Salsa Redpoint 150mm FS first ride review

Hitting the Northstar bike park with Salsa's rowdiest ride yet

27.5 All Mountain Trail
We took a chance jumping right in to the rowdy trails called Livewire and Gypsy of Northstar Bike Park.

We took a chance jumping right in to the rowdy trails called Livewire and Gypsy at Northstar Bike Park.

Bikepacking and adventure riding are in Salsa‘s wheelhouse, but now they have a serious entry in the all mountain market. We rode their new 150mm travel full suspension Redpoint on Northstar Bike Park’s rowdiest runs and came away smiling.

The Redpoint is a 27.5″ fun machine with 150mm rear/160mm front travel that looks to have all the right geometry numbers, especially the 66.4-degree head angle. Paired with a 73-degree seat tube angle, RockShox Reverb dropper post, and a Split-Pivot suspension, it’s ready to tackle climbs efficiently as well. Chainstay length is 430mm (16.9 inches) and there is loads of tire clearance. Reach for a size medium frame is 441mm, which is quite a bit longer than a Santa Cruz Bronson at 425mm. BB height is well-placed at 13.5 inches. It’s also competitively priced at $5600 for the SRAM XO1 build. Here’s a look at all the geo numbers.

Geometry for the Redpoint is very modern.
Ride impressions

On the rough and tumble trails of Northstar Bike Park near Lake Tahoe, California, the bike stood up to the challenge. Northstar is not a big bike park, but it has rough, feature-filled trails such as Livewire and Gypsy.

The Redpoint immediately felt good, as it handled the rough stuff and allowed us good entry into jumps full of sneaker holes and rocks. Suspension was supple. We cased a couple landings, and though the suspension stiffened up a bit, it never bottomed out.

Stock Hans Dampf tires held the bike back but installing WTB Convict 2.5s allowed it to hit its potential.

Stock Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires held the bike back a bit, but installing WTB Convict 2.5″ rubber allowed it to hit its potential.

Going in to the tight and steep trails of Gypsy, the bike was confidence inspiring, with its slack head angle helping us out on slow speed drops. As things got tight, it was not the quickest handler, but still got around with no drama.

We did a few short climbs and found the bike to be quite a responsive climber, even with the shock in open mode. It seemed to sit high in its travel even under full power. Suspension was also active on rough climbs. At 27 lbs, 14 oz, bike was fairly light for the $5600 price

Here is the bike in Blue/Yellow scheme.

The blue/yellow paint scheme was our favorite of the trio.

What could be improved

Tires and wheels were a big issue in the loose and dusty trails of Northstar. The Hans Dampf 2.35′s on SRAM Roam 40 wheels with 21mm internal width simply didn’t have enough grip for the loose terrain. But halfway through the test session, we switched to the WTB Convict 2.5″ and it allowed the bike to shine on this terrain. Even still, rim width could be a lot wider to allow us to drop air pressure and gain more traction.

We also felt the 750mm bars were a bit too narrow for this type of bike, and the 125mm Reverb dropper is a hair to short. Swapping on 780mm bars with a 150mm dropper post would definitely fit this aggressive bike better.

Finally, in our opinion the colors are a tad on the bland side for a bike with this much personality, and the “Redpoint” moniker isn’t particularly inspiring.

1x11 drivetrain is dialed. Eagle 1x12 is not available at this time.

The 1×11 drivetrain is dialed, but Eagle 1×12 is not available at this time. The bike is shown here sporting 26×3.0 tires aka 26 Plus.

Summary

Overall we’re quite pleased with this effort from Salsa. It’s a great first all mountain offering with highly evolved suspension and geometry to match. Sure, there are a few details that could be improved, but the core of the bike (and its price) are very appealing.

For more information visit salsacycles.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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