Salsa Spearfish Deore 12
- Price: $2,799
- Frame：6066-T6 Aluminum
- Gear: 1×12
- Tires: 29 x 2.35″
What we like about it: The full-shock design allows you to brave any gravelly, bumpy trails and take on more adventurous rides.
What we don’t like about it: Too few paint color options.
Many cycling enthusiasts have relatively high requirements for a bike’s shock absorption system, so they would prefer to have a fully-shocked bike.
This 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 full-suspension bike stands out to us with its relatively friendly price. To be honest, its relatively cheap price initially left me with little expectation of its performance. But the bike impressed us with its lightweight and sturdy 6066-T6 aluminum frame, the RockShox Recon Silver RL fork with 120mm of travel and RockShox Deluxe Select+ rear shock, and wide range of Shimano Deore M6100 1×12 shifting system.
After a 2-month-long ride evaluation, this bike accompanied us through narrow and changing forest trails to explore the wonders of nature. It also led us down steep rocky singletrack to experience the exciting speed of descent.
The 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 has that gentle and powerful damping ability, even on rough and bumpy paths as if it were on flat ground. As well as the nimble cornering performance, we not only feel its excellent damping performance but also appreciate its unparalleled nimble handling power.
Next, we’ll review the descending performance, forest riding, key features, components, and specifications of this 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12, as well as other versions.
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Do you want to experience a comfortable and exciting descent? Would you like to have more confidence when descending? My answer is “yes”.
Road bikes are known to be much better at road riding, and if you let it go on a steep rocky trail for a descent, I would think you are either a super-skilled rider or a crazy risk taker. So a full-suspension bike would be better suited than a road bike for descending.
In this case, we chose to ride a suburban hill that could be called “Rocky Mountain” for our review. The singletrack we chose had clumps of low bushes growing on both sides, which could have obstructed my view, and an almost up-and-down course, which would have made the bumps even more intense. But this 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 did not disappoint me on this riding track.
The RockShox Recon Silver R fork with 120mm of travel and RockShox Deluxe Select+ rear shock with 100mm of travel provide relatively soft cushioning for a more comfortable ride on bumpy trails; the easy-to-install and powerful Tektro HD-M285 hydraulic disc brake provides precise and consistent braking power in the face of sharp descents.
However, some people think the aluminum frame of this bike is a bit ordinary, but in actual riding, this 6066-T6 will bring excellent resistance.
All in all, the relative excellence of this bike in this winding rocky singletrack had us all recognizing its descending performance.
I consider forest roads to be one of those variable paths if you want to talk about variable paths. To get a more comprehensive review of the performance of this Salsa Spearfish Deore 12, we not only descended on the rocks in the suburbs, but we also went further into a forest.
This is a very popular forest road, and the ruts that cover it show how popular they are. But it also creates a slicker surface that can be a hindrance to riding, and there is a small section of the planked bridge, while the wooden stakes that appear at almost every turn also made it difficult for me to ride.
I have to say that the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12’s seat tube length(444mm) and steep seat tube angle (74.8°) made my pedaling more efficient; as well as the Maxxis Forekaster front tire, which provided more traction in the corners and allowed me to steadily maneuver through turns even when hitting puddles.
Also, the Shimano Deore M6100 1×12 drivetrain allows me to adjust to the right gear ratio for easier and less stressful speed gears when I encounter long forest climbs.
I was impressed with the handlebars of this bike RaceFace Chester 35 during the actual ride. It is made of optimized material and has excellent stiffness and steering precision, so it gives me a lot of assistance in steering.
Overall, the bike is adaptable to all kinds of terrain, whether it’s descending or on changing forest roads it performs well.
The pure white paint color makes me a little reluctant to put it into the muddy trails for riding, and I am a little complaining about the fact that it only has one paint color choice, I hope that the paint color design is not too stingy.
But the 6066-T6 aluminum frame of this 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 is stronger and lighter. It offers better strength than 6061 and 7000 series aluminum.
In the face of long rides, an excellent aluminum frame will reduce the possibility of deformation of the frame due to prolonged use and have relatively better fatigue resistance.
In addition, the internal cable arrangement protects the cables from damage due to exposure, making the overall body look more simple and making it easier for you to maintain.
Not only that, the two water bottle mounting holes that can be set inside the front triangle allow you to ride longer distances.
As we know, Spearfish is a great XC bike, but it’s not great because of one aspect, its geometry is also one of the conditions that make up its excellence.
First of all, this 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12’s relatively slack head tube angle (68.3°) combined with the 433mm rear lower fork length has more nimble handling and gives you more confidence in speed when riding. Further, in addition to the 29” wheels it comes with, it can also run 27.5″+ wheels. Incredibly, it also has a built-in Flip Chip that allows you to adjust the head tube angle and bottom bracket height based on wheel and tire size, personal preference, and even different terrain.
In addition, the steep seat tube angle (74.8°) allows for easier pedaling and a comfortable upright ride to relax your torso when the ride gets tiring. The bike is set up with a longer trail (93mm) for greater speed stability and a tendency to steer self-correcting, which is useful for maintaining a steady forward direction on routes littered with stumps and rocks.
The excellent geometry not only provides enough riding comfort but also allows you to pull the full efficiency of your ride.
Components and Specifications
Shimano Deore M6100 1×12 Drivetrain
The drivetrain from the excellent manufacturer Shimano gave me confidence in its performance, and it certainly lived up to my confidence in it during the actual ride.
First of all, SHIMANO DEORE M6100 rear derailleur provides advanced shifting performance, all gear shifting can hardly be heard any noise. The chain stabilizer also reduces chain drop, flapping, and noise. This allowed me to shift through a rough and bumpy section of the route, and none of my fears of a dropped chain occurred.
When I was doing climbs, the smooth shifting allowed me to easily adjust the right gear ratio for a more comfortable ride. Also, SHIMANO’s RAPIDFIRE PLUS DEORE shifter provides light and responsive shifting, allowing you to have faster handling on the track.
So, an excellent drivetrain allows you to have a more comfortable, convenient, and brighter ride.
Tektro HD-M285 Hydraulic Disc Brake
I don’t think I need to say more about the importance of brakes, after all, this is the component that concerns your safety. This Tektro HD-M285 hydraulic disc brake features a high-quality aluminum disc that is not only strong and durable enough but also resistant to high temperatures.
In addition, the hydraulic disc brakes are more advanced, and you can trust them for stable and reliable braking in all conditions and not affected by bad road conditions.
In my actual ride, I carried out certain weight-bearing situations and was impressed by the excellent hydraulic disc braking of this bike in the face of great inertia, which not only brought my tires to a precise and stable stop but also by the soft and smooth feel.
If you look closely enough you will see that the front and rear tires on this bike are the same size, but not the same model.
The front wheels use the Maxxis Forekaster, a tire that is a prime choice for wet weather, not only does it have some grip in the face of slippery surfaces, but its low rolling resistance design also gives it a faster-rolling speed than many tires. Also, the unique tread design gives it excellent traction in the face of cornering and hill climbing.
The rear wheels are on Maxxis Ikon, a versatile XC tire that performs a stable operation in all conditions.
Moreover, the 60tpi design makes its tread relatively soft, so even in the face of small puddles, it can easily cross over with the soft material, while the EXO sidewall protection also gives it stronger wear resistance.
Finally, the vacuum tires are ready for you to have a better riding experience.
RockShox Deluxe Select+ Shock Absorber
Knowing that this is a full-suspension bike, then the inevitable topic is its shock absorber. A good shock absorber will allow you to drive on potholes without any significant vibration.
The streamlined construction of this bike’s Deluxe Select+ rear shock is attractive and offers great adjustability in the package. In addition, the air spring system provides more cushioning than ever before, reducing the feeling of unbearable bumps when you are faced with hard hits from rough ground. And the stronger rebound also accommodates a wider range of riders. The lockable setting allows for locking when you want more speed, reducing the loss of pedaling efficiency.
RockShox Recon Silver RL Fork
The Recon Silver RL fork also plays an integral role as a front shock absorber. The fork with 120mm of travel gives you plenty of cushioned rebound distance to reduce vibration when descending. The lockable function also allows you to lock the fork to reduce the loss of kinetic energy from the cushioning when you want to get faster.
Other versions of Salsa Spearfish
We review this 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 with its 6066-T6 aluminum frame, RockShox Deluxe Select+ rear shock, RockShox Recon Silver RL fork, Tektro HD-M285 hydraulic disc brake, Shimano Deore M6100 1×12 drivetrain and other components. To have a more comprehensive understanding, we found its other versions.
The Salsa Spearfish series also has four versions, in which the lowest price of the 2021 Salsa Spearfish SLX is $3399, and the highest price of is 2021 Salsa Spearfish Carbon XTR is $7499. Of course, the higher price has a better configuration of components.
We can see that the 2021 Salsa Spearfish Carbon XTR is a higher-end carbon fiber frame with a better Shimano XTR 1×12 drivetrain and a better advanced hydraulic disc brake.
Of course, the 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 is the least expensive in the series, but its smooth 1×12 drivetrain is excellent enough at this price point, and you can trust the hydraulic disc brake for stable and precise braking in all conditions.
All in all, you have a total of five versions to choose from in this series, and I was impressed with all of them regardless of which version they were. However, all things considered, our reviewers were full of praise for the 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12.
What do we like about it?
- The full suspension design allows you to go on more adventures without fear of bumps.
- The sturdy aluminum frame has greater wear resistance and fatigue resistance.
- High-quality, versatile front and rear tires give you more speed and more possibilities.
- The Shimano Deore M6100 1×12 drivetrain allows you to be faster and quicker.
- The powerful Tektro HD-M285 hydraulic disc brake provides stable braking in all conditions for a safe ride.
What we don’t like about it?
- A single paint color option.
- Some people think there are too few sizes to choose from (although I think this is sufficient).
- What is the tire size of the 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12?
The tire size for the 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 is 29 x 2.35″.
- What is the rear shock absorber on the 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12?
The rear shock on the 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 is the RockShox Deluxe Select+.
- What are the sizes of the 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12?
Size chart for 2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12
|Recommended Rider Height||165cm – 174cm||172cm – 181cm||179cm – 189cm||187cm +|
Salsa Spearfish Specs
|2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12||2021 Salsa Spearfish SLX||2021 Salsa Spearfish Carbon SLX||2021 Salsa Spearfish Carbon XT||2021 Salsa Spearfish Carbon XTR|
|Frame||Spearfish AlloyBB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColor: Silver||Spearfish AlloyBB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColor: Red||Spearfish CarbonBB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColor: Black||Spearfish CarbonBB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColor: Yellow||Spearfish CarbonBB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColor: Blue|
|Fork||RockShox Recon Silver RL, 120 mm, 51 mm offset||Rockshox Recon Gold RL, 120 mm, 51 mm offset||RockShox SID Select 120 mm, 51 mm offset||Fox Float 34 SC Performance Elite Fit4 120 mm, 51 mm Offset||Fox Float 34 SC Performance Elite Fit4 120 mm, 51 mm offset|
|Bottom Bracket||73mm BSA, threaded||73mm BSA, threaded||73mm BSA w/ ISCG-05 Mounts (Carbon frames feature removable ISCG-05 bracket)||73mm BSA w/ ISCG-05 Mounts (Carbon frames feature removable ISCG-05 bracket)||73mm BSA w/ ISCG-05 Mounts (Carbon frames feature removable ISCG-05 bracket)|
|Headset||FSA Orbit IS-2 ACB, IS41/IS52||FSA Orbit IS-2 ACB, IS41/IS52||Cane Creek 40||Cane Creek 40||Cane Creek 40|
|Handlebar||RaceFace Chester 35||RaceFace Chester 35||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||Shimano Deore M6100||Shimano SLX M7100||Shimano SLX||Shimano XT||Shimano XTR|
|Shifters||Shimano Deore M6100||Shimano SLX M7100||Shimano SLX||Shimano XT||Shimano XTR|
|Cassette||Shimano Deore M6100, 10-51t, 12-speed||Shimano Deore M6100, 10-51t, 12-speed||Shimano SLX, 10-51t, 12-speed||Shimano XT, 10-51t, 12-speed||Shimano XT, 10-51t, 12-speed|
|Chain||Shimano Deore M6100||Shimano Deore M6100||Shimano SLX||Shimano XT||Shimano XT|
|Tires||Maxxis Forekaster front, Maxxis Ikon rear, 29 x 2.35″, 60 TPI, EXO, tubeless-ready||Maxxis Forekaster front, Maxxis Ikon rear, 29 x 2.35″, 60 TPI, EXO, tubeless-ready||Maxxis Forekaster front, Maxxis Ikon rear, 29 x 2.35″, 60 TPI, EXO, Tubeless-Ready||Maxxis Forekaster front, Maxxis Ikon rear, 29 x 2.35″, 60 TPI, EXO, Tubeless-Ready||Maxxis Forekaster front, Maxxis Ikon rear, 29 x 2.35″, 60 TPI, EXO, Tubeless-Ready|
|BIKE||PRICE||DRIVETRAIN||TIRE||FRONT FORK TRAVEL||CLICK VIEW|
|Marin Rift Zone 29 3||$2,299||1×12||29×2.35”||130mm||Click View|
|2023 Trek Top Fuel 7||$3,529.99||1×12||29.x2.40”||120mm||Click View|
|Canyon Spectral 6 WMN||$3,099||1×12||27.5×2.4”||150mm||Click View|
|Cannondale Habit 4||$3,025||1×12||29 x 2.4″||140mm||Click View|
2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 vs 2022 Marin Rift Zone 29 3
These two bikes are two styles in terms of paint colors. This 2022 Marin Rift Zone 29 3 looks more flashy and the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 looks more subdued. But in terms of the drivetrain, we can see that they both have a 1×12 gear range. Both bikes are similar in terms of performance. But because of the geometry difference, I would prefer to swim on the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12.
It’s worth mentioning that the Marin Rift Zone 29 3 has a fork with 130mm of travel, which is 10mm more than the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12’s fork travel, so it will damp better. But if you’ve experienced the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12, you’ll find its damping to be astounding as well. If you prefer the subdued silver and comfortable geometry, you can try the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12.
2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 vs 2023 Trek Top Fuel 7
You know Trek is a big name in bikes, so when I saw the 2023 Trek Top Fuel 7, I was a little worried that the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 would not perform as well as it did. Even though the 2023 Trek Top Fuel 7 is available in two paint color options, it didn’t seem appealing enough to me.
I have to admit though that the Trek Top Fuel 7 has a much better Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain and the Shimano hydraulic brakes have excellent braking. If you want a Trek Top Fuel 7, you’re looking at $3529.99, which is a bit of a stretch for me.
At this time, I would be more than willing to check out the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12. At $2,799, I’d be tempted. Some may not think it’s that great of a drive, but if you get on it for real, you’ll be shocked at how well it performs. So if you’re on a budget, you might want to check out the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12.
2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 vs 2022 Canyon Spectral 6 WMN
I can see that this 2022 Canyon Spectral 6 WMN has a little bit shorter wheelbase. The actual wheelbase measures only 1129mm, so it will be relatively agile in handling. Of course, the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 also has a shorter wheelbase of 1160mm, which is also very agile in practice. Also, the relatively steeper seat tube angle allows it to have easier pedaling.
The same 1×12 drivetrain makes little difference in shifting, but the comfortable saddle of the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 would make me more reluctant to get off the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12. And the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 is $300 cheaper than the Canyon Spectral 6 WMN. If you want a more comfortable ride and more nimble handling, I think the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 might be the one for you.
2021 Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 vs 2022 Cannondale Habit 4
You know I am very particular about brakes. So I was a little surprised when I saw that the Cannondale Habit 4 uses Shimano MT200 dual-piston brakes. After all, it costs $226 more than the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12. But the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 is a four-piston brake, so it’s stronger in terms of braking.
In addition, both bikes have a 1×12 drivetrain, so there doesn’t seem to be much difference. And in my actual riding, I would prefer to enjoy my time on the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12.
If you want better braking for a more affordable price, I think the Salsa Spearfish Deore 12 might be a good choice for you.
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