In case you missed it over the weekend, one of our favorite bikes from last year got a facelift with 29×2.6 tires, new colors, and three new build specs…

Posted by Logan Watts

Released just about a year ago, the Deadwood SUS was without a doubt one of my favorite bikes of 2017 (read the full review here). The only reason it didn’t make our Gear of The Year list was because the Timberjack Ti edged it out. Either way I was happy to see it amongst Salsa’s revamped line if Split Pivot bikes released at Frost Bike.

  • 2018 Salsa Deadwood Carbon GX
  • 2018 Salsa Deadwood Carbon SLX
  • 2018 Salsa Deadwood NX

Like its predecessor, the Deadwood features an excellent short-travel suspension design that when paired with meaty wide trail 29er tires makes a fantastic trail bike and a sure-footed bikepacking rig. The latest Deadwood comes in three flavors. Each has 120mm of front suspension, 91mm in the rear, and room for 29×3.0″ tires. And all three are specced with Maxxis Recon 29×2.6″ tires, a departure from last year’s model which came with 3.0″ Ranger Plus tires. Having grown quite fond of this relatively new standard, I am stoked to see Salsa embrace 2.6″ tires on the Deadwood. Here are some details on each model:

Salsa Deadwood Carbon GX

The top of the line Salsa Deadwood Carbon GX comes in a funky lemon-lime color with a Rock Shox Pike RC fork and a Monarch RT3 shock. It also features DT Swiss 350 hubs, SunRingle Duroc 40 rims, a Reverb Stealth dropper seatpost, Guide R brakes with 180mm rotors, and a SRAM Eagle GX drivetrain. The GX has a claimed weight of 30lbs 10oz (13.9kg) for the medium and retails for $5099 complete. While the price is nothing to blink at, note that it’s about $900 cheaper than last year’s high end Deadwood SUS.

2018 Salsa Deadwood

Salsa Deadwood Carbon SLX

The Carbon SLX model features a Shimano SLX derailleur and shifter with a Sunrace 11-46t cassette, Race Face Aeffect cranks (30t), Deore brakes, and a KS LEV i30 dropper post. It has a Revelation RC fork and the same shock as the GX model. Salsa gives it a claimed weight at 31lbs 6oz (14.2kg) for a medium and it retails for $4099.

2018 Salsa Deadwood

Salsa Deadwood NX

The alloy model has a Recon RL fork, a SRAM NX 1×11 drivetrain and SRAM Level brakes for $2799 and weighs 34lbs 3oz (15.5kg) for a large.

2018 Salsa Deadwood

Check out this Salsa blog post more information on the new Deadwood as well as similar revamps to the Pony Rustler and Red Point.

  • Plusbike Nerd

    I’ve been interested in buying an aluminum full-suspension 29 Plusbike for some time and I’ve been following the evolution of the Deadwood SUS since it first came out. Unfortunately, I find the aluminum Deadwood a little disappointing. This bike has a very low-end spec and is very heavy. I would have happily paid a few hundred dollars more if the bike came with a better fork like the Revelation and an Eagle GX drivetrain. I don’t understand why more bikes don’t come with the 500% range Eagle GX drivetrain because it’s just not that expensive. All of the Deadwood models seem over-priced for the spec. By modern trailbike standards, the 91mm of rear travel comes up a little short. At minimum, 120mm rear travel would be more trail worthy. The $3400 aluminum 29+ Scott Genius with 150mm travel, 2.6in tires, Eagle GX, and Fox 34 fork might be a better value. I wish Salsa would get serious about producing a full-suspension 29 Plusbikes that are comparable in spec, price, and travel with other trailbikes.

    On a related topic, I also wish the major bike tire manufacturers would make 29×2.8in tires. Most 27.5 Plusbikes now use 2.8in tires and I think the 2.8in width would be ideal for 29 Plusbikes as well. I am not entirely sold on 2.6in tires. I like the higher volume, lower pressure ride characteristics of 2.8in tires better.

    Full-suspension 27.5 Plusbikes with 2.8in tires with a reasonable spec at a reasonable price have been around for a while now. I just want a reasonable full-suspension 29 Plusbike! I like big wheels. And I cannot lie.

  • Yeah, I agree re component spec. at 4099, the SLX would be much more appealing with a Pike; and it would be nice to see the AL one with a little better build.

    I love the short travel with plus 29er though; the Split Pivot design makes an excellent compliment to the big tires. The Deadwood SUS was my personal favorite FS bike I rode last year. And I demoed a many. That said, I would like to try the Scott and the Ibis Ripley LS… both with 2.6s look quite tempting too.

  • Plusbike Nerd

    In an age where online bike companies like YT, Transition, Intense, etc. are producing extremely well spec’ed bikes at amazingly low prices, I wonder if Salsa can compete.

  • Josh

    29×2.6/2.8 isn’t really “+” if you’re truly a “+” fan then you understand the difference, and you’re also not worried about a 33 pound rig – this is a rad bike! Salsa is the only company making 29×3.0 production frames

  • Chris Leydig

    Does anyone else find it odd that 120mm is considered ‘Short travel’? IMO short is 100mm and less. Mid 100-130, long 130-160 Long live semantics! :)

  • Jim Turnbow

    Just bought the GX Carbon and have to say the ride is AMAZING, however the price tag was a hard pill to swallow. Being a Salsa fan for the past 10 years I do see the trend of lesser spec and higher price and Salsa has never been known for light bikes. None the less they do build their bikes right, they aren’t main stream anything and I luv the culture they build around their bikes – That to me sells!! But $5100 for a 31# trail bike, I’m starting to question.

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