The plus movement have been largely confined to the 27.5 wheel size. There are a number of brands who have experimented with 29+, like Trek, but they’re typically deployed on hardtails.
Salsa likes to think different. They’ve always explored unique sub niches and in the process, helped develop now categories. Their newest bike, the Deadwood, takes the 29+ standard and pairs it with a short travel full suspension carbon frame.
The idea is that by matching an efficient pedaling platform with large volume tires, the frame will retain its zippy handling, while also benefiting from added roll-over, traction, and stability. The end result? A great rig for bike packing, backcountry adventures, or even endurance racing.
The geometry is oriented towards XC/trail riding. The 68 head angle probably won’t help you win any enduro races but should provide quick handling. Out back, the 449mm chainstays are on the longer side but are required for the massive tire clearance.
The Deadwood is designed around 29×3.0 tires, but will work with tires ranging from 2.6-3.0 The bike can also be setup with conventional 2.25-2.5 tires for snappier handling. Salsa suggests using no wider than a 45mm rim.
The bike is available in three configurations, plus a frame only option for $2499. The base model retails for $3799 and comes with a SRAM GX1 drivetrain, SRAM Level T brakes, RockShox Yari fork, and no dropper post. Claimed weight for the size large is 32 pounds.
The Shimano XT version retails for $4500. It comes with an 11-46T cassette and Shimano XT brakes, plus a RockShox Pike fork and Reverb dropper post. Both the GX and XT builds share the same DT Swiss 370 boost hubs, brass nipples, 35mm wide WTB rims and rubber. Claimed weight for the size large is a shade over 33 pounds. The added weight over the GX version is due to the addition of a dropper post and larger cassette.
The premiere build retails for $5999 and is decked out with a SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrain, RockShox Pike fork, Reverb dropper post, and SRAM Guide brakes. You also get bumped to DT Swiss 350 hubs, which have the star ratchet system. The 370s used on the other builds has a two-pawl system similar to what you’d find in a Shimano hub. Claimed weight for a size medium is 30 pounds, 15 oz. To see the Deadwood in action, check out this video.
For more info, visit salsacycles.com.