Today Salsa Cycles has launched two new bikes, the all-mountain Blackthorn and the Enduro focussed Cassidy. They both share the shame frame taking advantage of the brand's new Split Pivot+ suspension platform which allows the rider to increase or decrease the bikes travel, making it possible to turn the Cassidy into a Blackthorn and vice versa.
The Blackthorn is Salsa Cycles' new trail/all-mountain bike equipped with 140mm of travel at the rear and 160mm at the front.
As for the geometry, the head angle sits at 64.6° with a 76.5° seat tube angle. It gets 432mm chainstays (with clearance for up to a 29 x 2.6" tyre) and a flip-chip which slackens the head angle by .3° and changes the BB height by 4mm to accommodate 650b+ wheels.
Sharing a frame with the Blackthorn, the harder hitting Cassidy comes with 165mm of rear suspension travel and a 180mm fork. Therefore the geometry differs slightly. The Cassidy sees in a 63.8° head angle, a 75.7° seat tube angle but also gets 432mm chainstays. The Cassidy also benefits from the flip-chip which affects the bike in the same way as the Blackthorn, and both bikes get super boost rear spacing.
Making the frame special is Salsa Cycles' new Split Pivot+ suspension design. Split Pivot+ has allowed Salsa's engineers to create one frame that can be adapted to a different suspension class. For example, the Blackthorn can be boosted to become a Cassidy by swapping out the control and clevis links, as well as the shock and the fork. It'll work the opposite way too.
As well as the clever Split Pivot+ suspension design, the frame comes with a plethora of neat tricks. One of which is an integrated strap location that's protected with a moulded protector so you can strap spares to your bike securely and without the worry of scratching your frame.
The frame has space for a water bottle too, and there are three-pack mounts on the down tube which can accommodate a large water bottle on the lower pair and a pump on the upper pair. There are also mounts on the top tube for an EXP Series Direct Mount Top Tube Bag and K-Edge Top Tube mount for bike computers.
Each frame offers internal cable routing, including routing for a rear shock lockout. There's a threaded BB and the head tube uses a ZS44/56 standard for ease of maintenance and to widen the range of headset choices.
An added bonus is that both bikes get additional downtube, chainstay and seat stay protection with abrasion guards in key areas to prevent abrasion.
Differences come mainly in the models that are available. The Blackthorn comes in seven different builds including alloy and carbon frame only builds with two alloy full builds and three carbon full builds.
Whereas the Cassidy only gets three full builds, including one alloy and two frame only kits in carbon or alloy.
Both the Cassidy and Blackthorn come in four frame sizes from S up to XL and they come in carbon and alloy options.
In the UK, the Cassidy and Blackthorn are only available as frame only which is priced at £3,300.
Elsewhere, full builds start at $3,200 (£2,500ish) for the Blackthorn and $3,900 (approx £3,050) for the Cassidy and top out at $6,100 and $7,500 (£4,750 and £5,850).
For the Clevis link needed to change the travel, Salsa Cycles are asking for $150 (approx £120).
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