It was something we all somehow knew was coming, but no one quite believed: a full-suspension fat bike. Now it’s a reality.
Nearly two years ago we spotted Salsa’s Marketing Manager Mike Riemer aboard a prototype Salsa based on a modified, first-generation Horsethief. Some details of that bike have carried over, but the suspension setup—both front and rear—has been greatly improved.
The Bucksaw is an aluminum frame with carbon fiber seatstays as part of a Split Pivot rear suspension, the same design used the current Spearfish and Horsethief models. Riemer said its namesake creator, Dave Weagel, told him it was the most daunting project he had tackled. It’s 6061 hydroformed aluminum contains all the modern trappings: tapered head tube, press fit bottom bracket, ISCG-05 tabs, internal dropper post routing, direct-mount front derailleur, and even a water-bottle mount.
Measuring in at 100mm of travel, it carries with it a 177mm-spaced thru-axle rear end. Not meant to compete with the super fat, it can fit a maximum 3.8 tire on 82mm rims. Riemer says he has been running a slightly higher pressure in his tires as well, around 10psi, and letting the suspension do its job.
Supplying that travel is a RockShox Monarch RT3 shock that is custom-tuned for the Bucksaw and a brand-new Rockshox Bluto fat bike fork. Unlike most fat bikes which use a 135mm front-spaced hub, the Bluto uses a 150mm axle, so you won’t be able to swap it in on your existing fat bike without a new wheel. The stretch was required to fit a 4.8-inch tire on 100mm rims.
The Bucksaw will be available in two complete builds, the Bucksaw 1 and 2. Both include the Bluto fork, wheels built with Surly Marge Lite rims and Nate 3.8 120 tpi tires. The Bucksaw 1 (blue) will have a SRAM XX1 drivetrain for $4,999 while the Bucksaw 2 (gold) will have a 2×10 SRAM X7/X9 drivetrain for $3,999. Bikes should be available this fall in sizes small through XL.
You can read more about the development of the Bucksaw project on Salsa’s own blog.
We also spied on this pre-production model a set of Whiskey Parts Co.’s prototype carbon fat bike rims. There aren’t many details to report just yet, except that they are said to be tubeless compatible and “coming soon”.