Is Salsa Cassidy SLX Worth Buying? [Salsa Cassidy SLX Review]

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Salsa Cassidy SLX

  • Price: $4099
  • Frame: Cassidy Aluminum
  • Gear: 1×12
  • Tires: 29 x 2.5″

What we like about it: The aluminum frame and front and rear shocks pair to make you stand out on intimidating trails.
What we don’t like about it: The single paint color.

Rating: (4.7/5)


Salsa Cassidy SLX

The daunting descents and steep, rough trails are always a big hurdle on our riding paths. So in such riding conditions, I always want a bike with the perfect shock absorber.

The Salsa Cassidy SLX shines with its quality and lightweight Cassidy aluminum frame, the RockShox ZEB fork with 180mm of travel , wide 1×12 Shimano SLX drivetrain, and other components.

After a three-month review, the bike accompanied us on a rugged and steep descent around the mountain, experiencing a heart-stopping “dance”. Meanwhile, it led us over gravelly forest trails and over jumping boardwalks to enjoy a momentary jump in the landscape.

Of note, this red full-suspension bike is known as the “Red Boy”. We were impressed by its excellent descent performance, its excellent damping setup, its effortless descent, and its performance as if it were on flat ground.

So the next, we break down the Salsa Cassidy SLX’s descent performance, forest climbing, key features, components and specifications, and other versions.

To learn more about the bicycle story, please stay tuned to us.

Descending Performance

2021 Salsa Cassidy SLX

To be honest, I am a speed seeker. Of all the terrain, my favorite is downhill. The speed of that rapid descent like a blast of wind is really so stress relieving. But a lot of bumpy terrains would be a depressing riding experience without a better shock absorber while descending. So in this case there is an urgent need for an excellent full-shock bike.

For this ride review, we traveled to Maple Ridge, NY, an up-and-coming mountain bike riding area. Here we chose a winding and flowing trail around the mountain that was covered in gravel that was still considered a minor obstacle. Obviously, one side of the trail looked like it had been cut by a sharp knife and was extremely treacherous. And only low bushes, winding route, but also added to the difficulty. But this “Red Boy” gave me confidence.

The Maxxis Assegai front tire with great traction and the 120tpi Maxxis Dissector rear tire with great grip kept me fast and stable. The advanced Shimano SLX four-piston hydraulic disc brakes always brought me to a steady stop when I encountered some unavoidable obstacles.

What’s more, the excellent RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ shock and the sturdy, compression-resistant Cassidy Aluminum frame also played an indelible role in my descent. The interplay of these components allowed me to “slide” down the trail quickly and steadily.

In addition, the adjustable TranzX YSI05 w/ Shimano lever dropper is responsive when I hit bumpy descents and always puts me in the right position. Not only did it lessen my bumpy feeling, but it made my ride a lot of fun.

Anyway, on this descent trail, I experienced the excellent descent performance of this Salsa Cassidy SLX.

Forest-Road Climbing

One route that avid riders have a hard time avoiding is a forest road that is ready to go in the forest. This time, our ride was on the one of the forest roads chosen at Maple Ridge. Indeed, this single-track forest road had a lot of ruts which made the road slicker and the small raised mounds of dirt created some hindrance to the ride.

I rode this bike without fear. And even when climbing against smooth singletrack, it was relatively easy to move forward with the traction of the 29 x 2.5″ Maxxis Assegai front tire. And the Shimano SLX 1×12 drivetrain made it easy and smooth to switch to a gear ratio more suited to climbing, allowing me to have easier climbs.

Although the small raised dirt pile gave me some hindrance, the RockShox ZEB fork with 180mm of travel was responsive and neutralized the bumps. In addition, the more comfortable WTB Volt 250 Spor saddle allowed me to sit comfortably in the saddle while riding through difficult sections.

The WTB Volt 250 Spor saddle is soft enough and supportive enough for me to get some rest while riding. Indeed, no matter what the terrain, this great “Red Boy” can handle it with ease.

Main Features


2021 Salsa Cassidy SLX

The bright red paint job that covers this Salsa Cassidy SLX got me fired up to ride. While the red paint color is bright enough, my partner Eve told me he would like to have some other color options (he is indeed a more understated rider). So I hope Salsa will not be shy about adding some color options.

Then looking at the Frame, this bike is a quality Cassidy aluminum frame. It has relatively strong stiffness and compression resistance, and it does not easily deform and bend in the face of prolonged use.

In addition, the internal cable arrangement is a standard setup on almost all mid to high-end bikes. The internal cable setup, not only makes the bike look clean and tidy in appearance but also protects the cable from wear and tear. It also won’t give you trouble in post-maintenance and cleaning.

Components and Specifications

Shimano SLX 1×12 Drivetrain

Salsa Cassidy SLX

It is important to know that without a powerful drivetrain, your bike is nothing but an ornament. That’s why a great bike drivetrain will make your riding efficiency pull full circle.

This bike’s Shimano SLX 1×12 drivetrain features a comfortable, aggressive angle and a stunning aluminum oxide finish. And equipped with a dense gear ratio of 10-51T, the Shimano SLX 1×12 drivetrain is built to last.

In my actual riding, the excellent drivetrain not only makes my riding easier, but the inherited shadow RD+ optimized chain retention also allows me to not have to worry about dropping the chain during speed changes.

In addition, the wide 1×12 shifting range is enough to allow you to ride any route for speed change. The silent system is designed so you can listen more to the wind whispering to you while riding. The simple and smooth 1× drivetrain allows even a novice to feel confident enough to try riding.

Shimano SLX Four-Piston Hydraulic Disc Brake

Can you imagine the scenario when you need to brake in an emergency and the brakes don’t work? It’s a scary problem and hopefully, all riders won’t encounter such a predicament.

First off, we can see this bike’s Shimano SLX four-piston hydraulic disc brakes. SLX – 4 piston gives you more braking power than 2-piston brakes, adding control and confidence to your descents. The advanced hydraulic disc brakes provide consistent and precise braking on any route and in any weather.

In addition, it has a faster response time and reduced rotor noise from the SLX four-piston disc brakes, as well as increased braking power by a significant amount.

On this descent ride, I did not anticipate another rider protruding out in front of me. In the nick of time, excellent braking allowed me to stop, just an arm’s length away from that rider. So without a strong brake, I could have been in a situation I can’t imagine. In short, excellent brakes will make you much less dangerous.


To be honest, I understand that the front and rear tires on this bike are not the same sizes. The front tire on this bike is a 29 x 2.5″ Maxxis Assegai, which provides a tough, predictable grip whether you’re leaning close to the ground for technical drift riding or vertical ground for regular riding.

We can see that the rear tire is a 29 x 2.4″ Maxxis Dissector, which is more suited for speedy descents and aggressive trail riding on mixed routes. Then, if you look closely you will see that the center knob of this tire is heavily angled at the front edge to reduce rolling resistance and give it a faster-rolling speed.

It’s also worth noting that it has excellent traction on slippery forest trails or rocky routes. Both tires play an integral role in various routes. The puncture protection of the front tire and the 120tpi setting of the rear tire give them unparalleled performance and a relatively long service life.

Shock Absorber

Salsa Cassidy SLX

To start, we all know that this is a full-suspension bike, so it has excellent front and rear shock absorbers, which can bring you a relatively comfortable riding experience when facing rough and harsh routes.

RockShox ZEB Fork

This bike uses a RockShox ZEB fork with a sturdy 38mm chassis and an excellent DebonAir air spring. The 38mm chassis provides increased stiffness for a more confident ride, and the DebonAir air spring provides butter-smooth rebound cushioning for increased confidence on steep terrain. Notably, the Maxima Plush damping fluid reduces friction and eliminates damper noise. So, it allowing you to ride over bumpy terrain with a smile on your face.

RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ Rear Shock Absorber

Many trail riders enjoy exciting rides, challenging rugged and steep climbs, and conquering technical descents. I don’t think I need to overemphasize the importance of the rear shock absorber at this time.

This Deluxe Select+ rear shock with DebonAir+ gas springs with adjustable positive and negative chambers effectively cushions heavy impacts when hitting potholes or taking a hard hit, taking the pressure off of you.

In addition, the easy-to-operate lever is intuitive to activate or lock, and the setting with locking gives you more power when you don’t need the shock, giving you more speed.

TranzX YSI05 Dropper

There is also a special shock-absorbing device – the dropper. The adjustable dropper with 30mm of travel may not look too impressive, but in rough terrain, this adjustable dropper allows you to adapt your position change to your riding terrain to achieve a better ride. It achieves the ride you need with another form of shock absorption.

Other Versions Of Salsa Cassidy

2021 Salsa Cassidy SLX

We review the Cassidy aluminum of this Salsa Cassidy SLX, the excellent RockShox ZEB and RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ shock, the smooth Shimano SLX 1×12 shifting, the powerful Shimano SLX four-piston brakes, and other components. To have a more comprehensive understanding, we took a look at its other versions as well.

In the series Salsa Cassidy, we find the Salsa Cassidy Carbon SLX and the Salsa Cassidy Carbon GX Eagle.

In terms of frame material, these two models are made of relatively stronger and lighter carbon, with the same tire configuration. However, the Salsa Cassidy Carbon GX Eagle has a relatively better SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 shifting range. The smooth feel, quick shifting, and better performance of the SRAM Code R four-piston brake made it a successful seduction for me. But the $6,399 price tag is hurting my wallet.

Also, the Salsa Cassidy Carbon SLX retails for $4,999. This bike in green paint is the same as the Salsa Cassidy SLX, both in terms of shock and brakes. But the relatively lightweight carbon frame will give it some appeal.

All in all, the Salsa Cassidy series has impressive riding performance no matter which model it is. However, in terms of combined price and performance, we would prefer the Salsa Cassidy SLX.

What do we like about it?

  • The full suspension design allows you to challenge more routes.
  • The red color of the car paint makes you turn heads.
  • Outstanding tire design allows you to do more riding activities.
  • The sturdy, high-quality Cassidy Aluminum frame allows you to take on more challenges.
  • The Shimano SLX 1×12 drivetrain makes your shifting even faster and quicker.

What we don’t like about it?

  • There are too few choices of paint colors.
  • Some people think the dropper stroke is too short (I think it is sufficient).


  • What is the Salsa Cassidy SLX frame material?

The Salsa Cassidy SLX frame material is Cassidy Aluminum.

  • What is the brake on the Salsa Cassidy SLX?
  • The brakes on the Salsa Cassidy SLX are Shimano SLX four-piston hydraulic disc brakes.

What sizes are available for the Salsa Cassidy SLX?

Size chart for Salsa Cassidy SLX

Recommended Rider Height 165cm -174cm172cm – 181cm179cm – 189cm187cm +

Salsa Cassidy Specs

 Salsa Cassidy SLXSalsa Cassidy Carbon SLXSalsa Cassidy Carbon GX Eagle
FrameCassidy AluminumBB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColor: RedCassidy CarbonBB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColor: GreenCassidy CarbonBB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColor: Yellow
ForkRockShox ZEB, 180 mm, 44 mm offsetRockShox ZEB Select+, 180 mm, 42 mm offsetFox Float 38 Performance Elite GRIP2, 180 mm, 44 mm offset
Rear ShockRockShox Super Deluxe Select+RockShox Super Deluxe Select+Fox Float X2 Performance
HandlebarRace Face Chester 35.0, 780mmRace Face Aeffect R 35.0, 780mmRace Face Turbine R 35.0, 800mm
SaddleWTB Volt 250 SportWTB Volt 250 CompWTB Volt 250 Comp
SeatpostTranzX YSI05 w/ Shimano lever, 30 mm travel height adjustable, travel: SM = 125 mm, MD = 150 mm, LG = 170 mm, XL = 200 mmTranzX YSI05 w/ Shimano lever, 30 mm travel heigh adjustable, travel: SM = 125 mm, MD = 150 mm, LG = 170 mm, XL = 200 mmTranzX YSI13GL, 30 mm travel height adjustable, travel: SM = 125 mm, MD = 150 mm, LG = 170 mm, XL = 200 mm
Rear DerailleurShimano SLXShimano SLXSRAM GX Eagle
Front Derailleur1x chain guideMRP 1x chain guideMRP 1x chain guide
CrankRace Face Ride, 32tShimano SLX, 32tTruvativ Descendant 7K, DUB, 32t
ShiftersShimano SLXShimano SLXSRAM GX Eagle
CassetteShimano Deore, 10-51t, 12-speedShimano Deore, 10-51t, 12 speedSRAM GX Eagle, 10-52t, 12-speed
ChainShimano Deore M6100Shimano Deore M6100SRAM GX Eagle
BrakesShimano SLX four-piston (203 mm rotors)Shimano SLX four-piston (203 mm rotors)SRAM Code R four-piston (200 mm rotors)
RimsShimano SLX 15 x 110 mm hub, WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0 29″ Tubeless-Ready rimShimano SLX 15 x 110 mm hub, DT Swiss EX 532 29″ Tubeless-Ready rimDT Swiss M 1900, 15 x 110 mm hub, 29″ tubeless-ready rims
Disk RotorsShimano SLX four-piston (203 mm rotors)Shimano SLX four-piston (203 mm rotors)SRAM Code R four-piston (200 mm rotors)


Comparison Table

Salsa Blackthorn SLX$40991×1229 x 2.5″ front
29 x 2.4″ rear
160mm Click View
Scott Contessa Genius 910$30991×1229×2.6”150mmClick View
Canyon Torque 27.5 CF 7$43991×1229″ x 2.3”180mmClick View
Cube stereo 150 c:62 SL 29$39891×1229×2.4”160mmClick View

Salsa Cassidy SLX vs Salsa Blackthorn SLX

Salsa Blackthorn SLX

We can see that both bikes are the same price, but the Salsa Cassidy SLX is a little heavier than the Salsa Blackthorn SLX. But if you look at the fork travel on both bikes, you’ll notice that the Salsa Cassidy SLX 180mm RockShox ZEB has 20mm more travel of fork than the Salsa Blackthorn SLX. The longer travel of fork will make for a more comfortable ride on bumpy roads.

It has to be said though that both bikes are made by Salsa, so they share a lot of similarities in many components. If I had to choose a bike, I would choose the Salsa Cassidy SLX with the longer travel of fork.

Salsa Cassidy SLX vs Scott Contessa Genius 910

Scott Contessa Genius 910

Both of these bikes are nice enough looking. But in my actual riding, its tires made my riding a bit difficult when facing very slick surfaces. This did not happen when I rode on the Salsa Cassidy SLX.

Still, the 1×12 gearing is relatively good. The simple 1× drivetrain gives it a more responsive and simple shifting start. Of course, the Salsa Cassidy SLX’s 1×12 shifting is no slouch either. Enough speed options and a dense gear ratio will make your ride more enjoyable.

In addition, the Scott Contessa Genius 910’s fork with 150mm of travel of is a little less than that of the Salsa Cassidy SLX. The Salsa Cassidy SLX has 180mm of fork travel, which gives it better damping on rough terrain.

If you need a bike with better damping, I think you should try the Salsa Cassidy SLX.

Salsa Cassidy SLX vs Canyon Torque 27.5 CF 7

2022 Canyon Torque 27.5 CF 7

I have to say that the frame design of the Canyon Torque 27.5 CF 7 looks somewhat radical. The carbon gives it a weight of only 33Ibs, which is relatively light for a full suspension bike.

In addition, its seat tube angle (77.5°) is steeper than that of the Salsa Cassidy SLX. And it also has a fork with 180mm of travel, so the fork also has an excellent performance in damping.

Not only that but its 1×12 gearing system has a more sheer gear ratio (10-52T), so it has to be admitted that it is also good enough in terms of gearing.

But that doesn’t mean that the Salsa Cassidy SLX concedes defeat. The wide range of 1×12 rpm is also very easy to shift and the use of anti-drop chain technology gives me increased confidence in riding.

Its hydraulic disc brake also has the performance of stable braking in any situation, and with the cheaper price of $300 also makes, also lets my wallet not have to bear so much pressure.

If you are on a budget, I think you can try this Salsa Cassidy SLX, which will also amaze you.

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

Salsa Cassidy SLX vs CUBE STEREO 150 C:62 SL 29

2022 CUBE STEREO 150 C:62 SL 29

The first thing that attracted me was the wonderful paint color mix of the CUBE STEREO 150 C:62 SL 29. I have to say that the mix of more than three paint colors makes it very individual to me.

The price of $3,989 has a carbon frame, which surprised me. However, with only 160mm of fork travel, I’m not as happy with its damping. I would find the grip and saddle of the Salsa Cassidy SLX more comfortable compared to the ride of the Salsa Cassidy SLX.

In addition, the Salsa Cassidy SLX, with its excellent dampers, will have a better ability to absorb vibrations when faced with bumpy and rough terrain.

If you need more of a bike with excellent damping, I think the Salsa Cassidy SLX is a good choice.

In case, the above comments are helpful to you, please remember to share the subscription. Have a great day!

Learn more : Top 10 Best Mountain Bike Brands – The Factories That Make “Mountain Killers” 

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