|Deadwood Sus XT-. Image courtesy of Salsa Cycles|
Now with that out of the way, you can begin to calm down. This bike introduction was fairly obvious. Spearfish and Horsethief platforms giving way to their next logical conclusions, the aforementioned Ponyrustler and now this- the Deadwood Sus. I guess the name pool is running dry at Salsa Cycles or something. Talk about slightly odd..........
Anywho.... Yeah, big wagon wheeler suspension devices are rare. This one is more than likely well sorted out. Most of the Split Pivot stuff has been really nice to ride. I see Salsa is saying a few things here which I find to be smart, and if well executed, could well make this bike a really great ride for mountain biking all day, for fast paced, ground covering racing, and for just a great exploration tool. The things they are saying relate to how they are supposedly tuning the suspension to work with the big, puffy tires. The tires have some inherent suspension qualities. Let them do that work, and make the frame's suspension do the rest- rebound control, taking over damping on bigger impacts, and not getting in the way of the rider's propelling the bike. If Salsa truly dialed this in, I think they are on to something here.
|Deadwood Sus GX-1- Image courtesy of Salsa Cycles|
Internal routing? It's the "thing to do" these days. I'm not a fan. I don't care how good you make those frame grommet entry points, that still is a place for crap to get into your frame. Conversely, I like internal routing for the dropper posts on any bike. I know......not a very consistent philosophy there! Maybe when those new fangled wireless dropper posts come out, I can hate on internal dropper post routing as well. That'll be a good day! Anyway, the Deadwood has mostly external routing. That's a good thing.
Okay.....back to the bike! Suspension travel is limited to a whopping 91mm out back. That's a hair over 3.5" for you metrically challenged folks out there. You'll notice that this ain't much squish compared to other trail bikes with monkey motion these days. Salsa, (and all the media wonks that they invited to take a whack at this thing before it was publicly announced), say it "feels like more", or that the bottoming out of the suspension "wasn't noticeable". Draw your own conclusions there. I say this- there is no substitute for suspension travel. This is no knock on the Deadwood, (I'm leaving off the silly "Sus" part of the moniker), because I am sure that it does the job it was intended for. I just get kind of tired of all the word forging that is masking that this is a short travel, XC-ish bike. You know what? There isn't anything at all wrong with that.
|Deadwood XO- Image courtesy of Salsa Cycles.|
Oddly enough, there is an introductory video for this bike which shows two riders doing nothing but ripping these new Deadwoods down hill. There are no shots of climbing with this, or much to indicate that you should use this for cross country type of fun. To be completely fair, some of the invited media did write that part up. Apparently, it actually climbs well, if not a bit more ponderous and slower than other bikes. The point is that some media wonks seem bent on positioning this bike as some sort of magical unicorn of a suspension device that makes 91mm feel like.......something more.
What it is more of is "expensive". The "entry level", as of now, is at $3800.00. I say "as of now" because if you dig into the website on the Deadwood you'll find the following statement: "This frame offers a 340 grams weight savings over the aluminum version." Wait...... What? There is an aluminum version?
Maybe there "will be." Or maybe it is a mistake. I've discovered mistakes like that before on Salsa's website, so that wouldn't be a surprise. Time will tell which it is, a description of an as yet unheralded bike, or a mistake.
An aluminum version would be slightly less spendy, but make no mistake, starting at $3800.00 and topping out at $6G is not making this bike attractive to a wide range of riders. I suppose it is the price you pay to play these days. Still, if it were within my reach, I would take something like this in a heartbeat to El Paso's Franklin Mountains trails or anywhere that demanded a tool like this.