Timberjack is Salsa’s aggressive trail hardtail. Its progressive trail geometry is stable on descents and technical sections, while the Alternator 2.0 dropouts allow for adjustable chainstay length to dial in ride characteristics.
Ample accessory mounts and dual wheel size compatibility add more versatility to the package, making Timberjack a well-rounded ripper that likes to party.
Geometry & Ride Characteristics
The Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+ geometry strikes a balance between agility and stability. The longer top tube provides a stable base, especially crucial when you’re carrying additional weight in the form of bikepacking bags. The 66.4-degree head tube angle offers controlled steering, which is invaluable when navigating through unfamiliar terrains loaded with gear. The lower bottom bracket height contributes to a stable center of gravity, making the bike less wobbly when loaded. Shorter chainstays add to the bike’s agility, allowing for easier maneuvering through technical sections even with a full load.
When it comes to the ride feel, the Timberjack XT 27.5+ offers a comfortable yet performance-oriented experience. The bike’s precise steering capabilities, attributed to its head tube angle, make it easier to handle on winding trails or when making sharp turns, even with the added weight of bikepacking essentials. The stable center of gravity ensures that the bike remains balanced, reducing rider fatigue during long journeys. The bike’s Shimano M4120 four-piston brakes ensure reliable stopping power, and the Maxxis Minion DHF and Rekon tires provide excellent traction. The bike’s TranzX YSI05 RAD+ seatpost with 30 mm travel adjustment adds an extra layer of comfort, making it well-suited for both long-distance rides and technical descents.
- Tire Size Range: The frame can accommodate 27.5″ wheels with a tire width of up to 71 mm (2.8″). This is wider than many other frames in its category, allowing for greater versatility in tire choice.
- Maximum and Minimum Wheel/Tire Diameter: The frame supports a maximum wheel/tire diameter of 760.5 mm and a minimum of 728 mm. This range is quite accommodating, providing flexibility for various riding conditions.
- Suspension Fork Length: Compatible with forks having 100–150 mm of travel, the frame offers a broad range of suspension options, which is not always the case in similar bikes.
- Fork Offset: The frame is designed for a fork offset of 42–51 mm, providing a balanced steering feel that’s neither too quick nor too sluggish compared to other bikes.
- Headset Specifications: With ZS44 upper and ZS56 lower headsets, the frame is compatible with a wide array of aftermarket headsets, offering more customization options.
- Seatpost Diameter: The 30.9 mm seatpost diameter is a common size, making it easier to find aftermarket options for seatposts compared to frames with non-standard sizes.
- Bottom Bracket: The 73 mm BSA bottom bracket is a standard size, but the frame is optimized for a 1x only setup with a max ring of 34t, which is in line with modern trail bike standards.
- Rear Spacing and Axle: The frame features a rear spacing of 148 mm and uses an M12 x 180L rear axle, which is a Boost standard, offering better wheel stiffness and alignment.
- Derailleur Hanger: The Alternator 2.0 Swing Plate derailleur hanger system is a unique feature that provides easy adjustability and alignment, setting it apart from other frames that use fixed hangers.
vs. the Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+
The Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+ and the Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+ differ subtly but significantly in ride characteristics. The XT model features a RockShox 35 Gold RL fork and Shimano XT rear derailleur, offering smooth suspension and precise shifting, enhancing both climbing and descending performance. On the other hand, the SLX model comes with a RockShox 35 Silver TK Air fork and Shimano SLX rear derailleur, providing reliable performance. While both bikes share similar geometry, the XT’s higher-end components make for a more responsive and smoother ride, at a relatively higher cost.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: Features a RockShox 35 Gold RL fork with 130 mm travel.
- Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+: Comes with a RockShox 35 Silver TK Air fork with 130 mm travel.
- Rear Derailleur
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: Equipped with a Shimano XT M8100 SGS rear derailleur, known for its precise and quick shifting capabilities.
- Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+: Features a Shimano SLX M7100 SGS rear derailleur, offering reliable shifting.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: Comes with Shimano M4120 four-piston brakes, providing superior stopping power and modulation.
- Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+: Equipped with Shimano MT401 brakes, offering reliable braking.
- Ride Feel
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: The higher-end components contribute to a smoother and more responsive ride, particularly noticeable during technical descents and steep climbs.
- Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+: Offers a reliable ride, suitable for riders looking for versatility over performance nuances.
vs. the Surly Karate Monkey SUS
The Surly Karate Monkey SUS and the Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+ offer different ride experiences. The Karate Monkey SUS features a 100% Surly Chromoly Steel frame and a RockShox 35 Gold RL fork with 140mm travel, providing a more rugged and durable feel ideal for technical terrains. On the other hand, the Timberjack XT 27.5+ comes with an alloy frame and a RockShox 35 Gold RL fork with 130mm travel, offering a smooth and more responsive ride, particularly during climbs and descents. While both are high-quality options, the Timberjack leans more towards performance, whereas the Karate Monkey emphasizes durability.
- Frame Material
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, offering a rugged and durable build.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: Alluminium alloy frame, providing a lighter and more responsive ride.
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: RockShox 35 Gold RL with 140mm travel, designed for more technical terrains.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: RockShox 35 Gold RL with 130mm travel, optimized for a balanced ride that excels in both climbing and descending.
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Shimano Deore XT 12-speed drivetrain, known for its durability and reliability.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: Shimano XT M8100 SGS rear derailleur and Shimano SLX M7100-12 cassette, offering precise and quick shifting.
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Tektro Gemini HD-M520 brakes, offering solid stopping power.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: Shimano M4120 four-piston brakes, providing superior stopping power and modulation.
- Ride Feel
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: The steel frame and longer-travel fork contribute to a more rugged and technical ride feel.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: The alloy frame and balanced fork travel make for a smoother and more responsive ride, particularly noticeable during technical descents and steep climbs.
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Geared towards technical and challenging terrains, offering a more aggressive riding stance.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: Designed for a balanced ride, excelling in a variety of conditions from climbs to descents.
vs. the Kona Big Honzo DL
The Kona Big Honzo DL and the Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+ offer different ride experiences tailored to specific needs. The Big Honzo DL features a Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted frame and a RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air fork with 130mm travel, making it agile and well-suited for technical trails. On the other hand, the Timberjack XT 27.5+ comes with an alloy frame and a RockShox 35 Gold RL fork with 130mm travel, providing a more balanced and responsive ride, especially during climbs and descents. While both bikes are performance-oriented, the Timberjack XT 27.5+ offers a more refined ride at a relatively higher cost.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air with 130mm travel, tailored for technical trails.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: RockShox 35 Gold RL with 130mm travel, optimized for a well-rounded riding experience.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain, offering reliable and consistent shifting.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: Shimano XT M8100 SGS rear derailleur and Shimano SLX M7100-12 cassette, known for precise and quick shifting.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: Shimano MT410 Hydraulic brakes, providing reliable stopping power.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: Shimano M4120 four-piston brakes, offering superior stopping power and modulation.
- Ride Feel
- Kona Big Honzo DL: The aluminum frame and fork setup contribute to an agile and technical ride, ideal for challenging trails.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: The alloy frame and balanced fork travel result in a smoother and more responsive ride, particularly during technical descents and steep climbs.
- Kona Big Honzo DL: Geared more towards agility and technical trail riding, offering a nimble experience.
- Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+: Designed for a balanced and versatile ride, excelling in a variety of conditions from climbs to descents.
130mm RockShox 35 Gold RL Fork: The Timberjack XT 27.5+ comes with a 130mm travel RockShox 35 Gold RL fork, offering a balanced combination of stability and agility. This level of fork quality is a unique selling point in its price range.
Shimano SLX M7100-12 Drivetrain: The bike is equipped with a Shimano SLX M7100-12, 10–51t, 12-speed drivetrain, providing a wide range of gearing options. This high-quality drivetrain is often found in more expensive models, making it a standout feature.
TranzX YSI05 RAD+ Dropper Post: The inclusion of a TranzX YSI05 RAD+ dropper post with 30 mm travel adjustment is a significant advantage. It allows for on-the-fly saddle height adjustments, providing better control and comfort during rides.
Internal Cable Routing: The Timberjack XT 27.5+ features sleek internal cable routing. This not only enhances the bike’s aesthetic but also protects the cables from external elements, a feature often reserved for higher-end models.
Bag and Rack Mounting Points
The Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+ is equipped with the following mounting points to cater to all your gear-hauling needs:
Top Tube Mounts: The bike features mounts on the top tube, allowing for easy access to essential items like snacks or a phone, usually through a top tube bag. These mounts are compatible with the Salsa Top Tube bag, making it especially useful for long rides and endurance races.
Rear Rack Mounts: The bike’s rear is equipped with mounting points for a standard rear rack, suitable for panniers or additional equipment. However, due to the absence of upper mounting eyelets on the seatpost, it requires a Salsa Racklock Seatpost Collar. Salsa Wanderlust Rack recommended. Salsa Bent Rack Struts also required for installation on 58 cm and 60 cm frames. Not compatible with Salsa Wanderlust HD Rack
Down Tube Mounts: The down tube has mounts for a water bottle cage or for attaching additional gear.
Seat Tube Mounts: The seat tube also has mounts for a water bottle cage.
Under Downtube Mount: There’s a mount under the downtube, which is a common place to carry an extra water bottle or tool keg.
Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+ Featured in the Wild
The article features Zack Schmidt from Salt Lake City, Utah, who shares his experience with the Salsa Timberjack XT 27.5+. Zack was introduced to bikepacking while thru-hiking the Colorado Trail and decided to switch to biking for his adventures. He purchased the Timberjack XT 27.5+ from his local bike shop and has since upgraded various components, including the fork and brakes. Zack states, “After sleepless nights of mentally organizing and reorganizing my bags, I think I have found my perfect set up… for now.” The article highlights the bike’s versatility and adaptability, making it ideal for everything from grocery runs to epic trips in Moab.
Register your purchase at Salsa’s Warranty Registration.
Salsa Cycles ( “Salsa ” ) makes the following limited Warranty:
All Salsa products are warranted against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship from the date of retail purchase of the product, subject to the limitations detailed below. Every Salsa frame, component, and apparel has a useful product life cycle. The length of that useful product life cycle will vary depending on the construction and the materials of the product, maintenance and care the product receives, and the amount and type of use the product is subjected to over its life. Your bike has an intended level of use as defined by the ASTM Riding Condition Classification Chart. Failure to adhere to the use cases identified in this chart will void your warranty. Save your dated receipt for proof of purchase.
All warranty periods below apply to the original owner only
ONE YEAR WARRANTY
All frame bags
Salsa Cycles does not guarantee the compatibility of original components with a warranty replacement frame. Salsa Cycles is not responsible for parts or labor required to remove and/or refit and re-adjust the product within the bicycle assembly, including wheel rebuilds.
Salsa Cycles cannot guarantee a color match to the original frame, component, or apparel in the event of a replacement.
This warranty applies to 2014 and newer model bicycles and covers only Salsa Cycles branded product. Any other original part or component shall be covered by the stated warranty of the original manufacturer. Any products not specifically included above are hereby excluded.
TWO YEAR WARRANTY
Aluminum chainstays of suspension frames
Aluminum seatstays of suspension frames
Carbon seatstays of suspension frames
All other suspension frame parts (excludes hanger, pivot hardware, bearings)
THREE YEAR WARRANTY
Aluminum front triangles of suspension frames
All Salsa forks
All Salsa components
FIVE YEAR WARRANTY
Carbon front triangle of suspension frames
THE WARRANTY DOES NOT COVER THE FOLLOWING
Damage due to improper assembly or follow-up maintenance or lack of skill, competence or experience of the user or assemble
Bicycles that were not assembled or serviced by an authorized Salsa Cycles dealer
Products that have been modified, neglected, used in competition, or for commercial purposes such as rental, courier, police, security, etc, misused or abused, involved in accidents or anything other than normal use
Installation of components, parts, or accessories not originally intended for use with or compatible with Salsa frames and components
Salsa Cycles bicycles, frames, components or softgoods purchased from an unauthorized dealer
Salsa Cycles bicycles, frames, components or softgoods purchased from third-party internet sites, including auction websites, and regional trading websites (examples: Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist) are not covered under this warranty, even if you have a receipt
Sandblasting, sanding, grinding, wire brushing, filing, welding, brazing, drilled holes, anodizing, refinishing, powder coating, or chrome plating the bicycle, frame, or component will void the warranty
Internal rust perforation on all steel frames
Wear, scratches, chips and cracks to paint, finish, or coating on all Salsa frames and components
Bent or broken derailleur hangers or Alternator plates
Labor required to remove and/or refit and re-adjust the product within the bicycle assembly, including wheel rebuilds
Damage to carbon fiber caused by any carbon assembly paste
Normal wear and tear
This limited warranty is expressly limited to the repair or replacement of a defective product, at the option of Salsa Cycles, and is the sole remedy of the warranty. This limited warranty applies only to the original purchaser of the Salsa Cycles product and is not transferable. This warranty applies only to Salsa Cycles products purchased through an authorized dealer or distributor. In no event shall Salsa Cycles be liable for any loss, inconvenience or damage, whether direct, incidental, consequential, or otherwise resulting from breach of any express or implied warranty or condition of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or otherwise with respect to our products except as set forth herein. This warranty gives the consumer specific legal rights, and those rights and other rights may vary from place to place. This warranty does not affect your statutory rights.
TO THE EXTENT NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW, THESE WARRANTIES ARE EXCLUSIVE AND THERE ARE NO OTHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS INCLUDING WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
For 2013 and older model bicycles and products, please consult your Owner’s Manual, Salsa Cycles product instructions, or contact Salsa Cycles or your authorized Salsa dealer for the applicable warranty information.