Salsa Cycles 27.5+ prototype spotted

New model or a Horsethief redesign?

Salsa Cycles didn’t have a booth at Sea Otter this year, but the company did tease a 27.5+ prototype at the WTB booth. Salsa marketing manager Mike Riemer wouldn't divulge any details about the matte black bike, leaving us to speculate about what might be in the works.

This nameless carbon bike borrows heavily from Salsa’s 29er trail bike, the Horsethief. In fact, it's entirely possible that this is actually a Horsethief front triangle mated to a redesigned rear end. 

The rear suspension supplies 120mm of travel via the same clevis link arrangement as salsa's 29er trail bike, the horsethief :
The rear suspension supplies 120mm of travel via the same clevis link arrangement as salsa's 29er trail bike, the horsethief :

The front triangle shares the same lines as the Horsethief, with a top tube-mounted shock driven by a clevis link that wraps around the kinked seat tube.

We know the bike has 120mm of rear travel (the same amount as the Horsethief) but unlike the current model, it has a wider, 148x12mm rear end.

It is very likely this is an updated version of the horsethief, set up with 27.5+, rather than an entirely new model:
It is very likely this is an updated version of the horsethief, set up with 27.5+, rather than an entirely new model:

Out back, the bike on display sported WTB’s 27.5x2.8in Trailblazer tyre, a plus-sized tyre designed to fit many existing 29ers. Up front was the new and more aggressive WTB 27.5x3.0 Bridger tread. The bike was also equipped with the new 110mm-spaced RockShox Pike.

It makes sense that a small company such as Salsa would redesign its 29er trail bike to be compatible with the latest Boost axle standards, and perhaps take this opportunity to increase tyre clearance as well, rather than to create a dedicated 27.5+ platform.

If it’s a brand new model or just a redesigned Horsethief compatible with both 29in and 27.5+ tyres, we’re sure to know more in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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