Salsa Cycles demo gets me thinking about my next three bikes

Rule #12 of the Velominati’s The Rules, is:

The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.

While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.

I just have one bike, not counting my trials motorcycle which I’m planning to sell Real Soon Now so as to help me with the s factor in the above equation.  I’m not yet shopping but I am ruminating.

Having ridden mototrials for years, I’m naturally interested in a trials bicycle.  Living in Minnesota, I’m naturally interested in a fat bike for winter riding.

But after my experience of enduro riding in Duluth in June, I’m now really interested in the gravity-related categories of mountain biking, especially since I have two places within 35 minutes to practice jumps (Lexington Ave. Pump and Jump Park and Lebanon Hills), and a couple of downhill runs 45 minutes away at the Memorial Trail system in Red Wing.

So with gravity weighing on my mind, I went to the Salsa Cycles demo last night at the Carver Lake Off-road Cycling Trail in Woodbury.

Salsa Cycles demo at Carver Lake Park John Gaddo and Paul Lehrer Griff Wigley, John Gaddo

QBP Outside Sales Reps for the Upper Midwest, John Gaddo and Paul Lehrer, fixed me up to demo a Salsa Horsethief which the promo lit says:

… is our full-suspension 29’er trail bike, designed for all-day riding on rugged terrain. A very capable climber, Horsethief does have a slight bias toward descending, letting you enjoy the fruits of your uphill labor. By designing the bike for use with a shorter than normal stem, the body is positioned better for aggressive riding.

rock garden at Carver Lake Park log skinny at Carver Lake Park rock garden at Carver Lake Park
I knew there wouldn’t be any rugged downhill terrain at Carver so I was content to test it on the rock gardens and skinnies. Never having ridden a full-suspension bike before, I was wondering if the Horsethief would allow me to do what I can do with my X-Caliber hardtail on the tougher technical stuff.  It handled it easily.  And I did notice that I could ride a lot faster through the rock gardens, rather than picking my way slowly, trials-style. Cool. Would the Horsethief be enough to handle the downhill runs at the Copper Harbor Ride Center and similar parks? I suspect so.

Logan Macrae, Mark Witt, Curtis Ness Owen Mibus, Ben Witt, Myrna Mibus
Fellow Rice County residents  were well-represented at the event, including the gang from Milltown Cycles in Faribault and some of their regular customers. Left photo: Logan Macrae, Mark Witt, Curtis Ness. Right photo: Owen Mibus, Ben Witt, Myrna Mibus. Not shown: Jim Fisher and his daughter Amy.


  1. chance said:

    Hey grif, the horse theif is a sick bike, i demo’d it too and it actually had me thinking would a 29r like this be a good compliment to my arsenal if i bought a big bike like a kona entourage and had the theif as my trail bike? and you know how I feel about 29rs, haha

    August 23, 2012
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Hey Chance, I see your blog post with a more detailed report on your demo of the Horsethief… paragraph starts with:

    Last night was a Salsa demo at Carver Lake and since I was already there for practices I grabbed a Horse Thief and gave it a short ride. I know you can’t make up your mind in 4 miles but I was rather pleasantly surprised by the ride…

    Did you ride the Spearfish?

    Thanks for the heads-up on the Kona Entourage. I’ll look at it. PinkBike review here.

    The Entourage is definitively Kona: simple, sturdy, affordable. Its outlaw looks and rockstar performance pin the base model Entourage at the top of the list for beginner and intermediate riders looking for DH performance in a smaller, slightly more versatile package…

    That sounds right for me.

    August 23, 2012
  3. Clay Haglund said:

    If you like going fast, I think you’ll love going full suspension. With my F.S. bike recently sidelined in a car accident, I had an opportunity to get very familiar with the old hard tail again and while it was new and fun, I REALLY missed the rear suspension when slamming through rock gardens and rooty technical singletrack. I’m probably a third again as fast on full squish.

    August 24, 2012
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Clay, I think the reason I’ve not been drawn to a full suspension bike thus far is because of my love of technical, trials-type riding. When I encounter the XX areas of Leb, for example, I’m more likely to get off my bike and see if I can find a new line through them that’s more difficult… something that’s possible for me to do but maybe 1 out of 5 tries.

    Doing the enduro-type riding with Rudy, Chance and the boys in Duluth, I saw for the first time how going fast downhill over the roots and rocks could also be fun. But I just don’t have occasion to do that type of riding very often. So the prospect of more gravity-type runs becoming available makes a FS bike more logical for me.

    August 25, 2012

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