I had the opportunity to ride the Salsa Timberjack on real mountain bike trails at Northstar-at-Tahoe resort, during a dealer open house event that Salsa, Surly, and other QBP bike brands held last summer.
Let me start by saying that the Timberjack was the only bike that I crashed on this trip, but it was the very last bike I rode, after two solid days of riding in the desert-like heat. So I chalk that crash up to my weariness, and no shortcoming of the bike itself.
The Timberjack 27.5+ checks off all the right boxes when it comes to a modern trail bike. Mid-range 120mm travel fork, short chainstays to keep your weigh over the back wheel, hydraulic brakes, boost hub spacing, tubeless-ready rims, 1x11 drive train, and of course, those meaty 27.5x3-inch tires.
What's with the 1x11 drive train, you ask? There's only one chainring up front near the pedals, so you only have one shifter on your handlebar (on the right), to shift among you 11 speeds on the back wheel. The wide-range 11-42 cassette gives you plenty low gears to crank up any hills you'll find. In the two days of test-riding, probably three-fourths of the bike I rode used this setup. I was literally climbing up a mountain on these bikes, never did I miss having that "granny gear." You will see this gearing configuration on more and more mountain bikes in the coming years (including on the custom Surly Pugsley that we currently have in stock).
So, once I got uphill, how did it feel coming back down? Like a magic carpet. The trails were a mixture of all types of mountain biking terrain, from downhill, to cross-country, to flow trails. The Timberjack 27.5+ let me cruise through it all, from crushing the rough stuff to railing the corners.
The plus-tire concept has been as popular as Salsa hoped, so much so that these bikes are hard to come by. We received one Salsa Timberjack 27.5+ in Large, and it was sold in less than a week. We still have one in stock in Medium, and are expecting a Small any day now. A well-decked-out mountain bike at an attractive price of $1,399.99!
|Salsa Timberjack 27.5+|
|Salsa Timberjack 29|