drivetrains, it definitely adds to the cost of the bike in terms of component price.

Although SRAM is lighter and a bit more robust for the same mass. But Shimano’s lower and mid-range products will be more in line with consumer needs.

Not only is the price relatively cheap, but mainly, Shimano currently has the most comprehensive research data, in my personal opinion.

The Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+ has a Shimano Deore M6100 rear gear with 12 speeds. This makes it easy to adjust for riders who aren’t mechanically savvy. It also makes it simpler and easier to ride.

While there are some serious trail riders who will complain a bit about its weight, there’s nothing wrong with them from some readers’ feedback.

The Shimano SLX drivetrain, also suitable for steep hills and long trail rides, is a larger gear than the lower-end 11-speed or 10-speed versions, and the 51-gear large flywheel is capable of providing more climbing power.

TranzX Lift Seatpost (4.8/5)

Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+ 2022

The Salsa Timberjack SLX is equipped with the TranzX lift bar. Such a component is the one that changes the landscape of hardtail and full-suspension mountain bikes. And it allows the Salsa Timberjack SLX to stand up to some full-suspension mountain bikes under $3,000.

The 30mm tool-free travel TranzX lift Seatpost is adaptable to steep descents and technical terrain, allowing you to drop your saddle at any time and adjust your riding position for the most comfortable trail ride.

Maxxis Tires (4.5/5)

Fast-declining, Timberjack SLX 27.5+ 2020
Fast-declining, Timberjack SLX 27.5+ 2020

The Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+ comes with a wide 27.5×2.8″ tire. Of course it also comes in a version: the Timberjack SLX 29, with 29×2.6″ inch tires.

Both the 2.6″ and 2.8″ widths are preferred types of off-road tires, and the Maxxis tires provide exhilarating traction on steep hills.

The 2.8-inch tires in particular allow you to try terrain you haven’t tried before. One of the must-have tire combinations for off-road adventures and packing trips.

The Minion DHF EXO TR front wheel has enhanced puncture resistance, after all, the worst thing that can happen on a trail ride is a blown front wheel.

I didn’t find any comments about this in all the reviews of the Salsa Timberjack SLX either, so it’s a component that has been proven countless times.

More storage space (4.7/5)

On a cycling trip or a long trail, you don’t want all the items you need to put in your backpack and a water bottle that is heavy and needs to be taken out often.

The Salsa Timberjack SLX is still very user-friendly in this regard, it has such a configuration in all sizes except the X-Small frame which does not have two bottle mounts.

Do you think that’s all there is? No, its full-size downtube is also reserved for a three-piece mount. There is also a rear rack mount at the rear wheel, so you can bring a lot of essential equipment for travel.

Benefits of the Salsa Timberjack SLX

  • Versatile and sturdy aluminum frame for hardtail mountain biking on long trail and steep mountain rides
  • 130 mm travel, RockShox 35 Silver TK shock fork with strong damping
  • With TranzX lift seat post for fast descents
  • Wide gear range of 1X12 speeds
  • Extra storage space

Cons of the Salsa Timberjack SLX

  • Does not come with pedals, you need to buy them yourself
  • Newer models don’t come with orange paint, only bright yellow, which doesn’t leave riders with much choice
  • Maxxis tires can be slow on flat roads
  • The tires are not vacuum tires, which increases the weight of the bike


  • What is the Salsa Timberjack weight?

The Medium size Salsa Timberjack SLX has a bodyweight of 33 lbs 15 oz. The X-Small size Salsa Timberjack SLX weighs about 30 lbs.

Of course, the medium size body weight above is with the pedals added, the X-Small is without the pedal weight.

  • What is the weight limit for the Salsa Timberjack SLX?

The bike has a rider weight capacity of 300 lbs. The gears have a weight capacity of 55 pounds.

Salsa Timberjack SLX height dimensions table

Size Chart

Height Range157-163cm160-175cm173-183cm180-191cm188cm-UP



FrameTimberjack v2 Aluminum
ForkRockShox 35 Silver TK Air, 130 mm
Rear ShockN/A


Front DerN/A
Rear DerShimano SLX M7100 SGS
CassetteShimano Deore M6100 10–51t, 12-speed
ChainShimano Deore
CranksetShimano MT510-1, 32t
ShifterShimano SLX M7100
Brakes & RotorsShimano MT401, Shimano RT10 Center Lock rotors (180 mm front, 160 mm rear)


Headset (Upper/Lower)FSA Orbit NO.57E 1.5 ZS
StemSalsa Guide Trail 35.0, 50 mm
HandlebarRace Face Chester 35.0 mm, 780 mm width, 20 mm rise XS–SM; 35 mm Rise MD–XL
Grips/Bar TapeSalsa File Tread
SeatpostTranzX YSP05JL 30.9 mm, 0 mm offset, 30 mm Travel Adjustable, 125 x 409 mm XS–SM; 150 x 459 mm MD; 170 x 499 mm LG; 200 x 559 mm XL
SaddleWTB Volt Medium, Steel, 142 x 265 mm


Salsa Timberjack SLX 29Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+
Front WheelShimano MT400-B Center Lock 15 x 110 mm hub, WTB ST i30 32h 29″ rimShimano MT400-B Center Lock 15 x 110 mm hub, WTB ST i40 32h 27.5″ rim
Rear WheelShimano MT410-B Micro Spline Center Lock 12 x 148 mm hub, WTB ST i30 32h 29″ rimShimano MT410-B Micro Spline Center Lock 12 x 148 mm hub, WTB ST i40 32h 27.5″ rim 
TiresMaxxis Minion DHF front, Maxxis Rekon rear, 29 x 2.6″, EXO TRMaxxis Minion DHF front, Maxxis Rekon rear, 27.5 x 2.8″, EXO TR


Complete Bike Weight32 lbs 15 oz for Medium

Comparison Table

SAVADECK Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike($1459)100mm27.5×2.1″Shimano M6000, 3X10$1899Click
Trek X-Caliber 9100mm27.5 or 29×2.35”Shimano Deore, 12 speed$1929.99Click
Canyon Stoic 4140mm29×2.35”SRAM NX Eagle, 12 speed£1799.99Click
SANTA CRUZ Chameleon MX R130mm29×2.6”SRAM NX Eagle, 12 speed$2949Click

SAVADECK Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike vs Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+

SAVADECK Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike
SAVADECK Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

The SAVADECK Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike is the aforementioned accidental discovery of a mid-priced carbon fiber mountain bike.

In terms of frame material, this is something that the Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+ can’t match. But considering its price, there are more compromises, such as a shock fork with only 100mm of travel, which is equipment that can’t be used for serious trail riding.

The weight is also not as light as expected, it weighs 37 pounds with the pedals, a full 4 pounds heavier.

Then there’s the drivetrain, the more backward Shimano M6000, 3X10 drivetrain, which doesn’t have a particularly wide rear gear, and more shifts overall.

It’s not that the SAVADECK Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike is bad, of course, but it’s 25% less expensive than the Salsa Timberjack SLX, but it comes with some drawbacks that you’ll have to accept.

If you’re more into casual trail riding, the affordable SAVADECK Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike is one of the models to consider.

Trek X-Caliber 9 vs Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+

Trek X-Caliber 9
Trek X-Caliber 9

Trek’s brand value is much higher than Salsa’s, but the higher priced Trek X-Caliber 9 has a brand premium of more than 15%. And the Trek X-Caliber 9 is more suited for comfortable long-distance off-roading than the Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+ is for tough mountain trails.

The Trek X-Caliber 9 is equipped with a 100mm travel air fork, Shimano Deore , 12 speed drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes of almost the same mass, TranzX dropper with lots of travel, and vacuum tires with a narrower width.

It is very light at only 27.6 pounds. This definitely makes it a mountain bike that constantly tends to be comfortable for trail riding.

If you are very much into comfortable trail riding, the Trek X-Caliber 9 will allow you to accomplish your trail riding goals more nimbly and comfortably with its adequately used shock fork and TranzX dropper, as well as its fast trail-ready medium-width tires.

Learn more: Is Trek X-Caliber 9 Worth Buying? [Trek X-Caliber 9 Review]

Canyon Stoic 4 vs Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+

Canyon Stoic 4
Canyon Stoic 4

The Canyon Stoic 4 is also the latest version of the cross-country mountain bike we managed to find, priced at just £1,799.99. But it seems to have a bit more component configuration.

Firstly, the Canyon Stoic 4 features a Rock Shox shock fork with 10mm more travel than the Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+. Then there’s its full SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. It’s stronger and more durable, and lighter. The only thing that needs to be done is an adaptive adjustment that requires some mechanical knowledge.

But the Canyon Stoic 4 will be a bit more versatile, with 29×2.35″ tires, making its stock package more suitable for fast off-road. But it’s also possible to make it a bit of an upgrade, as it can be fitted with 2.6-2.8″ wide tires.

If you’re an aggressive trail rider looking to experience fast trails or steep mountain climbs or difficult turns, the Canyon Stoic 4 is the bike for you.

The Canyon Stoic 4 would be a perfect alternative to the Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+.

The bad news is that this mountain bike is available for pre-order, so you’ll have to wait a while to get your hands on it.

Learn more: Is Canyon Stoic 4 Worth Buying? [Canyon Stoic 4 Review]

SANTA CRUZ Chameleon MX R vs Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+

NTA CRUZ Chameleon MX R

To be honest, the SANTA CRUZ Chameleon MX R is not a great value for money, it has a 30% brand premium. But this is an alternative for riders who like big brand mountain bikes.

The SANTA CRUZ Chameleon is equipped with the SRAM NX Eagle, a 12-speed drivetrain. The same drivetrain as the Canyon Stoic 4. But a little higher end than the Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+.

The FOX Rhythm 34 shock fork has the same 130mm of travel. I very much this brand of shock fork, although I did not feel much difference, only when throwing around on the gravel ground, I can feel the advantage of this fork. There is not much rebound resistance.

The front wheel is a fast-moving 29 x 2.5in Maxxis Minion DHF tire. And the rear wheel is 27.5 x 2.5in, retaining efficient drive efficiency, which is a very bold design.

This allows riders who are torn between preferring fast off-road or leaning towards agile, highly maneuverable trail riding to not be torn because the SANTA CRUZ Chameleon MX R solves this problem once and for all.

If you’re a hardtail mountain biker who thinks you’re willing to experiment and take risks, the SANTA CRUZ Chameleon MX R will be a great mountain bike to try.

Learn more : Is Santa Cruz CHAMELEON A Good Bike? [Santa Cruz CHAMELEON Review]

Final Verdict (4.6/5)

The Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+ is a great value, good mountain bike. But it’s often out of stock, and for that reason, I managed to find a couple of mountain bike alternatives.

But there’s no denying the high performance of the Salsa Timberjack SLX, and the fact that it’s excellent at climbing and descending steep trails. In the end, we gave the Salsa Timberjack SLX a rating of 4.6/5.

Learn more: Is the Cannondale Trail SE 2 Worth Buying? [Cannondale Trail 2 Review]

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